Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category
Thankfully, President Obama will soon be riding off into the history books where we can ignore him. His biggest legacy, of course, will be that he’s the first African-American elected US president. After that, though, he’s totally forgettable.
One of President Obama’s multitude of negatives is his hatred of energy independence. Even now, he’s trying to put huge oil and natural gas deposits permanently off-limits. According to this article, “President Barack Obama took new action Tuesday barring offshore drilling in areas of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans indefinitely.” Later, the article said “The US is also declaring 31 canyons off the Atlantic coast off-limits for drilling, citing ‘critical and irreplaceable ecological value.'”
Despite the Obama administration’s hostility towards fossil fuels, the United States is getting closer to achieving energy independence by the day. Another bit of proof that the Obama administration is hostile to fossil fuels is their decision to deny the final permits to finish the Dakota Access Pipeline. This op-ed, written by John Cavanagh and Domenica Ghanem, shows who President Obama wants to be friends with:
The president-elect has pledged to remove constraints on fossil fuel projects, and it’s likely he’ll try to reverse this decision once he takes office. But there’s something you can do to help stand up for life and for justice.
The controversial pipeline would be 1,170 miles long and cost $3.7 billion. A project of that scale doesn’t build itself. Behind the lead investor, Energy Transfer Partners, stand heavily armed police forces, sound-cannon trucks, water cannons, tear gas and attack dogs – and 38 banks funding it all.
That’s why the Institute for Policy Studies, where we work, is pulling its money from one of these banks, SunTrust, and switching to a more socially responsible institution. Banks that fund the planet-destroying fossil fuel economy and undermine Native American land rights aren’t the ones we should be doing business with.
President Obama has aligned himself with ranting idiots like these. What’s disappointing is that the Democratic Party used to be the party of working people. Now they’re the elitist snobs’ party. He isn’t pretending to like construction workers. These are 2 of the faces of the new Democratic Party:
The lede in this article sounds a triumphant tone. The opening says “Labor Democrats decided to fight Saturday and won a major victory for the party’s future on the Iron Range.” While it’s a procedural victory for the Range, it isn’t a major victory if you’re judging it by whether anything changed as a result of the vote.
In defeating Resolution 54, the Range Delegation kept the language of the resolution out of the DFL state party platform. That shouldn’t be mistaken for defeating the environmental activist Metrocrats. It shouldn’t be mistaken as proof that Gov. Dayton will approve any permits for PolyMet. Defeating Resolution 54 doesn’t mean that the DFL is suddenly open to mining.
The DFL loves bogging things down with regulations, regulators and lawsuit. The thing Iron Rangers should ask themselves seems unrelated at first. This past winter, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC)decided to look into the Sandpiper Pipeline project. Specifically, they took jurisdiction over whether the pipeline path should be rerouted. The first question that should be asked is straightforward: what does the agency that regulates electricity rates have to do with infrastructure permitting? It isn’t like the PUC was the first regulatory agency to review the Sandpiper Pipeline’s potential impact on its environment. The point is that the PUC took jurisdiction to hinder the permitting process.
Here’s another important question that the DFL hasn’t answered: why didn’t Gov. Dayton scream bloody murder when the PUC hijacked jurisdiction on the Sandpiper Pipeline project? In 2013-14, when the DFL had total control of the legislature and had a friendly DFL governor to work with, why didn’t they streamline the permitting process? Might it be because they prefer a permitting process that’s complex and convoluted?
Ask PolyMet’s investors whether these DFL-supporting organizations haven’t used the same tactics to kill PolyMet. If they’re being honest, they’d say that’s the exact playbook that’s been used against them. Until the pro-mining part of the DFL becomes the dominant part of the DFL or until pro-mining voters switch to the GOP, there won’t be a change in the outcome. Saturday’s vote was all show. In the real world, it meant nothing. The anti-mining wing of the DFL still rules the DFL.
