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Energy: Research and news about Energy

The lazy dragon of Big Government

Nov 26, 2014 9:55 AM PT

In response to Obama Announces 'Most Expensive Regulation' of All Time:

Let me see if I've got this straight: we have a wave of some 3,500 new regulations coming at us, 189 of which will cost us over $100 million to comply with.  The new global-warming fantasy you described will be one of the most expansive, and expensive, regulations ever.  The American people just cast a historic vote against this kind of big-bucks micromanagement, especially in the name of the Green religion, but we're getting it rammed down our throats anyway.  Elect all the Senators and Congressmen you want, serfs - it makes no difference to the lumbering juggernaut of the regulatory State.

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Obama Announces 'Most Expensive Regulation' of All Time

Nov 25, 2014 8:16 PM PT

Wednesday the Obama administration is expected to announce a "sweeping regulation, which would aim at smog from power plants and factories across the country, particularly in the Midwest...", a controversial regulation the opposition insists is the "most expensive regulation ever’."

Both politically - and democratically-speaking, given the mid-term election results, Obama is arguably in a much weaker position that when he "blinked" on the regulation once before.

President Barack Obama has already blinked once on the rule, which aims to limit smog-creating ozone pollution from power plants and factories: Just before Labor Day in 2011, he forced the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw an almost-final version of the rule, infuriating green groups that accused him of capitulating to industry pressure to ease his reelection. Obama said he was acting to “underscore the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty.”

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Pipeline Activists Threaten Democrats

Nov 17, 2014 10:34 AM PT

While having approximately 50 Keystone pipeline protesters camped out on her doorstep may almost be a positive for Democrat Mary Landrieu in her Louisiana run-off election against Republican Bill Cassidy, it can hardly be a welcome sight for national Democrats concerned with alienating a part of their own base.

The visuals of more than 50 protesters picketing on Landrieu's front yard with "No KXL" signs could bolster Landrieu's status as a serious threat to opponents of the pipeline and positions her as a key player in the effort to bring more than a dozen Senate Democrats on board to support the bill and send it to President Barack Obama's desk. Activists even walked up to the front stoop of Landrieu's D.C. home and knocked on the door -- no answer.

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Keystone XL Vote Expected This Week In Senate

Nov 17, 2014 8:23 AM PT

XL oil pipeline, is only being held because outgoing Senate Majority leader Harry Reid hopes that it will help embattle Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu retain her seat in next month’s run-off election in Louisiana.

The word around town is that Landrieu will lose to Rep. Bill Cassidy (R), regardless of whether she votes ‘yea’ to start the Keystone project.

This reeks of desperation by Democrats, and Republicans smell blood in the water.

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Mary Landrieu sure does love that crazy Keystone XL pipeline

Nov 13, 2014 8:03 AM PT

Want to watch a desperate politician at the end of her rope throw her entire Party under the bus, in a last-ditch effort to hang on to her seat while the breakers of a wave election roll across the shore?  Here's Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, dancing across the blood-dimmed Republican tide by declaring herself nuts for that Keystone XL pipeline Obama has been blocking for years:

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Epilogue to Mary Landrieu's last gasp: Obama will veto a Keystone XL bill anyway

Nov 13, 2014 5:16 AM PT

The Wall Street Journal wrote about Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's ridiculous and pathetic play for votes by reinventing herself as a Keystone XL pipeline hawk - she stopped just short of yelling "DRILL, BABY, DRILL!" - and noted that while Senate Democrats have suddenly become vewy, vewy qwiet about their devotion to blocking that eminently sensible pipeline for environmentalist purposes, President Obama is still going to block any effort to get it done:

The Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, has faced delays and has become a political flash point in the nation’s debate over climate change and economic growth. The pipeline owner, TransCanada Corp. of Calgary, Alberta, first submitted its application more than six years ago to the U.S. State Department, which has authority over cross-border oil pipelines.

The Obama administration delayed its review of the project in April until a Nebraska lawsuit is resolved, addressing questions about a state law that allowed the pipeline’s route through the state. A ruling is expected between Thanksgiving and year’s end.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday that the president would veto a Keystone approval bill, saying the president takes a “dim view” of legislation overriding the State Department’s review process.

