Search
Archives

You are currently browsing the archives for the Energy category.

Categories

Archive for the ‘Energy’ Category

Saying that Moderate Joe Biden isn’t moderate is understatement. Frankly, when AOC said that she wasn’t interested in some middle-of-the-road green energy plan that Biden was likely to propose, she certainly didn’t do her research. Then again, that’s her habit. This article highlights how destructive Biden’s plan would be.

What’s most frightening is that Joe Biden’s plan is relatively moderate amongst Democrat presidential candidates’ plans. That being said, it’s impossible to see Biden’s plan gaining traction in parts of the Rust Belt that he needs to flip back to have a chance to win back the White House.

Let’s get started with the meat of this critique, starting with Mr. Driessen writing “[b]efore we destroy our energy and economic system, we need to be presented solid, irrefutable proof that we face an actual climate crisis – and be able to debate and cross examine those who make such claims.”

That won’t happen anytime soon. The Democrats’ idea of debating an issue is hurling invectives at those that disagree with them. There’s no sign that Democrats will stop that anytime soon. (When I say soon, I mean in the next 50 years.) Driessen continues:

Third, there’s nothing clean, green, renewable or sustainable about wind, solar or battery power. Those technologies require enormous amounts of land, concrete, steel and other raw materials – and many of their most critical materials are extracted and processed using child labor, at near-slave wages for adults, with few or no workplace safety rules, and with horrific effects on land, air and water quality.

I’m reminded of the story from a DFL state convention a few years ago. For the benefit of non-Minnesotans, DFL is Minnesotan for crazy liberals.

Some Iron Range Democrats wanted a plank in the DFL platform that said that the DFL supported mining. Twenty years ago, that wouldn’t have been controversial. That year, it was as controversial as saying that the Pope’s grandkids were offended. But I digress. The environmentalists started organizing against the motion by communicating with iPads and iPhones.

DFL Sen. Dave Tomassoni noted this in ridiculing environmentalists opposing the platform prank:

Tomassoni held up his cell phone, noting that virtually everyone at the convention, including the most ardent environmentalists, had one. “There are 39 minerals in this little baby,” Tomassoni said. “It may surprise some of the people here that these minerals don’t just drop out of the sky. They’re mined. What, is it okay if the mining is done by some 12-year-old in a third world country, but it’s wrong if we [Rangers] do it?”

Biden’s strategy is stupid. First, he’s essentially telling blue collar workers that he’d implement the same policies as President Obama did that drove blue collar workers into President Trump’s arms.

Next, Biden is then attempting to tell those blue collar workers, whose jobs he wants to eliminate, that he’ll fight for them. Right. The guy that just sold those hard hats out now wants them to trust him? Seriously? There’s a better chance that I’ll vote for the Democrat in the general election in 2020 than there is for these hard hats to trust Biden. Here’s what Biden said in October of 2015 on the subject of climate change:

Then again, considering what he’s said about the Hyde Amendment in the past vs. what he’s saying now that he’s running for president, it isn’t like you can trust him or any other Democrat on the subject.

A theory developed while reading Salena Zito’s latest article, which is titled “What happens when Joe stops being Joe?” Salena’s article asks the question of what happens to VP Biden when he stops being lovable old Joe. That theory is that President Trump should highlight his economic accomplishments by highlighting his regulatory accomplishments in Rust Belt states.

She notes that Biden’s rollout was virtually flawless but that his handling of the Hyde Amendment was a disaster. Then she quotes Jeff Brauer, a “political science professor at Keystone College here in Factoryville.” Brauer said “What Biden needs to do is appeal to voters in the middle and even the Right. This move isn’t going to help in that. Moving hard left in the primary could prove to be fatal for the general. Biden has also succumbed to far-left pressures on the environment by rolling out a policy plan that is far more liberal than expected.”

Zito then points out, as I have multiple times, that “Trump’s victory in 2016 was primarily due to his support in the Midwestern, Rust Belt states, whose voters had been hit hard economically as jobs moved elsewhere. With a recent boom fueled by natural gas, some of these areas are bouncing back.”

