Tag Archives: energy

America Remains World’s Top Energy Producer

America #1 energy producer

America #1 energy producerBank of America reports that the United States will remain the world’s top energy producer this year and for some time to come despite the current administration’s attempts to curb energy exploration and transportation.

President Obama has done everything within his power (and some things not so within it) to suppress American energy production. As Bank of America reported, America’s energy producers have refused to give in.

U.S. production of crude oil, along with liquids separated from natural gas, surpassed all other countries this year with daily output exceeding 11 million barrels in the first quarter, the bank said in a report today. The country became the world’s largest natural gas producer in 2010. The International Energy Agency said in June that the U.S. was the biggest producer of oil and natural gas liquids.

Questionable regulations and preventing the completion of the Keystone XL pipeline have been top priorities of the Obama administration while millions of Americans struggle to put a full tank of gas in their vehicles or pay other energy bills. Thanks to American energy producers, things have been kept at least survivable. BofA’s head of commodities research said that “the shale boom is playing a key role in the U.S. recovery. If the U.S. didn’t have this energy supply, prices at the pump would be completely unaffordable.”

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of American producers, President Obama’s failures in the middle-east are keeping gas and energy prices artificially high.

“The shale production story is bigger than Iraqi production, but it hasn’t made the impact on prices you would expect,” said Blanch. “Typically such a large energy supply growth should bring prices lower, but in fact we’re not seeing that because the whole geopolitical situation outside the U.S. is dreadful.”

One way or another, it would seem that we will see energy prices “necessarily skyrocket.”

Soros’ Anti-Frack Attack in MN

George_SorosLeftwing progressive organization, Land Stewardship Project bussed in activists from rural Minnesota to lobby for a “temporary moratorium” (read: 30 year moratorium that will never go away) on silica sand mining in the state, a direct attack on the natural gas industry. The silica sand has been used for decades in hydraulic fracturing – also known as “fracking” – to safely and cleanly remove natural gas from shales deep beneath the ground.

The Land Stewardship Project is funded by the Joyce Foundation and billionaire George Soros and claims to promote “sustainable agriculture.” The group’s spokesperson wouldn’t disclose the cost of the busses or the number of passengers.

As reported by KMSP Fox 9 News, “a temporary statewide moratorium on frac sand mining in Minnesota passed the Senate Energy and Environment committee by an 8-4 vote Tuesday.”

Should the proposed legislation pass the democratically-controlled state house and senate, the very liberal governor, Mark Dayton (who benefited from a Soros-hosted fundraiser for his campaign), will promptly sign it into law, sending thousands of jobs and millions of dollars into Wisconsin and surrounding states.

“It will lock Minnesota out of the energy revolution that’s going on in the country,” says Scott Sustacek of Jordan Sands.

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To learn more about fracking, what it really does, who’s making money from it, and what the real environmental & economic impacts are, watch FrackNation.

Read the FIVE REASON YOU MUST WATCH FRACKNATION here.

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Fracking Under Attack

Frack AttackHydraulic fracturing in Minnesota is about to take another big hit as environmental activists bus in from around the state to descend on the Capitol in St. Paul. A joint hearing of energy committess in the Minnesota House and Senate is expected to discuss a 30 year moratorium on silica sand mining on Tuesday, February 19th at 12:00 noon at the State Capitol. The sand is used by oil and gas drillers for hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking.”

The Land Stewardship Project, an activist group heavily funded by the Joyce Foundation, a pet project of billionaire George Soros, has organized 2 busloads of activists who will travel from rural counties in Minnesota to the capitol. The Land Stewardship Project calls itself a “grassroots” community organizing group that is “organizing for change.” The group spent over $2 million in 2011.

According to Johanna Rupprecht, the contact at LSP organizing the travel details for activists from St. Charles and Rochester, there are still seats available on the 42 passenger bus, though she wouldn’t share on the record how many activists have been confirmed.

“We want to send a clear message to the legislature that this issue is very important… Local governments can’t handle this kind of thing on their own without state involvement,” said Rupprecht when asked what the group hopes to accomplish.

Rupprecht says LSP is urging the state to fund a General Impact Study and impose a moratorium on sand mining until it is complete and can be reviewed.

Rupprecht declined to divulge the costs associated with the community organization and travel for the hearings saying she would, “rather not share how much it will cost. I’m not sure how that’s relevant.”

The other bus is being organized in part by a newly formed group called The Houston County Protectors. Organizer Donna Buckbee says there are 45 confirmed attendees and she is hoping for more to reserve seats throughout the day.

LSP Executive Director George Boody is a registered lobbyist and “local foods expert” at the University of MN. LSP is also a member of Take Action MN which hosted training for the Occupy Movement. Boody did not immediately return a call for comment. LSP will hold a press conference at 11AM at the capitol.

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To learn more about fracking, what it really does, who’s making money from it, and what the real environmental & economic impacts are, watch FrackNation. Set your DVR for Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 11AM Eastern Time (10 CST) on Axs TV. Read the FIVE REASON YOU MUST WATCH FRACKNATION here.

Give Them The Wealth

“THIS IS A MAJOR DEAL” – Van Jones on changes made by the Department of the Interior to free up Indian lands for renewable energy production.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced changes in how the federal government will grant permits for the development of wind and other surface energy production on tribal lands saying, “This final step caps the most comprehensive reforms of Indian land leasing regulations in more than 50 years and will have a lasting impact on individuals and families who want to own a home or build a business on Indian land.” (Forbes)

According to the Department of the Interior website, “The new regulation, effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, will fundamentally change the way the BIA does business, in many ways by minimizing the [Bureau of Indian Affairs’s] role and restoring greater control to tribal governments. The final rule provides clarity by identifying specific processes – with enforceable timelines – through which the BIA must review leases.”