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Democrats Playing Politics With Keystone Vote

Nov 11, 2014 3:17 PM PT

In what is perhaps one of the more politically cynical moves one might imagine during the upcoming lame duck session of congress, Senate Democrats are considering moving forward on a vote on the Keystone pipeline as a means of propping up Mary Landrieu in what most anticipate will be her losing effort to keep her seat in the Senate.

Senate Democrats are considering a vote in the lame-duck session to force approval of TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s Keystone XL pipeline, a party aide said, a move that may bolster Louisiana Democrat Mary Landrieu’s re-election chances.

Similar measures have failed to advance in the Senate this year and Senate leaders will have trouble mustering the votes for passage now. President Barack Obama could veto the measure.

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Why Killing Keystone XL Won't Matter in the Long Run

Oct 8, 2014 4:53 PM PT

The Obama administration has been delaying a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for six years, partly as a result of a pressure campaign from environmental activists. But there is good reason to believe the opposition won't matter in the long run. Even if Keystone XL is killed by the Obama administration, the Canadian tar sands will get to market by other means.

In the absence of a new pipeline, the immediate solution is more rail transport. Reuters reports that Canadian oil shipments to the U.S. surpassed 3 million barrels per day for the first time this week. That's up 35 percent over the same time last year.

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The Church of Global Warming demands a more primitive lifestyle

Oct 5, 2014 6:14 AM PT

You'd need a heart of stone not to laugh at climate change cultist Eric Holthaus sobbing (literally) over the latest tract from the Church of Global Warming and deciding to do his bit to encourage a more primitive lifestyle by swearing off air travel for a year.  As you read this, remember the one "consensus" that none of these loons can refute: the consensus of reality itself, where there hasn't been any "climate change" for the past 19 years, and polar ice is hitting record levels, exactly the way absolutely none of their vaunted computer models predicted:

This week marks one year since I last flew on an airplane. To the likely dismay of Fox News, which called me a “sniveling beta male,” my decision didn’t result in a dramatic tailspin of self-loathing or suicide, the ultimate carbon footprint reducer. Quite the contrary: It’s been an amazing year.

My decision was prompted by a science report that brought me to tears. It wasn’t that the consensus statement was particularly new or noteworthy—we all know by now that climate change is one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced as a civilization—but that, for the first time, I realized that my daily actions were powerful enough to make a meaningful change.

On that day, I entered my own version of the Anthropocene and glimpsed a story I think merits far more attention: Climate change isn’t about fancy light bulbs or SUVs or distant glaciers. It’s about people. Real people who just want to live healthy, happy, interesting lives and raise our kids in a world that’s beautiful.

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Inspector Wants California's Last Nuclear Plant Shut Down

Aug 25, 2014 3:35 PM PT

California's last nuclear power plant could be shut down over concerns about earthquake preparedness.

The AP reports that former chief inspector of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power station has written a 42-page report stating that the station may not be able to survive the possible shaking it could be exposed to in a major earthquake. Dr. Michael Peck wants his own agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, to shut down the plant until PG&E can demonstrate it is safe.

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Latest Anti-Keystone Argument: Pipeline Would Cut Global Oil Prices

Aug 12, 2014 11:51 AM PT

A new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change finds that the Keystone XL pipeline, if approved, would cut global oil prices. For many on the left, that's the bad news.

The official U.S. State Department estimate of carbon released by production of Canadian tar sands in connection with the Keystone XL pipeline was between a million and 27 million tons per year. The new estimate published Sunday says the actual amount of carbon would vary between nothing and 110 million tons per year, potentially four times higher.

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Canada Approves New Pipeline to Pacific Coast

Jun 18, 2014 2:46 PM PT

Canada's government has approved the creation of a new pipeline which could move tar sands oil to Asian markets. The pipeline, if built, could replace a significant portion of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline's capacity in case it is not approved by the Obama administration.

Two years ago when the Obama administration initially delayed a decision on the cross-border Keystone XL pipeline, Prime Minister Harper said it would force a permanent change in Canada's energy policy. "We can not be, as a country, in a situation where really our one, and in many cases almost only, energy partner could say no to our energy products. We just cannot be in that kind of position," Harper said during a think tank panel in 2012. He went on to say, "one of our national priorities is to make sure that we have the infrastructure and the capacity to export our energy products outside of North America."

