Tag Archives: environment

Trashing School Lunch

garbage-can1Another unintended consequence of the new school lunch mandates from the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act is emerging. Schools are opting out of the federal school lunch program altogether.

Fox News’ Rick Leventhal reported on a New York school that has decided to forego participating in the federal school lunch program which provides funding to districts that follow certain guidelines including calorie counts and green energy initiatives. Schools use the federal monies to allocate free and reduced lunches to students in need, as defined by federal law.

See the video report here.

Leventhal reports that kids have stopped buying school lunches in favor of bringing it from home, or in many cases, students are throwing fruits and vegetables into the trash instead of eating them. One contributor to Leventhal’s report suggested that the extremely low calorie counts required by the law may leave students so hungry they will binge when they get home from school, which could actually contribute to unhealthy eating habits.

The New York school in Leventhal’s report isn’t the only one to ditch the federal school lunch program. Superintendent Kay Salvaggio of Niskayuna told the Times Union that her school will also be dumping the program citing wasted food, smaller portion sizes and financial reasons.

Disguised as a plan to reduce childhood obesity, First Lady Michelle Obama championed the HHFKA in 2010. Included in the law, however are vast overreaches of federal government authority, higher costs for individual schools, and “green energy” demands.

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.

American Energy Means American Recovery

There is widespread consensus that America needs to become energy independent. America’s ever growing dependence on foreign energy putsher at ever-greater risk in a world that is increasingly unstable. Given the current political upheavals in the Middle East, this reality is slapping America in the face with increasing costs at the pump, which are contributing to the cost of goods and services to consumers.

“progressives” feel a compulsive obsessive need to force Americans into accepting their “green energy” fantasy. Three plus years of actions taken by the current administration and fellow “progressives” show a willingness to achieve this end at all costs, come what may. Stiffer standards on auto emissions and mileage, crushing EPA regulations on energy providers, opposing development of domestic energy resources, copious deficit spending on inefficient and noncompetitive solar, wind, tide and bio-fuel technologies litter the landscape of the White House’s failed 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 at a time of tremendous fragility. They force the issue at the worst possible time.  During a stubborn, recovery resistant recession that is quite possibly teetering on the brink of a full-blown depression.

America’s public and industrial infrastructures are based on the use of 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 impractical. It will take time to finish such a task. More time than most of the general public realizes. While whatever conversions that 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/2012/07/13/american-energy-means-american-recovery/

Participants Revolt Against The Derecho Project

Sustainable Living: So simple a caveman can do it!

It’s unfortunate The Derecho Project — the largest urban global warming mitigation experiment in history — has proven to be an abject failure. Really a shame, too since the project’s design was almost perfect.

The sample was composed of liberal environmentalists in Maryland, D.C. and Arlington who should have been eager to personally have a role in reducing the nation’s carbon footprint.

Final selection for participation in The Derecho Project was entirely random: if a tree fell and knocked out a family’s power, they instantly became part of the sample. No lengthy interviews, affirmative action hurdles or concerns about income disparities since the threat of climate change demands immediate action.

It was a golden opportunity for “green voters” and anyone with an authentic Ken Salazar 10–gallon hat to put their lifestyle where their affectations are. It’s no longer enough to read the Chevy Volt review in the Consumer Reports Auto issue and dream of becoming a climate warrior.

Over one million Maryland, District and Northern Virginia residents were saved the trouble of traveling to the Amazon to sample carbon–neutral living at its finest. This eminently sustainable lifestyle was right here and didn’t involve an encounter with touchy–feely TSA guards. But what did progressives do when they were finally on the front lines of the battle against climate change?

These green exemplars didn’t behave any better than warmist deniers. They huddled in the nearest Starbucks and whined on their Facebook pages about the inhuman hardships they were suffering, all the while estimating how long it would be until the truffles defrost.

If these had been conservatives instead of “environmentally conscious Democrats” they could have turned a quick profit by selling carbon offsets until power was restored. (Then used the money to buy a gasoline generator in preparation for the next Act of Pepco.)

The eagerness of these progressives to re–embrace the electric power grid made them no different from the conservative control group that continued to use electricity blissfully unaware of how their selfish lifestyle threatens to submerge the Solomon Islands beneath the Pacific.

Where were the hardy greens recharging their iPads with solar panels, cooling their house with wind power, enjoying a siesta to adapt their body clocks to new temperature realities and using methane gas from their compost heap to cook dinner?

These examples were nowhere to be found. MD, VA and DC progressives weren’t any more prepared for sustainable living than your average Wal-Mart shopper. Instead we read about extension cords from houses with power snaking across driveways, alleys and streets to reach those without power. Which sounds a lot more like a PWC trailer park than it does Takoma Park.

Having sampled for a week the carbon–neutral lifestyle their environmental policies would condemn third–world residents to for a lifetime, progressives are now screaming for vengeance on any and all power companies.

The WaPost quotes Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D–Tumbrel) demanding Pepco be hit with large fines. “You get to $20 million, you get to $30 million, to $40 million, then you start getting people’s attention,” Berliner said as he confused a quasi–judicial proceeding with an auction.

Large fines sound good and make for a great copy point in a re–election brochure, but fines alone won’t bring true accountability, because a fine doesn’t hold those at the top personally accountable.

The top executives don’t pay fines. The money comes out of stockholder dividends, which in turn penalizes investors — who may have been out of power themselves — and pension plans. The executives have to answer hostile questions during hearings and may hear rumblings in board meetings, but that’s about it.

Real accountability only comes when the executive feels your pain. My solution is any time more than 500 customers lose power, regardless of the reason, regulators flip a switch and all Pepco’s top executives lose power, too.

The executive’s electricity returns after the last customer rejoins the grid.