Salazar and his department haven’t always had the authority to make such changes to federal policy, but President Obama submitted an official memorandum on November 28, granting Salazar unprecedented authority without Congressional approval.

Former “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones, who has written 2 books and given countless public speeches about using the green energy agenda to redistribute wealth to tribes within the US, took to social media to express his enthusiasm for the administration’s recent moves.

“THIS IS A MAJOR DEAL!” tweeted Jones in a ‘re-tweet’ of the Forbes article outlining the changes.

For context, Van Jones’ wealth redistribution agenda masked as energy policy can be seen in action in this video.

Oft fraught with fiery rhetoric and shocking language, Van Jones‘ speeches reveal his communist tendencies. Jones once said, “white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people of color communities because they have a racial justice frame.”

Salazar, though much more controlled in his language, has offered much public criticism of states’ rights to regulate their own energy production. In June of this year, Salazar announced that the federal government needed to do more to regulate hydraulic fracturing efforts. In an interview with Reuters, he said that states were not sufficiently overseeing the fracking processes and that the federal government has a five year plan for leases.

Obama’s War on Energy is about Control

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When one thinks of energy, the thoughts about economic growth rarely come into play.  In fact, most take it for granted.  It charges our iPhones, laptops, and Kindles, but it also is the lifeblood that keeps our economy growing.  It’s also the critical element that keeps our health services running.  It allows us to channel our resources elsewhere – to be more productive during the day.  However, we’re starting to see a shift occur through the policies of the Obama administration.  This radical reconfiguration of our energy infrastructure will be disastrous in the long run, and some in the media don’t seem to care.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Thomas Pyle, President of American Energy Alliance, Robin Millican, Policy Director for Institute for Energy Research (IER), and Dan Kish, Senior Vice President for Policy at IER on October 26 to discuss this issue further – and how it’s currently shaping the outcome of the 2012 election.  I mentioned the study Professor Gabriel Calzada conducted on Spain’s green energy investments and how he predicted a bubble, which seems to be bursting on the Iberian Peninsula.  Most disconcerting was the fact that for every green job created – 2.2 jobs were lost as a result.  In fact, Professor Gabriel Calzada found himself targeted by liberals and the Center for American Progress, John Podesta’s bastion of progressivism, as a consequence of his study concerning Spain’s green energy economy.  Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome in Spain, President Obama plans to use it as a model and apply it here, which would enter a more aggressive phase if he were reelected on November 6.

Furthermore, IER conducted a study on the impact of green energy initiatives in Germany.  Here are the key points:

  • Financial aid to Germany’s solar industry has now reached a level that far exceeds average wages, with per worker subsidies as high as $240,000 US.
  • In 2008, the price mark-up attributable to the government’s support for “green” electricity was about 2.2 cents US per kWh. For perspective, a 2.2 cent per kWh increase here in the US would amount to an average 19.4% increase in consumer’s electricity bills.
  • Government support for solar energy between 2000 and 2010 is estimated to have a total net cost of $73.2 billion US, and $28.1 billion US for wind. A similar expenditure in the US would amount to about half a trillion dollars US.

 

  • Green jobs created by government actions disappear as soon as government support is terminated, a lesson the German government and the green companies it supports are beginning to learn.
  • Government aid for wind power is now three times the cost of conventional electricity.

However, one area that is salient to American voters is coal.  Obama’s War on Coal has been brutal for thousands of families who live in states along the Appalachian Trail.  With new greenhouse gas regulations the EPA is doling out, it’ll prevent the creation of new plants and is scheduled to shut down 10% of existing coal plats that are operational today.

Pyle warned that there will come a time when the economy will begin to grow again and the energy infrastructure that President Obama and the environmental left envision for America will not be adequate to meet the demands of commercial expansion. There’s no special switch we can turn to get our power back to appropriate levels for economic development. Furthermore, it doesn’t help our long-term energy development when government shuts down coal mining, offshore drilling, or puts the kibosh on the Keystone Pipeline.  As a result, the Gulf States, Alaska, Colorado, and Wyoming are suffering under Obama’s war on energy.

While the Environmental Protection Agency has the reputation of being a ‘protector,’ they have recently become the heaviest portion of the boot that is on the throat of American enterprise.  One thing the United States can never compete in again is the labor market.  However, with the derivatives from oil/gas/and coal such as petrochemicals, smart phones, computers, Kevlar, shaving cream, toothpaste, and gum – we can still retain our economic vigor.   However, EPA regulations are making it harder to produce such products for American and international markets.

Dan Kish, Senior Vice President of Policy for IER, noted how the air is cleaner and the water is better. In fact:

Since 1990, nationwide air quality has improved significantly for the six common air pollutants. These six pollutants are ground-level ozone, particle pollution (PM2.5 and PM10), lead, nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Nationally, air pollution was lower in 2008 than in 1990 for:

  • 8-hour ozone, by 14 percent
  • annual PM2.5 (since 2000), by 19 percent
  • PM10 , by 31 percent
  • Lead, by 78 percent
  • NO2 , by 35 percent
  • 8-hour CO, by 68 percent
  • annual SO2 , by 59 percent

Additionally, the EPA has affirmed this claim.

 As a result, life expectancy has increased dramatically – which is an effective metric at gauging the socioeconomic health of a nation.  Yet, the EPA feels that more needs to be done, despite that fact that states have their own safety and health provisions, which are tailored to accommodate the environments of each respective state.  However, given the dependency mentality of the Obama administration, the EPA insists on a one-size fits all model.  I guess the principles of federalism have taken a back seat.

