Marita Noon

We all know that each president has his own unique pet projects. He talks about them in the campaign, and we expect him to act on them once in office. Even the first ladies have their favorites, which also influence policy.

We should not be surprised than that President Obama has directed billions of dollars to green-energy projects, such as Solyndra, and that he continues to push though measures that punish petroleum—believing he can make winners and losers.

But directing policy based on waves of popularity—rather than fact, makes as much sense as taxing or providing federal funding to Barbie Dolls.

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Post image for DC Brand Red Tape Results in Severe Economic and Social Impacts

Communities all over the country feel that their hands are tied with one-size-fits-all DC Brand Red Tape. The rules and regulations prevent them from doing what is best for their specific circumstances. The situation has escalated to the point where elected officials are now taking charge to do what is local and logical.

What took place this weekend in the rural New Mexico town of Cloudcroft could become the model for all who want to cut the red tape. Hundreds of people were at what is being called the “Otero County Tree Party” in support of realigning the federal government and putting them back where they belong.

Ten years ago, the New Mexico State Legislature passed SB1, which was signed into law by then-governor Gary Johnson. The legislature overwhelmingly voted for it, believing that it was a necessity borne out of “Uncontrollable, but preventable wildfires, and unresponsive federal agencies.” The Forest Service’s (USFS) inaction to reduce or remove the fuel buildup put “the lives and property of the citizens of New Mexico” at risk.

SB1 exerted local sovereignty over public lands. But it had never been tested.

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Post image for What Obama Could Say in His Speech That Would Really Turn the Economy around

Recent polling indicates that seventy-six percent (76%) of voters say the country is heading down the wrong track. Clearly, something needs to be done to turn the train around and head in a different direction.

First we need to know where we’ve been headed and then make a conscious decision to do a 180.

Three recent news stories—all under-reported—offer a snapshot of the wrong direction.

The Julia Field

Exxon is in a legal battle with the US government. The company has a new oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico in what is called the Julia Field. Exxon reports an estimated one billion barrels of recoverable oil—worth potential royalties to the government of $10.95 billion. The discovery is believed to be the largest in the Gulf of Mexico. (Note: we are not out of oil; we keep finding more.)

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Post image for Obama Caves to Pressure, Withdraws Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards

On Friday morning, President Obama announced, “I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time.”

Just hours before, the worst jobs numbers in a year were released.

Business and industry groups have been beating the drum regarding the EPA’s excessive regulations and their impact on the struggling American economy. The EPA has already backed down from their foolish attempt to apply oil-spill regulations to spilled milk on dairy farms. Now common sense and economic necessity can chalk up another win.

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Post image for Irene Brings the Importance of Energy to Light

“Coal is making us sick. Oil is making us sick.” So said Senator Harry Reid. As the entire East Coast faced a fierce Irene, the lunacy of Reid’s statement was brought to light.

America’s energy is what kept people alive despite nature’s fury.

Over the weekend, the news was filled with clips of governors, mayors, and police chiefs begging people to evacuate and escape the storm, and shots of highways were filled with cars heading out. Reports warned that gas stations were out of gas and major power outages impacting millions of people could remain for as long as two weeks.

Buried between the lines of “storm surges” and “wind gusts,” is an untold story of the importance of energy in saving lives.

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Post image for Changing the Discussion on Energy and the Environment

In reaching to remain relevant, the environmental movement has had to change tactics.

Back in the seventies, when America looked like China does today, environmental issues needed attention. But then we cleaned up the air and water. The skies and rivers went from brown to blue. As Greenpeace cofounder Patrick Moore explains, in order to stay relevant, environmentalists had to find new issues.

For most of the last decade global warming has been their cause, and carbon—or burning fossil fuels—was vilified as the cause. This gave way to a whole new industry: green. Green energy would replace fossil fuels. Wind and solar would replace coal as the source fuel for electricity and ethanol, or other fuels generated from biomass, would replace liquid fuels. Green energy would provide new “green” jobs. The world would be a beautiful place.

