April 16th: First Anniversary of Terrorist Attack on Metcalf, CA Electric Power Substation

A year has passed since the terrorist attack on the Metcalf, CA electric substation. These events are significant and experts say that this type of attack will most certainly happen again. Two reports sound the alarm of the vulnerability of America’s electrical grid system. Some portray our grid as “America’s Achilles heel.”

CBS News reports, “PG&E announced Thursday [April 10, 2014] a $250,000 reward for the capture and conviction of suspects responsible for damaging a substation near San Jose last year by using sniper rifles to knock out 17 transformers. Nearly a year has passed since the April 16, 2013, attack on the Metcalf Transmission Substation, but investigators have released few new details since then as to who may have committed the attack or what their motives might have been. The attack caused more than $15 million in damage.”

So what has been done to protect America’s electrical grid? Answer: Not much.

The Center for Security Policy is concerned by the lack of action to protect “the grid.” CFSP warns if the attack had been successful, “The power to Silicon Valley and parts of the San Francisco Bay area could have been disrupted, possibly for a protracted period.  And, since the perpetrators got away, it must be assumed that they are in a position to try again with perhaps catastrophic effect against a still-vulnerable electric grid. Preventing such a disruption – whether from man-induced causes or naturally occurring solar storms – must be a national priority.”

CFSP is so concerned that they are hosting a panel on this issue. Panel members include: Hon. Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the House of Representatives (by video); Hon. Pete Sessions (R-TX), Chairman, House Rules Committee; Hon.Trent Franks (R-AZ), Co-Chairman, House EMP Caucus (by video); Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, former Staff Member, Congressional EMP Threat Commission; Michael Del Rosso, former Chairman, IEEE Critical Infrastructure Committee; and MG Robert Newman, former Adjutant General of Virginia. The panel will be held at the Reserve Officers Association, 1 Constitution Avenue, NE, Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, 3–4:30 pm.

Brian T. Kennedy, President of the Claremont Institute, in a recent speech titled “Early Warning: The Continuing Need for National Defense” notes:

Last April 16, just outside of San Jose, California, a group of terrorists or soldiers, operating on American soil, attacked the Metcalf transmission substation in a military action aimed at disabling a part of America’s electrical infrastructure. The operation began at 1:00 a.m., when the attackers cut underground fiber optic cables, disabling communications and security systems. Thirty minutes later, using high-powered rifles, they began a 20-minute assault on the substation’s extra-large transformer and the cooling system that supports it. Police arrived at 1:50, but the shooters disappeared into the night. To this day there is no trace of them.

John Wellinghoff, then chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, would call this attack “the most significant incident of domestic terrorism involving [America’s electrical] grid that has ever occurred.” Obviously it was a professional operation by skilled marksmen—estimates of the number of gunmen range from two to six—with training in reconnaissance, stealth, and evasion. That the plan went undetected, the casings from the spent shells bore no fingerprints, and the perpetrators have not been caught, suggests a high degree of intelligence. Damage to the facility forced electricity to be rerouted to maintain the integrity of power transmission to the Silicon Valley, and repairs took several months.

The political response to the attack ranged from an immediate dismissal by the FBI of the idea that it was a terrorist act—puzzling given its sophistication and its proximity in time to the Boston bombing—to recognition by a bipartisan but small group of U.S. Senators and Representatives that defending America’s electrical grid is an urgent priority. Although there are over 100,000 transformers of all sizes throughout the grid, the destruction of less than two dozen key large transformers—which weigh hundreds of tons, are transported on special rail cars, and are mostly produced in Korea—would cause a catastrophic failure that would blackout the United States. Such is the vulnerability of the system. [Emphasis added]

Kennedy warns of our vulnerability to attacks by terrorists, Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) from the low air detonation of a nuclear weapon and solar flares. Kennedy fails to mention the higher probability of cyber attacks against our electrical grid.

If you Google the words “cyber attacks” you will get 164 million results. So where is our government on defending you and me against this growing peril? According to experts like John Jorgenson, CEO and founding partner of  the Sylint Group, our government is woefully behind the times in capability and capacity to deal with the threat of cyber attacks let alone the cyber warfare being conducted on a global scale by nation states such as China, Russia, North Korea and Iran.

Today the cry across America is the cyber attacks are coming, the cyber attacks are coming! But no one is taking action. No one that is except those few who, like Jorgenson, truly understand the catastrophic nature of the threat.

Jorgensen states, “America’s electrical grid has been compromised.” What does this mean? It means that foreign entities have placed malware on computers that control American electrical power stations, including nuclear power plants.

If the power goes out at any nuclear power plant, which depends on electrical pumps to cool the reactors, then – well you get the picture!

Kennedy ends by quoting a speech given by Abraham Lincoln in 1838:

All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

“As a nation of freemen today, we are courting suicide by ignoring clear and present dangers. Our elected representatives have eyes but do not see, and they have ears but do not hear. We must awaken ourselves, and then awaken them, before it is too late,” warns Kennedy.

About the Center for Security Policy

The Center for Security Policy is a non-profit, non-partisan national security organization that specializes in identifying policies, actions, and resource needs that are vital to American security and then ensures that such issues are the subject of both focused, principled examination and effective action by recognized policy experts, appropriate officials, opinion leaders, and the general public. For more information visit www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org.

RELATED STORIES:

California Nightmare: We Must Fix the Power Grid-Now
How the U.S. Power Grid Is Like a Big Pile of Sand – NationalJournal.com

If the goal is “energy independence,” what issues should be a priority in America? by Marita Noon

Surely NOT the ones listed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee!

Recently the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sent out a “2014 Priority Issues Survey.” In addition to the obligatory Tea Party bashing: “help the Democrats protect the progress we have made from Tea Party radicals, deliver the positive changes America needs and help Democrats win a Majority in the U.S. House of Representatives!” and the fundraising requests to “help protect House Democrats against Republican attacks”—there is a section on energy.

Section VII, asks: “Which of the following will help America achieve energy independence?” It offers five options that do little to move America toward energy independence—which isn’t even a realistic goal given the fungible nature of liquid fuels. Additionally, most of the choices given on the DCCC survey actually increase energy costs for all Americans—serving as a hidden tax—but hurt those on the lower end of the socio-economic scale the most. The proposals hurt the very people the party purports to champion.

The survey asks respondents to “check all that apply.”

Raising gas mileage standards for all new cars and trucks

This choice presumes that making a law requiring something will make it happen. Sorry, not even the Democrats have that kind of power. Even the current Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standard of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) by 2025—finalized on August 28, 2012, and called “the largest mandatory fuel economy increase in history”—will be tough to hit.

The CAFE standards mean that a carmaker’s passenger vehicle fleet average must achieve 54.5 mpg. To meet that, and produce the big pickup trucks and SUVs Americans like to drive, the manufacturers must also produce the little itty-bitty cars with mpg above 60 and the more expensive hybrids (not one of which was on the top ten best-seller list for 2013)—or have a loss leader like the Chevy Volt to help bring down the average.

Suggesting a forced raising of gas mileage standards implies that auto manufacturers are in collusion with oil companies and are intentionally producing gas guzzlers to force Americans into buying lots of gasoline.

With the price of gasoline wavering between $3.00 and $4.00 a gallon, most people are very conscious of their fuel expenditures. If it were technologically possible to build a cost-effective truck or SUV that had the size and safety Americans want and that got 50 mpg, that manufacturer would have the car-buying public beating a path to its door. Every car company would love to be the one to corner that market—but it is not easy, it probably won’t be possible, and it surely won’t be cheap.

When the new standards were introduced in November 2011, Edmunds.com did an analysis of the potential impact: 6 Ways New CAFE Standards Could Affect You. The six points include cost and safety and highlights some concerns that are not obvious at first glance.

Achieving the higher mileage will require new technologies that include, according to Edmunds, “turbochargers and new generations of multi speed automatic transmissions to battery-electric powertrains.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have estimated that the average new car will cost $2,000 extra by 2025 because of the proposed new fuel-efficiency standards.