Resolution 54, which is an amendment offered to the DFL state party platform, has already had a significant impact on the DFL. In 2016, the DFL sent the signal to outstate Minnesota that they cared most about the urban and suburban parts of the state. While most people who voted for Donald Trump and GOP legislative candidates never heard of Resolution 54, it wasn’t a secret to trades unions like the pipefitters and carpenters that the DFL was anti-pipeline and anti-mining.
From a political impact perspective, Resolution 54 will likely be seen, if it passes, as the final proof that the environmental activists run the DFL. It’s apparent that DFL State Party Chairman Ken Martin understands that. DFL Chairman Martin understands that because he’s “tasked with winning the DFL elections, which means maintaining support in rural areas while keeping funds from far-left and deep-pocketed Twin Cities donors flowing into races.”
Let’s be clear about this. The rift between the miners and the environmental activists is significant but it isn’t the only point of separation between the environmental activists and other parts of the DFL. Resolution 54 is the high profile disagreement but it isn’t the only point of disagreement. Chairman Martin must know that.
The environmental activists that dominate the metro DFL oppose pipeline construction, too. They’re hostile towards logging and farming, too. It’s important for the outstate DFL to remember that the metro DFL gave them the high health insurance premiums of the ACA, too.
The DFL passed the MNsure legislation in 2013. The DFL has opposed PolyMet for a decade. They opposed the Sandpiper Pipeline for 5 years. Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s obstructionism and the Public Utilities Commission’s meddling in the Sandpiper Pipeline project, that pipeline won’t get built. Instead, the Dakota Access Pipeline will be built.
Until the DFL tells the environmental activists that they don’t run the DFL, the DFL’s base will continue crumbling. That’s the real impact of the environmental activist wing of the DFL and Resolution 54.
The article describes DFL Chairman Martin as “a supporter of labor.” Chairman Martin then said “the DFL needs to agree to disagree on mining.” That didn’t sit well with miners:
That’s where Range DFLers disagree, saying they want the chair to take a stronger stance against the environmental caucus. The party taking a position against the livelihood of a region has become personal and too critical to compromise on.
Chairman Martin is playing a weak hand poorly. Then again, he’s in a difficult position. (I’d call it a no-win situation.)
Regardless of today’s vote, the DFL is in a difficult position for 2018 and beyond.
Technorati: Ken Martin, Resolution 54, Environmental Activists, PolyMet, Sulfide Mining, Sandpiper Pipeline, Dakota Access Pipeline, Public Utilities Commission, Logging, Farming, DFL, Election 2018, Election 2020
All this week, I’ve focused attention on the ‘protesters’ protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’ve reached the point where I’m getting upset with journalists who call these thugs protesters. This article highlights why they haven’t earned that title. They’ve earned the title of thugs.
The opening paragraph of the Daily Caller article emphatically states “The actions of the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters made law enforcement officers and their families fear for their safety, according to a North Dakota sheriff.” Couple that with the information from Congressman Cramer’s op-ed and it’s obvious that these are professional thugs. When I wrote about Congressman Cramer’s op-ed in this post, I quoted Congressman Cramer as saying “a little more than two weeks ago, during a confrontation between protesters and law enforcement, an improvised explosive device was detonated on a public bridge in southern North Dakota. That was simply the latest manifestation of the ‘prayerful’ and ‘peaceful’ protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
This is downright frightening:
Law enforcement officers from nine states left behind families to help cover the protests over the pipeline. To protect his officers, Laney warned them from wearing name tags. “The fear that was put into our families, our spouse and children that are now home alone because mom or dad are away over here. And to find out your address has been published and their encouraging people to go take care of business,” said Laney.
Anyone that would attack the families of law enforcement officials is, in my opinion, a total dirtbag. We should treat them like they’re the nastiest people on earth because they’re close to the nastiest people on earth. Read this and tell me that these thugs shouldn’t be classified as criminals:
“The fear that was put into our families, our spouse and children that are now home alone because mom or dad are away over here. And to find out your address has been published and their encouraging people to go take care of business,” said Laney. “They won’t focus on that if they have to worry about their homes. That is terrorizing and a lot of that happened. It happened to me and to my people.”