Finally, am I the only conservative bothered by the media’s use of the term “derecho?” What happened to “severe thunderstorms?” When I was a boy in Oklahoma — one of the largest consumers of thunderstorms and tornadoes in the nation — weather poodles never used this word.

But now its suddenly “derecho” this and “derecho” that. Could it be because “derecho” is also the Spanish word for “right turn?” Is this yet another mainstream media attempt to persuade the public to subconsciously associate conservatives (the “right wing”) with disaster and privation?

How about using the German word for environmentalist? If we’re going foreign, “umweltschützer” not only has that continental flair, but just saying it sounds like thunder in the distance.

Obama Chasing Spain’s Failure

Just last year Obama was telling America how “green” energy technology was the guaranteed pathway to energy security and independence:

“The future is here. We are poised to transform the ways we power our homes and our cars and our businesses”.

He said America risked falling behind the rest of the world in the design, production and implementation of renewable or “green” technology.  The nation he most often cited as the example for America’s green energy development to follow was Spain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3UebL-x-sw

Spain announced on April 7, 2012 that they would halt all new renewable energy and co-generation projects.  Spain’s unemployment is running at more than 24%.  Every job created in Spain’s “green” energy sector cost 2.2 private sector jobs.

As recently as January, Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was making the campaign promise that he would not raise taxes.  This week he admitted that there would be a new Spanish VAT hike ranging between 18% and 21% and that budgets for local communities would have to be slashed.

“I said I would lower taxes and I am actually raising them. Circumstances change and I have to adapt to them.  The excesses of the past are being paid for right now” Rajoy said.

Thousands of people joined in a protest and marched in Madrid to support miners, who have been fighting against major cuts to industry subsidies.   Protesters supporting the miners threw objects at riot police, including fireworks, bottles and stones.  Police officers charged demonstrators and fired rubber bullets.  Five people were arrested and three people suffered minor injuries.

That is Obama’s grand vision for America?

Since Obama took office in January 2009, five million “green” jobs were promised, and as of 2010 225,000 had been created.  80% of the green loans, loan guarantees, and grants given out by Department of Energy went to Obama backers:

•SunPower, after receiving $1.5 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.

•First Solar, after receiving $1.46 billion from DOE, is reorganizing, cutting jobs.

•Solyndra, after receiving $535 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•Ener1, after receiving $118.5 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•Evergreen Solar, after receiving millions of dollars from the state of Massachusetts, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•SpectraWatt, backed by Intel and Goldman Sachs, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•Beacon Power, after receiving $43 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•Abound Solar, after receiving $400 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•Amonix, after receiving $5.9 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•Babcock & Brown (an Australian company), after receiving $178 million from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•A123 Systems, after receiving $279 million from DOE, shipped some bad batteries and is barely operating. It cut jobs.

•Solar Trust for America, after receiving a $2.1-billion loan guarantee from DOE, filed for bankruptcy protection.

•Nevada Geothermal, after receiving $98.5 million from DOE, warns of potential defaults in new SEC filings.

That is only a partial list.

If this all sounds eerily familiar, it should.

Especially the part about how an elected politician is breaking a campaign promise to not raise taxes.  Obama said he would lower taxes and is actually raising them.   He will claim that circumstances change and American have to adapt to them.

One similarity is inescapable.  The excesses of the past are going to have to be paid.  Thanks to the failed presidency of Obama, those excesses have grown disproportionately larger.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/obama-chases-spains-failure/

Obama and the Politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline



The Politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline

President Barack Hussein Obama, in order to extend the payroll tax cut he favored, was forced to make a decision regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline by February 21, 2012. Legislation, passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate, required that the Keystone XL Pipeline go forward unless Obama declared that it was not in the national interest. Obama did that Wednesday, January 18, 2012. Then, in an amazing display of chutzpah, he blamed Republicans for forcing him to make the decision. He says that Republicans “forced his hand” to make the decision. Obama said, “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision….”

Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said: “Canada is going to develop this no matter what, and that oil is either going to come to the United States or it’s going to go to a place like China. We want it here.”

After announcing his decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline that killed 20,000 jobs, Obama went to DisneyWorld to promote tourism jobs. Ironic? With Cinderella’s castle as his backdrop, Obama said: “America is open for business.” He then went up to NYC, to Manhattan, for campaign fundraisers, charging up to $38,500 per partier. On the same day he killed the Keystone project, Obama released his first campaign ad of 2012, highlighting his record on energy jobs. Even more ironically, the ad touted his ethics record. And as the outrage over the Solyndra scandal (and others) grows, Obama had the nerve to sprinkle his inaugural campaign spot with solar panels.

And here are reactions from Democrats about Obama’s Keystone XL Pipeline decision:

  • Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT): “This delay is just playing politics with American jobs and American energy security.”
  • Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA): “The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline permit is a missed opportunity to drastically turn this economy around. This pipeline would have created thousands of new jobs and helped to ensure our energy independence.”
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is a major setback for the American economy, American workers, and America’s energy independence.”

Keystone XL Pipeline Rejected

Obama announced that he will deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and blamed Republicans for imposing a “rushed and arbitrary deadline” which he said did not give officials enough time. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the “arbitrary deadline” made an adequate review “virtually impossible.” Obama said that his decision was not based on the “merits” of the plan, but on the forced timeline. “As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” Obama said. “As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.” But the State Department has been reviewing the initial proposal for three years.

Conservative and Industry Reaction To Cancellation

Jack N. Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said: “How can you say you are for jobs and reject the largest shovel-ready project in America today? Mr. President, what are you thinking?” Kevin Book, an energy analyst at Clearview Energy Partners, said that even an approval in 2013 could still have “important implications for North American supply” because it would establish a six- or seven-year process for approval of pipelines that cross national borders. US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas Donohue said: “This political decision offers hard evidence that creating jobs is not a high priority for this administration.” He continued, “By placing politics over policy, the Obama administration is sacrificing tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs in the short term, and many more than that in the long term.”

