After months of debate and public comments, President Obama’s controversial Clean Power Plan (CPP) was issued in August 2015 and published in the Federal Register on October 23, 2015. But that is hardly the end of the story. Instead the saga is just beginning—with the ending to be written sometime in 2017 and the outcome highly dependent on who resides in the White House.
Author: Marita Noon
“We can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” President Obama told an audience four years ago at the University of Miami. Like this year, it was an election year and Obama was running for re-election. Later in his speech, he added: “anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or just isn’t telling you the truth.”
Frustrated that nobody seems to care about climate change, “the country’s biggest individual political donor during the 2014 election cycle,” has pledged even more in 2016. Tom Steyer spent nearly $75 million in the 2014 midterms, reports Politico. He intends to “open his wallet even wider” now.
The campaign is about all fossil fuels: oil, gas, and coal. Instead of an “all of the above” energy policy, when it comes to fossil fuels, they want “none of the above.” A big part of the effort is focused on preventing the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands—which is supported by presidential candidates Senator Bernie Sanders and Secretary Hillary Clinton. The recent moratorium of leasing federal lands for coal mining, announced by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell, is considered a great victory for “keep it in the ground.”
Once in office, he backed that up with a March 2009, executive order that offered “$2.4 Billion in Funding to Support Next Generation Electric Vehicles” to “help meet the President’s goal of putting one million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015.” He continued the electric-car drumbeat in his 2011 State of the Union Address: “We can break our dependence on oil…and become the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”
Terry Branstad was first elected governor of Iowa in 1982. His six terms in office have made him the longest serving governor in American history and the most influential politician in the state. He rarely takes sides in the Republican caucuses and hasn’t endorsed a primary presidential candidate since 1996.
By now, most people are aware of President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise to bankrupt the coal industry—which he acknowledged would “necessarily” cause electricity to skyrocket. That is a campaign promise he is keeping.
Environmentalists like a good crisis. Spreading fear is a proven fundraising technique—with manmade climate change as the fear du jour. But, back in 2005, the “looming crisis,” according to the Kansas Sierra Club, was the end of cheap oil. The post concludes: “The end of cheap oil, followed by the end of cheap natural gas, threatens to cripple strong economies and devastate weak ones.” The author posits: “The world burns oil faster than new oil is discovered.”
If you own a business—maybe a taco stand, a dress shop, or an insurance agency—you know it takes a lot of hard work, good market analysis, a better product or service than your competition, and advertising. Add in a bit of luck, and you hope to grow your business—though vacant storefronts and boarded up buildings in towns and cities across America show that isn’t always enough. Each going-out-of-business sale represents the death of someone’s dream.
Last year, when Republicans gained a decisive edge in both houses of Congress, I made predictions as to the six energy-policy changes we could expect—as the two parties have very different views on energy issues.
For 2016, Congress will need to stay on top of Obama’s rules, regulations, and executive orders aimed at burnishing his legacy on climate change. It should also rein in the EPA, reform the ESA, and work to reduce the amount of land owned by the federal government.
The decades-old legislation that prevented American producers from exporting oil is officially overturned—despite previous presidential threats to veto a bill to lift the oil export ban. That’s good policy. However, to get the support of “reluctant Democrats,” The Economist reports: “an additional five years of tax credits for wind and solar power” was part of the package. That’s bad energy policy.
Paris, the City of Light, which earned its moniker by being an early adapter of natural gas to light its public spaces, is currently hosting COP21 (the 21st Conference of the Parties)—often referred to as the UN Climate Change Conference—that aims to end the use of fossil fuels. There, more than 150 world leaders gathered under the guise of, supposedly, slowing the warming of the planet.
For years, water, or, more accurately, its scarcity, has been predicted to be the next doomsday scenario. In 1994, the American Philosophical Society published a book bearing the title: Is water our next crisis? In 2007, NBC featured: Crisis feared as U.S. water supplies dry up. More recently, in 2011, NPR did a story on Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power and Civilization—a new book in which the author posits: “water is surpassing oil as the world’s scarcest critical resource.” This year, a Business Insider (BI) report called “water scarcity problems” a “looming national issue.” In September, the Associated Press declared: “The water crisis is already here.”
Without the evangelical community’s involvement, efforts to build a “broad coalition to pass major climate policies” are “doomed,” according to a just-released report from New America—a nonprofit group that claims to be “dedicated to the renewal of American politics, prosperity, and purpose in the Digital Age.”
Early in his campaign, now top-tier Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, supported ethanol—a position for which I called him out. It has long been thought, that to win in Iowa, a candidate must support ethanol.
For the first time, “Catholic leaders representing all regional and national bishops conferences” have come together in a “joint appeal.” According to reporting in the New York Times, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai, India, called the October 26 meeting at the Vatican a “historic occasion.”
Today, in finally denying the Keystone pipeline, President Obama showed his true colors. We now know, as we’ve long believed, that those colors are the green of the anti-fossil fuel crowd, rather than the color of jobs resulting in economic growth in the hard-hit heartland of the United States.
Less than one month from now the nations of the world will meet in Paris for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). During the November 30 to December 11 meeting, organizers hope to reach a new international agreement on the climate—something that has been unachievable at the recent annual events.
The American consumer is resistant to marketing aimed at selling them electric and hybrid vehicles. For the first quarter of 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Chevrolet sold 1874 Volts—its electric car introduced in 2010 with “high expectations.” That number might not sound so bad, until you read on to discover that it is equivalent to the number of Silverado pick-up trucks sold in one day.