American Elephants

Ban The EPA: A Crooked Agency Intent Only On Power! by The Elephant's Child

Maps of the cold in Illinois today show temperatures ranging well below a minus 20°. I can assure you, from personal experience, that -20° is getting into the uncomfortable range. All the little hairs in your nose freeze, but with the proper insulation and a scarf across your face, not that bad.

Last week, in his interview with the Vox website, President Obama claimed that the media “overstated” the risk of terrorism as compared to the real problem of global warming. Slate sums that up—a 2012 DARA International report  claims that climate change causes an average of 400,000 deaths each year, a total that could grow to more than 600,000 by 2030. Oh, please!

250 million “face the pressures of sea-level rise” which is drowning thousands at a rise of 3.2 ±0.4mm a year? 30 million are affected by more extreme weather.(Climate is worldwide temperature—not weather) nor flooding. 25 million people are affected by permafrost thawing (define ‘affected’). The global Terrorism Index says there were nearly 18,000 deaths from terrorism in 2013. They’ve moved along from polar bears because research shows that public-health is more likely to elicit emotional reactions than a traditional environmental frame or even one on national security.

Far more people die from cold exposure than are ever harmed by a few degrees more of heat. (I lived in Phoenix for a while). So naturally the EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to man.

A large percentage of rural homes, and many of the country’s poorest residents depend on wood stoves for heat and even for cooking, for rural homes that have power don’t necessarily have reliable power. And America still has plenty off-the-grid homes. According to the 2011 Census 2.4 million American housing units burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7% that depended on fuel oil.

The EPA bases this all on their supposed studies of fine particulates, which are made-up figures that have not been peer-reviewed nor is there any evidence that the limits they propose can be achieved using available technology. This is supposedly based on theoretical computer model-based warnings. You will have court cases and evidence, and the EPA will likely get slapped down again by the courts.

The EPA has operated more and more from made-up evidence and false statistics in their relentless search for more power. The best evidence that the air is essentially as clean as nature will allow is the EPA attempt to regulate “fine particles” and wood smoke.

The people of the United States who have wood stoves will ignore the whole thing. Keeping warm in a cooling Earth trumps ‘fine particles’ every time. The Earth has been cooling for over 18 years, and the sun—which is responsible for the warming and cooling of a naturally changing climate —is remarkably quiet. Today’s sun:


Destroying the Economy Step by Step. by The Elephant's Child

Headline from the Energy Daily NetworkObama Vows Energy will Be ‘Top Priority’ in 2011.  You mean he’s going to put the oil rigs in the Gulf back to work?  Open Alaskan oil fields? Bring in more of our own vast natural resources? Open drilling up in coastal waters?  Stop trying to shut down the coal industry?  No, no, no, no and not a chance.

He wants to invest even more in his useless clean energy agenda:

One of my top priorities next year is to have an energy policy that begins to address all facets of our overreliance on fossil fuels. We may end up having to do it in chunks, as opposed to some sort of comprehensive omnibus legislation. But we’re going to stay on this because it is good for our economy, it’s good for our national security, and, ultimately, it’s good for our environment.

Au Contraire, Mr. President.  Americans are being inundated with claims about renewable and alternative energy.  Advocates claim that if we just get rid of fossil fuels, we’ll breathe easier, stop global warming and revolutionize our economy.  Not going to happen.

  1. Solar and wind are not a great advance over fossil fuels. Since solar and wind installations only produce energy part of the time and require 24/7 backup from conventional power plants to prevent blackouts, there is no net “green” energy produced.  Wind turbines produce electricity only about a third of the time.  The sun goes down at night. Both require enormous amounts of land to deliver relatively small amounts of energy.
  2. Solar and wind will not reduce our dependence on foreign oil. They produce small amounts of electricity while our transportation sector is powered by fossil fuel.  Ethanol is more damaging to the environment than fossil fuels, contains less energy, and cannot exist without massive ongoing subsidies.
  3. Electric cars will not reduce the demand for oil. Electric cars have not been sidelined by backers of the internal combustion engine, but by math and physics.  Gasoline contains about 80 times as much energy by weight as the best lithium-ion battery.  The electric motor is more efficient than the internal combustion engine, but batteries remain finicky, short-lived and take hours to recharge.  The electric car will remain the next big thing.
  4. A green economy will not create green American jobs. American turbine manufacturers face the problem of high domestic labor costs.  They will have to compete with China, which not only controls the market for neodymium, a critical ingredient in turbine magnets, but has low labor costs.  Is a job “green” if it is created only by subsidy or mandate?  The ethanol lobbying industry claimed 136,000 jobs for the increased percentage of ethanol, but the Environmental Working Group found only 27,000 at a cost of $446,000 per year.

Yesterday, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), a highly regarded federal energy advisory body released an exhaustive “special assessment” of the covert program the White House is pursuing through the Environmental Protection Agency.  The EPA’s pending electric utility regulations will subtract between 46 and 76 gigawatts of generating capacity from the U.S. grid by 2015.  The worst-case scenario would amount to a reduction of about 7.2% of national power generation, almost all of it will affect coal-fired plants— the workhorse that supplies a little more than half of American electricity.

The EPA’s weapon of choice in the battle to destroy the American economy is regulation.  New regulation of mercury and sulfur to coal ash and water intake which cool equipment.  NERC notes that the “pace and aggressiveness” of issuing rules in unprecedented.  These are conservative estimates and don’t include the EPA’s coming carbon “endangerment” rules.

Some plants can retrofit with scrubbers, but Credit Suisse estimated that compliance will cost as much as $150 billion in capital investment by the end of the decade.  That signals a huge rise in electricity costs, which is simply another tax on consumers and businesses, and means more lost jobs. Replacing so much so fast would require shut downs and lead to brownouts and shortages.

This is clearly an effort by the White House to accomplish by regulation what Congress rejected.  This president is not going to allow little things like the separation of powers to get in the way of his ideology. The president’s environmental team inspires no confidence whatsoever.  He is not interested in debating a carbon program on the merits — there are none.  The only way voters can stop the EPA is to install a check in the legislative branch of government on election day next Tuesday.

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