Concerning coal, we have 497 billion short tons, which is enough to power the country for over 500 years – at our current levels of energy use.  When you incorporate Alaska into the picture, it dwarfs the lower forty-eight, with 10.38 trillion short tons for our use.  As a result, the United States is the ‘Saudi Arabia’ of coal.  And not all coal is used to generate electricity.  Thirty-eight percent of coal can be used to make jet fuel.  Fifty percent of all freight loads carried in the country are comprised of coal.  In fact, 25% of all rail revenue is derived from coal transportation.  What happens if that were to disappear, which is what the Obama administration wants as the end game in this power play.

We current use 1 billion tons of coal a year.  China uses 4 billion tons a year.  As a result, even if coal were to cease of an arm of the American economy, the effects on global CO2 emissions would be de minimis at best.  Kish noted how coal consumption has increased in Europe.  The reason is simple.  It’s cheap.  It works great, and is good for electricity.

Pyle touched upon the moral aspect of energy, which is seldom reported on in the press.  He reiterated the fact how 40% of India’s population don’t have access to affordable energy.  Kish noted how villages in Africa keep their kids to school, although they would like to send them there, because every available hand is needed to collect biomass to keep the home warm, to cook, and possibly fend themselves from predators at night.  If those kids were able to go to school because they had affordable energy, and access to it, increased economic activity from their education would have a ripple effect upon their community. Energy allows people to savor and spend their time more efficiently and purposefully. Until the Industrial Revolution, life expectancy had flat lined around age thirty for years, which saw a dramatic increase when people were able to utilize their time more efficiently due to proliferation of energy resources.

An example of the economic benefits in expanding our energy development can be seen in North Dakota.  Dan Kish recently visited the state, of which 97% isn’t owned by the government, and noticed the economic boom that has occurred from extracting the shale oil from the Bakken formation.  Williston, North Dakota has the busiest McDonald’s in the country.  A entry-level worker could earn up to $90,000 in his first year alone working the rigs.  In fact, five to ten years ago North Dakota wasn’t even a player in oil production.  Now, it’s ranked #2 – behind Texas – producing 18 million barrels of oil in March of 2012.  In all, between 2008-09, it’s proved reserves have increased from 543 million barrels to 1046 million barrels.  Some farmers, who’ve sold their land rights, are earning as much as $150,000 a month from the royalties.  Although, the monetary values is based on volume, but it’s possible.

As a result, North Dakota’s unemployment rate remains at 3%, the GDP per capita is well above the national average at $50,096, it’s spurred a budget surplus of $ 1 billion dollars, and increased the workforce from 5,000 in 2005 to 30,000 in 2012.  Here’s to prosperity.

We have the resources to be energy independent.  Pyle mentioned that in 1944 it was estimated that America’s proven oil reserves amounted to about 20 billion barrels.  However, from 1945-2010, the United States production exceeded 176 billion barrels of oil.  That’s because proven reserves tend to increase in volume as we continue to explore for more energy resources.  Case in point, the Bakken Shale.  However, the boot of the EPA and government regulation seems to be aimed at halting this process.  It’s because government, especially the one we have now, is set on breaking the independent arms that are harvesting these resources to the will of the state.  It’s about centralization of energy distribution. It’s trickle down government incarnate.

Last May, IER Policy Director Robin Millican spoke at an Americans for Prosperity rally in McLean, Va. There she said that the military has become victim to these government policies.  In her speech, she noted how the Department of Defense signed a $12 million dollar contract with two biofuel companies to produce 450,000 gallons of the advanced liquid.  In short, it’s incredibly expensive.  This ludicrous expenditure is grounded in the words of Navy Secretary Ray Mabus who said “We are doing this for one simple reason: It makes us better fighters…our use of fossil fuels is a very real threat to our national security and to the U.S. Navy ability to protect America and project power overseas.”  I’m sure the environmental left enjoys this change in course, but as Millican pointed out, the federal government has a portion of land in Alaska called the Naval Petroleum Reserve which is specifically set aside to meet the energy demands of the military.  Yet, we are going to pay companies to make fuel for our armed forces that is four times more expensive than standard fuel.

Additionally, Millican also delivered some remarks about the $500 million dollar loan allocated to Solyndra.  A company principally financed by George Kaiser, who was also a huge bundler for the Obama campaign in 2008.  In all, big government breed corruption, crony capitalism, and dependency. She aptly pointed out that these subsidies are not meant to better society, but are goodie bags to the politically connected.  She says, “look no further than a government funded program that relies on a stamp of approval from a group of unelected bureaucrats who have no technical experience.” The process in determining which system maximizes efficiency is not rigorous and comes down to nothing more than corporate welfare.  Continuing with the narrative of waste this administration has incurred due to its quest for clean energy initiatives, Millican detailed the Section 1603 program that has allocated $20 billion dollars in cash payments, not loans that need to be repaid, to companies that install solar, wind and geothermal properties.  Congress wants to extend this program for an additional year at the tune of $3 billion dollars.

Relating to AFP’s media campaign, Millican discussed the $529 million dollar loan to Fisker, which produced the $100,000 dollar Karma automobile that is principally made in Finland.  Is this investing in America? Ms. Millican astutely pointed out that renewables only constitute 1.5% of our entire energy consumption, but get the majority share of the funds allocated from Congress.

If Mitt Romney is elected President of the United States on November 6, it’ll be partially due to Americans’ disgust towards Obama’s war on energy – specifically coal.  The war on coal has affected thousands of families who live along the Appalachian Trail.  An aspect the Obama campaign should’ve taken more seriously since Virginia and Pennsylvania are both battleground and coal-producing states.  Currently, the small town of Grundy, Va is under siege by federal regulators who are preventing them from expanding their runway at the local airport because of coal.  It’s a three-year battle, which is really an assault on the American Dream.  The expansion of the airport would allow corporate jets to land, which could possibly spur economic development in Grundy and the surrounding counties.

