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WAR ON COAL ADDS VICTIMS

The Intelligencer, Wheeling News-Register
Editorial
August 2, 2012


Many local residents may well remember the good news of May 2007: A new coal mine had begun production near Brilliant. Scores of good, new jobs were created, with every prospect they would be opportunities for long careers.

For a few years the mine, operated by a subsidiary of the Murray Energy Corp., was a bright spot in a sometimes lackluster Ohio Valley economy. At one time the mine employed 239 people.

Now it is gone. Those jobs have been wiped out. Soon many other jobs -perhaps as many as 2,629, according to studies of the employment multiplier effect of a mining operation - will be erased, too.

What happened? Do the Ohio Valley and the nation as a whole need less of the electricity generated by coal from the local mine?

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Do not disturb: Oregon town cancels fireworks to spare sea birds

FoxNews.com
July 3, 2012

An Oregon town has reportedly canceled its annual fireworks show out of concern the Fourth of July pyrotechnics will scare sea birds roosting nearby.

Town officials in Depoe Bay have announced the cancellation of the annual pre-Independence Day fireworks show on July 3 following pressure from federal wildlife managers who said the noise disrupts sea birds in the area, the Oregonian reports.

The move has irked local business owners who count on the popular show to bring foot traffic.

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Sierra Club Hires ‘Crucify Them’ Former EPA Administrator

By Brantley Hargrove
National Review
July 3, 2012

Dallas Observer:

When video surfaced earlier this year of EPA’s regional administrator Al Armendariz comparing his strategy for regulating the oil and gas industry as the EPA’s regional head to crucifixion, Republicans gladly accepted the former SMU professor’s proffered head. Then, when they asked him to Washington to be pilloried in person, he had the audacity to stand them up in favor of the lefties at the Sierra Club.

We learned today that Armendariz might not have been giving Congress the finger so much as extending his hand to his future employer. The Sierra Club announced today that, come mid-July, Armendariz will join the environmental group as part of their Beyond Coal campaign.

Per the Sierra Club, “Dr. Armendariz will draw on his scientific expertise working on air, water, and climate science to help move Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas off coal-fired electricity and toward an economy powered by job-generating clean energy sources such as wind and the sun.”

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EPA's Regional Administrators Love Activism, Litigation

By Paul Chesser
National Legal and Policy Center
July 3, 2012

The suspicions of Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe were correct: Rather than sitting before the House Energy and Commerce Committee three weeks ago to explain the ways he “crucified” oil and natural gas companies, instead Al Armendariz – who cancelled his appearance at the last minute – met with the Sierra Club for a job interview.

This time the recently resigned EPA’s Region 6 administrator will eagerly attack another fossil fuel, joining the litigious environmental group as part of its “Beyond Coal” campaign. If there was any question that Armendariz unfairly regulated the gas and oil businesses under his authority in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and other neighboring states, the Sierra Club announcement left no doubt.

“I know how important it is to transition to cleaner sources of energy that don’t pollute the air that our children breathe,” he said, “and I’m proud to be working on a campaign with a proven track record for success.”

Inhofe proved prescient in remarks to National Journal on June 7th.

“Rather than testifying in the House and being accountable for carrying out the Obama-EPA’s ‘crucify them’ agenda, it appears Mr. Armendariz may have had a job interview with the Sierra Club,” Inhofe said. “With such an impressive job-killing resume, it would be no surprise if the Sierra Club is recruiting him for their ‘Beyond Gas’ campaign designed to ‘prevent any new gas plants from being built’ and to end natural gas production in this country.” 

Okay, so the Sooner senator mis-prognosticated about which attack agenda that Armendariz would focus. Nevertheless he noted that whether eco-activists are toiling in the government or for environmental pressure groups, they have a common mission.

“Dr. Armendariz follows numerous Obama administration officials who have come from or moved to radical Left and green groups,” Inhofe said in a statement on Friday. “It’s as if there is a revolving door between the White House and organizations such as the Sierra Club and the Center for American Progress.”

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Midwest ranchers, lawmakers protest EPA flyovers

By David Pitt
Associated Press
Updated July 2, 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Midwest ranchers have never been enamored with environmental regulators, but they really began to complain after learning that federal inspectors were flying over their land to look for problems.

The Environmental Protection Agency flies over power plants and other facilities nationwide to identify potential air, water and land pollution. It began using aerial surveillance in the Midwest in 2010 to check farms for violations of federal clean water regulations.

Ranchers who object to the program said they're not trying to hide anything. It's the quiet approach the EPA took with the program designed to spot illegal disposal of animal waste that they find upsetting. Most were not even aware of the flyovers until regional EPA officials mentioned it at a meeting three months ago.

"For me, it just creeps into the 'Big Brother is watching you' area, to where the government just feels like it's getting more and more intrusive," said Buck Wehrbein, who manages a cattle feeding operation in Mead, Neb., about 30 miles west of Omaha.

EPA officials explained during a meeting with ranchers in West Point, Neb., that they lease small planes that fly EPA staffers over cattle operations. The staffers take photographs as they seek evidence of illegal animal waste running off into rivers and streams.

