Archive for January, 2013

Lobbying Muscle and Green Agenda Blinded Boeing to Reality

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Source: National and Legal Policy Center   boeing-787-dreamliner1_0

With the revelation that All Nippon Airways replaced defective lithium ion batteries 10 times, Japan Air Lines replaced “quite a few,” and United Airlines replaced “multiple batteries,” in the months preceding the smoke emergency that grounded their Dreamliners, is there anything that can be said about the technology that can overcome its now-horrible reputation?

Boeing has worked on the 787 for 10 years or so, with an ample amount of time to determine what kind of battery technology would be functional with the “super-efficient” jet with “exceptional environmental performance.” Had the Chicago-based manufacturer –and its airline customers – concerned themselves more with achievable plans that built on proven fossil-fuel designs and economic sensibility rather than appeasement of environmental activists, and the accompanying millions of dollars in government subsidies for such, they might not be burning through millions of dollars in costs and lost productivity due to idle airplanes right now. That’s in addition to the public image hit they are taking. (more…)

Vitter Warns Louisiana of EPA’s Secret “Sue and Settle” Deals, Could Impact State

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Source: Sen. Vitter  

Contact: Luke Bolar

(202) 224-4623

Vitter Warns Louisiana of EPA’s Secret “Sue and Settle” Deals, Could Impact State

Says EPA and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are colluding with environmental groups

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is warning of more secret “sue and settle” deals with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups. In a letter today, Vitter encourages Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to join the 13 states’ AGs who recently filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with EPA asking for any and all correspondence between EPA and a list of 80 environmental, labor union and public interest organizations that had been party to litigation since the start of the Obama Administration.

“The collusion between federal bureaucrats and far-left environmental organizations entering legal agreements under a shroud of secrecy is the opposite of a transparent government,” Vitter said. “This is a problem across the country, but could quickly become a threat to Louisianans if we see the full weight of the EPA and Fish and Wildlife Service come crashing down on private landowners.”

Vitter is encouraging Caldwell to join the other states’ AGs, and is also encouraging the inclusion of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in their investigation. The Fish and Wildlife Service was not included in the original FOIA request. In his letter, Vitter also highlights a specific recent example where the Fish and Wildlife Service entered an agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity that could impact private property owners across the South and in Louisiana with new rules on habitat for endangered species on private property because private property owners will have few resources to fight any legal challenge of a massive federal agency.

A copy of Vitter’s letter is below.

January 22, 2013

James D. “Buddy” Caldwell

Attorney General

State of Louisiana

1885 N. Third Street

Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Dear A.G. Buddy Caldwell:

I write asking your personal assistance regarding a matter imperative to Louisiana’s economy and private property owners across our great state.   My concern stems from the non-transparent nature of litigation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and specifically the entering of consent decrees through a practice referred to as “sue and settle,” and sometimes referred to as “friendly lawsuits.”

Under this practice, radical environmental groups file lawsuits against a federal agency in a friendly court demanding the agency take action.  Rather than allowing the entire process to play out, the Department of Justice and the agency being sued settles the lawsuit by agreeing to move forward with the requested action.  While the environmental group is given a seat at the negotiating table, private property owners and other affected residents are not given the opportunity to object to these settlements.

On August 10, 2012 thirteen state Attorney Generals filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with EPA asking for any and all correspondence between EPA and a list of 80 environmental, labor union and public interest organizations that had been party to litigation since the start of the Obama administration.  My specific request is that you intervene in these efforts and expand the investigation beyond the EPA to include the USFWS.  The collusion between federal bureaucrats and the organizations entering consent agreements under a shroud of secrecy represents the antithesis of a transparent government, and your participation in the FOIA request will help Louisianans understand the process by which these settlements were reached.

Using these “sue and settle” agreements, a significant portion of regulatory policy is being fashioned behind closed doors with groups that are clearly antagonistic to the economic health of the United States and Louisiana.  This regulatory policy is having a significant, negative impact on states and private property owners.  A specific recent example involves the settlement agreement between the USFWS and the Center for Biological Diversity, an environmental group who has made clear its goal is to use the litigation process to force species listings.  The agreement to make listing determinations on hundreds of species will adversely impact private property owners across the South and the state of Louisiana with new rules on habitat for endangered species on private property.  Unfortunately, most private property owners will not have the resources to fight the legal and regulatory onslaught of a massive federal agency.