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Elon Musk's Short-cuts for the Solar Industry Really Stink

Jun 18, 2014 9:01 AM PT
Elon Musk is the kind of crony capitalist that gives businessmen a bad name. Watchdog.org has the story: The solar energy industry, led by billionaire Elon Musk's SolarCity, has been dictating the building codes of a Silicon Valley city hell-bent on being the greenest city in America, a Watchdog investigation has revealed. This was spurred on by the powerful solar lobby, which threatened to withhold a Green Power Conference award from a top Palo Alto city official unless something drastic was done to change its permit process, according to emails between city officials and the solar industry. During the past six months, the city of Palo Alto has started signing off on solar panel building inspections with lightning speed after removing an electrical expert from those duties and replacing her with an inspector with less expertise, a former employee said. All of this was done to placate the solar energy industry, which complained of cumbersome inspection processes. "Is this dangerous? Absolutely," said Rick McManus, who worked as a Palo Alto building inspector before resigning in November and going to work for the city of East Palo Alto. "It was such a disaster and they had so many complaints, they pulled in another inspector." McManus said the complaints came from other building department employees who felt the permits were just pushed through with no thought, and even a few customers who said the critical onsite inspection lasted only a few minutes. Read the rest here: http://watchdog.org/154579/solar-groups-rule-city/

North Korea: Shangri-La of climate change

May 20, 2014 11:37 AM PT

As far as I can tell, this UK Guardian piece on the bold climate-change leadership of North Korea is not meant as satire.  And really, there's nothing funny about this.  The Norks really do present the ultimate extension of everything the Church of Global Warming wants for the entire world: massive poverty and hunger, imposed on the masses by an all-powerful elite, in the name of reducing mankind's accursed "carbon footprint."  

The political agenda of the Church of Global Warming has always made copious allowances for the luxuries of the enlightened ruling class, the same way socialism always does.  The bishops of the Church, from Al Gore to filmmaker James Cameron, have carbon footprints thousands of times larger than yours, and this is appropriate, because they are the master class.  You peons should learn to live in a simpler, more primitive manner - at the mercy of the sun and wind for energy - while your betters soar overhead in private jets.

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Feds Act Unilaterally On Crude Oil Train Regs While Dems Stall Pipeline Legislation

May 7, 2014 4:32 PM PT

As Democrat foot dragging stalls Congressional action on any Keystone pipeline legislation, the Obama administration suffers no such impediment in acting unilaterally to impose new regulations on the rail transport of crude oil.

"The Transportation Department issued an emergency order Wednesday requiring that railroads inform state emergency management officials about the movement of large shipments of crude oil through their states and urged shippers not to use older model tanks cars that are easily ruptured in accidents, even at slow speeds."

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Harry Reid Blames Koch Brothers for Climate Change

May 7, 2014 4:08 PM PT

I guess Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would like you to believe that the world's climate was going along just fine ... until those two evil Koch brothers, Charles and David were born. 

Given these comments, one has to wonder if Reid could pass a competency test if he has to take one to remain in the Senate, let alone lead it today.

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Keystone Pipeline Causing Heartburn for Vulnerable Democrats

May 6, 2014 10:11 AM PT

A recent Harris telephone survey of 1,000 registered voters Apr. 16-20 commissioned by API, found 78% saying Keystone XL is in the US national interest, and 68% saying they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports the project.

Cindy Schild, API's downstream operations senior manager, said, "Unfortunately, [US President Barack Obama] has decided to side with a billionaire activist and a handful of shrill extremists instead of the thousands of skilled American workers who have been shut out of the good paying jobs KXL would provide."

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Gearing Up for Keystone II in Maryland?

Apr 23, 2014 7:17 PM PT

Despite being a huge producer of Natural Gas, the United States currently lacks the ability to export it. The move is seen as a potential economic and jobs boom for the area. Democrat Steny Hoyer backs it, but the environmentalist wibng of the Democrat Party is already making noise against it, in part, as it would also involve fracking.

A liquefied natural gas facility in southern Maryland is generating intense criticism from environmental groups, in a fight that echoes the protracted battle over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. If successful, it could become the East Coast's chief LNG export facility, sending billions of cubic feet of natural gas to Japan, India, and elsewhere. 

Dominion stresses that the project would have a huge economic impact close to home as well.

