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Renewable Fuel Standard: Stealing food to make unnecessary ethanol

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…

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Rooftop Solar companies only play if the game is stacked in their favor

The past couple of weeks have highlighted the folly of the energy policies favored by left-leaning advocacy agencies that, rather than allowing consumers and markets to choose, require government mandates and subsidies. Three major, but very different, solar entities—that would…

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Environmental extremist energy policy? Keep it in the ground!

Going forward, we know what the new year of environmental activism looks like. They have told us. They have made it perfectly clear. They call it: “Keep it in the ground.” The campaign is about all fossil fuels: oil, gas,…

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Who is right about ethanol, Trump or Cruz?

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…

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Killing Coal: Obama’s intentional assault on cheap energy

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. Seven years later, that is a campaign promise he is keeping. Since moving into the…

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January 2016: the U.S. becomes a global energy superpower

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…

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SolarCity: The epitome of Obama’s green energy scam

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…

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Time to grade GOP energy report for 2015

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. I closed that column with…

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Oil fracking technology could be the cure to water issues

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…

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Greenies introduce climate theology to evangelicals, aim to tip climate politics

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,…

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Support for ethanol losing steam

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. However, in a major policy…

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Shaking out the lies surrounding earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing

The Great ShakeOut, the annual “PrepareAthon” that advocates earthquake readiness, took place across the globe on October 15, at 10:15 AM—10/15 @10:15. Unless you have a child in a participating school, the “Ready Campaign” may have passed without your awareness. I grew up in Southern California, where earthquakes were so routine, we paid them no mind; we didn’t have earthquake drills. But that was then. Now, the Great ShakeOut is a global campaign. Now, Oklahoma has more earthquakes than California—and students in Oklahoma participated on 10/15 at 10:15. As if choreographed, Oklahomans had a reminder 4.5 earthquake just days before the drill. The anti-fossil crowd has declared the cause. Headlines claim: “Confirmed: Oklahoma Earthquakes Caused By Fracking” and “New study links Oklahoma earthquakes to fracking.” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow gleefully teased the earthquakes in Oklahoma as “the story that might keep you up at night.” On her October 16 show, she stated that Oklahoma’s earthquakes are: “The terrible and unintended consequence of the way we get oil and gas out of the ground. …from fracking operations.” Yet, when her guest, Jeremy Boak, Oklahoma Geological Survey Director, corrected her, “it’s not actually frackwater,” she didn’t change her tune. Despite the fact that […]

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Beyond the bickering, bill lifting oil-export ban wins bipartisan support

Americans are sick of the bickering in Washington and want both parties to cooperate and get something done. Friday, October 9, offered proof that this can still happen. The house passed H.R. 702, the bill to lift the decades old oil export ban—with 26 Democrats joining the majority of Republicans and voting for it. Republicans could have passed the bill without the Democrats—but there are strategic reasons why it was important to include Democrats. And, getting them on board didn’t happen naturally—especially since two days before the vote the White House issued a veto threat in the form of a “Statement of Administrative Policy.” It says: “Legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time.… If the President were presented with H.R. 702, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.” Twenty-six Democrats went against the wishes of the president and voted with the Republicans—but the number should have been much higher. Getting the companion bill through the Senate will be a heavy lift as the Republicans hold a slim majority. Because of the threat, a veto-proof majority will be needed in the Senate. The Washington Post reported: “the measure still faces a Senate that […]

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Not all energy is created equal

Congress has taken action that actually advances free markets and limits government intrusion. I was in the room when, on September 17, the House Energy and Commerce Committee—with bipartisan support—advanced legislation to lift the 1970s-era ban on crude-oil exports. HR 702, “To adapt to changing crude oil market conditions,” is expected to receive a full floor vote within a matter of weeks. The export ban is a relic of a bygone era during which ideas like “peak oil” and “energy scarcity” were the conventional wisdom. Despite all those who cried “wolf,” the U.S. is now the world’s largest combined oil-and-gas producer. Ending this obsolete ban would unleash America’s energy producers on the global market, increasing domestic production and creating jobs. Additionally, reports from experts at the non-partisan Energy Information Administration and Government Accountability Office, plus consultants at IHS, indicate that it will also lower prices at the pump. Like everything that seems to happen in Washington, DC, these days, this initial victory may have a price tag that prevents its final passage. Getting the Democrats on board with removing the barrier to exporting America’s abundance may likely require giving them something they want. Morning Consult recently reported: “Momentum is building […]

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Supporters of Iran deal should stand with Israel and lift the U.S. oil export ban

“Whether you support this deal or not, we can all agree that America’s commitment to Israel remains unshakeable. And we will continue—Democrats and Republicans united—to stand with Israel,” says a statement from Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). Yet, despite widespread opposition from Israel and pro-Israel groups, Schatz, and almost all his fellow Jewish Senators and Representatives, supported the Iran nuclear deal that appears to be done. Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), on September 10, announced: “There’s no doubt whatsoever that the Congress of the United States will allow this agreement to go forward.” Despite “a nearly $30 million advertising and lobbying effort to kill the accord,” the New York Times (NYT) reports, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—known as Aipac—suffered a “stinging defeat.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes the deal will fuel Iran’s efforts to destroy Israel, calling it: “A stunning historic mistake.” Addressing Israel’s “diplomatic failure,” the NYT states: “Polls show that large majorities of Israeli Jews agree with him [Netanyahu] on Iran and deeply distrust President Obama.” Polling within the U.S. reflects similar attitudes here at home: “The American people overwhelmingly oppose this agreement.” Republican pollster John McLaughlin, and Pat Caddell, a Democratic pollster, have conducted four national […]

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Obama’s Alaska trip: where were the polar bears?

