CFACT squares off with JP Morgan CEO at shareholder meeting thumbnail

CFACT squares off with JP Morgan CEO at shareholder meeting

By Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow

CFACT’s Greg Neff directed a pointed question to CEO Jamie Dimon at a shareholder meeting on Thursday, May 23, taking aim at JP Morgan’s involvement with the “Net-Zero Banking Alliance” (NZBA). NZBA is a network that represents 40% of the global banking institutions that have come together to commit to financing projects that will transition the world economy to net zero by 2050.

“Agriculture officials from at least 11 states have raised concern about JP Morgan’s involvement with the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), saying that the policies promoted by this group will likely lead to food shortages and huge price increases for consumers. Is it wise for this board to step outside its expertise and make commitments to push forward the NZBA’s extreme agenda?” Neff queried.

It was immediately clear that this question had hit a nerve with the CEO. As it was read, Dimon gave a distinct sigh of annoyance and then proceeded to give an abbreviated non-answer that didn’t address a single point made in the query.

The CEO stated, “We dance to our own music here and we report that in our ESG report. Obviously, we care about the environment, farmers, and agriculture.” ESG refers to the controversial Environmental, Social, and Governance score program that has become all the rage on Wall Street in recent years. This scoring system of companies and individuals rates their adherence to many of the Left’s most sacred dogmas.

In addition to the Q&A period, CFACT also used its position as a stock owner in the company to vote on various proposals. The first of note sought to have JP Morgan create a report evaluating potential humanitarian crises being fostered by the forced transition to “green” energy. CFACT voted in favor of it. The second proposal sought to give additional rights to indigenous tribes, or more accurately leftwing organizations acting in the name of indigenous tribes, to veto any funding for fossil fuel projects in the name of environmental racism. CFACT voted against this one. Both proposals were ultimately defeated, landing CFACT a mixed bag of results.

CFACT will continue attending and reporting back on various shareholder meetings in which it holds shares. The broader implications of such engagements touch upon fundamental issues of environmental responsibility and economic viability. By challenging the radical left’s influence, CFACT aims to promote a balanced approach to corporate decision-making.

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CFACT challenges Citigroup’s “sustainable financing” during shareholder meeting

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

225 Ways President Biden and the Democrats Have Made it Harder to Produce Oil & Gas thumbnail

225 Ways President Biden and the Democrats Have Made it Harder to Produce Oil & Gas

By American Energy Alliance

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Joe Biden and his Democrats have a plan for American energy: make it harder to produce and more expensive to purchase. Since Biden took office, his administration and Congressional Democrats have taken over 225 actions deliberately designed to make it harder to produce energy here in America.  A list of those actions appears below. A PDF of the list is available to download here.

Author

THOMAS PYLE


On January 20, 2021,

  1. Besides canceling the Keystone XL pipeline,
  2. President Biden restricted domestic production by issuing a moratorium on all oil and natural gas leasing activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  3. He also restored and expanded the use of the government-created social cost of carbon metric to artificially increase the regulatory costs of energy production of fossil fuels when performing analyses, as well as artificially increase the so-called “benefits” of decreasing production.
  4. Biden continued to revoke Trump administration executive orders, including those related to the Waters of the United States rule and the Antiquities Act. The Trump-era actions decreased regulations on Federal land and expanded the ability to produce energy domestically.

On January 27, 2021,

  1. Biden issued an executive order announcing a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on public lands
  2. or in offshore waters
  3. and reconsideration of Federal oil and gas permitting and leasing practices.
  4. He directed his Interior Department to conduct a review of permitting and leasing policies.
  5. Also, by Executive Order, Biden directed agencies to eliminate federal fossil fuel “subsidies” wherever possible, disadvantaging oil and natural gas compared to other industries that receive similar Federal tax treatments or other energy sources which receive direct subsidies.
  6. This Biden Executive Order attacked the energy industry by promoting “ending international financing of carbon-intensive fossil fuel-based energy while simultaneously advancing sustainable development and a green recovery.” In other words, the U.S. government would leverage its power to attack oil and gas producers while subsidizing favored industries.
  7. Biden’s EO pushed for an increase in enforcement of “environmental justice” violations and support for such efforts, which typically are advanced by radical environmental organizations and slip-and-fall lawyers hoping to cash in on the backs of energy consumers.

On February 2, 2021,

  1. The EPA hired Marianne Engelman-Lado, a prominent environmental justice proponent, to advance its radical Green New Deal social justice agenda at the EPA, a signal to industry that it plans to continue its attack on American energy.

On February 4, 2021,

  1. At the behest of the January 27th Climate Crisis EO, the DOJ withdrew several Trump-era enforcement documents which provided clarity and streamlined regulations to increase energy independence.

On February 19, 2021,

  1. Biden officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, which is detrimental to Americans while propping up oil production in Russia and OPEC and increasing the dependence of Europe on Russian oil and natural gas. It also benefits China, who dominates the supply chain for critical minerals that are needed for wind turbines, solar panels, and electric vehicle batteries.

On February 23, 2021,

  1. The Biden administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of H.R. 803 which curtailed energy production on over 1.5 million acres of federal lands.

On March 11, 2021,

  1. The President signed ARPA, which included numerous provisions advancing Biden’s green priorities, such as a $50 million environmental slush fund directed towards “environmental justice” groups, including efforts advanced by Biden’s EO.
  2. ARPA also included $50 million in grant funding for Clean Air Act pollution-related activities aimed at advancing the green agenda at the expense of the fossil fuel industry.

On March 15, 2021,

  1. Biden’s Securities and Exchange Commission sought input regarding the possibility of a rule that would require hundreds of businesses to measure and disclose greenhouse gas emissions in a standardized way, hugely increasing the environmental costs of compliance and disincentivizing oil and gas production.

On April 15, 2021,

  1. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s policy statement outlines — and effectively endorses — how the agency would consider market rules proposed by regional grid operators that seek to incorporate a state-determined carbon price in organized wholesale electricity markets. This amounts to a de facto endorsement of a carbon tax that would be paid by everyday Americans in their utility bills.

On April 16, 2021,

  1. At Biden’s Direction, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland revoked policies in Secretarial Order 3398 established by the Trump administration including rejecting “American Energy Independence” as a goal;
  2. rejecting an “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy;”
  3. rejecting “strengthening the Department of the Interior’s Energy Portfolio;”
  4. and rejecting establishing the “Executive Committee for Expedited Permitting.” These actions set the stage for the unprecedented slowdown in energy activity by the Interior Department, steward of 2.46 billion acres of federal mineral estate and all its energy and mineral resources.

On April 22, 2021,

  1. Biden issued the U.S. International Climate Finance Plan to funnel international financing toward green industries and away from oil and gas.

On April 27, 2021,

  1. The Biden administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy in support of S.J. Res. 14 which rescinded a Trump-era rule that would have cut regulations on American energy production.

On April 28, 2021,

  1. Biden’s EPA issued a Notice of Reconsideration that would propose to revoke a Trump-era action that revoked California’s waiver for California’s Advanced Clean Car Program (Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Zero Emission Vehicle Requirements).

On May 5, 2021,

  1. This proposed Fish and Wildlife Service Rule revokes a Trump administration rule and expands the definition of “incidental take” under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). The rule would impact energy production on federal lands, increasing regulatory burdens.

On May 20, 2021,

  1. Biden issued an executive order on Climate-Related Financial Risk that would artificially increase regulatory burdens on the oil and gas industry by increasing the “risk” the federal government undertakes in doing business with them.

On May 28, 2021,

  1. Biden’s FY 2022 revenue proposals include nearly $150 billion in tax increases directly levied against the oil and gas energy producers.

On July 28, 2021,

  1. This Department of Energy determination increases regulatory burdens on commercial building codes, requiring green energy codes to disincentivize natural gas and other energy sources. DOE readily admits they ignored efforts private industry is making on their own and utilized the questionable “social costs of carbon” to overstate the public benefit.
  2. The Executive Order also kicked off the development of more stringent long-term fuel efficiency and emissions standards, a backdoor way to compel the electrification of vehicles.

On August 11, 2021,

  1. The White House released a letter from Jake Sullivan begging OPEC+ (OPEC plus Russia) to produce more oil.

On September 3, 2021,

  1. Biden’s Department of Transportation issued a proposed rule that would update the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards for Model Years 2024–2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks to increase fuel economy regulations on passenger cars and light vehicles. The modeling calculated “fuel savings” by multiplying fuel price with ‘avoided fuel costs’ to disincentivize gasoline by making it more costly to afford ICE cars and trucks.

On September 9, 2021,

  1. NASA and the FAA launched a partnership to reduce “fuel use and harmful emissions” by strong-arming industry to adopt elements of their green agenda.
  2. The Department of Education’s Climate Adaptation Plan (CAP) includes efforts to incorporate the green agenda into as many guidance and policies as possible, effectively leveraging the department as an anti-fossil fuel propaganda tool.

On October 4, 2021,

  1. The FWS published its final rule revoking Trump-era actions which eased burdensome regulations on energy action.

On October 7, 2021,

  1. The Council on Environmental Quality revoked Trump administration NEPA reforms that reduced regulatory burdens by reinstating tangential environmental impacts of proposed projects.
  2. Biden announced plans to designate the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, a move counter to Trump’s reversal of a similar Obama-era proclamation. Trump aimed to allow energy exploration in the area to increase energy independence.
  3. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) CAP includes efforts to switch fuel away from oil and natural gas and subsidize more costly, less efficient fuel sources.
  4. As part of its CAP, EPA intends to incorporate Biden’s Green New Deal agenda throughout its rulemaking process.

On October 21, 2021,

  1. This report paints climate change, and therefore oil and gas producers, as a “risk to financial stability.” The report recommended the “climate disclosures” later set forth by the Biden administration.

On October 28, 2021,

  1. Rep. Rho Khanna interrogated oil CEOs about why they were increasing production as their ‘European Counterparts’ were lowering their own.

On October 29, 2021,

  1. The Bureau of Land Management announced the use of social costs of carbon in decision-making for approving permits for oil and gas drilling. This devalues the economic benefits of energy production on federal lands.

On October 30, 2021,

  1. The Department of Labor issued a final ESG Rule that would require fiduciaries to consider the economic effects of climate change and other so-called environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when evaluating funds for retirement plans. The rule would strongly encourage fiduciaries to draw capital from domestic energy development in oil and natural gas to renewables.

On November 2, 2021,

  1. The Biden administration led a “Global Methane Pledge” to reduce global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Neither Russia nor China signed the pledge, increasing the world’s reliance on these two countries for energy-related imports and disadvantaging the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, as well as large consumers of energy such as industrial manufacturing and agriculture.

On November 4, 2021,

  1. Biden committed to “ending fossil fuel financing abroad,” targeting the global fossil fuel industry, thereby disadvantaging them, which increases global oil and gas prices. Further, key countries, like China, did not sign the pledge, so the pledge harms signatories while empowering adversaries. This is another case of unilateral economic and energy disarmament.

On November 5, 2021,

  1. Biden Energy Sec. Granholm laughed at questions about boosting oil production.

On November 12, 2021,

  1. New Source Review: These broad, overreaching regulations target new, modified, and reconstructed oil and natural gas sources, and would require states to reduce methane emissions from hundreds of thousands of existing sources nationwide for the first time. The Proposed Rule follows the President’s Day 1 Climate EO and the passage of the S.J. Res. 14, a CRA rescinding Trump-era energy independence policies. The proposed rule spends several paragraphs dismissing the effects of the rule on the oil and gas industry and misleadingly applies its effects on the industry to only the “140,000” (an underestimate of the over 220,000) employees directly involved in extraction. This means it ignores the nearly 10 million other people working in the oil and gas industry and the impacts to the oil and gas economy more broadly.

On November 15, 2021,

  1. Biden’s Interior Department announced plans to withdraw Chaco Canyon from oil and gas drilling for 20 years.
  2. The Biden administration nominated Saule Omarova to serve as Comptroller of the Currency. Omarova’s past comments speak for themselves: “A lot of the smaller players in [the fossil fuel] industry are going to, probably, go bankrupt in short order—at least, we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change,” she said.

On November 17, 2021,

  1. HUD’s CAP leverages the Community Development Block Grant to advance ‘environmental justice’ efforts.
  2. Biden calls on the FTC to probe “anti-consumer behavior” by energy companies.

On November 19, 2021,

  1. Biden endorsed several oil and gas provisions in the Build Back Better Bill, including a new tax on methane, of up to $1500 per ton;
  2. prohibiting energy production in the Arctic and offshore leasing on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas;
  3. increased fees and royalties for onshore and offshore oil and gas production;
  4. a new $8 billion tax on companies that produce, process, transmit or store oil and natural gas starting in 2023;
  5. limited ability of energy producers to claim tax credits for upfront and royalty payments in foreign countries – amounting to a tax increase on domestic energy producers;
  6. and a 16.4 cent tax on each barrel on crude oil – up from 9.7 cents – a $13 billion tax increase on oil production.

On November 26, 2021,

  1. Biden’s Interior Department issued its report on the Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program includes recommendations to raise rents and royalty rates on oil and gas producers, even though federal energy production already lags that from state and private lands.

On December 14, 2021,

  1. The EPA launched a revamp of its Office of Civil Rights to add so-called environmental justice enforcement as a key pillar in enforcing Title VI civil rights complaints. The agency’s announcements mean social justice claims against, among others, the oil and gas industry will increase costs and penalties that have specious connections to its environmental mission.

On December 21, 2021,

  1. Biden’s Department of Transportation issued its Final Rule revoking Trump-era actions which prevented California from arbitrarily becoming the national standard for fuel emissions. The rule set the stage for the administration to reinstate California’s waiver, and, since automakers do not make different cars for different states, the rule would allow California’s radical environmental policies to reach nationwide, forcing people nationwide to pay for vehicles meeting California’s standards.

On December 30, 2021,

  1. Biden’s EPA issued its Final Rule for increased “fuel efficiency standards.” According to the Final Rule, “These standards are the strongest vehicle emissions standards ever established for the light-duty vehicle sector. The rule, in responding to comments, claims “energy security benefits to the U.S. from decreased exposure to volatile world oil prices” suggesting that decreasing oil and gas production in the U.S. will result in less exposure to the international oil and gas market because they will be disincentivizing vehicles that use oil and gas. The rule also claims that it will result in “fuel savings” entirely due to less use of fuel.

On January 13, 2022,

  1. DOE announced an initiative to hire 1,000 staffers for their Clean Energy Corps, a group of staff dedicated to Biden’s promise to destroy fossil fuels.

On January 14, 2022,

  1. Biden nominated Sarah Raskin to serve as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve. She was deemed so radical in her belief that fed policy should be dictated by environmental policy that she gained a bipartisan opposition and had to withdraw her nomination.

On February 9, 2022,

  1. A proposed rule on Coal and Oil Power Plant Mercury Standards would revoke a Trump-era rule that cut red tape on coal and oil-fired power generators and followed the Supreme Court’s rejection of an earlier Obama administration rule. This would effectively reinstate Obama-era regulations which sought to increase regulations on coal and oil-fired power plants.

On February 18, 2022,

  1. FERC updated a 23-year-old policy for assessing proposed natural gas pipelines, adding new considerations for landowners, environmental justice communities, and other factors. In a separate but related decision, the commission also laid out a framework for evaluating projects’ greenhouse gas emissions.

On February 21, 2022,

  1. The Biden administration paused working all new oil and gas leases on Federal land in response to a judge blocking their arbitrary use of social costs of carbon, unnecessarily hurting domestic oil and gas production.

On February 28, 2022,

  1. The Ozone Transport Proposed Rule would expand federal emissions regulations over a wider geographic region and over a wider array of sources, including the gathering, boosting and transmission segments of the oil and gas sector. Integral energy production states like Nevada, Utah and Wyoming would be required to jump through more red tape.

On March 1, 2022,

  1. Refusal To Appeal adverse leasing court decision: The Biden administration refused to appeal an unprecedented decision to vacate an offshore oil and gas leasing sale held in November 2021. This means under Biden, the U.S. has not held one successful lease sale offshore.
  2. Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities: This policy statement increases climate change regulations for new interstate natural gas facilities.

On March 8, 2022,

  1. President Biden tried to deflect from his anti-energy record saying there are 9,000 issued leases on federal lands without current drilling. This is true and it’s also true that this is the lowest percentage of unused leases in at least 20 years — in other words, lease utilization is at a multi-decade high.

On March 9, 2022,

  1. EPA Reinstates California Emissions Waiver: The EPA reinstated California’s emissions waivers, allowing the state to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards, standards which will likely be adopted nationwide and are sure to make vehicles more expensive. The practical effect is that California is setting policy for people in all the other states despite their terrible record of energy inflation.

On March 11, 2022,

  1. Natural Gas Infrastructure Project Reviews: This interim regulation will increase the regulatory burden on natural gas facilities by, among other things, requiring climate change impacts be considered when determining whether a project is in the public interest.

On March 16, 2022,

  1. Doubling Down on Social Costs of Carbon: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the dubious social costs of carbon metric which had been rejected by another court by issuing a stay on the lower court’s ruling. The ruling itself cast doubt on the lower court’s ruling. The Biden administration argued against the lower court’s ruling to reinstate the SCC metric. The Social Cost of Carbon is a “made-up” number designed to make any hydrocarbon project in the U.S. more expensive. It is an “end-around” the politically difficult carbon tax most of the Green Establishment supports.

March 21, 2022,

  1. SEC Proposed Rule on Mandatory Climate Disclosures: The SEC’s proposed rule would require public companies to disclose greenhouse gas emissions
  2. and their exposure to climate change. This rule would massively increase so-called environmental costs of compliance and, in tandem with so-called social costs of carbon, artificially disincentivizing oil and gas production.

March 28, 2022,

  1. Army Corps of Engineers’ Review of its Nationwide Permit 12 for Oil or Natural Gas Pipeline Activities: The corps announced it would be reviewing NWP 12 late last month as part of Biden’s day-1 executive order on climate change mandating all federal agencies ensure their work is in line with its climate and environmental objectives. The review is part of a long list of actions that confuse and delay permitting for critical infrastructure. This makes pipelines harder to build and improve in the U.S.

March 30, 2022

  1. Environmental Justice Advisory Council Meeting: The WHEJAC will hold its first two meetings to, among other things, advance Green New Deal priorities including “environmental justice and pollution reduction, energy, climate change mitigation and resilience, environmental health, and racial inequity.”

