What is the “biggest unfinished business for the Obama administration?” According to a report from Bill McKibben, the outspoken climate alarmist who calls for all fossil fuels to be kept in the ground, it is “to establish tight rules on methane emissions”—emissions that he blames on the “rapid spread of fracking.”
We are just now entering the age of industrialization, newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte said recently, explaining why the Philippines will not ratify the Paris climate accords. “Now that we’re developing, you will impose a limit? That’s absurd. It’s being imposed upon us by the industrialized countries. They think they can dictate our destiny.”
June 10, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) saying a carbon tax would harm the economy and should not be enacted. The 237–163 vote in favor of the resolution included only six Democrats, who joined the entire Republican caucus.
Using a new methodology that seems to have been designed to produce exactly the conclusion it did, the EPA has now found that the nation’s methane emissions have been dramatically higher in recent years than previously thought. And for the EPA, this is a story with a villain: In a major departure from earlier studies, this year’s report claims the oil and gas industry is the nation’s chief methane culprit.
The recent release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 600-page methane rule was the latest skirmish in the war on methane, but the next battle will be felt at your supermarket. According to EPA, the oil and gas industry is the top methane offender, but livestock — especially cattle — is a close number-two, making ranchers and their cattle radical environmentalists’ next targets.
The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)—also known as the ethanol mandate—was passed by Congress in 2005 and expanded in 2007. Regardless of market conditions, it required ever-increasing quantities of biofuel be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply—though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does have the flexibility to make some adjustments based on conditions, such as availability and infrastructure.
Whether it’s gun control, health care reform, climate change, or a host of other issues, President Barack Obama does not follow the law if it conflicts with his policy preferences. While Obama is not unique in this regard, he has taken ignoring the oath U.S. presidents take to uphold and faithfully execute the Constitution and the laws of the United States to a whole new level.
In his 1889 essay “The Decay of Lying”, Oscar Wilde wrote “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.” In the 21st century Western energy and “climate” policy theater of the absurd, Wilde’s famous statement has been reincarnated as “Politics imitates science far more than science imitates politics.”
Many energy-producing states are currently struggling in the wake of falling oil and natural gas prices. Thousands of people are losing their livelihoods in the energy sector, and lower severance tax payments are projected to produce numerous state budget shortfalls, which could end up reducing state spending on social programs.
Some on the political right are floating a new “supply-side” idea for reducing carbon dioxide emissions without creating more market distortions: clean tax cuts. Proponents of the cuts want to reduce or end all taxes on investments in technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate activists are ratcheting up their attempt to blame global warming on food production and consumption, targeting the meat industry in particular. As the public tunes out stale climate-change rhetoric, climatarians hope to turn attention away from your SUV and onto your dinner plate.
Sociologist Robert Brulle’s recent Washington Post op-ed “America Has Been Duped on Climate Change” (1/6/15) is reminiscent of President Barack Obama’s petulant response to anyone who disagrees with him concerning the legality and effectiveness of new gun control regulations. Obama can’t imagine any person legitimately questioning whether the federal government has the constitutional authority to restrict an American’s right to keep and bear arms, despite the plain language presented in the Second Amendment.
Negotiators trying to develop a strong climate agreement in Paris face significant hurdles. The goal of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of the Parties is to produce an international agreement that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount necessary to prevent a 2-degree Celsius rise in global average temperature in this century. The conference is likely to fail to meet this goal.
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.”
The surest evidence that President Barack Obama’s environmental policies have gone too far comes from the federal courts, which in the past five months have struck down or limited several of his executive orders and regulations.
On October 5, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order, FEDERAL LEADERSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL, ENERGY, AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE, that sneak-previewed policies toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the rest of his time in office. The 15-page executive order, divided into 20 sections, provided strict guidance for all agencies in the executive branch and their interactions with outside organizations. Portions of the executive order follows:
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.
Bernie Sanders is trying tried to divert attention from his bumbling performance in the recent Democratic Party presidential debate by making false and incendiary accusations that Exxon lied about global warming. Sanders claimed on national television that Exxon’s alleged lies likely broke the law and Exxon should be charged by the Obama administration with racketeering.
The coal industry is beset by regulatory slings and arrows threatening to cripple this once vibrant industry. These assaults, however well-intentioned some may be, won’t do anything to reduce air pollution or change the world’s climate.