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The Big Problems with Chris Hayes Comparison of Slavery and Fossil Fuel Consumption

Apr 23, 2014 1:10 PM PT

MSNBC's Chris Hayes had a piece in the Nation Tuesday in which he compared putting an end to the use of fossil fuels to the abolition of slavery. There are a couple of big problems with Hayes' argument which he seems to avoid mostly by not talking about them.

As Hayes frames it, ending slavery was a financial calamity for the south. Through a series of estimates he arrives at the figure $10 trillion as the present day economic value of slavery in America circa 1860. That's how much the wealthy interests in the south would lose if slavery were to end.

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EPA ‘Jetting Around the Country’ for Week-Long Earth Day Tour

Apr 22, 2014 5:47 AM PT

The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility took a swipe at the EPA for sending bureaucrat Gina McCarthy on an greenhouse gas generating five city tour for Earth Day.  

Administrator McCarthy will undertake a greenhouse gas laden week-long tour that will "far exceed" any benefit from her climate change proselytizing.   

“Frenetically jetting around the country appears to undercut [the] EPA’s message to ordinary Americans that they should conserve, consume less and reduce transportation pollution,” PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said in a statement. 

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'Ride Along' Bluray Review: Crushing Disappointment

Apr 18, 2014 11:15 AM PT

Because actors sexually-debasing themselves in nihilistic plotlines is not my idea of funny, I tend to stay as far away as possible from the modern-day Hollywood comedy. Every once in a while something like the first "Hangover" will come along and delight me. But why waste two hours for a few chuckles when a 22-minute "Seinfeld" rerun is guaranteed to put you on the floor?

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How to Succeed in Solar Energy: Grab Government Giveaways

Mar 4, 2014 10:50 AM PT

Time and time again, the free market has spoken on alternative energy companies.  Yet, we keep hearing about booming companies like SolarCity.  Watchdog.org (via FoxNews.com) knows the secret to their success:

The company's stock, initially offered at $8 a share in December 2012, is trading around $82 a share early Monday. And in a shareholder's meeting last week, company officials said they're bullish on the company's future. 

Buried in SolarCity documents is the secret to that success. Musk, the billionaire who founded PayPal and is chief executive officer and product architect of electric carmaker Tesla, has built SolarCity on government giveaways -- subsidies that will decrease substantially in the next two years. 

"If, for any reason, we are unable to finance solar energy systems through tax-advantaged structures ... we may no longer be able to provide solar energy systems to new customers on an economically viable basis," SolarCity's third quarter 2013 reportsaid. "

This would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations." That makes SolarCity no different from countless other companies that have leveraged taxpayer cash for private profit -- all part of President Barack Obama's goal of a green-energy future.

Another Taxpayer-Funded Solar Energy Boondoggle

Feb 26, 2014 8:27 AM PT

One of the recurring themes in the Leftist playbook is using government regulations and handouts to pick and choose winners in business.  The latest solar energy boondoggle is SolarCity.  Watchdog.org highlights one customer's horror story in dealing with SolarCity:

[I]n 2012, Jeff Leeds, who lives in the Northern California town of Half Moon Bay, listened. His 3,100-square-foot home features 91 incandescent bucket lights, a 180-gallon fish tank, three large refrigerator-freezers and a huge entertainment system. His electric bill was averaging $350 per month.

The sales pitch Leeds was hearing on the phone sounded ideal: Lease a system from SolarCity, the nation’s second-largest solar electrical contractor, for a low monthly fee and reap the rewards of cheap electricity.

“For a $600 fee up front, I would pay $182 a month for the next 20 years,” Leeds said. “They have a performance guarantee. If I don’t make enough electricity, they said, ‘No problem, don’t worry, we will write you a check.’ I thought, ‘I’m covered.’”

Tacked on to that would be what the company called a small bill from the local utility company allowing the customer to use the grid and to cover the use of any electricity Leeds drew from the utility rather than from his SolarCity solar panels.

Now, 15 months later, the local utility company has raised its rates and instead of a lower bill, Leeds is pushing $500 a month with no way out for the next two decades. And he has the eyesore of solar panels that cover most of his roof.

“As a customer, you have no say,” Leeds said. “With a solar lease, you are putting the stuff on your roof. You have a signed contract with the devil and you are stuck with the stuff.”

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Life in the Shadow of Germany's Green Energy Revolution

Sep 2, 2013 10:30 AM PT

German investment in small scale green energy has led to significant increases in residential electricity prices, but there are other downsides to the green energy boom.