March 31, 2022

  1. President Biden announces that he will sell one million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next six months.
  2. Biden wants to penalize oil companies with unused leases: President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation enacting “use it or lose it” fines on wells that oil companies have leased from the federal government but have not used in years and “on acres of public lands that they are hoarding without producing… Companies that are producing from their leased acres and existing wells will not face higher fees.” The extra fees on federally leased land are on top of rents that the oil companies pay to hold the leases, “bonus bids” paid by the winning bidder at lease sales and the fact that 66 percent of federal leases are currently producing oil. This is simply a deflection from the Biden administration’s war on affordable North American energy supplies.
  3. Biden’s Budget Contains More Anti-Oil Proposals: President Biden’s budget for the fiscal year 2023 is $5.8 trillion. It contains large amounts of climate spending and anti-oil and gas policies that did not get passed in his Build Back Better bill last year.
  4. Biden is seeking $50 billion for programs to address climate change,
  5. including $18 billion to build the U.S. government’s resilience to climate change,
  6. $3.3 billion in funding for clean energy projects and at least $20 million for a new “Civilian Climate Corps.”
  7. To help pay for the increased climate spending, Biden is asking Congress to eliminate tax provisions that aid domestic energy production,
  8. including tax deductions for intangible drilling costs and low-production wells that enable small producers in the United States to produce oil. Removing these deductions will lower domestic output while further raising already high oil and gasoline prices.

April 5, 2022,

  1. Biden’s Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management releases a “Strategic Vision” with no discussion of increasing domestic fossil energy production: The Department of Energy is statutorily required to carry out research and development with “the goal of improving the efficiency, effectiveness, and environmental performance of fossil energy production, upgrading, conversion, and consumption.” (42 USC 16291) However, the Biden Department of Energy has no interest in increasing fossil energy production. Despite the requirements of the law, the Strategic Vision is only about “Advancing Justice, Labor, and Engagement; Advancing Carbon Management Approaches toward Deep Decarbonization; and Advancing Technologies that Lead to Sustainable Energy Resources.”

April 12, 2022,

  1. Biden extended the availability of higher biofuels-blended gasoline during the summer to lower gasoline costs and to reduce reliance on foreign energy sources. The measure will allow Americans to buy E15, a gasoline blend that contains 15 percent ethanol from June 1 to September 15. Oil refiners are required to blend some ethanol into gasoline under a pair of laws, passed in 2005 and 2007, known as the Renewable Fuels Program, intended to lower the use of oil and greenhouse gas emissions and reduce dependency on foreign oil by mandating increased levels of ethanol in the nation’s fuel mix every year. However, since the passage of the 2007 law, the mandate has been met with criticism that it has contributed to increased fuel prices and has done little to lower greenhouse gas emissions. With looming food shortages already acknowledged by President Biden, turning his back on domestic energy production while dedicating even more food to make energy inefficiently is not wise.

April 15, 2022,

  1. Biden announced 144,000 acres of the federal mineral estate opened for oil and gas leasing — just 0.00589 percent of the 2.46 billion acres the American people own.  White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “Today’s action…was the result of a court injunction that we continue to appeal, and it’s not in line with the president’s policy, which is to ban additional leasing.”
  2. The administration announced it would resume leasing, but with a royalty rate almost 50 percent higher.
  3. Withdrawal of M-37046 and
  4. reinstatement of M37039: “The Bureau of Land Management’s Authority to Address Impacts of its Land Use Authorizations Through Mitigation” The Interior Department reversed a Trump administration decision which limited the scope of “compensatory mitigation” the Department could force upon projects on federal land as a condition of receiving a permit, which will hit energy and mining projects especially hard. Under the new guidance, opponents in the federal government could require mitigation located far from the project with little relevance, effectively giving bureaucrats a blank check to request whatever they wish of a permit seeker with little controls. This decision was made less than a week after the DOI Inspector General reported that there were no controls or apparent records justifying previous versions of this program, and warned they may have to review the overall program again. This is a “3rd world” approach giving government officials the latitude to effectively deny a project by assessing “compensatory mitigation” so expensive as to make it uneconomic, or to fund their pet projects by extorting additional funds from a permit-seeker.

April 19, 2022,

  1. Biden Restores Climate to NEPA: The Biden administration completed reforms on how agencies implement the National Environmental Policy Act, effectively undoing one of the Trump administration’s most important environmental regulatory rollbacks. This opens the door for officials to cook up whatever justification they desire to impede energy development under the guise of NEPA.

April 20, 2022,

  1. White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy states on MSNBC that “President Biden remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public lands.”

April 21, 2022,

  1. U.S. Climate Envoy John Kerry said the world’s reliance on natural gas should be limited to a decade. He said, “We have to put the industry on notice: You’ve got six years, eight years, no more than 10 years or so, within which you’ve got to come up with a means by which you’re going to capture, and if you’re not capturing, then we have to deploy alternative sources of energy.” Repeated statements like this from administration officials tell investors not to sponsor energy investments in the U.S., since it implies the use of those energy sources will be limited by the government.

April 25, 2022,

  1. Biden reverses Trump’s Alaska oil plan: The Biden administration released a management plan for the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska, an Indiana-sized area reserved for oil and gas leasing. The final decision reverses a Trump-era plan that had opened most of the reserve to oil and gas leasing and withdraws some of the most prospective oil and gas areas from consideration.

April 28, 2022,

  1. The Biden administration admitted to using faulty modeling which overestimated wildlife effects, delaying permitting on existing leases.

May 18, 2022,

  1. The Biden administration announced they were canceling a lease sale of over one million acres in the Cook Inlet in Alaska.
  2. At the same time, the Biden administration announced they were canceling a lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico.

May 19, 2022,

  1. HR. 7688 is named the “Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act,” and it would give the President vast powers to set price controls by executive fiat. If passed, this legislation will cause even more harm to American energy consumers. Price controls don’t work, and our experience during the gas lines of the 1970s should remind us that price controls will lead to shortages
  2. S.4214 is a similar “price gouging” bill taken up in the Senate.

June 2, 2022,

  1. The Biden administration settled with environmental litigants to do what the Biden administration wanted to do and more thoroughly analyze the climate impacts of oil and gas leasing on 4 million acres of federal lands. This provides more delay, potential litigation about sufficiency, and more uncertainty about investment.
  2. Biden’s EPA announced they were allowing states greater power to stop roads, dams, shopping malls, housing developments, wineries, breweries, pipelines, coal terminals, and other projects using Section 401 of the Clean Water Act.

June 7, 2022,

  1. Biden’s EPA deals a death blow to Pebble Mine in Alaska.  Citing its authority under the 1972 Clean Water Act, EPA proposed a legal determination that would ban the disposal of mining waste rock in the Bristol Bay watershed. Pebble is one of the world’s largest copper deposits –essential for electrification—and holds enormous quantities of additional minerals, including strategic ones.

June 8, 2022,

  1. Biden reduces fees on renewables while raising them on oil and gas.  President Biden’s Interior Department announced it will reduce the fees on renewable projects on federal lands after announcing recently that royalty rates and rents would increase as much as 50% for oil and gas projects on federal lands.

June 28, 2022,

  1. President Biden considers new regulations that would hamper the largest oil-producing area in the world.  His latest consideration is EPA implementing new requirements that would curb drilling across parts of the Permian Basin—the world’s biggest oil field that straddles Texas and New Mexico.

July 6, 2022,

  1. President Biden releases his draft offshore lease plan.   The plan includes an option with zero lease sales. There is the potential for ten potential new leases in the Gulf of Mexico and one in the Cook Inlet off the southern coast of Alaska. There are no new leases in federal waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Biden’s plan is in sharp contrast to President Trump’s proposed offshore lease plan that had 47 new offshore drilling leases, including in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. President Trump had proposed a vast expansion of drilling sales to cover more than 90 percent of coastal waters, including areas off California and new zones in the Atlantic and Arctic. The earliest Biden’s offshore lease program could be finalized is likely late fall.

July 7, 2022,

  1. The Biden administration proposes a strict appliance standard rule for furnaces, the goal of which is to increase the upfront cost of using natural gas furnaces so great that people will switch to electric heating.

July 14, 2022,

  1. Biden sells oil to China from the SPR.  Biden has sold more than five million barrels of oil from the SPR to European and Asian nations instead of U.S. refiners, compromising U.S. energy security. Biden’s Energy Department in April announced the sale of 950,000 barrels from SPR to Unipec, the trading arm of the China Petrochemical Corporation, which is wholly owned by the Chinese government.  China purchased that oil from U.S. emergency reserves to bolster its own stockpile. China has been buying large amounts of oil for its reserves since the early COVID lockdowns when prices were low due to demand destruction.

July 15, 2022,

  1. Biden’s Federal Highway Administration, without authority to do so, proposed requiring all states to track and reduce on-road vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

August 16, 2022,

  1. President Biden signs the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes new taxes on natural gas extraction and methane leaks, and
  2. Superfund taxes on crude oil and its related products, and
  3. An extension of biofuel tax credits and a new tax credit for sustainable aviation fuel. These biofuel tax credits will encourage existing petroleum refining capacity to convert to biofuels, making it harder for Americans to get the petroleum fuel products they need for transportation and home heating. These incentives will make the United States import more petroleum products from countries with additional capacity such as China and the Middle East, while committing more agricultural products to fuel, rather than food.
  4. IRA:  The law also encourages states to adopt California’s plan to phase out gas-powered vehicles by 2035.

August 17, 2022,

  1. A federal judge reinstated a moratorium on coal leasing from federal lands that had been implemented during the Obama administration and was lifted under President Donald Trump. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Brian Morris requires government officials to conduct a new environmental review prior to resuming coal sales from federal lands. According to the judge, the government’s previous review of the program had not adequately considered the impacts of climate change from coal’s greenhouse gas emissions, among other effects.

August 18, 2022

  1. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm sent a letter to refiners threatening “to deploy emergency actions” against the industry if they continue to export refined products or otherwise fail to build refined product inventories. This ignores the record of increasing exports of petroleum coinciding with rising production in the U.S.

August 22, 2022,

  1. U.S. Appeals Court reinstates Biden’s ban on oil and gas leasing

September 6, 2022

  1. The Biden administration reached an agreement with environmental groups to halt drilling permits on over 58,000 acres of land in a sue-and-settle case.

September 12, 2022,

  1. EPA announced they rejected Cheniere Energy’s LNG appeal to exempt two turbines at LNG export terminals from a hazardous pollution rule despite the needs of the Europeans and others for LNG and Biden’s promises to help allies with supplies.

September 19, 2022

  1. The Department of Energy announces the sale of an additional 10 million barrels of oil from the SPR.

September 20, 2022,

  1. The Biden administration is expected to soon finalize a rule banning oil and gas leasing near Chaco Culture National Historical Park opposition from local Indigenous leaders, who say the administration’s rule would prevent them from collecting royalties on their land.

September 30, 2022,

  1. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and senior White House officials met with U.S. refiners. The Biden administration officials threatened the refiners with an export ban.

October 5, 2022,

  1. The Biden administration is reportedly working to wind down sanctions against Venezuela’s authoritarian government in exchange for oil production.  This ignores that Venezuelan crude oil is much more carbon intensive than the domestic oil the Biden Administration is restricting, or Canadian oil which would have been transported via the Keystone XL pipeline.

October 7, 2022,

  1. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it was reopening the comment period on the ESG rule because a “technological error” resulted in the deletion of some public comments. But the SEC only gave people 14 days to figure out if their comment was deleted and to submit a comment again.

October 2, 2022,

  1. Biden administration officials lobbied the Saudis and other members of OPEC+ to hold off reducing oil output until after the midterm elections.

October 6, 2022,

  1. The Department of the Interior moves forward with some leasing but notes that they are “mandated” by the Inflation Reduction Act. In other words, DOI is trying not to lease unless mandated by an act of Congress. This ignores that current law requires them to lease periodically, which they are honoring in the breach.

November 2, 2023

  1. President Biden threatens oil companies with a windfall profits tax—again.  “Their profits are a windfall of war,” Mr. Biden said, referring to the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the reason for high prices for oil and gasoline. Biden could easily increase domestic oil production by changing his anti-oil and gas policies that began on his first day in office.

November 9, 2022

  1. California proposes banning new diesel trucks by 2040.  The California Air Resources Board (CARB) proposed a regulation that would require manufacturers to sell only “zero-emission” medium and heavy-duty vehicles in the state by 2040.

November 16, 2022

  1. The U.S. supports the phase out of hydrocarbon fuel sources at COP27.

November 17, 2022

  1. Biden releases more stringent requirements to EPA’s proposed methane rule at COP27.  At the Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Egypt, President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the text of a supplemental proposed rule regulating methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industries that is more stringent than the original proposed rule in 2021. The 2021 rule targets emissions from existing oil and gas wells nationwide, rather than focusing only on new wells as previous EPA regulations have done. The new rule released at COP27, however, includes all drilling sites, even smaller wells that emit less than 3 tons of methane per year.  Small wells currently are subject to an initial inspection but are rarely checked again for leaks. The new proposal also requires operators to respond to credible third-party reports of high-volume methane leaks. These more stringent requirements result in a near doubling of the economic costs, which are estimated to produce a 13 percentage point increase in reduced emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Increasing costs will increase bills for consumers at a time when natural gas prices are already expected to climb.
  2. Federal government grants lesser prairie chicken ESA protections.

November 29, 2022

  1. EPA proposes exorbitant estimates for the social cost of carbon.  President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a new estimate for the social cost of carbon emissions that nearly quadruples the interim figure from the Obama Administration. The Biden administration has been using the Interagency Working Group’s interim value of $51 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, but EPA has proposed increasing it to $190.

November 30, 2022

  1. Instead of relying on the scientific method, the Biden administration instructed regulatory agencies to apply “indigenous knowledge” to “research, policies, and decision making.”

December 7, 2022

  1. President Biden seeks fossil fuel-free federal buildings and bans natural gas.

December 8, 2022

  1. The Bureau of Land Management piles its methane rule atop those set by EPA and Congress.  BLM’s proposal would tighten limits on gas flaring on federal land and require energy companies to better detect methane leaks. The rule would impose monthly limits on flaring and charge fees for flaring that exceeds those limits.

December 23, 2022

  1. California’s regulators release their net zero plan.  California regulators approved a plan to reduce the state’s carbon-dioxide emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2045, thereby reaching carbon neutrality, meaning the state will remove as many emissions from the atmosphere as it emits. It aims to do so in part by reducing fossil fuel demand.

January 10, 2023

  1. U.S. Interior Department names Elizabeth Klein to oversee offshore energy.  She had initially been nominated by the White House to be the Deputy Interior Secretary under current chief Deb Haaland but was withdrawn from consideration in March 2021 amid opposition from moderate Alaska Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, whose vote was needed for her confirmation, over concerns that Klein was opposed to oil development.

January 12, 2023

  1. EPA’s proposed rule regarding the Clean Water Act. The rule would expand the EPA and Army’s regulatory oversight to include traditionally navigable waters, territorial seas, interstate waters and, “upstream water resources that significantly affect those waters.”  According to the two agencies, the revised rule is based on definitions that were in place before 2015. Farming groups, oil and gas producers, and real estate developers criticized the regulations as overbearing and burdensome to business, and, in particular, the ruling has the potential to affect natural gas infrastructure projects. It also would exert federal control over lands not owned by the federal government.

January 17, 2023

  1. Biden appointee proposes ban on gas stoves.  Richard Trumka Jr., a Biden commissioner on the CSPC, told Bloomberg the ban is justified because gas stoves increase respiratory problems such as asthma among children, which is a myth promoted by environmentalists whose real agenda is not to reduce asthma but to ban natural gas.  Gas stoves are used in about 35 percent of households nationwide, or about 40 million homes. The household figure is closer to 70 percent in some states, such as California and New Jersey. Other states where many residents use gas stoves include Nevada, Illinois, and New York.

January 31, 2023

  1. The Biden administration blocks Minnesota’s Twin Metals Mine.  The Biden administration blocked plans for a major copper, nickel and cobalt mine in northern Minnesota that could have helped supply minerals for his “net-zero” plans. The “Twin Metals Project” would have tapped the Duluth Complex within the Superior National Forest, where 95 percent of the nation’s nickel reserves and 88 percent of American cobalt reserves are found.

February 3, 2023

  1. The Biden administration blocks the development of Alaska’s Pebble Mine.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency blocked the development of the proposed Pebble mine–the most significant undeveloped copper and gold resource in the world–because of stated concerns about its environmental impact on Alaska’s aquatic ecosystem.

March 3, 2023

  1. Biden EPA approves Midwest governors’ request for year-round E15 sales.  The Biden administration is recommending for approval a rule that would allow expanded sales of gasoline with a higher ethanol blend (15 percent ethanol), based on a request from governors in Midwest states.

March 9, 2023

  1. Biden administration attacks oil and gas in FY24 budget proposal.

March 10, 2023

  1. Biden’s offshore oil and gas lease plan was delayed by 18 months. President Biden’s oil and gas offshore lease plan is late and will be even later as the Interior Department argues it needs until December to finalize the plan. It told a court it needs the rest of the year to complete an analysis on the delayed five-year program, which will replace the expired 2017-2022 program.

March 14, 2023

  1. Biden withdraws more areas of Alaska from oil exploration.  The Biden administration announced major restrictions on offshore oil leasing in the Arctic Ocean and across Alaska’s North Slope supposedly to temper criticism from environmentalists over a pending decision on an oil drilling project in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve known as Willow and to form a “firewall” to limit future oil leases in the region. The Interior Department said it would issue new rules to block oil and gas leases on more than 55 percent of the 23 million acres that form the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and bar drilling in nearly 3 million acres of the Beaufort Sea — closing it off from oil exploration.  The restricted area of over 16 million acres is about the size of West Virginia. The Willow project, if approved, would take place inside the petroleum reserve, which is located about 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The National Petroleum Reserve was established in 1912 as a backup source of oil for the federal government, originally for the Navy, as it was at one time referred to as the Naval Petroleum Reserve. Four sites in the country comprised the Naval Petroleum Reserve. The fourth site is on the North Slope of Alaska.

March 16, 2023

  1. Sen. Whitehouse introduces the “Clean Competition Act,” a carbon border tax.  One consequence of this policy would be a negative impact on trade relations with the rest of the world. A carbon border tax will likely lead to retaliatory tariffs with our trading partners and a trade war as increasing tariffs are applied back and forth. A carbon tax like this one would impact heavy industry the most, as it would raise prices on things like steel, aluminum, and other industrial inputs. Because the costs of tariffs are ultimately passed along to consumers, starting a trade war with the world’s largest producer of aluminum (China produced nearly 60 percent of world aluminum in 2021) is a far cry from supporting the American working class. Additionally, carbon border taxes are ripe for political gamesmanship because determining the true carbon intensity of products from a variety of countries with different regulatory systems and variations in how emissions are tracked is no simple task. The sheer complexity of rating products would impose massive compliance costs throughout global supply chains, the last thing that is needed with runaway inflation and supply chains that are still recovering from the dual shocks of the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

March 17, 2023

  1. EPA’s “Good Neighbor” rule increases the costs of electricity for consumers.  The Biden administration announced tougher limits on emissions from power plants, factories and other industrial facilities that cross state boundaries. The new standards, announced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), are intended to place tighter constraints on emissions from 23 Midwestern and Western states that have coal and natural gas power plants and facilities. This interstate regulation, known as the “good neighbor” rule, strengthens and expands an earlier interstate air pollution standard that was enacted during the Obama administration. In finalizing the rule, the EPA included three western states in the regulation — California, Nevada and Utah, due mainly to emissions from their industrial facilities. The new rule includes increased flexibilities, giving power plants emission allowances that will decrease over time. EPA was able to finalize the new standards as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected a challenge to EPA’s proposed rule by coal companies and others this month. This rule is but one of many the Biden Administration is planning to roll out in pursuit of its quest to kill coal plants in the United States, as IER has detailed.

