American Elephants


The Emperor Has No Clothes, and the EPA Makes Up Stuff! by The Elephant's Child
August 23, 2011, 9:35 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

Barack Obama, November 2, 2008:

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

Charles Mackay, in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, April 23, 1841.

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.

Andrew Tobias, November 1979:

Once upon a time there was an emperor with no clothes.  For the longest time nobody noticed. …[T]here have been many naked emperors since. There will doubtless be many more.

Professor William Happer, June 2011:

Life is about making decisions and decisions are about trade-offs.  We can choose to promote investment in technology that addresses real problems and scientific research that will let us cope with real problems more efficiently.  Or we can be caught up in a crusade that seeks to suppress energy use, economic growth, and the benefits that come from the creation of wealth for all of mankind.

The EPA’s cross-state pollution rules, announced last month, will be implemented over the next 18 months.  It is likely that the rules will result in the loss of a fifth of the nation’s capacity to generate electricity.  The rule will affect about 1,000 power plants in 27 states.  It will require them to cut emissions of sulfur dioxide by 73% and nitrogen oxide by 54% from 2005 levels by 2014.  the regulation is meant to force power companies to install new pollution controls or switch from coal as a fuel to natural gas.

The agency claimed that the rule will prevent 34,000 premature deaths, 15,000 heart attacks, and 400,000 cases of asthma starting in 2014.

This is a lie.

The agency has no evidence of any “premature death” occurring as a result of emissions of sulfur dioxide or nitrogen oxide. They made up their statistics.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) says that the prevalence of asthma has grown from 3.1% of the U.S. population in 1980 to 8.2% in 2009, while air quality has improved tremendously since the 1970s.  Little is understood about preventing asthma, although the means for controlling and preventing symptoms are well established. For the EPA to claim 400,000 cases of asthma when the causal relationship is unknown to medical science, demonstrates the quality of EPA science. When you need statistics to impress the courts, you just make them up.

Investors Business Daily editorialized:

Based on Bush-era EPA proposals that the federal courts threw out in 2008, this latest example of legislation is designed to usurp state powers to regulate their in-state emissions by making it a federal issue on the grounds pollution crosses state lines.The targets are states such as Texas that not only resist federal encroachment on their powers but dare to try to balance environmental quality. The EPA claims huge health gains as its justification, but those claims are in doubt. Poverty and joblessness, which this and other EPA rules will create, carry their own health risks.

Two days before Christmas, EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz said in a letter that the agency was taking permitting authority over refineries, power plants and cement facilities in Texas from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) starting last Jan. 2.

The head of the Texas Public Utility Commission says that the rules could lead to rolling blackouts. The American Legislative Exchange Council says that nationally the new regulations will cost up to $129 billion and force utilities to close down one-fifth of coal-generating capacity.  Obama gets his wish which will accomplish nothing positive, kill hundreds of jobs, and raise energy costs.

TCEQ is the world’s second-largest environmental regulatory agency after the EPA. Their cardinal sin — aside from being from Texas — is that they work with industry so that job growth is not eviscerated.  The state’s flexible air quality permitting system considers the economic impact of their rulings.  Their rules have led to a 22% reduction in ozone and a 53% decrease in nitrous oxide since 2000.

So while the president ponders his big job-creation speech, supposedly including a brand new stimulus plan, the EPA plans to continue Obama’s aim of bankrupting the coal industry,  threatening blackouts across the country, as they once again slash our country’s energy supply and destroy jobs.



Jobs? The Words of his Teleprompter Don’t Match his Actions. by The Elephant's Child

When he is not on the golf course in Martha’s Vineyard, President Obama is giving over a little time to thinking about his upcoming big jobs speech.  He has chatted with Warren Buffet, America’s richest man, and Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, who resisted administration handouts with some success, supposedly about jobs.

Mr. Obama has been giving speeches about jobs for 2½ years.  He has claimed that he thinks about job creation in every waking moment. But his primary interest is not about jobs, it is about other strands of his ideology.

President Obama is interested in creating Union jobs.  He got big financial support from unions in his electoral campaign, and the unions turned out their members for the get-out-the-vote effort. And from what we see on YouTube, whenever there is an event, the SEIU thugs will be there waving pre-printed signs and wearing their public-sector-union purple tee shirts.