Additionally, new materials will have to be used, such as the proposed new Ford F-150 made with aluminum, which is predicted to add $1,500 over steel to the cost of a new truck. Aluminum also complicates both the manufacturing and repair processes. Edmunds reports: “Insurance costs could rise, both because of the increased cost of cars and the anticipated hike in collision repair costs associated with the greater use of the plastics, lightweight alloys, and aluminum necessary for lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. (Plastics, lightweight alloys, and aluminum are all more difficult than steel to repair.)”

smartmessAnother concern is safety. “The use of weight-saving materials will not only affect repair costs but could make newer vehicles more susceptible to damage in collisions with older, heavier vehicles, especially SUVs and pickups. Their occupants could be at a safety disadvantage.”

One of the subtle consequences of high-mileage vehicles is the probable increase in taxes. Edmunds points out that lower driving cost may increase wear-and-tear on the nation’s highway system as consumers drive more freely. “Declining gas sales mean a further decrease in already inadequate fuel-tax revenue used to pay for road and infrastructure repair and improvement. … As more untaxed alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas and electricity are used for transportation, fuel tax revenue falls even farther. All of this is likely to lead to calls for a road tax based on miles driven and not the type of fuel used.”

Instead of increasing costs by forcing a higher mpg, a free-market encourages manufacturers to produce the cars the customers want. The Wall Street Journal story on the Ford F-150s points out: “In 2004, as the auto market soared, Ford sold a record 939,511 F-series pickups. That amounted to 5.5% of the entire U.S. vehicle market. But four years later, gas prices rose above $4 a gallon, sales of pickups began tumbling.” Then, consumers wanted small cars with better mileage. I often quote an ad for Hyundai I once saw. As I recall, it said: “It’s not that complicated. If gas costs a lot of money, we’ll produce cars that use less of it.”

In response to an article in US News on the 54.5-mpg CAFE standard, a reader commented: “ALL CAFE regulations should be repealed. Let the market and fuel prices decide what vehicles are purchased. The federal government should not be forcing mileage standards down the throats of the automaker or the consumers. This is still America, right?”

Develop Renewable Energy Sources

There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea renewable energy. However, the cost factor is one of the biggest problems. When I do radio interviews, people often call in and point out Germany’s renewable energy success story: “The share of renewable electricity in Germany rose from 6% to nearly 25% in only 10 years.” While that may be true, it doesn’t address the results: “Rising energy costs are becoming a problem for more and more citizens in Germany. Just from 2008 to 2011 the share of energy-poor households in the Federal Republic jumped from 13.8% to 17%.”

Germany has been faced with a potential exodus of industry as a result of its high energy costs. For example, in February, BASF, the world’s biggest germanynaturalgasplantchemical maker by sales, announced that for the first time, it “will make the most of its capital investments outside Europe.” According to the Financial TimesKurt Bock, BASF chief executive, explained: “In Europe we have the most expensive energy and we are not prepared to exploit the energy resources we have, such as shale gas.”

Throughout America people are beginning to feel the escalating costs of the forced renewable energy utility companies are required to add as a result of Renewable Portfolio Standards that more than half of the states passed nearly a decade ago.

But the cost is not where I take issue with the DCCC’s inclusion of “Developing renewable energy sources” in its survey. The survey question is about achieving “energy independence.”

In preparation for writing this column, I posted this question on my Facebook page: If the goal is “energy independence,” what issues should be a priority in America? The first answer posted was: “Smart grid and fast ramp natural gas turbines.” Another offered: “High efficiency appliances and lights. I am a LED FAN!” Yet, another: “Solar, tidal, water.” Bzzzzzzt, all wrong answers.

All of the above suggestions are about electricity. The U.S. is already electricity independent. We have enough coal and uranium under our soil to provide for our electrical needs for the next several centuries. Add to that America’s newfound abundance of natural gas and we are set indefinitely. By the time we might run out of fuel for electricity, new technologies will have been developed based on something totally different, and, I believe, something that no one is even thinking about today.

Developing more “solar, tidal, water,” or wind energy won’t “help America achieve energy independence.” Nor will a smart grid or natural gas turbines. High efficiency appliances or LED light bulbs won’t either.

Encouraging consumer and industrial conservation

Consumers are already feeling the pinch of higher energy costs—both electricity and liquid fuels. When possible, people are restricting driving by taking a stay-cation rather than a traditional vacation. Many people who can afford the option are switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs.

F150As the BASF story above makes clear, most industry is energy intensive. In the story about the Ford F-150’s use of aluminum, the WSJ says that the new manufacturing process requires “powerful and electricity-hungry vacuums.” Industry cannot stay in business without profit. Therefore, in interest of preservation,  energy conservation is virtually an instinct.

The cost of energy drives conservation.

Including this question in the survey is a red herring that would lead the respondent to think conservation is a big issue.

Investing in energy efficient technology

When the word “investing” is used in reference to a government document or program, it always means spending taxpayer dollars. In a time of ongoing economic stress, we don’t need to borrow more money to spend it on something of questionable impact on energy independence.

Remember, much of the “efficiency” numbers bandied about refer to electricity, which has nothing to do with energy independence. Energy.gov states: “Every year, much of the energy the U.S. consumes is wasted through transmission, heat loss, and inefficient technology…Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to … improve the competitiveness of our businesses and reduce energy costs for consumers. The Department of Energy is working with universities, businesses, and the National Labs to develop new, energy-efficient technologies while boosting the efficiency of current technologies on the market.” Among the “solutions” presented on the page are “developing a more efficient air conditioner” and “a new smart sensor developed by NREL researchers that could help commercial buildings save on lighting and ventilation costs.” Nothing is offered that will actually impact energy independence.

Increasing offshore drilling and oil exploration in wilderness areas

Respondents are discouraged from selecting the one item on the list that could actually lead to “energy independence” by the inclusion of the words “offshore” and “wilderness areas”—as if those are the only places drilling could take place.

Yes, we should increase exploration and drilling—and, while there are risks, it can be, and has been, done safely in offshore and wilderness areas. But there are vast resources available on federal lands that are either locked up or are under a de facto ban due to the slow-walking of drilling permits.

Instead of phrasing the choice “Increasing offshore drilling and oil exploration in wilderness areas,” if the goal is energy independence, the option should have read: “Release America’s vast energy resources by expediting permitting on federal lands.

While the options on the DCCC survey, even if a respondent checked them all, will do little to “help America achieve energy independence,” the survey didn’t include any choices that could really make a difference in America’s reliance on oil from hostile sources.

Some selections that would indicate a true desire to see America freed from OPEC’s grip should include:

  • Approving the Keystone pipeline;
  • Revising the Endangered Species Act so that it isn’t used to block American energy development;
  • Encouraging the use of compressed natural gas as a transportation fuel in passenger vehicles and commercial trucks;
  • Expediting permitting for exploration and drilling on federal lands;
  • Opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; and
  • Cutting red tape and duplicative regulations to encourage development.

The fact that not one of these options that would truly make a difference was included in the DCCC survey belies the ideology of the Democratic Party. Its goals do not include energy independence. Instead, it wants to continue the crony corruption that has become the hallmark of the Obama Administration as evidenced by Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz’s April 2 announcement that: “[T]he department would probably throw open the door for new applications for renewable energy project loan guarantees during the second quarter of this year.”

Like the Ukraine, until there is a change at the top, the U.S. will likely remain dependent on the whims of countries who want to use energy as a weapon of control. The goal should be energy freedom.

About Marita Noon

Marita Noon

The author of Energy FreedomMarita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations’ combined efforts serve as America’s voice for energy.

When the Left says “social justice” hold on to your freedoms

“Social Justice” is a term you hear almost every day. But did you ever hear anybody define what it actually means? Jonah Goldberg of the American Enterprise Institute tries to pin this catchall phrase to the wall. In doing so, he exposes the not-so-hidden agenda of those who use it. What sounds so caring and noble turns out to be something very different.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/rtBvQj2k6xo[/youtube]

You can support Prager University by clicking https://www.prageruniversity.com/dona…. Free videos are great, but to continue producing high-quality content, even small contributions are greater.

Petroleum exports: good for consumers, coffers, companies by Paul Driessen

Eliminating prohibition on exporting US oil and gas will help families, security, allies.