March 20, 2023

  1. Biden uses veto to preserve DOL Rule on ESG investing.

March 23, 2023

  1. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers slow walks Line 5 permitting process.

March 30, 2023

  1. California gasoline price gouging bill.  California Democratic lawmakers approved a bill that could provide a penalty for supposed price gouging at the gasoline pump, allowing regulators the power to fine oil companies for supposedly profiting from gas price spikes similar to those that California experienced last summer. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom called for a special legislative session to pass a new tax on oil company profits after the average price of gas in California hit a record high of $6.44 per gallon, according to AAA. State regulators, however, did not pass a new tax because they were worried about supply shortages and higher prices as oil companies pass the new tax onto consumers.

March 31, 2023

  1. New York State to ban gas stoves in new buildings.  New York will become the first state to pass a law banning natural-gas and other fossil-fuel hookups in new buildings on its way to meeting President Biden’s net zero carbon goals and the state’s own targets for greenhouse-gas reduction. The New York State Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, passed in 2019, calls for a reduction in economy-wide greenhouse-gas emissions of 40 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050 from 1990 levels.

April 4, 2023

  1. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposes a rule to try to get around the Federal Land Policy and Management Act’s (FLPMA) requirements for “multiple-use and sustained yield” and instead have even more lands in conservation.

April 12, 2023

  1. Biden releases new rules to force electric Vehicles on Americans. The New York Times notes that EPA is releasing rules that are intended to ensure that electric cars represent between 54 and 60 percent of all new cars sold in the United States by 2030 and 64 to 67 percent by 2032—in 9 years. That would exceed President Biden’s earlier goal announced in 2021 to have all-electric cars account for half of new car sales by 2030. The purpose of the new EPA regulations is to essentially regulate cars with combustible engines out of business by making the rules so stringent that car companies cannot comply, which is a de facto death knell. Today, less than six percent of cars are electric, despite tax credits of up to $7,500. The federal government is also providing tens of billions of subsidies to the battery producers and offering prime parking spaces to electric vehicles with charging stations at nearly every shopping center in America. This ruling would result in a complete transformation of the automotive industrial base and the automotive market, whether the American public likes it or not.
  2. EPA announces new GHG emissions regulations rule for heavy-duty vehicles ((such as delivery trucks, refuse haulers, public utility trucks, transit, shuttle, school buses, etc.) and tractors (such as day cabs and sleeper cabs on tractor-trailer trucks) starting in model year 2027.

April 25, 2023

  1. EPA Proposes to Regulate Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Existing and New Power Plants.

May 12, 2023

  1. Department of Transportation Proposes Rules to Reduce Methane Emissions from pipelines.

May 15, 2023

  1. EPA proposes new regulations requiring power plants to reduce GHG emissions and require carbon capture and sequestration or hydrogen co-firing even though these are uneconomic technologies.

June 2, 2023

  1. Biden orders a 20-year ban on oil and gas leasing within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park. In withdrawing the lands from development against the wishes of the Navajo Nation, the action prevents Navajo mineral owners from developing their oil and natural gas resources and realizing $194 million in royalty income over 20 years.

June 22, 2023

  1. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposes three new ESA rules regarding interagency cooperation, listings, and critical habitat designation. Taken together, the Biden Administration is seeking to erode the standards with the goal of listing species that do not credibly meet the ESA’s definition of threatened or endangered species and designated critical habitat on such massive scales, including areas that are unoccupied. The result is reduced areas open to development, increased costs, unwarranted or unjustified permit requirements, delays, and a multitude of operational constraints that significantly impact the ability to responsibly develop energy resources.
  2. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) along with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) propose new regulation on interagency cooperation with respect to the Endangered Species Act.
  3. The FWS and NMFS also propose the new regulations on Listing Endangered and Threatened Species and Designating Critical Habitat.
  4. The FWS proposes an additional rule pertaining to endangered species. These three rules taken together seek to erode the standards with the goal of listing species that do not credibly meet the ESA’s definition of threatened or endangered species and designated critical habitat on such massive scales, including areas that are unoccupied. The result is reduced areas open to development, increased costs, unwarranted or unjustified permit requirements, delays, and a multitude of operational constraints that significantly impact the ability to responsibly develop energy resources.

June 30, 2023

  1. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) proposes to list the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Despite extensive conservation efforts by oil and natural gas operators, the listing in the highly productive Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico seems specifically designed to reduce development in one of the nation’s most prolific oil producing regions.

July 20, 2023

  1. Biden Administration Proposes to Raise Drilling Costs on Federal Lands. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has proposed a rule to implement the increased increasing royalty rates for oil and natural gas drilling production on federal lands from 12.5 percent to 16.67 percent—about a third higher–and increased leasing fees that Congress passed in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). BLM goes far beyond IRA by also raising the minimum bond paid upon purchasing an individual drilling lease from $10,000 to $150,000. To top it off, they propose raising the minimum bond required for a drilling lease on multiple public lands in a state from $25,000 to $500,000—a 20-fold increase. Developers must pay the bond before drilling begins. The agency also proposes limits designed to steer development away from wildlife and cultural sites. The Interior Department estimates that energy firms will incur $1.8 billion in additional costs by 2031.

July 26, 2023

  1. The White House holds a Methane Summit to reduce methane emissions, but doesn’t invite anyone from the industry.

July 28, 2023

  1. NHTSA proposes new fuel efficiency regulations requiring the average light-duty vehicle estimated to reach 58 miles per gallon by 2032.
  2. NHTSA proposes new fuel efficiency regulations for heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans (HDPUVs) for MYs 2030-2035.

August 1, 2023

  1. EPA proposes updated greenhouse gas reporting requirements for the oil and natural gas industry. Rather than recognizing that industry continues to decrease methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, the rule attempts to overcount GHGs as a means to eventually impose a carbon budget on the industry. By manipulating emissions factors that are used to calculate emissions, the rule could overestimate industry emissions nearly three-fold.

August 2, 2023

  1. The White House issues new guidance on valuing ecosystem services for use in calculating costs and benefits of proposed regulations.

August 3, 2023

  1. BLM proposes removing more than 1.6 million acres from oil and gas leasing in Colorado.

August 4, 2023

  1. BLM proposes to close 1.566 million acres to oil and natural gas leasing in the Grand Junction and Colorado River Valley field offices in the highly productive Piceance Basin on Colorado’s West Slope. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) considers the Piceance Basin to have five of the top 50 natural gas fields in the United States in proven reserves. The update to the Resource Management Plan and supplemental Environmental Impact Statement is designed to cut off new development in the promising Mancos Shale formation.

August 7, 2023

  1. Biden proposed 236-pages of revisions to NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) guidance to make it harder to permit any natural gas, oil, or coal project.

August 10, 2023

  1. EPA denies small refinery biofuel waivers and sets large future biofuel mandates.

August 24, 2023

  1. The Interior Department holds lease sale 261, but withdraws 6 million acres previously scheduled for leasing.

September 5, 2023

  1. The Department of Transportation banned the transportation of LNG by train.

September 6, 2023

  1. The Biden administration canceled oil and gas leases held by the state of Alaska in the 1002 area of ANWR. This area was specifically set aside by Congress for oil and gas leasing and Congressionally-mandated lease sales.
  2. The Biden administration proposed new regulations to make it more difficult to produce oil and gas in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska by withdrawing almost half of the prospective area.

October 2, 2023

  1. The Biden administration’s five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing will not include any sales in 2024 and will feature just three in the final four years–the lowest number of auctions in the history of the program.
  2. Army Corps of Engineers continues “inexplicably lethargic” environmental review of Line 5.  Line 5 moves about 23 million gallons of oil and gas products daily between the United States and Canada.

October 18, 2023

  1. An E&E News analysis shows a 30 percent decrease in permits issued for new offshore oil and gas wells during the first two years of the Biden administration compared to the equivalent period under the Trump administration. Unfavorable policies are deterring companies from making long-term, capital-intensive investments in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM), where almost all U.S. offshore drilling occurs. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) permitted 105 wells in Biden’s first two years, which compares to approving 148 during Trump’s first two years in office and 275 during Obama’s first two years. Oil companies face tougher regulations under Biden, uncertainty in oil prices, and higher expenses as they move into drilling deeper waters.

October 27, 2023

  1. A proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule on hydrofluoric-acid-based alkylation could spur a round of refinery closures as the cost of replacing hydrofluoric acid based alkylation with alternatives is extremely high. EPA is considering adding amendments to its Risk Management Program (RMP) regulation that could effectively eliminate the use of hydrofluoric acid at U.S. refineries to make cleaner gasoline. Finalization of the rule would result in a loss of U.S. alkylation capacity that would reduce supplies of gasoline and aviation fuel, resulting in higher fuel prices for consumers. It could also shutter some refineries and impact U.S. energy and economic security.

October 31, 2023

  1. Biden designates longtime political operative Laura Daniel-Davis as Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Interior. Biden previously nominated Daniel-Davis to serve as Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, but withdrew the nomination after it became clear it would not advance in the senate over concerns of her anti-production track record. This move bypasses congressional authority and places another politically motivated opponent of domestic energy production into the leadership of DOI.

November 2, 2023

  1. Biden’s Department of Energy (DOE) has increased the time it takes to review a permit for exporting LNG from 7 weeks to a minimum of 11 months. The slowing of permit approval could mean that nearly-completed LNG projects are not able to supply European buyers in need of gas because they do not have  the permit. The drastic slowing of LNG export permits represents the most significant limit thus far on an industry planning to add 50 percent more to U.S. export capacity by 2026.

November 6, 2023

  1. Biden-⁠Harris Administration Releases Final Guidance on OMB Circular A-4.  The 2003 version of Circular A4 advised agencies to use discount rates ranging from 3% to 7% to calculate present values of future costs and benefits. The updated 2023 Circular A4 advises agencies to use the rate of return to Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS), which currently are roughly 1.7%.  The rates reflect the weight given to future impacts of climate change. A higher rate means a lower dollar value is assigned to future impacts; a lower rate assigns more value to those impacts.

November 11, 2023

  1. Biden’s Department of the Interior announced a draft of the department’s Environmental Justice Strategic Plan. The plan calls for all DOI employees, including those responsible for permitting energy production on federal lands, to be “held accountable for advancing environmental justice.” The plan also calls for more of DOI’s resources to be used for the purposes of increasing employees’ ‘awareness and understanding of environmental justice” to be considered in all decision making.

November 17, 2023

  1. U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and 22 other Democratic senators recently wrote to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alleging that multi-billion dollar acquisitions by Exxon Mobil and Chevron would lead to reduced competition and higher prices for consumers and asking regulators to launch antitrust probes. Exxon has proposed buying Pioneer Natural Resources for $60 billion and Chevron agreed to acquire Hess for $53 billion. The letter clearly shows, however, that these politicians do not understand much about the U.S. oil market: its players and their contributions to the nation’s energy security. First, it is hard to understand how competition would be reduced when Exxon and Pioneer combined produce only about 5 percent of U.S. oil, which is just a fraction of the oil OPEC members control–approximately 80 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves. The United States has roughly 9,000 small independent oil producers that produce 83 percent of total U.S. oil production and 90 percent of total U.S. natural gas production. In Texas, there were more than 5,700 oil and gas producers operating in 2022.

December 1, 2023

  1. Buried within the Department of Interior’s extensive 200+ page proposal for updating the Fluid Mineral Leases and Leasing Process is a proposed rule that introduces a novel “preference criteria,” a potentially transformative mechanism that has garnered relatively little attention but could provide the Biden administration with an additional tool to impede responsible oil and natural gas development.  In essence, this would empower the Bureau of Land Management to integrate the “preference criteria” into its regulations governing oil and natural gas, enabling the BLM to preemptively exclude land parcels with “sensitive cultural, wildlife, and recreation resources” from potential leasing, even before conducting environmental analyses.

December 4, 2023

  1. EPA issues new methane rule.  EPA’s new rule requires frequent monitoring and repair of methane leaks at well sites, centralized production facilities, and compressor stations using established inspection technologies or, at an operator’s election, novel advanced detection technologies. Similarly, storage vessels at production facilities are regulated in largely the same manner under this final rule as existing VOC requirements. However, storage vessels that previously were unaffected by regulation, including both new and existing facilities, may now be subject to NSPS based upon updated definitions and the addition of a new applicability trigger. Finally, the rule aims to phase out venting and flaring of gas coming from oil wells.

December 8, 2023

  1. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) updated its estimate of the “social cost” of carbon dioxide—a contrived way of increasing the cost of everything made from or using hydrocarbon resources to vilify those projects and keep them from becoming economic. The new estimate nearly quadruples the estimated cost of carbon dioxide to the world that the Biden administration is currently using — a change that will result in stronger climate rules and more stringent regulations that will increase costs for consumers as the least expensive materials will now cost more when projects are being considered and their costs estimated. The change could affect everything from “tiny rules” such as those concerning vending machines to more significant regulations. It is the Biden administration’s way to justify its present position, which as President Biden said, is to “end fossil fuels.”

December 11, 2023

  1. The Interior Department announced new actions in support of “nature-based” solutions. The policy directs land managers and decision makers to use  guidance from “environmental justice and Indigenous Knowledge” to implement “nature-based” climate solutions into all operations on federal lands.

December 14, 2024

  1. The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) carried out its first climate risk assessment of more than two dozen banks in recent months, laying the groundwork for heightened scrutiny of Wall Street’s accounting for climate change.  The climate risk assessment will limit financing opportunities for oil and gas projects.

January 5, 2024

  1. The Department of the Interior announces Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management Steve Feldgus has been named Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. Feldgus has been an outspoken opponent of domestic mineral production.

January 12, 2024

  1. The Biden administration revealed its strategy for implementing a new methane emissions fee targeting the oil and gas sector, aimed at accelerating efforts to curb the release of this potent greenhouse gas. This fee, reaching up to $1,500 per metric ton by 2026, was stipulated by Congress under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. However, crucial aspects such as the calculation method for charges and criteria for exemptions have been delegated to the EPA for determination.

January 26, 2024

  1. Biden halts permitting for new LNG export facilities.

January 31, 2024

  1. Interior halts New Mexico oil plan.

February 7, 2024

  1. A new round of political appointments at the Department of Energy places Alexandra Teitz in the office of the DOE’s general council. Teitz, a former Obama administration staffer, has written extensively about the federal government’s responsibility to prohibit the development of natural gas and oil on federal lands during her work with Climate 21.

February 9, 2024

  1. A new round of political appointments at the Department of the Interior places Maryam Hassanein in the office of the DOI’s Land and Minerals Management. Prior to joining the administration, Hassanein worked for the League of Conservation Voters, an extreme environmentalist organization that promotes stopping energy production on federal lands in the name of the “climate crisis” among other radical environmental positions.

February 14, 2024

  1. The Environmental Protection Agency recently finalized a new rule to reduce the level of particulate matter (PM) by updating the national air-quality standards. Particulate matter is made up of microscopic solid particles such as dirt, soot or smoke and liquid droplets in the air up to 2.5 microns in diameter — far smaller than a human hair. Particulate matter comes from a variety of sources including power plants, cars, dust, construction sites and wildfire smoke. The new rule will lower the annual standard to 9 micrograms per cubic meter from 12 micrograms per cubic meter established by the Obama Administration. The 24-hour standard which is meant to account for short-term spikes will remain at 35 micrograms per cubic meter. Since 2000, particulate matter has declined by 42 percent, even as the U.S. gross domestic product has increased by 52 percent.  The new rule does not impose controls on specific industries; it lowers the annual standard for fine particulate matter for overall air quality, leaving states to force industries to comply or close their doors. The EPA plans to take samples of air across the country starting this year through 2026 to identify counties and other areas that do not meet the new standard. It will also tweak its air monitoring network to better capture the air pollution that communities living near industrial infrastructure face. States would then have 18 months to develop compliance plans for those areas. States that do not meet the new standard by 2032 could face penalties. While the standard itself would not force polluters to shut down, the EPA and state regulators could use it as the basis for other rules that target specific sources such as diesel-fueled trucks, refineries and power plants.  Opponents indicate that it will hamper American manufacturing and eliminate jobs and could shut down power plants and/or refineries. EPA officials, however, did not estimate the employment impact of the new rule because of the variety of industries affected.  Industry groups like the American Forest & Paper Association, American Wood Council and the group’s member company CEOs sent a letter to the White House in October expressing their opposition to the rule, saying the move, “threatens U.S. competitiveness and modernization projects in the U.S. paper and wood products industry and in other manufacturing sectors across our country.” “This would severely undermine President Biden’s promise to grow and reshore U.S. manufacturing jobs, and ultimately make American manufacturing less competitive.” “It also would harm an industry that has been recognized as an important contributor to achieving the Administration’s carbon reduction goals, including in future procurement for federal buildings.”
  2. The Department of Energy announces its second annual equity action plan. Straying ever farther from the department’s statutory mission to “assist in the development of a coordinated national energy policy,” Secretary Granholm seeks to prioritize “environmental justice and inclusivity” in the agency’s rulemaking.  The plan complicates DOE procurement and R&D processes by introducing arbitrary political considerations.

March 6, 2024

  1. SEC approves climate disclosure rule forcing public companies to report their greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks.

March 7, 2024

  1. John Podesta starts his first day as Biden’s “global climate boss.”

March 11, 2024

  1. Biden attacks domestic oil and gas producers in his budget proposal to Congress, stating his desire to increase taxes on energy producers. DOI Secretary Deb Haaland says the budget proposal is a tool for advancing “environmental justice” through the department’s programing. The overtly hostile language and proposals add to the atmosphere of uncertainty for domestic producers potentially curtailing future investment.

March 13, 2024

  1. Michael Nedd, Deputy Director of Operations for the Bureau of Land Management, was promoted by the Biden administration to Deputy Director for Administration and Programs for BLM. Nedd recently testified before a Congressional hearing on Biden’s mismanagement of domestic oil and gas production, in which he told the committee the BLM must ensure “we transition to a clean energy economy” by limiting domestic energy production. In addition to overseeing the Bureau’s budget formulation, in this role Nedd will also help craft national policy and programs which will likely be influenced by his goal of eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

March 14, 2024

  1.  Oil and gas land auction cut by more than 3,000 acres in New Mexico amid concerns.  Federal officials cut a proposed public land auction for the oil and gas industry by 3,000 acres.