The Hyde Amendment hurts Biden in the short-term but the environment hurts him in the long-term. If Democrats don’t flip the blue collar vote in 2020, they can kiss that election good-bye.

Few people paid attention to the early days of the Trump administration. That’s when Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and President Trump used the Congressional Review Act to eliminate tons of Obama environmental regulations. That wasn’t just smart policy. It was fantastic politics. President Trump can visit the Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana cities most affected (positively) by the elimination of those Obama-Biden era regulations.

What should worry Democrats most is that Biden and Tim Ryan are the only Democrats with a legitimate shot at those voters. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg don’t have a shot at those voters.
This is Biden’s Hyde Amendment flip-flop:

On issue after issue, President Trump has been the reasonable politician in the room. Whether we’re talking about immigration, taxes, regulations or the economy, President Trump has presented sensible options. When Congress runs away from some of those policies, it just makes him look that much more reasonable, especially in light of the fact that Democrats are hell-bent on impeaching President Trump.

What’s especially helpful to President Trump is the fact that he, Ryan and McConnell eliminated so many environmental regulations. Now that the US is a net exporter of energy, he’s in an especially strong negotiating position with Eastern bloc countries and Russia. Put differently, President Trump should make the case that his strong economy has made the US stronger internationally. Biden can’t make that same argument.

This article should frighten Chuck Schumer to the core. According to The Hill, Sen. Manchin is considering leaving the Senate before the end of his term.

The article starts by saying “Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is eyeing a possible exit from the Senate, and his decision could be a significant factor in which party controls the majority in 2021. In moments of frustration, the centrist senator has gone so far as to tell colleagues he may leave the upper chamber before the end of this Congress, or after the 2020 elections.”

If Sen. Manchin leaves, it would make it virtually impossible for Democrats to retake control of the Senate in 2021. Sen. Manchin is likely frustrated by the Democrats’ policies on climate change. In this interview, Sen. Manchin expresses his frustration with Mayor Bloomberg’s commitment to eliminating coal-fired power plants nationwide:

That isn’t to say that Sen. Manchin is fond of Republicans. He isn’t. Still, he’s willing to work with Republicans. I suspect that he’d get along just fine with Lindsey Graham on some issues. I further suspect that Sen. Manchin is getting tired of some of the bomb throwing Democrats that are more about shouting than about fixing things.

“I think he’s been fed up for a long time,” said a senator who traveled with Manchin. “He said, ‘I have so many people talking to me about whether I should or I shouldn’t [run for governor].'”

“One of the things you get as a lawmaker is you get lots of free advice from lots of people. He expressed frustration, and it’s the same that a lot of people share,” said the lawmaker, who spoke on background. A third Senate colleague who has spoken to Manchin about his future in the Senate said, “All he says is, ‘I’ll be here until 2020.'”

Don’t think for a minute that Sen. Manchin isn’t frustrated. He clearly is. What’s up in the air is whether he’ll double down or whether he’ll run for governor.

It’s disappointing, though not surprising, that Sen. Klobuchar is pandering to the max to win the Democrat nomination for president. She’s pandering now by saying that President Obama, not President Trump, deserves the credit for Trump’s booming economy.

She said “‘I give our workers and our businesses the credit.’ Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar says the American workforce and ‘policies in place, starting with President Obama’ get the credit for historically strong economic numbers.”

Despite her statements to the contrary, Sen. Klobuchar isn’t that stupid. The policies put in place by President Obama and Sen. Klobuchar have been dispatched with one exception, aka the ACA. By using the Congressional Review Act, President Trump and the GOP majorities in the House and Senate got rid of the industry-killing regulations imposed by President Obama’s administration.

Further, the corporate tax cuts and provisions allowing for repatriation of profits from overseas are leading to previously unforeseen prosperity. How can President Obama insist on taking credit for the rocketship known as the US economy after he told the nation that the GDP numbers that then-candidate Trump predicted were a figment of President Trump’s imagination? Remember this, Sen. Klobuchar?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: He says he’s gonna negotiate a better deal. Well, how’s he gonna do that? How, exactly, are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have and, usually, the answer is, he doesn’t have an answer.”

