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Posts Tagged ‘energy’
September 5th, 2017 at 3:42 pm
Image of the Day: Drill, Baby, Drill
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Remember when leftists lectured Americans that we couldn’t drill our way to energy independence?

On May 27, 2010, Barack Obama preened, “You never heard me say, ‘Drill, baby, drill.  Because we can’t drill our way out of the problem.”

Well…

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U.S. Becomes Net Exporter

U.S. Becomes Net Exporter

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July 7th, 2017 at 11:19 am
Image of the Day: U.S. Petroleum Supremacy
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Answering the call for greater American energy independence, and refuting false claims of “peak oil,” America over the past decade has applied its famed ingenuity to lead the world in petroleum production.  Drill, baby, drill!

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Drill, Baby, Drill

Drill, Baby, Drill

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June 2nd, 2017 at 4:46 pm
PSC Confirmation Hearing Offers New York State Senators Opportunity to Demand Answers and Changes to Cuomo’s “Clean Energy Standard” Boondoggle
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Since its inception last August, CFIF has been exposing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s crony-capitalist, costly, climate alarmist “Clean Energy Standard” (CES) boondoggle imposed by the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) composed entirely of his personal appointees.

Now, there’s a perfect opportunity for state senators to hold Cuomo accountable and expose for state residents the unfairness, expense and tawdry cronyism of the entire crumbling program.

By way of refresher, Cuomo’s CES scheme mandates that fully half of all state energy be generated by carbon-neutral plants in just over a decade.  The cost?  A whopping $1 billion in just its first two years, and $8 billion over its entire term.  And how is it a perfect example of crony capitalism, which can rot our democratic process?  Well, because the CES plan’s subsidies will go to a single company named Exelon, which owns financially unsustainable upstate nuclear plants.  The plan is so objectionable that opposition has been fierce and bipartisan, with environmental groups attacking it as an “$8 billion bailout of three upstate nuclear power plants.”

Strong stuff.

Next week, however, Cuomo’s nominee for new PSC chairman, John Rhodes, will appear before the state senate’s energy committee as part of his confirmation process.  At that hearing, state senators must hold Cuomo accountable for the CES’s runaway costs to taxpayers, get answers regarding the plan’s failures and demand a commitment to reverse or at least confine costs to areas of the state in which the relevant plants are situated.  Additionally, senators can ask on behalf of taxpayers how it’s remotely fair for residents of Long Island to pay for plants like Shoreham located six or more hours away without burden-sharing from the remainder of the state.  It makes no sense in terms of fairness, cost or efficiency.

Less than a year into this boondoggle, the CES plan is already collapsing.  Accordingly, state senators should get to the core of the problem, demand answers and require mitigation of damages.  Because state taxpayers who will pay the price are watching.

January 10th, 2017 at 5:04 pm
CFIF Submits FOIA Requests on Dakota Access Pipeline Decision
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Tribal Chairman’s sister previously worked at the White House and Department of Interior

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Over recent days, the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) has sent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to five government agencies seeking information on communications between officials at those agencies and Jodi Gillette, the sister of the Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dave Archambault.

“There have been a lot of rumors about the backroom dealings that led to the Administration’s decision to not issue the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline,” said Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs.  “We would hope that the self-purported ‘most transparent Administration in history’ would provide the American people with the background and information that went into this important decision to halt an infrastructure project that had already been approved and was more than 90 percent complete.”

From the FOIA requests:

There is growing concern about the relationship between Dave Archambault II’s sister, Jodi Gillette, and the Obama Administration.  Mr. Archambault is the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST) and a critic of the project.  Ms. Gillette is a former senior advisor to the President and Secretary of the Interior, and is currently a lobbyist on behalf of the Standing Rock Sioux with Sonosky, Chambers, Chambers, Endreson & Perry, LLP.  We seek to ensure that Mr. Archambault and Ms. Gillette haven’t wielded improper influence over the Administration’s policies that have resulted in delays in the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline project

I request access to and copies of all records since February 1, 2016, related in any way to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and Jodi Gillette. This request includes, but is not limited to, all emails, other correspondence, correspondence logs, records of meetings, records of appointments and visitor logs.

CFIF sent the FOIA requests to the Departments of Interior, Justice and Energy, as well as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Army Corps of Engineers.

“Due to the scope of the project and the consequences of the Administration’s decision, we are currently reviewing other potential FOIA requests on the matter,” Mr. Lee added.