March 20, 2024

  1. Biden’s Bureau of Land Management adds additional roadblocks for oil and gas leasing on federal lands in Ohio adding additional time-consuming steps to its environmental impact study to further research the “magnitude of impacts from climate change at the global, national, or state scales,” that leasing could have.

March 28, 2024

  1. The Interior Department introduces final methane rule, teeing up a potential legal fight even as environmentalists say it is critical to addressing climate change.  The plan, which sets limits on emissions of the greenhouse gas on public lands, is being closely examined by oil and gas groups, which successfully axed a previous Bureau of Land Management methane rule in federal court for veering into air quality regulations overseen by EPA.  BLM says the rule will bring in $50 million per year in added natural gas revenue. It makes oil companies pay royalties on “wasted” methane and caps the amount of gas they can release or burn off due to lack of pipelines. It could also hamper drilling approvals for companies that don’t prove they can minimize releases of the gas, which has about 80 times the heat-trapping capability of carbon dioxide over a period of 20 years.
  2. The Biden administration introduces new ESA rules.  The Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries reimposed stricter Endangered Species Act rules Thursday that reverse some of the Trump administration’s most controversial environment-related initiatives.

March 29, 2024

  1. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a final rule, “Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles – Phase 3,” that sets stronger standards to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty (HD) vehicles beginning in model year (MY) 2027. The new standards will be applicable to HD vocational vehicles (such as delivery trucks, refuse haulers, public utility trucks, transit, shuttle, school buses, etc.) and tractors (such as day cabs and sleeper cabs on tractor-trailer trucks) with the aim of decreasing and eventually eliminating demand for traditional fuels..

April 3, 2024

  1. The Biden administration bars new oil drilling and mining in Colorado’s Thompson Divide. The Biden administration finalized a 20-year ban on new oil and gas drilling and mining activity on 221,898 acres of federal lands within western Colorado’s Thompson Divide.

April 4, 2024

  1.  Biden’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement rolls-back a Trump-era reform that made it more difficult for anti-energy activists to weaponize the Ten-Day Notice rule. The Biden administration’s changes gives their allies much more latitude to engage in regulatory activism and will make it more difficult for American energy producers to operate in an uncertain regulatory environment.

April 9, 2024

  1. The Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (proposed regulations) on the stock buyback or “repurchase” excise tax included in President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, a provision that will force corporations to pay more in taxes. One of the targets of this provision is America’s oil and gas producers who have used stock buy-backs effectively in the past.

April 11, 2024

  1. Biden Plans Sweeping Effort to Block Arctic Oil Drilling. The US set aside 23 million acres of Alaska’s North Slope to serve as an emergency oil supply a century ago. Now, President Joe Biden is moving to block oil and gas development across roughly half of it. The initiative, set to be finalized within days, marks one of the most sweeping efforts yet by Biden to limit oil and gas exploration on federal lands. It comes as he seeks to boost land conservation and fight climate change — and is campaigning for a second term on promises to do more of it.

April 12, 2024

  1. Biden finalizes new rules that further curtail oil and gas drilling.  Under the new policy, drilling is limited in wildlife and cultural areas and oil and gas companies will pay higher bonding rates to cover the cost of plugging abandoned oil and gas wells, among other higher rates and costs.
  2. Federal government begins review of Clean Water Act permitting program.  The review, while somewhat under the radar, is significant because changes to the permitting process could create a much stricter regulatory regime for constructing pipelines — and potentially impact gas production sites as well.

April 15, 2024

  1. The US Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) increased the financial assurances federal offshore oil and gas leaseholders must demonstrate in an effort to limit the number of abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico’s Outer Continental Shelf.

April 18, 2024

  1. Secretary Deb Haaland signed Public Land Order 7940, closing down  more than 4,200 acres of Bureau of Land Management-managed public lands in the Placitas area. The lands will be closed to new mining claims, mineral sales, and oil and gas leases for the next 50 years.
  2. The Department of the Interior announced a final rule to guide the management of America’s public lands. The Rule requires Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administrators to prioritize consideration of climate change and “Indigenous Knowledge” when engaged in decision making for public land usage.

April 19, 2024

  1. Biden restricts new oil and gas leasing on 13 million acres of Alaskan land. The Biden administration took action on Friday to restrict new oil and gas drilling on more than 13 million acres of land in the western Arctic region. The U.S. Department of Interior announced the publication of a final rule on Friday, limiting future oil and gas leasing and industrial development in the Teshekpuk Lake, Utukok Uplands, Colville River, Kasegaluk Lagoon, and Peard Bay Special Areas.
  2. The Biden administration rejected the Ambler road project to put a 211-mile road through largely wild areas of the Brooks Range foothills in Alaska. The road would provide access to the Ambler Mining District in northwestern Alaska. The area currently lacks the transportation infrastructure necessary for the development, construction, and operations of potential mines in the district. The Ambler Mining District is a large prospective copper-zinc mineral source with extensive deposits of critical minerals and other elements. The administration cited “Indigenous Knowledge” as one of the reasons the application was denied.

April 23, 2024

  1. The Biden administration finalized a new rule for public land management that will allow for conservation leases on government-owned properties, similar to leases for oil drilling, other types of extraction, grazing, etc.  The rule, which comes from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), will allow public property to be leased for conservation in the same way that oil companies lease land for drilling. The new rule also restricts oil and other extraction development by promoting the designation of more “areas of critical environmental concern,” which is a special status that is given to land the government stipulates has historic or cultural significance or that is important for wildlife conservation. This is a major change in policy and a departure from the “fair market value” laws applying to all other endeavors on public lands.
  2. The Biden administration appoints David Rosenkrance as the Assistant Director for the Energy, Minerals, and Realty Management Program. In this role, Rosenkrance has authority over BLM’s work on oil and gas, mining and minerals, and grants for rights-of-way associated energy development on public lands. The administration expects him to make decisions on “energy and minerals development while addressing climate change.” Rosenkrance has been given recognition for his work at BLM by the Public Lands Foundation, a non-governmental organization that advocates considering climate change impacts in BLM decision making.

April 29, 2024

  1. The Biden administration took unilateral action, by-passing congress, to change the federal permitting process for select infrastructure and energy projects. Noticeably absent from the change was any relief to oil and gas applicants who have been stymied under unprecedented wait times during Biden’s tenure.

May 6, 2024

  1. Biden’s EPA promulgates even more red tape for oil and gas companies by piling on more requirements for their Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The program, already one of the most stringent in the world, will come at a high cost to energy producers and consumers, who are already benefiting from the cleanest air in modern American history.

May 8, 2024

  1. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm unilaterally promulgates the establishment of the United States-Turkey energy and climate dialogue. One of the main goals of the program is to discourage investment in oil & gas projects through influencing international financial institutions to “combat” climate change.

May 9, 2024

  1. Led by Biden proxies, the G7 reached a first-ever consensus commitment to phase out existing coal power generation in energy systems during the first half of the 2030s. The U.S. has 485 years of coal supply from proved reserves and 912 years from technically recoverable coal at 2022 consumption rates. Mandating a global phaseout of affordable, reliable, coal puts even more pressure on America’s energy industries.

March 12, 2024

  1. The Biden-Harris Administration announces their national strategy to “decarbonize” America’s freight truck fleet. America’s freight fleet plays a key role in domestic oil and gas production. Not only in transporting final products to consumers, but in moving industrial machinery to refineries and extraction sites. By discouraging reliable freighters and redirecting investment into less capable alternatives the administration is threatening the future stability of America’s producers.

EDITORS NOTE: This American Energy Alliance column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

0 0 American Energy Alliance 2024-06-29 12:54:41225 Ways President Biden and the Democrats Have Made it Harder to Produce Oil & Gas

Aftershocks From the Debate thumbnail

Aftershocks From the Debate

By Neland Nobel

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Whenever there is an earthquake, there usually are a series of aftershocks. Sometimes they do more damage than the initial tremor. The question now is what will the aftershocks be after Biden’s catastrophic debate performance?

Here are a few that come to mind:

This will surely divide the Democrat party between those who are invested in Biden and those who now see him as a weak candidate. It will divide his media accomplices along the same lines.

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The “secret” that Democrats and the media have been hiding is now out. Heretofore, they accused Republicans and others of “lying” and doctoring videos.  The public is not stupid and many people who are not policy wonks viewed the debate and saw with their own eyes the striking cognitive decline of the President. This was not helped by the post-debate publicity orchestrated by either staff or the First Lady. Having Biden addressed as a kindergartener by the First Lady and having the President assisted when negotiating just three stairs compounded the problem.

With Biden’s candidacy now only in the hands of loyal staff, how is the campaign to raise money?  Millionaires give money to politicians to have future access and influence.  Who wants to give money to a sure loser?

If the credibility of the press could get any lower, it just did. They have been complicit in covering up Biden’s decline for years. They are a big part of the scandal. If they can lie about such a momentous issue, can they be trusted on any issue? This cements their demise as purveyors of “Fake News.”

Given the President’s obvious decline, the question naturally comes up:  who has been running things?

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It has to be Obama, The First Lady, or staff.  It is likely a combination, with “Dr. Jill”, controlling access to the President.

The usual suspect is Obama who has been running things from the wings. If true, this is deeply undemocratic.  We did not elect the man for a third term.  A Constitutional Amendment prohibits a third term. If true, Obama has been a big part of deceiving the public and breaking the law.

We did not elect Jill to be President.  We did not elect the staff to act as President. There should be a full investigation of how the White House has been run once Trump takes office.

What good is electing a President if he is not the man in charge? The President should run the staff, and not the other way around. Ex-Presidents can be consulted, but should not be in charge.  And what is Jill qualified for?

She likely knows more of his condition during private times than anyone else and thus is a primary culprit in hiding the truth of the President’s condition.

Are we going through the motions of ‘elections’  just to be ruled by unknown parties that are never held accountable?  That is hardly better than being ruled by an ex-President. This makes a mockery of the idea of government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

It becomes the government “of the insiders, by the insiders, and for the insiders.”  This is all done with constant calls for reverence for “our Democracy”.

How do our allies feel about Biden? We are currently involved in conflicts with Russia, and China in the South China Sea, on the Korean peninsula, the Houthis in the Middle East, and the Israeli conflict with Gaza and Lebanon. Iran has been emboldened by Biden to step up terror and pursue nuclear weapons.  Any one of these flashpoints has the potential to escalate into regional or even international conflict. We don’t even know who is really the Commander-in-Chief, nor do they. This has made them nervous and raises the stakes for diplomatic and military miscalculation.

Knowing your Commander-in-Chief suffers from dementia is debilitating to the morale of our military.

Financial markets are historically expensive and the economy is highly leveraged with debt at all levels of society. Markets don’t like uncertainty and there seems no clear path around these complex events until the election is held and a new President takes office next year. That leaves the markets and the economy vulnerable to Black Swan events.

We are living in a period where the government and the “Establishment” have been lying about global warming, lying about the President’s health, Ukraine, COVID-19, the budget crisis, Social Security and Medicare, the border, what a woman is, and multiple other issues. Their credibility is shot. What if we were to have an international crisis that requires leadership and the ability to unify the nation for a “real” emergency? With no credibility, that leaves the entire nation extremely vulnerable.

This leads us to our final point. What kind of leaders do we have that would constantly lie about substantive issues and put their own political interests in front of the welfare of the country? The answer is the worst kind of leaders.

Our institutions are rotting with the termites of DEI, ESG, and CRT. We have political leaders who see public service as a way to gain wealth and not advance the interests of the country.

Yes, Biden is in big trouble. The bigger problem is so are all of us.

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

Please click the TAKE ACTION link to learn to do’s and don’ts for voting in 2024. Our state and national elections are at great risk from the very aggressive and radical leftist Democrat operatives with documented rigging, mail-in voter fraud and illegals voting across the country (yes, with illegals voting across the country) in the last several election cycles.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

Please click the following link to learn more.

Eco-Extremists Choose Bizarre Targets thumbnail

Eco-Extremists Choose Bizarre Targets

By Family Research Council

Fans at the 18th green of the PGA Travelers Championship got to see two sports for one on Sunday, when the sudden intrusion of climate hooligans — soon tackled by security — introduced a wrestling component, very nearly turning the world’s quietest sport into hockey.

Just as tournament leaders Scottie Scheffler and Tom Kim arrived to putt, protestors armed with traffic flares ran onto the green, spewing red and white powder on the close-cut grass. The emblems on their white t-shirts revealed that they were members of an American branch of “Extinction Rebellion,” a British eco-extremist group.

Extremists motivated by climate change are now disrupting or defacing high-profile cultural symbols at a rate of more than once per week. On June 19, climate activists associated with “Just Stop Oil” sprayed orange paint on Stonehenge, a World Heritage Site in the U.K. On June 13, “Climate Defiance” activists stormed the field at the Congressional Baseball Game.

The international campaign targeting culturally important symbols has made itself infamous since 2022. So far, climate activists have targeted Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” painting, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” the Magna Charta, the Wimbledon tennis tournament, cycling’s premier event the Tour de France, the Brooklyn Bridge, and (unsuccessfully) Taylor Swift’s private jet, among many other incidents.

In most of these incidents, whatever name the extremists claim that day, the tactics are the same. The activists call their behavior “direct action,” but a more accurate description would be “illegal behavior.” They spray paint, throw soup, glue themselves to, or otherwise seek to injure or deface an object of great cultural value, in the name of drawing attention to what they allege is an existential climate crisis poised to wipe out humanity.

But, from a “climate-conscious” perspective, nearly all of their targets are bizarre.

Take golf, for instance. Here is a sport that requires large swaths of land to be turned into literal parks. Players walk around — or, for longer distances, drive electric carts — enjoying the outdoors. For someone concerned about the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, golf seems like an ideal pastime. It doesn’t even necessarily induce heavy breathing!

Obviously, that perspective is not shared by the climate extremists who stormed the green on Sunday. Lest they be drowned out by the “boos” of the crowd, the attention-grasping delinquents bore their message printed on their outfits: “No golf on a dead planet.”

It’s hard to imagine a more facially absurd message. If the planet were really dead, golfers would putt on a “brown” or “gray,” not a “green.” Not that that would stop them — golfing on the moon might get dusty, but the first billionaire golfers to attempt it will probably manage.

More to the point, these activists decided to make a scene while surrounded by a crowd who assembled for the purpose of watching a fun, outdoor event on a beautiful summer day. After trotting around a golf course all day, these fans could easily tell that the planet was far from dead — in fact, that it is still enjoyable. As usual, spending time in the Great Outdoors is an effective antidote to crackpot theories.

The argument for baseball is much the same as for golf. The pre-electronic contest of skill takes place in a field, helping players enjoy nature without burning a single drop of fossil fuels.

Then there is Stonehenge. Older than the Pyramids, this still-standing stone structure is a striking example of what ancient architects were able to achieve without industrial machinery or modern construction equipment. One would think this relic from the pre-Arthurian era of druidic nature-worship would make it a symbol for the world modern environmentalists want to create, instead of a symbol for the civilization they seek to destroy.

And make no mistake. Destruction is exactly what these climate radicals are creating. Their intention is to wake people up, to draw attention to the alleged climate crisis, which might destroy human civilization, by targeting the icons and activities other people care about. But these cultural symbols are often the best products of our civilization, things that have stood the test of time and are themselves worth preserving.

The climate radicals’ nihilistic attempt to save humanity by wrecking everything humanity cares about was always doomed to fail. Even if their tactics were successful and assumptions were correct, human civilization would survive only as an exhausted, divided wreck of its former self. Fortunately, however, these extremists seem likely to fail simply because they annoy rather than persuade.

The conclusion to the Travelers Championship was nearly as exciting as the disruptive interlude. Underdog Tom Kim rallied from behind with a birdie on the final hole to tie Scottie Scheffler at 22-under-par and send the pair to a playoff. The dominant Scheffler eventually won the playoff, marking his sixth win this year. With this win, Scheffler became the first player since Arnold Palmer in 1962 to win six PGA tournaments before July. That is what golf fans really care about, not the preposterous activists who just tried to ruin the fun for everyone else.

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Congress Inches Closer To Unshackling American Nuclear Energy thumbnail

Congress Inches Closer To Unshackling American Nuclear Energy

By The Daily Caller

The Senate sent one of the most significant pro-nuclear energy bills in recent history to President Joe Biden’s desk this week, but the bill alone is unlikely to spur a nuclear renaissance in the U.S.

The ADVANCE Act passed the Senate on Tuesday by a strong 88-2 bipartisan vote to the applause of pro-nuclear organizations who described the bill as a major step forward for America’s energy future. The bill is a first step toward freeing up a nuclear industry that has long been shackled, but it does not address some impediments the industry faces, according to nuclear energy experts.

The bill is designed to bring down the costs of nuclear licensing, create new opportunities for old industrial sites to eventually be converted to host reactors and give the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) more staffers and resources to execute their mission, according to the office of Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, a key architect of the bill. The bill is a welcomed development for the nuclear industry, which has struggled to expand for decades despite growing momentum — especially on the environmental left — to decarbonize the U.S. power system and wider economy.

“This bipartisan legislative package ensures the U.S. maintains its leadership on the global stage and helps meet our climate and national energy security goals,” Maria Korsnick, president and chief executive officer at the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), said of the bill. “The passage of the ADVANCE Act allows us to bolster U.S. international competitiveness at this crucial junction, accelerate the domestic deployments of innovative advanced nuclear technologies, and modernize the oversight and licensing of the operating fleet of reactors.”

However, the bill is not a total victory for those hoping to see a speedy expansion of the technology’s footprint, as issues like the NRC’s general attitude of risk aversion and a lack of robust financial protection against cost overruns are not addressed directly by the legislation.

“The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has made recent progress to become more efficient while maintaining its focus on safety, but there is more work to be done,” Korsnick added. “The bill will support efforts to further modernize the NRC as it prepares to review an ever-increasing number of applications for subsequent license renewals, power uprates and next generation nuclear deployments.”

John Starkey, the director of public policy for the American Nuclear Society, told the DCNF that the bill is a “step in the right direction,” but probably will not be enough to singlehandedly usher in a nuclear renaissance.

“ANS applauds the long awaited passage of the ADVANCE Act. This bill provides common sense direction to enable the accelerated deployment of advanced nuclear reactors needed to meet the world’s clean energy goals,” Starkey told the DCNF. “The bill alone won’t open any floodgates, but it’s a necessary step in the right direction due to added workforce and the streamlined approach the NRC can take when regulating advanced reactors.”