America’s crude petroleum export ban is an antiquated byproduct of the 1973 Arab oil embargo. Repeal is long overdue.

Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has sent U.S. oil, natural gas, and propane production soaring. Natural gas output is up 36% since 2005. Oil output is expected to increase another 780,000 barrels per day (BOPD) in 2014 and reach 9.6 million BOPD by 2019. The United States is now importing half of what it did in 2005.

All this activity has created millions of oil patch and downstream jobs. Royalty and tax revenues have skyrocketed, and cheaper natural gas fuels and feed stocks have fostered a manufacturing and petrochemical renaissance.

Expanding natural gas use has also reduced carbon dioxide emissions, which should encourage people who still worry about “dangerous manmade climate change.”

petroleumbyproducts

For a larger view click on the pie chart.

Increased production has also enabled companies to export more gasoline, kerosene, jet fuel, lubricants, and other finished products, since refined product exports were never prohibited. Indeed, U.S. refining capacity is at record levels.

However, because they were designed to process heavier crude oils, refineries are limited in how much domestic sweet crude they can handle. Exports would provide an important outlet for excess crude supplies. That in turn would encourage additional exploration and production, protecting jobs, further revitalizing our economy, and multiplying royalty and tax revenues.

That exploration and production must go beyond state and private lands, though. Opening more federal onshore and offshore lands to leasing and drilling is essential and would magnify these benefits many times over. These resources belong to all Americans, not only to those who oppose fossil fuel use.

In many cases, adding fracking to the equation would expand supplies even further, by making otherwise marginal plays more economic to produce, reinvigorating old oil and gas fields, prolonging oil field life, and leaving fewer energy resources behind in rock formations.

Asia needs the energy to fuel its growing economy and support its still inadequate petroleum production infrastructure. Most of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russia, which charges high prices, engages in energy blackmail, and is rattling sabers in Crimea, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Right now, many European countries prohibit fracking, and EU climate and renewable energy policies have sent business and family energy prices into the stratosphere, killing jobs and preventing families from heating their homes properly.

Expanding domestic U.S. oil and gas production and exports would aid EU workers and families, while also improving America’s gross domestic product, balance of trade, national security, job growth, and prestige. Contrary to what some have argued, American consumers would also benefit, because exports would help stabilize global supplies and prices, keep OPEC and Russian price hikers at bay, and make the United States less reliant on imports and less vulnerable to supply disruptions.

What actually hurts consumers are government and environmentalist opposition to leasing, drilling, fracking, pipelines, and hydrocarbons – and their support for expensive, land-intensive, water-hungry, lower-energy-content ethanol and biofuel “alternatives.”

It is possible that the current $9 per barrel difference between U.S. and global oil prices could shrink slightly if some oil is exported. Barclays Bank says eliminating the export ban could add $10 billion a year to overall national gasoline costs.

However, this potential increase is just 3% of an average household’s annual $2,912 gasoline outlay. That’s $87 a year or $1.68 a week – half the price of pumpinggasone Starbucks Latte Grande.

The consumer impact of America’s massive land and petroleum resource lockdowns is much higher.

Of course, realizing these benefits requires producing more, ending the export ban, and building more pipelines, natural gas liquefaction plants, and shipping facilities. That can and should be expedited.

Europe can and should produce more of its own oil and gas. It has vast petroleum potential waiting to be tapped via fracking. Opposition to producing this petroleum is no more ethical than environmentalist demands that the United States keep its own enormous untapped petroleum supplies locked up, while we deplete other countries’ assets and put their wildlife habitats at risk from production-related accidents.

Nor is it ethical or sensible for President Obama to ask Saudi Arabia to send us more oil, rather than telling his energy and environment regulators to foster more production here at home.

In short, America should produce more here at home, export both crude and refined petroleum to Europe and Asia, and support companies that want to take their fracking technology and expertise overseas.

These actions will benefit American companies, workers, families, consumers, balance of trade, environmental quality, and government revenues. We must not let anti-hydrocarbon ideologies or misinformed policy positions perpetuate this antiquated ban.

NOTE: This article first appeared in Investor’s Business Daily.

About Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), which is sponsoring the All Pain No Gain petition against global-warming hype. He also is a senior policy adviser to the Congress of Racial Equality and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power – Black Death.

An Open Letter to Tallahassee: The FPSC has NO Jurisdiction over Health, Safety and Privacy

AN OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR SCOTT, FLORIDA STATE SURGEON GENERAL JOHN ARMSTRONG, FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL PAM BONDI, AND FLORIDA STATE SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES:

Please STOP forwarding the e-mails and letters you get from Florida residents pertaining to any health, safety or privacy issues for smart meters to the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) for resolution. It is pointless. The FPSC has determined in ORDER NO. PSC-14-0146-FOF-EI, issued on April 1, 2014 (was this an April fools joke?), Docket NO. 130223-EI the following (page 10):

“Since such health, safety or privacy concerns have not yet been addressed by the Commission the Protestors contend this is the appropriate venue to raise these issues which the Protestors believe are within the Commission’s jurisdiction. However, none of the Commission’s authorizing statutes confers upon it jurisdiction over personal health, safety or privacy issues raised by the Protestors. Nor is the Commission authorized to enforce these extra-jurisdictional issues, which are the purview of the other agencies.” (Emphasis added)

The bottom line is the Florida Public Service Commission has mandated that all 4.5 million customers must accept Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL’s) smart meter or pay an extortion fee, but apparently they have NO jurisdiction to ensure health, safety or privacy for that product.

When you forward the letters you receive from residents to the FPSC, they turn around and send them a letter stating that there is a proceeding being protested by citizens on this matter and hearings will be held later this year. The FPSC gives them a link to the docket page. The residents go to the FPSC Docket page and find my e-mail and address (since I am one citizen with a protest filing pending on this docket) and the residents call or e-mail me.

Since the issues of health, safety and privacy raised in the petition have been denied by the FPSC, as they claim they have no jurisdiction, could you please do your job and tell the people of Florida directly that NO Florida government agency wants to take responsibility. Will you be brave and tell them yourself that

• our Florida State Constitution is null and void as it pertains to privacy rights in one’s own home or private property rights and that the utilities get to decide who owns the data taken from their homes and they are compelled to give it to the utility or they may alternatively pay a fine to keep it private?
• all issues of health, safety and privacy has been relegated to the Federal Government and are outside the jurisdiction of the Florida government (the republic is officially over)?

If this is not the case, I ask the Governor, Attorney General, State Surgeon General as well as each legislator (who has jurisdiction over the FPSC) – who in Florida’s government does have jurisdiction to ensure that Floridians health, safety and privacy are properly safeguarded from the FPSC Orders?

Here are some of the main issues:

HEALTH:

Issue 1: Many customers have alerted the FPSC that they have either medical conditions (sensitivities to RF radiation and electro-magnetic fields) or medical implants and devices for which their doctors have advised them to avoid exposure to RF radiation.

FPSC response – not my job. Take the meter or pay up to comply with doctor’s advice.

Issue 2: Many residents with or without prior sensitivities to RF radiation became ill when such smart meters were placed on their homes. When the device was removed, their good health was returned.
FPSC response – not my job. Take the meter or pay up to protect your health.

Issue 3: FCC guidelines and approval only cover acute short-term exposure to RF radiation. They do not test for or cover long-term chronic exposure or accumulated exposure to RF, nor do they consider any biological effects. You cannot turn a smart meter off to avoid exposure.

FPSC response – not my job.

Issue 4: The legislative branch gave the State Health Dept. jurisdiction over non-ionizing radiation in Statute 501.122 – Consumer protections.

FPSC response – no responsibility to coordinate with the Health Dept.

SAFETY:

Issue 1: Smart meters are installed on homes and businesses in places that are wide open and accessible to the general public. It is possible for any citizen to lean up directly against these meters. The FCC Grant of Equipment Authorization (OWS-NIC514) for the Silver Spring Network radio module (900 MHZ) for utility meters, that FP&L is using in their GE smart meter, states the following on its grant notes: “The antenna(s) used for the transmitter must be installed to provide a separation distance of at least 20cm from all persons and must not be co-located or operating in conjunction with any other antenna or transmitter.”
The vast majority of Florida citizens do not even know what a smart meter is or the fact that it contains two transmitters, one for the NAN and one for the HAN. They do not know to stay 20cm away. We also haven’t figured out how they can co-locate two transmitters.