As the new ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I plan to investigate  this “sue and settle” practice using all available tools to bring to light this often abused path to regulatory influence.  Private interest groups using lawsuits that are settled in secret, with minimal to no input from the regulated community, small businesses and private property owners should no longer go on without oversight.

As the AG, your intervention and requested expansion of the FOIA request can help to investigate and shed light on what our federal agencies are doing to undermine Louisiana and the people of our great state.  I am warily confident that both EPA and USFWS will shun all efforts to open the doors on these practices, the negotiations, and the communications between agency staff and outside groups regarding “sue and settle” agreements.  However, I request that you stay vigilant and join the consorted effort of the 13 other state AGs working to make public the collusion between our federal government and certain interest groups.

If I can be of any assistance please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Sincerely,

David Vitter

Ranking Member

U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works

 

 

 

CBO Says Electric Vehicle Subsidies to Cost $7.5 Billion With Little Benefit

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Source: National Legal and Policy Center  

I recently came across a report written by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) which estimated the cost to taxpayers for “federal policies to promote (aka subsidize) the manufacture and purchase of electric vehicles (EVs).” The piece also predicts the short-term benefits of the subsidies and includes the effects of rising federal requirements for fuel economy (known as CAFE) standards. The outlook is that federal subsidies will cost taxpayers $7.5 billion over the next few years for little or no benefit (even when including the impact of CAFE) to total gas consumption or emissions. (more…)

The changing climate of climate change

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Source:  The Oregonian

Will the world end in fire or ice?

by Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
Corbett, Oregon USA

In the bizarre world of climate alarmism, a naturally evolving climate is viewed as a man-made catastrophe, but an evolving political climate is not, as long as it supports the hysteria. Few advocate learning enough about science to separate fact from fiction, because knowledge is considered an impediment to progress.

With the re-election of Barack Obama, his radical followers declared, “This is our time,” and ramped up efforts to transform society back to a simpler period when energy meant horse power and prosperity was a distant dream. The president steered clear of this climate morass, preferring to let his Environmental Protection Agency work “the problem” away from public scrutiny. (more…)

Obama coal regulations crippling communities

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

source: Wash Times  

The war on jobs and affordable energy is real and continues to pick up steam with a swarm of new regulations coming out of President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency contributing to more mine closures and plant shutdowns across the country. Last week, we witnessed the latest round of victims in the war on coal, with Georgia Power Co. announcing its plans to shutter 15 fossil-fuel-fired electric units, impacting nearly 500 jobs in the state. (more…)

No Global Warming for Almost Two Decades

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Source: SPPI

by Christopher Monckton

The Science and Public Policy Institute has been asked to comment on the apparent inconsistency between the news that July 2012 was the warmest July since 1895 in the contiguous United States and the news that the Meteorological Office in the UK has cut its global warming forecast for the coming years. The present paper is a response to that interesting question.

Paper here:  http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/originals/no_global_warming_for_almost_two_decades.html

 

Government issues warnings, but are rising temperatures a health risk?

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Source:  Wash Times

by Steve Goreham

CHICAGO, January 15, 2013— Last Friday, the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee (NCADAC) issued a draft report titled “Climate Change and the American People.” The report was produced by the 60-person NCADAC and supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of our federal government. The report concludes that “Climate change is already affecting the American people” and that US communities will face “economic or health-related challenges.” Sadly, common sense is hard to find in the 1146-page document. (more…)

Who’s Afraid of Fracking?

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Source:  NRO

by Deroy Murdock 

If frackophobes are to be believed, natural-gas fracking is the most frightful environmental nightmare since Japan’s Fukushima nuclear-power plant melted down amid an earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

In Promised Land, Matt Damon’s new anti-fracking film funded by the United Arab Emirates, one character demonstrates this production technique’s “dangers” by drenching a toy farm with household chemicals and then setting it ablaze.

In the pro-fracking film FrackNation, one Pennsylvania homeowner absurdly claims that fracking polluted his well water with weapons-grade uranium. (For details, watch AXS-TV on Tuesday, January 22, at 9 p.m. EST.) FrackNation also is in limited theatrical release at the Quad Cinemas in New York City and at Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, Calif.