Ranchers complained to their members of Congress, who responded angrily and then grew even more annoyed by what they considered the EPA's sluggish response to their inquiries for information about the flights. Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican, introduced an amendment to a multifaceted farm bill to stop the flights, but it fell four votes short of the 60 needed. Although most backers of the amendment were Republicans, 10 Democrats supported the proposal.

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Insight: "Green Fleet" sails, meets stiff headwinds in Congress

By David Alexander
Reuters
July 2, 2012

A U.S. Navy oiler slipped away from a fuel depot on the Puget Sound in Washington state one recent day, headed toward the central Pacific and into the storm over the Pentagon's controversial green fuels initiative.

In its tanks, the USNS Henry J. Kaiser carried nearly 900,000 gallons of biofuel blended with petroleum to power the cruisers, destroyers and fighter jets of what the Navy has taken to calling the "Great Green Fleet," the first carrier strike group to be powered largely by alternative fuels.

Conventionally powered ships and aircraft in the strike group will burn the blend in an operational setting for the first time this month during the 22-nation Rim of the Pacific exercise, the largest annual international maritime warfare maneuvers. The six-week exercise began on Friday.

The Pentagon hopes it can prove the Navy looks as impressive burning fuel squeezed from seeds, algae and chicken fat as it does using petroleum.

But the demonstration, years in the making, may be a Pyrrhic victory.

Some Republican lawmakers have seized on the fuel's $26-a-gallon price, compared to $3.60 for conventional fuel. They paint the program as a waste of precious funds at a time when the U.S. government's budget remains severely strained, the Pentagon is facing cuts and energy companies are finding big quantities of oil and gas in the United States.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, the program's biggest public booster, calls it vital for the military's energy security.

But to President Barack Obama's critics, it is an opportunity to accuse the U.S. leader of pushing green energy policies even if they don't make economic sense. The bankruptcy of government-funded solar panel maker Solyndra last year was a previous example of that, they say.

Senator John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed outrage over the costs of the fuel at a hearing earlier this year.

"I don't believe it's the job of the Navy to be involved in building ... new technologies," he said. "I don't believe we can afford it."

But the U.S. Defense, Energy and Agriculture departments are moving ahead with their plans, jointly sponsoring a half-a-billion-dollar initiative to foster a competitive biofuels industry.

Mabus and officials at the Energy and Agriculture departments announced on Monday that they would make $30 million in matching funds available for companies working to produce large-scale biofuels plants. A second phase sometime next year is expected to provide another $70 million in follow-on funding.

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E.P.A. Official Who Resigned Over ‘Crucify’ Comment Joins Sierra Club

By Paul Driessen and Duggan Flanakin
NetRightDaily
June 26, 2012

By Paul Driessen and Duggan Flanakin — The Future We Want outlined a “common vision” for planetary “sustainable development,” as proclaimed by the “Organizing Partners of the Major Group of NGOs,” to guide the taxpayer-funded Rio+20 summit that ended last week in disarray and acrimony.
The activist organizations that cobbled the document together filled it with hundreds of platitudes and pseudo-solutions to global warming cataclysms, newly reconstituted as threats to resource depletion and biodiversity – and presented as standards and mandates for countries, communities and corporations.

The terms “sustainable development,” “sustainable” and “sustainability” appeared in the original text an astounding 390 times. Like “abracadabra,” these nebulous concepts were supposed to transform the world into a Garden of Eden global community, under United Nations auspices, that will use less, pollute less, and save species and planet from their worst enemy: humans.
To glean the document essence, however, readers only needed to understand two concepts: control and money – to impose the future the activists wanted.

The NGOs and UN called for “donations” from formerly rich European Union and Annex II (Kyoto Protocol) countries, at 0.7% of their gross national product per year. With the combined GNP of the contributing nations totaling about $45 trillion in 2010, the transfers would total $315 billion per year, or $3.2 trillion per decade

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton had previously committed the United States to provide up to $105 billion annually, based on our $15 trillion GNP (and stressed-out line of credit). With US per capita GNP pegged at $47,340 – each American family of four would pay $1,325 a year. That may seem like chump change compared to TARP, Obamacare or the Obama Stimulus. But over a decade US citizens would involuntarily shell out well over a trillion dollars to UN sustainability schemes.

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EPA blasted for requiring oil refiners to add type of fuel that's merely hypothetical

By Jim Angle
FoxNews.com
June 21, 2012

Federal regulations can be maddening, but none more so than a current one that demands oil refiners use millions of gallons of a substance, cellulosic ethanol, that does not exist.

"As ludicrous as that sounds, it's fact," says Charles Drevna, who represents refiners. "If it weren't so frustrating and infuriating, it would be comical."

And Tom Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research says, "the cellulosic biofuel program is the embodiment of government gone wild."

Refiners are at their wit's end because the government set out requirements to blend cellulosic ethanol back in 2005, assuming that someone would make it. Seven years later, no one has.

"None, not one drop of cellulosic ethanol has been produced commercially. It's a phantom fuel," says Pyle. "It doesn't exist in the market place."

And Charles Drevna adds, "forcing us to use a product that doesn't exist, they might as well tell us to use unicorns."

And yet, they still have to pay what amounts to fines:

"Why would they ask them to blend any at all if it doesn't exist?" Pyle said. "Because they know that they can squeeze some extra dollars out of them."

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