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.

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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.

Ted Cruz: Ten Policy Changes To Fundamentally Transform America Back

We agree with all of what Senator Cruz is proposing, with two exceptions – Congress needs to enforce the Constitution, not defend it and the Flat Tax proposal. Congress needs to get out of the tax business altogether and should repeal the Sixteen Amendment and replace it with the Fair Tax (HB 25).

Senator Cruz did not directly address pro-family policies and national security in his remarks. These are two key areas that must be restored if America is to be fundamentally transformed back to its former greatness.

 reports, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)  today advocated “a straightforward and bold, positive agenda to inspire the young, to inspire women, to inspire Hispanics, to inspire everybody” during his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Here are the ten items he called on Americans to do going forward:

1. “Defend the constitution. All of it.”

2. “We need to abolish the IRS. We need to adopt a simple flat tax that is fair [so] that every American can fill out his taxes on a postcard.”

3. “We need to expand energy in this country and create high-paying jobs all over America.”

4. “We need to expand school choice. Every child deserves an opportunity to have an excellent education, regardless of your race, your class, your creed, where you come from – every child deserves a fair chance at the American Dream.”

5. “We need to repeal Dodd-Frank.”

6. “We need to audit the Federal Reserve. Unaccountable power in Washington debasing our currency, driving up the cost of food and gas and the basic stuff of life is hurting Americans who are struggling across this country. And I’ll tell you what else it’s doing: It’s fueling the abuse of power by petro-tyrants like Putin.”

7. “We need to pass a strong balanced budget amendment. We need to stop bankrupting our country.”

8. “We need to repeal every single word of Obamacare.”

9. “We need to stop the lawlessness. This President of the United States is the first President we’ve ever had who thinks he can choose which laws to enforce and which laws to ignore. He announces just about every day one change after another after another in Obamacare. It is utterly lawless. It is inconsistent with our Constitution, and it ought to trouble everyone – Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians.”

10. “We need to end the corruption. We need to eliminate corporate welfare and crony capitalism. If you come to Washington and serve in Congress, there should be a lifetime ban on lobbying. And we need to pass a strong constitutional amendment that puts into law term limits.”

Even a child could understand climate change

The National Science Foundation did a survey a few weeks ago, and found that about 25% of Americans believe the Sun goes around the Earth.

They didn’t reveal that all 25% are journalism majors. (Just joking!) It is not possible to underestimate the ignorance conveyed to the American population by our commedia. At least, I thought so until a few days ago. Then I learned something about the scientific knowledge of one of our highest government officials, John Kerry, Secretary of State, the official tasked with making a decision about the Keystone XL pipeline. There’s a whole new level of stupid out there.

All environmental impact studies, over five years, have concluded that the pipeline – and, more importantly, the extraction of oil from the Alberta “tar sands” – will have no serious impact on climate change or “global warming.” Even the Denver Post, a bastion of warming alarmism, endorses construction of the pipeline.

So I was mildly surprised when Secretary Kerry, speaking in Jakarta on February 16th, declared that “…climate change is the most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Just mildly; it has hardly escaped detection that Kerry is an idiot on this subject. More important, Kerry is a politician, and a Democratic billionaire, Tom Steyer, is offering $100 million to fund politicians who oppose Keystone XL.

Even John Kerry, former richest man in the US Senate (thanks to some wise marriages), has to notice $100,000,000. And, Kerry cares about warming, right?

Now, what does the commedia tell us about catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW)? It’s due to the carbon dioxide (CO2) that we evil humans are pouring into our atmosphere like an open sewer, right? Do the words “carbon dioxide” or “carbon pollution” sound like “ozone” to you? Me neither.

However, here is part of the text of Secretary Kerry’s remarks, from the State Department  website:

“This is simple. Kids at the earliest age can understand this. Try and picture a very thin layer of gases – a quarter-inch, half an inch, somewhere in that vicinity – that’s how thick it is. It’s in our atmosphere. It’s way up there at the edge of the atmosphere. And for millions of years – literally millions of years – we know that layer has acted like a thermal blanket for the planet – trapping the sun’s heat and warming the surface of the Earth to the ideal, life-sustaining temperature. Average temperature of the Earth has been about 57 degrees Fahrenheit, which keeps life going. Life itself on Earth exists because of the so-called greenhouse effect.

But in modern times, as human beings have emitted gases into the air that come from all the things we do, that blanket has grown thicker and it traps more and more heat beneath it, raising the temperature of the planet. It’s called the greenhouse effect because it works exactly like a greenhouse in which you grow a lot of the fruit that you eat here.”

No, I haven’t edited it, and there’s lots more of the same. Analysis? surely, the obvious is sufficient: Kerry doesn’t know the difference between CO2, that he has told us a thousand times is the great evil, and ozone, the beneficent stratospheric gas that shields us from harmful ultraviolet, which causes sunburn and cataracts,
even in attenuated intensity.

In five years, in spite of Obama, we have become energy independent. Europe, in pursuit of renewable energy, is so dependent on Russian oil and natural gas they dare not resist the partition of Ukraine. The lights and heat would go off tomorrow. I wonder what Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov is thinking? The Chinese would love to buy Alberta oil. I wonder what they’re thinking?

I wonder what Canadian Prime Minister Harper is thinking?

How the U.S. Shale Energy Boom Can Help During Crises Like in Ukraine

The crisis in Ukraine illustrates clearly the importance of energy security. The Wall Street Journal reports that Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled oil and natural gas company, is using natural gas prices to pressure Ukraine:

Russian state-controlled natural-gas giant OAO Gazprom said Tuesday it would raise natural-gas prices for Ukraine—a move that ratchets up financial pressure on Kiev and raises the economic stakes in the standoff between Moscow and Western Europe.