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September 15th, 2016 at 10:05 pm
New York’s “Clean Energy” Bailout Scheme
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
In an interview with CFIF, Ken Girardin, Communications and Marketing Manager at the Empire Center for Public Policy, discusses New York Governor Cuomo’s so-called Clean Energy Standard, how it will force electricity ratepayers to subsidize money-losing nuclear plants and costly windmills, solar panel farms, and why taxpayers outside of New York should be concerned as well.

Listen to the interview here.

June 10th, 2016 at 10:28 am
Video: The Dark Side of Green Energy
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this installment of the Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses a proposed new “green energy” rule by President Obama’s Fish and Wildlife Service that would permit wind energy companies to kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles per year without incurring significant penalties, an increase of nearly four times the current limit.

May 10th, 2016 at 1:13 pm
CFIF Joins Massive Coalition Opposing EPA Ozone Standard
Posted by CFIF Staff Print
The Center for Individual Freedom this week joined with a coalition of 60 conservative organizations, led by Americans for Prosperity, on a letter to the chairmen of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, urging them to take action against the Environmental Protection Agency’s Ozone Standard and change the rulemaking process under which it was adopted.

The coalition specifically endorsed the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2016 (H.R. 4775, S. 2882), legislation that would force the EPA to consider the costs of tightening ozone standards when it proposes such rules and will soften the burden on states to comply with new standards now and moving forward, among other things.

The coalition letter reads in part:

On behalf of the 60 organizations listed below and the millions of Americans represented, we urge you to take action on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Ozone and to reform the rulemaking process for ozone and other pollutants regulated under NAAQS. Without changes to the ozone regulation and reform of the rulemaking process, economic activity could be brought to a standstill in many areas across the country.

Read the entire letter here.

February 13th, 2015 at 12:10 pm
Shedding Light on Solar Handouts
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Michi Iljazi, Communications and Policy Manager at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, discusses how rooftop solar companies are cashing in on government handouts at the expense of taxpayers, how the subsidies hamper efforts to achieve real energy independence, and why we should oppose gas tax increases.

Listen to the interview here.

January 6th, 2015 at 4:23 pm
Senate GOP Eyes Keystone XL Approval

Now in the majority, GOP Senators are moving quickly to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a transcontinental project that would link Canadian oil to refineries in American Gulf states.

“The president is going to see the Keystone XL pipeline on his desk and it’s going to be a bellwether decision by the president whether to go with jobs and the economy,” Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), said on Sunday.

President Barack Obama has played games with the approval process over the past few years. Initially, his State Department supported the project and was ready to go forward until environmental activists successfully lobbied for delaying tactics, such as additional feasibility studies.

Without a Democratic Senate running interference, Obama will now have to govern. Though it prefers to partner with the United States, Canada has said it will export its oil to China if the Obama administration remains beholden to the environmental lobby.

The truth of the matter is that the oil is being pumped and its $3.4 billion economic contribution will have to go somewhere. Ultimately, Obama’s decision boils down to whether he wants Canadian oil to boost the American economy or China’s.

September 22nd, 2014 at 8:55 pm
The Administration’s Energy Policy and American Workers
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Marita Noon, Executive Director for Energy Makes America Great and Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy, discusses what President Obama has not done for American energy workers, the lessons he could learn from Texas Governor Rick Perry’s efforts to convince companies to relocate to Texas, and the important role that energy plays in our lives.

Listen to the interview here.

July 31st, 2014 at 2:46 pm
Federalism on the Firing Line

With so much attention on the turf war between Congress and the President, it’s easy to overlook another, equally disturbing separation-of-powers crisis – the swift erosion of federalism.

Just as the U.S. Constitution assigns certain powers and duties to the three coequal branches of the federal government (legislative, executive, and judicial), so too does it differentiate lines of responsibility between the federal and state governments. This latter idea is known as federalism, and it’s in pretty bad shape according to a thought-provoking essay by Richard Epstein and Mario Loyola.

In particular, the practice of conditioning receipt of federal money on capitulation to federal regulations is turning states into mere enforcement officers.

“Federal officials exert enormous influence over state budgets and state regulators, often behind the scenes,” write Epstein and Loyola. “The new federalism replaces the ‘laboratories of democracy’ with heavy-handed, one-size-fits-all solutions. Uniformity wins but diversity loses, along with innovation, local choice, and the Constitution’s necessary limits on government power.”

