Archive for the ‘Regulations’ Category
Brian Beutler’s article attempts to make the case that Republicans might ultimately lose if the Supreme Court upholds today’s ruling:
An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like Florida and Texas. The vast majority of beneficiaries in those states would be suddenly unable to afford their premiums (and might even be required to reimburse the government for unlawful subsidies they’ve already spent). Millions of people would drop out of the insurance marketplaces. Premiums would skyrocket for the very sick people who need coverage the most.
But that’s where the conservatives’ “victory” would turn into a big political liability for red- and purple-state Republicans. An adverse ruling would create a problem that could be fixed in two ways: With an astonishingly trivial technical corrections bill in Congress, or with Healthcare.gov states setting up their own exchanges. If you’re a Republican senator from a purple Healthcare.gov state—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and others—you’ll be under tremendous pressure to pass the legislative fix. If you’re a Republican governor in any Healthcare.gov state, many thousands of your constituents will expect you to both pressure Congress to fix the problem, and prepare to launch your own exchange.
Conservatives would like to believe that they could just leave something as deeply rooted as Obamacare permanently hobbled, or that they could use the ensuing chaos as leverage, to force Democrats to reopen the books, and perhaps gut the law in other ways. I think they’re miscalculating. Just as government shutdowns and debt default threats don’t create leverage because the public doesn’t support inviting chaos in pursuit of unrelated goals, I don’t think an adverse ruling in Halbig will create leverage for the GOP.
I think Beutler isn’t just wrong about the leverage. I think he’s kidding himself if he thinks this puts Republicans in a difficult position.
By the time the Supreme Court rules on this lawsuit, it’s quite possible that there will be Republican majorities in the House and Senate. If that’s the case, think of this scenario:
Congress might well change Section 36B as part of a bigger bill that’s sure to include other provisions that Republicans like and that President Obama doesn’t like.
For instance, a new bill might include a change to 36B along with a change that eliminates the medical device tax, another change that changes the definition of a Qualified Health Plan, aka QHP, and a change that reduces the penalties for the employer and individual mandates.
Employers and families would certainly love a tiny penalty for not obeying the law. Young people would love being able to buy a catatrophic policy with a HSA to cover other expenses. There’s no question that eliminating the medical device tax would make medical device manufacturers happy.
At that point, President Obama signs the bill that’s essentially a fresh start that dramatically improves the ACA or he vetoes a popular bill that forces families to pay higher insurance premiums, that doesn’t repeal an unpopular tax and he alienates major parts of his base. In my opinion, that’s ‘Rock meets hard place’ territory for President Obama. The good news is that it’s great news for employers, families and young people.
All that’s required is for Republicans to pass a bill that’s filled with popular provisions. Since a majority of people don’t like the bill’s specifics, that shouldn’t be that difficult.
Finally, Beutler insists that this is judicial activism. There’s nothing activist about the DC Circuit’s ruling. They said that Section 36B meant what it said. For the record, here’s the specific language of Section 36B:
monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311  of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
The judiciary’s first responsibility is to determine whether a law is constitutional. If it passes that test, the next test is to determine whether the statute gives the executive branch the authority to take action.
In this instance, the DC Circuit ruled that the ACA didn’t give the executive branch, in this case the IRS, the authority to change a major provision of the statute.
It isn’t radical to think that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to rewrite specific provisions of existing statutes. If the Supreme Court validates this ruling and if President Obama wants that provision changed, there’s a simple remedy: work with Congress to change that part of the ACA.
Technorati: President Obama, Halbig v. Burwell, DC Circuit Court of Appeals, Qualified Health Plans, Employer Mandate, Individual Mandate, Medical Device Tax, HSAs, Insurance Subsidies, Supreme Court, Republican Reforms
About an hour ago, I got this email notification from the Torrey Westrom for Congress campaign:
Sen. Bill Weber Endorses Torrey Westrom for Congress
Cites Westrom’s Integrity and Common Sense in Endorsement Statement
(ALEXANDRIA, Minn.) – Today, Torrey Westrom, candidate for Minnesota’s 7th congressional District, announced the endorsement of Sen. Bill Weber (R-District 22), who has served with Westrom in the Minnesota Senate and cited the integrity and common sense Westrom would bring to Washington, D.C.