Ukraine’s lack of energy security has placed it in this unenviable situation.

Today, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy released its 2nd International Index of Energy Security Risk, measuring the energy security of 25 large energy-consuming countries. Norway is at the top of the list followed by Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Ukraine ranks last.

For the United States, its energy security situation is quite different. It ranks six, climbing one place since last year and four places since 2002 because of the shale energy boom.

The Index finds that increased U.S. energy production has resulted in lower price volatility and improved energy security for all countries in the Index. For instance, increased production by the United States (835,000 barrels) made up for Iranian oil production (687,000 barrels) taken off world markets because of economic sanctions.

The report finds that the shale energy boom also has lowered natural gas supply risks:

Gas import risks remain very high for many countries, especially in Europe and Asia. It is now expected that by 2020, the United States will be a net exporter of natural gas. This is already having an impact on overseas markets, where shipments once destined for the United States are being diverted to European and other markets.

In short, improved energy security in one country–the U.S.–has improved energy security in all countries.

Going back to the Ukraine situation, an implication from the Index is that if oil and natural gas export barriers were removed, U.S. energy abundance could play an important role in stabilizing world energy markets during times of instability and global uncertainty.

Christopher Guith, vice president for policy at the Energy Institute told Bloomberg, “This is a geopolitical fulcrum that we could be utilizing if we didn’t have this protectionist constraint on U.S. energy.”

On a press call, Steve Eule, vice president at the Energy Institute noted that since Russia is “not afraid to use its energy power for political ends” this argues for greater U.S. energy exports.

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, also on the call, added, “Sending a market signal” like speedy approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities “will have a calming market effect.” “Democratic [oil and natural gas] molecules from the West” will reduce volatility and improve energy diversity and security for both a Europe reliant on Russia for gas, and a Japan who has become less energy diverse following the Fukushima reactor disaster in 2011.

Foreign policy analysts agree. “[A]dditional suppliers will give European customers leverage they can use to negotiate better terms with Russian producers, as they managed to do in 2010 and 2011,” write Council on Foreign Relations Fellows Robert Blackwill and Meghan O’Sullivan [via Lachlan Markay].

The Ukraine situation makes clear that by lowering energy export barriers, the United States’ shale energy boom can help lower energy price volatility and improve global energy security especially in times of crisis.

The full International Index of Energy Security Risk and an interactive map can be found at the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s website.

UPDATE: Lachlan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon reports that Congressional leaders are calling for lifting energy export restrictions in light of the Ukraine situation. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for example:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told an audience in Houston on Monday that current export restrictions are reducing the country’s ability to “respond quickly and nimbly” to punitive market manipulations by Russia and others.

“If this was a situation where we wanted to use our natural gas opportunities as political leverage, we’re not in that place now,” she said.

Keystone XL is Proof Obama Opposes U.S. Economic Growth

It’s taken nearly five years, but Americans are finally aware that President Obama is opposed to anything that contributes to the economic growth of the nation. Along with a Democratic controlled Senate and its opposition to anything generated by the Republican House, Obama has saddled the nation with the highest debt in its history and squandered billions on failed alternative energy firms.

The most dramatic example is Obama’s five-year delay of the implementation of the Keystone XL pipeline that would safely transport oil from Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

There are approximately 55,000 miles of pipelines in the U.S. with another 30,000 to 40,000 smaller gathering pipelines that feed it to the major ones.

In a February 17 U.S. Chamber of Commerce advertisement in The Weekly Standard, its president and CEO, Thomas J. Donahue, wrote that “In the same time that the Keystone XL pipeline application has been under review by the Obama administration, the Hoover Dam, the New Jersey Turnpike, and the Empire State Building were built—a clear indicator of how cumbersome and political today’s permitting process has become.”

Donahue pointed out that “The Keystone XL pipeline would not only transport fuel safely, but it would boost economic activity along the way. Building the pipeline would create more than 42,000 new jobs while adding $3.4 billion to the economy. The pipeline would generate more than $5.2 billion in property taxes for communities on the route, pumping cash into state and city coffers for schools, law enforcement, and local projects.”

“Radical eco-zealots have chosen Keystone XL as the place to make their stand,” says Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) a free market think tank. “They claim this project is unsafe for the environment and the people it would pass near, and that it would greatly contribute to alleged ‘global warming.’”

The State Department is accepting public comment on the pipeline and CFACT has a petition for which it is seeking signatures to move forward on its acceptance. Take a moment to sign it.

Even Obama’s Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, has gone on record saying that the nation’s railroad infrastructure was not ready to handle the huge increase in all oil production coming out of places like North Dakota’s Bakken Shale formation, urging that pipelines are the best option. “Frankly, I think pipeline transport overall probably has overall a better record in terms of cost, in terms of emissions, and in terms of safety.”

Keystone XL has become the environmental movement’s front line in its attack on the nation’s economic growth and political pundits commonly say that Obama’s refusal to permit its construction is based on his intention to keep their vote, but I am inclined to believe that it is part of his effort to convert the economy and political structure of the nation from a vigorous capitalist entity to one in which millions of Americans, unable to find employment and experiencing a reduction in their personal wealth are forced onto government doles of one sort or another.

Paul Driessen, a CFACT senior policy advisor, points out that “Most Americans are no longer fooled by empty hope and change hype. In December only 74,000 jobs were created (many of them low-paying part-time seasonal positions), while 374,000 more people gave up looking for work. Not surprisingly, recent polls have found that three-quarters of Americans say the country still appears to be in a recession, two-thirds don’t trust the President to make the right decisions for the country, and barely 30% say the nation is ‘heading in the right direction.’”