Keystone’s rejection will “sell American energy security to the Chinese,” a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on January 18, 2012, that President Barack Obama is breaking his promise to create jobs by rejecting a plan to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said: “Keystone was an obvious choice: everybody in Washington says they want more American jobs now. Well, here’s the single largest shovel-ready project in America – ready to go… The labor unions like it. Democrats want it. It strengthens our national security by decreasing the amount of oil we get from unfriendly countries. And it wouldn’t cost the taxpayers a dime. The only thing standing between thousands of American workers, and the good jobs this project will provide is President Obama.”

Environmentalist Reaction To Cancellation

Environmental advocates, disappointed with his failure to achieve climate change legislation, and his decision to delay new smog standards, have made it clear that approval of the pipeline would weaken enthusiasm for Obama’s re-election bid. Some liberal donors even threatened to stop donations to Obama’s re-election campaign to protest the project, which they say would transport “dirty oil” that requires huge amounts of energy to extract.

Bill McKibben, a Vermont writer and environmentalist, said that the victory [Keystone XL Pipeline rejection] is a tribute to people who set aside their natural cynicism about the possibility of change, instead went to jail, wrote public comments, surrounded the White House shoulder to shoulder five deep. They managed to bring reality to the forefront, and that reality – the leaky pipeline, the oil destined for export, the carbon overload from the tar sands – managed to trump, for now, the bottomless pockets of the fossil fuel industry.

Union Reaction To Cancellation

If he rejects the pipeline, Obama risks losing support from organized labor, a key part of the Democratic base, for thwarting thousands of jobs. Brent Bookers, director of construction at the Laborers’ International Union of North America, said: “For many members of the Laborers, this project is not just a pipeline, it is a lifeline. Too many hard-working Americans are out of work, and the Keystone XL pipeline will change that dire situation for thousands of them.”

LaborUnionReport.com weighed in on the Keystone XL Pipeline controversy, vowing not to forget Obama’s betrayal of killing 20,000 jobs. The web site continued, “For more than three years, the State Department has conducted its “transparent, thorough, and rigorous review.” However, apparently, the Obama Administration believed that three years wasn’t enough to be transparent, thorough, or rigorous enough.” Christopher Helman, in Forbes, said: “In the process of selecting the proposed route, TransCanada plotted and studied 14 different pipeline paths and submitted 10,000 pages of environmental studies. They’ve already studied this thing to death.”

Obama’s purely ideological decision does not serve the national interest at all. Obama’s decision harm – not help – the nation’s interests since China will be the likely recipient of the Canadian oil. Additionally his decision will be the destruction of 20,000 union jobs.

For a synopsis of the Keystone XL Pipeline, including several information links, see this link.

His decision harms our relationship with Canada and sends the message that the US is not serious about reducing its dependency on unstable and hostile sources of the oil that we need to power our economy.
But that’s just my opinion.

Access to other articles like this one can be found at RWNO, my personal web site.

The dirty side of clean energy

“There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics.” – President Obama, Aug. 11, 2011 at Johnson Controls battery manufacturing plant in Holland, MI.

Under investigation in China for its roll in the diagnosis of lead poisoning in as many as 25 children, Johnson Controls is one of the largest recipients of federal grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a.k.a. the stimulus bill.

Headquartered in Wisconsin, Johnson Controls was awarded more than $400 million in federal stimulus funding grants (as a primary recipient) for green agenda projects throughout the United States.  The largest single grant of the entire stimulus package totaled $299,000,000 and was awarded to Johnson Controls to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant that is currently less than 50% complete. (Source: Recovery.gov)

When President Obama visited the Holland, MI site touting his still unseen-by-Congress jobs bill, he said, “…the actions that we took together, as a nation, through our government… the fact that we helped create together the conditions where businesses like this can prosper. That’s why we’re investing in clean energy… and by the way, we didn’t go through Congress to do it.” (Source: WhiteHouse.gov)

Obviously politics has a huge role to play in the success of “green” companies as we have seen with the Solyndra and LightSquared scandals, the collusion between GE and the Obama administration, and at least 2 other solar companies that were praised by the president, received federal funding and shortly thereafter filed bankruptcy.

Johnson Controls, a multibillion dollar company even without public funding, isn’t likely to go bankrupt any time soon but recent activity at the company raises questions about how having political friends in this adminstration helps land hefty government contracts and stimulus dough.

Though CEO Stephen Roell and the Johnson Controls PAC (political action committee) have contributed to both democrats and republicans, they overwhelmingly contribute to democrats in higher numbers.

In the 2010 election cycle, Johnson Controls PAC donated over $16,000 to House Democrats and donated less than half of that amount to arguably left-leaning Republicans.  The Senate Democrats saw nearly 5 times the amount of Republicans in the same election cycle with only one republican candidate receiving a donation.  (Source: OpenSecrets.org)

And then there’s the abundance of support for President Obama’s new stimulus jobs bill.  The company released a statement 2 days before the president’s visit to Michigan in which C. David Myers, president of Johnson Controls’ Building Efficiency Business, lavishes praise on the administration for their commitment to retrofitting our nation’s schools.  Taking its talking points almost directly from the president’s address to Congress, the statement makes the case for reducing energy costs by investing in retrofitting the buildings.

Guess what Myers’ division of Johnson Controls does….  retrofits buildings for energy efficiency. No word yet on whether Johnson Controls will snag the largest chunk of the jobs bill pie like it did with Stimulus I.

Beyond the financial implications of failed solar companies and wasted tax dollars are the dangerous consequences of the green agenda.  Lead poisoning, mercury in light bulbs and other environmental and health concerns seem to be lost in the political rhetoric, but perhaps the political pundits following the money will bring light to the multitude of other unintended consequences of the taxpayer-funded “greenifying” the United States.