While the NRC is set to get a boost from the new bill should it be signed into law, the institution is thought by some energy experts — including Dan Kish, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research — to be too conservative and risk-averse in its approach to regulating the industry. Kish believes that the NRC has created a “regulatory morass” out of risk aversion over time that holds nuclear power back by significantly driving up costs, as he previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

As of August 2023, there were 54 operational nuclear power plants and 93 commercial reactors in America, which together provide approximately 19% of America’s power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The average nuclear reactor is about 42 years old, while licensing rules limit their lifespans to an upper limit ranging from 40 to 80 years, according to EIA.

Nuclear power capacity grew rapidly between roughly 1967 and 1997, but it has generally stayed flat since then, according to the EIA. Only a handful of new nuclear reactors have come online in the past twenty years, but nuclear generally remains a more reliable low-carbon source of power than solar and wind, an important consideration when taking stock of the Biden administration’s goals to decarbonize the U.S. power sector by 2035 and the overall economy by 2050.

Grid watchers have warned consistently that the nation’s grid may not be able to sustain considerable growth in electricity demand amid simultaneous retirement of reliable fossil fuel-fired generation and its replacement with intermittent solar and wind, for example. Hence, nuclear power may hold the keys to recognizing the decarbonized future Biden and his appointees are pursuing with aggressive regulation and spending.

To that end, the Biden administration evidently recognizes the promise of nuclear power, and is making a big push to advance it.

The Biden administration signed onto a pledge at last year’s United Nations climate summit to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050, and has also extended “billions and billions and billions” of dollars to spur a nuclear revival in the U.S., as Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said at a nuclear energy conference in June. On Monday, Granholm’s Department of Energy (DOE) announced $900 million in funding to advance deployment of next-generation small modular reactors.

Two of the most recent nuclear reactors to come online are Unit 3 and Unit 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, a nuclear power plant located in Georgia. Those reactors finally came online after years of delays and billions of dollars of cost overruns, demonstrating the challenges that the complex nature of nuclear engineering and construction can pose.

Tim Echols, a commissioner on the Georgia Public Service Commission, also praised the bill, but he raised different issues than other energy sector experts who focused more on the role of the NRC. Echols was involved in getting the Vogtle projects over the finish line in his capacity as a commissioner for the entity regulating the state’s utilities.

“What I am most encouraged about with ADVANCE is the bipartisan support for nuclear. For too long, only Republican-run states have been interested in new nuclear — and those times seem to be coming to an end,” Echols told the DCNF. “While ADVANCE doesn’t have the federal financial backstop I have been asking for, which would protect against overruns caused by bankruptcies, it still is very positive. “Speeding up licensing will allow the technology to be deployed sooner — assuming you have states stepping forward with the courage to build new nuclear.”

The backstop that Echols describes would be some sort of federal bankruptcy protection, which would incentivize policymakers and developers to move forward with new projects because “building new nuclear power is still incredibly risky,” and  utility commissioners across America may hesitate to do so without some protection against what we went through in Georgia.”

“Clearly, ADVANCE, and the recent White House efforts on behalf of nuclear energy represent a push to accelerate new nuclear deployment in the United States that we haven’t seen since I was a boy,” Echols told the DCNF.

The DOE did not respond immediately to a request for comment, and the NRC declined to comment because the legislation has yet to be signed into law.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Interactive Calculator Shows How Cutting Carbon Emissions Would Barely Budge Temperatures thumbnail

Interactive Calculator Shows How Cutting Carbon Emissions Would Barely Budge Temperatures

By Kevin Dayaratna

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Editors’ Note: We don’t think the connection between CO2 and “global warming” has been established. However, even if you assume the theory, and use their own models, the destruction of our standard of living by environmental zealots does not substantially change future temperatures. Then why the continued force-feeding of their agenda? Because it gives the government and the elites control over every aspect of our lives and forces us to act on a lie. This is essential to establish the totalitarian state that deep environmentalists yearn for.

Ever since the start of Joe Biden’s presidency, curbing climate change has been a fundamental component of his energy policy agenda.

During the spring, for example, the Biden administration issued a power plant rule­­, imposing strict emissions reductions regarding the use of fossil-fuel power plants. There have been many other rules proposed as well, including regulating cars, stoves, dishwashers, water heaters, and even microwaves.

All of these rules are predicated on concerns about the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on global temperatures and climate change. If greenhouse gas emissions drive climate change, then curbing the use of sources of energy that emit them (such as coal, oil, and natural gas) should in theory curb these increases in global temperature.

However, lawmakers often present policies aimed at curbing climate change only in terms of greenhouse-gas emissions reductions. For example, the recent rule the Biden administration issued on electric vehicles claims it will reduce greenhouse gases by 7.2 billion tons through 2055.

This figure sounds large, but it’s surprisingly deceptive: A key unanswered question is the actual temperature impact of these and other related policies.

The predicted temperature impact of these and other policies hinges on a number of assumptions that affect our ever-changing climate. 

That’s why we have created The Heritage Foundation Climate Calculator, an online tool that enables the public to change some of the assumptions to simulate the climate effects of these policies to reduce carbon emissions. (The libertarian Cato Institute had a similar tool in the 2010s.)

The calculator is based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Model for Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Induced Climate Change.   

As the documentation illustrates, there are myriad assumptions regarding climate in this model. Our calculator focuses on allowing the user to play with two key assumptions:

  1. Climate sensitivity
  2. Level of emissions reduction

Scientists generally agree that the earth warms as carbon dioxide emissions increase. The real question, then, is to what degree (no pun intended).

Climate sensitivity measures how much the earth’s temperature will warm as a result of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Climate scientists’ estimates of climate sensitivity vary greatly, partly because the physical interactions between carbon dioxide and temperatures are not fully understood.

The level of emissions reductions is the percentage of CO2 emissions that lawmakers would seek to reduce with respect to current emissions. The methodology explained below contains full details.

The simulations presented in this calculator allow user-selected climate sensitivities between 2 and 5 degrees, stated as the “very likely” range of climate sensitivity, according the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Reportencompassing the “likely” range of 2.5 to 4 degrees.

Although empirical evidence comparing observations to predictions suggests that sensitivities toward the lower end of these ranges may indeed be more plausible, The Heritage Foundation Climate Calculator allows users to decide which climate sensitivity they would like to assume and how steep the reductions in fossil fuel use they’d like to see.

For example, what if lawmakers wanted to reduce carbon emissions by 40% starting this year? Assuming a 3-degree sensitivity (the middle of the IPCC’s range of sensitivities), there would be about a 0.036 degree Celsius reduction by 2050 and 0.070 degree Celsius decline by 2100.

What about the European Union, again assuming 3.5 degree Celsius sensitivity and 40% reductions? It’s even more trifling—less than 0.019 degree Celsius temperature reduction by 2050 and 0.037 degree Celsius temperature decline in 2100.

Even assuming the most aggressive policy imaginable (100% reductions) and the IPCC’s worst-case scenario regarding climate sensitivity (5 degrees sensitivity), The Heritage Foundation Climate Calculator shows that if the U.S. were to completely eliminate use of fossil fuels, there would be less than 0.23 degree Celsius global temperature reduction by 2100.

If the EU were to do so, the impact would be even more trifling—less than 0.13 degree Celsius global temperature reduction.

These are just a few of the scenarios that one can simulate using The Heritage Foundation Climate Calculator.

We encourage you to play with the calculator and tweak assumptions yourself. The results will speak for themselves: Regardless of the assumptions made using this government model, the climate effects of carbon reduction policies are slim to none.

Don’t be deceived: Emissions reductions that lawmakers claim to be large in quantity will fail to produce meaningful temperature reductions and strengthen China, while Beijing continues to pump out greenhouse gases in much larger quantities than the rest of the world.

*****

This article was published by the Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

Please click the TAKE ACTION link to learn to do’s and don’ts for voting in 2024. Our state and national elections are at great risk from the very aggressive and radical leftist Democrat operatives with documented rigging, mail-in voter fraud and illegals voting across the country (yes, with illegals voting across the country) in the last several election cycles.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

Please click the following link to learn more.

China and India Report Record Coal Production

By Duggan Flanakin

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Editors Note: We find it amazing that US policymakers and environmental zealots keep pushing Net Zero policies on America but seem to forget entirely what China and India are doing. The same goes for many coal-using European countries. If you buy into the theory of “global warming,” why are restrictive policies placed selectively and a blind eye turned to the rest of the world? Does global temperature care where the C02 comes from? Well, we don’t buy into the theory, but even if one does, the sacrifice the US is making means nothing if India and China continue using coal at record tonnage. Either environmental policy makers are glaringly ignorant or they are deliberately out to harm the industrial capacity of the US and the economic security of its people.  Neither alternative is cause for comfort.  It is either willful ignorance or malicious intent.  Your pick.

Back in April, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new final rule that will force U.S. coal-fired power plants to install carbon capture systems or shut down operations. The rule is a key part of President Biden’s pledge to eliminate all energy sources that emit carbon dioxide by 2035 in the electricity sector and by 2050 for home heating, steel production, and all other uses.

But, as Tsvetana Paraskova reported in May, the Biden Administration plan faces insurmountable problems, given that fossil fuels still provide 60 percent of total U.S. electricity generation. Coal’s share has fallen to 16 percent, while natural gas accounts for 43 percent. Coal-fired power generation is highest during summer heatwaves when wind power is intermittent. Thus, coal still supplies more electric power than wind (11 percent), hydropower (6 percent), or solar (4 percent).

The push seeks to eradicate not just coal but all fossil fuels from American society. The fly in Biden’s ointment is more like the elephant in a tiny room. Around the world, countries large and small are far more concerned about providing energy and electricity for their citizens than pursuing a fearmonger-led “crusade” to rid the planet of life-giving carbon dioxide.

Here at home, five states – North Dakota, Missouri, Kentucky, Wyoming, and West Virginia — still rely on coal for more than half their electricity generation. Data centers, artificial intelligence, and electric vehicles are using greater and greater shares of existing power, taxing utilities struggling to keep energy supply at levels sufficient to meet energy demand.

Over in Europe, where official enthusiasm for ending fossil fuels has at times surpassed that of America’s, even Germany has reopened a coal-fired power plant, and other European countries are pondering their own need for alternatives to Russian natural gas. EU lignite production dropped to 240 megatons in 2020 from over 300 megatons in the 2010s.

Four EU countries mine hard coal, led by Poland and Germany, with annual production at about 150 megatons a year in the recent past. Coal still provides 70 percent of Poland’s electric power, while coal’s share in Germany is well above 25 percent. Coal provides about 11 percent of Russia’s electricity, making it the world’s fifth-largest consumer of coal.

Prior to invading Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced a new national goal to achieve net zero carbon dioxide by 2060 – long after the West’s self-imposed deadline. Other nations outside the globalist cabal based in Doha and Brussels (and Washington, DC) are even less inclined to end coal production; India and China, notably, are moving in the other direction.

Back in April, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was overjoyed to report that his nation had produced over 1 billion metric tons of coal and lignite in the 2023-24 fiscal year, at nearly 100 million tons more than in 2022-23. Modi, whose nation still needs a lot more electric power to meet its first-world goals, lauded the production as “a remarkable feat and a historic milestone toward self-reliance” in a vital sector.

new report from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA) and the Global Energy Monitor (GEM) says that coal power plant permitting, construction starts, and new project announcements accelerated dramatically in China in 2022, with new permits reaching the highest level since 2015. China’s coal power capacity starting construction was six times as large as that in the rest of the world combined.

National Public Radio’s Julia Simon reports that China’s heat waves increased demand for air conditioning and dried up rivers, forcing Chinese hydropower facilities to shut down. Aiqun Yu, co-author of the CREA-GEM report, noted that high prices for liquefied natural gas due to the Russia-Ukraine war led another Chinese province to turn to coal.

The CREA-GEM report somewhat greenwashes China’s commitment to coal, claiming that the “massive additions of new coal-fired capacity don’t necessarily mean that coal use or CO2 emissions from the power sector will increase in China.” After all, China is also building wind, solar, and nuclear energy facilities, and President Xi has “pledged that China would reduce coal consumption in the 2026-2030 period.”

This, the authors said apologetically, “would mean a declining utilization rate” rather than continued growth in coal-fired power generation. Surely, they say without words, China will phase out these expensive new coal plants within the next eight years. And pigs fly.

Still, the CREA-GEM team found it necessary to include some “policy recommendations” to instruct President Xi in how to stay in the good graces of the Net Zero overlords. First, they said China must impose strict controls on new coal power capacity and reject or revoke permits to projects not necessary for “supporting grid stability” or “supporting the integration of variable renewable energy.”

Way back in 2020, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told India it should commit to carbon neutrality by ending fossil fuel subsidies and investing in solar power. Claiming that investing in coal is “bad economics,” Guterres said India can only become a “true global superpower in the fight against climate change if it speeds up its shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”

Did Prime Minister Modi bow and scrape to Guterres?

Guterres, in the same year, went all the way to Beijing to “urge” China to stop funding coal projects because (OMG!) the Paris climate agreement goals will slip out of reach without China’s cooperation. There, too, he begged the “economic superpower” to genuflect, whispering that “the way in which China restores growth will have a major impact on whether we can keep 1.5C within reach” in the post-pandemic world (spoken at the height of the pandemic!).

Was President Xi so flattered by the former Prime Minister of Portugal that he immediately stopped all future plans for new coal-fired power plants in China?

Back in November 2021, forty-something countries, including coal-reliant Poland, Vietnam, and Chile, all committed to shift away from coal. The U.S. and 19 other nations would only pledge to end public financing for “unabated” fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022.

What would happen if only the West and its friends abandoned fossil fuels?

*****

This article was published by CFACT, The Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

Please click the TAKE ACTION link to learn to do’s and don’ts for voting in 2024. Our state and national elections are at great risk from the very aggressive and radical leftist Democrat operatives with documented rigging, mail-in voter fraud and illegals voting across the country (yes, with illegals voting across the country) in the last several election cycles.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

Please click the following link to learn more.

New EPA Rule Is a Death Sentence for American Energy thumbnail

New EPA Rule Is a Death Sentence for American Energy

By The Daily Signal

The Environmental Protection Agency plays judge, jury, and executioner—and its newest-issued rule is a death sentence to American energy and energy-producing states.

Meanwhile, states like Pennsylvania, which will be disproportionately harmed by the rule because of our abundant natural gas production, hold the key to America’s increasing energy needs, generating immense economic development and reducing the very emissions targeted by this heavy-handed agency.

The EPA unilaterally issued a final rule establishing draconian emission standards that target existing coal and new natural gas power plants nationwide. It requires 90% carbon capture for power-generating facilities by 2032.

Aside from its questionable legality, the new rule is unfeasible. The EPA proposed impossible standards. Current carbon-capture technology—a water- and energy-intensive process that filters and sequesters emissions—neither meets this standard nor projects to do so in the next decade.

Research suggests that current technology could achieve, at best, 10% capture, which still doesn’t factor in the immense implementation costs. No utility-scale natural gas carbon capture plant exists today, so forcing a transition to nonexistent technology within a decade is unreasonable.

This egregious federal overreach will not stand in court. In West Virginia v. EPA, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the agency lacked the legal authority to devise such emissions caps. As the current legal challenge works through the courts, our highest court will likely strike down this new rule, too.

National energy forecasts show rising demand with a plummeting capacity for our existing energy infrastructure to deliver. Because of bad policies in the name of climate radicalism, early retirements of fossil fuel-based power-generating facilities are already catapulting us to an electrical grid reliability crisis. Meanwhile, utility bills increase as power generators chase federal subsidies to overbuild unreliable, weather-dependent wind- and solar-based electrical generation facilities.

Because of this, two-thirds of the United States risks major blackouts in the next few years. Yet, the EPA doesn’t consider grid reliability when creating its regulations, much less safeguard it.

Per agency protocol, the EPA “does not conduct operational reliability studies,” meaning the agency ignores the widening gap between supply and demand.

The failure to defend grid reliability is a recipe for disaster.

Unfortunately, disaster has already struck. In 2022, a winter storm in Texas caused 4.5 million people to lose power, killing 246 people who couldn’t heat their homes in subzero temperatures. Increased capacity—namely, more natural gas pipelines—could have saved lives in Texas. The North American Electric Reliability Corp. warned lawmakers that the lack of pipelines and infrastructure leaves the country susceptible to similar tragedies.

Natural gas remains the most economically feasible option to meet that demand in time. (Meanwhile, work must continue to leverage other energy sources, such as nuclear, to accommodate our growing need for baseload power, which is the minimum amount needed to maintain and power our grid.)

To understand the benefits of natural gas, Pennsylvania, the second-largest producer of natural gas and the largest energy exporter in the nation, provides ample evidence.

In the last two decades, the Keystone State’s energy generation sector has increased energy production and reduced emissions—all thanks to natural gas.

The share of Pennsylvania’s electricity production that comes from natural gas increased from 5% in 2005 to 59% in 2022. During that same period, overall energy production emissions dropped 46%, including the most significant year-over-year decline on record.

Transitioning to natural gas proved to be a boon to public health in Pennsylvania. This transition removed about 12.5 million tons of nitrogen and sulfur oxides—emissions associated with respiratory ailments like asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and lung cancer.

Using the EPA’s methodology for quantifying the health impact of removing these emissions from the atmosphere, Pennsylvania’s increased use of natural gas yielded between $450 billion and $1.04 trillion in public health benefits for residents.

Despite natural gas’ benefits, Pennsylvania still endures the same worrisome trend of pernicious eco-fundamentalist policies. Pennsylvania lawmakers flirt with onerous “cap and trade” schemes, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or the newly proposed Pennsylvania Climate Emissions Reduction Initiative. By slapping a carbon tax on energy production, these two initiatives guarantee increased utility bills for inflation-weary Pennsylvanians.

The EPA’s rule is like these initiatives on steroids. The rule will not only lead to blackouts and brownouts nationwide but also will force the economies of energy-producing states to forego supporting—and benefiting from—our ever-growing energy demands.

Instead, policymakers must remove the regulatory barriers that hamstring energy-producing states and prevent the energy industry from providing reliable, clean power.

Moreover, Congress must advance the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act, a policy supported by 68% of Americans, to boost accountability and transparency with federal regulators. The act would require Congress to approve administrative rules that would have significant financial impacts before they could take effect.

A future without fossil fuel-generated power is a myth. Almost 80% of the world’s energy comes from fossil fuel sources. Rather than obstruct clean, reliable energy, the EPA must allow natural gas to light the way to American energy independence.

AUTHORS

Andre Beliveau

André Béliveau is the senior manager of energy policy at the Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania’s free-market think tank. On X: @therealbeliveau.

Amy Cooke

Amy O. Cooke is president and chairwoman of the Board of Always on Energy Research. On X: @TheRightAOC.

