Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Freedom, Junk Science, Law, Regulation | Tags: Cancelling Inconvenient Laws, Climate Change Is Not the Threat, Does Duke Energy Get Off?
The Justice Department announced a couple of weeks ago that “a subsidiary of Duke Energy has agreed to pay $1 million for killing golden eagles and other federally protected birds at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. The guilty plea was long overdue victory for the rule of law and a sign that green energy might be going out of vogue.”
“As Justice noted in its news release, this if the first time a case has been brought against a wind company for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The 1918 law makes it a federal crime to kill any bird of more than 1,000 different species. Over the past few decades, federal authorities have brought hundreds of cases against oil and gas companies for killing birds, while the wind industry has enjoyed a de facto exemption. By bringing criminal charges against Duke for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, Justice has ended the legal double standard on enforcement.”
Triumph of hope over Obama priorities. The Obama administration is about to approve a rule that will ensure the death of golden and bald eagles for the next 30 more years. Hundreds of thousands of birds die each year flying into the deadly turbine blades atop the towers of a wind farm. Many wind farms are built in mountain passes where wind is more likely, but that is the birds migrating course as well. The birds that are not chopped up by turbines are often fried by solar arrays.
It gets to be a real problem when you divide everything up into political interest groups, according to how much cash they donate. The Keystone XL Pipeline proved that Greens trump Unions. Unions trump Hispanics, and Hispanics trump Blacks. Where women fit into the priority line, I don’t know, or Gays. The good of the country, or the rule of law, are nowhere to be found. Politics trumps all.
The renewable energy business is also losing its lustre, as the public discovers how expensive “green jobs” are. In January Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that each wind related job in Texas, the top wind energy state in the union, cost taxpayers $1.75 million. People are also discovering that they don’t much like wind turbines that ruin scenic countryside, reduce property values and create excessive noise. Chris Clarke of KCET reported that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a new solar-thermal project in the Mojave Desert killed 52 birds just in October, killed by the intense heat generated by the project’s mirrors.
The President does not change his mind. If he believed that Infrastructure was the key to economic growth in 2008, he still believe that today. Unfortunately, the world is changing its mind. Global warming is no longer a threat, the climate has been cooling for 17 years, and “alternative energy” is way too expensive, and in light of our new wealth in oil and gas from fracking and shale-oil projects on course to make us the Saudi Arabia of the world, maybe it’s not worth it to kill all those birds so carelessly.
And the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is just an old law. The President can just wave his hand and say that it doesn’t apply to his administration because he likes wind and solar energy better.
Filed under: Architecture, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, History | Tags: A Vision of a Hidden Gem., Persistence Pays Off., Ten Years of Hard Work.
A retired mathematician found a rotting cabin, dating from 1830, in sad shape, but he determined to restore it — proving once more that persistence pays. This is the original 1830 cabin, or what was left of it. Much was rotting, but he labeled and transferred as much of it as possible to the family’s land. See the amazing story below the fold.
Filed under: Entertainment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Humor | Tags: Charming and Sweet Humor, Nothing Comparable Today, The Nature of Small Boys
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Freedom, Health Care, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: An Encounter With Health Care, My Day, Taxing Medical Devices.
Hot on the trail of ObamaCare’s tax on Medical Devices, I spent the day in outpatient surgery. Doctors and nurses remained remarkably cheery, were unfailingly kind, and used all sorts of medical devices in my care.
The tax is unbelievably stupid. Some small companies have gone out of business, others have laid off large numbers of employees. Economics 101 — if you want less of something, tax it. Fewer choices, less innovation, fewer splendid ideas will reach the marketplace. Everybody loses.
The administration pronounced vast improvements in the website,trying to pretend they had met the Dec. 1st deadline, but customers were still having a hard time signing up. Liberals seem not to understand that even if the website were working perfectly, ObamaCare would still be a disaster. They fail to understand human nature in hot pursuit of do-goodism. They do not understand health care, and they don’t understand basic economics. Other than that…
Long Day, need sleep. I’m fine.
Read the previous post. It applies here.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Domestic Policy, Freedom, Heartwarming, Politics | Tags: Strange Family Traditions, Strange Lefty Traditions, Thanksgiving Dinner
Light blogging. Yesterday was a cooking day. Well-brined turkey, sage stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes with a dollop of brandy and cream (NO marshmallows), a pureé of broccoli and green beans, Idaho potatoes, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream. The president had 11 different kinds of pie, and a side of traditional macaroni and cheese. Do other people do this? I had never heard of macaroni and cheese as a Thanksgiving day specialty. It’s always interesting to hear about other people’s Thanksgiving traditions.