One is reminded of Obama’s claim that his $787 billion dollar “stimulus” program would help fund “shovel ready” jobs waiting to be filled. It utterly failed to do that, instead directing the money to alternative energy firms that went bankrupt while their owners pocketed much of that funding. Obama later admitted that there were far fewer shovel ready jobs than he believed existed. Government regulations have so slowed and delayed construction projects of every description that until they are removed, the economy will continue to stagnate.

The environmental claim that the pipeline will contribute to “greenhouse gas emissions”, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), is utterly false because CO2 plays virtually no role whatever in affecting the Earth’s weather or climate. The claim is based on computer models, 95% or more of which have proved to be wrong.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal on February 20, Richard McNider and John Christie disputed Secretary of State John Kerry’s claims about “climate change”, pointing out that “When the failure of become clear, the modeling industry always comes back with new models that soften their previous warming forecasts…The models mostly miss warming in the deep atmosphere—from the Earth’s surface to 75,000 feet—which is supposed to be one of the real signals of warming caused by carbon dioxide. Here, the consensus ignores the reality of temperature observations of the deep atmosphere collected by satellites and balloons, which have consistently shown less than half of the warming shown in the average model forecasts.” McNider and Christie are professors of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and fellows of the American Meteorological Society.

Even Kerry’s Department of State’s own final environmental impact statement said that the Keystone XL pipeline would contribute little to global greenhouse gas emissions. Obama’s alleged climate policies ignore the science that disputes any connection between CO2 and the climate, but it is his primary instrument to delay and eliminate any economic growth.

Regrettably, on Feb 19, a Nebraska judge ruled that the law allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to be built across the State is unconstitutional, thus delaying the project still further.

The greenhouse emissions claims are a huge lie created to advance “global warming”, now called “climate change”, but the bottom line is that Obama is using them as a weapon against the nation’s capacity to grow the economy

We have a President who is doing everything he can to reduce jobs, reduce construction, eliminate coal-fired plants to produce electricity, and to wage an economic war on America.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Science Magazine Editor-in-Chief: “Time to Move Forward on the Keystone XL Pipeline”

Construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S., in 2013. The Gulf Coast Project is part of the Keystone XL pipeline. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg.

Another former Obama administration official has endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline. Marcia McNutt, prominent scientist, former head of the U.S. Geological Survey, and now the editor-in-chief of Science magazine writes in an editorial [subscription required]:

I drive a hybrid car and set my thermostat at 80°F in the Washington, DC, summer. I use public transportation to commute to my office, located in a building given “platinum” design status by the U.S. Green Building Council. The electric meter on my house runs backward most months of the year, thanks to a large installation of solar panels. I am committed to doing my part to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and minimize global warming.At the same time, I believe it is time to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline to transport crude oil from the tar sands deposits of Alberta, Canada, and from the Williston Basin in Montana and North Dakota to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

In an NPR interview, McNutt said she was initially against the pipeline, but changed her mind. The lack of a pipeline “did not stop the development of the tar sands,” she stated. They’re being moved by other means. The State Department came to a similar conclusion in its environmental analysis of the pipeline.

“But McNutt goes on to say she’s now convinced that building Keystone would not speed up oil sands development, and notes that developer TransCanada changed the initial proposed route to avoid an ecologically sensitive region of Nebraska,” National Journal’s Ben Geman reports.

McNutt joins other former Obama administration officials such as former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and former National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon in supporting the pipeline.

To borrow McNutt’s words, “it is time to move forward.” The administration should approve the Keystone XL pipeline.

ACTION ITEM: Energy Citizens requests you Tell the State Department that it’s time to build the Keystone XL Pipeline!

Florida based rocket scientist is America’s best Climate Prediction Expert

Who Is America’s Best Climate Prediction Expert? It’s a fair enough question, given all our government and the mainstream media have been telling us about the threats we all face from climate change (a.k.a. man-made global warming).

With twenty five years and tens of billions of dollars spent by the US government alone on understanding what the causes and effects of climate change are, surely someone has risen to the top in terms of making accurate climate change predictions, right?

The answer is likely a surprise to most. I have an idea who this person is.

According to any number of internet searches, there is one person who may well rank number one in this question of who the best American climate prediction expert is. He has risked it all in publishing his predictions on line, with the science to back it up for all to see, and critique. In doing so, this lone researcher has been subjected to the ‘slings and arrows’ of the established scientific community and those who have invested so much capital, political power and personal prestige at making sure manmade global warming and its experts come out on top.

Despite being heavily criticized for years, this person has amassed an impressive list of major climate predictions that as of today makes him one of the best if not the best climate expert in the Americas. However he is not as you may surmise, on the list of the thousands of researchers the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (UN-IPCC) has been using for its many climate reports. He is not a solar physicist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and definitely does not work for NASA’s Goddard center where much of the US media gets its manmade climate info. He is not on the staff at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or any of its several centers that deal extensively with climate change research. He is not a PhD professor at some prestigious university and also is not working for the Department of Defense or any national science agency.

In fact, this maverick among climate researchers is a single individual with a courageous band of other scientists from around the world who have, with little funding to speak of have been operating out of a small office with no special interests assisting from either side of the climate debate. Yet this team, led by this one person have routinely beat the best US government science agencies and the United Nations (UN) for the past six years in telling us what the Earth’s climate is doing and what it will do in the future.

John L. Casey, President of the Space and Science Research Corporation

Mr. Casey has had a distinguished career in any case. A former White House space policy adviser consultant to NASA Headquarters and a space shuttle engineer with a major aerospace contractor, he is no stranger to tackling and solving tough problems. For example, after the space shuttle Challenger accident in January 1986, NASA brought him in to chair an internal investigation into the breakdown in quality and space flight safety systems that were at the heart of the tragedy.