“I am honored to support Torrey Westrom for the Seventh District Congressional seat. His knowledge of the issues, his experience in St. Paul and his personal values make him an excellent choice to represent the people of the 7th District in Washington D.C.,” Sen. Weber said in his endorsement statement. “Serving with him in the Minnesota Senate makes me confident that Torrey has the integrity and common sense that is sorely lacking in our nation’s Capitol and which is needed now more than ever!”
“I am honored to have the endorsement of my friend and Senate colleague, Bill Weber, who knows that Washington could use a lot more of our Minnesota values,” Westrom said. “The 7th District needs a representative who will fight government waste and overreach, while standing up for a balanced budget and common sense policies.”
Westrom is a top recruit in the race to replace Collin Peterson, and was named one of the first “Young Guns” in the 2014 election cycle by national Republicans. Westrom was dubbed “Collin Peterson’s worst nightmare” by the examiner.com, and Politico said, “Peterson is expected to face a tough race in Minnesota’s 7th District.”
It isn’t that Collin Peterson’s voting record is as far left as Keith Ellison’s or Nancy Pelosi’s. It’s that he’s a Blue Dog Democrat until Ms. Pelosi tells him to vote for a bill. That’s why he flip-flopped on cap & trade legislation in 2009:
Peterson, the chairman, said Tuesday he voted for the bill only because he knew it wouldn’t become law immediately. He had urged support for the bill after winning concessions that he said would benefit agriculture and ease the impact of higher energy costs on rural residents. “In spite of the fact that they gave me everything I wanted in agriculture…it needs some more work,” he said.
Like I said then, how can a bill still need some work if then-Speaker Pelosi gave him everything Peterson wanted? Taking that sentence literally will give people intellectual whiplash. What’s exceptionally understandable is that Cap & Trade would’ve sent electricity prices skyrocketing for hard-working farmers in the 7th District.
Rather than trying to figure out what Peterson is saying, the 7th would be better off with a straight shooter like Torrey Westrom. People won’t need a decoder ring to figure out what Westrom is saying. With Westrom, what you see is what you get. That’s just one reason to vote for him.
Yesterday, I wrote this post about Westrom’s DC priorities:
There’s the Westrom agenda: regulatory reform, coupled with starting over with patient- and family-centered health care, followed by rebuilding America’s outdated energy infrastructure.
Those are three things that the 7th District needs badly. What it doesn’t need is a congressman who’s resting on his laurels instead of fighting for his district.
Federal regulators are hurting farmers in the 7th District. Collin Peterson hasn’t fought the regulators. Torrey Westrom will. That alone is enough justification to vote for Torrey Westrom.
Technorati: Torrey Westrom, Health Care Reform, Regulatory Reform, Energy Infrastructure, Young Guns Program, Republicans, Collin Peterson, Cap & Trade, Blue Dog Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, Democrats, Election 2014
One thing that I’m finding impressive about Torrey Westrom’s campaign is that he isn’t afraid to lay out his agenda. This article offers a glimpse into what Sen. Westrom’s priorities in DC will be:
Westrom said he has heard from Minnesotans again and again about their concerns with the federal government. He has heard about the Affordable Care Act forcing employers to only offer short-term solutions while they wait for quotes from agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency reaching for control of water ways vaguely connected to navigable waters, and an increasingly invasive National Security Agency.
“It’s government overreach,” he said. “Smaller government runs better.”
While on the campaign trail, Westrom said he has heard a fairly consistent complaint from Minnesotans. “People are really fed up with the regulations,” he said during a visit to the Leader on Tuesday, before speaking at the Minnesota Republican Women’s annual picnic in Hutchinson. “That has been the dominant theme. I spoke with a 58-year-old woman forced to buy maternity coverage. I heard from a computer parts creator that was told … they had to put up a fence around their building.”
It isn’t that Collin Peterson’s voting record is that bad. It’s that he chaired the powerful House Agriculture Committee but didn’t push back against the EPA’s regulations. When you’re in a position of leadership, people in your district need you to lead.
If Sen. Westrom is elected, there’s no question whether he’ll fight the EPA against some of these idiotic regulations. I’d bet the ranch that he’ll go toe-to-toe with the EPA…and win most of the time. That’s just who Torrey Westrom is.
There’s no question whether he’d want to start over on health care reform. He’s seen MNsure work like crap. Similarly, he knows that HealthCare.gov failed, too. Most importantly, he’s heard from people in the district that the ACA isn’t affordable. Whether the website works or doesn’t is irrelevant if the policies are too expensive.
