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Good news for Earth Day: We can boost energy production and economic growth without harming the environment!
Thanks to years of empty promises from the Left, politicians in Congress and the White House have installed all sorts of harmful policies that block energy production, jobs, and economic growth. But those policies have shown themselves to be counterproductive—they don’t deliver the benefits liberals promised, and they hurt Americans.
Here are two examples that may surprise you.
1. An oil pipeline is environmentally safe.
The Keystone XL pipeline, which President Obama just delayed again, has received an environmental green light multiple times—from this administration.
State Department impact reports have concluded “that the pipeline, a Canada-based project to deliver up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day to Gulf Coast refineries, would pose no significant environmental risk and would not contribute substantially to carbon dioxide emissions,” says Nicolas Loris, Heritage’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow.
Loris also notes that the project “has bipartisan support, the backing of several unions, and approval from former energy and interior secretaries.”
The pipeline would bring jobs and would help provide additional oil supply. “With high economic benefits and minimal environmental impact, this project should be a no-brainer,” Loris says. But elections seem to be a problem for Keystone. After a promise to decide the pipeline’s fate by 2011, President Obama postponed the project through the 2012 election—and this latest delay pushes a decision past the midterms.
2. Biofuels are not better for the environment.
Here’s another case where central planners promised they knew what was best for us—and it’s not working out. In fact, it’s costing us.
A new study out this week concluded that biofuels aren’t the “clean” alternative to gasoline that advocates promised. In fact, producing biofuels can release more greenhouse gases than using gasoline.
It’s been known for years that biofuels aren’t as environmentally friendly as we were first told. Heritage’s Loris wrote last year that “After accounting for land-use conversion, the use of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides, as well as the fossil fuels used for production and distribution, biofuel production is quite carbon-intensive.”
Even if unintended, the consequences of mandating ethanol production and use in gasoline have been disastrous. Loris reports:
The mandate promised less dependence on foreign oil, lower fuel prices, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Instead of delivering on these promises, the mandate delivered concentrated benefits to politically connected producers and higher costs to America’s energy consumers.
Whether it’s blocking helpful developments or mandating harmful ones, the government isn’t getting environmental policy right. That’s why The Heritage Foundation’s American Conservation Ethic includes the principle that the most successful environmental policies come from liberty.
Freedom unleashes the forces most needed to make our environment cleaner, healthier, and safer.
One of the nation's leading building trades unions is stepping up pressure on House Democrats who oppose the Keystone XL pipeline, calling on union members in 27 congressional districts to punish their representative in the midterm election.
A letter distributed by the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA) to the 27 districts calls for union members to make sure their representative "feels the power and the fury of LIUNA this November," The Hill reported.
"Your member of Congress is trying to destroy job opportunities for our LIUNA brothers and sisters," read the letter signed by Terry O'Sullivan, the general president of LIUNA, and obtained by The Hill on Friday.
"For every action, there is a reaction, and our reaction to this frontal assault on our way of life needs to be loud and clear. If you do not stand with us, we sure as hell will not stand with you," O'Sullivan wrote, citing the jobs Keystone would create.
The House members being targeted by the union include Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J.; Anna Eshoo, D-Calif.; Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz.; and Tim Ryan, D-Ohio. All of the representatives signed a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry in March urging him to reject the pipeline.
The letter to union members asks them to remember that "unemployed construction workers desperately need the work" generated by Keystone XL, calling it a "lifeline" for thousands of members, according to The Hill.
LIUNA said it supports reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but not at the cost of jobs, according to the report.
"The livelihoods of LIUNA members are too important for our union to continue ignoring the actions of supposed ‘friends’ who stand in the way of jobs that enable our proud members to provide for themselves and their families," read a letter to Rep. Jan Schakowksy, D-Ill.
The Republican-controlled House has voted several times to approve the $5.4 billion pipeline, which has support from a majority of senators.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., blocked a vote last week on a Republican proposal that would have allowed construction of the pipeline and made numerous changes in the nation's health care law. GOP lawmakers say all of the proposals would help create jobs.
Eleven Senate Democrats, including six who face contested races this year, sent a letter to President Obama on Thursday, urging him to approve Keystone by the end of May.
The five-year review of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline has been "exhaustive in its time, breadth and scope" and has taken longer than reasonably justified, the senators wrote to the president.
Approval of the pipeline is needed to ensure pipeline operator TransCanada does not miss another construction season, the senators' letter said.
Six of the Democrats who signed the letter face challenges this year: Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, John Walsh of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Warner of Virginia.
The Keystone XL pipeline has emerged as an election-year dilemma for Democrats.
Wealthy party donors are funding candidates who oppose the project — a high-profile symbol of the political debate over climate change. But some of the party's most vulnerable incumbents are pipeline boosters, including the six who signed the letter Thursday.
Several former Obama administration officials, including ex-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former national security adviser James Jones, have called on Obama to approve the pipeline. Jones told Congress last month that approval would send Russian President Vladimir Putin a message that "international bullies" can't use energy security as a weapon.
