Archive for the ‘Infrastructure’ Category
Eugene Robinson’s latest article is proof that there aren’t many great strategists left in the Democratic Party. A topnotch political strategist wouldn’t say “In the two weeks since, Trump has only piled outrage upon outrage, as far as progressives are concerned. He took the first steps toward building his ridiculous wall along the southern border, but with U.S. taxpayers’ dollars, not Mexico’s. He squelched government experts who work on climate change. He weakened the Affordable Care Act in the hope that it would begin to collapse, which would make it easier for Congress to kill it.”
That’s because they’d know that the ACA started collapsing a year ago. Its collapse is inevitable because it’s terrible legislation. A relatively healthy person is better off not buying insurance because the ACA’s out-of-pocket expenses (premiums plus deductibles) in some states are so high that families are better off paying the penalty rather than buying the insurance. As I’ve written before, the ACA is catastrophic coverage at Cadillac plan prices.
And I can’t help thinking back to 2009. Republicans made an all-out effort to stop the Affordable Care Act. Their motives were purely political; some GOP senators railed against policies they had favored in the past. Ultimately, they failed. Obamacare became law.
But this losing battle gave tremendous energy and passion to the tea party movement — which propelled Republicans to a sweeping victory in the 2010 midterm election. It is hard not to see an analogous situation on the Democratic side right now.
Democrats haven’t learned the TEA Party lesson, which is that politicians better listen to We The People or else. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi didn’t listen to people and lost 12 seats and 63 seats respectively. Chuck Schumer isn’t listening to the people, either. The chances of Democrats picking up Senate seats is remote at best.
Democrats cannot stop Gorsuch from being confirmed. But they can hearten and animate the party’s base by fighting this nomination tooth and nail, even if it means giving up some of the backslapping comity of the Senate cloakroom. They can inspire grass-roots activists to fight just as hard to win back state legislatures and governorships. They can help make 2018 a Democratic year.
This is delusional thinking. Democrats will lose more governorships and legislative seats because they’re owned by special interests. They haven’t talked about doing what’s best for the people. President Trump constantly talks about putting people first. Democrats reflexively side with environmental activists, which has alienated blue collar union rank-and-file.
Democrats in Illinois haven’t pressured Rahm Emanuel to actually crack down on Chicago’s crime-infested streets. New York City’s City Council hasn’t blasted Bill De Blasio’s sanctuary city policies. In both cities, people don’t feel safe. Former President Obama insisted that terrorism wasn’t a threat while ISIS killed people in shopping malls and at Christmas parties. The Obama administration insisted, too, that the borders were secured. Voters knew that wasn’t true.
Voters won’t vote for the party that won’t protect them. Right now, people don’t trust Democrats to handle the basic government functions. Until that happens, people won’t trust Democrats.
Resolution 54, which is an amendment offered to the DFL state party platform, has already had a significant impact on the DFL. In 2016, the DFL sent the signal to outstate Minnesota that they cared most about the urban and suburban parts of the state. While most people who voted for Donald Trump and GOP legislative candidates never heard of Resolution 54, it wasn’t a secret to trades unions like the pipefitters and carpenters that the DFL was anti-pipeline and anti-mining.
From a political impact perspective, Resolution 54 will likely be seen, if it passes, as the final proof that the environmental activists run the DFL. It’s apparent that DFL State Party Chairman Ken Martin understands that. DFL Chairman Martin understands that because he’s “tasked with winning the DFL elections, which means maintaining support in rural areas while keeping funds from far-left and deep-pocketed Twin Cities donors flowing into races.”
Let’s be clear about this. The rift between the miners and the environmental activists is significant but it isn’t the only point of separation between the environmental activists and other parts of the DFL. Resolution 54 is the high profile disagreement but it isn’t the only point of disagreement. Chairman Martin must know that.