FPSC response – not my job.

Issue 2: Smart meter installations have resulted in fires and damage to customer equipment and appliances.
FPSC response – not my job.

PRIVACY:

Issue: The smart meter contains a computer and storage and is taking detail measurements (4 hours today, 15 minutes in the future), which will be stored by the utility, and is available to all government agencies (Third Party Doctrine). Such data means surveillance of citizens in their homes and such data is NOT needed for billing. The FPSC is fully aware that each utility it regulates regards the ownership of such data differently.

FPSC response – not my job to develop privacy rules.

PROPERTY RIGHTS:

Issue 1: In 1988 under Order 18893, the FPSC, at FP&L’s request, transferred the ownership of the meter enclosure to the customer. They said that it was not part of the utility function and simply housed a meter. Therefore the customer must bear all the costs and burdens of ownership and maintain the meter enclosure. In 2010, the FPSC mandated the smart meter, which is really network management and communication equipment (that also contains a meter). Such equipment establishes a wireless neighborhood area network through the meter, performing more than measurement functions, on our homes. It violates the terms and conditions of Order No. 18893. Essentially customers now have the costs and burdens of ownership but no rights and privileges, such as refusal of equipment that does not satisfy the original terms.

FPSC response – we have the powers of police state. (That they do!).

Issue 2: Many Floridians own rental properties and do not wish this equipment placed on their buildings. If the electric is in their tenant’s name, FP&L claims they have no right to decide, the tenant gets to choose the equipment.

FPSC response – okay by me.

MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING:

Issue: If you live in a multi-family dwelling and have a bank of meters behind your bed, how do you opt out?

FPSC response – we can’t answer that question so we will continue to ignore it.

Please direct your staff to prepare answers for the above issues and answer the inquiries from residents directly. I have decided that since I can’t answer their questions, I am now advising all residents that call me to vote Independent in this next election. If we get rid of the corrupt establishment politicians and officials and vote for an independent, such as Adrian Wyllie for Governor, who appears to be devoted to the Constitution, then maybe we can get a Public Service Commission that understands that they have two stakeholders – the utilities and the customer.

Report: Global Warming Causes ‘No Net Harm’ to Environment or Human Health

Independent review of climate science contradicts “alarmist” views of United Nations report.

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) on Monday released Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts. The 1,062-page report contains thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific literature — and concludes rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels are causing “no net harm to the global environment or to human health and often finds the opposite: net benefits to plants, including important food crops, and to animals and human health.”

Click here to read the full report in digital form (PDF). An 18-page Summary for Policymakers is available here. Print versions of the full report and the summary will be released by NIPCC in Washington, DC the week of April 7th. Individual chapters of the full report can be downloaded at the Climate Change Reconsidered Web site.

Among the findings in Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological Impacts:

  • Atmospheric carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is a non-toxic, non-irritating, and natural component of the atmosphere. Long-term CO2 enrichment studies confirm the findings of shorter-term experiments, demonstrating numerous growth-enhancing, water-conserving, and stress-alleviating effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on plants growing in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
  • There is little or no risk of increasing food insecurity due to global warming or rising atmospheric CO2 levels.Farmers and others who depend on rural livelihoods for income are benefiting from rising agricultural productivity around the world, including in parts of Asia and Africa where the need for increased food supplies is most critical. Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels play a key role in the realization of such benefits.
  • Rising temperatures and atmospheric CO2 levels do not pose a significant threat to aquatic life. Many aquatic species have shown considerable tolerance to temperatures and CO2 values predicted for the next few centuries, and many have demonstrated a likelihood of positive responses in empirical studies. Any projected adverse impacts of rising temperatures or declining seawater and freshwater pH levels (“acidification”) will be largely mitigated through phenotypic adaptation or evolution during the many decades to centuries it is expected to take for pH levels to fall.
  • A modest warming of the planet will result in a net reduction of human mortality from temperature-related events.More lives are saved by global warming via the amelioration of cold-related deaths than are lost due to excessive heat. Global warming will have a negligible influence on human morbidity and the spread of infectious diseases.

NIPCC scientists and experts from Washington, DC-based think tanks will be in Washington the week of April 7th to publicly release the final two volumes of the Climate Change Reconsidered II series: Biological Impacts, which is available online at www.climatechangereconsidered.org, and Human Welfare, Energy, and Policies, which will become available online during the coming week.

ABOUT THE HEARTLAND INSTITUTE

The Heartland Institute is a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit the Heartland Institute website or call 312/377-4000.

ABOUT THE NONGOVERNMENTAL INTERNATIONAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of scientists and scholars who first came together in 2003 to provide an independent review of the climate science cited by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). NIPCC has produced five major scientific reports so far and plans to release one more in the coming weeks. These reports have been endorsed by leading scientists from around the world, been cited in peer-reviewed journals, and are credited with changing the global debate over climate change. No corporate or government funding was solicited or received to support production of these reports.

Carbon Footprint: Using Unborn Fetuses as “Renewable Energy”

Environmentalists believe that mankind is a scourge, an infestation if you will, upon the earth and must be at the least controlled and at worst eliminated to protect mother earth. Those who are believers in population control embrace the policies of organizations like Planned Parenthood, founded by Margaret Sanger. “The feminist movement, of which Sanger was a major exponent, always identified with eugenics,” wrote Edwin Black.

Edwin Black, author of War Against The Weak, writes, “… Sanger vigorously opposed charitable efforts to uplift the downtrodden and deprived, and argued extensively that it was better that the cold and hungry be left without help, so that the eugenically superior strains could multiply without competition from ‘the unfit.’ She repeatedly referred to the lower classes and the unfit as ‘human waste’ not worthy of assistance, and proudly quoted the extreme eugenic view that  human ‘weeds’ should be ‘exterminated.’ Moreover, for both political and genuine ideological reasons, Sanger associated closely with some of some of America’s most fanatical eugenic racists.” Sanger stated, “My criticism, therefore, is not directed at the ‘failure’ of philanthropy, but rather at its success.” [Emphasis added]

addenbrook hospital

One of England’s leading hospitals used the remains of 797 unborn babies in its own ‘waste to energy’ incinerator, for a savings of £18.50 per cremation. Photo courtesy of the Boston Globe.

Fast forward to today. Jeff Jacoby in his column How unborn babies become ‘clinical waste’, writes, “JONATHAN SWIFT was being satirical when he penned his “modest proposal” that destitute Irish parents alleviate their financial woes by selling their children as delicacies for rich landowners. He assured his readers that 1-year-olds are delicious, ‘whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled.’ That was satire circa 1729. Imagine what Swift at his most scathing would write today — say, a 21st-century “modest proposal” to use unborn fetuses for renewable energy. But this — from a prominent story last week in The Telegraph, a British newspaper — wasn’t satire:

“The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals, an investigation has found. Ten [National Health Service] trusts have admitted burning fetal remains alongside other rubbish while two others used the bodies in ‘waste-to-energy’ plants which generate power for heat. . . . At least 15,500 fetal remains were incinerated by 27 NHS trusts over the last two years alone, Channel 4’s ‘Dispatches’ discovered.”

The Wire’s Phillip Bump writes, “American conservatives are very upset. Breitbart’s new UK outlet picked up the story, with commenters linking the practice to the Nazis, to Hell, to environmentalists, and to Democrats, in some variation of that order. The response was similar on Twitter. (“What’s the carbon footprint of burning dead, aborted infants?”). A columnist at RedState identified as “streiff” did the yeoman’s work of delineating the slippery slope.

This is what happens when a society loses faith. Humans lose their humanity. When that humanity is lost, society feels free to use humans in whatever way it perceives will generate the best Return on Investment. In order to justify abortion, the unborn had to be dehumanized.

“While it always to poke fun at the Brits, this is undoubtedly happening today in the United States,” streiff writes. It is like the film Soylent Green, the writer argues, in which people judged not to be useful to society are turned into food.