Environmental groups and some top Democratic donors oppose the pipeline, saying it would carry "dirty oil" that contributes to global warming. They also worry about possible spills.
Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmentalist, has vowed to spend $100 million —$50 million of his own money and $50 million from other donors — to make climate change a top-tier issue in the 2014 elections. Opposition to Keystone XL is a significant part of that effort.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that the review of the pipeline "needs to run its appropriate course without interference from the White House or Congress."
The State Department is reviewing the project "and when there's a decision to be announced, it will be announced," Carney said. The State Department has authority over the project because it crosses a U.S. border.
ALLEN WEST discusses “Jihad Politics” and the continuing infiltration of the United States government by enemy Muslim Brotherhood operatives:
Former Republican Congressman Allen West (R-FL), who currently is a Fox News contributor, warned that Muslim groups were organizing to “destroy the United States by waging civilization jihad from within.”
A document discovered in 1991, turned out to be the blueprint, the campaign strategy, for the Muslim Brotherhood’s ultimate goal of destroying the American system of representative government and replacing it with sharia law.
West pointed to Muslim Brotherhood front groups in the U.S. like CAIR (Council on American–Islamic Relations), the Muslim American Society, and the Islamic Society of Northern America, who have formed some type of political (Muslim-only) party, a voting bloc as they call it, to institutionalize policies that favor them. Think about the 57-nation Muslim voting bloc at the UN and the trouble they cause.
A mosque is to be built in Mukilteo , Washington.
I cannot imagine that our authorities are so negligent as to not take a hard look at what clearly is being established in this country.
Some years ago, there was a movie called “Field of Dreams.” A refrain was voiced in the movie, “If you build it, they will come.”
As it is now, you see no evidence of EBT cards or muslims in the QFC store immediately adjacent to the property where the mosque is to be built. However, I assure you, once the mosque is built, they will come.
The EBT cards are the least of our worries.
We will see played out exactly the same scenario as in numerous other locations across the United States, all with the one purpose in mind so eloquently stated by Col. Allen West in his referencing the following general principles document:
The Chinese government is officially denying that they were ever trying to demolish a large church building. However, in the process of denying they would ever do such an evil deed, people in government made some interesting comments about church growth.
According to the Telegraph:
Officials denied launching a church demolition movement.
However, in a recent speech the provincial official in charge of religious affairs hinted at Communist Party discomfort at how fast congregations were growing in what is already considered China’s most Christian region. More than one million of Wenzhou’s nine million residents are thought to be practicing Protestants, according to some estimates.
Feng Zhili, the chairman of Zhejiang’s ethnic and religious affairs committee, said Christianity’s growth had been “too excessive and too haphazard”.
God is obviously really blessing China with the spread of salvation and grace! I’m sure our politicians would, if they could be honest, complain that Christianity is not receding fast enough, but they probably never complain about it growing too fast. Wouldn’t it be great if American rulers felt uncomfortable enough with the growth of Christianity in the U.S. that they felt a need to complain about it?
China is an officially atheist state that only offers formal recognition to five religions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Islam, Protestantism and Taoism.
Religious beliefs are officially discouraged, particularly among the Communist Party’s more than 85 million members.
However, support is offered to many officially sanctioned churches and some within the Communist Party view religion as a useful ally in maintaining social stability.
Xi Jinping, the president, has been quoted as saying that China is “losing its moral compass” and thinks “traditional” faiths such as Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism could “help fill a void that has allowed corruption to flourish,” Reuters reported last year, citing sources close to the leadership.
So Christians in China have their work cut out for them. They not only need to attract converts from atheism and communism, but they also need to convince their countrymen that the “traditional” religions of China’s history are not sufficient alternatives to the atheism of Communism.
We should pray that they keep growing fast enough to alarm their leaders. Perhaps someday they will do us the favor of sending missionaries to North America.
Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2014/04/good...
Elected officials from across the American West, from top lawmakers to county commissioners, held a historic gathering in Utah in recent days to discuss how Western states could wrest control of the almost 50 percent of land in the region currently claimed by the federal government. Aside from constitutional concerns — with a few exceptions, the U.S. Constitution does not authorize ownership or control over land by the political class in Washington, D.C.
Elected officials from across the American West, from top lawmakers to county commissioners, held a historic gathering in Utah in recent days to discuss how Western states could wrest control of the almost 50 percent of land in the region currently claimed by the federal government. Aside from constitutional concerns — with a few exceptions, the U.S. Constitution does not authorize ownership or control over land by the political class in Washington, D.C. — the Western leaders and legislators cited economic harm, environmental degradation, loss of tax revenue, and numerous other reasons for the effort.