Chinese Building Is Globalists’ Dystopian Dream for Us All

By Catherine Salgado

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Globalists like the World Economic Forum (WEF) have a dream to force all of us peasants to live in 15 minute cities—in fact, such experiments have already been launched in Tempe, Arizona, and Oxford, England. You will have your tiny apartment, stores, restaurants, all within a short walk of your home—and George Orwell would tell you to run in the other direction.

A recent article (see below) describes the Chinese version of this dystopia, with everything in one building. By the way, when the article praises how “swanky” the building is, take it with a grain of salt—in China, infrastructure is consistently badly built and the quality is always exaggerated. But even if the buildings were wonderful, happiness isn’t just in having material necessities. Freedom is key.

There’s a reason humans have always romanticized pastoral life, why owning land was a wealth symbol, and why the American dream used to be owning property. Freedom and the space to exercise it—those are things that the Chinese building doesn’t have, and that’s why it’s a dystopian nightmare instead of a utopian paradise.

“[Climate Depot] Thousands of people live in one of China’s largest apartment block which is so well equipped residents never actually have to leave.

This company is able to provide residents with everything they need, so they never have to go outside again…Would that be a utopian dream or a dystopian nightmare?

It seems at least 20,000 people are living that reality regardless in one of China’s largest buildings…[facilities include] a massive food court, barber shops, nail salons, medium-sized supermarkets, swimming pools, and even internet cafes….And if you’re curious about how much it costs to live here, small apartments without windows (yes, you read that correctly) usually go for around 1,500 RMB per month ($210), according to local news outlets.

Meanwhile, some of the larger properties with balconies are on the market for 4,000 RMB per month ($570).”

Note the without windows option. The average monthly salary in China is reportedly around $1300, so $570 a month rent for a windowed apartment isn’t chump change.

Unfortunately, if the Democrats and their globalist buddies get their way, this building plan could be coming soon to a town near you…

*****

Catherine Salgado is an accomplished writer and investigative reporter who publishes daily in her Substack column, Pro Deo et Libertate (For God and Liberty). This superb column provides news and opinion pieces from an honest, common-sense perspective in the spheres of culture, politics, liberal arts, and religion. The Prickly Pear is grateful for her permission to reproduce her public writings and recommends that our readers subscribe to Catherine’s superb Substack column. Please consider a paid subscription for full access to all of her excellent and informative writings.

Follow Catherine Salgado on X (@CatSalgado32). 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

Please click the TAKE ACTION link to learn to do’s and don’ts for voting in 2024. Our state and national elections are at great risk from the very aggressive and radical leftist Democrat operatives with documented rigging, mail-in voter fraud and illegals voting across the country (yes, with illegals voting across the country) in the last several election cycles.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

Please click the following link to learn more.

TAKE ACTION AGAINST: Bidenflation and Broke America — Sinking Hearts and Pocketbooks thumbnail

TAKE ACTION AGAINST: Bidenflation and Broke America — Sinking Hearts and Pocketbooks

By ACT For America!

Biden’s War on Energy and Its Catastrophic Impact on America


TAKE ACTION TO MAKE ENERGY AFFORDABLE AGAIN!


Biden’s war on energy is a war on the lower and middle class, who are always the first to feel the pain of high gas prices and the inevitable inflation that follows.

Fox Business reports, “Biden touts cooling inflation, but prices are up nearly 20% since 2021,” compared to the low of 1.4% when Biden first took office. Americans spend over $1,000 more monthly, $12,800 more annually, on necessities than 3 years ago.

The surging prices Americans face at the pump are a direct result of Biden and the Leftists’ unprecedented war on American energy, initiated on his first day in office, including the radical Green New Deal agenda. By 2022, the national average for a gallon of gas exceeded $5 for the first time in history.

By catering to this radical fringe, Biden has turned his back on lower and middle-class Americans, ALL AMERICANS, diminishing their ability to afford housing, groceries, gas, and medicine.

It seems the LEFT isn’t content with just waging an energy war—they’re now launching a full-scale burger war, targeting the fast-food industry while pushing for the consumption of lab-grown meat and insects.

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom, with a stroke of the pen, killed 10,000 jobs overnight with his minimum wage increase, combined with soaring food prices that have devastated many fast-food chains.

Bidenomics is national suicide, jeopardizing the health and survivability of major contributors to the US economy and threatening the job security of millions of Americans! Restaurants alone employed 7.2 million and generated $464 billion in revenue in 2023.

Anyone with a basic understanding of economics understands that policies eroding energy security and punishing fossil fuels would cause prices, and therefore inflation, to soar, impacting certain industries faster and more devastatingly. So why enact policies targeting and discriminating against a vital industry on which lower and middle-class Americans and communities rely?

Considering that 63% of restaurant owners polled preferred a Republican-controlled Congress, despite half identifying as Democrats or Independents, it raises questions. In April 2023, a survey determined that U.S. adults were dining out less than they had six months prior. When looking at the frequency of dining out compared to six months ago, 55% of U.S. adults claimed they were eating out less at full-service restaurants, and 45% claimed they were eating out less at fast food restaurants.

Bidenflation has caused the price for fast food favorites to skyrocket:

  • McDonald’s Medium French Fries is UP 167.6%
  • McDonald’s Big Mac Meal is UP 103.5%
  • McDonald’s 10 Piece Chicken McNuggets Meal is UP 95.5%
  • McDonald’s Hamburger Happy Meal is UP 140.6%
  • McDonald’s 4 Piece Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal is UP 97.3%
  • Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch is UP 111.5%
  • Taco Bell’s Nachos Bell Grande Combo is UP 77.0%
  • Taco Bell’s Beefy 5-Layer Burrito is UP 153.8%
  • Chick-fil-A’s Chicken Sandwich Combo is UP 94.8%
  • Chick-fil-A’s 8 Piece Nuggets is UP 98.2%

Join us in saving America from national suicide caused by Bidenflation!


TAKE ACTION TO MAKE ENERGY AFFORDABLE AGAIN!


Conservatives have always fought for fiscal responsibility and policies that lift all Americans out of poverty to experience the American dream. Tragically, Americans nationwide now face the harsh reality of choosing between eating and filling up their cars with gas, foregoing medicines to pay bills, and depleting their savings or going into debt to pay rent or mortgages.

Biden refuses to take responsibility for destroying our economy and the quality of life of 73% of America’s working class, choosing to blame “greed” and business owners struggling to survive! Shame!

The fastest way to combat soaring inflation is to unleash the power of Trump-era 100% Energy Independence, which would drop gas prices and keep more money in taxpayers’ pockets overnight!

RELATED VIDEO: U.S. Job Gains Are Not Going to American Workers | TIPPING POINT

EDITORS NOTE: This ACT for America column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Red-state AGs Sue Blue States For Imposing Climate Extremism Everywhere thumbnail

Red-state AGs Sue Blue States For Imposing Climate Extremism Everywhere

By Bonner Cohen

Editors’ Note: For the moment, we will put the questionable science and impractical assertions of the environmental lobby aside. What we see here is another expansion of lawfare, the use of law and the courts to obtain a political or social outcome without the consent of the people or their representatives. It is profoundly undemocratic. In this case, some “progressive” states wish to impose their will on other states so now we will have lawfare among the states. This is not a good development. Secondly, we have a small handful of blue states that could substantially lower the standard of living of the entire nation, endanger national defense, and twist the law into a punitive initiative against corporations conducting perfectly legal business. Again, all of this is done by a small minority of states wishing to get their way without the consent of the people. Bully for the Red State AGs fighting back. It is too bad Arizona has an AG not only sitting this fight out, but actively pursuing her own lawfare agenda against those who want election integrity.

A coalition of 19 state attorneys general, led by Steve Marshall of Alabama, is suing five other states — California, Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey and Rhode Island — saying the latter group’s litigation seeking billions of dollars in damages from fossil-fuel companies for their role in the alleged “climate crisis” would undermine U.S. energy security and jeopardize the livelihoods of Americans.

In their May 23 complaint filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, these red-state attorneys general assert that California and its climate allies “are threatening to weaken our national energy system through tort litigation under their state laws and in their state courts.” They add that “attempts by defendant states to impose liability or obtain equitable relief from energy companies for emissions by or in plaintiff states (including by targeting protected speech) is unconstitutional and beyond the competence of defendants to prosecute.”

Far more than a mere shakedown of energy companies by avaricious blue states, the attack on fossil-fuel producers is a scheme to use state tort laws and state courts to regulate out-of-state emissions and thus control energy use nationwide. Rhode Island, for example, seeks compensatory damages for harm from “dire climate-related effects” from certain greenhouse-gas emissions. It doesn’t matter whether emissions come from blue states, Alabama, or across the planet. “The effects are all the same and, as a result, they are seeking to punish energy companies for selling their products anywhere,” the lawsuit argues.

And it’s not just the companies that will bear the brunt of the punishment.

“The theory advanced by these states is truly radical. A small gas station in rural Alabama could owe money to the people of Minnesota simply for selling a gallon of gas. The customer might even be liable, too,” Alabama’s Marshall said in a statement. “These states are welcome to enforce their preferred policies within their jurisdiction, but they do not have the authority to dictate our national energy policy.”

“If the Supreme Court lets them continue, California and its allies will imperil access to affordable energy for every American,” Marshall added. “That would threaten our national security and harm millions of Americans already struggling to pay for gas and groceries. To protect Alabama citizens and constitutional order, we had no choice but to sue.”

The reference to the Constitution is crucial to getting the Supreme Court to step in and put an end to the blue states’ extraterritorial power grab. “While the Constitution preserves as expansive realm of state sovereignty, that authority ends at each state’s borders,” Marshall wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “Alabama doesn’t get to say what law applies to California, and Hawaii can’t regulate conduct in Indiana.”

The case, Alabama v. California, is the latest legal skirmish pitting blue jurisdictions seeking to impose their energy policies on the rest of the nation against red states and fossil-fuel producers opposing those efforts.

Dozens of lawsuits against oil and gas companies (many of them funded by the Rockefeller Family Fund) have been filed in state courts in the last few years. They claim that the companies have violated a variety of state laws, including statutes covering consumer protection, nuisance, failure to warn, fraud, and racketeering — all related to the companies’ emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition to states cited in Alabama v. California, jurisdictions suing the oil and gas companies include Massachusetts, New York, the cities of Chicago, Honolulu, New York, and Boulder, Colo., along with several Native American tribes.

Knowing that climate-obsessed jurisdictions are relishing the home-court advantage provided by state courts, the fossil-fuel companies — now joined by the 19 red-state attorneys general — want the proceedings shifted to federal courts.

So far, their efforts have fallen short. In April 2023, for example, the Supreme Court declined an appeal by ExxonMobil and other oil companies to move most of the cases filed against them from state to federal court. If the Supreme Court continues to remain aloof, these cases — beginning with Massachusetts — will go to trial in a few months, kicking off litigation that could last for years.

All this comes amid mounting concerns over how the nation is to meet its growing energy needs at a time when the Biden administration, deep-blue jurisdiction, and deep-pocketed foundations are undertaking a concerted effort to block access to affordable and reliable energy.

The vaunted (and heavily taxpayer-funded) transition to green energy is colliding headlong with developments that this elite-driven agenda did not foresee. They include consumers shunning EVs, local resistance to wind and solar plantations, threats to grid stability caused by increased reliance on intermittent renewable energy, soaring household energy costs, and skyrocketing demand for power by proliferating, energy-hungry, artificial intelligence-driven data centers.

Another way to put this is to say that the blue states’ assault on the nation’s energy security could not have come at a worse time.

*****

This article was published by CFACT, Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

Please click the TAKE ACTION link to learn to do’s and don’ts for voting in 2024. Our state and national elections are at great risk from the very aggressive and radical leftist Democrat operatives with documented rigging, mail-in voter fraud and illegals voting across the country (yes, with illegals voting across the country) in the last several election cycles.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

Please click the following link to learn more.

AWED MEDIA BALANCED NEWS: Welcome! We cover COVID to Climate, as well as Energy to Elections. thumbnail

AWED MEDIA BALANCED NEWS: Welcome! We cover COVID to Climate, as well as Energy to Elections.

By John Droz, Jr.

Welcome! We cover COVID to Climate, as well as Energy to Elections.

Here is the link for this issue, so please share it on social media.

Checkout the 2024, 2023, 2022, & 2021 archives, plus asterisked items below.


— This Newsletter’s Articles, by Topic —

If You Only Have Time to Read Some Select Articles:

*** We Have Been Subverted (Ayaan Hirsi Ali)

*** Party Platform Comparison 2020-2024

*** I Refuse to Stand By While My Students are Indoctrinated

*** Shall I Compare New Jersey’s Curriculum to a Summer’s Day?

*** I’ve taught civics for decades. Our kids have lost faith in our nation

*** How Academic Saboteurs Dupe College Students into Activism

*** The NAIA’s Transgender-Athletes Policy Is a Triumph

*** Mark Mills: The “Energy Transition” Won’t Happen

*** Vaclav Smil Calls Bullshit On Net Zero

*** Energy is the most important issue in the world (Ayaan Hirsi Ali)

*** Shanghaied

*** Irrational Transition

*** EVs, wind, and solar are neither reliable nor environmentally friendly: here’s why

*** Solar and Wind Resource Availability Fatal Flaw

*** Anatomy of an EV Policy Error

*** Short video: Judith Curry — Climate Scientists Can’t Intimidate Me

*** Study confirms reports on declining climate disasters

*** The Cost of EPA’s Senseless CO₂ Capture

*** John Stossel: Pushing Back Against Environmental Scaremongering

*** Numbers Behind the Narrative: What Climate Science Actually Says

*** Casinos, Vacant Lots, Gas Stations, Strip Clubs, etc. on Nevada’s Voter Roll

*** Video: Journalist who broke Hunter Biden laptop bombshell speaks out

*** The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

*** Trust The “Science”…That Just Retracted 11,000 “Peer Reviewed” Papers

*** Why Most People Can’t Think Critically Since COVID

*** Dr. McCormick Grills Fauci on Audio of Him Discussing Vaccine Requirements

*** WHO pandemic treaty defeated, at least for now

*** HUGE COVID Legal Victory – HFDF Wins Appeal in Ninth Circuit

*** Dr. Kory’s Expert Testimony for Dr. Mary Talley Bowden Against the Texas Medical Board

*** Trump NY Trial Commentary

*** Trump Verdict Makes NYC ‘Venezuela-on-the-Hudson’

*** Never Surrender

*** 35 and a Citizen

*** NY v. Trump: Judge reveals Facebook post implying juror discussed guilty verdict with family ahead of time

Secondary Education Related:

*** Report: The Key to Fixing the US Education System

*** I Refuse to Stand By While My Students are Indoctrinated

*** Shall I Compare New Jersey’s Curriculum to a Summer’s Day?

*** I’ve taught civics for decades. Our kids have lost faith in our nation

In Portland (OR), the Islamic Revolution Begins in Kindergarten

Silicon Valley School District Prepares ‘Anti-Racist and Anti-Oppressive’ Curriculum Makeover

Welcome to the ‘Parent Revolution’

Higher Education Related:

*** How Academic Saboteurs Dupe College Students into Activism

*** The NAIA’s Transgender-Athletes Policy Is a Triumph

Yale wants science profs to ‘promote DEI through teaching

University of Arizona’s DEI Boondoggle Tells Students to ‘Live Like a Bug’

Penn creates climate change vice provost role

NC lawmaker fights student-loan scheme

Artificial Intelligence:

Cyberscammers use AI to manipulate Google search results

Beyond Mad Max with Dystopian AI

Technocrats at OpenAI in ‘Reckless’ Race For Dominance

Greed Energy Economics:

“Offshore Wind Needs Bigger Subsidies”

Wind Subsidies Are Rising…but wind power production isn’t rising with them

Unreliables (General):

*** Shanghaied

*** Irrational Transition

*** EVs, wind, and solar are neither reliable nor environmentally friendly: here’s why

The Foundation of Property Rights: Where There Is No Law, There Is No Freedom

Private Property Rights

Wind Energy — Offshore:

*** Report: Offshore Wind Power (Dr. Michael Hogan)

*** The renewable green energy disaster off the northeastern US is getting worse Less than one per cent of the way to the Biden 2030 target

Offshore Wind Industry Braces for More Turbulence—and Trump

Wind Energy — Other:

*** Taking the Wind Out of Climate Change (referencing 60± studies)

*** Wind Turbines = Enormous “Unintended” Consequences

Australia has World Class windless weather: Today 95% of wind turbines are failing

Solar Energy:

*** Solar and Wind Resource Availability Fatal Flaw

As Solar Power Surges, U.S. Wind Is in Trouble

Fossil Fuel Energy:

*** Senator Tuberville, Colleagues Propose Measure to Halt Regulation on American Power Plants

China, India Break Coal Production Records

Electric Vehicles (EVs):

*** Anatomy of an EV Policy Error

*** 3 Reasons There’s Something Sinister With the Big Push for Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles Have a New Problem: Careening Through Guardrails

Federal and Provincial Largess for EV and Ford’s Ontario Plant’s EV Delays

Turns Out Those ‘All-Electric’ ‘Zero Emissions’ Fire Trucks Have Diesel Engines

Misc Energy:

*** Mark Mills: The “Energy Transition” Won’t Happen

*** Vaclav Smil Calls Bullshit On Net Zero

*** Energy is the most important issue in the world (Ayaan Hirsi Ali)

Net-Zero Push and its Offshoots by Politicians and Bureaucrats Creates Strange Happenings Part 1

Manmade Global Warming — Some Deceptions:

*** Short video: Judith Curry — Climate Scientists Can’t Intimidate Me

*** Study confirms reports on declining climate disasters

Exxon Mobil Takes On Climate Extremists

We can still avoid the Net Zero trap

“Bonus” Gets it wrong about May and Crok, 2024

Manmade Global Warming — Misc:

*** The Cost of EPA’s Senseless CO₂ Capture

*** John Stossel: Pushing Back Against Environmental Scaremongering

*** Numbers Behind the Narrative: What Climate Science Actually Says

*** Who is Winning the Climate Change War?

*** It’s Time to Make a Strategic PR Pivot in Dealing with the Climate Change Issue

New Zealand takes axe to climate policies

Getting Ready For The European Elections

Home insulation is the latest net zero farce

US Election:

Election-Integrity.info (10 major election reports by our team of experts, plus much more!)

*** Party Platform Comparison 2020-2024

Dr. Walter Daugherity: Voting Patterns Observed in 2020 Could Not Have Happened Naturally

US Election — State Issues:

*** Casinos, Vacant Lots, Gas Stations, Strip Clubs, etc. on Nevada’s Voter Roll

RNC Challenges Nevada’s Mail Ballot Counting Practices

How do you Legally Administer and Certify Elections using Uncertifiable Electronic Voting Machines?

