Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

I highlighted Salena Zito’s article in this post because she’d discovered something fascinating that others haven’t paid attention to. The centerpiece of that article was that Ms. Zito had noticed that Democrats in southwestern Pennsylvania were switching their party allegiances.

Ms. Zito noted that “every single person who walked into Lee Supply’s training room, from the CEO down to the janitor, was a registered Democrat. And every single person pledged not only to vote for Trump and Toomey but to ask family, neighbors and friends to do the same.” According to the article, 60 people switched parties that day. That’s interesting but it isn’t the type of information that’d lead me to think that it’d be enough to flip an election. It’s worth noting that the “informal voter-registration effort [was] conducted by Secure Energy for America,” not the Trump campaign or the RNC.

Ms. Zito’s first article for the NY Post contains the type of information that indicates that there’s a full-blown movement happening that might tip the election in Mr. Trump’s direction:

Four years ago, Christian Rickers was a delegate from Virginia for Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention; four months ago he voted for Bernie Sanders in the Virginia primary.
Now he’s a Trumpocrat. And he’s hoping to turn the Rust Belt red. This is a major turnaround for someone like Rickers. His earliest childhood memories include handing out leaflets for local Virginia Democratic candidates; as a teenager he attended that famous 1992 presidential debate when George H.W. Bush was captured looking at his watch. Right after, Rickers had his picture taken with a jubilant Bill Clinton.

He also served in current Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine’s administration when he was governor — appointed by Kaine. “I basically came out of the womb a Democrat,” he said. But beginning next week he’ll be loading a flatbed in Pittsburgh filled with “Trumpocrat” bumper stickers, signs, magnets and contact sheets, with his sights set on Cleveland and all that rich geography in between. The reason: “It’s all about who has your back, and Donald Trump has the country’s back,” he said.

The choice isn’t ideologically based, “It is about economic prosperity, and heart and the understanding that, yes, the system is rigged and we need someone who will go in and change that,” he said.

Rickers’ plan is ambitious. The seasoned operative has identified 10 counties throughout Pennsylvania and five in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley, targeting 850,000 voters total. More than enough to make a difference in both states for Trump.

If anyone would have credibility with Bernie voters, it’s a former Bernie supporter. If Mr. Rickers is able to flip a significant portion of Bernie voters, then Hillary’s in trouble. That’s the big if, though. At this point, what Mr. Rickers has going for him is that Bernie’s voters don’t trust Mrs. Clinton. (Again, it’s worth noting that people, not the Trump campaign, are taking the initiative to do voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote drives. That’s why Hillary’s millions aren’t putting a dent in Trump’s support.)

Let’s see whether that’s a powerful position to start from.

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While I wrote this post, I couldn’t stop thinking that the Iron Range would benefit if DFL activists from the Range started thinking like the Democrats who filed into Lee Supply’s training room in Charleroi, PA, which is in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Democrats in southwestern Pennsylvania that filed into that training room entered as Democrats but left as Trump voters. Angela LeJohn isn’t just voting for Donald Trump but for Pat Toomey, too. That’s because, in her opinion, “voting to preserve their industry means voting for Trump and Toomey.” Ms. LeJohn is employed by Lee Supply, which specializes in “pipe and pumping systems used in everything from traditional applications, such as water distribution and sewage treatment, to highly specialized applications such as horizontal directional drilling, slip lining, leachate and methane collection, gas extraction and water transport.”

If the Iron Range got smart, they’d vote Republican for a few cycles. A few weeks ago, Rick Nolan and Ken Martin postponed a vote on something known on the Range as Resolution 54. The text of Resolution 54 reads “Oppose sulfide ore mining, which is significantly different from taconite mining, poses unacceptable environmental risks, threatens multiple watersheds (Lake Superior, BWCA/VNP, Mississippi) and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing rock of Minnesota.”

Bill Hanna, the executive editor of the Mesabi Daily News, notes that “while mining opponents, most notably the DFL Environmental Caucus, are targeting nonferrous projects, they either fail to realize, or don’t care, that all rock mined on the Range is ‘sulfur-bearing rock,’ including in taconite production. So Resolution 54 would put the DFL Party squarely against a 135-year history of mining in Minnesota and opposed to a proud traditional way of life for more than a century on the Iron Range.”

