Marita: It isn’t fracking
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Marita tells us there is a whole lot of shakin’ going on, but not from frackin’.

Greetings!

A year-and-a-half ago I was on the Off the Grid program with Jesse Ventura. He asked me about the earthquakes caused by fracking. Ever since then, I’ve kept an eye out for news stories on the topic. Last week, the Wall Street Journal published this one: Earthquake Shakes Cushing Oklahoma. It piqued my interest.

I looked up more on the increasing earthquakes in Oklahoma and was surprised to learn that Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than California. Further research netted me a priceless clip on the topic from Rachel Maddow (be sure to check it out) that gave me the fuel I needed to write this week’s column: Shaking out the lies surrounding earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing (attached and pasted-in-below). Information on last week’s “Great ShakeOut” provided me with a fun opening that also connected the Taylor Swift quote at the closing. For my readers who are in the industry, you’ll find Shaking out the lies surrounding earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing is full of links to important information that will enhance your knowledge. For my general public readers, you’ll learn why the anti-fossil-fuel crowd wants to claim that hydraulic fracturing causes earthquakes—which it doesn’t.

I think I’ve provided a factual and fun piece on a technical topic. I hope you like it!

Please post, pass on, and/or personal enjoy Shaking out the lies surrounding earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing.

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

 

 

Shaking out the lies surrounding earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing

The Great ShakeOut, the annual “PrepareAthon” that advocates rp_Marita-Noon-2015-Turquiose-e1441081653998-240x300.jpgearthquake readiness, took place across the globe on October 15, at 10:15 AM—10/15 @10:15. Unless you have a child in a participating school, the “Ready Campaign” may have passed without your awareness. I grew up in Southern California, where earthquakes were so routine, we paid them no mind; we didn’t have earthquake drills.

But that was then. Now, the Great ShakeOut is a global campaign. Now, Oklahoma has more earthquakes than California—and students in Oklahoma participated on 10/15 at 10:15. As if choreographed, Oklahomans had a reminder 4.5 earthquake just days before the drill.

The anti-fossil crowd has declared the cause. Headlines claim: “Confirmed: Oklahoma Earthquakes Caused By Fracking” and “New study links Oklahoma earthquakes to fracking.”

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow gleefully teased the earthquakes in Oklahoma as “the story that might keep you up at night.” On her October 16 show, she stated that Oklahoma’s earthquakes are: “The terrible and unintended consequence of the way we get oil and gas out of the ground. …from fracking operations.” Yet, when her guest, Jeremy Boak, Oklahoma Geological Survey Director, corrected her, “it’s not actually frackwater,” she didn’t change her tune.

Despite the fact that the science doesn’t support the thesis, opponents of oil-and-gas extraction, like Maddow, have long claimed that the process of hydraulic fracturing is the cause of the earthquakes. Earthworks calls them “frackquakes” because the quakes, the organization says, are “fracking triggered earthquakes.”

The anti-crowd doesn’t want to hear otherwise. If you were to fully read the two previously mentioned news reports (linked above) that declare “fracking” as the culprit, you’d see that the actual text, and the study they reference, doesn’t say what the headlines insinuate. The 2014 study they cite, blames the earthquakes “on the injection of wastewater from oil and gas operations”—which as Boak told Maddow is not “actually frackwater.” Even the Washington Post announced: “Fracking is not the cause of quakes. The real problem is wastewater.”

But the ruse goes on. CNN meteorologist Chad Myers announced: “The fracturing fluid seems to be lubricating existing faults that have not moved in recent years. The fracturing process is not creating new faults, but are exposing faults that already exist.”

Earthworks believes that states like Oklahoma are not doing enough to solve the problem. Its website says: “Despite the increasingly apparent threat posed by fracking-related earthquakes, many states are ignoring the issue.”

In fact, many scientific studies have been, and are being, done—as once the cause is determined, a remedy can be found. These studies, as the Washington Post reported, have concluded that “wastewater” is the problem.

If you don’t know what it is or how it is being disposed of, “wastewater” sounds scary. It is often called “toxic”—although it is naturally occurring. This wastewater, according to a study from Stanford researchers, is “brackish water that naturally coexists with oil and gas within the Earth.” As a part of the drilling and extraction process, the “produced water” is extracted from the oil and/or gas and is typically reinjected into deeper disposal wells. In Oklahoma, these wells are in the Arbuckle formation, a 7,000-foot-deep sedimentary formation under Oklahoma.

“Industry has been disposing wastewater into the Arbuckle for 60 years without seismicity,” Kim Hatfield told me. He is the chairman of the Induced Seismicity Working Group—which includes members from a variety of entities including the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma Department of Energy and Environment, and Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association. Hatfield continued: “So, we know some level of disposal is safe. We need to figure out the exact mechanism by which this wastewater injection is triggering these seismic events and modify our procedures to prevent them.”

Addressing water quality, Hatfield explained that in the area of the seismicity, ten barrels of produced water—which contains five times more salt than ocean water—is generated for each barrel of oil.

The Stanford study, done by Stanford Professor Mark Zoback and doctoral student Rall Walsh, found that “the primary source of the quake-triggering wastewater is not so-called ‘flowback water’ generated after hydraulic fracturing operations.” Zoback, the Benjamin M. Page Professor in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, states: “What we’ve learned in this study is that the fluid injection responsible for most of the recent quakes in Oklahoma is due to production and subsequent injection of massive amounts of wastewater, and is unrelated to hydraulic fracturing”—which is contradictory to the premise on which the study was launched.

Explaining the study, Walsh said: “it began with an examination of microseismicity—intentionally caused small quakes like those resulting from hydraulic fracturing,” which he referred to as their “jumping off point.” When I asked Walsh if he was surprised to find that fracking wasn’t the cause of the earthquakes, he told me: “We were familiar with the few cases where hydraulic fracturing was known, or suspected to be associated with moderate sized earthquakes. In the areas of Oklahoma where the earthquakes first started (just outside of Oklahoma City) we knew that the extraction process was predominantly dewatering, not hydraulic fracturing, which led us to suspect that produced water would be the source of the issue, even before we did the volume calculations to show it.”

Science writer Ker Than reports: “Because the pair were also able to review data about the total amount of wastewater injected at wells, as well as the total amount of hydraulic fracturing happening in each study area, they were able to conclude that the bulk of the injected water was produced water generated using conventional oil extraction techniques, not during hydraulic fracturing.” Additionally, Boak told me: “Less than five percent is actually frackwater.”

“So what?” you might ask. The distinction is important as there is an aggressive effort from the anti-fossil-fuel movement to regulate and restrict—even ban—hydraulic fracturing. The more scare tactics they can use, the more successful their efforts. They are unimpeded by truth. Remember the disproven claims about fracking causing tap water to catch on fire and those about fracking contaminating drinking water?

Now, you can add “Oklahoma earthquakes caused by fracking” to the list of untruths propagated by the anti-fossil-fuel crowd. The true headline should read: “Oklahoma earthquakes not caused by fracking.” But, that conflicts with their goal of ending all fossil-fuel use. More than ninety percent of the new oil-and-gas wells drilled in America use hydraulic fracturing. Therefore, if they can ban fracking, they end America’s new era of energy abundance and the jobs and economic stimulus it provides. Groups like Earthworks seem to hate the modern world.

Here some advice from singer Taylor Swift might be warranted. Instead of “getting down and out about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world,” after all, she says: “And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate,” her solution is: “I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake. Shake it off.”

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Marita: Rolling back the tide of big government overreach
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Can we really be so lucky?  Marita thinks so.  Read below to find out what Marita thinks.

Greetings!

Several weeks ago, a federal judge overturned the Obama administration’s 2014 listing of the lesser prairie chicken (LPC) as a threatened species. At the time, I thought about writing on it, even assumed it would be my column for that week. But, another news story caught my attention—and not that many average citizens really care about the LPC anyway. With every week that passed, other stories took precedence and the LPC became a stale topic.

However, this week, I’ve connected some dots—as I like to do— with the LPC decision to create: Rolling back the tide of big government overreach (attached and pasted-in-below).

Back in August, I wrote on WOTUS. Since then, including the LPC and WOTUS decision, there have been five distinct victories for responsible land use. While it does make for a long column, I address them all in Rolling back the tide of big government overreach. The other three are the hydraulic fracturing rule, the sage grouse, and the wolf reintroduction.

I am writing this introduction from the Annual Meeting of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association where I have been able to share this good news with many of the attendees. When you string these five stories together, as I have done, it does offer encouragement.

Please post, pass on and/or personally enjoy Rolling back the tide of big government overreach.

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

For immediate release: October 5, 2015

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

 

 

Marita

The reason most often cited for the success of the nonpolitical candidates is the frustration with Washington; the sense that the system is broken. Voters feel that we have no control and that government has gone wild. Even people who don’t watch the news or closely follow politics are aware of the “overreach.” It seems that, perhaps, the messages the outsiders have been heralding on the trail has caught on.

Washington’s overreach has been rolled back—by courts and commissioners and, even, in response, the government itself. In little more than 30 days, there have been five distinct cases that you may have missed—each, a victory for responsible land use.

WOTUS

First was WOTUS, or the Waters of the U.S. rule—which was scheduled for full implementation on, Friday, August 28. WOTUS attempted to greatly expand the federal government’s authority over water and land and could apply to ditches, streams, wetlands and small isolated bodies of water. Late on Thursday, August 27, U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson issued a temporary injunction sought by North Dakota and 12 other states. In his decision, Erickson wrote: “Once the rule takes effect, the states will lose their sovereignty over interstate waters that will then be subject to the scope of the Clean Water Act.” Calling the rule “arbitrary and capricious,” he declared that the EPA “violated its congressional grant of authority in its promulgation of the rule.”

Undaunted, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pushed back, stating that the rule only applied to the thirteen states that requested the injunction. For the remaining 37 states, the EPA is enforcing the regulation as planned. At least 10 lawsuits—including 29 states and 14 agricultural and industry organizations—have been filed in federal district court challenging the rule.

Constitutional and environmental law professor, Jonathan H. Adler, addressed WOTUS in the Washington Post, saying: “As a general matter (and as the Supreme Court has recognized) land-use control is generally beyond the scope of federal power. In this case, the district court concluded that the states were likely to succeed on the merits as the EPA had adopted an ‘exceptionally expansive’ view of its own jurisdiction under the CWA.”

Perhaps, as you’ll see, if the WOTUS deadline was a month later, the EPA may not have been so bold in its assertion that it would continue to enforce the rule. But, then again, this is the Obama EPA.

Lesser Prairie Chicken

Once again, a federal agency has been acting “arbitrarily and capriciously.” This time, it is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). On September 2, U.S. District Judge Robert A. Junell overturned the Obama administration’s 2014 listing of the lesser prairie chicken (LPC) as a threatened species, which gave the bird protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and limited land use in five states.

Citing the “more than 180 oil and gas, pipeline, electric transmission and wind energy companies” that had enrolled in voluntary conservation plans, The Permian Basin Petroleum Association challenged the listing, as soon as it was finalized.