Ranked Choice Voting Now Illegal in Louisiana (10th state overall)

NY v Trump Trial:

*** Trump NY Trial Commentary

*** Trump Verdict Makes NYC ‘Venezuela-on-the-Hudson’

*** Never Surrender

*** 35 and a Citizen

*** NY v. Trump: Judge reveals Facebook post implying juror discussed guilty verdict with family ahead of time

The United States Reincarnates Communism and Stalin’s Trials

Dr. Phil Sits Down With President Trump in Exclusive In-Depth Interview

How Trump’s Sham Conviction Awakened a Sleeping Giant

Great Work Democrats – Your Framing Failed

After Trump’s Conviction, What Should Republicans Do?

Misc US Politics:

*** Video: Journalist who broke Hunter Biden laptop bombshell speaks out

Bannon to Jail for Contempt of Congress

Will All Real Republicans Please Speak Up?

Censorship:

We Will Not Be Silenced Trailer  Full Movie

The Rise of the Censorship Industrial Complex

Societally US:

*** We Have Been Subverted (Ayaan Hirsi Ali)

Eight in 10 New York towns and cities have lost population since 2020

Cognitive Warfare, Mental Manipulation, Tyranny of Digital Transformation

Religion Related:

Faith-Based Funding Can Help Protect Democracy

United Methodists Embrace LGBT Ideology: Lose 1 Million Members in a Day

Science:

*** The Sorcerer’s Apprentices

*** Trust The “Science”…That Just Retracted 11,000 “Peer Reviewed” Papers

China’s High-Tech War Steals U.S. Innovation Advantage

Big Science, the Enemy of Great Science

Health:

*** Why Most People Can’t Think Critically Since COVID

*** Dr. McCormick Grills Fauci on Audio of Him Discussing Vaccine Requirements

*** WHO pandemic treaty defeated, at least for now

Climate Policy Should Not Be Used To Determine Limits on Hospital Emissions

Israel/Ukraine:

Pray for the safety of the Israeli people

Latest Developments in Israel

Pray for the safety of the Ukrainian people

A well-rated source to make a Ukraine donation

Latest Developments in Ukraine

COVID-19 — Misc:

*** HUGE COVID Legal Victory – HFDF Wins Appeal in Ninth Circuit

*** Dr. Kory’s Expert Testimony for Dr. Mary Talley Bowden Against the Texas Medical Board

Fauci: “I am a scientist who uses the Scientific Method to gain information.” (!)


Please use social media, etc. to pass on this Newsletter to other open-minded citizens…If you’d like to be added to (or unsubscribe from) the distribution of our popular, free, worldwide Media Balance Newsletter, simply send me an email saying that.


Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone, as some documents (e.g., PDFs) are much easier to read on a large computer screen… We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize display issues.

Note 2: For past Newsletter issues see the archives from 2021, 20222023 & 2024. To accommodate numerous requests received about prior articles over all thirteen plus years of the Newsletter, we’ve put this together — where you can search ALL prior issues, by year. For a background about how the Newsletter is put together, etc., please read this.

Note 3: See this extensive list of reasonable books on climate change. As a parallel effort, we have also put together a list of some good books related to industrial wind energy. Both topics are also extensively covered on my website: WiseEnergy.org.

Note 4: I am not an attorney or a physician, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or any of my websites) should be construed as giving legal or medical advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent, licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues, and consult a competent physician regarding medical matters.

Copyright © 2024; Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (see WiseEnergy.org).

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Virginia To Exit California EV Mandate By End Of 2024

By Gabriella Hoffman

Yesterday, Governor Glenn Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares announced Virginia will exit the California Air Resources Board (CARB)’s Advanced Clean Cars Program (ACC) electric vehicle mandate on December 31, 2024. 

“Once again, Virginia is declaring independence – this time from a misguided electric vehicle mandate imposed by unelected leaders nearly 3,000 miles away from the Commonwealth,” Governor Glenn Youngkin said in a press release. “The idea that government should tell people what kind of car they can or can’t purchase is fundamentally wrong. Virginians deserve the freedom to choose which vehicles best fit the needs of their families and businesses. The law is clear, and I am proud to announce Virginians will no longer be forced to live under this out-of-touch policy.”

In March 2021, Virginia entered the Advanced Clean Cars I (ACC I) iteration of CARB when then-Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill into law initiating membership. This meant that 22% of new cars sold by 2024 must be EVs.Seventeen states—including Virginia—and Washington, D.C. currently adhere to California’s vehicular standards.

A memo from Virginia Secretary of Natural Resources Travis Voyles explained ACC II, adopted after Virginia’s 2021 entry into ACC I, mandates that 35% of new vehicles sold in Virginia, starting with Model Year 2026, be EVs and a failure to comply would incur $20,000 in penalties per car sold—up from the $5,000 penalty under ACC I.

As laid out in the Attorney General’s opinion, Virginia can formally exit the program by year’s end because the Virginia Air Resources Board didn’t adopt ACC II standards.  This means Virginia will solely comply with federal standards—not California’s—starting January 1, 2025.

Under existing CARB ACC II standards, 100% of vehicles sold by 2035 must be EVs. This standard is stricter than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s finalized tailpipe rule which mandates 67% of new cars sold in 2023 to be electric.

Virginians, like other Americans, aren’t warming up to EV mandates—whether they originate from California or the EPA’s rule for light and medium-duty cars. A January 2024 poll found most Virginia residents—almost 60%—oppose remaining tied to California’s EV mandate. And the Department of Energy reports there are only about 56,000 EVs on the road here in the Old Dominion State.

As I recently noted here at IWF, the Left’s EV agenda—especially on the federal level—has hit major roadblocks.

In 2021, the Federal Highway Administration was given $7.5 billion to construct 500,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations by 2030. But only eight have been built as of May 2024.

The $7.5 billion grant originates from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed in November 2021. $5 billion of that $7.5B reportedly was awarded to “states as ‘formula funding’ for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.”

In November 2023, POLITICO reported that zero charging stations had been built. In March 2024, it was reported that a mere seven charging stations across four states had gone online.

The Golden State and the Biden administration would be wise to pump the brakes on their respective EV mandates. Yet they continue to double down here despite opposition from over 5,000 car dealers and polling consistently showing most Americans aren’t ditching their gas-powered cars for environmentally questionable EV alternatives.

Consumers, including those here in Virginia, should ultimately decide the best cars for them and their families. IWF Center for Energy and Conservation applauds this decision from the Youngkin administration.

*****

This article was published by The Independent Women’s Forum and is reproduced with permission.

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

Please click the TAKE ACTION link to learn to do’s and don’ts for voting in 2024. Our state and national elections are at great risk from the very aggressive and radical leftist Democrat operatives with documented rigging, mail-in voter fraud and illegals voting across the country (yes, with illegals voting across the country) in the last several election cycles.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

Please click the following link to learn more.

It’s Time to Make a Strategic PR Pivot in Dealing with the Climate Change Issue thumbnail

It’s Time to Make a Strategic PR Pivot in Dealing with the Climate Change Issue

By John Droz, Jr.

Nothing short of Traditional Science is at stake here.


This is a follow-up to my post: Who is Winning the Climate Change War?

There have been numerous twists-and-turns regarding the Climate Change/Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) matter over the last 35± years. For those of us immersed in this fight on a daily basis, the danger is that (without periodically stepping back), we can easily lose track of the forest through the trees. Let’s pause for a minute and consider the big picture here…

There are two fundamentally different parts to the AGW fight:

  1. the scientific facts, and
  2. how these facts are communicated to the public.

The latter is Public Relations (PR). The evidence indicates that realists are doing well with #1, but not with #2. The reality is that ultimately this is a PR fight!

Most of the people leading the realists are scientists or other technical experts. Science deals with facts, so most scientists believe that the facts will win the day.

The problem is: that belief is FALSEJust having the facts will not win a PR fight.

Unless we incorporate sophisticated communication techniques and effective PR strategies, we will lose the AGW war — and that’s the direction we are heading.

Why are we losing this PR war? Because:

a) most scientists are not proficient with communication or PR,

b) the whole AGW issue crept up on us, starting 35± years ago, and from the beginning, no one formulated a communication/PR plan — it just evolved,

c) to date, no one has critically analyzed our AGW communication/PR, and

d) no one has proposed an updated, sophisticated communication/PR plan.

Clearly what’s needed are items “c” and “d”. Ideally, an updated, advanced PR plan will not only be more communicable, but will also put us on stronger, more defendable ground. If nothing else it will be a fresh tactic.

Briefly regarding “c”: to date, we have employed a shotgun strategy — i.e., we have fought the AGW hypothesis on a wide variety of fronts. There are some PR advantages to a shotgun strategy, but it can also run its course and gradually become less effective. That’s where we appear to be today.

An alternative strategy is the rifle tactic. This amounts to a unified approach where we all focus on a narrowly defined target. With everyone aiming at the same vulnerable spot, the chance for success is much better than with a scattershot strategy.

The important question is: what spot should we focus on? There are a few possibilities, but let me recommend one for serious consideration: Scientific protocol.

In other words, rather than debate AGW proponents about the dozens of technical details of the AGW hypothesis (clouds, feedback loops, solar influences, etc., etc.), that instead we zero in on their adherence to traditional scientific methodology.

AGW advocates have NOT followed traditional scientific methodology, and they have used multiple justifications to rationalize their disconnect. For example, they say: a) it’s too time-consuming to follow Science protocol, b) AGW is too complicated to be analyzed by traditional Science, c) AGW is not falsifiable, etc., etc.

All these are debatable excuses, but the REAL reason they object to following traditional scientific methodology, is that it does not support their hypothesis. We should be focused on objecting to this scientific deviance, which is an attempt to disguise the reality that their AGW arguments are scientifically weak.

The Left has become so enthused by their success at disavowing scientific methodology — particularly by the lack of a cohesive response — that they have moved onto the next step: attacking the Scientific Method! For example, the K-12 Science curriculum of 48 states now has scrapped the traditional Scientific Method.

What’s worse is that since this started 10+ years ago, almost no teachers, parents, scientists, conservative organizations, etc. have publicly objected to this. (See my Report that goes into more details about this audacious travesty.)

BTW, note that their calling the Climate matter a “theory” is another of numerous examples where the Left is superior at manipulating the words in the public conversation, but also where they have discarded scientific tradition.

The fact is the AGW matter is a scientific hypothesis, and we should strongly object to it being inappropriately elevated to the status of being a scientific theory.

  1. It’s much easier for citizens and legislators to understand the methodology issue, as compared to the numbing complexities of the AGW hypothesis.
  2. This changes the battlefield to where we have the high ground. It’s irrefutable that alarmists have short-circuited traditional scientific protocol.
  3. This position makes it clearer to our opponents what they need to do to win us over — so they may actually welcome this position.
  4. We won’t know for sure about the AGW facts for 30± years. However, we can be sure about whether AGW advocates followed scientific protocol, today.
  5. We can no longer be labeled as deniers. Our position should be: “I’m 100% open to the possibility that the AGW hypothesis might be true — but I can not accept it until it has been fully and objectively subjected to the rigors of traditional Science.”

An example of how this works is the exchange I had with a climatologist. Here is an article where he makes his Climate claims. Here is my response — which focuses on his departure from traditional science methodology. {Note: he had no rejoinder.]

A suggested soundbite is Science, not Political Science.

Another possible soundbite is: Show me the Science!

For example, what’s going on in our K-12 schools (particularly in Science) is simply atrocious. EVERY YEAR some four million propagandized, non-critical thinking students graduate from US high schools.

The really petrifying part is that these individuals will soon become voting citizens. This represents a tsunami rapidly bearing down on us.

It should be crystal clear that regarding Climate Change and K-12 education, business as usual is the height of folly, if not suicidal.

©2024. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2024 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

Who is Winning the Climate Change War? thumbnail

Who is Winning the Climate Change War?

By John Droz, Jr.

Also: proof that the Climate and COVID alarmists used the same tactics…


Believe it or not, there is actually disagreement with a few people as to who is winning the Climate Change war: Alarmists or Realists? An accurate response to that question will indicate the best strategy for the Realists (mostly Conservatives) to take today (e.g., active vs passive, aggressive vs laid-back, offense vs defense, etc.).

To properly answer that profoundly important question, we need to step back — way back — to see what is transpiring. (Note: one reason to have the correct perspective is to not confuse skirmish victories, with the results of the overall war.)

When we do step back sufficiently, it is clear that the alarmists are well along in the process of undermining the pillars of our current, successful society. Specifically they are purposefully doing all of the following (and more):*

  1. Creating divisiveness by pitting our own citizens against each other.
  2. Corroding our democratic form of government.
  3. Corrupting our academic system (to produce propagandized lemmings).
  4. Sabotaging genuine Science (as it is a barrier to their agendas).
  5. Subverting our economic system (Capitalism). [An effective and unexpected part of this strategy is to deliberately undermine our Electric Grid, a largely unrecognized foundation of our economy and national security.]
  6. Eroding the Judeo-Christian principles that America was founded on.

BTW, it may be that their most powerful tactic for pulling off their political agenda is to sow discord — so that we fight among ourselvesIn this vile effort they are pitting:

men vs women, whites vs minorities, hard workers vs entitlement advocates, wealthy vs not-so-much, citizens vs immigrants, real science vs political science, young vs old, traditional religions vs secular religion, democracy vs socialism, etc.

How anyone can understand these realities, and still think that the alarmists are losing is baffling, to say the least.

Americans are always open to a fair fight, but what’s jarring to our values is that in all of these campaigns, our adversaries have no apparent standards regarding truth, fairness, rights, freedoms, etc.  — yet they speciously claim the moral high ground!

This is death by a thousand stings… No society can withstand such comprehensive, coordinated, corrosive assaults… Once one fully understands the nature of these attacks, it should be very clear that we are in the biggest war ever experienced in history.

Ultimately we are in a fight between two radically different world views.

The downsides of not immediately and effectively countering these sophisticated anti-American incursions are accurately spelled out in the two Agenda films (watch their two short trailers : Agenda: Grinding America Down and Agenda 2: Masters of Deceit).

Lastly, carefully study this brief overview of what the Russians and Chinese are currently doing to us — with the eager cooperation of “unsuspecting” internal allies (socialists, environmentalists, etc.). How successful have they been in this effort? Very!

As a professional scientist I’m not an alarmist, nor a person inclined to conspiracy theories. I deal with and carefully process empirical evidence.

There is massive evidence that we are losing — Big Time. That does not mean that we have lost, but rather that we are well on the way to defeat. The road to recovery starts with a full acknowledgment of the reality of our current situation — and then a well thought out Plan-Of-Action to effectively counter the assaults we are experiencing.

FYI, since the alarmists know that their Climate Change tactics have been successful, they adopted almost every one of them when it came to the COVID-19 war. To make this crystal clear, I made up a side-by-side comparison of the two.

Do we learn anything from this?

In my next commentary, I’ll discuss a suggested Plan-Of-Action.

* The evidence for each of these is overwhelming and in plain view. My field, Science, is representative. EVERY aspect of Science is under an insidious coordinated assault! Even a casual observer should be able to see the profound consequences of:

a) a major effort (e.g., via PNS) to remove Science as a gatekeeper for major societal issues (e.g. climate change),

b) the widespread, purposeful corruption of the peer-review process,

c) scientists (who are supposed to be professionally committed to objective, factual analysis) becoming promoters of undeclared political agendas (e.g., here),

d) responsible scientists (who provide evidence that what’s politically correct may be wrong) being publicly attacked, and/or losing their jobs,

e) in US K-12 schools, 49 states have adopted the progressive set of Science Standards, which disavow such things as the Scientific Method and Critical Thinking,

f) Universities are infusing Science education with political considerations such as cultural relativismsocial justice and gender equality,

g) respected major scientific organizations have reverted to polls to advocate positions (as vs empirical evidence),

h) conversely, not a single large scientific organization has gone on record to oppose scientifically false solutions to major matters like climate change (e.g., that there is zero scientific proof that wind energy saves any consequential CO2),

i) the irreproducibility of scientific studies becoming epidemic,

j) etc., etc.

There is not a single aspect of what is going on in Science where we are winning.

©2024. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2024 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

MAGA: The Revolt Against the Elites thumbnail

MAGA: The Revolt Against the Elites

By Neland Nobel

“I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the telephone directory than by the Harvard University faculty,”

William F. Buckley, Jr.

“Sometimes I think this country would be better off if we could just saw off the Eastern Seaboard and let it float out to sea.”

Barry Goldwater

The tension between America’s governing elites and the people has likely never been wider, although the quotes above suggest it did not begin with MAGA. However, the rift was not as huge as today, largely because our elites have drifted far to the extreme left and government power is now centered in an unelected bureaucracy which they dominate.

At one time, not that long ago, Progressives and Liberals prided themselves on associating themselves with the common man: industrial workers, farmers, miners, ranchers, and construction workers.  This was before they decided they were all deplorables defiling the environment.

Perhaps this was because they saw the world through a Marxist lens,  the workers versus the owners and they saw workers and unions as their supporters, as indeed some were.  Now they see things through the lens of race, class, and ethnicity.

As part of the New Deal’s emergency relief for the unemployed, millions were spent employing unemployed artists.  Franklin Roosevelt put his close aide Harry Hopkins in charge of PWAP or The Public Works of Art Project in 1934, which employed thousands of artists.

It is not quite the same as forgiving the debt of thousands of Gender Studies majors, but it is pretty close.

The New Deal made a big deal of subsidizing a distinctive style of art, a kind of American-tinged Soviet new realism.  Often this took the form of murals similar to what we created above.  Many of the works of art can still be seen today in older public buildings and older Post Offices.

The common feature was extolling the common man.  The New Deal collected songs of rural people and subsidized photographers to record the travails of the people.  As we noted before, the New Deal even tried an experiment in collective farming, with a big experiment here in Arizona.

Hopkins was a special character within the New Deal and later played a key role in advising Roosevelt on foreign policy.  He was more than just a tad left of center. He quickly advanced from running art projects to being FDR’s closest confident, even living with the President full time at the White House.  He evolved to become the most important advisor on important subjects like how to deal with Josef Stalin.  He reportedly got along great with Joe Stalin.

We now know why. The Venona Project dispatches, coupled with files from Soviet Intelligence that were open for just a few years after the Wall fell,  allowed scholars to tie both sides of encrypted wartime cables together for the first time.  This allowed historians to finally get hard evidence on the multitude of Americans working for the Democrat Administration willing to betray their country. This was at the time of Stalin.  We don’t mean the Stalin of the early years as a bandit. We mean the Joe Stalin of gulags and kulak liquidations, the mass starvation of the Ukraine, the Hitler-Stalin Pact, and proxy wars that killed Americans in Korea.  But still, many Americans supported the Communist cause, including Harry Hopkins.

It appears Mr. Hopkins was a Soviet agent who not only had the President’s ear, but apparently his mind, and policy. He was also in charge of art, extolling “the common man.”