Union membership has been in steady decline in this country. Only around 7% of private sector workers belong to unions. Where people have a choice about belonging to unions  in right-to-work states, they mostly choose not to. This is why unions have tried so hard to get “card check” passed into law, and to get rid of secret ballots.

Card check, for the un-unionized, is also called “majority sign up. The current law provides for workers to sign a petition or authorization card, and if at least 30% of workers request a union, then the cards are submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which verifies it, then orders a secret ballot election. If over 50% of workers sign, the employer can voluntarily choose to waive the election and just recognize the union.  The other exception allows the NLRB to order an employer if over 50% have signed cards If the employer has engaged in unfair labor practices that make a fair election unlikely.

The proposed Employee Free Choice Act allows the NLRB, if 50% of cards are signed, to skip the secret ballot election and a union is automatically formed. Under the EFCA if over 30% and fewer than 50% of workers sign a petition or authorization card, the NLRB would still order a secret ballot election. Card Check supporters argue that it makes it easier for workers to join a union, but intimidation and pressure are often part of the process. Some states have removed  automatic deduction of union dues from workers; paychecks. The result has been a significant decline in dues being paid.  There is a principled objection to depriving any American of the right to a secret ballot.

President Obama supports card check, and the Obama administration’s NLRB is currently engaged in trying to force the Boeing Company to close their new plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work-state eliminating 5,000 jobs, and returning the jobs to Washington State, where workers are unionized. The attempt of the federal government to instruct a private company where they may build one of their own factories is unprecedented, and beyond the powers of the federal government.

President Obama has also eliminated over 5,000 jobs with the delay and procrastination that has so far sent ten offshore oil rigs to other countries.  His insistence on supporting and subsidizing “green jobs” in spite of evidence from all European countries that “green jobs” are a fantasy and only kill jobs in the private sector because of the increased cost of energy. Six billion dollars were set aside in the stimulus bill to subsidize potential green jobs, yet over and over, the jobs have failed to materialize.

The president has been successful only in creating highly paid government jobs, which don’t count economically because they are merely a drain on taxpayer pocketbooks.  While the rest of the country seems to be unemployed, Washington DC is booming. And that freeze on government salaries that the President promised — also fantasy. Didn’t affect “step increases,” and apparently doesn’t affect anyone else, for we hear of $20,000 raises.  Full employment for the government and then some. Both the president and the first lady have far more aides than any previous president.

The EPA effect on jobs has been widely reported. The EPA is an organization of environmental activists, and they claim an exemption from any need to consider the effect of their regulations on employment.  The attempt to “save” the supposedly endangered Delta smelt in California’s Central Valley meant turning off the water for what had been one of America’s most productive breadbaskets. And the Central Valley’s unemployment rate is significantly higher than that of the nation as a whole. New regulations imposed add to the cost of doing business. The utility MACT rule may cost from 475,000 -1.4 million jobs.  To make their case for regulating pollution that the wind may carry across state lines, the EPA  has been reduced to making up statistics about how many may die from asthma, for example, when physicians say they have no idea about the cause of asthma.

That’s just a few of the Obama administration actions which belie the president’s words.  He only says that he cares about unemployment, about jobs for the American people.  If he actually did care, his actions would match his words.  He could start creating jobs overnight. He could tell Ken Salazar to end the stalling on issuing permits for offshore drilling in the Gulf. He cold tell Lisa Jackson to knock it off, and give full consideration to any job losses caused by her regulation.  The president could actually look at the evidence from across the world about the failure of “green jobs.”

The President could start listening to the small businessmen of America who have been very clear about what is keeping them from taking the risk to create new jobs. They have explained over and over that regulation, uncertainty, the cost of government proposals,  the cost of ObamaCare, and the cost of energy make it too risky for them to move ahead. That simply isn’t what Obama wants to hear.

So he will return to Washington.  He will make a jobs speech.  But he won’t care enough to change the actions of his administration.  And nothing will change, nothing at all.



Sunny Analyzes HealthCare by The Elephant's Child
August 23, 2011, 3:36 pm
Filed under: Economy, Health Care, Humor, Politics | Tags: , ,

(h/t: Maggie’s Farm)




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