Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category
The highest profile pipeline project in the nation is the Keystone XL Pipeline project. While Republicans have fought for the building of the Keystone XL Pipeline, that isn’t the only pipeline project being delayed by environmental activists. This article highlights the impact the anti-pipelines activists are having in outstate Minnesota:
Railroads will be the key to winter heat as propane becomes a dicier commodity to secure. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton recommended pre-paying for propane supplies to eliminate the uncertainty of rising prices later this winter.
But that’s not an option for some people in Park Rapids.
“I can’t afford to take the chance,” said Steve Olafson, who owns the Skelgas service in Park Rapids and ended his “pre-buy” program this year. Last year he found his business trying to fill pre-paid orders for $1.54 per gallon at $5 per gallon.
First, this shows how little thought went into Gov. Dayton’s recommendation. Gov. Dayton automatically thought that businesses wouldn’t react to higher prices and losing money. Mr. Olafson, the businessman who would get hurt by price increases, decided he isn’t willing to lose money on the pre-paid plan. That’s why he eliminated that as an option for customers.
Gov. Dayton’s ‘plan’ was more of a gimmick aimed at hiding a problem create by his political allies in the environmental movement. Environmental activists have waged war on building pipelines, whether it’s the Keystone XL Pipeline or the proposed pipeline from the Bakken to refineries in Superior, WI.
The solution is to build the pipelines. The minute that those pipelines are built, railcar availability will improve dramatically. Those things won’t happen, though, if Gov. Dayton is Minnesota’s governor. The environmental activist wing of the DFL won’t tolerate it.
The railroad capacity issue won’t change until Minnesota has a governor who will stand up to the environmental activists. That will trigger hardships for tons of Minnesotans, including farmers who can’t get their crops to market, homeowners who will get hit with paying way too much for propane and Iron Rangers who can’t get their ore to the steelmakers in a timely fashion.
The DFL insists that they’re fighting for the little guy. That’s BS. I’ve just highlighted how they’re shafting farmers and laborers, the F and L in DFL. The truth is that the DFL is fighting tirelessly for the environmental activist wing of their party.
The DFL is fighting tirelessly for the environmental activists because that’s the dominant wing of their party. Most of the leaders of that wing of the party are plutocrats and trust fund babies who don’t give a damn about Iron Rangers and farmers.
But I digress.
The DFL created this rail capacity crisis. Now they’re pretending to look for the solution, with pretending being the key word. If the DFL was truly interested in solving this crisis, they’d start building pipelines.
Unfortunately, the DFL won’t do that because they won’t stand up to the environmental activist wing of their party.
Create a crisis, then criticize others when the crisis you created hurts a key constituency. That’s a trusty tactic frequently employed by the DFL. It’s the tactic of choice Amy Klobuchar used during her testimony about railroad delays hurting the Iron Range:
“Cliffs Natural Resources’ mines in Minnesota are among a number of industrial facilities that have been significantly impacted by the national logjam of rail services in the United States.
“These conditions create substantial and irreversible negative consequences for iron ore operations because there is a finite shipping season on the Great Lakes and our operations seek to time shipments as to ensure that our steelmaking customers’ blast furnaces at the lower end of the lakes have adequate iron stocks to continue operation during the closure of the locks at Sault St. Marie,” a company statement said.
Klobuchar spoke on the issue to the Senate Conference Committee.
“Rail service disruptions are forcing mines on the Iron Range to stockpile significant quantities of iron ore,” Klobuchar said. “These disruptions hurt business and threaten jobs not only at these operations, but also at the steel mills that rely on taconite pellets to feed the furnaces.”
St. Amy of Hennepin County would have more credibility on this issue if she didn’t keep voting against the building of additional pipelines, especially the Keystone XL Pipeline. Starting with President Obama’s rejection of building the Keystone XL Pipeline, which should’ve been approved years ago, oil companies were forced to find alternative ways of getting their product to market.
When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 2010, they voted to force President Obama to approve construction of the pipeline. Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Franken voted against it. In fact, it’s been put to a vote multiple times, with Sens. Franken and Klobuchar voting against the pipeline’s construction each time.