Burning fetuses is just the first step on the road to perdition. What’s the carbon footprint for a burned baby? What’s the moral price for burning one?

RELATED STORY: Nancy Pelosi calls pro-lifers ‘dumb’ at Planned Parenthood gala; draws brutal Twitter response

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is courtesy of TShirtBordello.com.

Keystone XL: Who benefits? Who loses?

Last Thursday, 20 March, the Washington Post published an amazing article by Juliet Eilperin, their Environment reporter, claiming the Koch brothers are the major owners of Canadian “tar sands” – the source of oil to be shipped through the Keystone XL . Specifically the article said:

“The biggest leaseholder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.”

In doing so, Eilperin and the Post relied on a recently issued report from a far-left outfit called the International Forum on Globalization (IFG).

Ms. Eilperin is a longtime advocate of action to save the earth from “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” (CAGW), the old name before it became “climate change” or “carbon pollution.” It is not terribly surprising that Eilperin opposes the pipeline, whoever is invested in it. The surprise is that Eilperin rushed so quickly and gullibly into an obvious hoax.

The recent IFG report is a supplement to one issued in October, 2013, which became a laughingstock when John Hinderaker of Powerline blog tore it apart, noting that even IFG admits Keystone XL would provide competition for Koch oil sales in the American Midwest, costing them about $120 billion. In addition, Koch Industries has never lobbied for the Keystone XL. Also, one does not just drive up to a Keystone XL terminal – assuming one ever exists – and pour in a truckload of oil. A would-be user has to pay, in advance, for a quota of oil to be shipped, an allowance of a portion to be used (of a total 830,000 bbl/day). Koch Industries hasn’t bought a quota. Needless to say, Hinderaker had a lot of fun ripping the WaPo and Eilperin.

A wise journalist – or, at least, an honest one – would have issued a retraction and an apology to the readers. Eilperin and the Post have done neither. Nor has the Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, the man who issues “Pinocchio” awards to liars, said anything about the article.

pinocchio_4

Pinocchios courtesy of the Washington Post.

This lie ought to get Eilperin four pinocchios.

So, what did Eilperin offer in response? She said:

The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.

Oh. The fact that someone – not even Koch Industries – tried to rebut a complete lie is justification for printing the lie in the first place – since it “stirs and inflames public debate.”

But wait, as the TV salesmen say, there’s more.

Juliet Eilperin is married to Andrew Light, who formulates environmental policy for John Podesta’s Center for American Progress (CAP). Light is also a member of the Obama Administration, as a Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the State Department. As you remember, Climate Change is the most important issue facing the world – according to the Secretary of State, John “A Child Could Understand This” Kerry. Today President Obama is in Europe, discussing with NATO and the leaders of the European Union, what we can do to blunt the Russian control of the EU energy supply.

As you probably remember, John Podesta was recently made a “special advisor” to Obama – and specifically to advise on climate for the guy who once promised to make your electricity costs “skyrocket.” Mr. Podesta strongly and unequivocally opposes the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. He wants more study – as has been done for Keystone XL pipeline, for five years.

Who benefits if the Keystone pipeline goes ahead? Millions of Americans who will see gasoline prices decrease. Millions of Canadians who will see taxes flow into their national treasury. Thousands of Americans and Canadian workers. American energy independence, a priority since the 1970’s. Certainly not Koch Industries.

Who benefits if Keystone is not approved?

Tom Steyer, hedge fund billionaire and major Democratic Party contributor. Steyer is offering $100 million to Democrats in 2014 who oppose Keystone. Prior to the Democratic Senators’ talkathon, the leaders visited Steyer’s home in New York. Does anyone believe Mr. Steyer cares for the environment and global warming $100 million worth?

The feature image is a picture of Brad Johnson, a staff writer for Podesta’s Center for American Progress, admonishing the Washington Post against telling lies – when the Post dared print a column by Charles Krauthammer that suggested climate science is not “settled science.”

The American Physical Society (APS) recently appointed a panel of members, including three prominent sceptics, to review its previous endorsement of global warming as a matter of concern. Sounds pretty unsettled. I don’t often agree with Johnson or the rest of Podesta’s gang, but I also wish the Washington Post and its environment writer, Eilperin, would stop telling lies.

RELATED STORY: Keystone XL is Proof Obama Opposes U.S. Economic Growth

Does Climate Change Play a Role in Putin’s Aggression in Ukraine?

1. Russian President Vladimir Putin has bested US President Obama in the Ukraine including the recent annexation of Crimea.

2. Putin is trying to rebuild the former Soviet Union, but may also want Ukraine’s wheat and all the warm water ports of the northern Black Sea because of a potentially dangerous new cold climate.

3. Global warming ended years ago and the next global cold climate epoch has begun because of the Sun going into a reduced state of energy output called a ‘solar hibernation’ – a once every 206 year event.

4. During past cold eras, Russians were heavily dependent on the Ukraine for wheat and the warmer water ports of Crimea. Russia is a cold, far north nation. Most of it lies at the latitude of Alaska.

5. Russian government scientists and their media are free to talk about the new cold climate where US scientists are punished for telling the truth about the climate. The US mainstream media is silent on the coming cold. Russian scientists have said a new “Little Ice Age” begins this year!

6. Russia is no stranger to the ravages of cold and starvation and they are therefore more concerned about the next cold climate. In the US, most have never experienced either. Russian scientists have said their country must prepare for what the new cold epoch will do to them. In the US, just the opposite is happening! President Obama has even said global warming is “accelerating!” – a shockingly false statement.

7. Putin will do what he can to prevent the European Union or the US or western agricultural conglomerates from getting Ukrainian wheat thus depriving Russia of food for its people. The US food conglomerates are well aware of the next cold climate.

8. Putin will try to stop the US or NATO from controlling northern Black Sea ports for its Navy. If the next “Little Ice Age” (LIA) begins as predicted, Russia’s northern ports along the Baltic Sea will be frozen in for most of the year – crippling its Navy.

9. Putin may be listening to what his scientists and his media are saying about the need to prepare for the coming difficult cold epoch. President Obama continues to place US citizens in harm’s way by making sure we are totally unprepared for the coming food shortages and extreme cold weather.

QUESTION: Does Climate Change Play a Role in Putin’s Aggression in the Ukraine? 

Certainly, it looks as though the primary reason for the Russian action in Ukraine is part of Putin’s long range plan to reconstitute the former Soviet Union. Is climate change on his mind as he executes his militaristic Ukrainian strategy while taking full advantage of the feckless foreign policy of President Obama? Maybe. Should it be? Absolutely!

Putin, two steps ahead of President Obama on international affairs, is actually years ahead of President Obama on climate change. Our hapless President continues to reinforce the myth of man made global warming and engaging in active deception of the American people on the subject.  Putin, however, appears to be doing exactly what he needs to do to prepare for the predicted extreme cold climate that my climate research company, the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC,) and Russia’s leading climate scientists have warned about. That’s right, for those who haven’t been informed yet; global warming ended years ago and a potentially dangerous new cold climate has begun!

The next climate change to a predicted long cold epoch which threatens Russia’s control over the vital national resources of wheat and its long standing need for a warm water port, may be among the more important and undiscussed drivers underlying the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Securing these resources may cause him to insure he has complete control over all of the Ukraine beyond the just annexed Crimea and as much of the northern Black Sea as he can take. This bold assertion rightfully demands some explanation.

The new cold climate, a once-every-206-year event, is brought on as a result of the Sun making historic reductions in its energy output, which is leading us inextricably down the path to a much colder Earth. This “solar hibernation” has already brought about a stunning reversal from the past global warming to a new colder climate leaving the ‘warmist’ and environmental communities scrambling for new reasons for existence, e.g. ocean acidification. The widely available real world temperature data shows that not only have we had no global warming for seventeen years, but that oceanic and atmospheric temperatures have been declining for much of the last eleven years. Sea ice extent globally has reached record levels. The brutal record cold winter of 2013-2014 is but one example of many, that a fundamental change in the climate has arrived. This new cold is like the solar hibernation that has caused it, unstoppable!

