Conspircy brews 7.25.15
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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!

July 25, 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 ***

“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”

Martin Luther King Jr.

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”

Beverly Sills

Suggested Topics

— Should the historical markers be removed from old town?

— Another Domestic Terrorism attack…or was it inspired by international terrorism. Do you have an answer?

A Documentary will be shown on MTV (Jul 22) called “White People.” What do you think of the concept?
http://www.mtv.com/shows/white-people/

http://www.abqjournal.com/614609/news/mtvs-white-people-causes-a-stir.html

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/08/mtv-documentary-white-people-trailer

http://wapo.st/1J8gMAu

TBD NOTE: The following topic has been presented by one of our members as deserving a panel discussion of the sort we’ve had recently. Who would be good to be invited?

TBD I believe we are caught up in a well-orchestrated economy vortex and I think we need to spend time to discuss it at length. I think it is getting more and more difficult to see current events in black and white terms. There are several knowledgeable people that have better insights than I and I would appreciate a full discussion on this topic as soon as possible.

*** Light Quotes of the Week ***

“I only know two pieces; one is ‘Clair de Lune; and the other on isn’t.”

Victor Borge

“Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead.”

Anon.

“I strive to be as good a person as my dog thinks I am.”

Unknown

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Edgewood food pantry& Civitan clothing distribution tomorrow 7.23.15
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Valley View Christian Church (VVCC) will be hosting the events in the church.  Volunteers from Edgewood Civitan Club and VVCH will provide and distribute refreshments in addition to food and clothing.

One left click on the fliers will get you larger images

edgewood_mobile_food_pantry_flyer_sept_2014-page-0

CivitanClothing

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Arts & Music festival this weekend in edgewood
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Including 7 hours of gospel music on Sunday from 11 AM to 6 PM and food by Dough Re Mi Bakery (umm good!)

Click this link (enlarged view) one time to enlarge below and call or email for detailed information as to time, etc.:

WildlifeWestMusic2015

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Marita: Mexico’s new foray into petro energy
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Here is Marita’s latest.

Let’s hurry to Ms. Noon’s article:

Greetings!

I’ve written a couple of times about Mexico energy reforms—first when they were announced by President Enrique Peña Nieto and then when the constitutional amendments were passed. This week’s column is somewhat of an update as the first international investors took the plunge in Mexico’s shallow waters. The first auction took place on July 15. While it wasn’t the success that the Mexican government had hoped it would be, it does get the reforms rolling.

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels (attached and pasted-in-below) chronicles the difficulties of Mexico’s first international investment invitation in nearly eighty years, but concludes with optimism for the future—both for Mexico and American companies who partner with Mexico.

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels doesn’t have my usual political snap, and may be too “inside” for the average reader, but I hope my regular readers will find it insightful. I’ve received positive comments from those who reviewed it prior to publication.

Remember, each week I host America’s Voice for Energy on AmericasWebRadio.com—which allows me to expand on the topic of each week’s column by interviewing related experts. If you have expertise on Mexico’s energy reforms and/or the opportunities it provides for American companies, I’d like to have you join me to record a segment. We can record anytime between now and Wednesday at noon ET. America’s Voice for Energy airs the first time on Thursday at 11:00 AM ET and then, a few days after the original air date, is available for indefinite online listening. Just respond to this email to advise me of your availability.

One more thing. Please take a few minutes to vote “No” on the poll regarding whether or not New England’s largest wind farm should be built. When I first received word of the poll, the “Yes” votes were about double the “No”. Thanks to an extensive network, the trend has flipped. Let’s keep it going.

Thanks for reading Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels. Please post it, pass it on, and/or personally enjoy it.

Marita Noon

marita Noon 1

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

For Immediate release: July 20, 2015

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

 

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels

Understanding the connection between energy and economic growth, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto set out to reform his country’s energy policy and invite outside intelligence and investment to boost slumping oil output. In late 2013, he succeeded in getting the constitution amended to allow private and foreign companies to explore and produce oil and gas in Mexico—for the first time in nearly eight decades. The amendments put an end to the government monopoly. Foreign companies can now compete with, or partner with, Pemex—the national oil company. Nieto hopes his reforms will bring in $50 billion in investment by 2018.

The wheels of reform move slowly, but on July 15, the first international investors put their toes in the shallow water of Mexico’s oil prize—which could be “as big as the proven reserves of Kuwait.” The Financial Times (FT) calls Mexico’s potential 107.5 billion barrels of oil: “quite a feast.” FT adds: “The country is viewed as one of the dwindling number of opportunities to add substantial reserves to portfolios after several years when the oil majors have struggled to make big discoveries.”

Disappointing Start

Yet, despite the possibilities, Mexico’s first of three auctions expected this year, being called round 1.1, was disappointing, at best. In round 1.1, 14 shallow water blocks were offered. Only two had successful bids: block 2 off the coast of Veracruz and block 7 off of Tabasco. The winning bidder for both blocks was Sierra Oil & Gas—a Mexican company in a consortium with U.S. company, Talos, and Britain’s Premier Oil.

Thirty-eight companies—including majors such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Russia’s Lukoil—qualified to participate in the auctions, though only nine participated in round 1.1. BloombergBusiness reports: “Spokesmen for Exxon and Chevron said that while they weren’t interested in the shallow-water round of bidding, they hadn’t given up on being part of Mexico’s energy reform.”

When Mexico’s energy reforms began, oil was in the $100 a barrel range, the Mexican government expected four to seven of the blocks would be sold—representing a goal of 30-50 percent. On July 15, the success rate was a less-than-expected 14 percent.

Bad Timing

Unfortunately for Nieto, the timing couldn’t have been worse. Not only are global oil prices 50 percent of what they were when the constitutional amendments passed, the week during which the auction was scheduled, turned out to be bad news for Nieto’s hopes.

First, four days before the auction took place, “El Chapo,” Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, broke out of one of the country’s highest security prisons—again. The Economist states: “The escape of El Chapo is proof that the rule of law in Mexico is still shaky.” FT echoes the sentiment: the escape shows “impunity, corruption and the weak rule of law remain the norm in Mexico rather than the exception.”

The fields up for auction on July 15 were fields with lower probabilities of success—6-54 percent, according to a FuelFix report. While smaller companies are more willing to gamble on success, they can’t afford the security or kickbacks needed to co-exist with the cartels. The Economist explains: “Disorder does not always deter investors who can afford armoured cars and bodyguards, but it puts off smaller businesses, Mexican and foreign.”

One small U.S, company told me: “Mexico’s past history is one of political instability, expropriations, quick changes in government policies, graft and corruption, inefficiencies, and socialist-style attitudes and philosophy. With abundant opportunities in the U.S., and less risk here, why invest in Mexico?”

At the same time the news of El Chapo broke, reports indicated a deal with Iran was imminent. The nuclear accord was struck the day before Mexico’s historic auction. Concerns that Iran will soon begin exporting 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, making crude prices slide further, dampened interest in new exploration.

El Chapo’s escape highlighted the risk, while the Iran deal reduced the reward. The scales didn’t tip in Mexico’s favor.

Poor Offering

While the July 15 auction wasn’t the success it was hoped to be, there is cause for optimism. Perhaps to give itself time to work out the kinks, the National Hydrocarbon Commission offered the less desirable parcels first. The New York Times (NYT) states: “the lots offered in the first round of a multiyear auction process were not among the most commercially attractive.”