Now that trains are filled with oil cars, rail capacity is limited. Mining isn’t the only industry getting hurt by the railroad capacity shortage. Agriculture is getting hurt, too. Meanwhile, Democrats keep voting against building the Keystone XL Pipeline while complaining about the shortage they’ve created with their votes.
It’s time people started voting against these Democrats. They’ve done everything possible to prevent the building of the infrastructure needed to take advantage of the oil and natural gas boom. The Democrats’ unwillingness to do what’s right is based on their unwillingness to tell their environmental activist allies to take a hike.
The Democrats’ position is clear. Sen. Klobuchar’s position is clear. Sen. Franken’s position is clear. They’ve sided with the obstructionist in the environmental movement. They’ve refused to build the infrastructure that’s needed to move minerals and grains to market.
Building more pipelines would give us the infrastructure that’s required to take advantage of this great opportunity. Environmental activists and their allies in the Democratic Party are causing these problems. If the American people want to see prosperity again, they’ll have to flush this type of thinking from the political system.
Technorati: Amy Klobuchar, Al Franken, President Obama, Infrastructure Shortage, Railroads, Mining, Agriculture, Environmental Activists, Democrats, Energy Independence, Keystone XL Pipeline, Republicans
This article shows how the environmental left uses the regulation process to kill good-paying construction jobs:
“We don’t see where anyone’s actually said, ‘yes, you have the need to go forward. We want you to go forward, and now let’s find a place to go forward,'” said attorney Frank Bibeau, representing Honor the Earth.
Bibeau argued that a certificate of need should be requested.
“If you do the certificate of need, then we at least know we have to do a project,” said Bibeau. “Right now we’ve got everybody alarmed, and we’re worried about who else we might alarm just because we’re not sure what we’re going to do.”
Ultimately, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission sided with Bibeau and Honor the Earth, killing high-paying construction jobs. Thanks to Honor the Earth’s stunt, railroad capacity will continue to be limited, meaning farmers’ crops won’t get to market in a timely fashion:
Supporters were also quick to point to the problems caused by oil tankers dominating the railway system, and choking out agricultural shipments like grain.
Earlier this week, Gov. Dayton held discussions about how to get those grain shipments moving and to improve railroad safety. The simple solution is building pipelines.
Environmental activists apparently don’t care that farmers and construction workers are getting hurt by their scorched earth tactics. Environmental activists are the dominant part of the DFL in Minnesota and Democrats nationwide. They’ve figured out a way to shaft the F and the L in the DFL, aka farmers and laborers.
It’s time those parts of the DFL to notice that they’re getting shafted by the DFL. Why should farmers continue to support the DFL? Environmentalists continually lobby to heap regulation upon regulation on family farmers. Those same environmental activists continually shut down major construction projects.
The DFL continually talks about how important farmers and laborers are to the DFL. Unfortunately, their actions show how they’re dominated by the environmental activists’ agenda. That’s why farmers and laborers should question the DFL this election season.
Specifically, they should ask the DFL ‘what’ve you done for me lately’? It’s an especially legitimate question after the stunt that Honor the Earth and the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission pulled Thursday.
Yestedray, I wrote this post to highlight Gov. Dayton’s juvenile jab at North Dakota. Here’s what he said that caught my attention:
“Every night I dream before I go to sleep of mobilizing the National Guard and annexing North Dakota.” He then quickly followed that statement by saying he’d just been interested in annexing the part of the state will oil, “They can have the rest of it.”
Apparently, North Dakotans don’t care about Gov. Dayton’s juvenile statement. This Gallup poll is telling. This graphic is exceptionally telling:
Gov. Dayton and the DFL should study this graphic before making another childish statement:
North Dakotans are not just satisfied with their economy, however. Across the 50 states, North Dakotans are the most likely to rate their K-12 education as excellent or good, to agree that their schools prepare students to get a good job, and to be satisfied with the education system or schools overall.
I can hear Gov. Dayton, the DFL and the Alliance for a Better Minnesota screaming that this can’t be. In Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s minds, Minnesota is the education state in the Upper Midwest.