Please view this video from from a Chinese news agency regarding Johnson Controls.

YouTube Video – Shanghai Factories Closed over Lead Poisoning Fears

 

 

 

 

 

Another green company scandal?

As if the Solyndra and LightSquared controversies were not enough, another one of President Obama’s favorite companies pushing the green agenda is being investigated, this time in China.

Johnson Controls Inc., which is headquartered in Wisconsin and operates a battery manufacturing facility in Shanghai, has recently come under scrutiny by locals for excessive cases of lead poisoning in children living in the area.  According to China Daily, 25 children in Kangqiao town are being treated for lead poisoning.  The Johnson Controls plant, along with others in the area, has been shut down.

The company released a statement claiming the shutdown was due to reaching their lead production quota set by the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau and that the company had voluntarily halted production upon exhausting the quota.

The Johnson Controls plant is located just 700 meters (less than 1/2 mile) from Kangqiao town where the poisoned children live.  The company spends more than $470 USD on health protection for each worker every month.  Some have been found to have excessive lead levels in their blood.  (Source:  China Daily)

Lead poisoning affects the nervous system primarily but can also affect the muscular and reproductive systems.  Children are more affected by excessive blood lead levels than adults.

“In March of this year, 332 people, including 99 children tested positive for lead poisoning in Zhejiang province in eastern China. Local government suspended a local battery factory responsible for the poisoning.”  (Source: CNN International)

Obama visited Johnson Controls Inc. in Wisconsin last summer as part of his push for the green agenda.  Johnson Controls manufactures lithium-ion batteries, also called “stop-go” batteries for hybrid vehicles.

When Dry–Cleaning Attacks

The pre–Labor Day holiday run up was a good week for stating the obvious in the Washington Post.
An area high school student, who shall remain nameless, concluded that outsourcing her science project to the parents was passé, so she decided to see if it would be possible to recruit an actual scientist to do the work.
The enterprising young lady emailed “three or four chemistry professors” to see if they would be interested in analyzing how much of the chemical used to dry–clean clothes remained in the clothing after it was returned to the customer.
Most of her targets ignored her — possibly because they believe in ‘global warming’ and their cleaning involves going down to the river to beat cargo shorts on the rocks — but one recipient at Georgetown University agreed.
Sure enough, after extensive cleaning and testing, the brainiacs at Georgetown discovered that dry–cleaned sweater wool retained a perchloroethylene (PERC) level “as high as 126 parts per million.”
As my lovely wife, Janet, said, “Why wouldn’t it and so what?”
For that matter, sometimes my pants return from the dry–cleaners with crumbs in a pocket and I don’t make a federal case of it. (Although after reading about this science project I doubt I’ll be eating them again.)
I’d rather have that new dry–cleaned smell on my pants than the gravy stain that was there when I dropped them off.
To add a bit of context, the feds allow wine makers a sulfite level of 350 parts per million and people are intentionally drinking vino; to say nothing of asparagus makers who cool the crop in water containing 125 parts per million of chlorine — 41 times the amount you’ll find in your neighborhood pool.
But don’t get me wrong — I’m not criticizing our girl scientist. Her idea was simple and achievable — once she recruited a major university to do the heavy lifting. It reminds me of a project my engineer roommate was assigned in college. The professor told them to improve the design of an existing product, but to keep it simple. So students were redesigning Saturn rockets, gas spectrometers and racecars. Lester, on the other hand, showed how drilling four holes in dorm soap dishes would keep the Irish Spring from turning into mush. He received an ‘A.’
The problem I have is with the coverage of the project, which proves once again you don’t have to be hysterical to report on the environment, but it helps. The Post reporter writes as if she just discovered salmonella in her sprouts.
The story moves from the analysis of PERC remaining in small squares of cloth to discussing potential devastating health effects, particularly CANCER!!!, with the usual chemical alarmists.
One heavy–breathing example: “it was difficult to say how much risk consumers might face from wearing, say, dry–cleaned wool pants for a year or breathing air from a closet full of dry–cleaned clothes.”
I can see it now — edgy high school rebels who are pushing the limits will no longer be found under the bleachers stealing a few puffs. Instead, they’ll congregate inside a walk–in closet sniffing dad’s Brooks Brothers while the au pair wonders why Brittany seems so jittery.
A worry–wart at the University of Pennsylvania thought someone “who delivers dry cleaning for a living could face higher exposures than workers in a plant.” Dry cleaning delivery? Hmmm. Oh, yes, now I remember! He’s the man who arrives each morning after the milkman drops off the 2 percent and just before the Webvan driver gets here with the rest of the groceries.
Besides the threat to imaginary occupations, there is also danger for consumers. The team used a computer model to calculate that four newly–cleaned wool sweaters, placed beside a golden retriever inside a hot SUV with the windows rolled up, might produce the dreaded 126 parts per million of PERC that exceeds OSHA limits.
But the good news is the dog’s deathbed was extremely soft.
The problem I have with that ‘evidence’ is that I don’t pile clean sweaters inside my car like a North Korean nuclear waste dump. My cleaners may be cheap, but the clothes come to me in a fume–trapping bag.
Besides the symptoms of PERC overexposure are fairly obvious. If you feel confused, dizzy, drowsy, irritated and have a headache your discomfort is not being caused by your husband’s insatiable demands for sex or a bad batch of sour mash.
You’ve simply been spending too much time in the closet with the door closed admiring your wardrobe.

Dead Skunk, Stinkin’ to High Heaven

Conservatives make a fundamental mistake regarding government employees. Frequently, Conservatives rail against lazy workers, using the enthusiasm–challenged as examples of all that’s wrong with government.

Yet drones making personal calls on their cell phone aren’t proponents of bigger, more intrusive government. Those disciples of inertia are, in a way, our friends.