Just because President Obama was too inept to negotiate great trade deals doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to negotiate great trade deals. It’s just proof that President Obama wasn’t capable of negotiating great trade deals.

Changing economic incentives changes the economy’s growth trajectory. You don’t need a PH.D. to figure that out. Getting rid of counterproductive regulations lift the weight off major industries’ shoulders. Think fossil fuels, manufacturing, agriculture, etc.

The policies that Sen. Klobuchar voted for and that President Obama put in place were thrown onto the scrap heap of history’s discredited policies. Virtually all of the Obama administration’s economic legacy was trashed within the first year of President Trump’s administration. I’d love hearing Sen. Klobuchar, or any other Democrat presidential candidate, explain how policies that aren’t in place anymore are triggering this economic growth.

When incentives change from stifling economic growth to enticing economic growth, isn’t it human nature for profit-makers, aka entrepreneurs, to make profits again?

Ms. Klobuchar also said that many Americans are still struggling financially, thanks to high student loan debt and health-care costs. “That being said, a lot of people aren’t sharing in this prosperity, because of the cost, the cost of college, the cost of health care,” Ms. Klobuchar said. “The fact that the president had promised he would bring down the prices of their prescription drugs, and that just hasn’t happened.”

Larry Kudlow has heard enough of the Democrats’ criticism and he’s speaking out about it:

“I’m just gonna use the damn facts,” he told Fox News’ Leland Vittert. “On the wage front, [average hourly earnings are] rising 3.2 percent overall. The bottom [poorest] quarter [of workers], 4.4 percent increase, the top quarter, 3.5 percent [increase].”

“First of all, both are good and a rising tide is lifting all boats,” Kudlow added. “But the point I’m making is, it’s the blue collar people that have the fastest job expansion and it’s the blue collar people that have the best wage growth.”

“Wow! Low unemployment, high jobs, high wages, big consumer confidence, major productivity and no inflation,” said an enthusiastic Kudlow while gesturing toward the camera. “It’s totally awesome. We’re killing it on the economy.”

Obama and Klobuchar can lie all they want about people not experiencing the gains triggered by President Trump’s policies but the reality is that people are experiencing the growth. Why else would small business and consumer confidence be through the roof? If people aren’t feeling good about their economic situation, they aren’t confident.

One thing that’s apparent from this past week is that the Democrats’ plan to counter the good economic news is to insist that President Obama deserves great credit for the strong economy. During the first roundtable discussion on Fox News Sunday, Democrat spinmeister Mo Elleithee went right to work on that storyline.

First, Chris Wallace asked “Mo, there has been a lot of talk about a blue wave this November, a big Democratic pickup, may be control of the House, maybe even control of the Senate. But I think you would agree in the absence of where the economy is always the top issue and when you got strong economic growth, when you got historically low unemployment number, isn’t that a pretty strong record for Republicans to run on?” Elleithee replied by saying “Look, first of all, we should all be celebrating 4.1 economic growth. That’s a good number, a strong number. It also would have been the fifth strongest number of the Obama administration, right? The Obama administration — this is the continuation of economic recovery that began in 2009 and 2010. That strong economy wasn’t enough to save Democrats last time. It’s not enough to say it will be enough to say it would save Republicans this time.”

Republicans on the panel should’ve jumped on that immediately. Unfortunately, notorious Trump-hater Jonah Goldberg sat silent. Ditto with Jillian Turner. Since they sat silent, I’ll say what I would’ve said had I been on that panel. First, I would’ve highlighted the fact that President Trump and the GOP Congress scrapped the Obama-era tax system. They essentially threw it out and started from scratch. Thanks to the Trump/GOP tax cuts, business investment is accelerating, capital from overseas investments are flooding into the United States where manufacturing plants are being built or re-opened.

Remember when the Obama administration told us that those jobs were gone forever? I certainly remember. Apparently, all that was required were the right policies. Manufacturing is back in a big way. President Obama doesn’t get credit for the manufacturing rebound.