What’s most telling, though, is that Dakotans think their air quality is great. The percentage of people that said they were satisfied with their air quality was the highest in the nation. The percentage of people who said that they were satisfied with their water quality was above average nationally.
Gov. Dayton and the metrocentric DFL should take a look at this:
“Oil is a very thick frosting on a very nicely baked cake,” Peterson says. Oil had been found in North Dakota before, but Dalrymple, Peterson, and Al Anderson, North Dakota state commerce commissioner, agree that the volume and velocity of the boom was unexpected. Dalrymple says there were 200,000 barrels a day in 2009, compared with 1 million barrels a day now.
“The rapid evolution of the oil industry was not foreseen,” says Anderson. “We had seen oil booms come and go but now the technology has changed,” Peterson says. “We didn’t realize how much oil was in the ground. We found ways to extract oil that we could never expect.”
In addition to oil, success in agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are contributing factors to North Dakota’s having the lowest unemployment in the U.S. for the past four years. The state has added 116,000 jobs since 2000, a job-growth increase of 35.6%. Net migration in the state is up 12.7% since 2000. This onrush of new jobs and workers has strained the housing market. North Dakota residents are fully aware of this, as 61% say they are satisfied with the availability of affordable housing in their state, one of the lowest in the nation.
Gov. Dayton and the DFL insist that North Dakota’s economic boom is tied to the Bakken boom. There’s no denying that it’s a huge factor in North Dakota’s economic success. Still, there’s no denying the fact that manufacturing and agriculture play a big role in North Dakota’s economic boom time.
At a time when Gov. Dayton and the DFL are trying to make Minnesota’s economy more metrocentric, they should be looking at the success our neighbors to the west are experiencing.
Gov. Dayton’s dreaming is interesting:
During a rail safety meeting in Red Wing last week, DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said Minnesota does not enjoy much economic benefit from the trains carrying highly volatile crude oil from North Dakota’s Bakken region.
That led the governor at one point to joke, “Every night I dream before I go to sleep of mobilizing the National Guard and annexing North Dakota.”
He then quickly followed that statement by saying he’d just been interested in annexing the part of the state will oil, “They can have the rest of it.” That generated plenty of laughter among the audience gathered at the Red Wing Public Library.
“But,” Dayton added, “that’s obviously not an option.”— Heather J. Carlson
It’s interesting that Gov. Dayton brought up North Dakota’s oil because Minnesota is sitting on a different economic goldmine. While it’s true the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects won’t have the economic impact that the Bakken will have, there’s no question those mining projects would positively impact Minnesota’s economy for a generation.
The great news is that we don’t have to annex the land where the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects would be built. The bad news is that we’ve got Gov. Dayton kowtowing to the environmental activists. Developing those mines would be fantastic.
My personal dream is to develop those mines while jettisoning Gov. Dayton and the environmental activists. I know that it isn’t possible to get rid of the environmental activists but it’s quite possible to replace Gov. Dayton with Gov.-Elect Johnson.
The thing is that it isn’t possible to develop mining if Gov. Dayton is re-elected.
Ed Rogers’ post highlights the lengths to which they’ll go to run away from Harry Reid:
Georgia’s Democratic Senate candidate, Michelle Nunn, recently suggested she might not vote for Harry Reid to be Democratic Senate leader if she wins her election. That the first vote Democratic senators would take would be to reelect Harry Reid, and thereby support and maintain the status quo in Washington, is a potent weapon for Republicans to use against Democratic candidates. In a well-rehearsed statement, Nunn told reporters that she “looks forward to changing the composition in the leadership of the Senate” and “will vote for the Democratic leader that…best represents our capacity to get things done.”
It’s impossible to take this seriously. If Ms. Nunn abstains from voting, Sen. Reid will know who abstained. That’s the moment at which she’ll be ostracized by Sen. Reid.
