Political Climate
Aug 29, 2014
Administration’s Harsh New Regulations Taking Affordable Power Offline

The Polar Vortex last winter sent temperatures plummeting, breaking record lows across the country and forcing Americans to crank up the heat to stay warm. As the surging demand strained the aging infrastructure, energy prices soared further straining families and businesses. Despite the flaws in the delivery system that last year’s harsh winter revealed, the administration continues its pursuit of new regulations for coal-fired power plants, which threaten to take more affordable energy offline. We should be embracing, not shunning, our nation’s most abundant and reliable source of affordable electricity.

A recent analysis by PJM Interconnection, a regional grid operator, suggests that a repeat of last winter’s deep freeze could lead to numerous electricity blackouts throughout the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic. The Washington Examiner reports, “PJM noted the situation could become more dire under a ‘rapid transition’ from coal to natural gas.”

Last winter, Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) sounded the alarm, stating, “The unusually cold weather we have recently experienced across the nation underscores the importance of affordable and reliable electricity. Under the Obama administration, electricity access is being jeopardized by a number of already finalized or pending measures raising its cost. This includes pending greenhouse gas regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that will make it illegal to build a coal plant in America.”

If last winter made one thing clear, it is that we desperately need a visionary new policy to ensure reliable access to affordable energy. A key to preventing blackouts and keeping electricity affordable is Pillar II of full committee Chairman Fred Upton’s Architecture of Abundance: Maintaining Diverse Electricity Generation. IHS also released a report in July that echoed the important role America’s fuel diversity plays in ensuring access to affordable and reliable electricity, and warned actions to limit generation sources could increase price volatility, drive up electricity rates, and threaten jobs and industrial competitiveness.

To learn more about Upton’s plan to build the infrastructure needed to fulfill our energy potential and unleash the many benefits of America’s energy abundance, visit. To avoid potential blackouts, it is time to pursue policies that say #Yes2Energy.

Winter blackouts could hit Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, regional grid operator warns

A repeat of last winter’s deep freeze could lead to electricity blackouts in a clutch of states spanning the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic as proposed environMENTAL regulations propel a switch toward natural gas-fired power.

PJM Interconnection, a regional grid operator, proposed new measures aimed at ensuring it doesn’t again flirt with losing 22 percent of its electricity capacity as it did during the “polar vortex” in early January. Echoing the concerns of Republicans and some centrist Democrats who have admonished the Obama administration for rules that would restrain the use of coal-fired power, PJM noted the situation could become more dire under a “rapid transition” from coal to natural gas.

“Last winter’s generator performance - when up to 22 percent of PJM capacity was unavailable due to cold weather-related problems - highlighted a potentially significant reliability issue,” it said. “PJM’s analysis shows that a comparable rate of generator outages in the winter of 2015/2016, coupled with extremely cold temperatures and expected coal retirements, would likely prevent PJM from meeting its peak load requirements.”

The 2016 timetable is key because that is when new regulations designed to limit mercury and air toxics go into effect. Those rules will take many older, dirtier coal- and oil-fired power plants offline in the following years. The EPA says the rule will deliver $90 billion in health benefits and prevent 11,000 premature deaths annually once fully implemented at a $9.6 billion annual cost to business...EPA’s own IG says it is based on junk science

But the more conservative members of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have issued warnings about how new environmental regulations could hinder electricity reliability for several years.

“Just as the commission does not have expertise in regulating air emissions, I would not expect the EPA to have expertise on the intricacies of electric markets and the reliability implications of transforming the electric generation sector,” Philip Moeller, a Republican commissioner at FERC, which regulates the electric grid, said in written testimony for a July House hearing.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has held a number of hearings on the topic, and some senators have voiced their concerns....

Read the article online HERE.



Aug 26, 2014
No court for you! Fifth Circuit denies right to appeal wetlands determinations - your action needed!

August 22, 2014 by CFACT

Update: See if your land in vulnerable to control by EPA bureaucrats here.

What recourse do you have if the feds say your property contains wetlands and you disagree?

According the the Fifth Circuit, you’re out of luck.

Circuit Judges Reavley, Davis, and Higginson (appointed by Presidents Carter, Reagan and Obama) ruled in Belle Co. v. Corps of Engineers that landowners cannot appeal determinations by the Army Corps. of Engineers that their land contains federally controlled wetlands to the courts.

You can read the full decision at CFACT.org.

The judges held that landowners must go through the entire costly ordeal of seeking a permit under the Clean Water Act (CWA) before they can challenge the Corp.’s determination. The judge’s convoluted rationale was that the government’s determination that your land falls within the jurisdiction of the CWA is not final, however, for people seeking to use their land, final is just what it is.

In effect, if the feds say you have wetlands and you reply, “no I don’t, my land’s dry,” there’s nothing you can do.

This decision will not only make it harder and more expensive for people to use their own property, it is likely to discourage some landowners from developing their property at all.