The majors, which skipped the first auction, are more interested in the deep water projects—scheduled for auction in early 2016—where the risk is lower and the reward is higher. NYT explains: “The biggest growth will probably come in deep water fields that are adjacent to bountiful American production fields and that have yet to be thoroughly explored. The fields are thought to be large and have the added advantage of being close to the vast pipeline network in the American portion of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as American refineries and the American market itself.”

Additionally, the onshore potential will be of more interest to the new Mexican oil companies—many of which previously worked for Pemex as oil-field service contractors. They have experience with drilling on land but will need foreign partners for offshore exploration. The onshore blocks are scheduled for auction in December.

Unattractive Terms

When the terms, designed to maximize Mexico’s take more than to attract investment, were first announced, they generated little interest. They have been sweetened twice since then—and will likely be revised before the next auction.

Winners, who were pre-qualified as able to meet the financial requirements, were determined by the highest amount of profit to be shared with the Mexican government and the amount of investment pledged above the required minimum—which was set by the finance ministry and kept in a sealed envelope that was opened at the auction. For the two blocks awarded in the July 15 auction, the winner offered 55.99 % for the first block and 68.99% for the second. In each case, an investment of 10% above the minimum was offered. Some of the blocks that were not awarded did receive bids, but they were below the minimum—though the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports: “several rejected bids fell just below the minimum.”

One of the terms of concern is the stringent guarantees required in case of a blowout such as the Deepwater Horizon. The Economist calls them: “beyond international norms” and the FT reports: “Four pre-qualified companies pulled out last week—at least one because of the guarantees” which are “essentially a blank cheque.”

Additionally, Mexico has reserved the right to rescind contracts—which reminds potential investors a bit too much of Mexico’s history of expropriation.

Pablo Medina, Latin America upstream analyst at Wood MacKenzie, said, in WSJ: “I would expect the government to incorporate what it’s learned in the next tenders.”

Cautious Optimism

Despite the various bumps in the road, many are cautiously hopeful. Juan Carlos Zepeda president of the National Hydrocarbon Commission, has, according to WSJ, “higher expectations for subsequent auctions.”

In OilPro.com, Richard Sanchez, IHS Petrodata’s lead Marine Market Analyst for the Americas, states: “Mexico has vast deepwater potential, comparable to oil fields found on the US side of the Gulf of Mexico.” It is too big to fail. A consultant working with the new Mexican oil companies told me: “The resources are world-class. Mexico’s energy reforms will ultimately be successful.”

“The government estimates almost half its unproven reserves lie in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico,” the FT reports. “In addition it holds the world’s sixth biggest technically recoverable shale gas and the eighth largest shale oil prospects.”

Jim Hoffman, an oil-and-gas training and education provider who has worked in the industry for 35 years, told me: “Over time, opening Mexico will provide a huge boost for both American producers and service companies at reduced cost. It won’t happen right away, but as the infrastructure gets built, results will become better and better.” He added: “How about jobs, for Mexicans, who won’t have to cross the border illegally? How about Americans who have the opportunity to bring new and better technology and practices to an underdeveloped industry location? What a great opportunity.”

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling. The July 15 auction gave the country a chance to try it out and start slowly—more of an evolution than a revolution. There is enthusiasm for the future. The oil-price issue will work itself out as it will take three to five years to develop the new fields. As the training wheels come off, the terms are tweaked and the offerings are more attractive, results will become better and better—delivering a whole new industry for Mexico and fresh opportunities for American companies.

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.

Link to: Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels

Greetings!

I’ve written a couple of times about Mexico energy reforms—first when they were announced by President Enrique Peña Nieto and then when the constitutional amendments were passed. This week’s column is somewhat of an update as the first international investors took the plunge in Mexico’s shallow waters. The first auction took place on July 15. While it wasn’t the success that the Mexican government had hoped it would be, it does get the reforms rolling.

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels (attached and pasted-in-below) chronicles the difficulties of Mexico’s first international investment invitation in nearly eighty years, but concludes with optimism for the future—both for Mexico and American companies who partner with Mexico.

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels doesn’t have my usual political snap, and may be too “inside” for the average reader, but I hope my regular readers will find it insightful. I’ve received positive comments from those who reviewed it prior to publication.

Remember, each week I host America’s Voice for Energy on AmericasWebRadio.com—which allows me to expand on the topic of each week’s column by interviewing related experts. If you have expertise on Mexico’s energy reforms and/or the opportunities it provides for American companies, I’d like to have you join me to record a segment. We can record anytime between now and Wednesday at noon ET. America’s Voice for Energy airs the first time on Thursday at 11:00 AM ET and then, a few days after the original air date, is available for indefinite online listening. Just respond to this email to advise me of your availability.

One more thing. Please take a few minutes to vote “No” on the poll regarding whether or not New England’s largest wind farm should be built. When I first received word of the poll, the “Yes” votes were about double the “No”. Thanks to an extensive network, the trend has flipped. Let’s keep it going.

Thanks for reading Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels. Please post it, pass it on, and/or personally enjoy it.

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

For Immediate release: July 20, 2015

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1446

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling, albeit with training wheels

Understanding the connection between energy and economic growth, Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto set out to reform his country’s energy policy and invite outside intelligence and investment to boost slumping oil output. In late 2013, he succeeded in getting the constitution amended to allow private and foreign companies to explore and produce oil and gas in Mexico—for the first time in nearly eight decades. The amendments put an end to the government monopoly. Foreign companies can now compete with, or partner with, Pemex—the national oil company. Nieto hopes his reforms will bring in $50 billion in investment by 2018.

The wheels of reform move slowly, but on July 15, the first international investors put their toes in the shallow water of Mexico’s oil prize—which could be “as big as the proven reserves of Kuwait.” The Financial Times (FT) calls Mexico’s potential 107.5 billion barrels of oil: “quite a feast.” FT adds: “The country is viewed as one of the dwindling number of opportunities to add substantial reserves to portfolios after several years when the oil majors have struggled to make big discoveries.”

Disappointing Start

Yet, despite the possibilities, Mexico’s first of three auctions expected this year, being called round 1.1, was disappointing, at best. In round 1.1, 14 shallow water blocks were offered. Only two had successful bids: block 2 off the coast of Veracruz and block 7 off of Tabasco. The winning bidder for both blocks was Sierra Oil & Gas—a Mexican company in a consortium with U.S. company, Talos, and Britain’s Premier Oil.

Thirty-eight companies—including majors such as ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Russia’s Lukoil—qualified to participate in the auctions, though only nine participated in round 1.1. BloombergBusiness reports: “Spokesmen for Exxon and Chevron said that while they weren’t interested in the shallow-water round of bidding, they hadn’t given up on being part of Mexico’s energy reform.”

When Mexico’s energy reforms began, oil was in the $100 a barrel range, the Mexican government expected four to seven of the blocks would be sold—representing a goal of 30-50 percent. On July 15, the success rate was a less-than-expected 14 percent.

Bad Timing

Unfortunately for Nieto, the timing couldn’t have been worse. Not only are global oil prices 50 percent of what they were when the constitutional amendments passed, the week during which the auction was scheduled, turned out to be bad news for Nieto’s hopes.

First, four days before the auction took place, “El Chapo,” Mexico’s most notorious drug lord, broke out of one of the country’s highest security prisons—again. The Economist states: “The escape of El Chapo is proof that the rule of law in Mexico is still shaky.” FT echoes the sentiment: the escape shows “impunity, corruption and the weak rule of law remain the norm in Mexico rather than the exception.”