The absence of discussion by our media and government, much less action to prepare for the next cold climate epoch in the US, is completely opposite in Russia! It is ironic and deeply saddening that in what was the former communist Soviet Union, scientists are more free to tell the truth about what is really happening with the Earth’s climate, than are their US colleagues. As a result, Russian climate scientists are way ahead of their shackled US counterparts on the status of this next change to a long cold climate. Tragically, here in the US, it would be a career ending move if a government scientist or government funded university climate researcher told the truth about this new cold phenomenon. President Obama has made it clear that US scientists are to mislead the people about what is happening with the climate. He has done so via executive order and in public statements where he has made public policy. In June 2013 at Georgetown University, for example,  he made the statement that global warming was “accelerating” – a shockingly false statement.

Similarly, the Russian media has no problem printing articles from their climate experts about the coming cold climate and its potentially calamitous effects. With the exception of a relatively few like Newsmax and the Orlando Sentinel, major US media outlets are silent on what may become the most important news story of the century. In Russia, the media have reported that researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences are warning that a new “Little Ice Age” is coming, possibly in 2014! It is this new extreme cold epoch and its many ill-effects that could be an important secondary driver behind Russian aggression in Ukraine.

Unlike the US, Russia is no stranger to bitter cold and nationwide food deprivation. Their history is full of such episodes caused by natural forces and augmented by political turbulence and warfare. It is part of their country’s historical, social, and political makeup. There is a stark difference therefore, between the current US and Russian view of the next climate change. In the US, there is no future cold climate threat! Yet many ‘in the know’ in Russian view it as ‘a clear and present danger!’ As a result, while on the surface their rationale for a Ukraine invasion is political, underneath, the Russians well understand what other ‘jewels’ Ukraine has to offer.

I believe one of those jewels and reasons for a Russian takeover starting in the Crimea, is to secure complete access to Ukrainian wheat and other crops as they did in days of the former Soviet Union. In 2012, Russia proper produced 38 million metric tons of wheat, fifth largest in the world. Ukraine came in with 16 million tons about half of Russia’s output yet, making it number eleven in the global rankings. It is possible under current cold climate scenarios published in the Global Climate Status Report©, a product of the Space and Science Research Corporation, that Russia may see a substantial loss of its grain crops during the next cold climate. This could result in them becoming partially or totally dependent on the Ukraine for much of the bread on Russian tables. The quantities are not the only point – the geography matters too.

The Russian homeland is centered along latitude 60 degrees north. This is the same as northern Canada and Alaska! Russia in the winter is a vast cold land. Even the Ukraine, near the southern most extent of Russia, is about the same latitude as the wheat belt of southern Canada. What if the Russian Academy of Sciences is correct and we see another Little Ice Age start this year or in the next five or even ten years. What if Russia loses much or all its harvest of wheat for years in a row? They will turn as they have before – to Ukraine.

The March 10, 2014 Global Climate Status Report states that this new cold climate will likely “…result in substantial, global, social disruption and loss of life.”  The US government, US agricultural conglomerates and the US mainstream media are well aware of the new cold climate because of frequent updates provided to them over the years by the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC).

Putin cannot allow the western leaning Ukrainian government to permit European, or US agricultural conglomerates to have access to Ukraine’s wheat during the coming cold climate, leaving his people without the food they will be demanding.

History has shown that when the people begin to starve, they take down their government and wars begin. The French revolution of 1789, which eventually placed Napoleon Bonaparte on the throne, took place at the very beginning of the last 206 year solar cycle’s cold phase. Doubtless, President Putin has no interest in seeing any political upheaval on his watch. He will want Ukraine’s crops and will do what is needed to keep European and US agriculture conglomerates out of the way.

But what about the warm water port issue. The world has long known that Russia has historically sought out warm ports where its navy could hold up during winters and to be able to respond year-round to Russian military requirements as they also attempt to project their military force globally. But during this new cold climate, it will be different. The port issue will be paramount!

Again, if the Russian climate researchers are correct, then the far northern waters of the planet especially the Baltic Sea and waters around Russia’s northern ports could be frozen over, not just for a few months in winter, but for most if not all of the year! During the coldest time of the Little Ice Age from 1615 to 1745, the Baltic Sea was so cold for so long that roads, hotels, and shops were built on the frozen sea and people walked between counties over the thick ice. No, this would not be just another cold winter adversely affecting Russia’s fleet for a predictably short few months. This could be a period of time when Russia’s military, especially its navy, could be crippled, making it vulnerable to other foreign designs. Putin cannot permit that either. He will want to hold on to the recently annexed Crimea and its ports and as many other warm water ports along the Black Sea that he can capture, thus prohibiting NATO naval forces from moving in.

All the while, the wily Russian President Putin remains way ahead of President Obama. In the United States, the manmade climate change deception has become a joke. In Russia, as its history of incredible hardships shows, the changing climate may be viewed today as a matter of life and death. The incursion into the Ukraine though essentially political, may also be the first steps the Russians are taking to prepare for the coming cold!

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is of a Russian winter in Arzamas. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

ACTION ALERT: Stand Up for Florida Energy Independence!

Pictured: New oil rig, North of Gum Slough, Big Cypress Swamp, Florida circa 1935

Oil and natural gas have been safely produced in Florida since the 1940s, with over 4.6 billion gallons from Southwest Florida area alone. Floridians consume over 26 million gallons of gasoline and diesel per day, and the majority of the state’s electricity is generated from natural gas. Florida has a long history of responsible energy production, which can continue for decades to come, enhancing the energy security for Floridians and all Americans.

Florida Energy Citizens (FEC) states, “An oil exploration well is under consideration in the Collier County, Florida Big Cypress Swamp area. The proposed well has been approved by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s following reviews by the U.S. EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Parks Service, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Florida Department of State Historical Resources Division, Florida Division of State Lands and the FDEP Environmental Resources Permitting Program Division, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, and the South Florida Water Management District.”

Opponents of this particular energy development, according to FEC, are spreading a variety of falsehoods about hydraulic fracturing, even though the permit involved does not involve the technology. As the facts clearly show, however, fracking does not harm drinking water. This is something that is acknowledged by a variety of experts, including EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. As she points out, “There’s nothing inherently dangerous in fracking that sound engineering practices can’t accomplish.”

FEC notes, “Oil and natural gas has been safely produced in Big Cypress Swamp area over the past 70 years. There has not been even a single instance where fracking in this area (or anywhere around the nation) has been proven to harm groundwater. Further, the location is an agricultural field which is perfect for siting as it is away from the more sensitive everglades area and impacts are reasonable in respect to the nature, character, and location of the affected property.”

There is no reason for the Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee to rule against the oil exploration well permit already issued by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The facts show that this is merely another project in the area’s long history of safe energy production. We need this energy production to continue in order to grow our community’s economy.

FEC warns, “Floridians need to see through the misinformation about fracking and approve this permit.”

If you wish you may send an email to the Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee. Click here to tell the members of the Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee your position on energy production in Florida!

RELATED STORIES:

Progress Florida Misleads Public on Fracking

Seismic Testing Helps Florida

Open Letter to Florida Power and Light CEO James L. Robo on Smart Meters

The Memory Hole blog published an open letter by James F. Tracy to James Robo, CEO of FP&L concerning its push to install smart meters on all of the homes of its customers. Memory Hole reports, “The letter below was sent to Florida Power and Light Chairman/CEO James L. Robo this week upon reviewing FPL’s policy to ‘opt out’ of Smart Meter technology for an ‘enrollment fee’ and subsequent monthly payments. Such payments amount to mob-style extortion that utility customers are forced to pay, simply to remain free from potential harassment or harm.”