Then there’s this:
“You have the mental stress of here and the mental stress of worrying about your family. There are some pretty nasty things published about what they were going to do to us and you’re standing on a hill, ‘hey we’re coming soon and you’re going to die tomorrow,’ I heard that many times,” said Laney.
Earlier this week, I wrote that these parasites were anarchists and eco-terrorists. After reading these articles, I don’t see a reason why I should change that opinion. If anything, I might’ve been too polite with these thugs.
This explains how the pipeline company has attempted to work with Native American tribes but were rejected:
Clearly, this isn’t about drinking water or the environment. It’s about shutting down a pipeline that got the right permits and that did everything possible to protect Native Americans’ lifestyle. In return, Native Americans and the anarchists they’re ‘protesting’ with set off IEDs and threatened police officers’ families.
I’ve lost all respect for the left. They aren’t interested in living by the rules. They’re interested in winning whatever the cost. If that means resorting to violence, that’s what they’re willing to do.
Kevin Cramer’s WSJ op-ed on the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is must reading if you want the truth about what’s happening in North Dakota. Predictably, what’s happening isn’t getting reported by the so-called MSM.
In the opening paragraph of his op-ed, Rep. Cramer said “[a] little more than two weeks ago, during a confrontation between protesters and law enforcement, an improvised explosive device was detonated on a public bridge in southern North Dakota. That was simply the latest manifestation of the ‘prayerful’ and ‘peaceful’ protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
It’s important to know that the Democrats that are trying to prevent the pipeline from getting built are either eco-terrorists or they’re anarchists. This doesn’t have anything to do with protecting the environment. (More on that later.) This has to do with pushing their mean-spirited anti-civilization agenda.
Later, Rep. Cramer writes “This isn’t about tribal rights or protecting cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux. The land under discussion belongs to private owners and the federal government.”
As for protecting the environment, that’s a myth:
This isn’t about the climate. The oil that will be shipped through the pipeline is already being produced. But right now it is transported in more carbon-intensive ways, such as by railroad or long-haul tanker truck. So trying to thwart the pipeline to reduce greenhouse gas could have the opposite effect.
Hardline Democrats that support this protest include President Obama, Mrs. Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders. This isn’t something that only the Democrats’ far left fringe supports. This is pretty much ‘mainstream’ within the Democratic Party.
Here’s the other thing that we shouldn’t forget about DAPL:
Other pipelines carrying oil, gas and refined products already cross the Missouri River at least a dozen times upstream of the tribe’s intake. The corridor where the Dakota Access Pipeline will run is directly adjacent to another pipeline, which carries natural gas under the riverbed, as well as an overhead electric transmission line. This site was chosen because it is largely a brownfield area that was disturbed long ago by previous infrastructure.
That’s a detailed way of saying that the ecoterrorists’ riots are a total sham. As I said earlier, this doesn’t have anything to do with tribal rights. This doesn’t have anything to do with the environment.
Technorati: Dakota Access Pipeline, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Democrats, Dave Archambault, Standing Sioux Tribe, Tribal Rights, Environmental Activists, Anarchists, Ecoterrorists, Donald Trump, Kevin Cramer, Private Property Rights, Republicans
Sen. Dan Sullivan’s op-ed highlights many of the Democrats’ anti-democratic tactics. Sen. Sullivan’s op-ed frequently highlights how environmental activists use weaponized government to kill infrastructure and energy projects. For instance, environmental activists used anti-democratic tactics, noting that the “Pentagon was built in 16 months. The 1,500-mile Alaska-Canadian Highway, which passes through some of the world’s most rugged terrain, took about eight months. Today, infrastructure projects across America often require several years simply to get through the federal government’s pre-build permitting process.”