As this clip suggests, living beneath a wind farm is not for everyone. But once the towering turbines go up, good luck selling your home. It seems most people in Germany don't want to live in the shadow of the green energy revolution.

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Gasland Director Changes His Story On Air

Aug 15, 2013 9:50 AM PT

Josh Fox is the creator of the film Gasland and the person behind the celebrity bus tours of small Pennsylvania towns supposedly harmed by fracking. Ever since the release of Fracknation, a film critical of anti-fracking efforts in general and Fox in particular, Fox has avoided responding to criticism by claiming he has not seen Fracknation. [Full disclosure: I donated $25 to the film's production.]

But this week something unexpected happened when a public radio station in Aspen asked Fox directly about a scene in the film. First Fox became agitated and attacked the film, then he changed his story about his involvement in a land lease (to another lie it turns out), then he admitted he knew the scene in question. Finally, Fox begged the interviewer to go "off the record."

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German Solar Subsidies to End

Jul 10, 2013 12:54 PM PT

Germany's environmental minister has announced that subsidies for solar power, which have created a boom in the past three years, will end no later than 2018.

The German Energiewende or energy revolution has been based on significant government subsidies. This subsidy, which is known as the feed in tariff, guarantees the grid will purchase energy from small renewable producers at a guaranteed rate and also that these producers get to sell their energy before large energy companies burning coal, oil or gas. The result has been a solar boom. Today, roughly half of the installed solar capacity in the world is located in Germany.

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The eco-propagandists are back to their old tricks

Jul 9, 2013 7:22 AM PT

Green energy: the industry so marvelous that it can't survive without gigantic taxpayer subsidies, government-mandated purchases, special legal breaks of the sort that give wind farm operators an unlimited license to shred bald eagles, and blatant lies peddled by well-funded propagandists.

On the latter subject, the guy who made the lie-filled agitprop disaster "Gasland" is back with another anti-fracking film, cleverly entitled "Gasland Part II."  In the first movie, a long-standing local complaint about flammable chemicals in the water supply was repurposed into an attack on the new technology of hydraulic fracturing, resulting in a famous scene where tap water is lit on fire.  It had nothing to do with fracking, but the propagandists weren't about to tell the audience that.  It's not as if their argument can be made honestly to well-informed people, after all.

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Wasserman Schultz Predicts Florida's Global Warming Demise

Jun 29, 2013 12:35 PM PT

Apparently, I must not have received the memo that my home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, would be underwater within a couple of years from now. Thanks to Democratic Congresswoman and part-time Meteorologist, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, for telling the news that the rising sea level will soon doom Florida.

“I will eventually represent Orlando if we don’t do something about making sure we can reduce global warming"-Rep. Wasserman Schultz

Rare bird takes wing, only to be pureed by windmill

Jun 29, 2013 5:27 AM PT

Another great moment in the history of "green energy," brought to us by the UK Daily Mail:

There had been only eight recorded sightings of the white-throated needletail in the UK since 1846. So when one popped up again on British shores this week, twitchers were understandably excited.

A group of 40 enthusiasts dashed to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse of the brown, black and blue bird, which breeds in Asia and winters in Australasia.

But instead of being treated to a wildlife spectacle they were left with a horror show when it flew into a wind turbine and was killed.

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Obama Tees Up Rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline

Jun 25, 2013 11:56 AM PT

In his speech on climate change Tuesday, President Obama seemed to make a turn on whether or not to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built.

President Obama has not previously declared himself on the issue of allowing Keystone XL, but today he said "allowing the keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our national interest." The President added "the net effects of the pipelilne's impact on our climate will be critical to determining whether this project goes forward."

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Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Clears Fracking

Apr 30, 2013 10:32 AM PT

A 16 month investigation by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has found that fracking is not responsible for methane which appeared in local water wells in Franklin Township, PA. But local fracking opponents have already rejected the state's explanation.

The Mannings are a family in Franklin Township who have become vocal opponents of fracking. They claim that fracking operations about a mile from their home have led to contaminated well water. And there is no doubt that their water is contaminated with significant levels of methane. As a result, their house has become a pilgrimage site for those who oppose the drilling process. But according to the DEP, the evidence suggests fracking is not at fault for the contamination of their well. This local news report outlines the results of a 16 month investigation:

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