This type of posturing embodies the deceit Nunn’s entire campaign is based on. (Remember the leaked memo of her campaign strategy that exposed how contrived and fabricated her image really is?) But she is not the only Democrat who is resorting to these tactics in an attempt to get votes. If reelected, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is not going to stand up to the president and make a difference on the Keystone XL pipeline. Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has already proven she doesn’t really care about coal, no matter what she says on the campaign trail. And the very notion that Nunn wouldn’t fall into lockstep with the Democrats as soon as she crossed into the Beltway is just ridiculous. Democratic candidates seem to be counting on voters being really stupid. It is painfully obvious that much of what they say is not sincere.
If Republicans don’t push Nunn, Grimes and Landrieu on their phoniness, they should be slapped silly. Lundergan-Grimes won’t push Sen. Reid or President Obama about coal. She’ll vote for the Democrats’ budget, which will give President Obama’s EPA the authority to decimate the coal industry. Landrieu won’t push President Obama over the Keystone XL Pipeline even though her state would benefit from building it.
Nunn, though, is the biggest phony of the trio, though. Sam Nunn was a truly moderate Democrat. His daughter, however, is a true believer in President Obama’s agenda. She’s also lacking his political skills.
This trio of Democrats come from famous political families. That’s the good news for Democrats. The bad news for Democrats is that they’re each as phony as a $3 bill. That might’ve worked in the 1990s but it doesn’t work in a TEA Party environment.
This post on the Hill’s campaign blog asks whether Al Franken is vulnerable. Here’s Larry Jacobs’ opinion:
“Al Franken’s gonna have a fight on his hands. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” said Larry Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota and director of its Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.
The Democrats’ most frequent defense of Franken is that he’s “kept his head down and worked hard.” That’s fine if your expectations are to edge out potted plants in terms of competence and productivity but it’s pathetic if you’re hoping for a leader like Minnesota used to expect from its senators.
“I think people had a lot of doubts about whether he was going to be a serious senator or not,” said a Minnesota Democratic operative, adding there is “no doubt about that now.”
This DFL operative must not have watched Franken during his questioning of Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing:
This supposed serious senator focused on his love of a TV show. Perry Mason was a great show but it doesn’t belong in a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. Then again, Franken isn’t a great fit on the Senate Judiciary Committee because a) he isn’t a lawyer and b) he isn’t that bright.
He’s capable of reading things from a script but anything more than that is a struggle.
“For a guy who made a living with improvisation and speaking his mind at will, it’s almost unbelievable how on message he’s been,” Jacobs said.
First, Al Franken wasn’t that funny as a comedian. Second, Franken was one of the nastiest, most mean-spirited talk show hosts in Air America’s history. He’s exceptionally mean-spirited and hyperpartisan, which explains why he’s voted in lockstep with President Obama and Sen. Reid. He’s voted against building the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is hurting farmers:
“The Keystone pipeline needs to be built, I am here to tell you, and it should have been built last year, not delayed another several months as we are seeing under this current Administration,” Westrom said. Without the pipeline, oil producers are using an increasing number of railcars to transport their supply, which is squeezing out farmers and propane suppliers.
“[Grain] elevators from the south end of the 7th District to the north tell me they are still going to have last year’s crop when this year’s crop comes in, and they can’t get enough extra cars to ship it out,” Westrom continued. “That’s unacceptable. We need to build energy and infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline. That’s something I will advocate for.”
It’s rather nasty that Franken fought for environmental activists instead of for farmers. What is Franken’s rationale for that? Is he that beholden to the anti-energy environmental activists?
That isn’t what a man of the people does, though it’s what a man of the special interests does. From all accounts, Franken has done a decent job with constituent services. Then again, I haven’t heard of an elected official in recent Minnesota history who hasn’t done a decent job with that.
Franken, then, shouldn’t be judged on constituent services. Rather, he should be judged on whether he’s voted for things that’ve made Minnesotans’ lives better. Obamacare certainly didn’t make life better for Minnesotans. It took a pretty good health care system and turned it into a one-size-fits-all program where a federal bureaucrat tells Minnesotans what they must do.
Thank Sen. Franken, too, for Minnesota spending $160,000,000 on a broken website, too.
