Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category
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.
After Donald Trump’s victory, there’s been a noticeable outbreak of bipartisanship from red-state Democratic senators.
For instance, “North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) is ready to work with Republicans on legislation to invest in ‘clean coal’ technologies. More broadly, she says she’s willing to work across the aisle on regulatory reform. ‘My priority is standing up for North Dakota, not party politics. The reason I’m in the U.S. Senate is to work with Republicans and Democrats to get things done,’ she told The Hill in a statement.”
Meanwhile, “Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) hopes to work with Republicans to reduce the deficit, clean up Washington by stopping former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists and passing legislation to improve service at the Department of Veterans Affairs, a major Trump talking point during the campaign.”
Before you think the Democratic Party has changed into a principled political party, don’t. There’s an explanation for their sudden ‘appreciation’ for bipartisanship:
While outgoing Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) didn’t want Democrats to work with vulnerable Republicans ahead of the 2016 elections, his heir apparent Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is signaling a willingness to let his members do what they need to do to survive in the next Congress.
TRANSLATION: Sen. Schumer has seen the 2018 electoral map. It frightens him. He’s willing to momentarily retreat if it’ll prevent a bloodbath for Senate Democrats.
The thing for Republicans to highlight is whether this cooperation leads to bills getting to President Trump’s desk for his signature. If Sen. Tester works with President Trump on the deficit but doesn’t work with Sen. Heitkamp on regulatory reform and on repealing Obamacare, then we know that Democrats are playing procedural games.
The litmus test for Republicans should be whether Democrats will work with President Trump on Obamacare’s replacement. If there aren’t blocks of Democrats willing to repeal and replace the ACA, then it’ll be clear that Democrats aren’t really interested in productive bipartisanship.
Technorati: Chuck Schumer, Joe Manchin, Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, Jon Tester, Democrats, Repeal and Replace, Obamacare, Litmus Test, Regulatory Reform, Clean Coal Technology, Pipelines, Infrastructure Projects, Republicans, Election 2018
On Saturday, I wrote this post about this Mother Jones article. The MJ article quotes Debbie Sease, the senior lobbying and advocacy director at the Sierra Club. Ms. Sease was polite enough to explain how Democrats kill mining and construction jobs. 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.”
Ms. Sease apparently didn’t pay attention to the election. In battleground state after battleground state, voters rejected environmental activists. They turned the formerly blue states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania into purple states. The only backlash in sight is against the Sierra Club and other like-minded organizations. Thoughts that there will be a pro-Sierra Club backlash is wishful thinking.
Ms. Pease then noted that there were other weapons available to environmental activists:
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.
If you’re thinking that this sound like the DFL’s script for killing PolyMet and the Sandpiper Pipeline project, that’s because it’s the script that the DFL followed in attempting to kill PolyMet and the Sandpiper Pipeline project. That’s why the DFL constantly fights for additional layers of bureaucracy. They use those additional layers to petition government to kill projects with 1,000 paper cuts.
you think I’m exaggerating, I’m not. Paul Aasen admitted it in an op-ed published 8 years ago. I wrote this post to highlight the quotes from Paul Aasen:
Along with our allies at the Izaak Walton League of America, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Wind on the Wires, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Fresh Energy argued, first in South Dakota, then before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC), that the new plant was a bad idea. Our message was simple: The utilities had not proven the need for the energy, and what energy they did need could be acquired less expensively through energy efficiency and wind.
We kept losing, but a funny thing happened. With each passing year, it became clearer that we were right. In 2007, two of the Minnesota utilities dropped out, citing some of the same points we had been making. The remaining utilities had to go through the process again with a scaled-down 580-megawatt plant.
This time around, the administrative law judge ruled in our favor, saying the utilities had proven the need for, at most, 160 megawatts and had failed to prove that coal would be the least expensive way of providing the electricity. The Minnesota PUC approved the transmission lines into Minnesota, and we filed an appeal that is pending with the Minnesota Court of Appeals.