President Trump unleashed the energy sector by eliminating President Obama’s regulations that were intended to strangle the fossil fuel industry. Now we’re a net exporter of fossil fuels. Another thing is that the manufacturing sector is getting stronger quickly. That’s what I’d expect. President Obama worked tirelessly to put the fossil fuel industry out of business. He can’t take credit for that resurgent industry, the jobs it’s creating or the communities it’s rebuilding. Remember this statement from the campaign trail?

This month’s job report showed that people are returning to the workforce because they know there’s finally good-paying jobs available. In fact, for the first time in history, there are more job openings than there are workers to fill those positions. A frequent highlight of the Obama-era jobs reports was the part where they’d say how many people dropped out of the workforce or how the workforce participation rate had dropped. President Obama can’t take credit for that.

President Obama can’t take credit for surging consumer confidence or business confidence, either. Neither sector was particularly confident during the Obama administration. In truth, there’s nothing from the Obama administration’s policies that are contributing to the strengthening Trump economy. Period.

Last night, Juan Williams was on Fox News @ Night to talk about Friday’s GDP report. Something he hinted at, which isn’t a first, is that the Trump GDP numbers are a continuation of the Obama recovery. Let’s be clear about things. First, it’s indisputable that the recovery from the Great Recession started early in the Obama administration. People arguing otherwise just aren’t telling the truth. Second, anyone that thinks that the Trump economy’s growth is based on a continuation of Obama-era policies simply isn’t informed.

From Day One, President Trump and the GOP Congress have done their best to sweep aside the Obama administration’s policies. That’s why people elected President Trump. They wanted a Disruptor-in-Chief. They didn’t want a Stay-the-Course administration.

One of the first thing the Trump administration was to unleash the energy sector, starting with green-lighting the Keystone XL Pipeline and increasing fracking for oil and natural gas. They stopped in its tracks the war on coal, thanks in large part to the rolling back of regulations put in place late in the Obama administration through the unprecedented use of the Congressional Review Act. Time and again, that was used to rid ourselves of the anti-mining regulations that the Obama administration put in place.

Those things alone would’ve helped the economy soar. But that’s only part of the story. The highest profile legislative victory of the Trump administration is the passage of the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Those tax cuts are working and everyone knows it. Are they enough to push growth into the stratosphere? I’ll say it this way: they’re opening up new opportunities for entrepreneurship. President Trump has unleashed the animal spirits of this economy. That term was first used by John Maynard Keynes. Here’s what he said about animal spirits:

Even apart from the instability due to speculation, there is the instability due to the characteristic of human nature that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical expectations, whether moral or hedonistic or economic. Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits—a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities.

In other words, good things happen when people are optimistic. There’s no greater salesman of economic optimism than Larry Kudlow. Sandra Smith’s interview of Mr. Kudlow has me believing that robust long-term economic growth isn’t just possible. It’s likely. Watch this interview:

The only other guy who rivals Mr. Kudlow in terms of economic optimism is his old partner in crime in the Reagan administration, Art Laffer. One thing that I don’t want to overlook in the interview is what Kudlow said about the fundamentals in place. Regulations are reasonable. Taxes, which leads to capital formation, which leads to job creation, are low. The energy sector has been unleashed. Consumer confidence is high. Capital that spent its time on the sidelines during the Obama administration is rushing back into the United States in the hopes of increased return on investment. During periods in the Obama administration, investors were sometimes happy with a return of its investment.

Early in the interview, Mr. Kudlow summed things up beautifully by saying “My hunch is that it’s going to go on for quite awhile.” This of things contributing to this strong economy that Mr. listed was fairly lengthy. Anyone mistaking the Trump economy with the Obama economy isn’t paying attention. The differences are night and day differences.

If Democrats want to have a chance at winning back the US House, they’ll need to prove that they won’t consistently side with Big Environment, aka Big Green. During the Obama administration, Big Mining got the shaft without getting the mining project. Salena Zito’s latest article suggests that Democrats are rebuilding their relationship with Big Labor.