The fields up for auction on July 15 were fields with lower probabilities of success—6-54 percent, according to a FuelFix report. While smaller companies are more willing to gamble on success, they can’t afford the security or kickbacks needed to co-exist with the cartels. The Economist explains: “Disorder does not always deter investors who can afford armoured cars and bodyguards, but it puts off smaller businesses, Mexican and foreign.”

One small U.S, company told me: “Mexico’s past history is one of political instability, expropriations, quick changes in government policies, graft and corruption, inefficiencies, and socialist-style attitudes and philosophy. With abundant opportunities in the U.S., and less risk here, why invest in Mexico?”

At the same time the news of El Chapo broke, reports indicated a deal with Iran was imminent. The nuclear accord was struck the day before Mexico’s historic auction. Concerns that Iran will soon begin exporting 1.5 million barrels of oil a day, making crude prices slide further, dampened interest in new exploration.

El Chapo’s escape highlighted the risk, while the Iran deal reduced the reward. The scales didn’t tip in Mexico’s favor.

Poor Offering

While the July 15 auction wasn’t the success it was hoped to be, there is cause for optimism. Perhaps to give itself time to work out the kinks, the National Hydrocarbon Commission offered the less desirable parcels first. The New York Times (NYT) states: “the lots offered in the first round of a multiyear auction process were not among the most commercially attractive.”

The majors, which skipped the first auction, are more interested in the deep water projects—scheduled for auction in early 2016—where the risk is lower and the reward is higher. NYT explains: “The biggest growth will probably come in deep water fields that are adjacent to bountiful American production fields and that have yet to be thoroughly explored. The fields are thought to be large and have the added advantage of being close to the vast pipeline network in the American portion of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as American refineries and the American market itself.”

Additionally, the onshore potential will be of more interest to the new Mexican oil companies—many of which previously worked for Pemex as oil-field service contractors. They have experience with drilling on land but will need foreign partners for offshore exploration. The onshore blocks are scheduled for auction in December.

Unattractive Terms

When the terms, designed to maximize Mexico’s take more than to attract investment, were first announced, they generated little interest. They have been sweetened twice since then—and will likely be revised before the next auction.

Winners, who were pre-qualified as able to meet the financial requirements, were determined by the highest amount of profit to be shared with the Mexican government and the amount of investment pledged above the required minimum—which was set by the finance ministry and kept in a sealed envelope that was opened at the auction. For the two blocks awarded in the July 15 auction, the winner offered 55.99 % for the first block and 68.99% for the second. In each case, an investment of 10% above the minimum was offered. Some of the blocks that were not awarded did receive bids, but they were below the minimum—though the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports: “several rejected bids fell just below the minimum.”

One of the terms of concern is the stringent guarantees required in case of a blowout such as the Deepwater Horizon. The Economist calls them: “beyond international norms” and the FT reports: “Four pre-qualified companies pulled out last week—at least one because of the guarantees” which are “essentially a blank cheque.”

Additionally, Mexico has reserved the right to rescind contracts—which reminds potential investors a bit too much of Mexico’s history of expropriation.

Pablo Medina, Latin America upstream analyst at Wood MacKenzie, said, in WSJ: “I would expect the government to incorporate what it’s learned in the next tenders.”

Cautious Optimism

Despite the various bumps in the road, many are cautiously hopeful. Juan Carlos Zepeda president of the National Hydrocarbon Commission, has, according to WSJ, “higher expectations for subsequent auctions.”

In OilPro.com, Richard Sanchez, IHS Petrodata’s lead Marine Market Analyst for the Americas, states: “Mexico has vast deepwater potential, comparable to oil fields found on the US side of the Gulf of Mexico.” It is too big to fail. A consultant working with the new Mexican oil companies told me: “The resources are world-class. Mexico’s energy reforms will ultimately be successful.”

“The government estimates almost half its unproven reserves lie in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico,” the FT reports. “In addition it holds the world’s sixth biggest technically recoverable shale gas and the eighth largest shale oil prospects.”

Jim Hoffman, an oil-and-gas training and education provider who has worked in the industry for 35 years, told me: “Over time, opening Mexico will provide a huge boost for both American producers and service companies at reduced cost. It won’t happen right away, but as the infrastructure gets built, results will become better and better.” He added: “How about jobs, for Mexicans, who won’t have to cross the border illegally? How about Americans who have the opportunity to bring new and better technology and practices to an underdeveloped industry location? What a great opportunity.”

Mexico’s energy reform is rolling. The July 15 auction gave the country a chance to try it out and start slowly—more of an evolution than a revolution. There is enthusiasm for the future. The oil-price issue will work itself out as it will take three to five years to develop the new fields. As the training wheels come off, the terms are tweaked and the offerings are more attractive, results will become better and better—delivering a whole new industry for Mexico and fresh opportunities for American companies.

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.

Comments Off on Marita: Mexico’s new foray into petro energy

Marita Noon: An Old, New Nuclear Country
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Greetings!

Chances are high that you didn’t know that on Friday, July 10, Japan completed the fuel-loading process at the first nuclear reactor scheduled for restart since the Fukushima accident in March 2011. No major news source covered it, so I did.

The other nuclear country (attached and pasted-in-below), covers the news story—but more importantly, it focuses on the economic impact “expensive energy” has had on Japan and, hence, the country’s decision to reboot its nuclear power. I chose the title to tie in with the focus on Iran’s nuclear ambitions—which it claims is for electricity generation.

While most of my text addresses the facts of Japan’s situation, the bigger message is between lines: the lesson for America. Bottom line? There is a clear correlation between expensive energy and a struggling economy. Japan has chosen to go nuclear because it is the right choice for powering the country with few natural resources; nuclear is its most cost-effective option and Japan’s economy needs low-cost electricity. In the U.S., we have many cost-effective options and nuclear is one of them. Unfortunately, the energy policies coming out of Washington don’t consider the economic impact—as the SCOTUS decision highlighted.

The other nuclear country provides a real-life example of what happens to an economy when low-cost energy is replaced with expensive energy—as America’s current energy emphasis is doing.

Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy The other nuclear country. Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon

Marita82313

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

For immediate release: July 13, 2015.

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1212

The other nuclear country

The fuel is now loaded into the reactor, following inspections, the switch will be flipped and, around August 10, the reactor will be fired up. Three days later, transmission of electricity is expected to start, ramping up to full power and commercial operation in September. The same process is expected to take place at a second reactor in September/October.

Despite public protest, Japan is going nuclear—again.

Following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that caused the severe accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear reactor in northeastern Japan, all nuclear reactors were gradually switched off for inspections. No commercial reactor has been online in Japan for nearly two years. Due to safety concerns, the country’s nuclear power generation has been at a standstill. Meanwhile, new regulatory standards have been developed and reactors are undergoing inspections.

Prior to 2011, nuclear power provided nearly one third of Japan’s electricity. Lost power-generation capacity has been replaced by importing pricey fossil fuels. Japan has few natural resources of its own. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports: “Japan imports more than 90% of its fossil fuels, and is particularly dependent on the Middle East for oil and natural gas.”

The loss of nuclear power has, according to the CS Monitor, raised household utility bills in Japan by 20 percent. A survey of Japanese manufacturers, conducted by the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, found that increases in power rates represented the greatest burden for more than 40 percent of the 335 firms who responded, and that “chronic power outages” and further increases in power rates “would do serious damage to industries located in the Kansai region.” The WSJ confirms: “businesses say the rise in electricity costs without the nuclear reactors makes it harder to run a factory in Japan.”

The economic impact of shifting from nuclear power to imported fossil fuels is evident in Japan’s trade deficits. In OilPrice.com, John Manfreda sees a direct correlation. He says: “Before the Fukushima accident occurred, Japan’s economy was driven by its large trade surpluses, which it achieved year after year. However, since Fukushima, Japan reversed that trend, and began posting trade deficits on a yearly basis.”