This all sounded nice. It felt good.

But that was before data began to be show how much more all of this was going to cost and the urgent need to save the planet passed. The polar bears were not drowning. The measurements were found to be falsified. Consensus science didn’t work. The seas did not rise and the world seemed to adapt to whatever the various changes have been. There was a “newfound hostility to climate policy.” Suddenly, we did not want to spend so much on “feel good.”

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Post image for A Bad Week for Obama’s Anti-Energy Policies

It’s only fair. That’s the principle I’ll be fighting for during the next phase of this process.” President Obama, August 2, 2011

What if you paid $38,000 to lease a house and were then told you cannot move in until some studies are done to determine if it is safe, but you do not get your money back? Years go by while the landlord is holding your money. That’s not fair!

But this is exactly what the Obama administration has been doing to the oil and gas industry since May of 2010. The same Obama who is crisscrossing the country touting “fair.”

On Friday, a US District Judge, appointed by Obama, decided that the administration wasn’t playing fair.

In October 2010, the Western Energy Alliance (WEA), representing more than 400 independent natural gas and oil producers in the western states, filed a lawsuit against the federal government to force action on oil and gas leases that companies had already paid for. The leases had been purchased at Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lease sales. But because of environmental protests and uncertainty over endangered species, the BLM has a backlog of leases needing additional examination.

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Post image for Endangered Species Act “Science”: Filled with Secrecy, Speculation, and Contradiction

History tells us that listing a critter as an endangered species does little for the species and can do a great deal of harm to the local economies—the spotted owl and the delta smelt are two oft-cited cases. But there is not a big body of evidence showing how the listing decisions were made. It was just assumed that the species plight warranted protection. But that was before the listing proposal for the dunes sagebrush lizard threatened a large segment of U.S. domestic oil production and the economies of Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. Rallies in opposition to the listing have drawn hundreds of irate citizens, hearings on the matter have had overflow crowds, and the public register has pages and pages of public comment. Both ABC and Fox News have done stories on the lizard.

Acting on the outrage of his constituents and using his law enforcement background, New Mexico State Representative Dennis Kintigh gathered a group of independent scientists—several from area universities—who have spent the last several months reviewing the science underlying the listing. Their report was released in a public meeting on Monday, August 15, in Artesia, New Mexico, in a roundtable format with the scientists available for questions.

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Post image for The Credit Downgrade: A Speed Bump on the Road to Ruin

On Friday, America’s credit rating was downgraded from AAA to AA+. For the first time since ratings began, America is, officially, not on top. Only one of the three major rating agencies took this step, and they did it late on Friday. This morning, despite the markets having two days to digest the news, they are saying American debt is unsustainable—we can’t keep spending money we don’t have on things that don’t work.

While there is plenty of negative news addressing the gloom and doom that this could mean, there is a silver lining.

The downgrade tells us that what we’ve been doing isn’t working, and we must change priorities. How we react will determine whether or not the other agencies decide to follow suit—perhaps waiting to see how Congress handles the budget debate.

Here are three things that most of us can agree on: America needs jobs; America needs to make more stuff other countries want; and America needs lower energy prices—and the three are intricately connected. If we could do all of the above, we could see dramatic changes in the economy and salvage the credit rating as Canada did when they received the same warning. Instead, the Obama administration continues driving, pedal to metal, in the opposite direction—not solving the problem and blaming everyone else.

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Post image for Why Is Al Gore So Worked up?

A blustery “bullshitting” Al Gore clip is wending its way through the Internet. On August 4, he was speaking at the Aspen Institute FOCAS seminar in Colorado. The minute plus clip is the most interesting part of an hour-and-half long snooze fest—though he does perk it up when he talks about how climate change has fallen from the front burner of the public psyche. He uses several different fecal terms to describe the various valid theories regarding climate change.

Could the rant be the result of science questioning his profitable propaganda?

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