The FWS is required to consider the conservation plans. The court determined that FWS “did not properly consider active conservation efforts for the bird when listing it.” Junell wrote: “The Court finds FWS did conduct an analysis, however this analysis was neither ‘rigorous’ nor valid as FWS failed to consider important questions and material information necessary to make a proper evaluation.”

Addressing the LPC decision, The National Law Review, states: the “ruling raises important questions about the upcoming Service decision whether to list the greater sage-grouse under the ESA. A sage-grouse decision was due on September 30.

Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, sees that the FWS “has been illegally steam rolling states by their own secret rules.” He added: “The Obama administration has been merciless in its quest to list species—even when the science says otherwise.”

Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

On September 30, another federal district court judge smacked down another federal agency—this time the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which, in March, issued federal fracking rules designed to spur states to follow suit (most energy-producing states already regulate fracking). BloombergBusiness states: “There are more than 100,000 wells on federal land making up 11 percent of the nation’s natural gas production and five percent of its oil.” The rule, if implemented and adopted by states, as hoped for by the administration, would magnify the impact, “potentially slowing development of oil and natural gas resources”—which is likely the goal. As a result, BloombergBusiness adds, producers “would have faced higher costs at a time when profits already are strangled by low crude prices.”

In his 54-page decision, Wyoming’s U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl wrote: “Congress has not authorized or delegated the BLM authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing and, under our constitutional structure, it is only through congressional action that the BLM can acquire this authority.” He issued a preliminary injunction barring implementation of the rules, “finding that those suing had a good chance of winning their case and getting a permanent order barring enforcement.”

Different from the EPA’s arrogant decision to move forward with implementing WOTUS, a BLM spokeswoman, according to the Wall Street Journal, said: “While the matter is being resolved, the BLM will follow the Court’s order and will continue to process applications for permit to drill and inspect wells sites under its pre-existing regulations.”

Kathleen Sgamma, vice president of government and public affairs at Western Energy Alliance, a party to the lawsuit against the government, is overjoyed to finally be “getting relief from the courts regarding the regulatory overreach of the Obama administration.” She added: “We hope the BLM, EPA and other agencies that are rushing to implement even more regulations on the very businesses that create jobs will pause and actually follow the law and regulatory procedure.”

“The case will proceed to a final resolution,” BloombergBusiness reports, “probably early next year.”

Wolf Reintroduction

Ranchers in and around New Mexico’s Gila Forest have been fighting the federal government’s plan to release “another dozen or so Mexican grey wolves.” Already, in the region, wolves since their introduction in 1998 have killed livestock, and children waiting for the school bus often do so in cages for protection. I’ve written on the sad tale several times.

On September 29, in a 7-0 vote, concerned about the impact to ranchers and elk hunters, the New Mexico Game Commission upheld an earlier decision denying the FWS permits to release Mexican wolves into federal land in southwestern New Mexico.

“Federal policy requires FWS to consult state agencies and comply with their permitting processes when releasing endangered animals from captivity,” Science Magazine reports, “even when releases are made on federal land.”

In June, according the Santa Fe New Mexican, “New Mexico Game and Fish Department Director Alexandra Sandoval rejected a federal permit for the Mexican wolf program because she said the FWS lacked a detailed plan to release up to ten captive wolves in the Gila National Forest, leaving her without enough information on what effects the predators would have on deer and elk populations.”

In response to the decision, Game Commissioner Elizabeth Ryan of Roswell, NM, said she and her colleagues could only overturn the director’s decision on the wolf permit if they found it “arbitrary and capricious.”

Sage Grouse

This string of recent decisions may have been noticed by the Obama administration. On September 22, after years of debate, and after the LPC listing was overturned, Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the sage grouse would not be listed under ESA. The Washington Post reports that “the chicken-like grouse does not meet the required standard because a collaboration of federal agencies, states, ranchers, industry and environmental groups has already begun to restore areas where it breeds.” “According to state fish and game agencies,” Kent Holsinger, a Colorado attorney specializing in lands, wildlife and water law, told me: “sage grouse populations have risen 63 percent over the past two springs.”

An ESA listing would “significantly limit future development.”

The ESA, Brian Seasholes, director of the endangered species program at the Reason Foundation, states: “has a well-deserved reputation for putting severe restrictions on otherwise normal and legal forms of land and resource use, such as farming and energy development.” In an op-ed in The Hill, he adds: “When a species is listed under ESA, landowners can face steep fines, penalties and land use controls that can devalue their property.”

While environmental groups see the decision as a victory for “industry and its supporters,” others, such as Utah Governor Gary Herbert—who estimated Utah would lose more than $40 billion in economic production from oil and gas if the sage grouse were listed—are still not happy.

Rather than listing the sage grouse—which would likely be overturned in court—the DOI’s BLM has released a plan to implement more than 90 land use strategies. Herbert sees that the federal government rejected the successful sage-grouse conservation plan and says the land use plans that govern use of over 60 million acres of federal land “constitute the equivalent of a listing decision outside the normal process.” He calls the plans “a significant overreach by the federal government.” Bishop agrees: “Do not be fooled. The announcement not to list the sage-grouse is a cynical ploy… With the stroke of a pen, the Obama Administration’s oppressive land management plan is the same as a listing.” The land-use restrictions have been decried as “every bit as rigid as could be expected under ESA.”

While “the West’s sage-grouse worries are far from over,” I see that, when combined with the aforementioned stories, the unwarranted decision is still welcome news. Land-use plans will be easier to revise under a new administration than removing an ESA listing. But, more importantly, I view it as a recognition that big government overreach has reached its limits.

The good news about having so many reform-minded outsiders running for president is that they are like a band of crusaders spreading the message of big government overreach far and wide. That message is, apparently, being heard. Voters are, hopefully, ready for responsible land use. The tide is being rolled back.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Why is Congress playing with the American people
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Why do we (the collective we) hesitate to condemn Planned Parenthood and their killing and rendering factories.  I can’t fathom the reason and I bet you can’t either.  There should be no doubt as to why Planned Parenthood should not be funded after folks read the following from the The Patriot Post (http://PatriotPost.US).  We should all do what we can to wake Congress from their slumber of irresponsibility.

Spending $500 Million to Deprive Children of Life

By Allyne Caan

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During the five-plus hours Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards spent before a congressional hearing on Tuesday, her organization had time to kill more than 185 babies.

Unfortunately, while debating whether the abortion mill should continue to receive more than $500 million annually in taxpayer dollars, Republicans, who rightfully called the hearing, asked the wrong question: “Does Planned Parenthood really need federal subsidies?”

Instead, they should have gotten to the crux of the issue: Does the Constitution authorize spending money to deprive children of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

The correct answer is, of course, no.

Were the right question asked — and correctly answered — the hearing could have begun and ended in five minutes. But since Republicans went down the road of financial “need,” let’s take a look at those numbers.

Far from being a health clinic chain desperate for federal dollars, Planned Parenthood is a massive profit machine, grossing nearly $1.3 billion annually and holding $1.4 billion in assets. Richards herself pocketed pay of more than $590,000 in 2013, while more than 40 other Planned Parenthood execs make more than $200,000.

Richards admitted she “can’t think of a specific impact” of losing taxpayer dollars. We can think of 327,000 specific impacts.

(Incidentally, Richards also couldn’t think of any instances in which unborn children survive abortions. It’s amazing the sudden onset of amnesia a congressional hearing can spur.)

But back to funding, Planned Parenthood doesn’t “just get a big check from the federal government,” Richards said. “We, like other Medicaid providers, we are reimbursed directly for services provided.” And pulling federal funding “would deny people on Medicaid the ability to go to a provider of their choice, and many of them do go to Planned Parenthood for a variety of different reasons.”

According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, public expenditures for family planning exceeded $2.3 billion in FY 2010 — and 75% of this went toward Medicaid. It’s all part of the Title X Family Planning Program, enacted in 1970, in accordance with Article Nil, Section Nonexistent of the Constitution. This funding purportedly supports a variety of family planning and preventative health services.

Of course, for Planned Parenthood, this “variety” does not include basic women’s health services like mammograms — no matter how many times its defenders lie about that particular service.

Perhaps this is why Richards herself does not rely on Planned Parenthood for her own health care.

In fact, if Richards is to be believed (cue: sarcasm), just a teeny weeny bit of this “variety” is abortion. According to Richards, Planned Parenthood’s 327,000 annual abortions are just 3% of the health services offered by its clinics.

Hmm, that’s odd. Richards herself has said Planned Parenthood serves 2.7 million women each year. Do the math, and the percentage is closer to 12 million. Not only this, but as Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) noted during the hearing, more than 86% of Planned Parenthood’s non-government revenue in 2013 came from abortions.

Even Common Core math can’t make 86 equal anything close to 3.

Still, Richards attempted to skirt the truth, explaining that some people come to Planned Parenthood “more than once for different services.” And she pulled the famous “federal money does not go for abortions” lie, saying, “So the federal portion that we were discussing is reimbursement for preventative care services.” Perhaps in fantasyland she’s right, but saying taxpayer money doesn’t fund abortions is like saying you can pour a bucket of water in the deep end of a pool and keep it out of the shallow end. The taxpayer dollars doled to Planned Parenthood are entirely fungible — and paying for some services allows the abortion mill to divert other resources to practice its primary and deadly trade.

In truth, Richards and her corporation masked as a non-profit organization are cashing in — at the expense of taxpayers — on the blood and body parts of innocent babies. And how tightly Planned Parenthood is holding onto its rhetoric of lies shows just how much their factories of death stand to lose.

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Is it a controversy about fact or just the plain truth
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In a recent Republican party debate for a spot on the next Republican presidential ticket, Carly Fiorina came out with serious accusations about Planned Parenthood, abortion and the harvesting of brain tissue from a still living fetus.  The main-scream media jumped on her statements and sought to disprove them.  But, video was discovered which shows something very close to what Ms. Fiorina discussed during the debate.  While the jury may be out on all of her allegations, there remains enough evidence of horrific attitudes and actions to the extent that every one who purports to respect and glorify life should be deeply concerned.

The following is a link to a Breitbart News article:

Was Carly Fiorina right?  Please know that the videos accompanying the narrative portion of the report are very graphic.

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Marita: The dope on the Pope
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Greetings!

 

Even though I don’t like to write on the same topics other pundits are addressing, I assumed, that for this week, I’d write on the Pope. Some topics are just too big to ignore.

 

In this week’s column: The Pope, climate change and VW (attached and pasted-in-below), I, both, wrote on something most others aren’t and included the Pope’s visit.

 

I conducted an unofficial poll on my Facebook page in which I asked if people were following the VW scandal. Some were. Many were not. A few knew about it, but weren’t following it. Several indicated that they had no idea what I was talking about. The responses validated my premise: with all of the news coverage on the Pope’s visit, the VW scandal was under the radar for most—but, as I demonstrate in The Pope, climate change and VW, they are connected. Pope Francis is pushing for policies that promote emission reductions based on the belief that CO2 emissions are driving climate change and Volkswagen, I believe, engaged in the approach they did because of the impossible requirements to cut emissions.

 

In The Pope, climate change and VW I offer a quick overview of the VW story for those who haven’t followed it and then make the connection to the unattainable regulations and the carbon reduction policies driving them. Those who reviewed it prior to publication were very positive about the approach. One said: “Great article and exactly on point.”