Japan’s reliance on nuclear power began after OPEC’s 1973 oil embargo that caused a severe energy shortage and nearly derailed its economic progress. Manfreda reports: “When this embargo ended, Japan conducted a national energy study to find out how the country could implement an energy policy that would protect supplies from future embargoes and geopolitical turmoil. The ultimate conclusion of the study was that Japan needed to invest heavily in the use of nuclear power, which could supplant imported fossil fuels for electricity. After that study, the development of nuclear power was considered a national priority.”

Japan has, once again, reviewed its energy needs. The fourth Basic Energy Plan, approved in June 2015, concludes: “Nuclear power is an ‘important power source that supports the stability of our energy supply and demand structure.’” The plan increases nuclear from current levels by restarting most of the idle plants, while calling for an approximate 10 percent reduction from the pre-Fukushima level of 30 percent. WSJ adds: “Japan also plans to continue its use of coal, the cheapest of its energy imports. …Already this year, the nation’s utilities have announced the construction of seven new coal-fired power plants.”

Due to its need for power and its reliance on fossil fuels, Japan revised its emissions targets, saying, according to the New York Times: “it would release 3 percent more greenhouse gases in 2020 than it did in 1990, rather than the 6 percent cut it originally promised or the 25 percent reduction it promised two years before the 2011 nuclear accident.” In 2012, Japan opted out of a proposed U.N. Kyoto Protocol extension. WSJ reports: “The government’s energy plan also seeks to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, but doesn’t stop companies’ plans to spend billions of dollars on new plants powered by cheap coal from countries like Australia and the U.S.”

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) favors nuclear power because it is a “quasi-domestic source” (four of the world’s top six manufacturers of nuclear plant technology are Japanese or Japanese-owned). Addressing Japan’s plan, World Nuclear News states: nuclear power “gives stable power, operates inexpensively and has a low greenhouse gas profile.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government reportedly wants to operate as many nuclear plants as possible “to meet the nation’s energy needs and grow the economy.” Twenty-five reactors are seeking a restart.

The plant, fueled up on July 10 and scheduled to start commercial operation in September, is one of two reactors being restarted at the Sendai Nuclear Power Station, owned by Kyushu Electric Power Company. With all six of its reactors idle, Kyushu Electric has been “reeling from losses caused by hefty imported fossil fuel costs to run conventional power plants.” Likewise, Chubu Electric Power Company, according to the Japan Times, has applied to restart the Number 3 reactor at its Hamaoka nuclear plant and hopes to resume power generation as soon as possible “to reduce its reliance on expensive fossil fuels.”

“There is no greater issue for the health of the Japanese economy,” Robert Feldman, managing director of Morgan Stanley’s MUFG Securities Co., opined in WSJ, “than energy.” Echoing the sentiment, Masahiro Sakane, chairman of a panel sponsored by METI that has been debating the energy mix, said: “The most important thing is energy self-sufficiency.”

Regarding Japan’s energy plan, Makoto Yagi, Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan chairman, stated: “We believe that energy policy is a core policy of a nation and must be approached from a medium to long-term standpoint.”

Japan is restarting its nuclear program. Iran, supposedly, wants nuclear power. Driven by the need for clean reliable power, the need to bolster energy security, and reduce dependence on imported fuels, many other countries are pursuing nuclear power. Russia has eight reactors under construction—which will double its nuclear capacity. China has 26 reactors in operation and 24 under construction and is now building identical power plants that allow for cost efficiencies that come with mass production. Many new plants, such as the reactors being built in the U.S., utilize “third-generation designs that improve safety and cut costs,” E&E News reports. Fourth-generation reactors, which use different coolants and fuels, are in the proposal stages.

The lesson is here is less about nuclear power and more about the need for energy that is cost-effective, reliable, and secure.

In a country like Japan, with limited natural resources, nuclear power meets the need. In the U.S., where we are rich in coal, oil, natural gas and uranium (the fuel for nuclear power), we have more options and should select the energy source that is right for specific needs and locales. As Japan has learned, energy is one of the most important components of the economy and expensive energy has hurt it.

Japan has an energy plan that is a “core policy” of the nation. In the U.S., instead of having an energy policy, we continue to drive up costs by regulating away our energy advantage and throwing money at expensive renewable energy—with the Clean Power Plan ignoring new nuclear. It is time for America to really evaluate our energy needs and maximize our advantage.

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.

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Marita: Another domino falls in the war against fossil-fuels
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Happy Memorial Day!

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday! But, in case you are keeping up with things, I wrote you a column. Another domino falls in the anti-fossil fuel movement’s crusade (attached and pasted-in-below) is an important story that has been largely ignored by the media. The Wall Street Journal did do one short story on the new news out of Texas and there were some local reports, but no one connected the dots—as you know I like to do.

In Another domino falls in the anti-fossil fuel movement’s crusade I’ve made the “Denton Fracking Bill” into a national story that should be very encouraging for those of us who believe that “energy makes America Great.”

If you are working today, I hope you will post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy Another domino falls in the anti-fossil fuel movement’s crusade. If you are enjoying a day off, tomorrow will work just fine.

Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

Marita82313

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

 

Another domino falls in the anti-fossil fuel movement’s crusade

Throughout the United States, especially in communities with existing or potential oil-and-gas development, outside groups have moved in with a vengeance and agitated the population—resulting in bans against all exploration for hydrocarbons and/or the use of hydraulic fracturing. Expensive lawsuits have been filed and courts have repeatedly declared such bans as “unconstitutional.” The newest domino to fall is in Texas where Governor Greg Abbott, on May 18, signed House Bill 40 (HB40)—also known as the Denton Fracking Bill—which clarifies that an “oil and gas operation is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state.”

As was the case in Mora County, New Mexico, the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund participated in pushing Denton, Texas’ fracking ban—passed in November by 59 percent of the voters. In Mora County, a federal judge declared its drilling ban “unconstitutional.” Courts have handed down similar decisions against attempts to ban fracking in Colorado and Ohio. But the Texas legislature didn’t wait for the courts to decide in the challenges to the Denton ban.

Lawmakers introduced a total of 11 bills aimed at confirming that regulating oil-and-gas activity is the province of the Texas Commission of Environmental Quality and the Texas Railroad Commission. HB40 emerged as the final word—making Texas the first state to pass specific legislation limiting, not eliminating, local control. The Oklahoma legislature has passed a similar bill and Governor Mary Fallin is expected to sign it. In New Mexico, the House passed a pre-emption bill, but it was never brought up for a vote in the Senate.

The Texas law allows communities to impose commercially reasonable ordinances that regulate above ground oil-and-gas activity such as traffic noise, lights, and setbacks—but do not “effectively” prohibit resource extraction. In response to the new law, Ed Longanecker, President of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association said: “This is a balanced approach that protects the ability of municipalities to reasonably regulate surface activity related to oil and gas development, while offering the regulatory certainty necessary for our industry operations.”

HB40 was crafted with input from the Texas Municipal League—which, the Texas Tribune reports, “counts 1145 Texas cities among its members.” The Texas Municipal League was “initially among the bill’s fiercest critics,” but its involvement “added language listing areas cities could still regulate” and other changes that “the Municipal League found more palatable.”