Next, Sen. Sullivan notes that new “U.S. highway construction projects usually take between nine and 19 years from initial planning and permitting to completion of construction, according to a 2002 Government Accountability Office study. It will have taken 14 years to permit an expansion of Gross Reservoir in Colorado, and it took almost 20 years to permit the Kensington gold mine in Alaska. It took four years to construct a new runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, but it took 15 years to get the permits.”
Those aren’t the only examples Sen. Sullivan, (R-AK), cites. Here’s another pair of examples:
It took Shell seven years and $7 billion to get White House permission to drill a single oil-exploration well off the coast of Alaska. Never mind that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires that resources in those waters “be made available for expeditious and orderly development.” This capricious permitting was part of why Shell halted its operations in Alaska, stranding enormous oil and gas resources and killing thousands of potential jobs.
The Keystone XL pipeline languished in permitting purgatory for almost the entire two terms of the Obama administration before the president finally killed it in 2015. Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, called the president’s actions a “cynical manipulation of the approval process.” President Obama also recently halted the Dakota Access pipeline, though in September a federal court determined that the project complied with arduous permitting, legal and consultation requirements.
Gov. Dayton’s first MPCA commissioner, Paul Aasen, bragged in an op-ed about litigating the Big Stone II power plant in South Dakota into quitting.
Though then-Candidate Trump didn’t say this during the campaign, when he talked about America’s crumbling infrastructure, he should’ve said that it’s crumbling because environmental activists have virtually litigated these projects to death. Rarely do you hear about light rail projects coming under scrutiny. I’ve never heard of a wind farm getting subjected to this type of scrutiny. Why haven’t we?
This is the solution:
Mr. Trump is set to reverse the Obama administration’s abysmal permitting record, but Congress also has a responsibility. Last year I introduced the Regulations Endanger Democracy Act, or RED Tape Act, which would cap federal regulations with a simple one-in-one-out rule. When an agency issues a new regulation, it must repeal an old one. (Mr. Trump has suggested removing two for every one that is added.) Even though the idea has been successfully implemented in Canada and the United Kingdom, not a single Senate Democrat voted for it, and the legislation died.
Another bill I wrote would expedite federal permitting to repair or rebuild thousands of crumbling bridges across our country, but it received only three Democratic votes on the Senate floor. Once again my colleagues across the aisle prevented this reform from being implemented.
It’s time to tell Democrats that we won’t let them get away with these anti-progress tactics without them getting scrutinized in public. Let’s instruct them that each time they use these tactics, they should expect political attacks that demand Democrats to defend their votes against streamlining government. Let’s hear them explain why they’re standing in the way of major infrastructure projects.
Democrats haven’t lifted a finger to streamline the permitting process. Why haven’t they? I think it’s clear that they’re sitting silent because that’s what their environmental activist allies want. It’s time to start doing what’s right for all Americans rather than doing what’s right for the special interests.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Dan Sullivan, Permitting, Infrastructure Projects, Al-Can Highway, Interstate Highways, Airport Runways, Oil Exploration, Reservoirs, Republicans, Dakota Access Pipeline Project, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal, Special Interests, Democrats
This weekend, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced that they had refused the final permit to build the Dakota Access Pipeline. What they didn’t (couldn’t?) say was that a federal court ruled that “the project already has court approval.”
The Army Corps of Engineers’ ruling isn’t the final say in the matter. It’s the Obama administration’s last official show of support for environmental activists. It’s proof that the Obama administration is the most anti-energy, anti-infrastructure administration in US history.
Predictably, a great celebration erupted at the protest site. One protester, Adan Bearcub, said “this is the best news that I’ve heard forever – best news for Native people, native country, the whole United States – all the people. Water is so precious.” The article notes that it “would be a very big surprise indeed were Mr. Trump not to try to reverse a move by the Corps of Engineers.” Since the project already has court approval, it isn’t difficult to picture this as a temporary victory for the Standing Rock Sioux and the environmental activists:
What’s important is that the militant-anarchist wings of the environmental movement have been exposed as always opposed to every pipeline project. They’ve proven that there isn’t a tactic they won’t try. These protester-anarchists don’t care about the rule of law. Their primary principal is winning at all costs. If that means breaking the law, then that’s what they’ll do. That’s what they’ve already done.