 

Please post, pass on and/or personally enjoy The Pope, climate change and VW.

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

 

 

For immediate release: September 28, 2015

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

The Pope, climate change and VW

While Pope Francis was shuttled around during his historic visit to the U.S. in a Fiat, he shared the news cycle with Volkswagen.

 

The pope made headlines with his calls for action on climate change. USA Today touted: “Obama, Pope Francis praise each other on climate change.” In his September 23 speech from the White House lawn, the Pope addressed President Obama saying: “I find it encouraging that you are introducing an initiative for reducing air pollution.” Addressing that comment, Business Insider added: “He praised President Barack Obama for his proposals, which aim for the US to cut emissions by up to 28% over the next decade.”

 

The core of the entire climate change agenda is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions which proponents like to call “air pollution.” It comes from sources we can’t control: volcanoes; sources we can kind-of control: forest fires (better forest management would result in fewer fires) and human beings exhaling (reduce the population, reduce CO2 emissions); and sources we can control: the use of fossil fuels (we can virtually outlaw them as several countries, including the U.S., are trying to do).

 

The drive to cut CO2 emissions is at the root of Volkswagen’s unprecedented scandal that broke last week, resulting in the CEO’s abrupt ouster on September 23—the day that Pope Francis’ U.S. visit went into full swing.

 

With nonstop coverage of the papal activities—including his Fiat Popemobile—the Volkswagen story was likely lost on most Americans. But it is not going away.

 

On September 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed the scandal: Europe’s biggest auto maker, with 600,000 employees world-wide and 300,000 in Germany, utilized software on some VW and Audi diesel-powered cars to manipulate the results of routine emissions tests—allowing them pass strict emissions standards in Europe and the U.S. The “defeat devices” have reportedly been fitted to more than 11 million vehicles since 2008 and may cost Volkswagen up to $18 billion in fines in the U.S. alone. Owners of the impacted vehicles will need to have a heretofore unavailable “fix” installed and may have to provide a “proof of correction certificate” in order to renew their registration and will suffer “loss due to the diminished value of the cars.” As a result of the scandal, Volkswagen’s stock price and reputation have both fallen precipitously, and class-action lawsuits are already taking shape. Fund managers have been banned from buying VW’s stocks and bonds. Tens of thousands of new cars may remain unsold. USNews stated: “Whoever is responsible could face criminal charges in Germany.”

 

The question no one seems to be asking is: what would drive Europe’s biggest auto maker to make such a costly decision, to take a risk, from which it may be impossible to recover, and tarnish the “made-in-Germany brand”?

 

While the question isn’t asked, Reuters coverage of the story offers the answer: “Diesel engines use less fuel and emit less carbon—blamed for global warming—than standard gasoline engines. But they emit higher levels of toxic gases known as nitrogen oxides.”

 

In short, the answer is the drive to lower CO2 emissions and the policies that encourage reduction.

 

In BloombergView, Clive Crook offers this excellent explanation:

Beginning in the mid-1990s, mindful of their commitments to cut carbon emissions, Europe’s governments embarked on a prolonged drive to convert their car fleets from gasoline to diesel. With generous use of tax preferences, they succeeded. In the European Union as a whole, diesel vehicles now account for more than half of the market. In France, the first country to cross that threshold, diesel now accounts for roughly 80 percent of motor-fuel consumption.

 

What was the reasoning? Diesel contains more carbon than gasoline, but diesel engines burn less fuel: Net, switching to diesel ought to give you lower emissions of greenhouse gases. However, there’s a penalty in higher emissions of other pollutants, including particulates and nitrogen oxides, or NOx. Curbing those emissions requires expensive modifications to cars’ exhaust systems. To facilitate the switch, Europe made its emission standards for these other pollutants less stringent for diesel engines than for gasoline engines. The priority, after all, was to cut greenhouse gases.

 

If anyone could solve the dilemma, one would expect it to be the Germans, who excel in engineering feats. It is Germany that is touted as the world leader in all things green. The reality of achieving the goals, however, is far more difficult than passing the legislation calling for the energy transformation.

 

Addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s push for de-carbonization, BloombergBusiness Points out: “Merkel has built a reputation as a climate crusader during a decade as Chancellor.” She “has straddled between pushing to reduce global warming while protecting her country’s auto industry.”

 

Merkel is, apparently, bumping up against reality. After shutting down its nuclear power plants, Germany has had to rely more on coal. BloombergBusiness continues: “She successfully helped block tighter EU carbon emissions standards two years ago.” Those tighter emissions standards would have hurt Germany’s auto industry, which accounts for 1 in 7 jobs in the country and 20 percent of its exports. At last week’s Frankfurt Auto Show Merkel said: “We have to ensure politically that what’s doable can indeed be translated into law, but what’s not doable mustn’t become European law.”

 

Evidence suggests the issue “could be industry-wide.” CNBC reports: “several major companies having exposure to the same diesel technology.” BMW’s stock price plunged, according to BloombergBusiness: “after a report that a diesel version of the X3 sport utility vehicle emitted more than 11 times the European limit for air pollution in a road test.” The Financial Times quotes Stuart Pearson, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas, as saying: VW was “unlikely to have been the only company to game the system globally.” And an October 2014 study, cited in BloombergBusiness, claims that “road tests of 15 new diesel cars were an average of seven times higher than European limits.”

 

The VW emissions scandal is more than just a “‘bad episode’ for the car industry,” as Germany’s vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, called it. It provides a lesson in the collision of economic and environmental policies that strive to reach goals, which are presently technologically unachievable—a lesson that regulators and policy makers have yet to learn.

 

The Los Angeles Times (LAT) reports: “Regulators have ordered Volkswagen to come up with a fix that allows vehicles to meet environmental regulations.” If it were that easy, even economically possible, the much-vaunted German engineering could have solved the problem instead of developing technology that found a way around the rules. LAT concludes: “automotive experts believe any repair will diminish the driving dynamics of the vehicles and slash fuel economy—the two major characteristics that attracted buyers.”

 

The fact that, while waving the flag of environmental virtue advocated by Pope Francis, those, with the world’s best engineering at their fingertips, had to use the expertise to develop a work-around should serve as a lesson to policymakers who pass legislation and regulation on ideology rather than reality.

 

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Edgewood Food Pantry & Civitan Clothing Distribution
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Tomorrow (9.24.2015) and everything is free to those qualifying.

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Marita: Knows when the citizens are being flummoxed
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Link to: Not all energy is created equal

Greetings!

Last week, I was called to Washington, DC, to support Congress’ efforts to lift the oil export ban—known as HR 702. I am pleased to report a victory—albeit, just the first in a long process. The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced the bill with bipartisan support. Along with all the Republicans voting, three Democrat Representatives voted for the bill and four or five others indicated that they were open to the idea and might vote “yes” on the floor. The floor vote could happen as early as next week, though every representative with whom I met preferred a later October date that would remove it from the noise surrounding the Pope’s visit (likely my topic for next week) and the CR debate.

Despite the President’s announcement indicating that he doesn’t support the bill (and, therefore, would likely veto it), folks with whom I was working do see a path to victory in the Senate. But, as a part of the horse trading that goes on, that path will likely include a debate/discussion about renewing tax credits for renewable energy—which is the topic of my column for this week: Not all energy is created equal (attached and pasted-in-below). The wind PTC is a big issue as it is already expired and proponents are aggressively working to get it retroactively extended, because, as my column points out, the industry cannot achieve the projected growth needed to meet Obama’s Clean Power Plan goals without it.

My 48-hours in DC was very productive. I met with many allies who are also working to advance energy policy that embraces the free-market and limited-government perspective that undergirds most everything I write. Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy Not all energy is created equal.

 Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Sapphire_3560_ppc_4x5

For immediate release: September 21, 2015

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1248

 

 

Not all energy is created equal

Congress has taken action that actually advances free markets and limits government intrusion. I was in the room when, on September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee—with bipartisan support—advanced legislation to lift the 1970s-era ban on crude-oil exports. HR 702, “To adapt to changing crude oil market conditions,” is expected to receive a full floor vote within a matter of weeks.

 

The export ban is a relic of a bygone era during which ideas like “peak oil” and “energy scarcity” were the conventional wisdom. Despite all those who cried “wolf,” the U.S. is now the world’s largest combined oil-and-gas producer.

 

Ending this obsolete ban would unleash America’s energy producers on the global market, increasing domestic production and creating jobs. Additionally, reports from experts at the non-partisan Energy Information Administration and Government Accountability Office, plus consultants at IHS, indicate that it will also lower prices at the pump.

 

Like everything that seems to happen in Washington, DC, these days, this initial victory may have a price tag that prevents its final passage.

 

Getting the Democrats on board with removing the barrier to exporting America’s abundance may likely require giving them something they want.Morning Consult recently reported: “Momentum is building in Congress to repeal the antiquated ban on exporting crude oil. Lawmakers and energy industry representatives are talking about other energy policies that could be swapped or combined to achieve that objective. Renewable energy tax credits are part of the equation.”

 

Those “renewable energy tax credits” are mainly two: the wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) and solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). Like the oil-export ban, the wind PTC is an archaic policy that has no place in today’s modern reality of energy abundance.

 

Passed by Congress in 1992, the PTC pays the wind industry for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated over a ten-year period. No other mature energy source—natural gas, oil, or coal—can claim a similar carve out based on how much product they sell. The subsidy is so lavish that wind developers can sometimes sell their electricity at a loss and still profit. The New York Times has described this as wind’s “cannibal behavior” on the power grid.

 

The PTC costs taxpayers like you and me billions of dollars each year. Americans pay for wind twice: first in their federal tax bills, then in their local utility bills. According to a new study, commissioned by the Institute for Energy Research, electricity generated from new wind facilities is between three and four times as expensive as that from existing coal and nuclear power plants,.

 

The Senate Finance Committee claims a two-year extension would cost $10 billion over the next decade. After decades of subsidies and multiple PTC extensions, wind still generates less than 5 percent of our electricity.

 

Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who has long opposed the PTC extension, told me: “With a skyrocketing $16 trillion debt and an industry that is more than capable of standing on its own, there is no reason why the federal government should continue to subsidize the wind energy industry. Proponents of the Wind PTC continue to call for an extension—for the umpteenth time. This handout costs taxpayers billions and has caused significant price distortions in wholesale electricity markets that translate into real costs for everyday consumers. If we want a robust economy, it’s time to stop picking winners and losers in the energy marketplace and finally end the wind PTC. After two decades of pork, the wind looters need to stand on their own two feet. Most of the people in the wind industry I talk to know this, and I am confident that those individuals and others in the energy industry will enjoy many marketplace successes once we put a stop to the purely political policies that we have seen to date.”

 

Despite the mountain of evidence against wind subsidies—including increasing reports of health issues and concerns over bird kills—this summer, before the August recess, the Senate Finance Committee rushed through a package of expired tax provisions, including the wind PTC. Now, wind lobbyists are looking for a legislative “vehicle” to latch on to, preferably one with bipartisan support, to push through another PTC extension without a fair hearing, which is exactly why they’re eyeing the oil-export bill.

 

According to The Hill, Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) said he could consider lifting the ban “only if it’s tied to a permanent extension of the wind and solar tax credits.”

