State of the Union: Lockdown

Civil Defense Perspectives January 2014 Vol. 30 No. 2
[published April 2014]

In his 2014 State of the Union message, Barack Obama made some startling claims:

We’ve had “more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world, the first time that’s happened in nearly twenty years” (see transcript at http://tinyurl.com/k6jjrls).

“I’ll act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects….”

“Now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back is our commitment to American energy. The ‘all the above’ energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades…. One of the reasons why is natural gas. If extracted safely, it’s the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change…. Businesses plan to invest almost a hundred billion dollars in new factories that use natural gas….”

“And taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet. Over the past eight years the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth…. But we have to act with more urgency because a changing climate is already harming western communities…. That’s why I directed my administration to work with states, utilities and others to set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air.”

“[T]he debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.”

The fact, writes Paul Driessen, is that the President, with his phone and his pen, has America in lockdown (Townhall.com 1/25/13, http://tinyurl.com/ox8mu7y).

Political and Economic Climate Facts

The 63% labor participation rate is the lowest in 35 years; much of the employment gain is from a magical government formula that turns 300,000 full-time into 400,000 part-time jobs.

Domestic oil production has increased from 5.6 million barrels per day in 2011 to 6.4 million in 2012. However, production from federal onshore and offshore areas has fallen significantly during the Obama Administration. Most resources in federal areas are off limits because of land-use restrictions (some of which may be justified) and bureaucratic fiat or foot-dragging.

Over the next 37 years, opening these lands would increase America’s cumulative economic activity by up to $14.4 trillion, employment by 1.9 million jobs per year, wages by $115 billion annually, and local, state and federal royalty and tax revenues by a cumulative $3.8 trillion! However, the Interior Department has leased only a paltry 2% of federal offshore areas and less than 6% of onshore lands for oil and gas development, and it has also stalled endlessly on issuing permits to drill on lands it has leased.  Its Bureau of Land Management’s proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing on public lands will likely delay, block, and lock down the many benefits associated with fracking (ibid.).

Obama’s “Climate Action Plan”

In his June 2013 speech on his climate plan, Obama invoked the spirit of the Apollo missions, ignoring the The Right Climate Stuff Research Team formed by Apollo mission veterans to challenge the anthropogenic climate change orthodoxy. He equated skeptics to members of the Flat Earth Society. Note that the president of that Society believes in official climate “science” (TWTW 6/29/13).

Climate alarmists and flat earthers build on similar misconceptions and flawed arguments, e.g. misuse of linear extrapolation, notes Luboš Motl. “The opinion that ‘it’s right for the Earth or the Earth’s climate to be flat’ is a dogma that is more important for them than any…empirical evidence” (http://tinyurl.com/pv5qa5m).

Although three-fourths of all Americans now live paycheck to paycheck, Obama’s “climate action plan” threatens more energy taxes and mandates that will ensure still lower income. It “adds up to one of the most extensive reorganizations of the U.S. economy since the 1930s, imposed through administrative fiat and raw executive power. He wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020, but…he articulated no such goal for the unemployment rate or GDP” (WSJ 6/26/13).

Every $1 billion spent complying with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule threatens 16,000 jobs and cuts GDP by $1.2 billion—and the agency is now writing scores of multibillion-dollar rules (ibid.). Since Obama took office, the number of EPA disapprovals of state strategies to meet standards has increased 190% (Am Spectator 7/5/13).

U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions in 2011 were almost 7% below 2005, owing to a shift from coal to natural gas and “several years of economic woe,” but the U.S. “still has a long way to go if it is to fulfil its international commitment—a 17% reduction by 2020” (Nature 7/4/13). The editorialist applauds Obama’s “fine speech” on climate action and his ingenuity in circumventing political opposition. No longer needing to worry about re-election, Obama “is now thinking about his place in history.”

Natural gas is a “pipeline to prosperity,” writes Larry Bell, not a “bridge fuel.” An Obama bridge to wind and solar is a bridge to nowhere.  There is no evidence that solar even reduces greenhouse-gas emissions. In fact, large-scale solar developments may disrupt caliche deposits that release CO2 to the atmosphere when exposed (Forbes 7/23/13, http://tinyurl.com/mxr465s).

While lavishing subsidies on uneconomic “renewables,” the Obama Administration wages war on hydrocarbons, driving up costs. It’s “the Tonya Harding approach to energy,” states Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research. “Break your opponent’s kneecap if you can’t win fair and square” (ibid.).

Regulation by Strangulation

Commenting on a proposed regulatory regime for recovering shale gas in Britain, John Kemp remarks that the strategy of “regulation by strangulation” has worked remarkably well in the U.S. “By making regulatory barriers and the permitting process insurmountable, environmental organisations have been able to stop most fracking on lands controlled by the U.S. government.”

Specific objections, e.g. concerning wildlife, may be a cover-up for keeping resources locked in the ground to meet the targets in the Copenhagen Accord (http://tinyurl.com/lpov689).

Obama’s true agenda is revealed in actions, not words.

Farewells

We have recently lost a number of dear friends, who were stalwart supporters of science and American defense.

Howard Long, M.D., a director of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, died June 20, 2013, at age 86. He practiced private family medicine until shortly before death.