But New Deal art was also part of the flavor of the times.  Besides government-subsidized murals, others such as American composer Aaron Copland was composing, “Fanfare For the Common Man”, “Appalachian Spring” and “Rodeo.” It was the time of the “Grapes of Wrath”, the great Oklahoma diaspora, and its journey to California.

Incidentally, Copland had his own flirtations with Communism. Although his membership in the party is still in question, it was not uncommon for important Communists not to join the party for tactical reasons.  Copland attended  Communist meetings, and conferences,  and was active in the Composers Collective.  If not a party member, he functioned as one would.

Talk to most “common men” today, travel Appalachia, or go to a rodeo,  and you will most likely find Trump supporters in great abundance.

How did the Progressives evolve to hate the common man?  The connecting thread seems to be education at a handful of elite Ivy League universities.

A recent study of elite opinion by the pollster Scott Rasmussen undertaken by the Committee To Unleash Prosperity is causing considerable commentary.  Elite opinion in the study is defined as someone making at least $150,000 per year, possessing at least one postgraduate degree, and living in a population-dense city.

The study starts with this perceptive analysis  from a famous novelist of an earlier era,  F. Scott Fitzgerald:

“Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early, and it does something to them, makes them soft where we are hard, and cynical where we are trustful, in a way that, unless you were born rich, it is very difficult to understand. They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different.”

Here are some salient findings from the study:

While most Americans are suffering economically, 74% of this elite say they are doing better, versus just 20% for the general population.

Almost 6 in 10 say there is too much freedom in the US.

More than 2/3 are ready to ration energy to combat climate change.

More than 70% say we should trust the government to do the right thing, most of the time.

Again, more than 2/3 say education professionals should decide what children are taught, not parents.

Between ½ to 2/3 favor banning SUVs, gas stoves, air conditioning, and non-essential air travel to protect the environment.

84% give Joe Biden a favorable job approval rating.

There is much more to the study, but it is clear that America’s elites are not only out of touch with common people of all types, their political leaders have gone out of their way to insult and degrade the common people.  Leftwing professors are even out with new books about the danger of rural people such as “White Rural Rage”, by Shaller and Waldman.

We are deplorables, clinging to our God and guns as Hillary and Obama put it,  and they have a strong feeling that they are our natural rulers.  The so-called pro-democracy crowd of the Democrat Party is not too different from a royal family supporting the divine right of kings.

Critics are correct that modern Conservatism now has a populist tinge to it.  The study shows that Republican elites are not quite as extreme, but share many of the same cultural attitudes, hence the existence of the Uni-Party and the resistance to that by the rank and file of the Republican Party.

Perhaps the most disturbing finding was that nearly 2/3 of politically active elites would be willing to cheat in an election to win, versus just 7% for the general public.

They believe they have a natural right to rule and are not about to let democratic processes get in their way.

We also saw their totalitarian instincts at play at the local level with all manner of unconstitutional restrictions on travel, speech, and assembly during the manufactured Covid crisis.

This underscores something we observed some time ago.  Progressives argue for “democracy”, and the common man, but by taking authority out of the hands of families and businesses to determine their own destiny, and by creating a giant unelected Administrative State that rules without Constitutional checks and balances, they undermine the freedom and democracy they say they are for.

They do this under the name of planning. Planning by “experts” like them. What that kind of planning really means is substituting their plans for your plans.  Your money does not belong to you, your property does not belong to you, your body does not belong to you, and your children are not yours.

They further claim they are not “racists” but recent survey data also shows they are willing to discriminate against white people, and Asians to a somewhat lesser extent.

This chart from a site called End Wokeness shows the stunning racial bigotry of Democrats at large, not just the veneer of elites.

Now the ultra-rich educated have a right to their views and can live the “green life” if they want to.  How they spend their own money and raise their children is their business. They can marinate in their white guilt and loathe the American Founding. However, they have no right to impose those views on the rest of us.  Bill Gates and George Soros have the means to attempt this, but they don’t have the right.  Political legitimacy only comes from the voluntary consent of those governed.

I don’t speak for others but I never voted for Bill Gates, George Soros, or the World Economic Forum.

This election is not so much about party affiliation anymore.  It will be about freedom, class, culture, and yes, prejudice against white people.  It will be about the freedom not to be dictated to and ruled by this bunch of presumptuous SOBs. It will be, in short, a revolt against the elites, their ideas, their policies, and their arrogance.

TAKE ACTION

The Prickly Pear’s TAKE ACTION focus this year is to help achieve a winning 2024 national and state November 5th election with the removal of the Biden/Obama leftist executive branch disaster, win one U.S. Senate seat, maintain and win strong majorities in all Arizona state offices on the ballot and to insure that unrestricted abortion is not constitutionally embedded in our laws and culture.

Please click the TAKE ACTION link to learn to do’s and don’ts for voting in 2024. Our state and national elections are at great risk from the very aggressive and radical leftist Democrat operatives with documented rigging, mail-in voter fraud and illegals voting across the country (yes, with illegals voting across the country) in the last several election cycles.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of The Prickly Pear essays entitled How NOT to Vote in the November 5, 2024 Election in Arizona to be well informed of the above issues and to vote in a way to ensure the most likely chance your vote will be counted and counted as you intend.

Please click the following link to learn more.

Private Property Rights: A common issue when wind or solar projects are being proposed thumbnail

Private Property Rights: A common issue when wind or solar projects are being proposed

By John Droz, Jr.

At public hearings about industrial wind and solar projects, the issue of private property rights frequently comes up. Almost always it is a claim that a potential leaseholder has the right to lease his property to a wind or solar developer.

Like many aspects of these contentious matters, this is a decoy: intentionally inserted by the wind or solar advocates to confuse things. (Remember that creating confusion is a major strategy used by those who want to control us: see here.)

Put another way, private property rights claims are a purposeful distraction from the real subject at hand: the net consequences to the community from the proposed wind or solar project.

We live in a democratic country with a long history of protecting private property rights, so very few of us are against them. But what are “Private Property Rights”?

In short, they are the property owner’s right to do what they are legally allowed to do with their property — as long as their actions have no material adverse impact on their neighbors, or the rest of the community.

A parallel concept is that you have a right to extend your fist — yet that right ends at the beginning of another person’s nose. In other words, your “right” ends when it infringes on another person’s rights.

This is also the principle behind zoning, which is in effect in many parts of the country. Without zoning, an adult club could operate next to a school, or a gas station could be built in a residential neighborhood. Zoning protects the rights of property owners while also protecting the general welfare of the community.

Further, if the focus is on “rights” what about the fundamental rights that nearby homeowners have regarding wind or solar projects? Who is protecting those? Should a leaseholder who wants to make a quick buck really have the right to undermine their neighbors’ peaceful use and enjoyment of their homes?

So how does this all apply to a person who wants to get paid for industrial wind turbines (or industrial solar panels) being on their property?

The leaseholder’s private property rights are important and should be carefully considered. However, as stated above, their rights have limits. For example, in most cases they do not have an entitled right to be a knowing causal agent:

  1. of adverse health effects to their neighbors,
  2. of devaluing proximate homes,
  3. of crop yield reductions to nearby farms,
  4. of causing pollution and other interference with aquifers,
  5. of harm to wildlife and livestock of the community,
  6. of degrading the ecosystem in the area,
  7. of impacting hunting in approximate lands,
  8. of reducing tourism to the area,
  9. of interfering with regional weather and navigation radar, or
  10. of raising electricity rates in the region.

Turbine or solar leaseholders are likely unaware of the magnitude and severity of these issues, because they certainly wouldn’t have been told about them by the wind or solar developer, or by our local legislators, or by state agencies.

However, there are studies that document every one of these ten problems. Further, they were done by independent experts — people who have no dog in the fight.

Now it’s likely that landowners (and their developer partner) will arbitrarily deny that these consequences can happen. If they are so sure, then the solution is easy: for them to provide a written, legal, financially-backed guarantee against all of these matters.

Ideally, this would be incorporated into a well-written wind ordinance (like this) that protects the rights of those who are not in this for personal financial gain.

For example, a wind or solar ordinance should include a Property Value Guarantee to protect the most valuable asset of citizens near these projects: their homes.

It is a statutory obligation that local legislators protect the healthsafety, and welfare of the citizens in their community, so they usually have the authority to pass such a guarantee. If it turns out that the wind developer’s claims are accurate (that there is no devaluation), the cost to them will be trivial. So it’s fair to all.

Without proper wind and solar ordinances what we have is a situation where the profits are privatized (e.g., to select landowners and the developer), but the costs are borne by the community.

That is not fair or reasonable from any perspective.

PS — Often when wind or solar promoters lose the private property rights fight, they then try to play their trump card: the proposed development is really all about saving the planet! Not surprisingly that assertion is bogus as well (e.g., see here or here).

©2024. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2024 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

Ted Cruz Introduces Bill To Scrap ‘Natural Gas Tax’ Wedged Inside Biden’s Climate Legislation thumbnail

Ted Cruz Introduces Bill To Scrap ‘Natural Gas Tax’ Wedged Inside Biden’s Climate Legislation

By The Daily Caller

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is introducing a Senate bill that would repeal a “natural gas tax” proposal enabled by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), President Joe Biden’s signature climate bill.

The “Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act” would scrap IRA provisions that deputize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose fines on energy companies that emit methane in amounts above government-dictated limits, according to its text. The rule will likely have a significant impact on producers of natural gas, the form of energy most commonly associated with methane emissions.

“Joe Biden and Biden officials have proven time and time again that they care more about their radical climate agenda than the needs of the American people,” Cruz said in a statement shared with the Daily Caller News Foundation. “They have driven up inflation and jeopardized American jobs and energy security, all of which would be made significantly worse by the methane emissions fee in the Inflation Reduction Act. This fee will particularly harm Texas by undermining producers in the Permian Basin and across the state.”

Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act by Nick Pope on Scribd

Cruz’s bill is supported by the Independent Petroleum Producers of America, the American Exploration and Production Council, the U.S. Oil and Gas Association and the American Petroleum Institute, among other organizations. House Republicans passed a similar bill in March to repeal the IRA’s natural gas tax.

The EPA’s proposal would require companies to pay a penalty of $900 for each ton of methane emitted above limits set by the government starting in 2024, with the penalty for every ton above the government’s benchmarks jumping to $1,200 in 2025 and increasing again to $1,500 in 2026 and after, according to the EPA. The agency describes the proposal as a means to reduce methane emissions, energy producers have criticized it for further complicating the regulatory environment and potentially increasing costs for consumers.

The EPA proposal also dovetails with a December 2023 EPA proposal to impose methane detection requirements, which independent oil and gas producers oppose because the additional compliance costs figure to disadvantage them relative to the major firms.

“President Biden’s tax on natural gas production does nothing but make it harder to produce American-made energy while driving up costs. Congress must take action to repeal this looming regulatory disaster,” Texas Rep. August Pfluger, who authored the House equivalent of Cruz’s bill, said in a statement shared with the DCNF. “The House has already passed my legislation to repeal the tax, and I am proud to work alongside Senator Cruz to get it to the President’s desk. Energy security is national security.”

The EPA and the White House did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

AUTHOR

NICK POPE

Contributor.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Could Joe Biden’s Natural Gas Pause Cost Dems The Senate In November?

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. All rights reserved.


All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Wind Turbines = Enormous ‘Unintended’ Consequences thumbnail

Wind Turbines = Enormous ‘Unintended’ Consequences

By John Droz, Jr.

The inevitable result when political science is substituted for real Science.


I have written about certain bad aspects of wind turbines before — like here and here.

This post is a brief, simple overview of the many widespread adverse consequences of industrial wind energy. To keep it simplified, I’ve even minimized the references — but they exist for each of the statements below.

These “side effects” are the 100% guaranteed results when our technical policies are written by lobbyists, and passed by virtue-signaling non-critical thinking Legislators.

Put another way, this is what happens when Science is replaced by political science.

  • Manufacture = Ecological Disaster (China re processing rare earths)
  • Installation = Ecological Disaster (trees killed, farmland lost, hydrological impacts)
  • Operation = Ecological Disaster (wildlife pillage, from whale deaths to eagle killings)
  • Indirect Health Consequences: Fentanyl Deaths (Chinese criminal gangs are heavily involved in the huge amount of rare earths needed by wind turbines)
  • Direct Health Consequences: very problematic infrasound
  • Indirect Financial Burden: reduced tourism, homes devalued, agricultural losses, etc.
  • Direct Financial Burden: electricity rate increase, etc.
  • Indirect Security Threat: its unreliability will cripple US Electric Grid
  • Direct Security Threat: weaker Military (due to radar interference, etc. See here.)
  • Delays Climate Change Progress (wasted money that could have been spent on meaningful items, like nuclear)
  • Makes Climate Change Worse: see my Report
  • Direct Loss of Rights: leaseholders are talked into giving up their civil rights, etc.
  • Indirect Loss of Rights: it is an excuse for legislators to extract US citizen rights. (E.g. in NY, citizens rights — home rule, etc. — have been profoundly eroded.)
  • Undermines our Society: as we totally depend on inexpensive, reliable electricity.

A good perspective on this is that while industrial wind energy promoters claims that we need more wind energy, the indisputable fact is that wind energy was abandoned for most commercial and industrial applications, well over a hundred years ago.

Even in the late 1800s it was totally inconsistent with our burgeoning, more modern needs for power. When we throw the switch, we expect that the lights will go on – 100% of the time. It’s not possible for wind energy, by itself, to EVER do this, which is one of the main reasons it was relegated to the junkyard of antiquated technologies (along with such other inadequate energy sources like horse and oxen power).

ALL those limitations are still true! Also, I listed twenty-five NEW liabilities of industrial wind energy some six (6) years ago… Since that time we have discovered numerous ADDITIONAL concerns (see above) that have monumental consequences.

Why do critical thinking citizens allow this travesty to happen?

Wind energy provides no Net Benefits to citizens. Lobbyists and their clients make billions as Legislators try to get donations and votes by imaginary virtue signaling.

©2024. John Droz, Jr. All rights reserved.

Here are other materials by this scientist that you might find interesting:

Check out the Archives of this Critical Thinking substack.

WiseEnergy.orgdiscusses the Science (or lack thereof) behind our energy options.

C19Science.infocovers the lack of genuine Science behind our COVID-19 policies.

Election-Integrity.infomultiple major reports on the election integrity issue.

Media Balance Newsletter: a free, twice-a-month newsletter that covers what the mainstream media does not do, on issues from COVID to climate, elections to education, renewables to religion, etc. Here are the Newsletter’s 2024 Archives. Please send me an email to get your free copy. When emailing me, please make sure to include your full name and the state where you live. (Of course, you can cancel the Media Balance Newsletter at any time – but why would you?

‘He’s Not Wrong’: Margaret Brennan Presses Buttigieg On Trump’s Stance Over Electric Vehicles Purchased thumbnail

‘He’s Not Wrong’: Margaret Brennan Presses Buttigieg On Trump’s Stance Over Electric Vehicles Purchased

By The Daily Caller

CBS host Margaret Brennan pressed Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg on former President Donald Trump’s stance on the amount of electric vehicles (EVs) purchased, noting Sunday that Trump’s take wasn’t “wrong.”

Buttigieg appeared on “Face the Nation” to discuss President Joe Biden’s current push for the adoption of electric vehicles in the U.S., as well as campaign strategies for climate change. Brennan questioned the Secretary of Transportation on Trump’s campaigning against electric vehicles, playing a clip of the former president calling out that, while millions have been spent on subsidizing electric cars, only a low number of purchases has resulted.

“I want to ask you about something that we hear quite a lot about on the campaign trail and that is electric cars, electric vehicles. Donald Trump repeatedly talks about President Biden’s decision to force the industry towards making 56% of car batteries electric by 2032, 13% hybrid,” Brennan stated before playing a clip of the former president. “He’s not wrong on the purchasing.”

“Oh, he’s wrong,” Buttigieg responded.

“He’s not. Of the 4 million vehicles purchased, 269,000 electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. market. It’s up like 2%,” Brennan stated.

“And every single year more Americans buy EVs than the year before. This is really important —” Buttigieg stated.

“But why aren’t we seeing it move more quickly —” Brennan jumped in.

“Every single year more Americans buy EVs than the year prior. There are two things that I think are needed for that to happen even more quickly. One is the price, which is why the Inflation Reduction Act acted to cut the price of an electric vehicle. The second is making sure we have the charging network we need across America. But I want to talk about the bigger point here, and I take this personally because I grew up in the industrial Midwest literally in the shadow of broken-down factories from car companies that did not survive into the turn of the century because they didn’t keep up with the times,” Buttigieg stated.

Brennan continued to push back on Buttigieg, stating “many of those autoworkers are concerned electric vehicles require fewer humans to manufacture,” to which Buttigieg responded that Biden was focused on making the “EV revolution” an “American-led” one.

“Because of these tariffs we’re talking about that President Biden says he’s going to roll out?” Brennan asked.

“Well, also just making sure we invest in America’s capacity. Making sure that we are on-shoring or friend-shoring the materials and the processing of what goes into these EVs — making sure that America masters these processes because, look, there’s no way that we’re going to get to the middle of this century with the technology that we counted on a century ago. Now there are, obviously, a lot of voices here in Washington who are interested in keeping the status quo,” Buttigieg stated.

“He says it’s going to be one of the first things he does, if he’s reelected,” Brennan responded.

“[Trump] would be happy to see Americans trapped with dirty and expensive fuels. The reality — and I know he’s made a lot of promises to the oil and gas CEOs about some of the favors that he believes his administration will deliver for them —” Buttigieg stated.

“But it obviously is resonating for him because he wouldn’t bring it up so frequently if there wasn’t some anxiety that he’s tapping into,” Brennan noted.

The Biden administration announced on May 14, 2024 that tariffs would be imposed on Chinese EVs. The move would quadruple levies to 100%, as well as raising certain rates for Chinese green energy and EV components such as minerals and batteries. The administration’s move follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision in late March 2024 to effectively require 67% of new models sold to be electric or hybrid by the end of 2032.

While recent data from Gallup shows the number of Americans who own electric vehicles has increased 4% from a year ago, fewer Americans are indicating they might consider buying an EV in the future. In 2023, 4% of Americans owned EVs, 12% stated they were “seriously considering buying” and 43% stated they “might consider in future” while 41% noted they would not be buying an EV, according to Gallup. Data from 2024. likewise, indicates that 7% currently own an EV, 9% are “seriously considering buying” and 35% “might consider in future” while 48% stated they would not buy one.

AUTHOR

HAILEY GOMEZ

General assignment reporter.

RELATED ARTICLES:

Biden’s Climate Agenda Is Running Headfirst Into A Wall Of His Own Making

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Buttigieg Can’t Explain Why Biden Has Only Built ‘Seven or Eight’ EV Charging Stations – The Savage Nation

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.