Many years later in 2007, while doing some solar physics research he stumbled on a curious pattern among sunspots that would prove to be the most important problem he had ever confronted – what causes climate change and what is the planet’s next climate era going to be like? A few months later after completing his research, he made several a startling announcements to the world. In April and May of 2007 he said:

1. Global warming was about to end, within three years!

2. The Sun was going to begin a “solar hibernation” beginning with the next solar cycle #24 (which began in 2008). This hibernation would result in a record reduction in the energy output of the Sun.

3. The Earth’s atmosphere and oceans were about to begin a long term drop in temperatures lasting for decades.

4. A new cold climate era was beginning that posed a serious threat to all with the potential to bring global crop damage and loss of life through starvation, cold weather fatalities, and social upheaval on a historic scale.

He proposed that a new climate theory which he called the “Relational Cycle Theory” or simply the “RC Theory” should replace the greenhouse gas theory of manmade climate change and asserted that the Sun and not mankind was the primary cause of climate change.

His announcement and predictions at that time were received with hostility reminiscent of that Galileo received by the Catholic Church when he said the Sun was at the center of the solar system instead of the Church’s opinion that the Earth was. Once more, by saying the Sun was at the center (of climate change) and not the Earth (not mankind), he immediately was attacked by all sides of the global warming debate including conservatives and liberals. He was slandered and demeaned by members of the established scientific community, some of whom were reaping windfall research grants to study man’s emissions of CO2. So called ‘authorities’ at prominent internet science blog sites were equally as unkind. The most prominent science periodicals and many in the media as well as the government did even worse – they ignored him!

Even Casey admits his timing was bad for his predictions by saying, “My announcements and predictions could not have come at a worse time. Both presidential party candidates were saying manmade global warming was real and they were going to fix it. Al Gore and the UN were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work in alerting the world to the effects of man’s industrial emissions on the climate. Many former friends stopped returning may calls or emails. My message was one that no one wanted to hear.”

Now six years later much has changed. Scientists outside the US and not tied to US politics or US government research funding began to take notice of his work. In June of 2011 when he published his internationally acclaimed climate science book, “Cold Sun,” it included some of the strongest endorsements yet seen from other scientists for a climate book. Other scientists have called his work “…simply a great work!” or “…adds a brilliant page to the history of science…,” or “…this is an Earth-shattering book!”

Here we are in early 2013 and his diligence in getting his word out about what is really happening with the climate for all to read has led to Mr. Casey becoming the most often quoted and referenced on the web on the subject of climate change to a cold era. He still sees a few lingering critics repeat personal attacks and derogatory remarks from 2008 but no one has countered any of his science. They can’t!

Other scientists have joined his team and are actively cooperating with him in their own countries by trying to alert their countrymen to the dangers of the coming cold climate. His prominent and vocal stance on the next climate change has made it easier for others to now come forward to make similar predictions. Past researchers who made such forecasts many years before Casey are now seeing a resurrection from the dusty science journals where their research was buried and are once again seeing the light of day.

Because of his success in climate prediction, other scientists from around the world in earthquake research have now asked him to help in the great humanitarian cause of saving thousands of lives yearly by finally predicting the world’s largest quakes well in advance. As of December 2012, this new group has already had some success!

He is now frequently called on to do interviews and speak to large groups of interested citizens on his RC Theory, his book “Cold Sun,” and most importantly how to prepare for the coming difficult cold climate.

In March of this year Mr. Casey stepped up the gain on describing what is happening with the Earth’s climate by publishing the Global Climate Status Report (GCSR) ©. This heavily researched and data filled resource he and his supporting scientists have published, is intended for all individuals and leaders who want to have a different perspective on climate change from the one they have been receiving from the government and the media. As Casey puts it, “Too long now our people and our leaders have been given only one side, the wrong side, of the climate change story. With the regular publication of the GCSR, anyone can now have a single source for the true status of the Earth’s climate rather than the heavily politicized version we have been force fed for twenty five years now.”

But what about the accuracy of his predictions?

Why should he be on our list of candidates for America’s best climate researcher? This one is easy. All his predictions, as disruptive and controversial as they were in 2007, have now either come to pass or are about to! This remarkable record according to internet searches is without peer. Casey acknowledges this by commenting, “No other climate researcher that I can find has such a public record for similar major climate predictions. There is nothing predicted by the UN-IPCC, NASA or NOAA from 2007-2008 that comes even close to what I was forecasting. In fact they all said that global temperatures could only go up for the foreseeable future and yet as I correctly predicted, they have been dropping.”

But, there is something else.

Among his major predictions he made a very specific one of a detailed scientific nature that goes far beyond simple chance that some may ascribe to it. In early 2007, he contacted NASA’s top solar physicist to discuss what Casey believed was a significant error by NASA in predicting the behavior of the Sun during the next 11-year solar cycle (cycle #24). Casey said at the time that NASA was, “way off” in its calculations for the peak year and level of activity for the next solar cycle. NASA was at the time saying cycle #24 was going to be of record high level of activity and as measured by sunspot count would be at least 145 average sunspot count, likely much higher, and peaking in 2011. Casey, on the other hand, said his math showed the peak would be in 2012 and would be no more than 74 sunspots at peak. In other words Casey told NASA they were more than 100 % in error! The NASA opinion in a joint conference with NOAA scientists went the same. They all said cycle #24 was going to be one of the most energetic ever.

This month, NASA, after making downward adjustments with NOAA every year since 2007, have now issued their latest forecast for cycle #24. Guess what? Now in the peak period for cycle#24, NASA says the peak will be this year, in 2013 with an average of 70 sunspots plus or minus 18 with a likely final cycle average of 69 sunspots! It looks like Casey has done it again – he has beat the US government best scientists on predicting the very complicated nature of the Sun’s behavior to an astounding level of accuracy! And he did it with a shoe string budget by himself, compared to these science agencies who had thousands of researchers, state of the art advanced computers and billions of dollars at their disposal.