That’s what attrition looks like. That’s why I titled the post “Attrition, not litigation.” At the time that this op-ed was written, Aasen was the executive director of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. MCEA’s goal was to force investors to spend millions of dollars in court. That’s how they make cheap energy sources expensive. That’s why everyone’s electric bills keep getting bigger.
Technorati: Sierra Club, Environmental Extremists, Environmental Activists, Debbie Sease, Lobbyists, Paul Aasen, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, Sandpiper Pipeline Project, PolyMet, Big Stone II, Litigation, Regulations, Izaak Walton League of America, Wind on the Wires DFL, Donald Trump, Construction, Republicans, Election 2016
This article should get everyone’s blood boiling. In it, Mother Jones activists highlight how the Sierra Club is sabotaging families and businesses.
Specifically, Debbie Sease, the senior lobbying and advocacy director at the Sierra Club, told Mother Jones 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.”
First, it’s worth questioning the Sierra Club’s belief that there will be a backlash after President-Elect Trump’s decisive victories in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. While there’s no doubt that the rent-a-protesters will protest coal mining projects, that doesn’t qualify as a grassroots anti-coal movement. That’s just the left’s predictable astroturf paid protest agenda.
Next, notice that the Sierra Club’s tactics include destroying good-paying middle class jobs. The Sierra Club was once thought of as a mainstream environmental organization. They clearly aren’t mainstream anymore. They’ve become radicalized.
Then there’s this:
Still, there are some things Trump can do to help kick-start coal production. Earlier this year, Obama put a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. Trump could easily reverse this rule through executive action, said Goldston at the NRDC press conference.
Even if environmentalists are ultimately able to block some of Trump’s plans, they will still be faced with a larger problem. Obama’s climate policies were only a good start—they didn’t get us anywhere close to averting catastrophic warming. As Sease pointed out, the accelerating pace of climate change means that the planet can’t afford four years of inaction. “Time is not our friend here,” she said.
I’m perfectly willing to let free markets determine whether coal makes a comeback, though I’m hoping it does. It’s worth highlighting the fact that the Sierra Club opposes natural gas because of fracking.
The point is that environmental activists have an anti-middle class agenda. The Sierra Club and other radical environmental organizations won’t hesitate to use litigation to kill the mining industry. It’s time conservatives wake up to the fact that these environmental activists are waging war against the middle class.
Ed Morrissey’s latest column about the “fake news” phenomena offers 2 points worthy of further exploration. In the final paragraph of Morrissey’s column, he writes “That contempt from elites in media and politics may or may not have produced the electoral results seen two weeks ago, but it certainly explains the shock that has resulted from it. That contempt is also reflected in the push to shut down commentary and pressure Facebook into editing their social media network to allow only those sources deemed acceptable by those in power, politically and culturally.”
Predictably, Democrat elitists are in denial. In this instance, the simplest explanation for why so many blue collar voters chose Trump is because the Democratic Party has abandoned them for years. This administration has sided with environmental activists rather than the miners, pipefitters and heavy equipment operators on major projects every time. The Keystone XL Pipeline is just one example of that. The Dakota Access Pipeline is another.
This is a classic case of ‘what have you done for me lately Syndrome’. If Democrats don’t figure out a way to satisfy both environmental activists and miners, they’ll lose miners and construction workers for a generation. It’s that simple.
In his opening paragraph, Morrissey wrote “Rather than acknowledge the obvious and prosaic answer — that voters in swing states chose change rather than the status quo — analysts have sought a Unified Theory of Donald Trump’s Success. Trump couldn’t possibly have won fair and square, the assumption goes, so all that’s left is to identify whatever went wrong and banish it so this never happens again.”
Other explanations are equally valid. First, Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate who ignored the most animated group of swing voters in this election. Mrs. Clinton didn’t just ignore Michigan and Wisconsin. She ignored voters in rural areas who demanded that they be heard. The other legitimate explanation for her defeat is simple: explosive ACA health insurance premiums caused people to demand a change from the status quo.