The environmental activists that dominate the metro DFL oppose pipeline construction, too. They’re hostile towards logging and farming, too. It’s important for the outstate DFL to remember that the metro DFL gave them the high health insurance premiums of the ACA, too.
The DFL passed the MNsure legislation in 2013. The DFL has opposed PolyMet for a decade. They opposed the Sandpiper Pipeline for 5 years. Thanks to Gov. Dayton’s obstructionism and the Public Utilities Commission’s meddling in the Sandpiper Pipeline project, that pipeline won’t get built. Instead, the Dakota Access Pipeline will be built.
Until the DFL tells the environmental activists that they don’t run the DFL, the DFL’s base will continue crumbling. That’s the real impact of the environmental activist wing of the DFL and Resolution 54.
The article describes DFL Chairman Martin as “a supporter of labor.” Chairman Martin then said “the DFL needs to agree to disagree on mining.” That didn’t sit well with miners:
That’s where Range DFLers disagree, saying they want the chair to take a stronger stance against the environmental caucus. The party taking a position against the livelihood of a region has become personal and too critical to compromise on.
Chairman Martin is playing a weak hand poorly. Then again, he’s in a difficult position. (I’d call it a no-win situation.)
Regardless of today’s vote, the DFL is in a difficult position for 2018 and beyond.
Technorati: Ken Martin, Resolution 54, Environmental Activists, PolyMet, Sulfide Mining, Sandpiper Pipeline, Dakota Access Pipeline, Public Utilities Commission, Logging, Farming, DFL, Election 2018, Election 2020
All this week, I’ve focused attention on the ‘protesters’ protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. I’ve reached the point where I’m getting upset with journalists who call these thugs protesters. This article highlights why they haven’t earned that title. They’ve earned the title of thugs.
The opening paragraph of the Daily Caller article emphatically states “The actions of the Dakota Access Pipeline protesters made law enforcement officers and their families fear for their safety, according to a North Dakota sheriff.” Couple that with the information from Congressman Cramer’s op-ed and it’s obvious that these are professional thugs. When I wrote about Congressman Cramer’s op-ed in this post, I quoted Congressman Cramer as saying “a little more than two weeks ago, during a confrontation between protesters and law enforcement, an improvised explosive device was detonated on a public bridge in southern North Dakota. That was simply the latest manifestation of the ‘prayerful’ and ‘peaceful’ protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.”
This is downright frightening:
Law enforcement officers from nine states left behind families to help cover the protests over the pipeline. To protect his officers, Laney warned them from wearing name tags. “The fear that was put into our families, our spouse and children that are now home alone because mom or dad are away over here. And to find out your address has been published and their encouraging people to go take care of business,” said Laney.
Anyone that would attack the families of law enforcement officials is, in my opinion, a total dirtbag. We should treat them like they’re the nastiest people on earth because they’re close to the nastiest people on earth. Read this and tell me that these thugs shouldn’t be classified as criminals:
“The fear that was put into our families, our spouse and children that are now home alone because mom or dad are away over here. And to find out your address has been published and their encouraging people to go take care of business,” said Laney. “They won’t focus on that if they have to worry about their homes. That is terrorizing and a lot of that happened. It happened to me and to my people.”
Then there’s this:
“You have the mental stress of here and the mental stress of worrying about your family. There are some pretty nasty things published about what they were going to do to us and you’re standing on a hill, ‘hey we’re coming soon and you’re going to die tomorrow,’ I heard that many times,” said Laney.
Earlier this week, I wrote that these parasites were anarchists and eco-terrorists. After reading these articles, I don’t see a reason why I should change that opinion. If anything, I might’ve been too polite with these thugs.
This explains how the pipeline company has attempted to work with Native American tribes but were rejected:
Clearly, this isn’t about drinking water or the environment. It’s about shutting down a pipeline that got the right permits and that did everything possible to protect Native Americans’ lifestyle. In return, Native Americans and the anarchists they’re ‘protesting’ with set off IEDs and threatened police officers’ families.