According to one of Casey’s now growing number of supporters in a recent email, a Mr. RV said “In 2007 you said the (cycle#24) peak would be in 2012 and the sunspot count would not be greater than 74, half of what NASA was saying…Your prediction turned out to be SPOT ON! Congratulations on your prediction. That was nothing short of awesome.”

But what about the peak in 2013 as NASA now predicts. Casey said the peak of activity would be in 2012. Actually he got that call right also, Casey elaborates with, “ Most except a few solar physicists are not even aware that the typical 11-year solar cycle has a double peak, the first being the primary followed a year or two later by a lesser secondary peak. We then average the two as the cycle winds down and we are certain both peaks have passed. If we look at a chart of sunspots for cycle #24 we did in fact have the primary peak in 2012 as I predicted.”

When it comes to picking America’s best climate prediction expert there are also some intangibles I think we should consider. The first that comes to mind is how tough a challenge was it for the researcher to make his predictions? Were they easy to make scientifically, or were they controversial and likely to bring the researcher much criticism? It takes a lot of endurance to last out a solar cycle and maintain one’s opinion in face of incredible public, media, scientific, and political opposition.

Second is purpose. Casey from the outset has said his goal and that of his company, SSRC is to do what they could to alert the people to the next climate change so they can be prepared for what he calls a “life altering event.” He never expected to get rich as many “warmists” have by pushing manmade climate change. He has on the contrary, spent all he had keeping his research going and the lights on in his little office. As to purpose, Casey reflects on a quote from his book “Cold Sun,” by George Elliott, by saying, “I think Elliott was right with his question, ‘What do we live for if not to make life less difficult for each other?’ ”

Is there any doubt. Casey gets my vote. He is not only America’s best climate prediction expert, but he is also among America’s best, period!

References: NASA’s latest Solar Cycle prediction

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Charles Krauthammer—The Myth of Settled Science

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Florida Power & Light: The Smart Meter Challenge Continues

People in Florida are taking a stand against “smart meters” being installed across the state of Florida.  Two different groups of approximately 100 people have filed 2 separate petitions with FP&L. These people did not want a smart meter attached to their homes and now FP&L wants to charge them extra for their old analog meters.  Did you have a choice?  What benefits are you really getting from having a smart meter on your home?  Have you noticed any savings on your bill because of your smart meter?  What about your privacy, safety and health?  Who is answerable to you, the customer?

If you haven’t been aware or noticed what kind of meter you have on your home you might want to check it out… if you are one of the 4.5million FP&L customers who are getting them it’s time for you to educate yourself and see what you have attached to your home.

David, that’s you, the homeowner really hasn’t been truly educated on these transmitters, keep in mind that FP&L saved a ton of money by getting rid of meter readers, those folks now get to enjoy more leisure time with their friends and family while you, David, get to enjoy radio waves transmitting from your home.  Remember FP&L received $500,000.00 from the federal government to have GE build these meters to be placed on your home.  Why?

Safety standards for the smart meters are not a concern to Goliath (FP&L) but they should be of grave concern to David (the homeowners) who has them attached to their homes.  There is a lot of information out there on some of the safety hazards of smart meters…one distinct hazard are of fire.  “Smart meters are often installed in pre-existing meter sockets. Meter sockets are expected to operate safely for many years. However, the safe operating life of the meter socket may be reduced by many factors including (but not limited to) excessive moisture, environmental contaminants, frequent changing of meters, excessive electrical load (overload or short circuit), vandalism, ground settling, storm damage, and other conditions.

As utilities move toward two-way communications for meters and remote meter reading, the opportunity for inspection of meter sockets is expected to decline. The interval between site visits by utility personnel could be more than 100 times longer than current monthly schedules”  Who will have the liability for this problem?

Privacy issues with smart meters are:

Homeland Security said our electric grid should not be dependent on wireless systems, which are by their nature extremely vulnerable. We understand that police will be allowed to subpoena the data that the ‘smart’ meter collects from utility companies.  In addition, third party corporations will be able to access and analyze your private household appliance use data without your knowledge or consent.  For example, if your health insurance company found out from your utility that you opened your fridge often in the middle of the night, they may raise your premium to cover their liability for your unhealthy lifestyle.”

Some people are not concerned with having their lives out there for anyone to view and use, I for one care very much for my privacy and have never given consent to any utility to use my data or spy on my lifestyle.

Health concerns are wide and varied, coming from multiple sources and doctors.

“ Exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation from these meters is involuntary and continuous. The transmitting meters may not even comply with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “safety” standards (see http://sagereports.com/smart-meter-rf/). However, those standards were initially designed to protect an average male from tissue heating (cooking) during a brief exposure. These standards were not designed to protect a diverse population from the non-thermal effects of continuous exposure to microwave and radiowave radiation. Therefore, these “safety” standards were not designed to protect the public from health problems under the circumstances which the meters are being used.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine has called for a moratorium on the installation of transmitting utility meters on the basis that:

“Chronic exposure to wireless radiofrequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action.”

I applaud these David’s in taking on Goliath as years from now who will know the final toll this will have on your health and the health of your children.  Are you willing to risk your well being, health, safety and privacy of yourself and your loved ones, I’m not!

Maine and California have a opt out option for Smart Meters and it looks as if Massachusetts is set to follow.

Sources:

http://www.electricalpollution.com/smartmeters.html

smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Business_Strategy

http://www.smartgridnews.com/artman/publish/Technologies_Metering/Smart-meter-fire-hazards-A-safe-and-sane-approach-5167.html#.UwT9FumPLmQ

Obama’s War on America: Killing Coal to Kill U.S. Electrical Power

President Obama, supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, is seeking to deprive America of the use of its enormous reserves of coal in coal-fired plants that produce the electricity on which the economy and all life in America depends.