We are of Yankee heritage and do not do cornbread stuffing. My father handed down his Southern grandmother’s cornbread recipe which I cherish — but not in the bird. I used to do oyster stuffing in one end and sage in the other, but got too many complaints from non-oyster people. The vegetable of choice here seems to be brussles sprouts, as my grocery always starts off with a big display which is quickly decimated. I have never been able to make friends with the sprout, though I love cabbage. (Fresh cabbage in ½” dice, sauteed quickly in butter, dollop of sour cream and lots of black pepper).
The loony left was out with their usual ignorant “Genocide Day” huffings that America had committed genocide on the American Indians, and concurrently that in that picture of George W. Bush’s surprise Thanksgiving Day visit with the troops in Afghanistan — that was a plastic turkey.
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Politics, Progressivism, Regulation, Taxes | Tags: The Cost of Compliance, The Magic Economy, The Problem of Regulation
It must be pleasant to look out the windows at the Rose Garden and see the unicorns at play. As President Obama said in his weekly address, there are some silver linings to be found in the economy.
Actually he said “most of the headlines you’ve read have probably been about the government shutdown and the launch of the Affordable Care Act…but if you look beyond those headlines there are some good things happening in our economy. And that’s been my top priority since the day I walked into the Oval Office.” There he goes again.
Nobody believes anymore that improving the economy is Obama’s top priority. The brightest spot in the economy is the energy boom in America’s shale deposits, which is making America energy independent. This success has happened entirely in the private sector on private lands, much to Mr. Obama’s annoyance.
Oddly enough, a big chunk of the increases in hiring has been in compliance officers. The administration’s drive to regulate everything proceeds apace. But regulatory agencies don’t consider the impact they have on labor markets, even though they have been subject to requirements that they consider the effect of regulatory change on the economy.
In America, the administrative state traces its origins to the Progressive movement. Progressives believed that the triumph of the modern state marked an “end of History,” a point at which there is no longer any need for conflict over fundamental principles. Politics would give way to administration which would become the task of neutral and highly trained experts.
Regulation raises the cost of production, which leads to higher prices and reduced output. This causes job loss in the regulated industry. Job losses include lost wages, job search costs and retraining costs. Higher prices for regulated goods and services raise costs in other industries and lower the buying power of consumers. These too can impact jobs.
If you think in terms of ObamaCare, the idea is that neutral and highly trained expert bureaucrats will tell highly trained physicians how to care for patients, and highly trained bureaucrats will tell insurance company actuaries how much they should charge for insurance benefits. You see the problem.
Obama has repeatedly denied Republican assertions that over regulation is a problem, yet data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows an 18 percent increase in the number of compliance officers in the U.S. between 2009 and 2012. At last count there were an estimated 227,500 compliance officers employed. Those numbers do not include professions like bank examiners, tax collectors or Occupational Safety and Health Administration inspectors who monitor companies for fraud and safety violations.
Reform advocates argue that the private sector was left without proper oversight for too long.
Um, Benghazi, Cash for Clunkers, the IRS, Solyndra, Fast and Furious, EPA overreach, falsifying job numbers, auto bailout, seizing AP phone records, EPA attack on coal companies, the Keystone XL Pipeline, firing Inspector Generals, and it’s the private sector that has been left without proper oversight?
The pages in the Code of Federal Regulations hit an all time high of 174,545 pages is 2012. In 2012, the cost of federal rules exceeded $1.8 trillion, and regulatory burdens cost each U.S. household $14,768.
Private business has been telling the administration for nearly five years that over-regulation is a problem, but the administration denies it. Progressives know better. So the result is that the President of the United States looks out the windows of the White House at the unicorns playing in the garden, and explains to the people in his weekly address that there are some silver linings to be found in the economy. We need only 8.0 million jobs to get back to the pre-recession unemployment rate, which will take around five years.
Filed under: Entertainment, Environment, Freedom, Humor | Tags: Not Enough Trees, Waiting in Line, Well-Trained Dogs
This made me laugh.
Filed under: Capitalism, Education, Freedom, History, Law, Politics, The Constitution, The United States | Tags: Philadelphia 1787, Separation of Powers, The U.S. Constitution.
From Bernard Bailyn’s The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution:
“At the Philadelphia convention, with exquisite care and with delicate nuances, they devised a complex constitution that would generate the requisite power but would so distribute its flow and uses that no one body of men and no one institutional center would ever gain a monopoly of force or influence that would dominate the nation.”
In every generation, we need to remind the people of the care and wisdom that went into the making of the Constitution. It has worked for 286 years, and remains unique among nations in its establishment by “We the People,” and the limited powers that it grants to the government. And it is up to us to remind our representatives in government of its meaning, and to insure that our schools teach its history and its meaning .
See also: Catherine Drinker Bowen’s Miracle at Philadelphia