Meeting at the Utah Capitol late last week for the Legislative Summit on the Transfer for Public Lands were more than 50 elected officials from nine Western states: Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Multiple state House speakers were in attendance. Even U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), who is developing a reputation as one of the few solid Constitution-supporting lawmakers in the Senate, addressed the gathering in support of Western states and their mission to gain control of the territory in their borders.
Meanwhile, across America, and especially the West, growing masses of citizens celebrated the effort to put the out-of-control federal government back where it belongs — inside its constitutional cage rather than in states where it has no legitimate business. Following the nationwide scandal surrounding the abuse of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his supporters in an effort to crush his business by the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management, the outrage over out-of-control federal land machinations is reaching a boiling point.
While the summit was organized before the Bundy-BLM fiasco stirred national fury against the federal actions, the confrontation at the ranch between productive citizens and rogue bureaucrats reportedly provided additional urgency to the efforts. “What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem,” explained Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, one of many high-profile leaders in the state who say the federal government needs to hand over the land. “The majority of these states have more federal land within their borders than land of their own. It is about fairness.”
Utah State Rep. Ken Ivory, one of the summit organizers, noted that there is an estimated $150 trillion in mineral resources “locked up in federal lands” across the West — wealth that is desperately needed by struggling American families in a flailing economy. Aside from that, the federal government has been an especially poor steward of the land, he added, endangering Utahans and other citizens across the Western states.
“The acres harvested are dropping precipitously,” Ivory was quoted as saying. “At the same time, the catastrophic wildfires are increasing dramatically, the cost, the acreage. That’s killing millions of animals; it’s destroying habitat and watershed. So, if we don’t stand up to act now, and seeing that trajectory of what’s coming, we know that down the road those problems are only going to get bigger.”
Indeed, state officials in Utah, facing an increasingly power-hungry federal government with a “current fiscal trajectory” that is “unsustainable,” have been taking the lead on the effort. Among other initiatives, state policymakers are preparing for a future where Utah will have to become financially independent of a federal behemoth that is drowning the public in debts. To that end, the state passed a law in 2012 demanding that the federal government surrender control over the land inside Utah borders that bureaucrats and politicians in D.C. claim to own.
Outside of Utah, those sentiments are growing as well. Numerous state lawmakers and leaders from across the West said the time had come for the people of the Western states to take control of their destiny. Instead of mandates from faraway politicians and bureaucrats infamous for their inability to balance a budget or properly manage much of anything, participants said states could do a better job.
“It’s time the states in the West come of age,” Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke was quoted as saying, adding that land managed by states was being kept in far better condition than forests and rangeland controlled by the federal government. “We’re every bit as capable of managing the lands in our boundaries as the states east of Colorado.” Others said much of the land should simply be put in private hands, perhaps auctioned off to bidders with the proceeds used to pay down the federal government's gargantuan and growing debts.
Organizers of the summit also said states could and would do a better job — although that is far from the only reason for the feds to relinquish the vast expanses of territory it purports to own. “Those of us who live in the rural areas know how to take care of lands,” declared Montana state Sen. Jennifer Fielder, one of the summit organizers, adding that federal lands have increasingly been managed with “politicized science” and bad policy. “We have to start managing these lands. It's the right thing to do for our people, for our environment, for our economy and for our freedoms.”
While the federal government claims to “own” relatively small amounts of land in the east of the country, when it comes to states on the other side of the Mississippi river, the situation is radically different. Nevada, for example — the site of the recent showdown between heavily armed federal “land” bureaucrats and the ranching family — Washington, D.C., purports to own more than 80 percent of the state’s territory. In Alaska, the figure is about 70 percent. In Utah, where the meeting was held, the feds claim about two-thirds of the land. By comparison, in New York, it is less than one percent.
Much of the land purportedly under federal jurisdiction contains extremely valuable resources: oil, timber, coal, minerals, water, and more. If it was under state or private control, the people of the American West would be able to benefit from that vast wealth much more directly. Instead, with the feds claiming to be in charge, states and citizens are reduced to begging the D.C.-based political and bureaucratic classes for permission to do anything and for crumbs that may be left over from whatever economic activities are permitted.
Perhaps the most important factor in the escalating showdown, though, is the U.S. Constitution — the contract whereby state governments delegated certain limited powers to the federal government. In Article I, Section 8, the American people, acting through their sovereign states, granted this authority to their agent: “To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.”
In other words, the federal government’s purported claims of jurisdiction over an estimated one-third of America’s landmass are brazenly unconstitutional. Whether federal courts are willing to concede that should be irrelevant — the language of the Constitution is clear, and there is no need for "interpretation" by federal supremacists in the federal judiciary.
Federal land-lording is also unwise for a variety of pragmatic reasons, experts argue, and there can be little doubt as to how America’s Founders would have felt about it. “I would say the last thing you want is the federal government's ownership of lands,” R.J. Smith, a senior fellow in environmental policy at the National Center for Public Policy Research, told Newsmax. “That's not why this country was founded. That's what the Founding Fathers were trying to escape — the king's house, the king's land, the king's everything.”
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