The union voters I talked to said they didn’t feel that Democrats in Washington had their back; that they were too progressive, too strident, and way out of touch with their lives and needs. “I think there were two factors at play with how union members, many union members turned away from the Democratic Party,” said Mike Mikus, a western Pennsylvania Democratic strategist who does campaign work for several unions. One is that they didn’t feel their economic issues needed to be addressed and pretty frankly it was in the Democratic playbook to play to the center meant taking on organized labor rather than any other Democratic constituency,” he said.

I’m not convinced that Democrats have figured it out yet, though. I don’t doubt that some Democrats have made the decision to support mining. That will give those Democrats a fighting chance in some districts. The problem is that they’re still part of a Democratic Party that’s dominated by environmental activists.

The Democratic Party won’t part ways with the environmental activists. The miners still remember this:

or this:

Tom Steyer and Alita Messenger won’t tolerate a significant shift back to mining, which is where most union workers are employed. The other industry where lots of union workers are employed is construction. Democrats still fight tooth-and-nail against pipeline projects. If I ran the NRCC, I’d remind voters in the heartland that Democrats are still funded by environmental activists. As long as that’s the case, labor will get shafted by the Democrats.

Who would’ve thought that the Trump/GOP tax cuts would lead to cheaper electric bills? That’s what’s happening, though. While Democrats insist that these benefits helping the middle class are just PR stunts, the middle class’s reply is that they’re fine with PR stunts that save them money. BTW, the PR stunt line is the Democrats latest talking point to deflect criticism away from the fact that Democrats unanimously voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts that are benefitting literally hundreds of thousands of people. They’re benefitting either through pay raises, bonuses, bigger employer contributions to the employees’ 401(k)s or, now, through cheaper utility bills.

The most dramatic news on the utilities front comes out of South Carolina, where a “$7.9 billion deal between utility companies Dominion Energy and Scana includes an unusual term loosely related to the tax bill that passed Congress at the end of 2017. All residential customers of Scana’s South Carolina Electric & Gas utility will get an average cash payment of $1,000 within 90 days of the deal being completed, the companies said in a statement. … Scana and Dominion are one of the first companies to explicitly say they will give their customers a credit as a result of the tax bill.”

In Illinois, “ComEd is filing a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) seeking approval to pass along approximately $200 million in tax savings to its customers in 2018. If approved by the ICC, the average ComEd residential customer can expect to see an estimated $2-$3 decrease on their monthly bill related to the tax reduction.” (ComEd, 1/5/2018)

“Pepco today announced they will file with the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia in early February, outlining plans to provide annual tax savings to more than 296,000 electric customers in the District of Columbia. If approved, Pepco would plan to begin providing a credit lowering customer bills starting in the first quarter of 2018. … ‘The tax law will result in lower bills for our customers and lower taxes for Pepco,’ said Dave Velazquez, President and CEO, Pepco Holdings, which includes Pepco. ‘We are pleased to provide these savings to our customers, while at the same time ensuring we are making prudent investments in the local power grid to maintain the safe, reliable, and affordable service our customers have come to expect.'” (Pepco, Press Release, 1/5/2018)

The point is that the middle class is definitely benefitting from the Trump/GOP tax cuts. That’s indisputable.

What’s important is for the American people to notice that Democrats made a political decision when Democrats, in the House and Senate, voted unanimously against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Democrats from swing districts in America’s heartland didn’t listen to their constituents. Instead, those Democrats listened to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Speaking of Ms. Pelosi, watch this video, then determine whether she’s just plain wrong or whether she’s intentionally lying:

Ms. Pelosi insisted that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was “a bill that rewards corporations shipping jobs overseas.” Then Ms. Pelosi asked if there was justice in shipping jobs overseas. What the hell is she babbling about? Which corporations have announced that they’re moving their companies overseas since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law?

At some point, someone’s got to tell her that she’s either got a warped imagination or she’s liar without a conscience. There’s nothing resembling the truth about her speech. Nothing.

This past fall, I wrote a ton of articles about the importance of building or replacing the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline. I wish I’d had this information when I wrote those articles.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I’ve been good friends with Terry Stone for quite some time. He’s a top researcher and writer. When it comes to energy and transportation issues, Terry’s on a par with Mike Beard and other expert former legislators. Simply put, when Terry talks about transportation or energy, I listen.