David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance, which actively campaigned against the ban, believes “This bill struck the right approach. While local government should have some control over growth, energy development is a statewide issue. Tax revenues go to the entire state. The state agencies have been regulating production for almost 100 years. An open robust discussion on the proper balance seems to be leading to good results in most local areas. Once folks have all the facts they can and do make good decisions. But those who simply say no energy production anytime or anywhere are doing a disservice to their neighbors and the nation.”

Denton, Texas, sits on top of one of Texas’ biggest natural gas reserves: the rich Barnett Shale— producing $1 billion in mineral wealth, according to the Associated Press, and pumping more than $30 million into city bank accounts. The Texas Tribune reports: “In some cases, neighborhoods are expanding closer to longtime drilling sites.”

The idea of fracking, like the Keystone pipeline, is less of a problem itself than what it represents: more fossil fuels.

In Texas, thanks to fracking, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), oil production has tripled in the past five years. The increase benefits Texas by providing the state with almost $6 billion worth of revenue in fiscal year 2014 through severance taxes. But it is not just fracking—which has been done safely and successfully for the past 65 years—that has created the new American energy abundance. It is fracking combined with horizontal drilling. But horizontal drilling doesn’t sound bad and fracking does. Plus, the general population doesn’t know what fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, really is—making it easy to use fear, uncertainty, and doubt to scare the public.

In a 2013 report called Fracking by the Numbers, a group called Environment America redefines fracking. In a box on page 6, it states: “In this report, when we refer to the impacts of ‘fracking,’ we include impacts resulting from all of the activities needed to bring a shale gas or oil well into production using high-volume hydraulic fracturing (fracturing operations that use at least 100,000 gallons of water), to operate that well, and to deliver the gas or oil produced from that well to market. The oil and gas industry often uses a more restrictive definition of ‘fracking’ that includes only the actual moment in the extraction process when rock is fractured—a definition that obscures the broad changes to environmental, health and community conditions that result from the use of fracking in oil and gas extraction.”

This inaccurate definition allows for the recent spate of minor tremors to be blamed on “fracking,” when, in fact, if they are the result of oil-and-gas activity, they are reportedly caused by injection wells—which “inject” water that comes up as part of the drilling process, into wells miles below the surface. Injection wells, which may be far from the drilling site, can be used whether or not the well is stimulated using hydraulic fracturing. The U.S. Geological Survey study states: “Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as ‘fracking,’ does not appear to be linked to the increased rate of magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes.” Yet, anti-fossil fuel groups continue to scare the public with such claims.

Ed Ireland, Executive Director of Barnett Shale Energy Education Council, told me his organization sent out five different mailings to 36,000 households to counter the misinformation spread by drilling opponents.

Supporters of the ban try to claim that it is not a drilling ban, just a fracking ban. However, since the natural resource underneath Denton is shale gas—meaning natural gas is trapped in tight little pockets within the rock—the shale must be fractured to allow the gas to flow out. Conventional drilling methods don’t work with shale. A ban on fracking is a ban on drilling.

While the Legislature has acted and the Governor has signed HB40, with it apt to be a pilot for the national issue and a template moving forward, we likely haven’t heard the last of municipal fracking bans—despite courts repeatedly shooting them down.

Earthjustice attorney Deborah Goldberg, in a CommonDreams.org story on the Texas legislation, says the people of Denton are not ready to give up yet: “We have been proud to represent the proponents of Denton’s ban and we know they will regroup and fight back against this legislative over-reach.”

Ireland says he won’t be surprised if drilling opponents engage in protests of some sorts because they have strongly suggested that they will.

One day after HB40 was signed, Colorado-based Vantage Energy announced: “that they were preparing for ‘frac work’ starting May 27.” According to the Denton Record-Chronicle (DRC), “neighbors reported seeing production equipment being moved to the company’s well site.”

In response, Adam Briggle, president of Frack Free Denton, which campaigned for the ban, told the DRC, he expects Denton residents to continue to fight. In a statement, Briggle said: “We cannot say how this story will unfold, but we do know this dark chapter shall not be the last one written.” The DRC reports, in an interview regarding Vantage’s planned drilling, that Briggle added he: “couldn’t confirm whether people would stage protests at the site. But it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine it.”

Perhaps it is a good thing, for now, that lower oil prices are providing what WSJ calls “a natural cooling off period.”

When Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signs its “preemption” bill into law, it will be the next domino to fall.

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.

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Marita Noon: What if they win
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Greetings!

I feel like each week lately I write: “this week’s column is different from my norm.” But they have been. Attacking the pope was risky—but I didn’t get any flak for it. In fact, I got many positive responses. The “Open letter to Dr. Ben Carson” was an effective way to get some important messaging out there. (BTW, my “letter” did get sent to Dr. Carson and I heard back from him with a request for a phone call. To date, I haven’t heard back to my response to his personal email. So, no call has, yet, been scheduled.) This week, my column is more of a book review. Different, once again.

As you know, I was in Mexico last week where I was speaking to a conservative group of expats. While there, I had a bit of a vacation and read a novel I’d recently received: Mountain Whispers, Days without Sun—which takes place in 2052 and 2053 after all of the “green” initiatives and regulations have been enacted. It paints a dramatic, and effective, picture. I hope many, many people will read the book as a result of my column.

Additionally, I did a video-conference interview with the author, Coleman Alderson, that we’ve made available through a link in the column.

Mountain Whispers, Days without Sun is a perfect follow up to my book Energy Freedom. Please post, pass on and/or personally enjoy What will America look like if the environmentalists win? (attached and pasted-in-below). I’ve attached both the Full-length and 900-word versions. The longer one has some more editorializing on my part. Please feel free to use whichever version you feel is most appropriate for your audience.

Thanks for your interest!

 

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Marita Noon

What will America look like if the environmentalists win?

In every war, there are winners and losers. Whether the war is ideological or physical, or even if a truce is declared—there are still battles that end in victory or defeat.

In the United States, and most of the western world, there is an ideological war with dire physical consequences. It is the war on fossil fuels. But, even if you understand (as I hope my readers do) that energy is central to everything in modern society, the war is much bigger than energy. It is about freedom. It is about control. It is about global governance.

In my book Energy Freedom, I make a case for why energy is so important and, therefore, why it is under attack. I posit: “What would the world be like if we could suddenly wave a magic wand and give the environmentalists everything they want?” I then detail how our lives would change and how it would not be the utopia one might first think. I develop the catch phrase: “Take away energy, take away freedom.”

When I speak, I give out an oversized business card that includes a satellite photo of the Korean peninsula—which makes clear that the free-market, democratic, and developed country is light and bright, while the communist country is dark. I often ask my audiences where our current energy policy in America is headed—to which they shout back “North Korea.” It is a good visual and a good talking point. People seem to get it.

While we all know we can’t wave that magic wand, we are headed toward the same result. It is just happening a little at a time—one regulation after another, slowly, with some people, in the name of the planet, willingly giving up freedoms in favor of a promise of security. It comes in the form of the Endangered Species Act, Corporate Average Fuel Economy, and the Clean Power Plan—though the list could go on and on.

Others are not so gullible. They see the bigger plan and are willing to be the brunt of scoff, or even persecution. They fight for the principles upon which this great nation was founded.

This past week, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of expats in Mexico. Repeatedly I heard: “If everything goes to hell in the U.S., this is where I am hiding out.” Clearly, they see the need for a plan and are fortunate enough to be able to retire to the moderate climes of Lake Chapala. The “Doomsday Preppers,” perhaps, have the same idea—with a different escape route.

While I was South of the Border, I took a few vacation days and read a novel cover-to-cover—a luxury I seldom have. I read Mountain Whispers, Days without Sun. It was sent to me by the author, who reads my column. It is his debut novel and not the usual light, fluffy stuff I like to read around the pool. I didn’t expect to like it. But I promised I’d read it. I am glad I did.

