Friday, June 10, 2011

Extinctions overstated; US has largest energy source of any nation on Earth; Tornados not linked to US temps; Natural Gas Act; Obama's choice of Dept. of Commerce supports cap and trade; NYT Gives up reporting news

The LA Times reports: Hit the snooze on that ecological doomsday clock for a minute: The world's species may not be going extinct quite as fast as we thought they were. Scientists may be overestimating the crisis by as much as 160%, according to a recent study.

The research was published online Wednesday in the journal Nature.  The massive loss of species occurring today may constitute the sixth mass extinction of life on Earth.,0,6091441.story
Human Events opines: Ever since the United States government got involved in energy policy, we have had a problem.  Democrats and liberal Republicans, acting at the behest of groups hiding behind environmental cover to push policies giving government more power, are directly responsible for our current situation.  This is deliberate on the part of some, while others are simply dupes who have been used.  Regardless of the motivations, if not stopped, continued pursuit of these policies will lead to the destruction of the United States as we know it.
It is no coincidence that U.S. oil production peaked in 1970, the year after President Richard Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act and the Environmental Protection Agency was established, just the beginning of a decade of laws that have made the United States the hardest place in the world to produce energy.
For 40 years, Congress has passed laws pretending to protect the environment or animals or lands in exchange for the support of left-wing green groups that have gladly championed more power for the government because they understood—even if some of the nitwit politicians didn’t—that if the government got involved in energy, there would be less energy, it would be more expensive and more un-American, and the growth and power of the United States would be diminished.
The Congressional Research Service said that the U.S. has the largest energy resources of any nation on Earth.
As a result [of our policies, however], we now transfer $400 billion or so every year to foreign governments to create jobs in foreign lands so they can supply us with energy that we could supply ourselves.  And the Alaskan pipeline?  Starved for oil by federal policies, it now runs at less than one-third capacity, which means we import more than $50 billion a year of un-American oil to replace the American oil which used to fuel the West Coast.
American Spectator writes: From confused "peak oil" theorists to confused Congressmen, it's all but impossible to hear a discussion of US energy policy without hearing the left's tired refrain: "The United States currently uses 25% of the world oil production but has only 2% of world reserves." The left uses this misinformation to argue against domestic oil drilling, claiming that with only two percent of the world's reserves, we can't possibly have enough oil in the ground to matter.
Even with the outdated offshore figures, the U.S.'s total technically recoverable oil, including current proved reserves and 10 billion barrels of natural gas liquids, is estimated by our government at 163 billion barrels, eight times the number thrown around by the left.
RedState writes: Harold Brooks, a researcher for the NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory, is far less undecided. “we see no correlation between global or US national temperature and tornado occurrence,” Brooks said.
He is then asked why so many casualties have occurred from the 2010 tornado season in the US. He attributes this to population density, flimsier housing and plain rotten luck. Brooks explains below.
“Tornado deaths require two things. You have to have the tornado and you have to have people in the right or the wrong place,” Brooks said. “The biggest single demographic change that probably affects things is that the fraction of mobile homes in the United States has increased over the years,” he said.

RedState opines:  HR 1380, otherwise known as the “NAT GAS Act”, is bipartisan legislation (sponsored by 105 Democrats, 83 Republicans) supported by billionaire T. Boone Pickens that would provide billions of dollars in tax incentives for the production and use of natural gas vehicles. Several fiscal conservatives in the House have been duped into thinking this is a good bill but I hope that they immediately withdraw their names as co-sponsors.  In other words, this bill basically lends credibility to the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, something opposed to by many Republicans in Congress. Therefore, the Club for Growth cannot help but conclude that anyone who remains a sponsor of this bill is a supporter of Obama’s desire to regulate climate change through the EPA.
CNS News reports: John Bryson, nominated by President Barack Obama today to head the Department of Commerce, once said it was “incredibly important” that the United States pass cap and trade legislation and that America needed to become a global leader in combating man-made global warming. “I regard it as incredibly important that the United States comes forth in this year with federal climate change legislation as a foundation for moving ahead,” Bryson told the UN International Energy Conference in late August 2009. “I think we in the U.S. have an obligation to assist in significant ways in providing leadership in this community of nations that you represent and addressing energy and climate change.”
…Bryson, a co-founder of the liberal environmentalist group Natural Resources Defense Council, was most recently a member of the United Nations’ Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, a panel of scientific and industry experts tasked with providing advice on combating global warming.

Utility giant American Electric Power said Thursday that it will shut down five coal-fired power plants and spend billions of dollars to comply with a series of pending Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

The company’s dramatic plan to comply with the regulations could give Republicans and moderate Democrats ammunition in their ongoing fight against EPA's efforts to impose new regulations aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants including mercury and arsenic.
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) immediately pounced on AEP's announcement.  “This is a perfect example of the EPA implementing rules and regulations without considering the devastating impact they may have on local economies and jobs,” Capito said.

NYT and Washington Post say: Help Us Investigate the Sarah Palin E-Mail Records
On Friday, the State of Alaska will release more than 24,000 of Sarah Palin’s e-mails covering much of her tenure as governor of Alaska. Times reporters will be in Juneau, the state capital, to begin the process of reviewing the e-mails, which we will be posting on starting on Friday afternoon E.D.T.
We’re asking readers to help us identify interesting and newsworthy e-mails, people and events that we may want to highlight. Interested users can fill out a simple form to describe the nature of the e-mail, and provide a name and e-mail address so we’ll know who should get the credit. Join us here on Friday afternoon and into the
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