It’s important that thoughtful people reject the anarchists’ evil ways. People talk about how divided a nation we are. They needn’t look farther than these anarchists/criminals to see society’s institutions under attack. Without the rule of law, division flourishes and contempt for each other multiplies. There’s nothing good that comes from this.
Technorati: US Army Corps of Engineers, Infrastructure, Standing Rock Sioux, Weaponized Government, Environmental Activists, Anarchists, Dakota Access Pipeline, Barack Obama, Democrats, Donald Trump, Fossil Fuels, Make America Great Again, Republicans, Election 2016
This article questions why the DFL underperformed the Twin Cities’ media’s expectations. Honestly, I thought things turned out pretty much like I expected them to turn out.
To be fair, I didn’t think Trump would be that competitive against Mrs. Clinton. I knew Mr. Trump would trounce Mrs. Clinton in rural Minnesota. I figured that would help Republicans flip the Senate and hold the House.
The Strib outlines the history when it says just “eight years ago, the DFL helped make comedian Al Franken a U.S. senator, held 87 Minnesota House seats to 47 for Republicans and earned a national reputation as a fertile breeding ground for top Democratic political talent.” What’s missing from the article is the fact that the DFL reflexively tried raising taxes each year since 2007. Furthermore, they passed MNsure in 2013 when there were DFL majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate and a DFL governor. In addition to creating MNsure and raising taxes, the DFL used taxpayer money to build the Senate Office Building, an ornate building that didn’t need to be built.
Beyond that, the DFL pushed forced unionization down in-home child care providers down their throats. They killed the Sandpiper Pipeline through northern Minnesota. After Minnesotans insisted that the legislature fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges, the DFL insisted that we build the Southwest Light Rail, too. When Republicans listened to Minnesotans’ priorities, the DFL derailed the transportation bill. In short, the DFL stopped listening to the people.
Despite high hopes for a crushing victory against Donald Trump that would also deliver wins in congressional and legislative races, the DFL lost seats in the Minnesota House, falling deeper into the minority, while surrendering control of the Senate, which was thought to be a bulwark against GOP legislative influence in St. Paul.
These losses came despite a lopsided advantage in party organization and a reliable cadre of wealthy donors that helped the DFL employ 250 people across two dozen field offices. The Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a progressive group that backs DFL candidates, had spent $3.6 million on TV, radio, digital and mail ads as of late October, even before the final two weeks of the race.
All for naught.
“I mean, you know, it’s a bummer,” said Susie Merthan, a spokeswoman for Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which has become a model for progressive campaigns around the country. Now, DFL elected officials, party strategists and operatives are surveying the losses, which were especially acute in outstate Minnesota, but extended to suburbs once thought safely blue.
Here’s a note to Susie Merthan: If the DFL doesn’t change its ways, it should expect to lose lots of elections. People don’t want to be preached to. They don’t want to be told that the intelligentsia knows better. Right now, the DFL is the party that thinks they know what’s best.
It’s indisputable that 2 of the 3 biggest losers this election were Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi. The DNC picked Mrs. Clinton essentially before their primaries or debates, mostly because they fell in love with her name ID and her fundraising ability. They also picked her out of fear of the Clintons’ retribution.
After another stinging defeat, House Democrats picked Nancy Pelosi to be their leader. Einstein’s cliché said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing again and again but expecting different results. Based on that definition, 134 House Democrats are insane. Salena Zito didn’t mince words in her latest column, saying “One-hundred and thirty-four House Democrats collectively lost their minds last week. That is how many of Nancy Pelosi’s colleagues it took to vote her back into power despite having lost her third consecutive chance at winning back the majority from the Republicans.”