Mountain Whispers, Days without Sun picks up where Energy Freedom leaves off. Coleman Alderson, using a fiction format, carefully weaves the green narrative into a spell-binding thriller set just slightly more than 25 years from now—when all of the green policies have taken force— and paints a gripping picture of how the Global Energy Enforcement Organization (GEEO) takes control of every aspect of our lives, leaving people struggling to survive a bleak existence.

But not everyone is willing to abandon freedom for the neat and tidy life promised in “Progress City.” They resist being “registered” and moved to work on an organic farm or serve in “the administration.” Even many of those who originally accepted the move are beginning to realize the mistake they made. The friction creates the story as the “retros”—Appalachian Mountain folks, many of whom worked in the now-closed coal mines—resist registration and citification.

I chatted with Alderson about his book. I asked: “Why are cities important?” He explained the view that cities are “manageable regions,” that it is more efficient to have people in cites where they don’t use the resources. They don’t need cars. Instead they use public transportation or bicycles.

One of the lead characters is a young man named Agent Candler Greaves who is sent to round up the rebellious “retros.” Having been raised with the “save the planet” mantra, he genuinely wants to “help guide humanity toward a harmonious existence with the planet.” But, as Mountain Whispers, Days without Sun makes vividly clear, the result of the GEEO’s efforts is a decrease in various public services, more land restrictions, limited availability of food, electricity and medical treatments—while the leadership thrives in spite of it all.

Alderson explains: “You can tell a story and capture people’s emotions. They’ll identify much better than if you read off facts and statistics—which are often hard for people to connect with. But, we all connect with stories. I really tried to dial back on the exposition and instead work it into the fabric of these people’s lives. My goal is to show what happens, what is the impact of these mandates that result in a depopulation of the rural areas and the control of people. Their individual hopes and aspirations are killed in the name of the collective.”

The idea of citizens willingly being chipped (like a dog) and tracked may seem extreme to some, but as I returned to the U.S. and scanned my passport while the kiosk took my picture and printed out a report that allowed me back into the country, I realized it is a closer reality than we think. If you’ve seen advertising pop up on your computer based on websites you’ve visited, or if as you pull out of your driveway on Monday morning, your phone, without your asking it to, tells you how long it will take you to get to work, you know the scenario presented in Mountain Whispers, Days without Sun, while fiction, is totally possible. Unless, like the Appalachian Mountain folks, we get what is going on and fight it while it is still an ideological war that can be won without bloodshed.

The war we are fighting, as Alderson explains in the afterword: “is a saga of two cultures, of two divergent ways of life, and ultimately two paths leading into our future. One way leads to empowerment and living close to the land; the other promotes safety, security, and a global technocracy prescribed to minimize human impact on the environment.”

Alderson is an optimist. In the end, it is going to be OK. If we can figure out how to put a brake on the policies and bring reason into the discussion, we can, then, figure out how to avoid living out the future laid out in Mountain Whispers, Days without Sun. It is that optimism that keeps us fighting.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director forEnergy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, theCitizens’ 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.

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The constant harangue of climate-change religion
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The following article is taken in its entirety from the Wall Street Journal.  Because it is authored by a United States’ senator and because this blog does not derive any compensation from its publication, we believe its use here comes under the Fair Use Doctrine

The Climate-Change Religion

Earth Day provided a fresh opening for Obama to raise alarms about global warming based on beliefs, not science.

LAMAR SMITH
April 23, 2015 7:35 p.m. ET

‘Today, our planet faces new challenges, but none pose a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” President Obama wrote in his proclamation for Earth Day on Wednesday. “As a Nation, we must act before it is too late.”

Secretary of State John Kerry, in an Earth Day op-ed for USA Today, declared that climate change has put America “on a dangerous path—along with the rest of the world.”

Both the president and Mr. Kerry cited rapidly warming global temperatures and ever-more-severe storms caused by climate change as reasons for urgent action.

Given that for the past decade and a half global-temperature increases have been negligible, and that the worsening-storms scenario has been widely debunked, the pronouncements from the Obama administration sound more like scare tactics than fact-based declarations.

At least the United Nations’ then-top climate scientist, Rajendra Pachauri, acknowledged—however inadvertently—the faith-based nature of climate-change rhetoric when he resigned amid scandal in February. In a farewell letter, he said that “the protection of Planet Earth, the survival of all species and sustainability of our ecosystems is more than a mission. It is my religion and my dharma.”

Instead of letting political ideology or climate “religion” guide government policy, we should focus on good science. The facts alone should determine what climate policy options the U.S. considers. That is what the scientific method calls for: inquiry based on measurable evidence. Unfortunately this administration’s climate plans ignore good science and seek only to advance a political agenda.

Climate reports from the U.N.—which the Obama administration consistently embraces—are designed to provide scientific cover for a preordained policy. This is not good science. Christiana Figueres, the official leading the U.N.’s effort to forge a new international climate treaty later this year in Paris, told reporters in February that the real goal is “to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years.” In other words, a central objective of these negotiations is the redistribution of wealth among nations. It is apparent that President Obama shares this vision.

The Obama administration recently submitted its pledge to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The commitment would lock the U.S. into reducing greenhouse-gas emissions more than 25% by 2025 and “economy-wide emission reductions of 80% or more by 2050.” The president’s pledge lacks details about how to achieve such goals without burdening the economy, and it doesn’t quantify the specific climate benefits tied to his pledge.

America will never meet the president’s arbitrary targets without the country being subjected to costly regulations, energy rationing and reduced economic growth. These policies won’t make America stronger. And these measures will have no significant impact on global temperatures. In a hearing last week before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, of which I am chairman, climate scientist Judith Curry testified that the president’s U.N pledge is estimated to prevent only a 0.03 Celsius temperature rise. That is three-hundredths of one degree.

In June 2014 testimony before my committee, former Assistant Secretary for Energy Charles McConnell noted that the president’s Clean Power Plan—requiring every state to meet federal carbon-emission-reduction targets—would reduce a sea-level increase by less than half the thickness of a dime. Policies like these will only make the government bigger and Americans poorer, with no environmental benefit.

The White House’s Climate Assessment implies that extreme weather is getting worse due to human-caused climate change. The president regularly makes this unsubstantiated claim—most recently in his Earth Day proclamation, citing “more severe weather disasters.”

Even the U.N. doesn’t agree with him on that one: In its 2012 Special Report on Extreme Events, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there is “high agreement” among leading experts that long-term trends in weather disasters are not attributable to human-caused climate change. Why do the president and others in his administration keep repeating this untrue claim?

Climate alarmists have failed to explain the lack of global warming over the past 15 years. They simply keep adjusting their malfunctioning climate models to push the supposedly looming disaster further into the future. Following the U.N.’s 2008 report, its claims about the melting of Himalayan glaciers, the decline of crop yields and the effects of sea-level rise were found to be invalid. The Inter Academy Council, a multinational scientific organization, reviewed the report in 2010 and identified “significant shortcomings in each major step of [the U.N.] assessment process.”

The U.N. process is designed to generate alarmist results. Many people don’t realize that the most-publicized documents of the U.N. reports are not written by scientists. In fact, the scientists who work on the underlying science are forced to step aside to allow partisan political representatives to develop the “Summary for Policy Makers.” It is scrubbed to minimize any suggestion of scientific uncertainty and is publicized before the actual science is released. The Summary for Policy Makers is designed to give newspapers and headline writers around the world only one side of the debate.