As the people of Charleroi, PA have figured out, it’s more important to vote for people you don’t always agree with but who’ll always “have your back” than it is to always vote for Democrats just because that’s what you’ve always done. If the Range doesn’t figure this out, they’ll soon realize that they’ll have to vote Republican to protect their livelihoods.

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This Duluth New Tribune Our View editorial is nothing if not a shot at the environmental activists who are trying to prevent PolyMet from becoming operational.

The Duluth News Tribune’s editorial starts by saying “More than 10 years of exhaustive, detailed, thorough, and both emotional and science- and facts-based research, study and review: Apparently all of it still isn’t enough for some. A citizens group, joined now by three Duluth city councilors, are calling on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to conduct an evidentiary hearing with an administrative law judge before issuing a permit to mine copper and other precious metals in northern Minnesota.”

Clearly, the intent is to delay, not inform. That’s apparent when the DNT’s editorial says “An administrative law judge would serve as an impartial opinion-maker on the permit to mine, as those advocating for the evidentiary hearing point out. But the judge wouldn’t be an environmental expert or an authority on the science or business of mining. Those experts already have weighed in, prompted improvements to the plans, and signed off. It’s difficult to imagine what new evidence could be brought at such a hearing that hasn’t already been thoroughly researched, considered, vetted and, where appropriate, implemented.”

Let’s be straightforward with this: there aren’t many Republicans who are environmental activists, assuming you use the DFL’s definition of environmental activist. There are tons of Republicans who care deeply about preserving the natural resources that we’ve been entrusted with. That doesn’t fit the DFL’s definition of an environmental activist, though.

Relentless opponents of the $900 million Sandpiper pipeline project across Minnesota certainly cheered last week when Enbridge Energy Partners announced it had bailed on its project after years of protest and regulatory delays. Minnesota and the Twin Ports lost out on an estimated 3,000 badly needed, good-paying jobs.

The Sierra Club rejoiced when Enbridge pulled the plug on the Sandpiper Pipeline Project:

In response, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Director Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“The end of the proposed Sandpiper pipeline is a crucial victory for the tens of thousands of Americans who have fought to protect their communities, their health, and the climate from the threat of fossil fuel infrastructure expansion.

“As far too many communities throughout the Great Lakes region can attest to, when it comes to pipelines, especially an Enbridge operated pipeline, it’s never a question of if it will spill, but rather a question of when. This is a risk no community should face, and thanks to today’s announcement, thousands of people will remain safe from the dangers of the Sandpiper pipeline.

“Rather than continuing to expand our reliance on fossil fuels, we must continue to transition to clean, renewable energy, and leave dirty fuels in the ground, where they belong.”

The end of the Sandpiper Pipeline project isn’t a victory for the environmentalists. It’s just another instance where the company just took a different route. In this instance, the jobs were lost in Minnesota and Wisconsin because the pipeline will now go through the Dakotas, into Iowa, the finishing in Illinois.

The environmentalists didn’t win anything. They just screwed thousands of Minnesotans out of “3,000 badly needed, good-paying jobs.” The dirty little secret is that so-called environmental activists aren’t pro-environment as much as they’re anti-development.

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If anyone needs proof that the DFL hates laborers (the L in DFL supposedly stands for Laborer), they should look at this map of the new alternative route that Enbridge will use to get their Bakken oil to market:

I wrote this post to highlight the DFL’s indifference to pipefitters and other blue collar workers. The metro DFL environmental activists threw up hurdle after hurdle to prevent the Sandpiper Pipeline. The DFL won. The Sandpiper Pipeline won’t be built. Enbridge decided to avoid Minnesota and route their pipeline through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

The oil will flow. The commodity will still make it to market. The DFL ‘won’, if you consider losing hundreds of high-paying heavy equipment jobs to other states winning. (HINT: The Metro DFL thinks this is a victory. Since the Metro DFL runs the party, the DFL considers this a victory.)