Astronaut Scott Carpenter, who frequently attended and spoke at DDP meetings, died in October. He was one of the original seven Mercury astronauts and the second American to orbit the Earth. His voice was familiar to many Americans as the spokesman for the moon program. In 2010, he received DDP’s Edward Teller Award.

T.D. (Don) Luckey, author of Radiation Hormesis and numerous articles on the benefits of low-dose radiation, died in March 2014, at age 94.

Other pioneers in radiation science who died recently, well into their nineties, are Myron Pollycove and Theodore Rockwell.

Regulatory Destruction

Silica: Although silicosis deaths have declined by more than 90% over the past 40 years, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA or the “Dukes of Workplace Hazard”) propose to reduce exposure limits to 50 mcg per cubic meter of air for all industries. It is now 250 mcg for construction companies and 100 for general industry, a standard that 30% of work sites already struggle to meet. Most laboratories probably can’t even measure 50 mcg reliably. More than 500,000 businesses would have to overhaul their practices, at a possible cost exceeding $5 billion per year. Is this an effort to drive up the cost of smart drilling, asks the Science and Environmental Policy Project (WSJ 2/10/14, http://tinyurl.com/m8vnlkv, cited in TWTW 2/15/14).

Ozone: The EPA proposes tightening ozone standards, now 75 ppb, to as low as 60 ppb. At 60 ppb, 97% of the U.S. population would live in places that are out of compliance and subject to new emissions reduction requirements. Higher levels can occur naturally. According to Howard Feldman of the American Petroleum Institute, the cost could exceed $1 trillion (EPA estimates “only” $90 billion per year) and destroy 7.4 million jobs (http://tinyurl.com/k2rcxr4).

Permitting: An April decision by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (Mingo Logan v. EPA) allows the EPA to veto projects regulated under the Clean Water Act, turning the Army Corps of Engineers into a mere bystander. The case originated when Obama’s EPA unilaterally revoked a permit granted to Arch Coal in 2007 by the Corps, with EPA sign-off, after rigorous environmental review. This is the first ex post facto permit revocation. Some $220 billion of annual investment depends on these permits (WSJ 5/29/13, http://tinyurl.com/kwqhucj). The U.S. Supreme Court declined review (Reuters 3/24/14).

The Truth about Fracking

In FrackNation, journalist Phelim McAleer faces down green extremists and talks with rural Americans whose livelihoods are at risk if fracking is banned. He exposes the lies told in the movie Gasland. See www.fracknation.com.

Some Ugly Truths about Wind

Toxic and Radioactive Waste: In producing the rare earth minerals in the wind turbines installed in the U.S. in 2012, up to 6 million pounds of radioactive waste were generated in China, along with up to 12,000 cubic meters of waste gas containing hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid, sulfur dioxide, and dust concentrate. Wind generated 3.5% of U.S. electricity. In generating 20% of U.S. electricity, nuclear power plants produced 5 million pounds of spent fuel rods (Canada Free Press 10/23/13, http://tinyurl.com/lchppyn).

U.S. Military Gagged: According to H.R. 6523, the Ike Skelton Law, “it shall be an objective of the DepartmentDefense to ensure that the robust development of renewablesources.” John Droz reports that base commanders may not object, under pain of court martial or relief from command, to wind projects anywhere, even if they adversely affect the mission as by obstructing low-level flight paths or interfering with radar. Of more than 4,000 wind energy siting proposals, none have been disapproved.

Money Laundering: Europol reports that investing in renewable energy, especially wind farms, is the Italian Mafia’s        favorite money-laundering tool. Subsidies are so large that “even cats and dogs can make money” (RT.com 7/5/13, http://tinyurl.com/krgey4u).

Who Owns the Land?

The State of Alaska has sued the federal government on the grounds that, based on an interpretation of the agreement which established statehood, Alaska has the right to develop oil and natural gas on its lands, and Indians have the right to develop oil and natural gas on their lands. The federal government is blocking the development of the Coastal Plain (ANWR), the National Petroleum Reserve, and Indian lands, and hobbling Shell’s exploration in the Chukchi Sea—as Russia pursues aggressive development 50 miles away. Washington is squeezing the budget of Alaska and the oil industry there, which once supplied 10% of the oil consumed in the U.S. It also threatens the Alaska pipeline, which will freeze and have to be disassembled if flow drops below 300,000 bbl/day. Throughput averaged around 500,000 bbl/day in 2013, 74% below the 1998 peak. The Obama Administration refused to allow a 3-D survey of ANWR, leading to speculation that it does not want the public to know the extent of the resources it is locking up (TWTW 3/29/14, www.sepp.org).

Energy Disarmament

The first step to Ronald Reagan’s winning the Cold War, according to Peter Schweitzer in his book Victory, was to make a deal with Saudi Arabia to lower the price of oil. Then he imposed an embargo on cold-weather drilling equipment, which slowed  the Urengoy-Uzhgorod pipeline. In 1999, when Putin came to power, the country was earning $41 billion from oil sales, and Boris Yeltsin had just defaulted on a $40 billion debt. Today, Russia earns $410 billion. Putin “feels ready to push the ‘reset’ button back to 1989,” writes William Tucker (Am Spectator 3/21/14, http://tinyurl.com/mg59oa6).  Meanwhile, Putin’s “useful idiots” wage war on Western energy (CCNet 3/22/14, http://tinyurl.com/l7teyrp).

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