 

Swapping the PTC for oil exports is a bad deal, as lifting the ban deserves to pass in its own right. But what many don’t realize is that trading the PTC for oil exports is also a Faustian bargain that furthers President Obama’s destructive climate-change agenda.

 

The PTC and the president’s climate agenda are related because Obama’s sweeping new carbon regulations, known as the “Clean Power Plan”—finalized in August—require states to drastically cut carbon dioxide emissions. It does this by shuttering low-cost coal plants and building new wind and solar facilities. The problem: wind and solar are uneconomic without massive taxpayer handouts like the PTC and ITC and market-distorting mandates like state Renewable Portfolio Standards.

 

This scheme is the centerpiece of Obama’s climate legacy, which he hopes to cement in December at the United Nations climate conference in Paris.

 

These carbon regulations will inflict severe burdens on American families—especially the poorest among us who can least afford to pay higher energy prices. A recent study by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, for instance, found that Obama’s carbon rule would increase Black and Hispanic poverty by 23 and 26 percent, respectively. For all that pain, the regulations will, perhaps, reduce global temperature rise by 0.018 degrees Celsius in 2100—an undetectable amount.

 

Buried in hundreds of pages of “analysis,” the Environmental Protection Agency projects the wind industry will add more than 13 GW of electrical capacity each year from 2024-2030. For context, 13 GW is exactly how much capacity wind added in 2012, a record year. It is also the year in which rent-seeking wind barons rushed to build as many new turbines as possible to quality for the PTC, which expired at the end of the year. The following year, after the PTC expired, wind additions collapsed by more than 90 percent—which highlights the fact that the wind industry cannot survive in a free market.

 

This makes the wind PTC vital to Obama’s carbon regulations. His plan depends on exponential wind growth, and the wind industry depends on government handouts like the PTC to avoid total collapse, let alone grow. 

 

By not accepting a wind PTC tradeoff, Congress can deal a blow to corporate wind welfare and Obama’s carbon regulations in one shot. Congress must strip the PTC out of tax extenders and refuse to use wind subsidies as a bargaining chip. The two are totally unrelated. One is a liquid fuel used primarily for transportation. The other: a way to generate electricity, albeit inefficiently, ineffectively and uneconomically. One helps our trade deficit problem and increases revenues as FuelFix reports: “liberalizing crude trade spurs more domestic production, with a resulting boost in government revenue from the activity.” The other: a hidden tax that hurts all Americans.

 

By rejecting an extension of the wind PTC and lifting the ban on oil exports, Congress would end corporate welfare for wind lobbyists, deal a blow to Obama’s costly carbon regulations, and free America’s entrepreneurs to provide abundant, affordable, and reliable energy for all.

 

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Marita: could believe atonement will happen
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I hope Marita is right, but I just can’t believe the majority of congress (Jewish, Gentile or Muslim) is in tune to atone:

Greetings!

I have been writing about the ban on exporting U.S. oil for months. I believe I first addressed it in November in my column: Six energy policy changes to expect from GOP Congress. Since then, I’ve brought it up again when the news warranted. Looking back, all that seems to have been a building up to a time such as this. The unpopular Iran deal, a new study on where U.S. oil would likely flow if the ban was lifted, and Congress’ schedule have aligned. As I like to do, I’ve uniquely connected the dots. Later this week, the  House Energy and Commerce Committee will address lifting the oil export ban. Currently, it looks like I will be in DC for the full committee mark-up of HR 702 and other meetings on the matter.

This week’s column:  Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal (attached and pasted-in-below) will help set the stage for the discussion as Democrats are needed to help with the heavy lifting (pun intended). Interestingly, almost all of the Jewish Members are Democrats. If each of them were in support of lifting the ban—we’d be there. With this in mind, I wrote Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal.

 

Please follow me on Facebook and/or Twitter to stay informed on my activities this week—and every week. And, be sure to contact your legislators and tell them you stand with Israel: “lift the export ban.”

Thanks for posting, passing on, and/or personally enjoying Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal.

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1241

 

Lifting oil export ban: Atonement for Congressional members who support Iran deal

“Whether you support this deal or not, we can all agree that America’s commitment to Israel remains unshakeable. And we will continue—Democrats and Republicans united—to stand with Israel,” says a statement from Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). Yet, despite widespread opposition from Israel and pro-Israel groups, Schatz, and almost all his fellow Jewish Senators and Representatives, supported the Iran nuclear deal that appears to be done.

Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), on September 10, announced: “There’s no doubt whatsoever that the Congress of the United States will allow this agreement to go forward.”

Despite “a nearly $30 million advertising and lobbying effort to kill the accord,” the New York Times (NYT) reports, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—known as Aipac—suffered a “stinging defeat.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the deal will fuel Iran’s efforts to destroy Israel, calling it: “A stunning historic mistake.” Addressing Israel’s “diplomatic failure,” the NYT states: “Polls show that large majorities of Israeli Jews agree with him [Netanyahu] on Iran and deeply distrust President Obama.”

Polling within the U.S. reflects similar attitudes here at home: “The American people overwhelmingly oppose this agreement.” Republican pollster John McLaughlin, and Pat Caddell, a Democratic pollster, have conducted four national surveys on the Iran deal and charted the rising opposition to it. Their most recent, conducted on September 2 and 3, reveals the public’s animosity toward the deal: 78 percent wanted Congress to oppose it. The Hill reports: “65 percent say that it is so important that Congress votes on the Iran deal that if their senators voted to stop a vote in the Senate that they would never vote for them again. Only 24 percent say that it is unnecessary to vote. A plurality of Democrats (45 percent) say that it is important that there be a vote.” Yet Democrats, like Schatz, prevented a vote—leaving them in need of atonement.

Now, it is time to, according to NYT, “repair a troubled relationship between the United States and Israel badly frayed over the nuclear agreement with Iran.” In a planned November meeting between Netanyahu and Obama, the White House will offer “more military aid designed to bolster Israel’s defenses.”

Schatz claims: “we must find new ways to enhance our joint efforts to counter threats that endanger Israel every day.”

Israel does face threats “every day.” We know that Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has boldly proclaimed: “There will be no such thing as Israel in 25 years”—which CNN says: makes “a contentious deal pricklier.” We also know that Russia has offered to sell arms to Iran and is partnering with Iran in support of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad. Earlier this year, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah reportedly said: “A rich and strong Iran … will be able to stand by its allies and friends, and the peoples of the region, especially the resistance in Palestine, more than in any time in the past.”

A brief refresher in the region’s history makes clear why the above statements are important.

In October 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in what is known as the Yom Kippur war. With the help of a U.S. airlift of arms, and other military assistance from the Netherlands and Denmark, Israel began beating back the Arab gains. Because the three countries supported Israel, the “peoples of the region” stood together to use oil price increases as a weapon against Israel and its allies. The result? A total oil embargo was imposed on the United States, the Netherlands, and Denmark. The price of oil quadrupled, causing gas shortages and rationing.

Today, the U.S. has an abundance of oil and that oil could be used “to counter threats that endanger Israel every day”—if the oil export ban is lifted.

Hidden within the pages of a new study, released September 8, on the likely destinations of U.S. crude oil exports, is an explanation of how and why U.S. oil could “bolster Israel’s defenses.”

Engineers at Turner, Mason & Company, which focuses on petroleum refining, marketing, and transportation, did the study. It analyzed the match between U.S. crude and where it will likely flow if the export ban is lifted. Using “a variety of fundamental and commercial factors,” the study concludes: “the large majority of crude exported from the U.S. in an open market environment would stay in the Atlantic basin, flowing to refineries in Europe and other Western Hemisphere markets.” The rationale revolves around the type of crude oil needed for refineries. U.S. “light tight oil” is a good fit for refineries that depend on declining supplies from the North Sea and the increasingly volatile Russian source. Surprisingly, Israel is one of the Russian-oil-dependent countries.

On page 27, the study states:

“World oil markets do not always operate in a pure economic fashion, and there are many other factors that influence crude trade flows. Much of this owes to the fact that national oil companies and cartels (OPEC) are major players in crude markets, and often prioritize political, foreign relation or national security goals above economics. As evidenced by the current U.S. export restrictions, government policy can have major impacts on crude flows even in countries where the oil industry is not nationally controlled. As a result, geopolitical factors and events (i.e., conflicts, sanctions) have historically had a great impact on crude oil supply and demand and have greatly impacted crude flows for years, and this will continue to be the case in the future.”

Later, it adds: “Russia has not been hesitant in the past to use energy as a geopolitical weapon.”

Iran wants to end Israel. Russia is partnering with Iran and Syria. Syria attacked Israel in 1973. These are all widely known facts. But, you may not have known, Russia is a leading supplier of crude oil to Israel.

The study points out the geopolitics: “Most Middle East producers (with the exception of semi-autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan) refuse to provide crude to Israel.” Israel currently satisfies its demand, approximately 250,000 barrels per day, with Russian oil.

It is not hard to imagine a world where, in cooperation with Iran and Syria, Russia, which has been pivoting toward Asia for its crude oil sales, would cut off crude oil supplies to Israel. The U.S. has emergency accommodations in place should that happen, but it would be so much better if the supply lines were already in place, removing the Iran/Russia/Syria partnership’s ability to use oil as a weapon. It is for this reason, the study, on page 29, states: “The opportunity to obtain crude oil supply from the U.S. would be a major benefit for Israel’s security of supply and provide further strengthening of the economic ties between the two countries.”

Rather than falling victim to geopolitics, with the confidence of U.S. oil, Israel can remain strong while surrounded by enemies.

If the White House—and Senators like Schatz—really wants to find new ways to help Israel, lifting the 40-year-old oil export ban should be a no-brainer. Yom Kippur—the “day of atonement” on the Jewish calendar—is September 23. It would be a perfect day for Democrats and Republicans to be united in standing with Israel by lifting the export ban and giving Israel the security of supply and strengthen the frayed ties between two long-time allies.

Action on this issue is expected this week. Call your legislators and tell them you stand with Israel: “lift the export ban.”

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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The tragedy that is Obama
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As Mr. Alexander explains, Obama has helped to create a giant killing machine that is being paid for with the slaughter of innocent refugees.  He created it, but he doesn’t seem capable of controlling it, and it looks as though he has no ambition to bring it to a stop.  Read on below to see just how callous Obama has become.  And, we would be remiss if we did not provide this link:

“The Patriot Post (http://patriotpost.us/subscribe/ )”

Alexander’s Column

Obama’s Middle East Legacy: A Catastrophic Humanitarian Crisis

Action and Inaction Have Consequences

By Mark Alexander · September 9, 2015   Print

“A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.” —Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 69 (1787)

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There has been a lot of heated and well-deserved debate about the illegal migration across our southern border — most of those migrants seeking economic opportunities, and most ending up costing American taxpayers far more than any economic benefit. Indeed, they are pouring across that border because Barack Obama has opened the flood gates, fervently hoping that these illegal immigrants and their relatives here will prop up the Democratic Party in perpetuity.

Today, there is another mass migration underway, which is also the direct result of, and irrevocably tied to, another of Obama’s cynical political calculations.