The DFL isn’t the party of the blue collar workers. This is who they are:

Today’s DFL is led by a trust fund governor who’s lived a life of carefree luxury. It’s led by a House Minority Leader who lives in a tony Minneapolis enclave and pays more in property taxes than some people make in a year. It’s led by a clownish U.S. Senator who made a fortune playing the fool in Hollywood, writing vacuous trash while doing dope. All three live in Minneapolis and consider walking down to the farmer’s market to pick up some kale to be “farming.”

That isn’t all. Think of this:

Of course, the antidote for this malaise would be to get more mining jobs up and running, especially for those minerals, ferrous and non-ferrous, that have recovered in price point. But the urban elites who run the DFL won’t allow it. Instead, they engage in a cynical game of stringing people along, claiming that there’s just “one more” environmental regulation to clear.

Years later, miners are still waiting for good jobs. They won’t be coming, at least so long as Mark Dayton is governor. You see, there is no intention to allow this mining to start up. It’s all a smoke screen to cop some more votes out of Iron Rangers for the next election.

It’s about the false hope. The DFL party has delayed considering a resolution to oppose mining. It wasn’t defeated. Only delayed until after the election.

The DFL abandoned farmers, the F in the DFL, when Gov. Dayton vetoed a tax relief bill that would’ve provided hundreds of farmers property tax relief. Gov. Dayton didn’t fight for farmers. Instead, Gov. Dayton fought for the SWLRT project.

When it was decision time, Gov. Dayton and the DFL fought farmers, laborers and other blue collar workers. They fought for environmental activists and the metro.

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It’s time people understood just how many jobs anti-development environmentalists kill each year. It’s time people understood, too, the impact excessive regulations have on Minnesota’s state budget. This article helps illustrate the negative and devastating impact overregulation has on economic growth.

This paragraph lays things out perfectly, saying “Enbridge has been trying to build this petroleum pipeline from the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota to its regional terminal in Superior, Wis. The project is common sense. The oil from the Bakken needs to be moved to market. Building Sandpiper would create thousands of well-paying middle-class construction jobs, bring millions of dollars in much-needed business to rural communities and add millions of tax dollars to rural governments. There is also no disagreement that moving the oil in a pipeline is a safer alternative than moving it via rail cars or trucks.”

It’s indisputable that moving oil through pipelines is safer than other forms of moving product to market. That fight is finished. Further, it’s indisputable that building the pipeline would create thousands of high-paying construction jobs. Think about this: If a bonding bill is called a jobs bill by the DFL, why shouldn’t building the Sandpiper Pipeline project be called a private sector jobs bill by Republicans?

It’s indisputable that the interest that’s paid back by taxpayers on bonding bills costs everyone money, frequently in the form of higher taxes. Interest paid off by companies like Enbridge when they build America’s infrastructure is a net plus on multiple levels plus it doesn’t costs taxpayers a dime in higher taxes. In fact, it’s possible to argue that increased economic growth from the private sector will lower taxes while increasing revenues and raising blue collar workers’ wages significantly.

Minnesota loses

The result of this uncertainty came home to roost earlier this month. Enbridge announced that it had formed a partnership to purchase a pipeline system that would get the Bakken petroleum to market. One of the pipelines Enbridge will purchase is still under construction, and it runs from North Dakota through South Dakota and Iowa to Illinois. This pipeline was permitted in all four states in a year and a half. One thing the pipelines in this system have in common is that none of them travels through Minnesota.

Enbridge got what it wanted. North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois approved the alternate pipeline route in about 18 months, which is about a third of the time Minnesota had muddled through the permitting process thus far. BTW, North Dakota has better air quality than Minnesota.

This is particularly noteworthy:

One of the first things Gov. Mark Dayton did when he took office in 2011 was sign an executive order to streamline decisions on environmental permits. The rhetoric clearly has not been matched by action.

It’s noteworthy because Gov. Dayton signed that executive order after Dan Fabian submitted a bill (HF1) to streamline permitting. I wrote then that this was a purely political stunt. There’s little doubt but that I got that right.