James L. Robo
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Next Era Energy / Florida Power and Light
700 Universe Boulevard
Juno Beach, Florida 33408

Dear Mr. James L. Robo,

I am writing with regard to the “Smart Meter” appliance that your company, Next Era Energy / Florida Power and Light (NEE/FPL; NYSE: NEE) placed on my home and households throughout my Boca Raton neighborhood in April 2011, and your present bid for my family to “opt out” of exposure to such technology. As you are likely aware, after doing extensive research on the device and its implications for privacy and human health, in addition to conducting periodic measurements with my HF35-C RF Analyzer, I discovered how your Smart Meter apparatus was discharging microwave radiation on my family (which includes small children) in excess of 10,000 microwatts per square meter every thirty-to-ninety seconds. I requested that NEE/FPL remove the meter. NEE/FPL complied only after being repeatedly telephoned and furnished with my own observations delivered via certified mail and accompanied by copious scientific research that such “Smart Meter” technology poses a serious health hazard and privacy-related concerns (hereherehere, and here).

Yet Mr. Robo, as you are aware, even with this knowledge you have consciously chosen to act in a grossly irresponsible fashion by maintaining that the meters in question are safe, and have proceeded to keep them on millions of NEE/FPL customers’ homes throughout Florida without their awareness or express consent. This flagrant act demonstrated to such a manifold degree arguably constitutes fraud, negligence, and reckless endangerment on a truly astounding scale.

NOTE: An important interview with Take Back Your Power documentary producer Josh Del Sol:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ozwCHuW0Clg[/youtube]

In your most recent paraphernalia to customers you disingenuously assert that there are “no credible studies” concluding that “Smart Meter” radiation is dangerous to human health. As you are well aware, the body of research on the negative health effects of microwave RF dates to the 1960s and consists of several thousand military and scholarly scientific studies. In fact, the only studies that lack credibility and defy basic scientific standards are those commissioned by NEE/FPL and its peer utilities throughout North America to avert public concern over such risks.

Mr. Robo, as a Harvard Man twice over one might conclude that you hold scientific inquiry and proof thereof in high regard. Your irresponsible conduct in this matter suggests that any such intellectual training is not only placed in abeyance but wholly betrayed. Moreover, your most recent proposition to allow families to “opt out” for a fee of what is essentially a gigantic scientific experiment is tantamount to mob-style extortion.

I will appreciate the opportunity of meeting and conversing with you in person so that you may explain to me whether you have a “Smart Meter” attached to your office, living room, or bedroom wall, as so many of your customers’ families do. I am also interested to know how you are able to proceed with a clear conscience given that you are presiding over such a dangerous health-related trial that will almost certainly cause countless health problems and an overall deteriorating quality of life on unsuspecting millions.

An honest Fourth Estate vigorously airing the perils of the technology you have unilaterally mandated for every single Florida resident might result in a far more circumspect if not hostile citizenry. Such inattention by the press has allowed you to successfully bamboozle the Florida Public Utility Commission into approving the widescale deployment of this dangerous system and the uncertain effort to allow customers to “opt out.”

If the “Smart Meter” technology you stipulate were really safe and beneficial, your customer base would be clamoring to pay the $95.00 initiation and $13.00 monthly fee to “opt in” to the “Smart Grid.” Yet because the technology is unproven, hazardous, and perhaps even useless you must foist it on your customers without their knowledge and then proceed to confuse them, even as you disingenuously offer the option to say, “No.”

Mr. Robo, I once again offer you my emphatic “No!” “No!” to the fraud, “No!” to the guile, “No!” to the invasion of privacy, and “No!” to the assault on my family’s health that your outrageous and unfounded technology poses.

Sincerely,

James F. Tracy

LA City Council Ignores Science; Claims Hydraulic Fracturing Caused Earthquake

In their efforts to block hydraulic fracturing, some Los Angeles City Council members don’t want to let the St. Patrick’s Day earthquake go to waste:

Three Los Angeles City Council members want city, state and federal groups to look into whether hydraulic fracturing and other forms of oil and gas “well stimulation” played any role in the earthquake that rattled the city early Monday morning.

The motion, presented Tuesday by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin and seconded by Councilman Bernard Parks, asks for city departments to team up with the California Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the U.S. Geological Survey and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to report back on the likelihood that such activities contributed to the 4.4-magnitude quake.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/KiB7ny52-xw[/youtube]

 

National Review Online talked to City Council Member Bernand Parks:

Parks, who seconded the motion, tells National Review Online that while fracking is “reportedly” happening near the epicenter, those who signed the motion weren’t completely sure. However, he adds that “earthquakes are happening in areas that are not historically earthquake prone, but they are in places where fracking is going on.”

No one should be surprised that the ground often rumbles in Los Angeles, a city lying on top of an area prone to earthquakes, but that doesn’t mean city leaders can ignore geophysics.

A scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey stated nicely that Council Members’ theory that hydraulic fracturing caused Monday’s earthquake is hogwash:

Seismologist Lucy Jones, a USGS science advisor for risk reduction, said she would need to know much more about nearby pumping in the area, such as whether someone was changing the water pressure deep in the ground, to say whether it could have been a factor in the Monday temblor.

However, “my first impression is that sounds implausible,” Jones said, “just because the earthquake was so deep. Induced earthquakes are almost always shallower than this.”

According to seismographic data, the quake was six miles beneath the surface.

What’s more, Mark Zoback, professor of geophysics in the Stanford School of Earth Sciences, hydraulic fracturing expert, and a former advisor for the Obama administration’s Department of Energy has said that hydraulic fracturing doesn’t have the oomph to cause earthquakes and poses “no danger to the public”:

The energy released by one of these tiny microseismic events is equivalent to the energy of a gallon of milk hitting the floor after falling off a kitchen counter.

The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch reports on other research finding tenuous links between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes:

A peer-reviewed 2012 study on fracking in the Inglewood Oil Field in Los Angeles County found that “the high-volume hydraulic fracturing and high-rate gravel packs had no detectable effects on vibration, and did not induce seismicity (earthquakes).”

The National Research Council, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, also found last year that fracking poses a low risk for “inducing felt seismic events.”

“We also find that there is no evidence to suggest that hydraulic fracturing itself is the cause of the increased rate of earthquakes,” wrote David Hayes, deputy secretary of the Interior Department, in a 2012 report.

This effort is the latest in the Los Angeles City Council’s anti-hydraulic fracturing crusade. In February, the Council agreed to draw up rules to prohibit hydraulic fracturing, and in March, it followed through by authorizing changes in land-use laws to ban the technology in the city.

It’s apparent that science won’t stop these politicians from exploiting a natural event in order to slam hydraulic fracturing, an extremely beneficial tool for creating jobs and improving America’s energy security.

U.S. Energy, Ukraine and Russia

Ukraine came apart when a protest against its president forced him to flee to Russia. The issue was whether the Ukraine would be allied with Russia or with the European Union. Due to a combination of the obscene corruption of its former president, Viktor Yanukovych, and the mismanagement of the nation in general, the Ukrainian Parliament ousted him in February, a move supported by 328 members of the Parliament. He still claims to be president.

In contrast to the “melting pot” of America where people come from all over and develop strong feelings for our nation, the Ukrainians, divided primarily between the East and West, never quite gelled, the younger generation does not want to be back under the sway of Russia while many of the older ones, recalling the bad old days when it was, want closer ties with Europe. It remains divided and whether it will reunite is anyone’s guess.

If it does reunite, it will be missing the Crimean republic which has been seized by Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin. It had been part of Russia for hundreds of years and represents a critical warm water port. Krushchev relinquished it to Ukraine, but Putin will not. Sending troops into a foreign nation is an act of war, but I doubt that many Crimeans, see themselves as a foreign nation. They were Russian and they are Russian. Let’s move on.

Putin’s bold action brought a lot of other issues into play, not the least of which is Russia’s provision of natural gas to Ukraine and many European nations that depend on it, not the least of which is Germany.

One thing is for sure, NATO will not intervene to restore Crimea to the Ukraine and the European Union has so many financial ties to Russia that there is little reason to do anything than go through the charade of sanctions and criticism. I think the general consensus is that while Putin would like to expand the Russian Federation to the size of the former Russian empire, the cost of similar military actions would be too high.

The response of President Obama has been predictably weak. He is abandoning the Middle East to Islamic fascists. He has failed to provide an umbrella of military protection to Europe. He and Democrat members of Congress continue to tell us that the greatest threat here and worldwide is a global warming that isn’t happening.