With an insufficient energy infrastructure in place, Westrom wonders why the Keystone Pipeline hasn’t been built. “It’s so common sense I don’t know why it isn’t built yet,” he said.
Westrom said the pipeline will also help move propane and grain, which will be valuable with rail cars harder to connect to, especially now that the Benson Pipeline is no longer in use. “I”m worried that the propane crisis could come again, and worse,” he said.
There’s the Westrom agenda: regulatory reform, coupled with starting over with patient- and family-centered health care, followed by rebuilding America’s outdated energy infrastructure.
Those are three things that the 7th District needs badly. What it doesn’t need is a congressman who’s resting on his laurels instead of fighting for his district. This November, people in the 7th will have their opportunity to correct that.
I’ve written ad nauseum about how environmental activists hate mining on the Iron Range. Rep. Jim Newberger’s Strib op-ed highlights how environmental activists hate coal-fired power plants in Central Minnesota, too:
Last year, the DFL majority forced Xcel Energy to adopt a 30 percent renewable energy standard by 2020. Now the Obama administration wants to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030. The war on coal has come home to Minnesota. Now let’s consider the cost.
Sherco, located in Becker, Minn., produces enough energy for almost half of our state and is the largest coal power plant in the Midwest. It produces 2,400 megawatts of electricity for more than 2.5 million people. That’s more power than both of Minnesota’s nuclear plants combined.
That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, though. Here’s more:
Sherco already meets or exceeds federal clean air standards, and it plans to spend hundreds of millions more for emissions scrubbers to further reduce its environmental impact. Leadership from the organization leading the charge to close Sherco, Beyond Coal, has publicly admitted that Sherco is “unbelievably clean.”
Beyond Coal is part of the Sierra Club’s war on energy:
Sierra Club Programs
Check out this picture:
The Sierra Club isn’t hiding the fact that they’re pushing for a no-fossil-fuel energy world. That’s just the start. The Sierra Club’s North Star Chapter Executive Committee reads like a Who’s Who of the DFL:
John Hottinger is a former Minnesota state senator and majority leader, representing constituents in Mankato. He brings a long history of public service and a deep interest in environment and conservation issues, particularly global warming, to the ExCom.
Javier Morillo-Alicea is the president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, which unites more than 5,000 property service workers in the Twin Cities metro area. Prior to being elected president of SEIU Local 26, he was a political organizer for the SEIU Minnesota State Council and served as State Director for the AFL-CIO’s Voter Protection Program. Morillo was previously a historian and anthropologist, teaching courses at Carleton and Macalester College. He is a Fulbright Scholar and has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Yale University. He lives on the West Side of St. Paul with his partner of thirteen years.
Last Friday night, Javier Morillo-Alicea told his Almanac Political panelists that environmentalists and miners were “having a discussion” about precious metals mining. I suspect his definition of “having a discussion” on mining is what most people would call a step short of a civil war in the DFL.
The DFL’s alliance with organizations like Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and the Sierra Club should tell voters that, on issues like energy and mining jobs, the DFL is far outside Minnesota’s mainstream.
Technorati: Sierra Club, North Star Chapter, Javier Morillo-Alicea, John Hottinger, Beyond Coal, Beyond Natural Gas, Beyond Oil, Becky Rom, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, Mining, Environmental Activists, DFL, Jim Newberger, Sherco Power Plant, PolyMet Mining, Republicans, Election 2014
Thanks to Twin Metals-Minnesota’s FOIA request and the Ely Echo’s investigative reporting, Becky Rom was caught lying about her organization’s role in proposing a programmatic environmental impact statement, aka a PEIS. Here’s the key part of the Echo’s reporting:
So we called Rom and asked her if she or any of the groups she is affiliated with formally requested a PEIS from the Forest Service. As a former attorney, Rom is skilled at not answering questions. So we pressed and pressed some more. Here’s the best of answers we could get:
- “I’ve encouraged the agencies to do what’s required under the law and using the best science.”
- “Nobody is pushing for an extra layer or extra delays or costs or more money. I’m just saying this is really important and doing right is following the law and basing decisions on the best science.”
- “I did not pen any letter but I’ve had these discussions.”
- “As far as I know there’s no formal process for a request like a petition.”