Both parties are guilty, but the Obama administration has accelerated the trend. Poison pill programs like Common Core, ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion, the federal highway system and the Clean Air Act all condition money for popular programs on local officials committing their states to dependency status.

“Federal ‘assistance’ to the states currently accounts for 30 percent of state budgets, on average,” according to the authors. “Since the early 1980s, the federal government has transferred about 15 percent of its budget to the states, which is almost as much as the federal deficit in an average year.”

Let that sink in for a moment. Annual federal transfer payments to the states roughly equal the yearly federal budget deficit.

Of course, eliminating the deficit isn’t as simple as zeroing out all federal-state spending relationships. Much of the logic of federal transfer payments hangs on the idea that poor states are funneled the resources they need to close the gap on some quality of life indicators with rich states. Until relatively poor states like North Dakota are allowed to fully exploit their natural economic advantages – such as being able to extract and export its huge oil reserve – ending redistribution without removing wealth-inhibiting regulations doesn’t make sense.

However, seeing the connection between the deficit and transfer payments to states does highlight the unsustainable nature of our current federalism-destroying arrangement. If we as Americans want to have more financial flexibility at the national level, we first need to remove the barriers to economic opportunity at the state and local level.

July 2nd, 2014 at 6:22 pm
An Energy Policy that Creates Jobs and Prestige

“By boosting our energy production, the U.S. could restore its diminishing influence in the world without expending blood and treasure – in fact, we would reap major economic benefits,” writes Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).

Nunes is an up-and-coming member of the House Ways and Means Committee and is known for thinking big on how to use tax reform as a means to reestablish American leadership in the global economy.

Rationalizing our energy policy would go a long way too.

Thanks to improvements in technology large, untapped domestic oil and natural gas reservoirs are now reachable. States like North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma are moving to capitalize, while huge potential awaits enterprising politicians and businesses in California and Colorado.

The benefits are many. More energy production means more jobs in extracting, refining and shipping. For example, an entry-level rig worker in North Dakota averages about $66,000 a year, while the average oil industry job in the state was $112,462 as of 2012. That also means more jobs for people serving workers flush with disposal income.

There’s also a national security angle. With Iraq’s oil fields under siege by Islamic militants, Venezuela constantly swayed by demagogic collectivists and Russia threatening to cut off natural gas shipments, it’s time for the United States to take the steps necessary to ensure greater energy independence.

Unsurprisingly, Nunes wants President Barack Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as implement other measures to put the nation in a game-changing position. Of course, that isn’t happening unless Obama adopts Bill Clinton’s triangulation strategy.

Don’t hold your breath.

Still, Nunes makes a compelling case for using national energy policy as a way to improve both our domestic economy and global prestige.

It’s an angle that economically recessed, war-weary Americans might soon embrace.

May 2nd, 2014 at 12:31 pm
Video: The Special Interests President
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’’ Renee Giachino discusses the special interest-driven politics that is to blame for the ongoing delays preventing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

October 4th, 2013 at 7:20 pm
Feds Mandate Non-Existent Solution for Non-Existent Problem
Posted by Troy Senik Print

In my column last week, I wrote about how rapidly predictions of catastrophic global warming are unraveling. Despite the fact that the case for skepticism is probably better than ever, the Obama Administration is still proceeding with new EPA regulations to cap carbon emissions, which will have the practical effect of crippling the coal industry.

What’s perhaps most remarkable about this crusade is that the EPA claims the problem can be handled through carbon sequestration — a technology that’s not commercially viable (though this should come as no surprise coming from the same people that think solar and wind power are the wave of the future). As Larry Bell notes at Forbes:

EPA’s latest climate battle plan is to prohibit construction of new coal-fired power plants that can’t achieve 1,100 pound per megawatt hour carbon emission limits. To accomplish this will require plant operators to capture and store (“sequester”) excess CO2, something that cannot be accomplished through affordable means, if at all. [The Institute for Energy Research estimates] that this “regulatory assault” will eliminate 35 gig watts of electrical generating capacity…10% of all U.S. power. As the Competitive Enterprise Institute observes, “If the carbon dioxide emissions standard for power plants proposed by the EPA today is enacted, the United States will have built its final coal-fired power plant.”