The greatest threat to American security is President Obama for two reasons: (1) He has deliberately weakened the U.S. military and (2) his domestic energy policies have failed to take advantage of discoveries of massive amounts of natural gas and oil reserves. Drilling for them on federal lands and offshore has been largely thwarted. As a result the U.S. economy has limped along when it could be booming just from the energy sector alone.

Two reporters for The Wall Street Journal spelled out why the “U.S. Push for Natural-Gas Exports to Ukraine Faces Hurdles” in its March 12the edition.

“Neither the infrastructure nor international markets for natural gas have evolved to the point where the U.S. can step in and provide the kinds of energy supplies that would quickly reduce these nations’ dependency on Russian gas.”

“U.S. energy companies need several more years to build plants to export the gas—and Ukraine doesn’t have the facilities to receive it…The giant machines and cooling towers it takes to make liquefied natural gas, or LNG, take years to construct and cost billions of dollars.” There is at present a LNG terminal in Spain that could take gas shipments that could be added to the extensive European pipeline network, helping many nations there such as Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Suffice to say, U.S. policy and lawmakers have failed to take the actions necessary to respond to the recent surge in natural gas and oil supplies. Many Americans will be surprised to learn that in the 1970s Congress made it illegal to export domestically produced crude oil without a license. Those were the days of the Arab oil embargo.

At this point, the U.S. has more untapped oil than Saudi Arabia, as well as enough natural gas and coal to make us energy independent.

In addition, an odd and idiotic law requires the production of ethanol, a gasoline additive. In 2013, ethanol production was 316,964 thousand barrels. Ethanol not only decreases the mileage of the gasoline we purchase at the pump, it damages auto engines, two very good reasons to end this conversion of corn into energy that in turn drives up the cost of countless food products.

Even moving crude oil around the domestic U.S. poses a challenge despite a network of pipelines. Doing so by train has created many new problems. President Obama has delayed the Keystone XL pipeline that would increase crude oil supplies to our Gulf State’s refineries; thus denying us the jobs its construction would create and other benefits. The good news is that the U.S. has become one of the largest gross exporters of refined oil products such as gasoline and diesel.

If the U.S. government would get out of the way, new refineries and export facilities for natural gas could be built. The U.S. would prosper and energy costs would be reduced, along with our national debt. For now, however, the Ukraine, a longtime financial basket case, and Europe are not going to get a surge of natural gas or crude oil that would help reduce their dependence on Russia.

So long as President Obama remains in office, none of the steps that must be taken to restore the nation’s economy and tap the huge potential of our energy sector will occur.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

ACTION ALERT: Support Offshore Energy Exploration in FL!

Currently, Federal Government policies ban offshore oil and gas exploration and development in 87% of the offshore areas it controls. These areas have a huge potential to produce the oil and natural gas our nation needs. The first step towards making this happen is to find out how much oil and natural gas exists offshore. We can do that through seismic surveying.

Tell the Obama Administration that you support seismic surveying.

Take Action

Right now, the Obama Administration is considering whether to allow these surveys for the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. If federal officials decide against allowing these surveys, we won’t be seeing offshore drilling any time soon. It’s vital that these surveys are approved so our nation can get moving on accessing the abundant energy resources off our coastlines.

You can help ensure offshore drilling becomes a reality.

Take ACtion

Expanding offshore drilling could create 280,000 new jobs nationwide and 9,000 jobs in your state. It could contribute up to $23.5 billion to the U.S. economy every year. Let’s make sure our nation can begin enjoying these great benefits that have been blocked for decades. Let’s make sure Washington approves offshore seismic surveying.

The letter to the Administration reads:

I urge you to approve the environmental impact statement that would allow seismic surveying off Florida’s coastline.

As a resident of Florida, I want to see our state enjoying the benefits that offshore oil and gas production could bring. If the federal government were to allow offshore drilling, it could create 9,000 jobs in Florida, and boost our economy by $700 million.

Allowing seismic surveying is the first step in making offshore energy exploration a reality. The last surveys were done over thirty years ago. Technological advances since then allows surveys done today to be much more accurate. This process can be done safely and without harm to marine animals.

Our state needs the jobs and economic growth that offshore energy production would create. Our nation would also benefit from producing more energy here instead of relying so heavily on foreign imports. This is a win-win situation for our nation, but it can only happen if seismic surveying is approved.

I urge you to allow such surveying to take place.

FP&L – No “Choice” of Meters for 36,000 Floridians

By now many of you that refused the installation of FP&L’s smart meters have received a “Dear Customer” letter telling you that you have a choice of meters. The letter goes on to say that if you don’t take their smart meter that you will be charged $95 upfront and $13/month to retain your old meter. If you haven’t received such letter, you will shortly.

On January 7, 2014 the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) approved this deal. Although, it is being contested by two separate citizen petitions (one of which I am leading), the rules state that FP&L can continue as planned with the stipulation that fees collected are “subject to refund”. That is, if the FPSC Order is overturned, they must return the fees charged to the customers.

Why the fees? Well you resistors are “cost causers”. It is a long-standing principle that is invoked at will when they want to get you to comply with the game plan. In 1987/1988 they invoked the same principle when they transferred the ownership of meter enclosures and associated cost burdens (maintenance/replacement) to you the customer. The order (PSC Order # 18893) stated that:

“Since self-contained meter enclosures are not a part of the utility function, but simply house the meter itself, their costs should be borne by the customer when the structure is initially wired for electric service or when it must be replaced due to obsolescence or wear. The burden of maintaining and repairing the enclosures’ must likewise rest with the customer.”

As we all know by now, a smart meter is not “simply a meter” but contains lots of additional components that are part of the utility function. It establishes a wireless Neighborhood Network and sends messages back and forth amongst neighbor meters, remotely disconnects services and monitors your usage. In the future they will turn on the second transmitter to establish your Home Area Network to connect with your Home Energy Controller or Smart Thermostat and will give your smart refrigerator the ability to text you. It collects more data than is needed to bill you for your current plan. But why fuss over details!

If you don’t enroll in their plan, they will slap a smart meter on your home. If you think you got that covered (i.e. you already caged/locked your meter or have restricted access to your meter) think again. You will be automatically enrolled and charged the fee.

The process to fight this will be long and painful. If you don’t want a smart meter you need to:

Retain your analog meter. Once they take it, you will never see it again. (Remember you will get an undefined “non-communicating” meter in the future.) You may want to send a certified letter to FP&L stating that you do not consent and that you are enrolling under duress.

File a formal compliant with the FPSC.  Here is the complaint page http://www.floridapsc.com/consumers/complaints/index2.aspx

Write/call your Florida State Senators/Representatives. They are in session right now. Make your voices heard. Senate – http://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/Find, House: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx

Contact the Energy committees that oversee the FPSC. House Energy & Utilities Subcommittee – http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Committees/committeesdetail.aspx?TermId=85&CommitteeId=2724 and Senate Communications, Energy, and Public Utilities  http://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/Show/CU/

Contact Gov. Scott – http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/

For those who still believe smart meters save money, ask FP&L how much net operation and maintenance savings are in the current rates you pay.

What they said in the 2009 rate case:

2009 rate case schedule

What they reported in the 2012 rate case:

2012 rate case schedule

The lack of cost savings was confirmed by the Office of Public Counsel who said on October 12, 2012 “However, to OPC’s knowledge, no studies, analyses, or quantification of the benefits or cost savings from the implementation of smart meters exist at this time. OPC is still waiting on the promised cost savings benefits of smart meters to be realized and shared with the customers.” http://www.floridapsc.com/utilities/electricgas/smartmeter/09_20_2012/WorkshopComments/OPC.pdf

Think smart meters prevent outages? Check out Northeast Utilities initial comments in a recent Massachusetts Department of Utilities investigation – “Meters do not reduce the number of outages” (page 4) http://haltmasmartmeters.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/NSTAR_R12-76-Comments-7986-POSTED01172014_HIGHLIGHTED.pdf

And finally, how many of you run home from work or golf and check your FP&L energy dashboard each night? Apparently not many. The last annual report from FP&L showed that as of the end of 2012 with over 4 million meter installed, only about 15% accessed the dashboard about 2 times.