We specifically asked if Rom had approached U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Robert Bonnie (who oversees the USFS).
“I never talked about this to Mr. Bonnie.”
We put a phone call into the USFS office in Duluth but weren’t able to get any answers prior to deadline on the Thursday prior to Memorial Day weekend.
We checked the news releases of the various groups who have been accused of asking for the PEIS and found nothing. Nobody wants to claim they asked for this. Then, late Thursday a Freedom of Information Act request by Twin Metals-Minnesota was granted. Upon request, they shared those documents with us. If anyone would like a copy, just send us an email.
In the documents provided by the Bureau of Land Management was a letter asking for the PEIS. The agency requesting the PEIS? Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness. And who is the vice-chair of NEMW? Becky Rom.NEMW and Conservation Minnesota have both lied to Minnesotans about precious metals mining. Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton has sat idly by while CM, NEMW and other militant environmental activist organizations have spread their lies in their attempt to stop the PolyMet and Twin Metals-Minnensota mining projects dead in their tracks.
Gov. Dayton has tried walking the same perilous political tightrope that Sen. Franken is attempting to navigate. He’s tried to say as little as possible in his attempt to keep the miners and environmental activists on his side. For those who haven’t paid attention to this issue, miners and environmental activists interact together like oil and water.
Several times, Gov. Dayton delayed action on mining leases. State Auditor Rebecca Otto sent out a fundraising appeal after the Executive Council voted to delay approval of mining leases. In that fundraising appeal, Otto bragged how she stood up to the miners.
While Gov. Dayton wasn’t foolish enough to do that, he did vote against approving the leases. That clearly demonstrates who he’s sided with on mining. Here’s what Kent Kaiser wrote about Gov. Dayton’s delaying tactics:
This month, Minnesota’s State Executive Council, which includes the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor, voted to delay 77 leases to explore for copper and nickel on private lands in northern Minnesota. This short-sighted action was initiated by Gov. Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
If Gov. Dayton won’t actively side with the miners against these dishonest environmental activists, then it’s time that Iron Rangers help elect a pro-mining governor and pro-mining senators.
I wrote here how important this issue is to the mining families of St. Louis County. If Gov. Dayton doesn’t change direction on this important issue soon, he should be fired this November.
Hard working Iron Range families can’t wait.
Technorati: Becky Rom, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness, Mark Dayton, Mining Leases, Rebecca Otto, Mark Ritchie, Metrocrats, PolyMet Mining, Twin Metals-Minnesota, Median Household Income, Poverty Rate, St. Louis County, Election 2014
Most recent college grads are too young to remember the last time government ran efficiently. Bill Clinton was president and John Kasich was chairman of the House Budget Committee. The reason I mention that is because Byron York’s column about the Obama administration got me thinking.
In 2016, we will have suffered through 8 years of utter incompetence. The Obama administration, apart from their misguided priorities, has repeatedly shown that they’re utterly incompetent of running government. First, I’ll start by saying that things weren’t all rosy during the Bush administration. President Bush’s mishandling of Katrina was embarassing.
That being said, President Bush’s handling of the war on terror, back when government admitted that terrorists were dangerous people, was pretty good. During Bush’s administration, the intel agencies actually talked with each other. Fast forward to the Obama administration, when the Secretary of State didn’t even talk with her ambassadors serving in dangerous parts of the world.
But I digress.
Prior to the Republican landslide of 1994, Bill Clinton was mostly unfocused, adrift on policies. Enter Chairman Kasich. Shortly after Kasich got the Budget Committee’s gavel, he floated a radical idea, namely balancing the federal budget. Suddenly, President Clinton got engaged.
The end result was that Clinton didn’t expand the federal government’s regulatory reach like the Obama administration did. They didn’t have any moments when people wondered if Clinton had the basic skillset to run the federal government.
Fast forward to 2014. John Kasich is now Ohio’s governor. He’s turned the state around. First, he defeated the incumbent governor, Ted Strickland, campaigning on a reform agenda. Once he was sworn in, he started implementing that reform agenda.
Not surprisingly, Ohio’s economic health has returned. At least, it’s returned as much as possible while President Obama’s policies are still in effect. Gov. Kasich’s ideas, unlike President Obama’s, actually make sense. Gov. Kasich’s ideas have actually been used before and worked.