This isn’t just a “war on coal”, it is a war on America and one free market think tank, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) has been joined by six major unions to ensure that the EPA’s proposed energy proposal, Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) rule does not become a regulation that they call “nothing less than industrial sabotage by regulatory means.”

The EPA’s current regulations have resulted in the shutdown over more than 150 coal-fired plants over the course of Obama’s first term and his second represents a threat to everyone living in America. We are living through one of the harshest winters in recent years and the 17-year-old cooling cycle which the entire Earth is experiencing promises to last decades.

Commenting on the proposed carbon pollution standards for new power plants, Bonner R.Cohen, PhD, a CFACT Senior Policy Analyst laid out the reasons why MATS has no basis whatever in science.

Any regulation seeking to limit the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere deliberately and deceptively ignores facts that anyone can understand. Bonner spelled out the basic scientific facts, but it is essential to keep in mind that CO2 is essential to all life on Earth, providing the “food” that all vegetation depends.

“Current concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere are 400 parts per million (ppm). Human activities in all their forms account for 4% of that total. The United States is responsible for 3% of that 4%, all the rest of the CO2 in the atmosphere (96% of the total) comes from purely natural causes, such as volcanoes, undersea venting, animal fluctuation, etc.,” said Cohen.

“The total U.S. contribution to atmospheric CO2 is one tenth of 1% or 00.1%. This 0.01% includes the CO2 that is emitted every time one of the approximately 315 million Americans opens his or her mouth to speak, cry, or engage in any verbal activity.” There are seven billion people on Earth contributing CO2 just by exhaling.

“The contribution of coal-fired plants to the U.S., much less global CO2 emissions, is so miniscule that it cannot be measured with any degree of accuracy. And the contribution of those entities targeted by the EPA to the Earth’s climate also cannot be measured. Thus the EPA has absolutely no way of saying how its proposed regulations will affect the climate.”

800px-Coal_consumption

Data from the US Energy Information Administration website. For a larger view click on the image.

The EPA is moving toward imposing these baseless regulations despite the fact that China and India have been building coal-fired plants to provide their nations with the energy to expand and compete in the global marketplace. China’s CO2 emission increased by 167% between 1999 and 2009, while the U.S., the second largest emitter of carbon dioxide, emitted 17% over the same 10-year period.

According to an analysis by Climate Central, from 2005-2009, China added coal-fired electricity capacity that is equivalent to the entire U.S. fleet. From 2010-2013, it added half the coal generation of the entire U.S. again. Powered by cheap and abundant coal, China’s economy has lifted 600 million people out of abject poverty and into the middle class over the last two decades.

Carbon dioxide, however, is vital for all life Earth despite decades of lies about it by environmentalists falsely claiming it warms the Earth. It is the food that all vegetation requires in the same way all animal life requires oxygen.

“For EPA to impose carbon-pollution standards that by design will make the introduction of new coal-fired power plants all but impossible is to adapt a policy that by design will drive up the cost of electricity by limiting America’s sources of power,” said Cohen. “The EPA is engaging in a complete fabrication, one that will put an end to an industry that supplies the U.S. with 37% of its electricity.” When Obama took office in 2009, coal-fired plants were providing nearly 50% of U.S. electrical energy.

This is a criminal act against all Americans and one based on the totally false claims about “global warming”, now called “climate change.” The President, during the recent State of the Union speech lied when he said that science was “settled.”

CFACT is not alone in opposing the Obama administration’s attack on the provision of energy. Six unions are petitioning the Senate to hold hearings on the EPA coal plant rules. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and five other unions have sent a letter to top senators on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The United Mine Workers, Boilermakers and Utility Workers said that the proposed rules would result in the closing of 56 gigawatts of coal-fired generation and the loss of approximately 250,000 jobs. These unions have been pushing back against the Obama administration for years at this point.

In 2011 the Congressional Research Service reported that America’s reserves of coal are unsurpassed, accounting for more than 28% of the world’s coal. It estimated that U.S. recoverable coal reserves were approximately 262 billion tons—not including massive, cut difficult to access Alaskan reserves.

The U.S. consumes around 1.2 billion tons of coal a year and our coal reserves add up to centuries of coal use which the White House and the EPA is seeking to deny to all Americans.

If the White House and the EPA is permitted to implement the MATS regulation the economy will dramatically decline. Life in America will resemble that of third world nations. It is entirely based on lies.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

RELATED STORY: Obama To Announce Coal Regulation Via Executive Fiat (Recession to Follow)

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of “press-stone-coal” and taken by Benutzer: Stahlkocher. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

EPA-Mandate Will Mean Higher Electricity Costs, Says Obama Official

Carbon capture and sequestration technology (CCS) mandated in a proposed EPA greenhouse gas regulation on new power plants will mean higher electricity costs, a Obama administration official admitted to a House of Representatives subcommittee.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/DNtjOpj3Kys[/youtube]

When asked by how much CCS will add to the cost of electricity generated by coal plants, Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal Dr. Julio Friedmann told the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations that first generation technology will add “something like a 70 to 80 percent increase on the wholesale price of electricity.” The cost increase from more efficient, second generation CCS is expected to onlybe half that amount.

CCS is the cornerstone to EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants. The technology is still not commercially viable. As Dan Byers wrote in a post on EPA’s proposed regulation:

The EPA is mandating carbon capture sequestration (CCS), but as an integrated technology, CCS has never been demonstrated on a commercial power plant, and is nowhere near ready for broad deployment. This fact has been argued by the federal government itself….