Minnesota has strong environmental regulations. Unfortunately, it’s also got some of the most untrustworthy anti-development environmentalists in the US. These anti-development environmentalists oppose the Sandpiper Pipeline. They oppose all forms of mining in Minnesota. They opposed the building of the Big Stone II power plant, too.

At this rate, the anti-natural resources wing of the DFL, which is the dominant wing of the DFL, won’t permit anything that doesn’t fit their rigid ideology.

The Democratic Party’s platform doesn’t mince words when it comes to energy. The Democratic Party’s platform calls for the elimination of all fossil fuels by 2050. That means that Hillary’s statement in May that she’ll try to put coal workers out of work isn’t just campaign trail happy talk. It’s the stated goal of the Democratic Party.

Political parties’ platforms aren’t often followed and can be frequently ignored. This time, it’s different. When was the last time that Democrats sided with labor over the environmental activists’ agenda? Let me know when you get back to the 1980s. BTW, Bill Clinton put millions of acres of federal land off limits for oil exploration. Now his wife is running for office. Anyone that thinks that Hillary isn’t as prone to pandering as Bill is kidding themselves. She isn’t as subtle or charming about it as Bill was but she’s still a world-class panderer. This wasn’t one of her finer moments, though:

Hillary talked quite openly about “clean, renewable energy” energy in that speech. It’s possible that Hillary thinks that she’s just pandering to the environmental activist wing of the Democratic Party. If that’s what she’s thinking, she didn’t do her homework.

This isn’t the old Democratic Party. When it comes to today’s Democratic Party on energy, these environmental activists are fascists. They aren’t interested in walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. They’re willing to take half-a-loaf but that doesn’t mean that they’re reasonable. They’re totally willing to shut down fossil fuels with a steadfast progress towards eliminating fossil fuels.

Voters in Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania need to ask themselves if they’re willing to cast a vote for a Democratic candidate who wants to cripple their state’s economy and hurt their neighbors or their relatives. That’s what’s at stake in this election.

During her acceptance speech, Hillary said that “we all do better when we all do better”, a phrase first coined by Paul Wellstone. I’d like to hear Hillary’s explanation on how this helps miners do better. It’s likely that Hillary used that line without meaning it. It’s even likely that she doesn’t care if everyone does better as long as she’s elected.

It’s time to reject the Democratic Party’s politics of division and their divisive candidate.

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In a PR stunt, Gov. Dayton announced that he’s appealing the ruling shooting down the Next Generation Energy Act, aka the NGEA. It’s a PR stunt because Gov. Dayton said “it’s a matter of protecting air quality.” The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals disagrees, saying that “Minnesota would need Congressional approval to enforce that section of the 2007 law.”

Gov. Dayton is standing on shaky constitutional ground. He’s argued that the NGEA “doesn’t illegally restrict new coal-powered plants but merely requires that they be offset by reductions at existing plants.” That’s irrelevant. The Interstate Commerce Clause, found in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution states “The Congress shall have Power To … To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

Think of the insanity if this wasn’t the case. If the ICC didn’t exist, North Dakota could pass a law that requires all electricity sold into North Dakota had to be from nuclear power plants. Without the ICC, Minnesota would face a choice of not selling electricity into North Dakota or to generate that electricity at nuclear power plants.

Such laws would demolish state sovereignty. That’s intolerable.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s decision last week that barred Minnesota from enforcing key sections of the Next Generation Energy Act. The court sided with North Dakota utilities and other interests that argued [the NGEA] illegally regulates out-of-state utilities.

As usual, Rep. Pat Garofalo nails it with this statement:

This is an election year stunt aimed at improving turnout with environmental activists. It’s Gov. Dayton’s signal that he’s with them. Sadly, Gov. Dayton didn’t swear an oath to be with them. The oath he took said that he’d uphold the Minnesota Constitution and the US Constitution. As usual, he’s got his priorities all mixed up.

When unions signed onto liberalism’s entire agenda, they signed onto some things that are hurting them now. That’s what this article is about. Unions have been among the most trustworthy parts of the DFL’s coalition. Their reward is getting frequently shafted.

The DFL has steadfastly defended the refugee resettlement program despite the national security risks it presents. The State Department’s refugee resettlement program doesn’t just give terrorists a free pass to move into the United States. It also hurts workers.

