The Washington Times Communities: Earth Day 2012: If we wanted America to fail

Terry Ponick
The Washington Times Communities
April 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, April 22, 2012 – Another "Earth Day" has nearly passed, along with its sanctimonious urgings that we abandon our evil, energy- and chemical-consuming lives in order to "save the planet." It's become a key part of today's secular, socialist faux religion. And in an era of economic deprivation, this nonsense and false piety is becoming increasingly repugnant.

There's another, more bracing point of view that tracks much better with the American spirit, and we think it's best expressed in the following video (with a hat tip to PJ Media).

Read the full article online here


HotAir: Video: ‘If I Wanted America to Fail’

By Morgen Richmond
April 22, 2012

A provocative new video from the folks over at Americans for Limited Government promoting a new project focused on economic liberty and free market policies. It's very well done, if perhaps a little on the long side. Watch:

The message at the very end is especially poignant:

If I wanted America to fail I...I suppose I wouldn't change a thing.

This is exactly right of course, and the prescription for change is more than just about electing a new president in November, or the GOP winning a majority in the Senate. Yes, the destructive effects of big government on economic prosperity and individual liberty have been exponentially worse since Democrats won a majority in Congress in 2006. Culminating in the nightmare of 2009-2010. But America veered off course long before this, with both parties complicit in the growth of runaway government spending and the perpetual expansion of federal power.

I don't think Democrats want America to fail any more than Republicans do, and I don't think this is really the message of this video. But there is an immense contrast in the vision of what a successful America means between the left and the right. For many Americans, I daresay most, an America that seeks to maintain a facade of shared prosperity by confiscating more and more resources from the most productive among us, and placing them at the disposal of power-seekers in Washington D.C., is not a vision of success at all. It's a recipe for decline, and friction in our society at a time when we should be seeking out and supporting more effective, and unifying, solutions to the challenges we face.

This is the choice we face at the ballot box this November.


Florida environmentalist conqueror goes national

(WASHINGTON, DC – April 20, 2012) On Earth Day, 2012, Americans for Limited Government will be working with Free Market Florida to launch Free Market America—a new national voice dedicated to defending economic freedom against the wrath of the far-left green movement.

ALG President Bill Wilson explained the importance of the group going national, stating, "Free Market America will take a no-holds-barred approach to confronting the economic train wreck that the environmental movement is creating.

We will combine new and traditional media to defeat green schemes at the national level, just as Free Market Florida has done in the Sunshine State.

Free Market America introduced itself to the American public with a stark and stunning four minute video titled, "If I wanted America to fail..." which reveals the danger that the far-left green movement poses to American competitiveness and prosperity.

The launch video highlights green policies ranging from the full-on assault on domestically-produced energy to the war on farming, forestry and mining—all in the name of the "greater good."

"We're excited about joining the national debate," said Ryan Houck, executive director of Free Market America. "The environmental agenda has been infected by extremism—it's become an economic suicide pact. And we're here to challenge it."

Free Market America began as Free Market Florida. In 2010, the group led an unprecedented statewide coalition that soundly defeated a Sierra Club-backed constitutional amendment known as "Hometown Democracy." After an historic victory, the group went on to tangle with EarthJustice and the EPA over a battery of new federal regulations labeled the "Water Tax."

"Free Market America is a battle-tested, proven winner in the never-ending fight against the environmental lobby, which hides behind a veneer of green sympathy," Bill Wilson concluded, "we will be exposing the real damage that is being done to working men and women across America by those who worship at the green altar."

The website will go live on April 22, and the group can be followed on twitter: @FreeMarket_US.


IBD: The EPA’s Victory Over Liberty

Bill Wilson
Investor's Business Daily
April 19, 2012

Like the day Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese, Dec. 7, 2009, might too be recalled by history as a day that shall live in infamy.

That was the day Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson issued the carbon endangerment finding, a rule defining carbon dioxide, a gas necessary for the existence of life itself, as a harmful pollutant under the terms of the Clean Air Act.