Not only does the Obama administration acknowledge that the technology isn’t ready, it also admits that it will significantly increase electricity costs.

The Sierra Club Hates Energy

If I told you that you should hate coal, oil and natural gas, you might think I was crazy and you would be right. Everything we do involves these three energy reserves and the U.S. has so much of them that we could be energy independent of the rest of the world while, at the same time, exporting them.

When you think about energy reserves, think about the hundreds of thousands of jobs they represent. Then think about the huge revenue in leases and taxes they represent to the government that needs to reduce its debt. Ultimately, though, try to imagine a nation that does not utilize petroleum in thousands of ways or fails to tap its enormous coal and natural gas reserves to generate the electricity upon which that everything depends.

I recently received an email from the Sierra Club praising the President’s State of the Union speech in which he claimed that climate change—by which they mean global warming—is real and that the science is “settled.” No, the science entirely refutes it—except if one means that the climate has always been a state of change. The most recent climate change is seventeen years of cooling that has gifted us with record-breaking cold as far south as Florida.

What Sierra Club focused on was Obama’s call for “new sources of energy” other than the traditional ones. He was referring to solar and wind energy. A recent news article on CNSNews noted that “Solar power, which President Barack Obama promoted…accounted for 0.2 percent of the U.S. electricity supply in the first nine months of 2013, according to data published by the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration.”

According to the EIA, “the United States is producing less electricity now than it did when Obama took office…From 2008 to 2012, U.S. electricity production declined by 1.7 percent.”

Some might take this as a good thing, but “electricity has gotten more expensive since 2008—with the electricity price index at an all-time high.” So we are paying more while getting less.

The Sierra Club, however, criticized Obama saying “As long as his administration keeps throwing lifelines to old sources of energy like oil and gas, we won’t be able to lead the world on clean energy solutions like wind and solar.” They called for an “end to oil and gas fracking on public lands.” What they are not saying is that the Obama administration has virtually put an end to any exploration and extraction of energy sources on public lands. And you can forget about the massive reserves estimated to exist off-shore of our coasts.

In early January, Mark D. Green, the editor of Energy Tomorrow, a project of the American Petroleum Institute, examined the reality of our vast energy sources. Keep in mind that every product we purchase is dependent in some way on oil. “Every day 143 U.S. refineries convert an average of 15 million barrels of crude oil” that provide power for our vast transportation needs and thousands of other uses. Oil is the basis for the creation of plastic. Try to imagine living without anything that does not utilize plastic in some fashion.

As for natural gas, experts predict that lower prices as more is discovered via fracking, will increase industrial output 2.8 percent by 2015 and 3.9 percent by 2025. Policies that would allow the export of U.S. liquefied natural gas would generate between $15.6 billion and $73.6 billion to the Gross Domestic Product and help reduce our deficits and debt.

The Sierra Club doesn’t want to see the U.S. benefit from coal, oil and natural gas. It wants to see the landmass filled with solar farms and thousands of wind turbines that would not produce enough electricity to meet the needs of nation, let alone a major city. Because they are unpredictable, all require the backup of traditional plants.

Nor does the Sierra Club make any mention of the Obama administration’s war on coal that has forced 153 plants to shut down. It’s Environmental Protection Agency has proposed regulations that would require new plants to employ carbon capture and sequestration technology that is not commercially available! Nor is there any reason to capture carbon dioxide, the gas that is the “food” that every single piece of vegetation requires; a gas that plays virtually no role at all in the Earth’s climate.

As this is being written, the State Department just released a report that would clear the way for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada after a five-year delay by the Obama administration. Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil and natural gas. If the U.S. cannot gain access to the oil, it will go to China and other nations.

The prospect of the pipeline was rejected by the Sierra Club. Friends of the Earth announced that it would join with the Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club, and other radical Green groups to hold vigils around the nation Monday to protest its possible approval and construction.

The Sierra Club is not only lying to its members, it is lying to all of us when it says “Getting all of the energy we need without using fossil fuels is no longer a question of whether we can—but whether we will.” We can’t, we shouldn’t, and we won’t…but we must wait until Obama is no longer in office and, as early as the 2014 midterm elections, we must rid our nation of his supporters in Congress.

Then we will watch our nation’s economy expand with more jobs and more revenue.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Terrorists attack CA Power Station: National Power Grid Vulnerable

Today’s  Wall Street Journal  (WSJ) had a front page story that raises question of the vulnerability of our national power grid to terrorist attack given an incident that occurred in Silicon Valley in April 2013. It is only now surfacing  in the national media, “Assault on Power Grid Raises Alarms”.

In the early morning of April 16, 2013, the Metcalf, California transmission substation in Silicon Valley was attacked by what federal investigators believe was a highly professional terrorist team .  That sniper  assault  caused 17 transformers to crash severing power to  Internet Service Providers  and other power users in  Silicon Valley.  Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) was forced to  increase and reroute power to the area served by the disabled transmission station.  The recovery  took 27 days for PG&E to repair and bring  the transmission substation back online.

Grid Attack diagram WSJ 2-5-14

Graphic of timeline of Metcalf attack. For a larger view click on the image.

Here is the time line of the Metcalf incident as compiled by the WSJ:

At 12:58 a.m., AT&T fiber-optic telecommunications cables were cut—in a way that made them hard to repair—in an underground vault near the substation, not far from U.S. Highway 101 just outside south San Jose. It would have taken more than one person to lift the metal vault cover, said people who visited the site.

Nine minutes later, some customers of Level 3 Communications,  an Internet service provider, lost service. Cables in its vault near the Metcalf substation were also cut.

At 1:31 a.m., a surveillance camera pointed along a chain-link fence around the substation recorded a streak of light that investigators from the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office think was a signal from a waved flashlight. It was followed by the muzzle flash of rifles and sparks from bullets hitting the fence.