Gov. Kasich’s Office of Workforce Training, aka OWT, is brilliant on multiple levels. Check it out here. Here are the key takeaways:
Marketing Ohio’s In-Demand Jobs
Update in-demand jobs data regularly
Market in-demand jobs to students, job seekers, business and local workforce
Align Training Programs to Ohio’s Workforce Needs (Implementation)
Increase career pathway opportunities in our education system, from K-J (Kindergarten to Job)
Increase experiential learning opportunities
Expand and enhance career tech opportunities
Unify and Align State’s Workforce Programs
Improve support of businesses struggling to find workers
Prioritize veterans as a ready workforce by providing support to transitioning veterans and marketing opportunities to veterans and businesses
In other words, the system is integrated. That eliminates the possibility of duplicative programs and excessive overhead, aka an overglut of bureaucrats. Best of all, it fits training with verified needs.
That’s the approach we need to make government work again. Please understand this. I don’t want government reaching into places that it doesn’t belong. Higher education is something that state governments are involved with. Here’s part of Gov. Kasich’s plan for implementing his OWT initiative:
Create a dashboard to highlight aligned workforce success measures:
- Expand business resources center currently housed at Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
- Create virtual online access and single point of entry for business and job seeker
- Enhance online tools and access to the tools for career pathway exploration for Ohio students
In other words, it’s an integrated system that’s user friendly and focused on Ohio’s workforce needs. That’s what government looks like when it works.
Technorati: John Kasich, Budget Surpluses, Office of Workforce Training, President Bush, Homeland Security, Terrorist Attacks, Republicans, President Obama, VA Hospital Scandal, Obamacare Rollout, Democrats, Election 2016
Based on Sen. Klobuchar’s and Sen. Franken’s statements in this MinnPost article, it’s safe to say that Minnesota’s DFL US senators just flipped the Iron Range’s DFL legislative delegation the proverbial finger. When pushed about mining, here’s Sen. Klobuchar’s statement:
“While every project must undergo a thorough environmental evaluation, I am concerned about adding this additional impact statement when there is already a process in place,” she said. “I will continue to work with the Forest Service on this issue.”
It sounds like Sen. Klobuchar’s statement was written in coordination with Sen. Franken’s statement:
“Mining is a great Minnesota tradition, and so is protection of our environment and natural resources,” he said. “There’s no question that we need to take into account the environmental impact of any proposed project, but Minnesota and the federal government already have rigorous processes in place to make sure that happens. There’s no reason to have an overly burdensome process. I’ve been talking with the Forest Service about this issue and I will continue to engage them.”
Apparently, these DFL senators don’t give a rip about miners or their families. If they did, they’d raise holy hell with the EPA and the Wildlife Service.
If Sens. Franken and Klobuchar cared about miners, they would’ve introduced legislation to push the approval process. They would’ve made the fight public. Instead, they’re keeping the issue on the back burner. Frankly, they sound like annoyed politicians who’d rather ignore the issue.
That’s important because this is isn’t just any issue. The prosperity of the Iron Range for the next 30 years hinges on whether precious metal mining is approved. If it isn’t, Iron Range families will drop further behind the rest of the state in terms of median household income and percentage of people living in poverty.
The time for urgency on precious metals mining is now. All public signs, though, indicate that the DFL isn’t treating this issue with the urgency it deserves. In the past, if an issue was important to the DFL leadership, they’d start a high-profile media campaign to highlight their cause du jour. Within a week, everyone would know about the DFL’s cause du jour because they’d fire up their media operations.
During the push for higher taxes in 2009, the DFL pushed their misery tour. Within a month, the DFL held high profile meetings in every part of the state. Each meeting was held in the city with that region’s biggest newspaper and biggest city.
When Friends of the Boundary Waters and Conservation first opposed the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects, they launched a high profile website to trash precious metal mining. By comparison, Sen. Franken and Sen. Klobuchar responded to the Iron Range legislative delegation with a document that essentially said ‘Whatever.’
That certainly doesn’t tell Iron Rangers that this is a priority with Sens. Franken and Klobuchar. Apparently, Sens. Franken and Klobuchar only believe in the “fierce urgency of now” when it pertains to Obamacare. Apparently, that isn’t their mindset on trivial things like Iron Rangers making a good living for their families.