Rick Nolan must think he’s got a hot issue. From the start of this campaign, he’s railed that Stewart Mills doesn’t understand the voters in the Eighth District because he’s a “one-percenter.” This article says that Nolan is campaigning on the issue:
Increasing the federal minimum wage is front and center in Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District race. “Stewart Mills is against increasing the minimum wage,” an AFSCME television ad says.
Actually, the ad was pulled because it’s dishonest and defamatory. Further, it was paid for by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC, which means that TV stations aren’t protected from lawsuits if the content is found to be defamatory.
While Nolan, AFSCME and the Democratic Party focus on minimum wage jobs, Stewart Mills and other pro-growth Republicans have focused on creating high-paying jobs:
“Stewart does not support an increase in the federal minimum wage,” said Mills campaign spokesperson Chloe Rockow. “But that’s because he thinks that the best way to create jobs, the best way to help people in minimum wage jobs is to make sure that there are better paying jobs; more jobs that require higher skills and the way to get those jobs is to grow the economy.” Mills says his company, Mills Fleet Farm, pays its employees a rate above the state minimum wage.
Voters in the Eighth District need to ask themselves if they’d rather vote for a candidate whose economic platform is raising the federal minimum wage or a candidate who has created hundreds of jobs that pay more than the minimum wage.
Further, do voters in the Eighth District want to be represented by a man who’s more worried about raising the minimum wage of existing jobs or a represented by a man who’s worried about creating lots of new jobs that pay well above the minimum wage? If they want the former, they should vote for Rick Nolan. If they want to be represented by someone whose life has centered on creating new jobs that pay significantly more than the minimum wage, then Stewart Mills is the clear choice.
Considering the fact that the median household income for the Iron Range is almost $25,000 a year less than the statewide average, why wouldn’t you vote for the candidate who wants to create lots of new jobs that pay significantly higher wages than the minimum wage?
Then there’s the fact that Nolan can’t tell the truth if his life depended on it:
“Ironically, my opponent, Stewart Mills III, is paid $570,000 a year, nearly $300 an hour, by his family firm, even though $45 an hour is the going rate for a position like his,” Nolan said. “And yet he has the audacity to oppose raising the minimum wage for everyday hardworking Americans to $10.10 an hour?”
That’s proof Nolan is a liar. He knows there aren’t any executive vice presidents of major retail chains getting paid $93,600 a year. This is further proof that Rick Nolan will say anything to get elected:
Northern Minnesota is known for its great fishing, so perhaps it’s fitting that tracking 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan’s position on a bill that deregulates the mining industry and fast tracks the permitting process for PolyMet is a bit like watching a fish flopping around on a dock: first he’s against it, then he’s for it and now he once again opposes it, this time promising to vote against the legislation if it “comes anywhere near close to becoming law.”
The reaction of the those who gathered in Bohannon Hall on that Saturday afternoon is perhaps best summed up by 32-year-old Jesse Peterson, who characterized Nolan’s responses and actions with respect to HR 761 as “incredibly deceptive and reflecting a willingness to be phony.”
First, Nolan’s solution for mining was a mining institute. Then he said he supported PolyMet “if it could be done” in an environmentally safe way. Now, he’s fully supportive of PolyMet…sorta. He supports PolyMet even though, according to environmental activists, it might pollute an entire watershed. On the other hand, Nolan opposes the Enbridge pipeline:
Citing environmental and economic concerns, the Minnesota Democrat issued a statement in which he spoke of potential threats to environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, porous sandy soil, drinking water sources and what he termed some of the cleanest lakes in the state.
In other words, Rick Nolan supports PolyMet until the day after the election, when he’ll return to his environmental activist roots. Environmental activists haven’t said anything since the DFL State Convention. Have they gotten a wink and nod from Nolan that he’ll support them after the election? That’s certainly possible, isn’t it? It isn’t like Nolan would be the first politician to break a campaign promise.
The simple solution is to vote for the candidate who’s consistently advocated for PolyMet and who has created lots of new jobs that pay significantly more than the minimum wage. That’s Stewart Mills.
