American Elephants

End Green Pork Subsidies. by The Elephant's Child

Energy development leases offered by the federal government on public lands in the Rocky Mountain region states of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico and Utah have dropped by 79 percent according to a new analysis of government data by the Western Energy Alliance.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management which oversees the activities of energy firms seeking to find and develop oil and natural gas under public lands, issued 2,499 permits.  In 2010, the BLM has issued only 531 new leases.

The Wyoming Business Report notes that since 2008, 90 percent of the leases awarded by BLM have been protested by Big Green groups like the Natural Resources Defense Fund, Earth Justice and the Wilderness Society.

Under President Obama BLM has issued 76 percent fewer leases than was the case in the Clinton administration and 71 percent fewer than during the first two years of  GW Bush’s administration.  Federal revenues from such leases has dropped from more than $189 million in 2005, to $101 million in 2010, a 46 percent decrease.

The Obama administrations’ leases in the country’s offshore and Outer Continental Shelf areas follow the same trend.  This means that energy costs more.  More oil must be imported from overseas.

Evidence mounts that the policy of this administration is to starve the country of energy to force people to accept their fantasies of a clean green economy. Wind and solar cannot produce significant amounts of energy.  There is no clean green economy is the foreseeable future.

In last week’s tax deal, Ethanol won a multimillion dollar subsidy, as did Big Wind.  In spite of more than $30 billion is subsidies for “clean energy” in the 2009 stimulus bill, Big Wind simply cannot make it in the marketplace.

Taxpayers are forced to pay 30% of a renewable energy project’s costs.  Wind energy producers don’t make enough net income to take advantage of the generous renewable energy tax credit.  Even that is not enough.  The industry also wants a federal renewable energy standard which would require utilities  to buy power from green energy projects regardless of price.

Without that additional subsidy the Wind Energy Association concedes that wind power will “stall out.” They are lobbying for billions of dollars of subsidies to cover the cost of hooking off-shore wind projects to the electric transmission grid.  They want the EPA to use regulation to raise costs on carbon sources of power.

And green jobs?  According to Chris Horner of CEI, the stimulus bill’s subsidies for renewable energy cost taxpayers about $475,000 for every job generated.

Wind, in spite of all the subsidy, accounts for little more than 1% of electricity generation.  Coal, on the other hand accounts for almost 50%.  It takes at least 25 times more workers to produce a kilowatt of electricity from wind as from coal.  Mr.Obama’s EPA and Interior Department are doing everything possible to curtail the coal industry. Obama said, on the campaign trail, that he intended to bankrupt the coal industry.

Has there ever before been a President of the United States who announces that he wants to destroy a specific industry? What a remarkable idea.  And after he stated that aim, people still voted for him.  Remarkable.

Another Raw Grasp for Power Exposed. There is No Crisis! by The Elephant's Child

“Never let a crisis go to waste” said Rahm Emanuel.  And if there isn’t a crisis, just make one up.  The incidence of food borne illness in the United States is dramatically lower than previously estimated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The new data refutes claims of alarmists who are advocating for vastly expanded federal regulation of the food supply.

Previous estimates said that 25 percent of Americans suffered from some form of food-borne illness annually.  New research shows that it is much less,  at 16 percent, and estimates of deaths related to food-borne illness were 40 percent lower than previous estimates.

Legislation granting the Food and Drug Administration control of nearly all aspects of good production from farm to table has cleared the House, but in the Senate, it was part of the now abandoned omnibus spending bill.  Whether it will reappear before Congress recesses remains to be seen.

Proponents had argued that the costly regulatory scheme was based on “science”, but there is nothing scientific about using a phony “crisis” to increase the powers of the FDA, increase the size of government, and raise the cost of food.  It wouldn’t do a thing to improve food safety.  But it was always about power, not food safety.

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