While Earth Day marks the April 22 celebration worldwide of the radical environmentalist agenda, Dec. 7, 2009, was the day the greens scored their most significant victory to date over free markets and, indeed, over liberty itself. As a result, it would only be fitting if Earth Day were moved to Dec. 7.

The nation has to hope a future Congress and president will undo this rule, because the alarmist decision greatly understates the impact of restricting CO2 emissions on global population sustainability and economic growth.

The fact is, the modern world depends on petroleum, gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas to do just about everything, including getting to work, delivering goods and services, heating and cooling homes, and providing hot water.

But it goes deeper than that.

Read More at Investors Business Daily…


Analysis: Obama’s “green jobs” have been slow to sprout

By Andy Sullivan
April 13, 2012

(Reuters) – Three weeks ago, President Barack Obama stood in front of a sea of gleaming solar panels in Boulder City, Nevada, to celebrate his administration's efforts to promote "green energy."

Stretching row upon row into the desert, the Copper Mountain Solar Project not far from Las Vegas provided an impressive backdrop for the president.

Built on public land, the facility is the largest of its kind in the United States. Its 1 million solar panels provide enough energy to power 17,000 homes.

And it employs just 10 people.

Three years after Obama launched a push to build a job-creating "green" economy, the White House can say that more than 1 million drafty homes have been retrofitted to lower heating and cooling costs, while energy generation from renewable sources such as wind and solar has nearly doubled since 2008.

But the millions of "green jobs" Obama promised have been slow to sprout, disappointing many who had hoped that the $90 billion earmarked for clean-energy efforts in the recession-fighting federal stimulus package would ease unemployment – still above 8 percent in March.

Supporters say the administration over-promised on the jobs front and worry that a backlash could undermine support for clean-energy policies in general.

"All of this stuff is extraordinarily worthy for driving long-term economic transformation but extremely inappropriate to sell as a short-term job program," said Mark Muro, a clean-energy specialist at the Brookings Institution.

Others say the green-jobs push has crowded out less fashionable efforts that would have put people back to work quickly.

"From my perspective it makes more sense for us to arm our clients with the basic skills, rather than saying, 'By golly, you will do something in the green economy or you won't work,'" said Janet Blumen, the head of the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow, a Las Vegas job-training organization that has seen positions in trucking and accounting go unfilled because training money had been earmarked for green efforts.

A $500 million job-training program has so far helped fewer than 20,000 people find work, far short of its goal.

Republicans, meanwhile, have seized on the failure of solar panel maker Solyndra, which received a $535 million loan guarantee, to argue that White House allies have been the only ones who have benefited from the green jobs push.

"He handed out tens of billions of dollars to green energy companies, including his friends and campaign contributors at companies like Solyndra that are now bankrupt," Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said on April 4.

Click here to read the rest of the article from Reuters.


EPA Levies $438,000 in Fines and Mandatory ‘Environmental Projects’ on School Bus Contractor for ‘Excessive Idling’

By Elizabeth Harrington
April 10, 2012

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforced nearly $500,000 in fines and mandatory "environmental projects" on a school bus contractor for "excessive idling," and as part of its anti-idling campaign to reduce the carbon footprint of school buses waiting to pick up children for their routes.

"As part of a settlement for alleged excessive diesel idling in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Durham School Services will commit to reduce idling from its school bus fleet of 13,900 buses operating in 30 states," read an EPA press release on Tuesday.

The EPA says an agency inspector two years ago spotted buses of the Durham School Services, the second largest school bus transportation contractor in the country, "idling for extended periods of time" in school lots in New England.

"The inspector observed some buses idling for close to two hours before departing the bus lot to pick up school children," it said. State rules limit idling to three minutes in Connecticut and five minutes in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where the infractions occurred.

Durham reached a settlement for the violation and agreed to pay $90,000 in penalties. It also agreed to pay for $348,000 worth of environmental projects, including implementing a national training and management program "to prevent excessive idling from its entire fleet of school buses."

Click here to read the rest of the article


Free Market Environmentalism? It’ll Never Fly, Orville!