Debra McCown reported on Grundy’s war with federal regulators back on October 17. I wrote, in a previous post, that since “the original airport was built on a piece of land made flat by surface mining by United Coal Co., which gave the land to Grundy,” the government won’t allow them to expand the runway.  It’s big government run amok.

McCown also reported in The American Spectator on October 22 “more than 5,500 people turned out Sunday afternoon at a mountaintop park in remote Buchanan County to show their support for coal.” She noted how the mood of the crowd exuded a certain dubiousness since most of these workers have an uncertain future, especially if Obama is reelected.   McCown quoted Jerry Shortt, who said, “the only promise Obama kept was to kill coal.”  “Jerry Shortt [is] a coal miner from Richlands who was laid off temporarily right after Labor Day — and learned Friday that for him, along with 189 other employees at the mine where he worked, the layoff would be permanent,” according to McCown.

She also noted that the EPA regulations that will be the harbingers of death for the industry.

First, new air emissions standards prompted utilities to announce the closure of dozens of coal-fired power plants, cutting the demand for coal and costing jobs. In some cases, utilities chose to convert those units to natural gas, which because of new technology for extraction has become relatively cheap and plentiful. Rules for coal-fired boilers have also affected factories and other facilities that use industrial boilers.

Second, a new proposed EPA rule would require any new coal-fired power plants to be constructed with technology to control carbon dioxide emissions — technology that’s not been fully developed. With this proposal, even state-of-the-art coal burning technology, like that being used at the new power plant that just opened in nearby Wise County, couldn’t be permitted, utility officials have said.

On the water pollution side, coalmines are now subject to new restrictions in obtaining the permits needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Targeted specifically at mountaintop mines in Appalachia, according to industry supporters, the change effectively prohibits modern surface mining and has also created significant problems for deep mining.

With the state in a statistical dead heat, the policies from the Obama administration to gut this business, and leave the families of those involved with coal mining in destitution – might be a deciding factor in how Virginia might vote on November 6.

The Washington Times’ Ben Wolfgang reported on October 23 that Obama’s crusade to destroy coal has put Pennsylvania in play.  More than anything, if Romney wins PA on November 6, it’ll be a very short election night.  While West Virginia was never going Democratic, Democrats there have eviscerated the Obama administration over recent coal miner layoffs.

Energy giant Consol announced Tuesday that it will idle its surface mining operations in Mingo County after failing to secure necessary Clean Water Act permits from the EPA.

The Miller Creek surface mine facility has been in operation for decades, and the company had planned to construct the new “King Coal Highway” as part of a reclamation project after mining is complete. Coal mine employees, Consol said, would eventually have been assigned to the highway project, once the coal supplies had been exhausted.

Democrats in the state, already angry with the administration’s “war on coal,” unloaded on the EPA on Tuesday afternoon.

“I am incensed and infuriated that the EPA would intentionally delay the needed permit for a public-private project that would bring so many good jobs and valuable infrastructure to communities that so desperately need them,” West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement.

For those affected, it’s called a “regional genocide.”  For government, it’s a shift towards a cleaner future, despite the data suggesting otherwise.  At the end of the day, it’s about government controlling more of the means of production through our energy consumption.

Energy Starts American Recovery

America needs to become energy independent. America’s dependence on foreign energy puts her at great risk in a world that grows increasingly unstable. Given the current political upheavals in the Middle East, this reality is more than slapping America in the face.

Those who claim to be “progressive” feel a compulsive obsession to force Americans into accepting the “green energy” fantasy. Three plus years of actions taken by the current administration and fellow “progressives” show a willingness to achieve this end at any and all costs. Stiffer standards on auto emissions and mileage, crushing EPA regulations on energy providers, opposing development of domestic energy reserves, copious deficit spending on inefficient and noncompetitive solar, wind, tide and bio-fuel technologies besmirch the White House’s energy policy.

While such “progressive” measures theoretically “promote” development of “green” energies, they dictate a highly impatient, frantic pace that is crippling the American economy. They force the issue during a stubborn, recovery-resistant recession that is teetering on the brink of a full-blown depression.

America’s public and industrial infrastructures use petroleum, natural gas and coal, as well as limited nuclear power. Nearly every vehicle that is driven on American roads burns gasoline or diesel fuel. Public transportation relies on fossil fuels as well. Natural gas, heating oil and coal are used in furnaces to heat homes and places of business. Coal and nuclear power generate electricity, which powers countless devices; the uses of which are taken for granted every day. Coal, natural gas and petroleum products power American’s industrial complex, the base of the economic engine. America’s economy depends heavily on existing energy. The methods of providing and consuming energy are deeply ingrained into American business, industry, home life and recreation.

Expecting to change the methods of powering a society of over 300 million people overnight is unrealistic. While whatever conversions that do make sense are taking place, what energy is going power manufacturing, delivering and installing windmills, solar panels, turbines, generators and the power grid needed to provide “green” energy to the public? Will it be the “green” energy that is still under development? No. The energy that’s going to be used will be traditional fuels.

Why does America continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on foreign energy while there is undeveloped energy in its own country? Why doesn’t America keep those billions of dollars at home, in its own cash starved economy?

At a time when millions of Americans are looking for work and its economy is starving for liquid capital, why doesn’t America take advantage of its own wealth of natural resources? Why aren’t Americans drilling for oil and natural gas or digging for coal? Why aren’t people working building refineries and power plants? Why aren’t people delivering gas, coal and natural gas to consumers? How many peripheral jobs will be created in the process? For every new oil well, power plant, refinery or mine there will be new roads built, followed by restaurants, stores and housing. All generated by the only force capable of powering America’s economic recovery: the private sector.