It’s energetic and ambitious employees who want to expand government and these are the workers conservatives should be trying to eliminate.

Look at DMV, that long–time conservative whipping boy. Sluggish DMV employees aren’t agitating for more authority. They’re content with processing the license or registration paperwork at the standard glacial pace.

Sleepy employees aren’t trying to expand DMV jurisdiction into selling government tires or oil changes. Their only goal is to discover once and for all what ratio of closed to open customer service windows produces the maximum number of disgruntled citizens with the least elected official outrage.

If you mistakenly inject a few highly motivated employees into the DMV the wait may go down to a comparatively speedy half–day, but with time on their hands the new hires may decide to go out into the parking lot and check the tint density on your SUV windows.

VDOT is the real world example of the damage and expense an eager–beaver employee can cause. VDOT scientist Bridget Donaldson has lately become concerned about that unfortunate byproduct of highway use – roadkill.
It’s not that she’s worried about the potential proliferation of small roadside memorials to squashed raccoons; Donaldson is preoccupied with the entire flattened fauna disposal process.

VDOT currently spends about $4.4 million annually disposing of animal carcasses, which only goes to show it takes a long time to clean any gene pool. In 77 percent of the cases crews haul vehicle victims to the nearest landfill and, according to Donaldson’s scare statistics, that can be a 40–mile round trip. The rest of the time practical VDOT employees simply bury the creature by the side of the road.

As a taxpayer, I’m satisfied, but then I’m not a ‘scientist.’

Instead of simply drinking coffee from her World Wildlife Federation mug, Donaldson wants to fix what ain’t broke and have VDOT embark on a new initiative that will cost more money and “help the environment.”

She claims that burying Rocket J. Squirrel by the side of the road could release harmful pollutants and bacteria, to say nothing of the damage adding his corpse to the critical mass of Happy Meal boxes and plastic bags in the landfill might produce.

If this was during the Tim Kaine administration, Donaldson could have simply recommended animal carcasses be stored in closed rest stops — instead she wants to compost the critters by mixing carcasses and wood chips, which sounds suspiciously like a Kashi bar to me.

But isn’t burial the original composting? And what could be more natural than decomposition, which doesn’t require the use of fossil fuels? If Donaldson is correct regarding the release of “harmful pollutants and bacteria” from burial, then every cemetery in the country is eligible to be declared a Superfund site.

Donaldson is simply not content to let roadside maggots do their work in peace. She wants to store vulture vittles in large gasoline–tanker sized drums that can cost up to $80,000 each. Presumably these cemetery cylinders will be cruising the Commonwealth looking for customers, which will surely burn more gas than the occasional landfill trip.

And how many road pizzas will it take to fill one of these behemoths? How much protective gear will the poor soul have to wear when he adds the last few fur frisbees to the marinating mix, if he hopes to survive the odor onslaught? And who wants to be stuck behind one of these critter containers during an August traffic jam on I–95?

Her alternate composting method requires building large concrete plazas for the putrefaction piles with the rotting runoff directed into a water–treatment plant that will have to be modified or built from scratch at additional taxpayer expense.

I’ll just bet every economic development authority in Virginia will be lobbying to get one of these “earth–friendly” odor–paloozas for their jurisdiction.
We should be thankful Donaldson doesn’t want a Wiccan to say a few words over the dearly departed.

A computer solitaire–playing VDOT scientist would’ve been content to let nature take its course, saving taxpayers the expense of studies and subsequent “solutions.” Which is why I’m now calling on conservatives to live and let live with the lethargic and embrace the ennui.

Smaller government depends on it.

Obama Losing Environmentalist Following

President Obama ran on an environment platform: green jobs, cap-and-trade, and renewable energy.  His constant droning about it during the 2008 election garnered the support of the far left-wing environmental movement, but his actions of-late .. not so much.

First we find the Obarrassment in trouble because he said ‘no’ to solar panels on the White House roof despite the personal plea of a group of environmentalists at the White House.

Then President Obama decided that green jobs need not be in Stimulus II

Of course we couldn’t leave out the vacations.  There was the personal jet service for the First Dog and then the Obamas flew the White House Chef 860 miles to deliver .. pizza

The administrations Solicitor General carried the false flag forward by reversing past environmental Presidential stances on nuisance law suits for carbon emissions.

Then again, all this new news .. might be old news as Time Magazine asked last year “Is Obama’s Environmental Agenda Losing Out?

Carol Browner: Energy and Climate Change Czar

Given that, regardless of where legislation stands, the EPA has been given unprecedented power and we are therefore under constant threat of Cap & Trade, I thought it was time to take a look at one of this administrations front runners for that agenda.

Meet Carol Browner who’s official title seems to be “Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.” I was not able to find an official Bio for her on WhiteHouse.gov, but did finally turn up an office description:

White House Office of Energy and Climate Change

The Office of Energy and Climate Change is a newly-created office within The Executive Office of the President that works to support President Obama’s agenda on energy and climate change. The Office of Energy and Climate Change coordinates and works closely with a host of government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Interior, and others. In addition, the Office of Energy and Climate Change works closely with a broad array of stakeholders to identify new opportunities to create green jobs and transition to a new clean energy economy.

In other words, the whole point of this office and position is to “transition” to green energy. Not green energy promotion or development, but green energy takeover. Let’s see what we can dig up on Mrs. Browner.

In this video, posted December 1st 2008,  Mrs Browner makes quite a  statement:

At 3:20 Joseph Romm: “She is on the Board of The Center for American Progress and has played a key role in shaping this organization reminding us always that the environment and Global Warming are first tier issues. She’s the key reason the center has been a leader on issues of clean energy and green recovery.”