Am I the only one who finds it incongruous that President Obama, when on a carefully choreographed trip to Alaska, even manning his own Instagram account to engage young people, to spotlight the effects of global warming—which he says is happening “right now”—announced the accelerated acquisition of ice breakers? During his trip, he told Alaskans that by the end of this century, Alaska will see “warming of between 6 and 12 degrees,” which he explained: “means more melting.” Six to 12 degrees is a lot of warming, therefore, a lot of melting—which would seem to require fewer ice breakers not more. I applaud the attempt to catch up, as I’ve written previously, I think America is woefully behind in the Arctic—where Russia is increasingly aggressive. But you have to wonder what his speech writers were thinking to have him asking Congress to spend more on ice breakers on the same trip where he’s predicting more warming. Perhaps he really knows, what many scientists are claiming: Arctic ice is growing—with updated NASA data showing polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 (the year satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps) average. This, despite former Vice President Al Gore’s […]

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Oil’s Down, Gasoline Isn’t. What’s Up?

A little more than a year ago, oil prices were above $100 a barrel. The national average for gasoline was in the $3.50 range. In late spring, oil was $60ish and the national average for gas was around $2.70. The price of a barrel of oil has plunged to $40 and below—yet, prices at the pump are just slightly less than they were when oil was almost double what it is today. Oil and gasoline prices usually travel up or down in sync. But a few weeks ago the trend lines crossed and oil continued the sharp decline while gasoline has stayed steady—even increasing. Oil’s down, gasoline isn’t. Consumers are wondering: “What’s up?” Even Congress is grilling refiners over the disparity. While, like most markets, the answer is complicated, there are some simple responses that even Congress should be able to understand. The short explanation is “refineries”—but there’s more to that and some other components, too. Within the U.S. exists approximately 20 percent of the world’s refining capacity. Fuel News explains that “on a perfect day,” these domestic facilities could process more than 18 million barrels of crude oil. But due, in large part, to an anti-fossil fuel attitude, it […]

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EPA that contaminated Animas River now after the water in your backyard

Unless a federal judge issues a preliminary injunction, the definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” will change on August 28—giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate the water in your backyard (even the water that might be in your backyard due to a heavy rain). Even, according to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey: “any area where agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.” Thirty-one states, in four districts, have filed motions with the federal courts to block the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) from beginning to enforce the new “Waters of the U.S.” rule (WOTUS), which represents a new interpretation of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The Federal Register calls the new rule “definitional” and states: “The rule will ensure protection for the nation’s public health and aquatic resources, and increase CWA program predictability and consistency by clarifying the scope of ‘waters of the United States’ protected under the Act.” WOTUS was published in the Federal Register on June 29 and will become effective on August 28. The interpretation is important. The CWA used to apply to “navigable waters,” which now, as Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently said: “include almost any piece […]

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Obama’s clean power plan: Solar wins, taxpayers lose

The solar industry is jubilant over President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, released in its final form on Monday, August 3. The same day, however, some other news reminded the public of what happens when government policy mandates and incentivizes a favored energy source: Taxpayer dollars are gobbled up and investors lose out. “The fundamental objective of the Clean Power Plan,” according to Solar Industry Magazine, “is the phasing out of coal-fired power plants in favor of low- or zero-emission sources.” It does this through three “building blocks,” one of which seeks to “increase electricity generation from non-emitting renewable sources, such as solar and wind.” In a post titled: “How Obama’s Clean Power Plan will fuel the solar industry’s rapid growth,” Forbes.com contributor Lyndsey Gilpin, quotes Shayle Kann, senior vice president of GTM Research: “It could be a major catalyst for solar nationwide.” Gilpin points out: “Apart from the Solar Investment Tax Credit, the federal tax credit for solar, the Clean Power Plan is the first national policy for renewable energy.” While the excitement from solar proponents is palpable, it is surprising how shameless they are about sucking the government teat while bemoaning the low price of natural gas—which Solar Industry […]

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Hillary’s energy plan is all about money—out of your pocket and into hers

At Senator Harry Reid’s seventh National Clean Energy Summit held in Las Vegas on Thursday, September 4, Hillary Clinton said: “This is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.” She wasn’t talking about ISIS or the growing terrorist threat, but about climate change. Her spot on the program has been referenced as: “her first energy and climate speech of a publicity tour that many believe is the springboard to a presidential campaign.” In addition to the obvious misperception about “the challenges we face as a nation and a world,” her speech had several subtle, but instructive, misperceptions to explore. For example, when addressing “unpredictable” subsidies for green energy projects, she claimed that $500 billion is spent every year subsidizing fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2012, global fossil fuel subsidies did, in fact, total $544 billion, however, citing that figure in the same breath as U.S. tax incentives and subsidies for renewable energy is deceptive at best. Most global subsidies for fossil fuels are from oil rich countries that use low cost to keep the kingdom happy. A study from The Institute for Energy Research on global energy subsidies concludes: “Many Americans are confused […]

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