Yet those who raise valid questions about the very real uncertainties surrounding the understanding of climate change have their motives attacked, reputations savaged and livelihoods threatened. This happens even though challenging prevailing beliefs through open debate and critical thinking is fundamental to the scientific process.

The intellectual dishonesty of senior administration officials who are unwilling to admit when they are wrong is astounding. When assessing climate change, we should focus on good science, not politically correct science.”

Mr. Smith, a Republican from Texas, is chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

 

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Marita Noon: 2015 Not friendly to renewables
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Greetings!

Because of my profile in the world of energy, many people send me updates and alerts regarding energy news. I’d received something on Oklahoma’s RPS repeal and another on Texas’. I, or course, knew about the situation in New Mexico. I’d written previously on the RFS and the failure of cellulosic ethanol. But it was reading this line in The Economist—“Some companies, indeed, are starting to give up”–that really sparked the theme for this week’s column: It is a bad time to be in the renewable energy industry (attached and pasted-in-below).

I believe that when you tie all these stories together, as I have done, a trend is clear. 2015 may go down in history as the year renewable energy died. No wonder the solar industry is being so aggressive in its efforts to sell solar panels. It has to get it while the getting is good.

Please post, pass on, and/or personally enjoy It is a bad time to be in the renewable energy industry. Thanks for your interest!

Marita Noon

Marita82313

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

For immediate release: April 27

Commentary by Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

Words: 1284

It is a bad time to be in the renewable energy industry

2015 may go down in the books as the year support for renewable energy died—and we are only a few months in. Policy adjustments—whether for electricity generation or transportation fuels—are in the works on both the state and federal levels.

While the public is generally positive about the idea of renewable energy, the reality of years-long policy implementation that offers it special favors has changed public opinions. An October 2014 report in Oklahoma’s Enid News titled: “Wind worries?: A decade after welcoming wind farms, states reconsider,” offers this insightful summary:

“A decade ago, states offered wind-energy developers an open-armed embrace, envisioning a bright future for an industry that would offer cheap electricity, new jobs and steady income for large landowners, especially in rural areas with few other economic prospects. To ensure the opportunity didn’t slip away, lawmakers promised little or no regulation and generous tax breaks. But now that wind turbines stand tall across many parts of the nation’s windy heartland, some leaders in Oklahoma and other states fear their efforts succeeded too well, attracting an industry that gobbles up huge subsidies, draws frequent complaints and uses its powerful lobby to resist any reforms.”

But, it isn’t just wind energy that has fallen from favor. 2015 state and federal legislation reflects the “reconsider” prediction. Likewise “powerful” lobbyists are resisting the proposed reforms.

Oklahoma is just one state in what has become a new trend.

About a decade ago, when more than half of the states enacted strict Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), Oklahoma, and a few other states, agreed to voluntary targets. Now, nearly one-third of those states are reconsidering the legislation that sounded so good in a different energy era. Back then, it was widely believed that there was an energy shortage and “dealing with global warming” was a higher public priority.

“Roughly 30 bills relating to the Oklahoma wind industry have been filed in the state legislature in the 2015 session, including at least one targeting the tax breaks and others attempting to alter regulatory policies,” reports Fox News. On April 16, the Oklahoma House voted, 78-3, to eliminate the wind energy tax credit. The measure now moves to the Senate, which will review a companion bill introduced by Senator Mike Mazzei—it is expected to pass and will likely be headed to Governor Mary Fallin soon.

Oklahoma isn’t the first state to reconsider its renewable energy policies. That distinction goes to Ohio, which in May 2014, passed legislation that paused the state’s RPS for two years. Governor Kasich signed it in June. Meanwhile, according to Eli Miller, the Ohio State Director for Americans for Prosperity: “the economic well-being of our working families and businesses can be factored in before moving forward.” The International Business Times projects that the two years a commission has to study will lead to a “permanent reduction.”

Earlier this year, West Virginia became the first state to repeal its RPS. With unanimous support in the Senate and a 95-4 vote in the House, renewable energy supporters are dismayed. Calling it “pure political theater and probably a flop,” Nick Lawton, Staff Attorney at the Green Energy Institute dismisses the move: “West Virginia’s withdrawal of its weak renewable energy policy is unlikely to significantly change that state’s energy markets.” Nancy Guthrie, one of the four Democrats who voted “No,” did so because she believes “we are running out of coal, it’s that simple”—which is, of course, totally incorrect.

Last month the Texas Senate voted to end its RPS and another program that, according to the Star Telegram, “helped fuel the state’s years-long surge in wind energy production.” The bill now moves to the House State Affairs Committee. It is expected to pass the House and be signed by Governor Greg Abbott. While Texas is known for its leadership in wind energy, the termination of the RPS will impact the solar industry as well. Charlie Hemmeline, executive director of the Texas Solar Power Association, states: “Increasing uncertainty for our industry raises the cost of doing business in the state.”

Coming up, Kansas, North Carolina, and Michigan have legislation that revisits the states’ favorable renewable energy policies.

New Mexico and Colorado had bills to repeal or revise the RPS that passed in one chamber, but not in the other.

While Louisiana doesn’t have an RPS, it does have generous tax credits for solar panel installations that have exploded the cost to the state’s taxpayers. The credits were originally expected to cost the state $500,000 million a year. In 2014 the payouts ballooned to $63.5 according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Repealing or revising the policy is a key priority in the current legislative session.

“Taxpayer support for wind energy is also losing momentum in Congress,” says Fox News. It points out: “Capitol Hill lawmakers at the end of last year did not extend the Federal Production Tax Credit (PTC). And in March, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), failed to rally support behind an amendment that would have put a five-year extension on the PTC.”

It is not just wind energy that has lost favor in Congress. The Ethanol mandates—known as the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—are being re-examined, too.

On January 16, 2015, Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced the “Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act of 2015.”

More recently, a “former Obama economic adviser” issued a report that calls for changes to the 10-year-old RFS. Harvard University Professor Jim Stock served on the Council of Economic Advisers in 2013 and 2014. The Hill states: “His report comes at a time of growing angst among lawmakers, regulators and the industry over the future of the RFS, which mandates fuel refiners blend a certain volume of ethanol and biodiesel into their traditional gasoline and diesel supplies.” The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) supports the sentiment calling Stock’s report: “a key voice to a growing chorus of people who say the policy isn’t working.” It continues: “The report adds to a growing body of politicians and experts who are questioning the law’s effectiveness amid regulatory uncertainty and lower prices.”

Hawaii, uniquely, has its own ethanol mandate, but it, too, is coming under attack. KHON states: “Nine years after a major change at the gas pump was forced on Hawaii drivers, many are now calling it a failed experiment and want it gone.”

In both the case of Hawaii and the federal government, lawmakers are looking toward advanced biofuels that don’t raise food costs. However, the Environmental Protection Agency—tasked with implementing the RFS—has repeatedly waived or reduced the cellulosic biofuel requirements because, despite more than $126 billion invested since 2003, the industry has yet to produce commercially viable quantities of fuel.

Addressing dwindling investment in biofuels and growing skepticism, The Economist, on April 18, says: “Campaigners generally find it easier to fulminate against those which damage the environment or food security than to explain exactly how they ought to be grown.” It concludes: “Whether such bright ideas can be commercialised at scale is a different question. Some companies, indeed, are starting to give up. Several algae-to-fuel ventures in America are switching to the manufacture of high-value chemicals instead. Sunlight is a great source of energy. Biology may not be the best way of storing it.”