EPA is currently accepting public comments on its proposed rule to broaden the definition of what constitutes “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the CWA to include just about every occasionally damp ditch and puddle in the nation.  This will bring vast new parcels of land under federal control.

SignPetition

There’s a nationwide outcry going on over EPA’s WOTUS land grab and it’s not pretty for the Obama Administration.

Farm Bureaus and free market think tanks like CFACT have labored long and hard to educate the public about WOTUS and to encourage citizens to speak up before the public comment period expires October 20th.

You can sign CFACT’s public statement to EPA here. Please circulate it to a friend.

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Gina McCarthy

Efforts to educate the public about EPA’s new WOTUS rule are having an impact.  EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy actually said, “I have never proposed anything that I thought would be so well-received as this that has fallen totally flat on its face.”

EPA would like the public to believe its new rule to be benign, but landowners aren’t buying it.

Green-Left gadflies consider the Clean Water Act to be among their most potent weapons for thwarting economic activity.

On Monday Green campaigners used a bogus rationale about water to convince the Oregon Department of State Lands to deny a permit to Ambre Energy to export coal from Oregon’s Ports to Asia.  The Australian energy company’s plans would have created 3,100 jobs and generated billions of dollars of economic activity.  The plans were blocked when Oregon officials ruled that trace amounts of coal dust would hurt fisheries used by native American tribes.

If EPA’s WOTUS rule goes through, the Green’s ability to control land with this kind of trumped up rationale will magnify many fold.

TAKE ACTION!

Help CFACT collect as many signatures as possible.

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Together let’s tell EPA to “ditch this rule!”

See more here



Aug 24, 2014
Australian Met Office Accused Of Manipulating Temperature Records

WattsUpWithThat

The [Australian] Bureau of Meteorology has been accused of manipulating historic temperature records to fit a predetermined view of global warming. Researcher Jennifer Marohasy claims the adjusted records resemble “propaganda” rather than science. Dr Marohasy has analyzed the raw data from dozens of locations across Australia and matched it against the new data used by BOM showing that temperatures were progressively warming. In many cases, Dr Marohasy said, temperature trends had changed from slight cooling to dramatic warming over 100 years. Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 23 August 2014

The escalating row goes to heart of the climate change debate - in particular, whether computer models are better than real data and whether temperature records are being manipulated in a bid to make each year hotter than the last. Marohasy’s research has put her in dispute with BoM over a paper she published with John Abbot at Central Queensland University in the journal Atmospheric Research concerning the best data to use for rainfall forecasting. BoM challenged the findings of the Marohasy-Abbot paper, but the international journal rejected the BoM rebuttal, which had been prepared by some of the bureau’s top scientists. This has led to an escalating dispute over the way in which Australia’s historical temperature records are “improved” through homogenization, which is proving more difficult to resolve.  Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 23 August 2014

When I first sent Graham Lloyd some examples of the remodeling of the temperature series I think he may have been somewhat skeptical. I know he on-forwarded this information to the Bureau for comment, including three charts showing the homogenization of the minimum temperature series for Amberley. Mr Lloyd is the Environment Editor for The Australian newspaper and he may have been concerned I got the numbers wrong. He sought comment and clarification from the Bureau. I understand that by way of response to Mr Lloyd, the Bureau has not disputed these calculations. What the Bureau has done, however, is try and justify the changes. In particular, for Amberley the Bureau is claiming to Mr Lloyd that there is very little available documentation for Amberley before 1990 and that information before this time may be “classified”: as in top secret. - Jennifer Marohasy, 23 August 2014

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Congratulations to The Australian again for taking the hard road and reporting controversial, hot, documented problems, that few in the Australian media dare to investigate.

How accurate are our national climate datasets when some adjustments turn entire long stable records from cooling trends to warming ones (or visa versa)? Do the headlines of “hottest ever record” (reported to a tenth of a degree) mean much if thermometer data sometimes needs to be dramatically changed 60 years after being recorded?

One of the most extreme examples is a thermometer station in Amberley, Queensland where a cooling trend in minima of 1C per century has been homogenized and become a warming trend of 2.5C per century. This is a station at an airforce base that has no recorded move since 1941, nor had a change in instrumentation. It is a well-maintained site near a perimeter fence, yet the homogenization process produces a remarkable transformation of the original records, and rather begs the question of how accurately we know Australian trends at all when the thermometers are seemingly so bad at recording the real temperature of an area. Ken Stewart was the first to notice this anomaly and many others when he compared the raw data to the new, adjusted ACORN data set.  Jennifer Marohasy picked it up, and investigated it and 30 or so other stations. In Rutherglen in Victoria, a cooling trend of -0.35C became a warming trend of +1.73C. She raised her concerns (repeatedly) with Minister Greg Hunt.

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Now the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been forced to try to explain the large adjustments. Australians may finally gain a better understanding of what “record” temperatures mean, and the certainty ascribed to national trends. There is both a feature and a news piece today in The Weekend Australian. Jo Nova The heat is on. Bureau of Meteorology ‘altering climate figures’ The Australian



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