If there’s a message we should take from this article, it’s that Rick Nolan is an environmentalist first and foremost:
BRAINERD, Minn. — U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan voiced opposition Thursday to Enbridge Energy’s proposed Sandpiper oil pipeline route, which would cut across northern Minnesota.
Citing environmental and economic concerns, the Minnesota Democrat issued a statement in which he spoke of potential threats to environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands, porous sandy soil, drinking water sources and what he termed some of the cleanest lakes in the state.
Rick Nolan will say anything to not upset environmental activists. Chloe Rockow, Stewart Mills’ communications director, highlighted that in this statement:
“It looks like once again, Rick Nolan wants to have his cake and eat it too,” she said. “We’ve seen too many instances where Rick claims to support projects like Keystone, Polymet, or Twin Metals but then turns around and supports the very regulations that stop them from moving forward. This is just another example of Rick’s extremism stopping a project that could really benefit the 8th Congressional District.”
I’d put things differently. Here’s what I would’ve said: Rick Nolan likes most of these big projects in the theoretical sense. It’s just that Nolan, like most Democrats, won’t pull the trigger so they’d become reality. It’s just that Nolan, like other Metrocrats, aren’t interested in improving people’s lives. They’re more worried about talking a good game.
The truth is that this project would bring lots of jobs to the Eighth District. Another truth is that Nolan, like other Democrats, wants to talk like he supports these projects without supporting these projects. That leads to an important question of great import.
Nolan supposedly supports PolyMet, which, according to environmentalist organizations like Conservation, might pollute entire watershed districts. How can Nolan support the PolyMet mining project but oppose the pipeline project? Further, why would Nolan support rerouting the Enbridge pipeline through important, productive agricultural properties? Is it that he doesn’t put a high priority on agricultural properties?
If the truth was told, it would be that Nolan’s taking his position on Enbridge and his position on PolyMet for purely political reasons. It doesn’t have anything to do with setting solid public policy. That’s why a vote for Rick Nolan is a vote for politics-as-usual in DC.
Minnesotans deserve better than that.
Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer promised to raise $100,000,000 for Democratic candidates who pledged to implement his climate change agenda. Apparently, he’s falling miles short of hitting that pledge:
Billionaire Tom Steyer pledged to raise $50 million to make climate change and opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline a 2014 campaign headache for the GOP.
It’s not going very well.
“[Steyer's] super PAC, NextGen Climate Action, has raised just $1.2 million from other donors toward that goal, according to still-unreleased figures that his aides shared with Politico,” wrote Politico’s Andrew Restuccia and Kenneth P. Vogel. “And he appears to be struggling to woo wealthy allies in his effort to compete with big-money conservative donors – leading some supporters to question whether his fundraising goal is realistic.”
“So far, the only really big donor to the Steyer cause is Steyer himself,” they added.
Apparently, Steyer’s agenda isn’t popular with Democrats. Apparently, Steyer’s agenda is about as popular with Democrats as cockroaches are with the public.
What this means is that Steyer is getting humiliated on the national stage. He deserves it. The environmental movement isn’t about saving the environment. It’s about controlling people’s lives. It isn’t a centrist movement. It’s a far left movement if it can be properly characterized as a movement.
At this point, I’d say that’s questionable.
Raising donations to oppose Keystone XL is especially difficult, considering only hardcore leftists oppose its construction, according to a Pew poll from June 26. Further, combating climate change consistently ranks pretty low on the list of Americans’ top priorities.
The question that hasn’t been determined is whether union rank-and-file will vote Republican this November. Democrats like Al Franken have voted against the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which means he’s voting against unions. The public chatter is that they’re upset with the environmentalists and Democrats who side with the environmental activists. We’ll see whether that’s chatter or if they’ll vote their wallets.
The bottom line is that Democrats should ignore Steyer. The oil companies are doing a great job of keeping people on their side. The environment isn’t a winning issue that’ll put them over the top this election. It’s a drag on Democrats’ electoral chances. The environment might help legislative candidates in a few states but it isn’t a winning issue in Senate races. It’s that simple.