I’ve lost all respect for the left. They aren’t interested in living by the rules. They’re interested in winning whatever the cost. If that means resorting to violence, that’s what they’re willing to do.
Sen. Dan Sullivan’s op-ed highlights many of the Democrats’ anti-democratic tactics. Sen. Sullivan’s op-ed frequently highlights how environmental activists use weaponized government to kill infrastructure and energy projects. For instance, environmental activists used anti-democratic tactics, noting that the “Pentagon was built in 16 months. The 1,500-mile Alaska-Canadian Highway, which passes through some of the world’s most rugged terrain, took about eight months. Today, infrastructure projects across America often require several years simply to get through the federal government’s pre-build permitting process.”
Next, Sen. Sullivan notes that new “U.S. highway construction projects usually take between nine and 19 years from initial planning and permitting to completion of construction, according to a 2002 Government Accountability Office study. It will have taken 14 years to permit an expansion of Gross Reservoir in Colorado, and it took almost 20 years to permit the Kensington gold mine in Alaska. It took four years to construct a new runway at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, but it took 15 years to get the permits.”
Those aren’t the only examples Sen. Sullivan, (R-AK), cites. Here’s another pair of examples:
It took Shell seven years and $7 billion to get White House permission to drill a single oil-exploration well off the coast of Alaska. Never mind that the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requires that resources in those waters “be made available for expeditious and orderly development.” This capricious permitting was part of why Shell halted its operations in Alaska, stranding enormous oil and gas resources and killing thousands of potential jobs.
The Keystone XL pipeline languished in permitting purgatory for almost the entire two terms of the Obama administration before the president finally killed it in 2015. Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, called the president’s actions a “cynical manipulation of the approval process.” President Obama also recently halted the Dakota Access pipeline, though in September a federal court determined that the project complied with arduous permitting, legal and consultation requirements.
Gov. Dayton’s first MPCA commissioner, Paul Aasen, bragged in an op-ed about litigating the Big Stone II power plant in South Dakota into quitting.
Though then-Candidate Trump didn’t say this during the campaign, when he talked about America’s crumbling infrastructure, he should’ve said that it’s crumbling because environmental activists have virtually litigated these projects to death. Rarely do you hear about light rail projects coming under scrutiny. I’ve never heard of a wind farm getting subjected to this type of scrutiny. Why haven’t we?
This is the solution:
Mr. Trump is set to reverse the Obama administration’s abysmal permitting record, but Congress also has a responsibility. Last year I introduced the Regulations Endanger Democracy Act, or RED Tape Act, which would cap federal regulations with a simple one-in-one-out rule. When an agency issues a new regulation, it must repeal an old one. (Mr. Trump has suggested removing two for every one that is added.) Even though the idea has been successfully implemented in Canada and the United Kingdom, not a single Senate Democrat voted for it, and the legislation died.
Another bill I wrote would expedite federal permitting to repair or rebuild thousands of crumbling bridges across our country, but it received only three Democratic votes on the Senate floor. Once again my colleagues across the aisle prevented this reform from being implemented.
It’s time to tell Democrats that we won’t let them get away with these anti-progress tactics without them getting scrutinized in public. Let’s instruct them that each time they use these tactics, they should expect political attacks that demand Democrats to defend their votes against streamlining government. Let’s hear them explain why they’re standing in the way of major infrastructure projects.
Democrats haven’t lifted a finger to streamline the permitting process. Why haven’t they? I think it’s clear that they’re sitting silent because that’s what their environmental activist allies want. It’s time to start doing what’s right for all Americans rather than doing what’s right for the special interests.
Technorati: Donald Trump, Dan Sullivan, Permitting, Infrastructure Projects, Al-Can Highway, Interstate Highways, Airport Runways, Oil Exploration, Reservoirs, Republicans, Dakota Access Pipeline Project, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal, Special Interests, Democrats