In the interest of national security and job creation, America should put Americans back to work delivering American energy to Americans. This is the best way to become energy independent. Forcing “green energy” on America overnight will only lead to economic destruction.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/energy-starts-american-recovery/

White House to Blame for High Gas Prices

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With Hurricane Isaac’s slamming the American gulf coast putting a temporary halt to oil production and refinery output, consumers can expect to see higher prices at the pump.

Just in time for the Labor Day holiday.

Before Hurricane Isaac came along, gasoline costs were at an almost four month high.  The nationwide average rose to $3.75 a gallon on Aug. 26.  “We expect the national average price of gasoline for Labor Day this year to be the highest ever for the holiday,” said Michael Green, a spokesman for AAA.  Drivers could be paying $4 a gallon by the end of September.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-28/gasoline-rising-to-holiday-record-as-storm-surge-pressures-obama.html

Oct. 3 is the date of the first presidential debate.

The timing could not be better for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney or worse for the White House and its hopes for re-election.

By any measure, the administration should be on the defensive over escalating gasoline costs and the hardship higher pump prices will cause average American families.  The White House has been consistently hostile towards traditional fuel industries, and has persistently sought to curtail exploration, development and production capacity since 2009.

The current administration has actively sought to discourage drilling on federal land.  Since the 2010 BP gulf oil spill it has gone out of its way to stifle offshore exploration.  The EPA has made it a regular course of business to impose costly regulations on the development of oil, natural gas and coal.

The White House has wasted hundreds and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing non-competitive technologies.  Solyndra, a solar-panel manufacturer, received a $535 million U.S. loan guarantee, then filed bankruptcy and fired 1,100 workers.  There are many other such examples.

The predictable White House solution will be to release supplies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.  This will be a typical response from the current administration:  Divest precious national resources in hopes of achieving the desired political result without solving the real problem or offering a viable solution.

Instead of effectively stimulating the American economy by assisting exploration, development and production of cheap, efficient energy, the White House is obsessed with squandering national treasure on inefficient, uncompetitive energy options that are incapable of surviving without a government backstop.

Odds are that the White House will blame it all on Hurricane Isaac…or on George W. Bush.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/08/29/white-house-to-blame-for-high-gas-prices/

America Needs a New Sheriff

The American labor market showed few signs of new life in the latest jobs report.   First time filings for unemployment benefits rose again last week to a one-month high.  Claims rose for a second week, by 4,000 for the period ended Aug. 18.  After economists had predicted 365,000 new claims, the number climbed to 372,000.

The administration continues to cite the European debt crisis and economic slowdowns in Asia as deterrents to investment.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-23/jobless-claims-in-u-s-climb-for-second-week-to-one-month-high.html

It is far easier to blame the global economy than to admit that this administration’s energy policies are killing jobs in America.  That this administration poked their thumbs into the eyes of millions of unemployed Americans when they laughed about “shovel-ready” projects not being as “shovel-ready” as advertised.  It is not the least bit funny to Americans when they discover that this administration does not know what they are doing, especially after they spent trillions of taxpayer dollars on plans that did not work and redistributed hundreds of billions of the taxpayer’s wealth to rich “progressive” bundlers for the administration’s campaign machine.

Across the country, Americans have had enough of this administration’s policies, starting with those that kill jobs; like the healthcare reform law that levies huge tax hikes on all Americans and imposes additional burdens on businesses.  Americans are done with the policies that are killing America’s energy industry, like stifling EPA regulations that make it impossible to build new petroleum refineries or use coal powered energy.  Americans can no longer tolerate a lack of policy; a lack that precludes any hope for recovery in the housing market.  Many small businesses will find it difficult if not impossible to exist, much less expand and hire while banking regulations imposed during this administration make it virtually impossible for banks to loan them money.

Why does America continue to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on foreign energy rather than developing the abundant energy in its own country? Why not keep those hundreds of billions of dollars at home in its own sluggish, cash strapped economy?

At a time when tens of millions of Americans are struggling to find work and its economy is starving for liquid capital, why does this administration refuse to take advantage of America’s wealth of natural resources? Why does this administration continue to prevent drilling for oil and natural gas or mining for coal? Why not put Americans back to work building refineries and power plants? Why not have Americans delivering gas, coal and natural gas to American consumers?

How many peripheral jobs will be created by that process?

For every new oil well, power plant, refinery or mine there will be new roads built, followed by restaurants, stores, housing, schools and places of worship. All generated by the only force capable of powering America’s economic recovery: the private sector.

The key to economic recovery in America is a shift in policy.  The only way for that shift to happen is to alter the governing philosophy.  For that alteration to take place, America must elect a new sheriff and new deputies.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/america-needs-a-new-sheriff/

Luxury Tax 2.0 – Obama’s War on Prosperity

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President Obama keeps asking “Do you want to return to the failed policies of the past?” At the same time he is urging us to envy those who have worked very hard and risked their own capital to make the American dream come true.

An examination of that question might be in order. Those who are not willing to just blindly accept what they hear, but are of reasonable mind might wish to examine the facts. His plea is not a new one, it is one we have tried before, with disastrous results.

The politics of envy got a thorough trial under George Herbert Walker Bush (41). In fact it worked out so well, it cost him his job along with 200,000 other poor unfortunates. Philosopher George Santayana put it so well, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Either the current administration does not remember the “Luxury Tax” or they are banking on the fact that the public does not.