For the past week, the media has served up a steady stream of heart-wrenching images and stories about refugees fleeing Islamist terror in the Middle East. That coverage was sparked by an image of a drowned three-year-old washed up on a Turkish beach, but the fact is more than 2,000 refugees have drowned in the exodus. There are now almost five million people exiting Syria and other nations in the region, and another six million remain displaced internally.

But, of course, the media fails to report what gave rise to this crisis.

The hard truth is that Obama’s ill-advised withdrawal from Iraq, an asinine re-election campaign ploy, left a power vacuum in the heart of the Middle East. That void was rapidly filled by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant as Syria collapsed into civil war.

Obama’s politically motivated malfeasance has created an epic humanitarian crisis.

My Special Forces contacts on the ground there right now, all of whom are seasoned OIF and OEF veterans, understand well the causal relationship between the Obama/Clinton policy failures, the rise of Islamist fascism and the resulting humanitarian crisis.

My contacts refer to the largest of the refugee sites on the Jordanian border as “Camp Obama,” and dubbed another massive site “Camp Red Line” in reference to Obama’s faux threats against Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad.

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Some Leftmedia outlets have hinted at the chain of evidence directly linking Obama to the crisis, but most are adopting Hillary’s “What difference does it make?” refrain. The difference is accountability.

This week, Fred Hiatt, editor of The Washington Post’s editorial page, offered an honest, accurate and scornful indictment of Obama’s policy failures in the region.

More on that in a minute, but first, how is it that babies are now washing up on beaches?

By way of quick review, in 2008, Obama campaigned successfully on “ending the war in Iraq.” Not only did he dupe a sufficient percentage of the American people, he duped the leftist Norwegian Nobel Committee into bestowing upon this completely unknown foreign policy neophyte its once-noble Nobel Peace Prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.”

In 2011, opting for his now infamous “Obama Doctrine of appeasement” instead of capitalizing on George W. Bush’s successful “surge” strategy and establishing a status of forces agreement (SOFA) to secure our hard-won gains in Iraq and the region, Obama decided to abandon Iraq. He declared, “Everything Americans have done in Iraq — all the fighting, all the dying, the bleeding, the building and the training and the partnering — all of it has led to this moment of success. … We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.”

Not exactly.

In 2012, amid the cascading failure of his domestic economic and social policies, Obama centered his re-election campaign on his faux foreign policy successes, which were crafted around the mantras, “Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq. I did,” and, “al-Qa’ida is on the run.” And again, he duped voters into re-electing him, with a little help from Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi Cover-Up.

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Predictably, Obama’s “hope and change” retreat from the region left fertile ground for the resurgence of a far more dangerous incarnation of Islamic terror that calls itself the Islamic State. IS rapidly displaced al-Qa’ida as the dominant asymmetric threat to security in the region and, thus, to our own national security.

Remember Obama’s much-touted “Arab Spring“? The sprawling Middle East meltdown is now one hard reality of his amateur ventures into foreign policy. And the resulting influx of millions of primarily Muslim refugees is not only a significant security risk, but also will put an enormous strain on Europe’s failing economy.

So, how’s that Nobel Peace Prize working out for ya?

In answer to that rhetorical question, let me offer a few insights from the aforementioned Fred Hiatt at The Washington Post.

Hiatt writes, “This may be the most surprising of President Obama’s foreign-policy legacies: not just that he presided over a humanitarian and cultural disaster of epochal proportions, but that he soothed the American people into feeling no responsibility for the tragedy. Starvation in Biafra a generation ago sparked a movement. Synagogues and churches a decade ago mobilized to relieve misery in Darfur. When the Taliban in 2001 destroyed ancient statues of Buddha at Bamiyan, the world was appalled at the lost heritage. Today the Islamic State is blowing up precious cultural monuments in Palmyra, and half of all Syrians have been displaced. More than a quarter-million have been killed.”

“Surprising”? Actually, the emergence of some tyrannical entity to fill the power void created by Obama’s retreat was entirely predictable — and predicted. Military writers since the time of Sun Tzu have understood that power does not tolerate a vacuum. In this case, the Islamic State filled the vacuum, and the consequences, visceral but still seemingly a distant shore away, are rapidly approaching the U.S. homeland.

Hiatt would have done better to write that Obama has not just presided over a disaster of epochal proportions, but that the Obama administration itself has proven to be an epic disaster, and one notable outcome is this humanitarian catastrophe.

Hiatt laments that, even given our critical national security interests in the region, America has ignored the crisis. “Obama — who ran for president on the promise of restoring the United States’ moral stature — has constantly reassured Americans that doing nothing is the smart and moral policy. … Perversely, the worse Syria became, the more justified the president seemed for staying aloof.”

But Hiatt fails short of connecting the dots between Obama’s 2012 campaign promises and the abandonment of Iraq and Syria. He does admit, however, “When Obama pulled all U.S. troops out of Iraq, critics worried there would be instability.”

That is wholly understated.

So what is Obama doing now?

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I have received two Obama “Demo Dump” emails this week. The first was entitled, “What We’re Doing for the Next Few Days.” No mention of refugees, but a lot of first class flights and accommodations around the nation at taxpayer expense.

The second was entitled, “Lessons We Should Learn from the Iraq War.” No, it made no mention of refugees or the connection between their plight and Obama’s failed policies.

Instead, it was a promo piece for the Iran deal: “What have you learned from the Iraq war? Some, it is clear, have learned disturbingly little. … This deal with Iran … represents a higher form of renewed American leadership. … Our generation has charted a new course for the future. Embracing tough, principled diplomacy as a first resort is the best way forward for our nation and the world.”

“Tough, principled diplomacy”? Remember all those “tough UN Resolutions,” including the final unanimous Resolution 1441 prior to the invasion of Iraq, offering Saddam Hussein “a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations”? That opportunity had previously been offered in Resolution 660, Resolution 661, Resolution 678, Resolution 686, Resolution 687, Resolution 688, Resolution 707, Resolution 715, Resolution 986 and Resolution 1284.

Now ask yourself, “How many times has Iran defied such ‘tough diplomacy’?”

Apparently Obama has “learned disturbingly little” from his policy of appeasement. He advanced a faux dichotomy, deal or war, when strengthening sanctions already in place was, and remains, the most obvious solution.

But now that the Senate Democrats have blocked opposition to Obama’s “treaty” with Iran, he is endeavoring to pivot his defining legacy from humanitarian disaster to what he insists is a “great deal” preventing Iran nukes.

Make no mistake: The epic humanitarian crisis resulting from Obama’s failed Mid-East policies will prove minor by comparison to the catastrophic potential of Obama’s “Iran Nuke Deal.” Of course, he is leaving the resolution of those consequences to the Israeli Defense Forces.

And on a final note: In all fairness, Obama alone should not bear the whole burden of babies washing up on beaches. That responsibility is equally shared by all those sycophantic “useful idiots” who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012.

In the words of Noah Webster, “[I]f the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted…” Indeed, when that government is the sole global superpower, by extension the entire world will soon be corrupted.

Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

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Marita: On the trail of Obama’s missing polar bears
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Public Domain CC0

No Polar Bears for you Obama, and no soup either.  Marita Noon explains how the bears went missing.  Be sure to contribute to the Kickstart project mentioned in her piece.

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Obama’s Alaska trip: where were the polar bears?

Am I the only one who finds it incongruous that President Obama, when on a carefully choreographed trip to Alaska, even manning his own Instagram account to engage young people, to spotlight the effects of global warming—which he says is happening “right now”—announced the accelerated acquisition of ice breakers? During his trip, he told Alaskans that by the end of this century, Alaska will see “warming of between 6 and 12 degrees,” which he explained: “means more melting.” Six to 12 degrees is a lot of warming, therefore, a lot of melting—which would seem to require fewer ice breakers not more.

I applaud the attempt to catch up, as I’ve written previously, I think America is woefully behind in the Arctic—where Russia is increasingly aggressive. But you have to wonder what his speech writers were thinking to have him asking Congress to spend more on ice breakers on the same trip where he’s predicting more warming.

Perhaps he really knows, what many scientists are claiming: Arctic ice is growing—with updated NASA data showing polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 (the year satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps) average. This, despite former Vice President Al Gore’s claim that the Arctic ice cap could be completely gone by now. In fact, according to the April 1896 edition of National Geographic, Alaska, glaciers have been retreating there since George Washington was president.

In a September 4 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Patrick Moore, one of the co-founders of Greenpeace, said: “It is a historical fact that the glacier in Glacier Bay began its retreat around 1750. By the time Capt. George Vancouver arrived there in 1794 the glacier still filled most of the bay but had already retreated some miles. When John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, visited in 1879, he found that the glacier had retreated more than 30 miles from the mouth of the bay, according to the National Park Service, and by 1900 Glacier Bay was mostly ice-free.”

Another thing surprised me about his trip. An AP report of Obama’s Alaska visit states: “every stop was elaborately staged to showcase the president in front of picture-perfect natural wonders. …the White House arranged for photographers and reporters to pull up alongside him in a separate boat, capturing stirring images of the president gazing wistfully from the deck at serene waters and lush mountain vistas.” Yet, with all this planning for dramatic effect, there were no polar bears—not even mentioned.

Well, one polar bear might have been spotted: Frostpaw. The Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) has a polar bear costume (“made entirely out of synthetic materials,” according to the Vineyard Gazzette—which means made from petroleum products) that it drags out and a staffer dons to follow Obama, and remind him, as the press release says:

  • Rescind proposals to drill for oil in the Arctic and along the Atlantic coast;
  • Halt all new fossil fuel development on public land;
  • Cut greenhouse pollution from airplanes and other unregulated sources;
  • Reject, once and for all, the Keystone XL pipeline; and
  • Be an international climate leader.

CBD claims Frostpaw was dispatched to Alaska, but there are no reports that Obama got to see it.

Now, I understand that his three-day journey didn’t take him to locales where the real white bears frolic, but since they’ve become the symbol of Al Gore’s global warming scare, you’d think he’d at least mention them while he was in there—after all when people think of Alaska, they think of polar bears. What better imagery to evoke?

Once again, perhaps his speech-writers were aware of claims of falsified records and the besmirched Charles Monnett (whose observations of drowned polar bears helped galvanize the global warming movement), and reports of rebounding polar bear populations. While they don’t get much mainstream press coverage, several scientists are reporting an unprecedented increase in the world’s polar bear population.

One of the foremost authorities on polar bears, Canadian biologist, Dr. Mitchell Taylor, testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. He said: “Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.”

Then there is Dr. Susan J. Crockford, an evolutionary biologist in British Columbia, who has studied polar bears for most of her 35-year career. She claims polar bears are threatened by too much ice. She’s released a new, in-depth report on the relationship between sea ice and polar bears, entitled Arctic Fallacy—but you don’t see her conclusions touted in the New York Times.

In his book, Landscapes & Cycles: An Environmentalist’s Journey to Climate Skepticism, biologist and ecologist Jim Steele argues: “glaciers have retreated and expanded numerous times since the end of the last ice age. Polar bear numbers are at record highs with approximately 25,000 bears. And Arctic sea ice, which had precipitously declined from the mid-2000s to 2013, has had a reversal since then, now equaling historic levels considered normal.”

But, if they don’t fit the accepted propaganda, we don’t hear about these reports.