In an agitprop poster from the group New Yorkers Against Fracking, the Statue of Liberty furiously topples natural-gas drilling towers with her torch as energy-company big rigs flee in horror. (more…)

EPA’s illegal human experiments could break Nuremberg Code

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Source: Wash Times  

by Steve Milloy

Agency claims unfettered discretion in treatment of test subjects

The Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says no law empowers any judge to stop it from conducting illegal scientific experiments on seniors, children and the sick.

That astounding assertion will be tested Friday, when a federal district court in Alexandria decides whether it has jurisdiction to hear claims made by the American Tradition Institute that EPA researchers are exposing unwary and genetically susceptible senior citizens to air pollutants the agency says can cause a variety of serious cardiac and respiratory problems, including sudden death. (more…)

Will the Supreme Court Review EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulations? Part II

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Source: Global Warming.org 

Marlo Lewis

by Marlo Lewis

In Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA, petitioners — a coalition of industry groups, states, and non-profit organizations — sought to overturn the EPA’s endangerment, tailpipe, triggering, and tailoring rules for greenhouse gases (GHGs). In June of last year, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the EPA, upholding the four GHG rules. In August, coalition members petitioned for an en banc (full court) rehearing of the case. On Dec. 20, 2012 the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the petitions by 5-2.

However, given the importance of the issues and the strength of the two dissenting opinions, the case may go to the Supreme Court. Last week, I reviewed Judge Janice Rogers Brown’s dissenting opinion. Today, I review Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent. (more…)

The EPA Pushes the Envelope, Again

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Source:  Reason

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli

A long train of abuses suggests an institutional culture that sees the law as an impediment.

In accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of trying to regulate “water itself as a pollutant,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is not showing an excess of exactitude. But his looseness is rhetorical and harmless. The EPA’s is neither.

Last week federal judge Liam O’Grady sided with Cuccinelli when he ruled that the EPA had overstepped its bounds. As a measure of just how far the EPA had overreached, note that Cuccinelli’s suit against the EPA was joined by Fairfax County, led by Board of Supervisors chairman Sharon Bulova. (more…)

2012 probably not the hottest on record, after all

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

Source:  Wash Times

By Tom Harris and Tim Ball

Last summer’s headlines blared, “Hottest July in the history of the United States.” The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said so, so it must be true.

This week, the NCDC is reporting the same, with the added alarm that 2012 was the warmest year on record and one of the top two years for extreme weather in America.

Climate activists are linking this to man-made global warming, ignoring the fact that the area covered in the NCDC reports, the contiguous United States (excluding Alaska), comprises only 2 percent of the Earth’s surface. Trends that may manifest in the United States in no way indicate global phenomena. In fact, the United Kingdom’s Meteorological Office has said that there has been no global warming for 16 years and this week announced that temperatures are expected to stay relatively stable for another five years.

Regardless, all NCDC temperature proclamations must be taken with a large grain of salt. Here’s why. (more…)

Now even Pravda admits the ‘global warming’ jig is up

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Source: UK Telegraph

by James Delingpole

It’s Death of Little Nell time again in the field of climate “science.” The New York Times – aka Pravda – has announced the closure of its Environment Desk. Rumours that the entire environment team, headed by Andy Revkin, have volunteered to be recycled into compost and spread on the lawn of the new billion dollar home Al Gore bought with the proceeds of his sale of Current TV to Middle Eastern oil interests are as yet unconfirmed. What we do know is that it’s very, very sad and that all over the Arctic baby polar bears are weeping bitter tears of regret. (more…)

New Material Posted on the NIPCC Web site

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Source: NIPCC

Full Entry here

Storms of the Past Century over the Southern Great Barrier Reef (8 Jan 2013) 

The authors of this study report that “coral reefs in the southern Great Barrier Reef are frequently influenced by periods of high storm activity,” and that the reefs in that part of the world “show strong resilience to natural disturbances over the past century,” indicative of the fact that the continued existence of that region’s corals is not nearly as tenuous as many climate alarmists have made it out to be… Read More (more…)

Sen. Boxer adds climate change post to environment committee staff

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Source: the Hill

Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has added a climate change counsel to her committee staff.

Boxer said Thursday that environmental attorney Joe Mendelson would fill the newly created role. Mendelson was most recently policy director of climate and energy with the National Wildlife Federation.

“Dangerous climate change poses an urgent threat and we have a responsibility to address that threat. I am so pleased that Joe Mendelson will be joining the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee team. We will make the most of his expertise as we craft solutions to climate change,” Boxer said in a statement. (more…)