At 4:12 Carol Browner: “As Joe mentioned, I am on the Board and have been on the Board of the Center for American Progress since it’s conception”

The Center for American Progress is a George Soros funded Left Wing Progressive Think Tank which has been behind many of the policies  and staff choices of the Obama Administration. Although their website removed Carol Browner from their list of Staff & Fellows, She does still have a Bio there which states, “She is on the Board of the Directors of the Center for American Progress.”

Now let’s take a look into her background, from Discover the Networks:

Carol M. Browner was born in December 1955 in Miami, Florida. Both her parents were professors at Miami Dade Community College. In 1977 Browner received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Florida, and two years later she earned a J.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Law.

In 1980 and 1981, Browner was General Counsel for the Florida House of Representatives Committee on Government Operations. In 1983 she became associate director of the Ralph Nader-founded group Citizen Action in Washington, DC.

From 1986 to 1988, Browner served as chief legislative assistant to Democrat Senator Lawton Chiles of Florida; in this position, she worked to ban offshore oil-drilling near the Florida Keys. In 1989 she became legal counsel for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

From 1988 to 1991, Browner was Legislative Director for Senator Al Gore. From 1991-93, she was Florida’s Secretary of Environmental Regulation.

After the 1992 presidential election, Browner served as transition director for Vice President-elect Gore. In December 1992, President-elect Bill Clinton named Browner as his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); she was confirmed by the Senate on January 21, 1993.

In 1995 Browner used her position at the EPA to lobby more than 100 grassroots environmental groups to oppose the Republican-led Congress, faxing out documents condemning the GOP’s regulatory initiatives. In a rare show of political unity, Republicans and Democrats alike impugned Browner, accusing her of violating the Anti-Lobbying ActA stinging letter to Browner from a bipartisan subcommittee of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee stated: “The concerted EPA actions appear to fit the definition of prohibited grass-roots lobbying … The prima facie case is strong that some EPA officials may have violated the criminal law.”

Browner headed the EPA throughout both terms of the Clinton presidency, making her the longest-serving Administrator in the agency’s history.

Bestselling author and political analyst Michelle Malkin reports that Browner, on her final day as Clinton EPA chief in 2001, ordered a computer technician to delete all her computer files, in direct violation of a federal judge’s order requiring the agency to preserve those files. When questioned about her actions, Browner claimed that her computer had contained no work-related material, and that she had merely purged the hard drive of such innocuous items as computer games — as a courtesy to incoming staffers of the Bush administration.[1]

It was later learned that three additional high-ranking EPA officials had also violated the court order and erased their hard drives. Because of this, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth held the EPA in contempt of court.[2]

According to Manhattan Institute scholar Max Schulz, Browner “was the driving force behind the federal government’s effort to force General Electric Co. to spend $490 million to dredge New York’s Hudson River to rid it of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that — because they were buried under layers of silt — posed no environmental harm.” Some of Browner’s employees ultimately faced criminal charges for falsifying evidence and tampering with lab results.[3]

After her EPA tenure, Browner became a founding member of the Albright Group, a “global strategy” organization headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

In 2006 Browner and her husband, Tom Downey, lobbied on behalf of Dubai Ports World, a United Arab Emirate-owned company, in its quest to take operational control of six major U.S. ports. They met with New York Senator Charles Schumer in an effort to minimize congressional opposition to the deal. Ultimately the deal fell apart.[4]

Browner also served as a “commissioner” of the Socialist International (SI), the umbrella group for 170 “social democratic, socialist and labor parties” in 55 countries. SI’s “organizing document” cites capitalism as the cause of “devastating crises,” “mass unemployment,” “imperialist expansion,” and “colonial exploitation” worldwide. Browner worked on SI’s Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which contends that “the developed world must reduce consumption and commit to binding and punitive limits on greenhouse gas emissions.”

During the 2008 presidential primaries, Browner avidly supported Hillary Rodham Clinton‘s bid for the Democratic Party nomination. After Clinton was defeated in the primaries by Barack Obama, Browner campaigned for Obama in several battleground states and at League of Conservation Voters events.

Browner, who has said that global warming is “the greatest challenge ever faced,” calls herself a “strong backer” of “utility decoupling.” Under “decoupling” policies, utility companies will be required to provide less energy, while the government guarantees the companies steady or increased profits through “taxpayer subsidies” and “voluntary” conservation measures. As author Kathy Shaidle puts it:

“In other words, taxpayers will be given grim Carter-era exhortations to put on sweaters rather than turn up the thermostat and be forced to pick up the tab for utility companies’ reduced earnings, while getting less energy in return.”

From December 2003 to January 2009, Browner served as Chair of the National Audubon Society. She is currently a Board member of the Alliance for Climate Protection (an organization founded by Al Gore in 2006); APX, Inc. (which specialzes in environmental commodities markets); the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress; and the League of Conservation Voters.

On January 22, 2009, President Obama named Browner as his choice for the post of Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, popularly known as “Environment Czar.”

In her book Culture of Corruption, Michelle Malkin writes:

“By February 2009, [Browner] had already announced radical plans to declare carbon-dioxide emissions a danger to the public — a move that could potentially subject not just power and chemical plants, refineries, and vehicles, but also schools, hospitals, and any other emitters of carbon dioxide to costly new regulations and litigation.[5]

So from her positions and previous actions I have reached the following conclusion, Carol Browner, a Socialist, feels she is above the law. She will do whatever it takes, the ends justify the means, to accomplish the goal of stopping all conventional forms of energy and forcing green options on the American people, all in the name of Climate Change.

Mrs Browner was very involved with the BP Oil Spill incident on behalf of the Obama Administration. It is because of what her involvement was during this disaster that I cannot call her an “Environment Czar”, the environment was neglected throughout the incident.