The liberal environmental establishment wants to bankrupt the coal industry. That’s their prerogative. But they should at least be honest about it instead of acting like they’re simply helping the industry transition to the next best thing. Perhaps they could take a page out of this fella’s book:

July 12th, 2013 at 11:07 am
Podcast: The EPA’s Assault on State Sovereignty
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, William Yeatman, Assistant Director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, discusses the Obama Administration’s climate agenda, its all-out war on coal, the Keystone Pipeline project and the EPA’s assault on state sovereignty.

Listen to the interview here.

July 2nd, 2013 at 10:42 am
Which One Actually Produces Energy and Jobs?
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 16th, 2013 at 8:12 pm
Calif. Has $1 Trillion in Oil, But Would It Stop Govt. Spending?

Mark Mills writing in The Wall Street Journal says that projections about California’s latent shale oil reserves could be the silver bullet for the state’s fiscal woes:

The overall economic benefits of opening up the Monterey shale field could reach $1 trillion. One can only imagine the impact on California’s education system, social programs, infrastructure, and even energy-tech R&D. Moreover, with that kind of revenue, Sacramento tax collections could wipe out debt and deficits.

But is it really plausible that California’s big-spending political class would use the $1 trillion windfall to pay off the state’s debts and seed a rainy day fund?  Call me cynical, but it seems way more likely that state spending would increase above and beyond whatever windfall comes from oil drilling.

That said, I’d love for Sacramento to prove me wrong.  Let the fracking begin!

December 4th, 2012 at 2:18 pm
New North Dakota Senator to Obama: “You’re Wrong on Energy”

NBC News quotes U.S. Senator-Elect Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) from a campaign debate on what she would say to President Barack Obama about his energy policy:

“You’re wrong on energy. You’re headed in the wrong direction. You made bad decisions,” she said, according to The Associated Press. “You promised that you would promote clean coal technologies, that you would be a champion of coal, and you haven’t done it.” She also urged the president to replace Energy Secretary Steven Chu and EPA administrator Lisa Jackson.

Certainly, that kind of independence helped Heitkamp eke out a win in a state Mitt Romney won by 20 points.  Now that she’s earned the right to speak her mind in the U.S. Senate, let’s see if she’s willing to make good on her promise.  With the coal industry staring at death by a thousand regulations, the sooner the better.

November 13th, 2012 at 7:34 pm
Obama Shuts Down More Energy Development Out West
Posted by Troy Senik Print

It was just a few weeks ago that President Obama was on the debate stage telling that nation that Mitt Romney had unfairly tarred his administration as anti-energy development:

We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years … Now, I want to build on that. And that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas for drilling.

As I noted at the time, Obama’s defense of his record was essentially dishonest. Increased oil production was due almost entirely to a combination of private-sector development and federal efforts initiated by the Bush Administration. As for his pledge to open up new drilling sites? Well, judge for yourself. From The Hill:

The Interior Department on Friday issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development.

The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation.

Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats.

The sage grouse, it should be noted, is not endangered, though it is on the waiting list to earn that classification. In 2010, the Fish and Wildlife Service described the bird’s status as, “numerous relatively small populations existing in a patchy mosaic of increasingly fragmented habitat.” Count me skeptical that  a population in such shape requires 1.6 million acres (2,500 square miles) to survive.

October 16th, 2012 at 6:01 pm
5 Points Romney Should Make in Tonight’s Debate

The Heritage Foundation tees up five issues that so far haven’t been mentioned in the Romney-Obama or Ryan-Biden matchups:

1)      Welfare Reform

2)      Trade

3)      Medicaid

4)      Federal Spending and Debt

5)      American-Produced Energy

Each of these is not only critical to American prosperity, but also conveniently is attached to a disastrous policy decision by the Obama Administration.

This summer Obama’s HHS gutted the work requirement for receiving welfare checks that was the hallmark of the mid-1990’s reform.

The President and his fellow liberals in Congress held hostage free trade agreements negotiated by the Bush Administration as a favor to labor unions, and in the process damaged our international standing.

Obamacare is scheduled to hit Medicaid doctors with a 19 percent pay cut starting in 2014.

This is the fourth consecutive year of $1 trillion budget deficits presided over by President Obama, and there is no indication the incumbent will do anything differently if reelected.

As for domestic energy production, Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline angered not only consumers paying high gasoline prices, but also the unionized labor that stood to benefit from short- and long-term job creation.

Mitt Romney should look for ways to insert these failures of leadership into his answers during tonight’s townhall debate with Barack Obama.  People need to be reminded that the President’s kneejerk liberalism is bankrupting the country.