One of the first things that caught my attention was when Terry wrote “Moving oil by train can have consequences to human life that are almost never seen in pipelines. A 2013 crash of 72 oil cars in Quebec left 47 dead.
Moving oil by barge or tanker ship can be costly to clean up if something goes wrong and is environmentally unattractive. The total cleanup of the Exxon Valdez oil spill ended up costing $630 per gallon. The average cost of an oil-spill cleanup in the U.S. is $18.11 per gallon. Pipeline spills cost even less because they are not typically driven miles by wind, and they don’t kill clusters of riparian marine life. Pipeline leaks are small, fast to find, and seldom involve a risk to human life.”

Here’s a question for the environmentalists that sit on the board of the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that they won’t like: why are you opposed to efficiently transporting oil from the well to the refinery? Anything other than ratifying the Line 3 replacement is unacceptable. We don’t need to figure out whether the additional crude oil is needed. It is, especially with a growing economy. These statistics definitely caught my attention:

We have been hearing a lot about oil-train derailments, crashes, and fires since 2013. This is because from 2009 to 2012 the volume of oil shipped by rail increased from 11,000 to 230,000 railcars — up 2,200 percent. According to Forbes, more crude was spilled from rail cars in 2013 than in all the 37 previous years combined.

That’s astonishing. What’s the environmentalists’ argument for saying no to replacing the Line 3 pipeline? It certainly can’t be to protect the environment. That ‘ship’ sailed with these statistics. These statistics, too:

According to Enbridge, the replaced pipeline will be able to take 10,000 rail cars off the tracks or 24,000 tanker trucks off the highways — daily. Enbridge is a bit generous with its figures. Actually, since both the trains of railcars and the trucks hauling oil need to drive back across the country empty, burning diesel, the Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Project would equal a total of 20,000 rail cars off the road daily or 48,000 tanker trucks daily. That should sound like Christmas every day to every environmentalist.

Do environmentalists think that we’ll replace fossil fuels sometime soon? If they’re thinking that, they’d better find better researchers. Further, with technology improving virtually monthly, there’s no reason to think that fossil fuels won’t become cleaner, more efficient and more reliable.

We won’t stop using fossil fuels anytime soon so the environmentalists should just deal with that fact. Next, the environmentalists should accept the fact that pipelines will be a necessity for at least the next 20-30 years. Hating fossil fuels won’t make the pipelines disappear. It’s time to put an end to this stupidity:

Technorati: , , , ,

Yessirree Bob, the middle class is taking it in the shorts once again, thanks to evil corporations getting yuuge profits, then spreading it between the rich fat-cat shareholders. Those Democrats were right. The Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is making the rich richer while the middle class and working poor get shafted. This article verifies as Gospel fact that those evil corporations only look out for themselves.

The article starts by saying “Federal tax reform benefits big corporations. Allete, the parent company of Minnesota Power, is among Duluth’s biggest corporations. So will those tax reform benefits be passed on to Minnesota Power customers? It looks like it. [Ed. note: How can that be?] ‘The new lower tax rate will be built into our rates, and the savings will be passed through to our customers based on methodology determined by the (Minnesota Public Utilities Commission),’ Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge wrote in an email Wednesday.”

That can’t be. Just watch the opening of this video:

“Treats for the rich. Tricks on the middle class”, exclaimed a visibly frustrated Chuck Schumer. Nancy Pelosi chimed in “Devastating and, in my view, immoral budget to fast track their immoral tax plan to hand trillions to the wealthy while raising taxes on the middle class.”

If I was in the middle class, I’d be worried based on those statements. Unfortunately for Democrats, those evil corporations apparently didn’t get the Democrats’ talking points. Either that or they’ve pitched them into the nearest circular file.

In its investor presentation released before tax reform was finalized this month, Allete wrote: “We expect that our nonregulated businesses would benefit from lower corporate tax rates,” and that “items could have offsetting impacts to both customer rates and earnings.”

If people needed proof that Democrats aren’t Nostradamus with their predictions, they just need to read this article. The Democrats’ predictions aren’t that accurate. They should stay out of the predictions business.

Technorati: , , , , , ,