And this doesn’t include the public’s failure to embrace higher-priced electric cars—even with tens of thousands of dollars of subsidies and tax credits.

Looking at all the policy reviews, the trend is clear. As Watchdog.org, in a report titled: “Why repealing the renewable energy mandates is good for the economy,” concludes: “The best policy for the states is to leave energy consumption decisions to consumers in the market rather than legislate them.”

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.

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She may be the democrats candidate; but pray she will never be president
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The video and narrative found from following the next link were posted by Doug Powers, a writer for the Michelle Malkin Blog and website.  What a terribly grand person he references in his piece:

Our Next President … Surely Not

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Conspiracy Brews 4.25.15
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ConspiracyBrews

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!
April 25, 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 ***
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”

Samuel Johnson

“Man cannot make principles; he can only discover them.”

Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)

Suggested Topics
— Shall we discuss free-range child-rearing?

— So what is the shape of ABQ (moral, economic, and criminal, not geometric)?

— Shall we discuss the potential Republican candidates and Democratic candidates for president?

(Light Quotes of the week)
“My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.”

Ellen DeGeneres

“Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”

Redd Foxx

“An intellectual snob is someone who can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think of The Lone Ranger.”

Dan Rather

——-

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Twisted logic as usual
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Marita Bonus: Solar Tax Credits are not “conservative” or “free market”
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Greetings!

 

I originally wrote this extra piece as an exclusive op-ed for The Advocate. Yesterday, I heard from the editor. He’ll publish it as a Letter to the Editor at 450 words. I quickly edited it down and sent it back. I then, added in the radio story and a few other items for this version. I hope you’ll choose to give this important story an audience by posting it, passing it on and/or personally enjoying Solar tax credits are not “conservative” or “free market” (attached and pasted-in-below).

 

Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great, inc.

PO Box 52103, Albuquerque, NM 87181

505.239.8998

Energy Commentary from Marita Noon

Executive Director, Energy Makes America Great Inc.

Contact: 505.239.8998, marita@responsiblenergy.org

rp_Marita823131.jpg

 

 Solar tax credits are not “conservative” or “free market”

The solar industry has poured a startling amount of effort and funding—much of it backed by California-based, billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer, who is heavily invested in solar—into attempting to gain the legislative favor needed for it to survive.

 

Nationwide, the growth of the renewable power industry is dependent on a combination of big government mandates, tax credits, and subsidies—making it the perfect target of wrath from limited-government, free-market, and/or fiscally-conservative individuals and policymakers.

 

Some proposed legislation would prop up the industry (Florida), and force it to stand on its own (Louisiana).

 

In Louisiana, about 80 percent of the cost of solar installation is paid for through a combination of federal and state tax credits.

 

In discussing the state’s dramatic $1.6 billion budget shortfall, The Advocate’s, Mark Ballard, on April 6, aptly pointed out that the solar industry promises a “full-court press to protect” Louisiana’s generous tax credits that it says are “vital to its survival.” Ballard cites State Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield, who called the solar tax credit’s cost to the state’s taxpayers: “one of the fastest-growing. The solar credit cost $63.5 million in 2014, up from $9 million in 2013.” Plans to ratchet back—not remove—the tax credit, Ballard reports, could save the state $57 million.

 

Facing the loss of the essential-to-survival tax credit, legislators have been besieged by solar supporters. State Senator Robert Adley says, many, claiming to be “a businessman,” have sat in his office to plead the case. He snaps back: “You are not a businessman. A real businessman has skin in the game; has his own money at risk. With eighty percent of your costs coming from the taxpayers, you don’t depend on the market, you depend on the government. You are feeding at the trough.”

 

Representative J. Lance Harris agrees: “This subsidy absolutely makes no sense, there’s no energy crisis!  We’ve got plenty of oil, plenty of natural gas, and plenty of electricity. What if the taxpayer subsidized eighty percent of the cost of a new Porsche for anyone who wanted one?  There’s no difference; it’s misguided and ridiculous.”

 

As part of its “full-court press,” the solar industry is bringing the Tea Party’s Judas Iscariot equivalent to town. Debbie Dooley, who was part of the original Tea Party movement back in 2009, has since capitalized on the affiliation by claiming—as she did in her April 7 Facebook post crowing about “speaking directly after Al Gore” at an event in New York—that she is “advancing energy choice in a conservative way through free market competition.”

 

A power source that depends on big government handouts of taxpayer dollars for “survival” doesn’t qualify as “conservative” or “free market.”

 

During a recent trip to Louisiana, I was discussing the state’s generous solar subsidies on Jeff Crouere’s Ringside Politics radio show. He asked me how the solar subsidies were working. I explained that the answer depended on which side of the equation you stood. For the solar industry and homeowners, who benefitted from the subsidies, it was working well. But for the taxpayers and ratepayers: not so good. We chatted for a few minutes about the situation and, then, had a caller who couldn’t have been more perfect if I’d scripted him.

 

The caller planned to dispute my argument and, instead, ended up reinforcing it.

 

He told about his rooftop solar system—with which he was very happy. Why wouldn’t he be happy? He got a $40,000 system for $7000. He explained that, now, after five years of payments, his electricity was virtually “free.”

 

I was pleased that the caller addressed the system’s $40,000 cost. If one only listens to the ads, you’d think a solar system is cheap. He went on to say that he “got a generous check from Bobby Jindal” and he “took advantage of the federal incentives”—which resulted in his $7000 cost. He bragged that he amortized the cost over five years. He argued with me over my assertion that a few rooftop solar customers penalized the entire ratebase.

 

At the end of the call, Crouere asked for my response. I pointed out how the caller made my point. Courtesy of Louisiana and federal taxpayers, he got a $40,000 system for $7000. Because the utility is required to buy the surplus electricity his system generates (when it does) during the sunny days at full retail, known as net metering, and he buys it back at night, his bill is essentially zero. But any business owner knows that you can’t buy your product at retail and sell it at retail and stay in business for long. Because of people like the caller, who as Senator Adley stated, are “feeding at the trough,” costs for all ratepayers must increase to cover all the expenses of generating and delivering electricity that he is using but not paying for.

 

Yes, the caller benefitted from the system, but taxpayers and ratepayers are the victims of his winfall Like Dooley, he believed it was a free-market choice. Yet, government subsidies picking solar as a winner, make it possible—even attractive—for him.

 

The Advocate quotes Dooley as saying: “conservatives want to champion free market choice, and not let the government pick the winners and losers”—though that is exactly what the state’s solar subsidies, for which she shills, do. No other industry receives 63.5 million of Louisiana taxpayer’s dollars in one year. Yes, the industry claims it has created 1200 jobs, which costs taxpayers almost $53,000 per job.

 

In defending the subsidies, solar supporters, like Dooley, claim that the fossil fuel industry gets them, too. However, in 2013, the state’s oil-and-gas industry paid nearly $1.5 billion in state taxes and supports 64,669 jobs in the extraction, pipeline, and refining industries—not including indirect taxes and jobs. The petroleum industry gives; solar takes away.

 

As the Louisiana legislature looks at ways to fix the budget deficit, it is clear where cuts, rather than encouragement, should take place.

 

 

Marita Noon is an author and the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She educates the public and influences policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. CARE recently released the policy paper Solar Power in the U.S., which offers a comprehensive look at the impacts of solar power on the nation’s consumers.

 

 

 

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Hillary needs this unlike the nation needs her
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RECONCILE THIS

HandicappedParking3WebCR-4_17_15

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Edgewood Mobile Food Pantry & Civitan Clothing Distribution 4.23.15
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