It’s time for the Iron Range to flip the DFL the bird. The DFL, especially the Metrocrats, have been flipping the blue collar workers of the Iron Range the bird for 10 years on precious metal mining. It’s time the hardworking people of the Iron Range got their mines, not the shaft from the Metrocrat DFL.
Technorati: Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar, PolyMet Mining, Twin Metals Mining, US Forest Service, Friends of the Boundary Waters, MiningTruth.org, Environmental Activists, Iron Range, Median Household Income, DFL, Election 2014
It’s often a big deal when Sarah Palin endorses a candidate. Much pomp and circumstance accompanies Ms. Palin’s endorsements. It’s perfectly within Ms. Palin’s First Amendment rights to endorse the candidates she chooses. I’d just respect Ms. Palin’s endorsements if she’d do her homework, which she didn’t do with her latest endorsement:
A 12-year state senator, Ortman is challenging Democrat Al Franken in Minnesota. Palin contrasted her qualifications with those of the incumbent, whom she labeled a “clown.” (Franken had a successful career as a comedian before entering politics.)
Ortman “is a conservative champion. … She is running a grassroots campaign against a well-funded favorite of the Washington GOP establishment whose policy record is a blank slate,” Palin said in her endorsement.
By contrast, the candidate that Ms. Palin criticized as being a “favorite of the Washington GOP establishment”, Mike McFadden, favors repealing Obamacare, reducing regulations, simplifying our tax code and limiting government spending.
The reality is that Mike McFadden has laid out a legislative agenda that’s conservative. Altogether too often, Julianne Ortman has voted against common sense conservative principles because she’s been a go-along-to-get-along legislator for nearly 12 years.
The proof is clear. Contrary to Ms. Palin’s endorsing statement, Julianne Ortman isn’t “a conservative champion.” She’s the type of politician that Ms. Palin has railed against in the past.
That’s why Ms. Palin’s endorsement rings hollow. That’s why I’m questioning Ms. Palin’s endorsement. If she doesn’t want her credibility questioned, she needs to prove that she consistently stands for conservative principles.
This time, Ms. Palin didn’t stand for conservative principles.
Thanks to George Will’s response to Chris Wallace’s question about climate change, we have clarity on the issue:
Here’s a partial transcript of Brother Will’s response:
GEORGE WILL, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: …I’m one of those who are called deniers. And the implication is that I deny climate change. It’s impossible to state with clearer precision the opposite of my view, which is that, of course the climate is changing. It’s always changing. That’s what gave us the medieval warm period. That’s what gave us, subsequent to that for centuries, the little Ice Age. Of course it’s changing. When a politician on a subject implicating science, hard science, economic science, social science, says the debate is over, you may be sure of two things. The debate is raging and he’s losing it. So I think, frankly, as a policy question, Chris, Holman Jenkins, Kim’s colleague at the “Wall Street Journal” put it perfectly. The only questions is, how much money are we going to spend? How much wealth are we going to forego creating in order to have zero discernible effect on the environment?
There’s actually another question worth asking in light of President Obama’s recent golf outing in California:
Regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent, an Obama administration official told lawmakers on Tuesday.
Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the DEPArtment of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight board that carbon capture and storage technology was still not ready for prime time.
“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70 to $90 per ton [on the wholesale price of electricity],” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40 to $50 per ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”
This means that the CCS technology the administration is pushing for would increase electricity prices initially, but that prices would come down a bit once better technology is developed. But electricity prices would still be higher than they are now.
It’s disgusting that President Obama insists that he’s the champion of the middle class. The middle class will get hit hardest by this rate increase. While it isn’t technically a middle class tax increase, there’s no question that this is another Obama administration policy that hurts the middle class.
President Obama is the champion of the middle class the way Bonnie and Clyde were bank security advocates.
Technorati: Climate Change, President Obama, Cap And Trade, Medieval Warm Period, Climate Change Deniers, Middle Class Squeeze, Middle Class Tax Increase, Democrats, George Will, Chris Wallace, Fox News, Holman Jenkins, Wall Street Journal
Earlier today, I wrote this post about whether unions deserve most of the credit for building America’s middle class. Apparently, the DFL is feeling more than a little defensive about what I wrote. It’s apparent because Paul Thissen, the Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives, responded with 3 defensive-sounding tweets to my post. Here’s Speaker Thissen’s first tweet:
Do innovative cos take advantage of govt basic rsch? Do business & employees benefit from a broadly educated populace?
