Post image for Arguments Against Keystone Pipeline Fall Flat

Professional environmentalists are cheering President Obama’s rejection of construction permits for the KeystoneXL Pipeline. They are the only ones cheering, aside from a few NIMBY groups and The New York Times Obama’s always-loyal damage control cohorts. Even The Washington Post voted against Obama in this struggle. The pipeline was a small, but important part of our energy infrastructure and none of the arguments put forth against construction of the KeystoneXL Pipeline are convincing.

1. An initial argument claims that the KeystoneXL Pipeline will somehow not provide energy security for the United States.

Because consumers from around the country (and the world) use oil, pipelines are necessary to transfer mind-bogglingly large amounts of it around the country each day. Imagine a scenario where we randomly begin shutting down oil and natural gas pipelines around the United States. The obvious result of decreasing our capacity would be decreased security, as we are less capable of moving oil around our country to deal with shocks, disasters, etc. Now think about what adding a pipeline does: it increases our capacity to transport oil around the country. Ultimately, this must increase to some extent our energy security. [click to continue…]

Post image for Next Generation Fuel Economy Sticker – To Boldly Label What No Agency Has Labeled Before

Today, the U.S. EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proudly unveil their new, improved, long-awaited, supah-dupah, “next generation” fuel economy sticker. All model year 2013 vehicles will have to display the redesigned stickers.

“The new labels, which are the most dramatic overhaul to fuel economy labels since the program began more than 30 years ago, will provide more comprehensive fuel efficiency information, including estimated annual fuel costs, savings, as well as information on each vehicle’s environmental impact,” EPA’s press releaseenthuses. Only in the makework world of bureaucracy central would this “overhaul” of a label be hailed as “dramatic.”

As my colleague William Yeatman joked when I told him the news: “Anyone can have a sticker, but a next generation sticker — the future is here, my friend!”

In their original August 2010 regulatory proposal, the agencies wanted the new label to include letter grades based on the car’s fuel economy and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids would get an A+; the biggest, heaviest, gas guzzling SUVs would get a D.

However, in December 2010, 53 House Members sent a bipartisan letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood protesting that letter grades would “unfairly promote certain vehicles over others.” Indeed, that was the point. Stigmatize SUVs and other politically-incorrect vehicles by giving them bad grades.

Worse, grading cars implicitly means grading the people who buy them. People who buy cars with super-low or zero emissions are caring and ahead of the curve. Those who buy gas guzzlers are yokels who voted for Bush and wear baseball caps in restaurants. The South Park spoof on the “Toyonda Pius,” Smug Alert, all-too-accurately depicts the greener-than-thou pretension of EPA and NHTSA’s proposed grading system.

Rebuked by those wielding the power of the purse, the agencies relented and the “next generation” sticker does not include letter grades. To view the current sticker, click here. To see what the scolds at EPA and NHTSA originally planned to replace it with, click here.

Clearly, these folks are into behavior modification. How potent will the redesigned label be in modifying your behavior? [click to continue…]

Post image for Whiny L.A. Times Editorial Evinces Environmentalist Character Flaw

The Los Angeles Times editorial board last week penned a widely circulated thesis that “[t]he environment and public health will be thrown under a bus for the sake of his [President Barack Obama’s] reelection in 2012.” While I would love, love, love for this to be true, it isn’t; the L.A. Times editorial board’s contention that the president has abandoned greens to score political points is bunk.

In fact, this administration is waging a war on conventional energy supply and demand in this country, with very real repercussions for everyday Americans. Just ask the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, oil and gas drillers along the Gulf, or coal miners in Appalachia, all of whom have urged the Congress to roll back the president’s regulatory crackdown in an effort to protect their livelihoods.

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Post image for World Bank Adopts Anti-Human, Anti-Coal Agenda

According to the World Health Organization, more than half the world’s population uses dung, crop matter, and coal to cook and heat inside their homes. Full disclosure: I’ve lived in a dung-powered home. From 2004 to 2006, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kyrgyz Republic. The family with whom I lived was poor even by Kyrgyz standards, and sheep poop was a primary fuel. The furnace ventilation system was inefficient, to say the least, and smoke would get everywhere. Such smoke kills 1.6 million people every year. Every 20 seconds, another poor person dies of indoor air pollution.

Thankfully, there’s a solution to this killer problem: coal fired power plants. By building a centralized coal power plant, it is possible to take energy production out of the home, and thereby save lives. Allow me to repeat: Coal power saves lives in the developing world. Of course, there are many other benefits to affordable and reliable energy; foremost among them is economic growth.

The World Bank was established in 1945 to fight poverty. Accordingly, the institution long has financed new coal fired power plants in developing countries, for the life-saving and prosperity-creating reasons I cite above.

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In a front page story today, the Washington Post – of all places! – revealed that unemployment for so-called “green jobs” is pretty darn high.  (See Retrained for green jobs, but still waiting on work by Michael A. Fletcher).  You mean, all the Obama and enviro promises about green jobs being the next, great economic boom were…wrong?  People aren’t voluntarily choosing to pay more for “clean energy”?

Who could have guessed that the Great Green Dream has been “undercut by the simple economic fact that fossil fuels remain cheaper than renewables”?

So, the Obama administration shoveled out $90 billion out of the $814 billion economic stimulus bill for clean energy stuff, like weatherizing public buildings, constructing “advanced” (?) battery plants in the Midwest, financing solar electric plants in the Mojave desert, and training green energy workers.

But the huge federal investment has run headlong into the stubborn reality that the market for renewable energy products – and workers – remains in its infancy.

Well, that can’t be good, all those 90 billion smackeroos just blown on nothing.  So, surely the next step is to pull the plug on this economy-busting boondoggle force people to buy green energy stuff.

Both Obama administration officials and green energy executives say that the business needs not just government incentives, but also rules and regulations that force people and business to turn to renewable energy.

Without government mandates dictating how much renewable energy utilities must use to generate electricity, or placing a price on the polluting carbon emitted by fossil fuels, they say, green energy cannot begin to reach its job creation potential.

I mean, just look at the potential here.  The poor guy profiled in the WaPo story was trained in: solar installation,sustainable landscape design, recycling and green demolition (which has something to do with dismantling buildings, rather than demolishing them).  What if we could just force everyone to dip into their pockets to buy expensive solar stuff, contemplate how sustainable their landscape design could be, and pull apart buildings brick by brick!

With some 7.5 million jobs lost from the US economy since December 2007, it’s astounding to realize there’s a movement afoot to force people to spend money on the green equivalent of ditch-digging make-work.