To refresh our memories, after his famous 1988 campaign quote “read my lips, no new taxes”, in 1990 under enormous pressure from the Democrats in congress, President Bush acquiesced and signed the “punish the rich for being rich” luxury tax bill. That bill greatly increased taxes on things like yachts, airplanes and expensive jewelry. The Democrats said it would increase revenues and if folks could afford to buy yachts, they should cough up some of that cash to help the poor and unemployed. The actual effect though, as one might guess, is that people quit buying yachts, or bought them offshore. The net effect was that revenues went down, and 200,000 people who worked in the boat building industry lost their jobs. Ultimately it cost Bush the 1992 election.

What so many people fail to grasp is “The Law of Unintended Consequences.” Everything we do has consequences but so many want a life without adverse consequences to anything. It just isn’t possible. The law of unintended consequences is a offshoot of the law of cause and effect. If one hits one’s self in the head with a hammer, one’s head will hurt. Cause (hitting your head), effect (head hurts).

The law of unintended consequences comes into play when ideas which sound, on the surface like good ideas meant only for the benefit of people, are implemented without any thought to what the actual outcome might be. For example everyone wants clean air. We probably have the cleanest air in the world now, but under the guise of cleaner air the EPA has put in place regulations which are closing coal fired power plants all across the nation, 57 this year and 175 by 2016. In the US 42% of our electricity comes from coal fired generators. That means that in exchange for making our air an infinitesimal amount cleaner we are going to not only sacrifice 8.5% of our coal fired generating capacity with nothing to replace it, but we are going to put thousands and thousands of people out of work. All of this while energy consumption continues to grow. As the power plants shut down, so do the coal mines, the coal haulers, the coal mining suppliers, and the coal rail haulers.

In addition to reducing our capacity for electrical generation, we will also increase the cost of electricity by at least a factor of two. So Grandma, who was worried about Paul Ryan throwing her off a cliff by trying to save social security, can just fry in her apartment because she can’t afford to pay the electric bill.

As the cost of energy increases, so does the cost of everything else. Farmers and manufacturers must pass this added cost on to consumers. Meanwhile, lets add some additional tax and regulatory burden to those manufacturers as well, because they are the evil rich and we have to get them. No one ever explains why we have to get them, we just do. It’s the fair thing, no matter what it costs the rest of us.

Obama’s Five Year Plan




The US (through President Barack Hussein Obama’s failed green energy policies and his desire to repay campaign contributors) has decided to pursue green energy. Obama promised that green industries would create millions of jobs after he took office. His administration earmarked billions of dollars for investment in “clean” industry. But no matter how you define a “green” job, the numbers are falling far short of millions of jobs.

The US has decided to forgo the worldwide demand for oil and gas that is booming. Instead, we are not taking advantage of the US’s natural resources and getting a large share of the worldwide market.

On June 28, 2012, Obama unveiled a “five year oil leasing plan” of oil development. How fitting that Obama calls it a five year plan, just like in the (now defunct) Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). Or was the plan name a Freudian slip that exposes what he really believes?

Obama’s aptly named plan simultaneously opens two doors: similarities between what Obama has done/is doing and Stalin’s five year plans, and the sad state of affairs of our oil and gas exploration and use.

  • USSR Five Year Plans: Josef Stalin believed that the USSR should ‘overtake and outstrip the capitalist countries.’ Five year plans were drawn up by GOSPLAN (the USSR planning organization), just like Obama is doing today. Workers were bombarded with propaganda, posters, slogans and radio broadcasts, just like Obama, Environmentalists, the White House, and the MSM are doing today. Women were attracted by day-care centers so that mothers could work. Sound familiar? With the introduction of the Five Year Plan, Stalin argued that it was necessary to pay higher wages to certain workers in order to encourage increased output. His left-wing opponents claimed that this inequality was a betrayal of socialism and would create a new class system in the Soviet Union. Again, does that sound familiar? That is exactly what Obama is arguing today, that all wages should be the same, and that he wants to achieve that goal through taxation, through having everyone pay his fair share, through redistribution of wealth.

    The five year plans were ruthlessly implemented, aimed at making the USSR self-sufficient and emphasized heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods. The five year plans were successful: new cities were built, dams that provided hydroelectricity were built, transportation and communications facilities were built, and coal and steel production was increased. But the USSR paid a high price for the plans’ successes. Besides slave labor and many deaths, there were few consumer goods, poor housing, no human rights, a widening gap of wages paid to workers and skilled workers, and secret police.

  • Obama’s Five Year Plan : The Obama administration unveiled its latest five-year oil-leasing plan. His plan is great if the goal is to reduce the number of jobs and stunt economic growth. US oil companies will be allowed limited access to the Arctic under the final version of the Obama Administration’s five year drilling plan. The plan calls for lease sales in three offshore Alaska areas, but the auctions would not be held until the final years of the plan because of environmental concerns about drilling in the Arctic. The Obama administration has consistently reversed bipartisan efforts to open America’s offshore resources for energy development. Obama himself has canceled lease sales, delayed others, and imposed a unilateral executive embargo on the oil resources. While President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar claim an “all of the above” energy strategy, the plan continues to give the American people access to only a fraction of offshore resources.

    Doc Hastings (R-WA), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said, “Today, the Obama Administration has announced a bleak future for American energy production by keeping 85 percent of America’s offshore areas under lock and key and refusing to open any new areas to drilling.” Drilling our own resources will produce jobs, create wealth, and increase our energy security. But, nooooooooooooo (to quote John Belushi), the environmental lobby got into the act.

    Environmentalists criticized the new plan as risky, expanding drilling so soon after the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon platform that sent oil gushing uncontrolled into the Gulf of Mexico for three months. “The plan is too aggressive, too broad and too rushed,” said Regan Nelson, at the Natural Resources Defense Council. But all the oil from the Gulf Oil Spill was not all oil from BP’s Deep Horizon well.

And now we learn that Obama has reinstituted a 27 year old ban on denying drilling on the US east coast outer continental shelf that was lifted in 2008. Obama’s plan for developing the energy resources in the Outer Continental Shelf will keep America dependent on foreign sources of oil and keep people unemployed.