She echoed Obama’s line in a Press Conference on May 12th,

“No one in the administration will rest or be satisfied until the leak is stopped at the source, the oil in the Gulf is contained and cleaned up, and the people of this region are able to get back to their lives and livelihoods.”

But we all know this was not the case. Obama rested, while Carol Browner and the rest of the Administration looked for ways to exploit the incident. No one focused on adequate cleanup, no one focused on environmental stewardship, no one focused on containment. Here she is talking about disaster plans and dispersants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjL9QAoldDU

She walks right over Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s requests for environmental protection measures without pause, but claims they are looking into it.

And then the Corexit question, a complete spin job that dispersants are helpful.

Instead of pushing for all available resources being sent to the Gulf and conducting round the clock cleanup operations, Carol Browner was behind the Oil Drilling Moriatorium:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu0GQjUXAQE

The environment was not adequately protected. The ends justify the means?

She is also a big pusher of Carbon Capture, Carbon Trading, and enforcing Auto Emissions. It is her involvement in the fuel standards/auto emissions policy making that prompted the organization, Judicial Watch to sue for records:

In February, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Obama Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to obtain documents related to Ms. Browner (who holds the official title of Special Assistant on Energy and Climate) and her role in crafting official U.S. climate policy. Ms. Browner, who was never subjected to Senate confirmation, reportedly served as the Obama administration’s point person in secret negotiations to establish automobile emission standards in California and also participated in negotiations involving cap and trade legislation.

Through our FOIA request filed on December 28, 2009, we’re specifically seeking all records of communications, contacts, or correspondence between Browner and the Energy Department or the EPA concerning:

A. Negotiations and/or discussions among the auto industry, the State of California, and agencies of the United States with respect to fuel-standards/auto emissions for the time period between January 20, 2009, and June 1, 2009; and

B. Negotiations/discussions with respect to cap and trade legislation for the time period between June 1, 2009, and October 1, 2009.

The EPA has failed to respond to these requests in any manner. Subsequent to filing its lawsuit on February 18, Judicial Watch received a letter from the Energy Department (dated February 17) in which the agency denied that it even had any documents responsive to Judicial Watch’s FOIA requests. (I’m not sure I believe that!)

According to press reports, Ms. Browner instructed individuals involved in auto emissions negotiations to “put nothing in writing, ever.” The New York Times reported that Browner made every effort to “keep their discussions as quiet as possible.”

And here’s something else to make you nervous about Browner.

Her involvement in these important discussions is particularly troubling given her documented ties to the radical socialist organization Socialist International, which reportedly calls for “global governance” and advocates that wealthier nations should shrink their economies in order to address the climate change “crisis.”

According to Fox News, Browner’s name was “scrubbed” from the organization’s website once she became linked to the Obama administration, but evidence of her involvement (including a photo of Browner speaking to the group’s congress in Greece) remained.

So, here we have an unconfirmed Obama administration official conducting secret meetings and instructing participants to avoid producing a written record. This is the perfect storm of corruption: concentrated executive power with no congressional oversight and no transparency. And this stonewalling on the “Climate Czar” documents adds yet another chapter in the growing Climategate scandal.

Here again, just like the illegal deletion of records under the Clinton Administration, we can see how far this woman will go to hide the evidence of her radical moves, in the furtherance of her radical agenda. Don’t keep records, delete them, hide them, shred them, shhhh.

Here’s an excerpt from a  White House Blog she wrote:

Clean Energy Leadership from the White House to Main Street

Last year we made the largest investment in the clean energy economy in our nation’s history, which is expected to create more than 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012. These are jobs not just in providing the parts and technology to create power from the wind or fuels from the land, but in manufacturing solar panels, in building the wires and mechanics behind our smart meters, in creating next generation batteries – the list goes on.

Other nations realize that the country that leads the clean energy economy will be the country that leads the 21st century global economy. The President is dedicated to making the United States that country – and is inspired by the small towns across rural America that provide the backbone for this effort. Towns like Macon and Fort Madison can be models around this country, and I’m confident one day we’ll look back to these places as some of the engines of this new clean energy future.

As extraordinary the work that towns like Macon and Fort Madison are doing, these plants can’t solve all our energy challenges alone. But their work is a key part of a comprehensive strategy to move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels to one that relies on homegrown fuels and clean energy. And the President knows we can come together on this issue and pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will spur a new generation of clean energy industries, create good American jobs, and enhance our energy security.

I find the 700,000 job’s goal laughable because Mrs. Browner refuses to take into account the number of jobs her very intitiative seeks to destroy. The blog also shows that Mrs Browner is dedicated to this goal, no matter the price tag. And all her previous actions show she will carry it out, no matter the jobs lost, no matter the cost.

Ethanol: What They Aren’t Telling You

Most information on Ethanol presents the corn-based fuel as a panacea for the worlds pollution woes, a green-jobs creator, and a needed boost to American farmers.  Digging into these claims brings some interesting data points to the surface.

The American Coalition for Ethanol touts ethanol as:

..a high octane, clean burning, American-made renewable fuel. Its production and use offer a myriad of benefits to the United States and its citizens.
The production of ethanol is an economic engine for the United States, adding value to U.S. agricultural products and bringing billions of dollars to the nation’s economy each year. The use of ethanol reduces harmful auto emissions, offers consumers a cost-effective choice at the pump, and decreases the amount of expensive crude oil needed to satisfy the nation’s thirst for transportation fuel.

Wow, sounds great doesn’t it, like the energy holy grail, until you dig into ethanol itself.  Examining the ethanol production process is somewhat revealing.

The number one crop used for Ethanol is corn. Uh-oh- now we have to divert corn to become our new Gasoline, but is there enough Corn?