Filmmaker J.D. King is trying to change that through a new film: Icebear. Following the success of his two previous films—Blue and Crying Wolf, King is in the midst of a Kickstart campaign (ending September 24) to fund the film. He explains: “It is very important to raise the money for the movie through crowdfunding. This needs to be a film by the people’s demand and support—so that it cannot be accused of being a product of a special interest group or organization.”

On the crowd-funding site, King offers a variety of facts about polar bears—with links to the source data. He explains: “The power of the media is great, as evident by how they’ve chosen to present only one side of polar bear story. They’ve used polar bears, misused science, and preyed upon people’s emotions all the while ignoring any facts that contradict the narrative they want to make reality. But if we’re not getting the whole truth about polar bears, why should we accept the larger narrative about man-made, catastrophic climate change?” This is why he wants to produce Icebear—but he needs our help. Will you kick in?

The polar bears are there—which is maybe why President Obama didn’t even mention them on his Alaska trip. He wanted to “spotlight the effects of global warming” and a rebounding polar bear population doesn’t fit the narrative.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Marita: Unappreciative for attacks on her journalistic integrity
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makingitworse

Here is all of the story.  I hope you’ll understand why the renewed interest our Dear Leader has regarding his travels to Alaska, etc.

Greetings!

Sunday, a week ago, a journalist friend forwarded an embargoed press release to me. It was to be released the next day. At the time, I’d just completed my column Oil’s Down, Gasoline Isn’t. What’s Up? It was too late for me to switch topics—though the press release’s content tempted me; it fit so much of my general messaging.

I watched throughout the past week and didn’t see that the report announced in the press release had received the attention it deserved, so I chose it for my column this week.

The press release’s headline was: E&E Legal Releases Report Exposing Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda. I am sure you can see why it caught my eye. In the writing of this week’s column, I read the entire 55 page report and incorporated several additional features. I believe the result is powerful: Hidden emails reveal a secret anti-fossil fuel network involving the White House, Democrat governors, wealthy donors and foundations, and front groups (attached and pasted-in-below). Covering the content of a 55 page report, means this week’s column is a bit longer than my usual. I am not sure how I will edit it down to the 900- and 600-word versions required by the newspapers—but I always do.

The content of this week’s column will morph into the speech I’ll be giving tonight at the National Association of Royalty Owners Appalachia Chapter’s Annual Meeting at the Greenbrier in West Virginia.

Please help me spread this important message by posting, passing on and or personally enjoying Hidden emails reveal a secret anti-fossil fuel network involving the White House, Democrat governors, wealthy donors and foundations, and front groups.

Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Marita Noon 2015 Turquiose

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

 

 

Hidden emails reveal a secret anti-fossil fuel network involving the White House, Democrat governors, wealthy donors and foundations, and front groups

Most of us feel that time goes by faster as we get older. It does. When you are five years old, one year represents 20 percent of your life. Yet, when you are fifty, that same calendar year is only 2 percent of your life—making that single timeframe much smaller. Those of us involved in fighting the bad energy policies coming out of Washington have a similar feeling: the second term of the Obama Administration seems to be throwing much more at us and at such speed that we can barely keep up. Likewise, they are.

We knew that President Obama was planning to fundamentally transform America, but even many of his initial supporters have been shocked as his true intentions have been revealed. Following his November 2012 reelection, his administration has removed any pretense of representing the majority of Americans and has pursued his ideological agenda with wild abandon—leaving many of us feeling incapacitated; thrown to the curb as it speeds by.

His legacy climate-change agenda is at the core of the rapid-fire regulations and the disregard for any speed bump the courts may place in front of the administration. When the Supreme Court smacked it down for failing to consider economic impacts of the mercury and air toxics standards for power plants, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded with a shrug, as their goal had essentially already been met. On August 27, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction—blocking EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from enforcing the Waters of the United States rule in the thirteen states that requested the injunction. The response? The Hill reports: “the Obama administration says it will largely enforce the regulation as planned.”

Having failed to push the unpopular policies through Congress, the administration has resorted to regulatory overreach—and assembled a campaign to use friendly governors and state attorney general offices, in collaboration with pressure groups and ideologically aligned benefactors, to advance the agenda.

The White House knows that the public is not with them. While polls show that slightly more than half of the American public believe the “effects of global warming are already happening,” it repeatedly comes in at the bottom of the list of priorities on which we think Obama and Congress should focus. The President’s pet policy fares even worse when pollsters ask if Americans agree: “government should do more to curb climate change, even at the expense of economic growth?” Only 12 percent “strongly agree.” Additionally, the very age group—young voters—that helped propel Obama into the Oval Office, is the group least convinced that climate change is a reality and the least “likely to support government funding for climate change solutions.”

It is, presumably, for this reason that a scheme hatched by now-disgraced former Oregon Governor Kitzhaber’s highest-paid aide Dan Carol—“a former Democratic opposition researcher,” who, according to the Oregonian, “worked on behalf of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama”—received an enthusiastic response from the White House and its allies. Remember, Kitzhaber resigned from office on February 13, 2015, amid allegations of criminal wrongdoing for the role his fiancée, Cylvia Hayes, held in his office and whether she used that role to obtain private consulting work promoting the climate agenda. Carol, who was paid close to double Kitzhaber’s salary, according to a new report from Energy & Environment Legal Institute, left his public position “after appearing to have too closely intertwined government and the tax-payer dependent ‘clean energy’ industry with interest group lobbies.”

The goal of what was originally called “Dan’s concept” was to bring about a “coalescence of private financial and ideological interests with public offices to advance the officeholders’ agenda and political aspiration”—more specifically: “to bring the Obama Administration’s plans to reality and to protect them.”

This was done, according to dozens of emails obtained through federal and state open record laws, “through a coordinated campaign of parallel advocacy to support close coordination of public offices” and involved a “political operation with outside staff funded by some of the biggest names in left-liberal foundation giving,” including, according to the emails, Tom Steyer, Michael Bloomberg, the Rockefeller Brothers, and the Hewlett Foundation. The first emails in the scandal began in mid-2013.

Kitzhaber wasn’t the only governor involved—he’s just the only one, so far, to resign. Many Democrat governors and their staff supported the scheme. You’d expect that California’s Governor Jerry Brown or Virginia’s Terry McAuliffe are part of the plan—called, among other names, the Governors Climate Compact—as they are avid supporters of the President’s climate-change initiatives. What is surprising is Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear’s “quiet engagement.” He decried Obama’s Clean Power Plan (Final rule announced on August 3, 2015), as being “disastrous” for Kentucky. In a statement about the Plan, he said: “I have remained steadfast in my support of Kentucky’s important coal and manufacturing industries, and the affordable energy and good jobs they provide the Commonwealth and the nation.” Yet, he isn’t opposing the rule and emails show that he is part of the “core group of governors quietly working to promote the climate agenda.”

In response to the records request, Beshear’s office “asserts that ‘no records’ exist in its files involving the Steyer campaign.” The E&E Legal report continues: “Numerous emails from other governors copying a senior Beshear aide on her official account, emails which Beshear’s office surely possesses, unless it has chosen to destroy politically damaging emails.” An email bearing that aide’s name, Rebecca Byers, includes Kentucky as one of the states “that can’t commit to the GCC [Governors Climate Compact] publicly now but would welcome quiet engagement.”

Other states indicated in the emails include Minnesota, Rhode Island, Illinois, Connecticut, California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Delaware, Maryland, Colorado, New York, Vermont, and Virginia. Three newly elected Republican Governors have been targeted by the campaign—Larry Hogan (MD), Charlie Baker (MA), and Bruce Rauner (IL). Reelected Republican Governor Rick Snyder (MI) has apparently joined the “core group.”

I’ve read the entire report—which had me holding my breath as if I were reading a spy thriller—and reviewed the emails.

The amount of coordination involved in the multi-state plan is shocking. The amount of money involved is staggering—a six-month budget of $1,030,00 for the orchestrators and multi-state director and $180,000 to a group to produce a paper supporting the plan’s claims. And, as the 55-page report points out, this collection of emails is in no way complete. At the conclusion of the executive summary: “Context and common sense indicate that the emails E&E Legal obtained and detail in this report do not represent all relevant correspondence pulling together the scheme they describe. Public records laws extend to those records created, sent or received by public servants; private sector correspondence is only captured when copying public offices, with the caveat that most of the White House is exempt. Further, however, the records we have obtained reflect more than the time and other parameters of our requests; they are also a function of the thoroughness of offices’ responses, the willingness of former and current staff to search nonofficial accounts, and even several stonewalls as noted in the following pages.”

The E&E Legal report was of particular interest to me in that it followed the theme of my extensive coverage of Obama’s green-energy crony-corruption scandal. Many of the same names, with which I’d become familiar, popped up over and over again: Terry McAuliffe—who received government funding for his failed electric car enterprise; Cathy Zoe—who worked for the Department of Energy, and, of course, John Podesta—who ran the Center for American Progress and who helped write the 2009 Stimulus Bill, and who then became a “senior advisor” to President Obama and is presently campaign manager for Hillary Clinton.

It also caught my attention because little more than a month ago—perhaps with a hint that this report was forthcoming—the HuffPost published a story claiming that groups like mine were part of a “secret network of fossil fuel and utility backed groups working to stop clean energy.” Calling me—along with others—out by name, the author states: “The strategy of creating and funding many different organizations and front groups provides an artificial chorus of voices united behind eliminating or weakening renewable energy laws.” He concludes that the attacks “are the result of coordinated, national campaigns orchestrated by utilities and fossil fuel companies through their trade associations and front groups.”

Oh, how I wish we were that well-coordinated and funded. If we were, I would have written this column last week when the E&E Legal report was released. Instead of receiving the information from the source, a New York City journalist forwarded it to me.

Yes, I am part of a loosely affiliated network of people who share similar concerns. Once a year, I meet with a group of private citizens and activists over property rights issues. I am on an email list of individuals and groups opposing wind turbines—often for different reasons. I have a cadre of scientists I’ve met at different meetings upon whom I do call for their varied expertise. Individuals often email me tips and news stories. True, most of the folks on my nearly 5000-person email distribution list are part of the energy industry—though there are plenty of concerned citizens, too. In 2014, the average donation to my organization was under $500.

Imagine what we could do with the same amount of money and coordination the E&E Legal report revealed—after all we have the public on our side—average citizens whose utility bills are going up by double digits due to the policies espoused by President Obama and his politically connected allies who benefit from American’s tax dollars.

I hope you’ll join our chorus—you can subscribe and/or contribute to my efforts. We are not working in the shadows and are, in fact, proud of our efforts on behalf of all Americans, their jobs, and energy that is effective, efficient, and economical.

If this small—but organized and well-funded—group pushing Obama’s agenda were allowed to run rampant, without the roadblocks little pockets of opposition (like my group) erect though public education and exposure of the facts (such this E&E legal report), it is scary to think about where America would be today. Remember, you are either part of the problem or part of the solution.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Marita: What you need to know about gas and oil prices
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Greetings!