The USSR five year plans achieved (among other things) falling wages, a reduction in consumer goods and human rights, and a secret police. We know that Obama is a socialist and a marxist. Job and economic growth are, at best, flat. Obama has called for wealth redistribution and other socialist actions. Is the USSR’s five year style plan what awaits us if Obama’s five year plan is enacted, if he is reelected?

But that’s just my opinion.

Paul Krugman: “Natural Born Liar”

Paul Krugman, he of the once-great N.Y. Times recently penned the article  Natural Born Drillers , in which he makes completely outlandishly false claims about the number of jobs created by the oil and gas industry, to go along with his usual fallacy-floundering Liberal propaganda punditry. Mr. Krugman finished up his latest ( and already discredited) propaganda piece with the following lines: (emphasis added)

“The rest of the answer is simply the fact that conservatives have no other job-creation ideas to offer.  And intellectual bankruptcy, I’m sorry to say, is a problem that no amount of drilling and fracking can solve.”

Speaking of blatant intellectual bankruptcy, here is a great example of it, pulled right from Krugman’s latest puff-piece masquerading as holier-than-thou opinion-speak from the great Liberal “Doctor of Propaganda” of the N.Y. Times:  “Employment in oil and gas extraction has risen more than 50 percent since the middle of the last decade, but that amounts to only 70,000 jobs, around one-twentieth of 1 percent of total U.S. employment. So the idea that drill, baby, drill can cure our jobs deficit is basically a joke.”

A person would in fact, have to be worse than intellectually bankrupt to print that piece of propaganda right there, when we look at these facts from Steve Maley:

  Indeed, the industry subsector called “Oil and Gas Extraction: NAICS 211″, (part of the Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction sector) shows the gain in jobs he describes, from roughly 120,000 jobs in 2004 to about 190,000 now. And he apparently stopped there.  190,000 jobs? Doesn’t that seem kinda low for an industry that comprises 8% or so of the economy?

Well, of course it is, because lots of oil industry jobs are counted in other categories. Most notably, the related subsector “Support Activities for Mining: NAICS 213″.

In NAICS 211, you find geologists, draftsmen and petroleum engineers like me, employed directly by the oil companies. NAICS 213 contains people that work for the “service companies” who work for the oil companies. These companies would include Halliburton, Transocean and Schlumberger, the companies that drill, frack, service and equip the wells. Job titles include roughnecks, roustabouts and service pump operators.

NAICS 213 is twice as big as NAICS 211: 379,100 at last count. NAICS 213 is where you find the really explosive job growth: nearly 200,000 jobs since 2004, including almost 70,000 just in the last year.

Mr. Maley is a petroleum engineer, unlike “Dr. Krugman” who, as far as anyone can prove, has never worked a day in his life, let alone worked anywhere in the energy industry. (other than trying to pass his intellectually bankrupt propaganda-punditry onto the uninformed citizenry of America under the guise of journalism)

Of course Krugman also uses his latest propaganda piece to bash Republicans for wanting to drill baby drill, by trying to make the already discredited statement that, “More and more, Republicans are telling us that gasoline would be cheap and jobs plentiful if only we would stop protecting the environment and let energy companies do whatever they want.”  Krugman makes the jaw-dropping straw man argument of implying that oil and gas companies are not regulated at all and can just “do what they want” to supposedly ruin the environment.  Colorado alone just mandated a whole slew of new rules and regulations for oil and gas extraction and environmental protection. The Marcellus Shale Corporation  exposed the ludicrous “end of pipe” water quality mandates in Pennsylvania as follows:  “There is not a single water treatment facility in Pennsylvania that could meet this unreasonable benchmark, which will not provide any additional environmental benefit.” North Dakota also has new oil regulations starting April 1st of this year. Does that information in any way point to an oil and gas industry that, as Krugman states, would “let energy companies do whatever they want?” No it doesn’t.

When it comes to actually reporting the facts, Mr. Krugman falls way short of anything even remotely connected to the truth, as we can see in his latest opinion piece claiming that oil and gas extraction of the “middle ” of the past decade has only resulted in 70,000 jobs. Krugman’s propaganda runs parallel to Obama’s recent campaign speeches in which the misinformation about oil and gas industry job creation runs rampant, as is also proven here:

A booming U.S. oil and gas sector was responsible for generating some 9 percent of all new jobs last year, with three indirect jobs for every one directly involved in the industry, a study released on Wednesday found. The report said the oil and gas industry contributed 37,000 direct jobs in 2011, which led to the creation of an additional 111,000 indirect jobs during the same period. It said the multiplier effect for solar and wind energy were lower during operation, but higher at up to 3.3 times during construction.

The U.S. oil and gas industry added 148,000 jobs in 2011 alone Mr. Krugman, which debunks your very simplistic cherry-picking of statistics from the “middle of the last decade” statistical usage to make the false-flag argument about future oil and gas industry job creation that you used in your now debunked Natural Born Drillers article. Man, these Liberals posing as intellectual academics are shameless in their neanderthalic attempts at parroting blatant lies posing as the truth today, and Mr. Krugman is obviously no exception.

 

 

The U.S State-Run Electric Company

At the recent State of the Union  speech, President Obama declared, “The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. But there’s no reason why Congress shouldn’t at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven’t acted. Well, tonight, I will. I’m directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes. And I’m proud to announce that the Department of Defense, working with us, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history – with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year.

That statement pretty much sums up Barack Obama’s entire first term in office and his vision of the “transformation of America” that he has promised the country.