The USDA Economic Research Service about corn:

  • Corn is the most widely produced feed grain in the United States, accounting for more than 90 percent of total value and production of feed grains.
  • Around 80 million acres of land are planted to corn, with the majority of the crop grown in the Heartland region.
  • Most of the crop is used as the main energy ingredient in livestock feed.
  • Corn is also processed into a multitude of food and industrial products including starch, sweeteners, corn oil, beverage and industrial alcohol, and fuel ethanol.
  • The United States is a major player in the world corn trade market, with approximately 20 percent of the corn crop exported to other countries.
  • ERS analyzes events in the domestic and global corn markets that influence supply, demand, trade, and prices.

That means that all of our corn is already in high demand in everything from Aspirin, to cereals, to livestock feed. If Ethanol replaced motor vehicle fuel, the principles of supply and demand would force almost all corn produced to be diverted to Ethanol production. This would skyrocket the price of all corn-dependent products including livestock fed from corn unless they find an alternative.

According to the Cato Institute in a January 2008 report titled “Food Fight” Ethanol has already had an affect on our economy.

The ethanol boom has knock-on effects in the rest of the rural economy. The growing use of cereals, sugar, oilseed and vegetable oils to produce ethanol and biodiesel is supporting crop prices and, indirectly through higher animal feed costs, raising costs for livestock production. As Table 1 shows, the prices for poultry, beef, and eggs have all increased by more than 5 percent this year. (Pork prices have risen relatively slowly because production has been very high compared to demand, although producers are expected to lower production during 2008 because of losses from low prices and higher feedcosts.[12]) Farmland prices in key corn-growing states such as Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota have increased by more than 20 percent in the last year.

So thats the economic impact, Choose between corn-dependent products or driving – you can’t afford to do both.

According to Elsa Steward in her article “What’s Wrong with Ethanol?” She points out that Ethanol by itself is not cost effective.

Ethanol is not likely to give us any relief from high gasoline prices. A gallon of gasoline produces about 1.5 times more energy as a gallon of ethanol. Because of this lower energy density, ethanol production and transport requires more production and transport capacity than gasoline. Ethanol also absorbs water, which is present in existing pipelines. Ethanol cannot be transported in these pipelines because the water would dilute the ethanol. The ethanol must therefore be carried over land by train or truck, a more expensive means of moving the ethanol from one place to another. Although the price of motor fuel sometimes increases due to problems with foreign and domestic oil supplies, the price of ethanol has historically been higher than gasoline prices and may remain higher for some time to come.

The Department of Energy’s Genomic Science Program

  • Can one gallon of ethanol displace one gallon of gasoline?
    • No. Ethanol has about 70% the energy content of gasoline per unit volume, so for every gallon of gasoline consumed, 1.4 gallons of ethanol would be needed to displace it. Ethanol, however, has a higher octane rating than gasoline — about 113 for ethanol compared to 87 for regular gasoline. The higher the octane rating, the better a fuel is at preventing engine “knocking” caused by inefficient fuel combustion. In other words, the higher-octane fuel provides better performance because it is used more efficiently to generate power rather than heat. If engines were optimized to take advantage of the higher octane rating of ethanol, they could achieve fuel economy more similar to that of gasoline engines.
  • Can ethanol be used by existing fuel-distribution infrastructure?
    • Ethanol and gasoline-ethanol blends cannot be transported by existing pipelines that carry gasoline. Water present in petroleum pipelines can pull ethanol out and cause ethanol-gasoline blends to separate into two phases. Ethanol must be transported by train, barge, or truck within an independent distribution system to ensure handling separate from the ethanol-production facility to distribution terminals, where ethanol is blended with gasoline just before delivery to retail stations.
  • Can ethanol be used in colder northern U.S. climates?
    • Due to ethanol’s lower vapor pressure, engine ignition is more difficult in colder weather for vehicles running on fuels with high ethanol content. During winter months, gasoline is added to E85 (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline blend) to make E70 (70% ethanol and 30% gasoline), which has a vapor pressure that improves starting in cold weather. Although current practice is to “blend-down” E85, the cold-start issue is a technologically solvable engineering problem for vehicle manufacturers.

I can’t afford a bowl of cereal, probably can’t afford to get very far in my car, if I’m up north, I can’t drive in the winter and ethanol has to be trucked in which means it burns more ethanol to get ethanol. But wait theres more. If you act now on this “Clean-Burning” fuel we will include free pollution with every purchase.

Oh gee did we leave that part out? So sorry, ethanol is not “clean burning” nor is the process to make it.

From Gas2.0

The Des Moines Register reported the other day that Iowa’s ethanol plants contribute 15 Percent — 7.6 million metric tons out of a total of 52 million metric tons — of greenhouse-gas emissions found in the state’s new inventory of major manufacturers, businesses and power plants
Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources found that the largest portion of the state’s overall emissions came from fermenting grain at the plants and not from burning natural gas or coal. In addition, burning biomass such as switchgrass at various industrial plants added another 0.13 million metric tons.

Uh-oh Ethanol production produces more greenhouse gas than coal plants, not very clean is it. Imagine the effect Cap & Trade would have on this industry. Lets just say you’ll be better off with a bicycle.

But I digress, lets look at the burning of Ethanol itself.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) fought against the EPA granting Ethanol a Clean Air Act waiver for an increase from the 10% Ethanol Gasoline to increase from 15% to 50% (Note now its 10% Ethanol and 85% Ethanol) in May of 2009 due to, among other reasons, Ethanol production’s propensity to “degrade water quality, worsen emissions of some air pollutants and escalate health risks for children and other vulnerable people, according to scientific studies by the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, National Research Council, independent academic researchers and EPA scientists”

An environmental watchdog group is telling us that increasing the amount of ethanol used will increase air pollution and lead to health risks based on Government studies, and yet its that same Government trying to force it upon us.

In short, widespread use of ethanol only creates more problems than it is supposed to solve. IIt is not the holy grail of green energy, if anything its more pollutive than standard fossil fuel use.

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