Mrs. Pelosi is referred to as “a prodigious fundraiser.” Apparently, Democrats think that fundraising still win elections. Apparently, Democrats haven’t figured it out that fundraising isn’t the only thing that’s important to campaigns. Mrs. Clinton outspent Donald Trump in Florida by an obscene amount of money. She lost the state by 125,000 votes.
There’s a connection between Mrs. Clinton’s and Mrs. Pelosi’s fundraising abilities and their unflinching support for the environmental activists’ agenda. While it doesn’t make that connection, Holman Jenkins’ article highlights the futility of President Obama’s agenda:
Mr. Obama came in saying fossil fuels were running out and prices were destined to rise, and instead got the fracking revolution, whose related employment boost was arguably a factor in his re-election victories in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yet he couldn’t stop looking this gift horse in the mouth.
Unshrewdly, in the name of satisfying his climate-change constituents, he needlessly launched a regulatory war against coal as cheap natural gas was already doing the job for him. Result: Democrats became the enemy in coal country.
He pandered to his green friends on the Keystone XL pipeline. Result: Mr. Trump is inheriting a rebound in natural gas fracking and an associated infrastructure boom that is just now heating up again in time for an incoming administration to get credit.
Then-candidate Obama insisted that he’d push a cap and trade plan that would make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket”:
Eight years later, Mrs. Clinton openly said that she was going to put lots of coal companies out of business:
At this point, I’m not certain that Democrats displayed insanity in being loyal to the environmental activists in their party. It’s possible they just displayed stupidity. Either way, Democrats won’t connect with the Heartland anytime soon if they don’t disappoint the environmental activists from time to time.
Democrats might lose some of their fundraising ability. Then again, it’s also possible that they might gain an appealing message to campaign on.
One thing that can’t be disputed is the fact that militant environmentalists don’t think through the tactics they’ll use to pipelines from getting built. For instance, this Mother Jones article includes a quote from Debbie Sease, the senior lobbying and advocacy director at the Sierra Club about the things they’ll do to stop legal, permitted pipelines from getting built. She said that “her organization’s strategy lies in playing defense by filing legal challenges, galvanizing the public, and using the marketplace. If a coal field is going to be developed, for example, activists can make it as expensive as possible to comply with existing regulations and force the developer to deal with a public backlash, she says. Additional tools environmentalists can use include citizen lawsuits, grassroots organizing, and ballot measures at the state and local level focusing on everything from renewable energy standards to green transportation initiatives.”
It’s important to note that that’s just part of the Sierra Club’s tactics. This article isn’t about the Sierra Club. Still, it’s another organization working to prevent pipelines from getting built:
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – A Manitoba indigenous chief says there’s a desire for action – which could include blockades of Canadian pipelines and railways – in support of a protest against a North Dakota pipeline project.
Grand Chief Terry Nelson of the Southern Chiefs Organization says chiefs and others attended a meeting Saturday at the Dakota Tipi First Nation near Portage la Prairie to discuss how to react if the U.S. government clears demonstrators from a camp occupied by the Dakota Access pipeline protesters.
Nelson says one option includes blocking access to pumping stations along a pipeline operated by Enbridge, which has plans to acquire a stake in the U.S. pipeline project. After the meeting, Dakota Tipi members held a pipe ceremony on the Trans-Canada Highway near Portage la Prairie, Man., temporarily blocking a lane of traffic.
The thing to keep in mind about these protests is that they aren’t about stopping global warming or the environment. The DAPL got all of its permits before starting construction. They did what the government required them to do.
These protesters are part anarchist, part fascist, part authoritarian. Their respect for the rule of law is virtually nonexistent. That’s clear considering the fact that the company that’s building the DAPL has been attacked daily. These anarchists are violent, too.
It’s time to tighten up laws, too. Environmentalists convicted of committing violence should be imprisoned for a mandatory 5 years and fined $10,000 if they’re caught protesting on pipeline property. Let them know that there’s a price they’ll have to pay for disrupting legally permitted things.