The substation’s cameras weren’t aimed outside its perimeter, where the attackers were. The shooters appear to have aimed at the transformers’ oil-filled cooling systems. These began to bleed oil, but didn’t explode, as the transformers probably would have done if hit in other areas.

About six minutes after the shooting started, PG&E confirms, it got an alarm from motion sensors at the substation, possibly from bullets grazing the fence, which is shown on video.

Four minutes later, at 1:41 a.m., the sheriff’s department received a 911 call about gunfire, sent by an engineer at a nearby power plant that still had phone service.

Riddled with bullet holes, the transformers leaked 52,000 gallons of oil, then overheated. The first bank of them crashed at 1:45 a.m., at which time PG&E’s control center about 90 miles north received an equipment-failure alarm.

Five minutes later, another apparent flashlight signal, caught on film, marked the end of the attack. More than 100 shell casings of the sort ejected by AK-47s were later found at the site.

At 1:51 a.m., law-enforcement officers arrived, but found everything quiet. Unable to get past the locked fence and seeing nothing suspicious, they left.

A PG&E worker, awakened by the utility’s control center at 2:03 a.m., arrived at 3:15 a.m. to survey the damage.

Watch this video for the Santa Clara Police Department released in June 2013 published in the San Jose Mercury:

The WSJ noted that PG&E put out a news release saying it was “vandals” who caused the incident.  Note what former Federal  Electrical Regulatory Commission (FERC) head, Jon  Wellinghoff  uncovered after the event:

Mr. Wellinghoff, then chairman of FERC, said that after he heard about the scope of the attack, he flew to California, bringing with him experts from the U.S. Navy’s Dahlgren Surface Warfare Center in Virginia, which trains Navy SEALs. After walking the site with PG&E officials and FBI agents, Mr. Wellinghoff said, the military experts told him it looked like a professional job.

In addition to fingerprint-free shell casings, they pointed out small piles of rocks, which they said could have been left by an advance scout to tell the attackers where to get the best shots.

“They said it was a targeting package just like they would put together for an attack,” Mr. Wellinghoff said.

Mr. Wellinghoff, now a law partner at Stoel Rives LLP in San Francisco, said he arranged a series of meetings in the following weeks to let other federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, know what happened and to enlist their help. He held a closed-door meeting with utility executives in San Francisco in June and has distributed lists of things utilities should do to strengthen their defenses.

A spokesman for Homeland Security said it is up to utilities to protect the grid. The department’s role in an emergency is to connect federal agencies and local police and facilitate information sharing, the spokesman said.

The WSJ article drew attention to the problem of replacing the transformers, the target of the Metcalf terrorist  attack:

The country’s roughly 2,000 very large transformers are expensive to build, often costing millions of dollars each, and hard to replace. Each is custom made and weighs up to 500,000 pounds, and “I can only build 10 units a month,” said Dennis Blake, general manager of Pennsylvania Transformer in Pittsburgh, one of  [only]seven U.S. manufacturers.

Given our work on the EMP threat to our national grid, there are 300 critical transmission substations like Metcalf that are vulnerable to such a terrorist assault. See: Interview with Jerry Gordon on The Electronic Armageddon -The … .   A rolling assault by trained terrorist  teams  against  these 300  sub stations  could  create havoc  and a shutdown of the national  grid  far in excess of the 50 million who lost power when the Northeast grid crashed in 2003.  The grid  vulnerability  is reflected in the limited  US manufacturing capacity for large Extra High Voltage (EHV) transformers.  Most of the world’s EHV transformer manufacturing capacity is located in China, South Korea and Germany.  A study by the National Academy of Sciences indicated  that  replacement of just the 300 EVH transformers from  limited US and offshore producers could take upwards of a decade. Further national security concern is the more than 100 military bases  connected to these vulnerable civilian grids. The WSJ article also illustrates the underlying problem of utility industry opposition to HR 2417: Shield Act sponsored by  Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) which would set standards including provision for standby replacement transformers. Based on work of the  Congressionally chartered EMP Task Force a thin shield for the national grid might cost $200 million, while a more robust program could run between $10 to $20 billion.  The impact on electric utility users would be an increase in electrical rates per user of less than $.20 cents per annum.

The  North American Electric Reliability  Corporation (NERC), the principal electric utility standard setting organization,  has opposed passage of the Shield Act calling the network “resilient”.  Au contraire  says  an official of Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) cited by the WSJ: “The breadth and depth of the attack was unprecedented” in the U.S., said Rich Lordan, senior technical  executive. “The motivation”, he said, “appears to  be preparation for an act of war.”  When we checked the websites of House Energy and Commerce Committee  Chairman  Fred Upton (R-MI ) and  Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) their major concerns as regards the security of the grid is vulnerability to cyber attack.  According to the WSJ  retiring  House Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) raised concerns  about the lack of federal  authority to undertake protective actions regarding the safety of the national grid during FERC oversight hearings in December 2013.

Whether it is  a terrorist attack like the Metcalf substation incident, the threat of a massive geo –magnetic storm during   or an EMP caused by either North Korea or Iran , this latest WSJ report should embolden US taxpayers and electrical users to request serious  Congressional  consideration of HR2417: The Shield Act .   If any of those events occurred  that would  bring us back to pre-industrial times. If that occurs, the estimates are that more than 200 million Americans could succumb to a  pandemic  virus from lack of food, water, sanitation  and  medical treatment caused by the breakdown of industrial , transportation and communications networks.  If you are concerned about this lack of security of the national  grid, you should consider signing a petition requesting Congressional consideration of the Shield Act , here.

Listen to this August 2012 Electronic Armageddon Rob Schilling Radio Show interview with Jerry Gordon.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.