 

Wow! It’s been a rough ride in the markets the past few days. While I can’t pontificate on that, I can answer a related question that people have asked me—which became the theme for this week’s column: Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. What’s up? (attached and pasted-in-below). While not as political as much of what I write, and more geared to the consumer, those who’ve read the review draft have been very supportive. My go-to guy on energy economics said: “If this doesn’t get you a call from FOX Business, nothing ever will. Fantastic article and very informative, you don’t need anything from me. It stands on its own!” Even my proofreader commented: “I’ve wondered the same thing. Thanks for an easy to understand explanation!” I hope Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. What’s up? Helps you understand–or explain the situation to someone else.

 

Last week, just after we sent my weekly column out, I became aware that a local newspaper had published a letter-to-the-editor that I’d written weeks ago in response to a front page story someone had shared with me. I’d about given up that they’d ever publish it and was disappointed as I’d put a lot of effort into crafting my response—even consulting with experts to be sure everything was accurate. Here’s the original article: Tech climate researcher appears on ‘700 Club’–and my response: Use sound mind to evaluate climate alarms. I hope you’ll check them both out. Maybe even add your own comments!

 

For those of you who publish my work, one more thing: I have new headshots (attached). I couldn’t decide which I liked better so I bought them both. Please exchange your preferred shot for the older one you’ve been using.

 

Thanks for posting, passing on, and/or personally enjoying Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. What’s up?

 

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

 

 

For immediate release. August 24, 2015

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 901

 

 

Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. What’s up?

A little more than a year ago, oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The national average for gasoline was in the $3.50 range. In late spring, oil was $60ish and the national average for gas was around $2.70. The price of a barrel of oil has plunged to $40 and below—yet, prices at the pump are just slightly less than they were when oil was almost double what it is today.

 

Oil and gasoline prices usually travel up or down in sync. But a few weeks ago the trend lines crossed and oil continued the sharp decline while gasoline has stayed steady—even increasing.

 

Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. Consumers are wondering: “What’s up?”

 

Even Congress is grilling refiners over the disparity.

 

While, like most markets, the answer is complicated, there are some simple responses that even Congress should be able to understand. The short explanation is “refineries”—but there’s more to that and some other components, too.

 

Within the U.S. exists approximately 20 percent of the world’s refining capacity. Fuel News explains that “on a perfect day,” these domestic facilities could process more than 18 million barrels of crude oil. But due, in large part, to an anti-fossil fuel attitude, it is virtually impossible to get a new refinery permitted in America. Most refineries today are old—the newest major one was completed in 1977. Most are at least 40 years old and some are more than 100. Despite signs of aging, refining capacity has continued to grow. Instead of producing at 70 percent capacity, as they were as little as a decade ago, most now run at 90 percent. They’ve become Rube Goldberg contraptions that have been modified, added on to, and upgraded. The system is strained.

 

To keep operating, these mature refineries need regular maintenance—usually done on the shoulders of the busy driving seasons and when systems need to be reconfigured for the different winter and summer blends. Even then, things break. Sometimes a quick repair can keep it up and running until the scheduled maintenance—known as “turnaround.” Sometimes, not. Fixing the equipment failures on the aging facilities can take weeks.

 

This year, several unexpected maintenance issues happened in the spring. Other refineries worked overtime to make up the shortage. That, plus low crude prices, means that many refiners didn’t shutdown for the usual spring turnaround. Fuel News notes, potential profit encouraged refiners to “get while the getting’s good.”

 

This pedal-to-the-metal approach is catching up with the sagging systems. On August 8, BP’s Whiting, IN, refinery, the largest supplier of gasoline in the Midwest, faced an unplanned shutdown due to a leak and possible fire hazard in its Pipestill 12 distillation unit—which processes about 40 percent of its 413,000 barrel per day capacity.

 

The closure of the largest of Whiting’s three units caused an immediate jump in gasoline prices in the Midwest. Stockpiles were drawn down to fill demand during summer’s peak driving season. Gasoline has been moved—via pipeline, truck, and train—from other parts of the country to balance out supply. So, while the biggest price increase was in states like Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois, prices raised nationwide beginning on August 11.

 

Meanwhile, because the Whiting plant wasn’t sucking up crude oil, its supplies grew and drove crude prices down further—hitting a six-year low. The Financial Times reports: “An outage at Whiting’s main crude distillation unit could add almost 1m [million] barrels to Cushing [The OK oil trading and storage center] every four days as long as it is out.”

 

Making matters worse, another Midwest refinery, Marathon’s Robinson, IL, 212,000 barrels per day facility is down for repairs that are expected to take two months.

 

Others smaller outages include Philadelphia Energy Solutions and the Coffeyville Resources’ refinery in Kansas. BloombergBusiness states: “As many as seven other Midwest refineries could shut units for extended time this fall.” Though, other reports indicate that some of the planned maintenance may be put off due to profit margins that are at a seven-year high.

 

Adding to the price increases due to refinery issues, are two other factors—both having to do with the calendar.

 

First, we are almost to Labor Day, which is considered the end of the summer driving season. It is when families make that one last trip to the lake or to visit grandma—which always causes a jump in demand that tightens supplies. This year, with two big refineries down, the usual spike could well be exacerbated.

 

The other is hurricane season. While we are just past its peak, we’ve only had one hurricane so far: Hurricane Danny—which last week was barreling toward the Northern Caribbean islands, with potential to hit the refinery-rich Gulf Coast. On Friday August 21, it moved from Tropical Storm Danny to Category 3 Hurricane status. It has since weakened, but its presence caused risk and supply concerns.

 

High summer-driving demands and unscheduled refinery repairs have combined to reduce supply of gasoline, and raise the price, thus the need for crude oil—especially in the Midwest—is down. Crude oil inventories at the Cushing hub continue to increase and add to the current oversupply and slide in oil prices.

 

While there’s some other contributing factors, the current mix of supply and demand explains: “what’s up?” The lack of new refineries punishes the whole system. Gasoline prices are up—hurting consumers. Crude prices are down—hurting producers.

 

 

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marita: You colored the Animas … Now leave our souls alone
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As Marita reports, the idiots that colored the Animas (soul in Spanish) are intent on messing with our backyard in the very near future.  Have a peek at Marita.s latest:

Greetings!

Being based in New Mexico,  the obvious thing for me to address this week was the EPA’s disaster at the Gold King Mine. However, you know, I like to address stories that are underreported and the orange river got plenty of eyeballs. While I was making my decision on what to cover this week, a source sent me several links addressing WOTUS—which I haven’t written on at all. Upon investigation, I was surprised to learn that the deadline for the implementation of this new rule is nearly upon us—and it has big implications for America’s energy development. I thought: “If I don’t know about this, chances are high, my reader’s don’t either.”

While I was heading away from writing on the spill and toward WOTUS. I received a phone call from one of my mentors: Paul Driessen. He was writing on the spill and had some New Mexico questions for me. I was able to share some of my thoughts with him. Once I knew he was addressing the issues (including some of my ideas), I easily made the decision to go with WOTUS. Driessen did a great job with the topic. I hope you will check it out! I sent him my WOTUS draft and he liked it too: “This is an excellent in-depth article—maybe the best and most detailed analysis I’ve seen so far. Thank you for your hard work in bringing all this to my and all of our attention.”

Yes, The Agency that contaminated the Animas River is about to start regulating water that may be in your backyard (attached and pasted-in-below), is a bit of a “detailed analysis,” but I think it is easy enough for the average reader to get the hard message: The EPA is coming soon to a backyard near you. WOTUS is a major expansion of power and intrusion on private property rights.

 

Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy The Agency that contaminated the Animas River is about to start regulating water that may be in your backyard.

Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon

marita Noon 1

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

The Agency that contaminated the Animas River is about to start regulating water that may be in your backyard

Unless a federal judge issues a preliminary injunction, the definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” will change on August 28—giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate the water in your backyard (even the water that might be in your backyard due to a heavy rain). Even, according to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: “any area where agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.”

 

Thirty-one states, in four districts, have filed motions with the federal courts to block the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) from beginning to enforce the new “Waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS), which represents a new interpretation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Federal Register calls the new rule “definitional” and states: “The rule will ensure protection for the nation’s public health and aquatic resources, and increase CWA program predictability and consistency by clarifying the scope of ‘waters of the United States’ protected under the Act.”

 

WOTUS was published in the Federal Register on June 29 and will become effective on August 28.

 

The interpretation is important. The CWA used to apply to “navigable waters,” which now, as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently said: “include almost any piece of land that gets wet and puddles.”

 

Morrisey calls the rule “regulatory lunacy.” He’s hosted town-hall meetings where he’s heard from citizens concerned that “this rule would infringe on their property rights and force them to pay thousands of dollars to do basic work around their homes, farms and workplaces.” Morrisey adds: “This rule expands a scheme whereby property owners have to ask the EPA for permission to do yardwork.” He claims: “Failure to comply with the new regulations could result in fines of up to $37,500 a day.”

 

While the word “navigable” hasn’t been removed from CWA—as that would require an act of Congress—the EPA has expanded that definition to include any water that has a “significant nexus” with navigable waters. This is where water in your back yard could be impacted. Regarding the final rule, Paxton explains: it “is so broad and open to interpretation that everything from ditches and dry creek beds, to gullies, to isolated ponds formed after a big rain could be considered a ‘water of the United States.’”

 

The CWA’s single word, “navigable,” has, for decades, been contentious with those who want to expand government control and limit industrial activity such as oil-and-gas development, mining, ranching, and farming. Former Representative Jim Oberstar (D-MN) fought hard to have the word navigable removed from the CWA and to expand its control to any waters. Despite repeated bites at the apple, prior Congresses refused to pass his legislation.

 

EPA, once again, uses rulemaking to do what its proponents couldn’t do through legislation—a hallmark of the Obama administration.

 

A July 28, 2015, a letter signed by officials from 31 states, sent to EPA and ACOE by North Dakota Assistant Attorney General Margaret Olson, requesting a minimum nine-month extension of the WOTUS effective date, states: “the new regulation will also have a significant impact on agricultural, homebuilding, oil and gas and mining operations as they try to navigate between established state regulatory programs and the EPA’s and ACOE’s new burdensome and conflicting federal requirements. This uncertainty especially threatens those states that rely on revenues from industrial development to fund a wide variety of state programs for the benefit of their respective citizens.”

 

On August 11, thirteen states—including oil-and-gas “heavyweights,” as Natural Gas Intelligence (NGI) calls them, Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, and New Mexico—became the latest to ask a federal judge to block the controversial rule from taking effect. The states have asked for a hearing on the motion during the week of August 24. NGI states: “The oil and gas industry is opposed to the regulations because they believe it could stifle development.” A statement from the Independent Petroleum Association of America supports this assertion: “The 297-page rulemaking would require a federal permit for any activity that results in a discharge into any body of water covered by the new definition of ‘waters of the United States,’ including small streams and wetlands.”

 

The Texas Railroad Commission, which overseas oil-and-gas activity in the state joined the multi-agency, multi-state lawsuit because “the rule redefines navigable waters as used in the CWA, allowing the EPA and ACOE to regulate private land anywhere in the United States where water can conceivably flow—even dry creek beds and manmade ditches. The Texas economy is a proud beneficiary of shale drilling, and some of the water used in this process would move under the jurisdiction of the EPA with the implementation of this rule change.”