Here’s Speaker Thissen’s second tweet:
do workers get to jobs and companies move product without public roads? Do middle class economies exist without clean water?
Here’s Speaker Thissen’s final tweet:
your black & white, either/or world view may serve you rhetorically but no one in real world operates by it.
First, let me address the subject of whether “workers get to jobs and companies move products without public roads.” They do in Indiana. While government funds the building of highways through gas taxes in Minnesota, it’s indisputable that that’s an archaic way of funding highway maintenance. Indiana, not Minnesota, is the future of highway funding. PS- Privatization works in improving highways. Indiana’s proof of that.
Next, Speaker Thissen apparently thinks, like many leftists, that Republicans oppose all forms of government. That’s silliness. They’ve read too many of ABM’s smear campaign messages for their own good. (Then again, the DFL are puppets. ABM is their puppeteer.) Minnesota’s Constitution requires funding of public schools so there’s no question about whether taxpayers will fund government schools.
Third, isn’t it possible that Speaker Thissen is living in an either/or, black or white world? Based upon his past actions, there’s no question that Speaker Thissen thinks that the nanny state isn’t intrusive enough. He’s voted for higher taxes on the richest of the rich. He’s voted for middle class tax increases, too, as recently as last May. Those are indisputable facts. He’s voted for legislation that would prohibit people from owning certain types of dogs in Minnesota.
It isn’t that Republicans hate government. It’s that we’ve seen government expand into areas that government shouldn’t intrude into. We’ve seen the DFL elitists in the Twin Cities tell people in northern Minnesota that they don’t have the right to make a living even if they live by Minnesota’s environmental regulations. Yes, that’s what Conservation Minnesota is pushing. Here in central Minnesota, another of the DFL’s environmentalist allies, the Sierra Club, is pushing for shutting down of the Sherco power plants.
There’s no question whether Speaker Thissen will defend these special interest organizations. There’s no question because he’s defended them in the past. Considering his ambitition to succeed Gov. Dayton as governor, and his need for substantial campaign contributions from environmentalists, there’s no question Speaker Thissen will continue defending these black or white organizations.
Finally, let’s cover Speaker Thissen’s question about whether middle class economies exist without clean water. Not that we’d want this but yes, middle class economies have existed without clean water. Ohio’s and Pennsylvania’s middle class thrived with some of the nastiest water in the nation.
Like I said, however, that shouldn’t be the goal we shoot towards. The linkage between clean water and robust job creation is questionable at best. There’s no disputing whether those things can co-exist. They’re co-existing right now. What’s equally indisputable is that the DFL’s special interest allies love moving the goalposts on industries, especially the mining industry, by increasing the regulatory restrictions on Minnesota’s biggest industries.
Last year, Speaker Thissen didn’t hesitate in pushing a bill that limits silica sand mining even though it would kill Minnesota jobs. Here’s what Rep. Pat Garofalo said about the bill:
You’re gonna actually tax an industry out of existence with a tax on silica mining. I actually had a liberal activist say to me they thought that by raising taxes on silica mining, they would somehow impact the fracking in North Dakota. (Laughter in background) Spoiler alert. They’re gonna get the sand from other states. Doesn’t matter. It’s gonna have no impact whatsoever on other states’ ability to do fracking of natural gas and oil but it will kill jobs here. And it’s not business groups saying that. It’s not small businesses saying it.
We’ve heard from the local 49ers. We’ve heard from the local unions. In fact, members, this is how totally delusional this tax increase is: Mark Dayton actually labeled the House DFL silica sand tax “ridiculous.” So when a tax increase is so high that Gov. Dayton labels it ridiculous, you know you’re checked out for lunch.
Speaker Thissen, the question isn’t whether government will exist. The question is whether the DFL will continue to insist on limiting Minnesota’s economic growth through their abuse of Minnesota’s regulatory system. At this point, there’s little disputing whether the DFL will tell the environmentalists no every once in awhile. They won’t.
The only question is whether Minnesotans will reject the DFL’s vision of ever more intrusive government. Let’s hope they answer that question with an emphatic yes this November.
Technorati: Paul Thissen, Special Interests, Conservation Minnesota, Environmental Extremists, Environmental Regulations, Nanny State, DFL, Metrocrats, Transportation, K-12 Education, Public Safety, Limited Government