Last week, the St. Cloud City Council voted to rezone a former convent so it could be turned into an apartment unit that will house “seasonal workers from Ukraine, the Philippines and Mexico” who will work for GNP, formerly known as Gold’n Plump.

Now that it’s their ox that’s getting gored, the AFL-CIO is expressing its disgust with the program. Implicit in their complaint is their disgust with the DFL:

Jane Conrad, a union organizer with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, said GNP’s program will have a ripple effect in St. Cloud.

“It’s kind of opening a Pandora’s box that we really shouldn’t be going down,” she said. “When you have guest workers coming in from out of the area, they’re not staying here, they’re not invested in the community, the way those that live here are. And when we have the poverty rate that we have currently right now, we need everything we can get in this community.”

Ms. Conrad can thank the DFL for those refugees taking the place of her union workers. Then again, it’s fair to say that the AFL-CIO can blame themselves for empowering the DFL locally and the Democratic Party nationally.

The AFL-CIO and other major unions have gotten shafted by other Democratic Party agenda items. Think Keystone XL transcontinental pipeline and the Sandpiper Pipeline from the Bakken to Superior, WI. The unions got shafted on those good-paying jobs because today’s Democratic Party will always side with the environmentalists over the unions. Think, too, of the ACA demolishing the unions’ Cadillac health insurance plans, too.

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It’s telling that 27% of Democrats think that ‘deniers’ should be prosecuted. It’s frightening, though, that New York State has taken it a step further by investigating Exxon Mobil for refusing to play ball with the popular scientific theory.

According to the NY Times, the “New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business. According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.”

This is a serious investigation only in the sense that state attorneys general have subpoena power and the resources to make life miserable for the companies they ‘investigate’. Otherwise, this isn’t a serious investigation. The accurate terminology for what the NY State Attorney General is doing is ‘leading a fishing expedition’. Another term that might be used is that Gen. Schneiderman’s hunting for someone’s scalp, a trophy to brag about during his re-election campaign.

I seriously doubt that Schneiderman can prove anything about the science. If he can’t prove that climate change exists to a judge, then he should lose the entire case because, according to the NY Times, the investigation intends to prove how much climate change “might hurt the oil business.”

The fact that people think the government should prosecute ‘climate change deniers’ should be sufficient motivation to vote out Democrats in 2016 and beyond. These people are nuts and vindictive.

Frank Hornstein represents a Twin Cities district. That’s why it isn’t surprising that he opposes the Sandpiper Pipeline project in northern Minnesota. What’s odd is his reason for opposing it:

Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, said many frame pipelines as a safer alternative to oil-carrying trains but that it shouldn’t be a choice between the two.

“Pipelines leak and explode and so do trains. The choice is: Are we going to continue our dependence on oil or get serious about conserving?” said Hornstein, who called the debate a symptom of “America’s gluttonous appetite for oil. The science is in, the data is screaming at us. And what goes on inside here,” he said pointing to the Capitol, “is unfortunately not helping.”

Bulletin for Hornstein: The vote is in. People love their oil-loving ways. They don’t care that we’re using lots of oil.

Americans processed all of the data that’s “screaming at us.” The perspective that Rep. Hornstein prefers lost. Actually, it got its butt kicked. It isn’t surprising, though, that Rep. Hornstein isn’t paying attention to what the American people want. He’ a hardline progressive who knows what’s best for Americans. Because knows what’s best for Americans, his policies should be implemented ASAP.

That sounds like a certain pen-wielding president who hates Congress and the courts, doesn’t it?

With all due respect to Rep. Hornstein, the American people don’t care that he thinks he knows what’s best for them. Though he’ll probably continue getting re-elected for as long as he wants, Minnesotans will reject his attitude.

Protesters carried makeshift signs and banners and chanted, “We don’t want your tar sands oil, we won’t let you kill our soil,” and “Pipelines spill, tar sands kill.”

I’d love to see the autopsy report that states that tar sands were the cause of death. These environmental activists are from the outer fringes of the outer fringe of the DFL.

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