 

Luke Popovich, spokesman for the National Mining Association told me: “This rule embodies all that is wrong with EPA’s overall regulatory approach: its costs will far outweigh any benefits, it violates both the spirit and intent of Congress in the Clean Water Act, and it has been sold as a benign attempt to add ‘clarity’ and ‘certainty’ to the marketplace when in fact it only clarifies and makes certain the threat EPA poses to a wide swath of the economy—from mining and farming to home building and construction.”

 

Jason Bostic, Vice President of the West Virginia Coal Association, adds: “It’s no longer about water or discharges. It’s about regulating the landscape.”

 

The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia filed on June 28, on behalf of 9 Southeastern states (now 11, including Indiana and North Carolina), received an expedited briefing. Oral arguments were heard on August 12. Morrisey’s office told me they are hopeful for a decision by August 28.

 

North Dakota’s Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem believes the States are entitled to an injunction “because implementation of the Rule will cause immediate and irreparable harm and deprive the States of the opportunity to present the merits of their case prior to this unprecedented jurisdictional over-reach taking effect.”

 

In addition to the 31 states, on July 2, a coalition of a dozen industry groups—from agriculture to manufacturers to mining—filed a complaint against the EPA and ACOE over the WOTUS rule.

 

The goal of the litigations is to delay or defeat the regulations before they go into effect.

 

Morrisey, in a statement, explains: “While the Clean Water Act gave the EPA and Corps authority to regulate ‘navigable waters’—defined as ‘waters of the United States’—Congress made sure that states would retain their constitutional, sovereign responsibility over non-navigable, intrastate lands and waters. The U.S. Supreme Court has twice rejected the agencies’ attempts to expand their authority (in Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. Army Corps of Engineers and Rapanos v. United States). However, this latest rule written by the two administrative agencies gives them virtually limitless power over these waters.”

 

Rules like WOTUS, and the recently announced Clean Power Plan, are lauded by environmental groups which are the likely impetus for the regulatory overreach. Senator David Vitter (R-LA), Chairman of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding “reports that the Agency inappropriately coordinated with outside organizations during the WOTUS rulemaking process.” His statement on the matter offers this reprimand: “For decades, the Department of Justice has recommended that federal agencies do not lobby the general public to build political support for policies promoted by the Executive Branch. In 2014, the EPA embarked on an unprecedented public relations campaign, which may have violated anti-lobbying laws, to promote the WOTUS rule by working closely with outside organizations including the Sierra Club and Organizing for Action, which is closely affiliated with President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.”

 

Apparently, the EPA—which allowed millions of gallons of toxic waste to spill into the Animas River—and its “far-left environmental allies,” believe the agency can do a better job of protecting waterways, streams and wetlands than the states. A wide majority of states and industry disagree. The coalition hopes the lawsuits—which are expected to be combined into one—will overturn the rule and prove that the EPA has gone beyond its jurisdiction with this expansion of regulatory authority.

 

 

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

 

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Hillary now champ of bull butter and crap house mouse manure
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Marita Noon’s latest tells us why Hillary is the champion of bull butter and crap house mouse manure. Just take it from Marita::

Marita Noon: Hillary’s energy plan is like Obama’s Clean Power Plan on steroids
I’ve got to tell you, the Clinton campaign isn’t paying attention—or, it is paying attention to the demands of wealthy campaign donors.

By: Marita Noon on August 3rd, 2015 at 08:48 PM

marita Noon 1

The Clinton campaign’s newly announced “ambitious renewable energy plans” move far beyond Obama’s highly criticized efforts that have increased costs and jeopardized reliability—but they appease environmental activists and wealthy donors. Obama’s policies push a goal of producing 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from renewables by 2030; hers is 33 percent by 2027. We are at 7 percent today.

At a rally in Ames, IA, Clinton said: “I want more wind, more solar, more advanced biofuels, more energy efficiency.” She added: “And, I’ve got to tell you, people who argue against this are just not paying attention.”

I’ve got to tell you, the Clinton campaign isn’t paying attention—or, it is paying attention to the demands of wealthy campaign donors.

The White House has received aggressive push back and a Supreme Court’s smack down over the administration’s policies designed to cut carbon dioxide by requiring renewables.

A growing list of governors refuses to comply with Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP)—the cornerstone of his climate agenda—and Congress has pending legislation giving the governors the authority to “just say no” if such plans would negatively affect electricity rates, reliability, or important economic sectors. Other efforts to restrain the CPP include reducing the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—which is tasked with CPP implementation. The 2016 Interior Department and EPA spending bill developed by the Senate Appropriations Committee, reduces EPA’s budget by $538 million from its 2015 level.

Clinton pledged, according to The Guardian, “to uphold the Obama administration’s heavily opposed restrictions on carbon emissions of power stations, which are expected to accelerate the rapid shut-down of coal plants across the country.” Don’t worry, though, if you are one of thousands of employees put out of work, or a retiree whose pension includes utilities or mining companies that have lost value, because of these policies, according to the New York Times (NYT): “Mrs. Clinton promised that in coming months she would unwrap additional climate policies, including aid to workers in coal-producing regions who suffer economic harm.” So now, instead of having a good-paying job and contributing to the economy, those who used to work in the coal industry will become wards of the state—while those of us who still have jobs pay for the “aid” through our taxes.

To meet her goals, NYT reports: “Congress would have to mandate production of renewable power, or to tax greenhouse gas pollution—both proposals that have floundered on Capitol Hill.” If she’s paying attention, Clinton would acknowledge that she’ll have virtually no chance of that succeeding as she’ll likely have at least one house, and probably both, still controlled by Republicans for her first two years in office. NYT adds: “Policy analysts said it could be tough for Mrs. Clinton to follow through on such ambitious goals.”

Meeting her 33 percent goal would also require “further federal investment,” which would require “resuscitation of tax credits and some innovation and regulatory incentives”—all of which add up to more government spending of tax-payers dollars and more debt. The Guardian points out that the recent growth in solar installations has been “aided by the soon-to-expire solar investment tax credit,” which Clinton will have to try to “revive.” Leading climate alarmist James Hansen, formerly with NASA, surprisingly, announced: Clinton’s plan “is going to make energy more expensive.”

Due to dire economic consequences, other countries have abandoned or, at least, dialed back on, CO2 reduction plans—but, perhaps, she isn’t paying attention.

The Australian, in an article titled: Renewable energy: hopes scaled back in Britain, Germany and US, starts out saying: “Ambitious plans to greatly boost renewable energy to cut carbon dioxide emissions have collided with political and economic reality in Britain, Germany and the US.” The story begins with Australia’s own experience with its now defunct carbon tax: which caused a “strong backlash to rising electricity costs.” It chronicles Britain’s “determination to stop runaway electricity prices and check green energy spending.” For Germany it states: “the Merkel government has been forced to scrap a plan for an environmental levy on coal producers.” And, “Despite the billions spent on wind and solar projects, Germany still generates 44 percent of its electricity from coal.” It concludes, that for Germany, “The cost of the transition in terms of household power bills and industry competitiveness is proving difficult.” It also cites several difficulties for “The U.S. President’s green energy plans.” While the article points out “Renewable energy companies have said the withdrawal of subsidies will cripple the industry,” it summarizes: “Rising electricity prices are cited as the reason for the backlash against renewable subsidies.”

The Guardian coverage of Clinton’s climate plan echoes comments from The Australian: “In Germany and the UK, the solar industry has come under political pressure for being too successful when subsidies were high and now suffers from accusations of being a ‘subsidy junky’” It also warns: “People in the U.S. may care less about climate change than they do about cost.”

Clinton’s “ambitious” plans will take money from your pocket through increased taxes and higher energy bills, but it will help her ambitions by putting money in her campaign and help her expansive political network—a fact to which voters need to pay attention.

Why isn’t Clinton paying attention to the backlash against renewable energy and the higher costs it imposes on consumers and industry? The answer is clearly laid out in the NYT: “Mrs. Clinton’s strategists see climate change as a winning issue for 2016. They believe it is a cause she can advance to win over deep-pocketed donors”—specifically billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer who held a fund raiser for her in May. He’s announced that “for candidates to receive his support in 2016, they must offer policies that would lead the nation to generate half its electricity from clean sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.” When it says that Steyer influenced “the details of her proposal,” the NYT is, in essence, acknowledging that she is paying attention to her wealthy donors. Her press secretary tweeted: “Counting nuclear, as Steyer does, she exceeds his 50 percent goal.”

Voters need to pay attention to the facts behind her call for “generating enough renewable energy to power every single home in America”—which is designed to make voters think they’ll be getting free (think Obama phones) solar panels. Even if it is possible to generate 33 percent of our electricity from renewables, The Guardian points out “not all of it will end up on homes.” However, “factories and office buildings don’t vote.” Her promise of half a billion solar panels is aimed at the bill-paying voter, but it actually benefits China as 7 in 10 solar panels are now made there.

Additionally, her plan “raises important questions about the ability of the grid—which is,” The Guardian reports, “built to carry power from continuously-burning large power stations rather than millions of diffuse and variable solar panels—to handle such high levels of variable electricity supply.” Clinton says her plan will require “a more open, efficient and resilient grid”—commonly called a “smart grid” that is computerized and, therefore, susceptible to hackers. It will also require spending that the Clinton campaign has flagged as a “priority.”

If you pay attention, you’ll realize that the priority of Clinton’s ambitious climate change plan is to further her ambitions by putting money in her pocket, as usual, while taking it from the average American. For once, I agree with James Hansen who calls her plan “just plain silly.”

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

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Don’t miss Conspiracy Brews 8.1.15
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If you like your coffee and your politics flavorful, served with a heaping dose of civility by a diverse group of interesting people from all parts of the political spectrum then you should be joining us every Saturday. Started in 2007 over coffee and lively conversation by a group of concerned friends and neighbors, ‘Conspiracy Brews’ is committed to finding solutions to some of our State’s toughest problems. Our zest for constructive political discourse is only equaled by our belief that the only way forward is to exchange our views in a relaxed and friendly setting. For additional information or to be added to our e-mail list contact: ConspiracyBrews@aol.com.
Conspiracy Brews

“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”

Benjamin Franklin

Not your average political discussion group!

August 01, 2015

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
at
Southwest Secondary Learning Center
10301 Candelaria Rd NE
(northwest corner of Candelaria and Morris)

We think that government should be open and honest at all times.
People from all political parties are welcome.

*** Quotes of the Week ***

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”

Harry S Truman

“The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone.”

Henrik Ibsen

Suggested Topics

— How will Puerto Rico’s troubles affect the US Election?

http://wapo.st/1MQSiPx

— Is Albuquerque becoming more violent?

— What do you think of the following video which is 23 years old and full of raw language regarding a law enforcement agent who does not escalate the situation?

Warning: If you are a juvenile or you are offended by cursing, blue language, or similar then you should not view the video found at the link just below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-bz-kFyk8I

(From Last Week’s Discussion)

The following link contains most of the show “White People” which I am leaving so people can see it.

http://www.mtv.com/shows/white-people/

or see the entire episode at:
http://www.mtv.com/shows/white-people/

*** Light Quotes of the Week ***

“But what is the difference between literature and journalism? …Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all.”

Oscar Wilde

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jill a rich widow.”

Evan Esar

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.”

Rodney Dangerfield

——-

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