First, he refuses to acknowledge the fact that his Senate Democrats  have virtually eliminated any chance of  Congress legislating properly by refusing to allow any votes on the numerous House-passed legislative bills currently sitting on Senate leader Harry Reid’s desk, as per the United States Constitution and Congressional by-laws. Harry Reid is simply advancing Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign strategy of running against a do-nothing Congress.

Secondly, Barack Obama, the much-ballyhooed “Constitutional scholar” appears to be quite ignorant, as far as the separation of defined powers of the three branches of government are concerned. Obama declares that he has “directed” the DOD to get into the clean energy business on public lands. Has the constitutional scholar forgotten that the United States House of Representatives is supposed to control the taxpayers purse strings? Will Congress and the American citizenry allow Barack Obama to turn the DOD into the next DNC slush fund such as that which is now known as the Solyndra pay-for-play scandal?

Finally, the United States Government has no authority, nor any business attempting to interfere in the U.S. energy sector. Providing for national security is now being used as a template for big government control of everything from light bulbs to the U.S auto industry, to what your children can or cannot eat. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist nor a Harvard graduate to see that this is a Hugo-Chavez-style attempt to open the door for a complete takeover of the energy sector by the U.S. Government.  As Chavez himself explains, his “Socialist Plan of the Nation” is right out in the open for all to see, while Barack Obama is attempting to do it behind the scenes with such things as ordering the DOD  to start clean energy projects on public lands.  Would Americans be comfortable writing a check to pay their electric bills to the current U.S Government that has added over $5T (in 3 short years) to the current mind-boggling $15 trillion dollars in debt? Can Barack Obama and the current crop of irresponsible, don’t-have-time-to-read-the- bills-before-they-sign-them ignorant misfits of Congress just demand that the DOD start using public lands in any way they see fit, without so much as a vote by the people whom are paying for all of this? Yes they can, if people do not start standing up to the nanny-state manipulators in our current government. Standing up to this freedom-robbing big government plutocracy starts at the voting booth in 2012. Vote Republican.

Note: To quote Hugo Chavez in regards to his government taking over the entire Venezuelan economy, including the energy sector, ” To the contrary, we are obligated to continue advancing the socialist plan,” said the president.

 

 

 

Keystone XL Pipeline Nixed By Obama Administration

According to reports out today, the Obama administration will reject TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL oil pipeline. The company will be allowed to file a revised route that avoids an environmentally sensitive area in Nebraska, according to people familiar with the decision.

The decision is expected to be officially announced today by the State Department. The project, which crosses six states would provide between 5,000 and 20,000 jobs. While environmental groups immediately came out in support of Obama’s decision Republican House Speaker John Boehner had a different take on the decision.
“President Obama is about to destroy tens of thousands of American jobs” by not approving the $7 billion Keystone pipeline, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in an e-mailed statement.

Labor unions and Republican lawmakers have come together to urge President Barack Obama to approve the pipeline, which would carry 700,000 barrels of crude a day from Canada’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coast, because they say it will create jobs and help the nation become more energy independent. TransCanada said the project may add 20,000 jobs.

TransCanada fell 64 cents to $41.10 at 1:39 p.m. in New York, and earlier today touched $39.74. Trans-Canada spokesman Terry Cunha reported in an e-mail that the company wouldn’t respond until a decision is officially announced.

Canada will reportedly continue to support TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said, adding that it is in the best interests of both nations.

Environmentalists have opposed the project on the basis that the project will contribute to greenhouse-gas emissions and endanger drinking water supplies in Nebraska. They have staged demonstrations and threatened to withhold financial support to Obama’s presidential campaign if he approves the pipeline.

“The entire purpose of the pipeline is to move Canadian oil to the crude refineries in the Gulf so that it can be shipped overseas,” Jeremy Symons, a National Wildlife Federation vice president, said today in a phone interview. “If the pipeline is built, Canada gets the jobs, China gets the oil and American families get the oil spills.”

Protests in Nebraska and at the White House have focused on the risks of a spill polluting the Ogallala aquifer in Nebraska’s Sand Hills region. TransCanada has discussed alternate routes with state officials that would pose less risk to drinking-water supplies.

“We’re glad Keystone hasn’t been approved, but we’d like to see the pipeline rejected outright,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director for the Center for Biological Diversity said his group approves of the rejection but would like to see the project denied permanently.

Wendy Abrams, who raised from $50,000 to $100,000 for Obama in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, had said rallying her friends around the president would be hard if he approved the pipeline. She said Obama has since shown that he’s not “in the pocket of Big Oil.”

The administration delayed approving the project in November until after the 2012 election, saying it wanted to study an alternate route that would take the pipeline away from environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska. Congress set a February 21 deadline for the U.S. to issue a pipeline permit. The State Department said the review could be completed “as early as the first quarter of 2013”, just after the 2012 elections.

Obama’s jobs council yesterday urged an expansion of oil and gas drilling and an acceleration of projects including pipelines to help solve our nation’s energy problems.

“We should allow more access to oil, natural gas and coal opportunities on federal lands,” the year-end report by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness said.

The American Petroleum Institute, the Washington-based group of oil and gas companies, plans to lobby Congress for legislation that would take away Obama’s power to make a final decision on the Keystone pipeline.

“The president’s decision today makes us question if he’s truly interested in jobs creation,” API President Jack Gerard said today in an interview before an appearance in Washington.

TransCanada applied for a U.S. permit in 2008. Advocates such as Senator Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican who sponsored legislation to set the February deadline, said further delay compromises U.S. efforts to import more oil from a friendly nation.
“The studying time is done,” Lugar said today in an e- mailed statement. “The environmental concerns have been addressed. The job creation, economic and energy security arguments are overwhelmingly in favor of building it. The president opposing pipeline construction is not in the best interest of the United States.”

 

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 18, 2012

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