The Democratic Party is at a crossroads. They can continue to ignore blue collar workers and drive them into the GOP. If they don’t want that, then they’ll have to show that they aren’t anti-mining. Democrats can pretend that the ACA is a fine piece of legislation. That’s what Chuck Schumer did last Sunday. If that’s their strategy, they should prepare to not be taken seriously.
It’s more than a little disheartening to find out that the US Army Corps of Engineers is getting politicized. This statement is proof that that’s what’s happening.
The opening paragraph reads “Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.”
Predictably, the Great Sioux Nation is delighted, saying “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country. Millions of people have literally and spiritually stood with us at Standing Rock. And for this, you have our deepest thanks and gratitude.”
This sham protest will come to a screeching halt the minute President Obama leaves office:
The companies behind the pipeline — Partners of Dakota Access Pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics — called the Army’s announcement “unjust,” saying it reinforced the idea that the Obama administration has been acting outside the law. “This action is motivated purely by politics at the expense of a company that has done nothing but play by the rules it was given,” said Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, in a statement to NewsHour. “To propose, as the Corps now does, to further delay this pipeline and to engage in what can only be described as a sham process sends a frightening message about the rule of law.”
Legal action is being taken:
Energy Transfer and its subsidiary, Sunoco Logistics Partners, filed papers in U.S. district court in Washington, D.C., seeking to “end the Administration’s political interference in the Dakota Access Pipeline review process.” Energy Transfer asked the court to declare that the project had the legal right to proceed and needed no further government approvals.
They have the right because they’ve applied for and received all the required permits. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe can protest all they want but they’re standing on shaking ground politically. President Trump’s first Monday in office (he’s sworn in on Friday) is the day that the protests are shut down. The Trump administration is putting a high priority on building America’s infrastructure. That includes pipelines. They’re putting a high priority on energy independence, too. One of the first things that Trump’s Secretary of State will do is approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.
The only question left is how much Tom Steyer and George Soros are paying these protesters.
Technorati: US Army Corps of Engineers, Infrastructure, Weaponized Government, Environmental Activists, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Dakota Access Pipeline, Professional Protesters, Tom Steyer, Barack Obama, Democrats, Donald Trump, Infrastructure, Keystone XL Pipeline, Energy Independence, Jobs
Last Tuesday night, Donald Trump was given a mandate on multiple issues. One of the issues that he received a mandate on was energy. In state after state, especially in the battleground states, Mr. Trump tapped into the frustration felt by blue collar voters. These voters have frequently been classified as angry white voters by the MSM. Whether that’s an intentional mischaracterization or whether it’s a simple mistake, it isn’t accurate.
These voters told the nation that they were tired of Democrats hurting coal mining by constantly siding with the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party. In Rust Belt state after Rust Belt state, voters voted Donald Trump in overwhelming numbers. While there aren’t exit polls highlighting this statistic, there’s a different yardstick to measure that mandate. It’s called voter turnout. In the Great Lakes states, the proof was obvious from the start of the night.
Another mandate that voters gave to Mr. Trump and Republicans was on the issue of health care reform. Here in Minnesota, Republicans increased the size of their majority in the House of Representatives and flipped the Senate because of the MNsure/ACA crisis in the state and because of increased turnout in rural Minnesota thanks to Donald Trump.
Another way of judging the size of the mandate is that Trump won 30 of the 50 states. Of the battleground states, Mrs. Clinton won 3 (New Hampshire, Nevada and Virginia) states with a total of 23 electoral votes while Mr. Trump won 6 (Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida) with a total of 108 electoral votes.
President Trump will implement his policies because Democrats are in disarray and because the issues he’s fighting for are popular. Think of it this way. Would you want to be one of the 9 Democratic senators in states that Trump won after voting against fixing the ACA? There’s a term for that. That’s called political suicide.