By Wayne Crews
April 9, 2012

The week before Easter I gave a brief speech at the Association for Private Enterprise Education, a foundation dedicated to assembling scholars, professors and students devoted to defending and extending the bounds of free enterprise. On the way back to D.C. I picked up the Hemispheres magazine in the seat pocket of United Airlines flight 360.

With APEE on my mind, the feature article "Plan G" (as in "Green"), on how technologies might contribute to a cleaner environment, caught my attention.

Much has been written over the role of increased wealth in advancing environmental health: think sanitation, reduced waste, streamlined manure-free transportation; even the green-ness of cities compared to their reputation.

Still, the presumption remains that free market capitalism pollutes and destroys; that "sustainable development" is something other than what markets can do of their own accord.

A problem with this impression is that most areas where environmental destruction is rampant are those where property rights are absent or confused, and a "tragedy of the commons" prevails: Airsheds, watersheds, public lands, endangered species come to mind.

I'm among those who contend that markets are inherently pro-environment, that any framework rejecting them is not something that can call itself environmentalism.

The problem, if you will, isn't capitalism, but its absence. You can't pollute what's owned without having to compensate in rights-based free markets, one of many notions in references like Ecology, Liberty and Property (which was compiled by my former colleague and now Case Western law professor Jonathan H. Adler).

Fred L. Smith Jr., the president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writing about "The Progressive Era's Derailment of Classical Liberal Evolution," noted that a consequence of the Progressive Era's exaltation of "planned order" was the removal of vast areas of endeavor, like the environment, from true discipline — from the wealth enhancing "fencing" capability of emergent voluntary enterprise. The process of civilization itself is partly defined by the unleashing of and cultivation of such protective institutions. They're not automatic or knowable in advance.

I can't say it better than Fred:

Classical liberals do not see the market as failing; rather, they see inadequate resources making it difficult for individuals to express their preferences. That tension creates the opportunity for institutional entrepreneurs to advance reforms that might better allow those preferences to be expressed. In the classical-liberal view, we are not charged with protecting the environment or anything else. There is no social utility function. Rather, individuals gain the right to own newly valued resources and to determine individually what sacrifices—what tradeoffs—they find worthwhile to protect those resources.

A healthy environment is itself a form of wealth–that which capitalism likes to maximize. In "mundane" industrial production processes themselves, markets direct human intelligence into reducing waste streams to generate profit; if A doesn't, competitor B will.

But more broadly, our ongoing–truly neverending–challenge is to bring environmental amenities into that wealth-enhancing ambit rather than cave in to the default approach: locking them up into constraining, depleting commons, or relegating them to the status of hyper-regulated "public goods." A wonderful book partly featuring some of the clash between the private conservation vs. commons/planned approach is John McPhee's Encounters with the Archdruid.

Click here to read the rest of the article from Forbes.


Coloring outside the lines: a dubious green-jobs count

David Kreutzer
The Tampa Tribune
March 30th, 2012

Green jobs or, as our president calls them, the "jobs of the future" have been notoriously tough to define and count. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently did it, though, and now it is the results that are notorious.

Though tasked with an admittedly difficult project, the BLS created a definition of green jobs that is so broad as to make it a meaningless measure of the green economy. Here's a sneak preview: There are 33 times as many green jobs in the septic tank and portable toilet servicing industry as in solar electricity utilities.

The meaninglessness of the green-jobs count has not stopped cheerleaders for green mandates and subsidies from pointing to it as justification for more of the same. They point to the nearly 500,000 green jobs in the manufacturing sector. Maybe they have visions of 500,000 people assembling windmills and hybrid cars.

If so, they need to put away the rose-colored glasses, get out the green eyeshades and look at the data in the BLS report. The largest green-job producers within manufacturing are steel mills. Over 50 percent of all jobs in steel mills are counted as green — not because the steel goes to make green products, but because most of our steel is made from scrap steel.

That's right; most of our steel is recycled steel. And according Part 3 of the BLS definition, if you recycle, your job is green. The trend toward greater use of scrap steel, however, has been going on for decades and is not the result of green subsidies.

Read the full article here.

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