As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: environment

Video || Norm MacDonald Celebrates Earth Day

Well, Sunday was Earth Day, and as I drove my kids in our decade-old SUV to do some charitable work for actual human beings, it occurred to me that maybe one of the reasons we were able to roll down the windows was global warming.

And then I thought about some other stuff and turned the radio on.

I think the earth is probably warming, although I think the extent of man’s contribution to this and our ability to do a damned thing about it without destroying the economic lives of millions of medium wage earners is small to non-existent, especially with the Chinese and Indians insisting on getting a free pass for years so they can get their chance to pollute the earth.

I don’t think every environmental regulation is wrong, even if they’re bad for Corporate America. But I do think our focus should be much more on known pollutants and all the garbage we throw into the ocean for fish and whales to dodge, or eat. Reusables and recyclable materials should be emphasized instead of hysteria over Manhattan become a lake in 100 years. But I’m old-fashioned that way.

And we should promote economic growth, which tends to increase efficiency and can result in less pollution. What could have helped the environment more than the technological revolution and all those people who no longer commute, for example?

Anyway, Norm MacDonald is a conservative comedian, though he doesn’t emphasize this, for obvious reasons, as Shania Twain is surely finding out today after accidentally revealing she would have voted for President Trump were she not Canadian.

Here he is riffing on Earth Day. There are a couple of sex wisecracks, in case you’re offended.

EPA Director Pruitt Saves Thousands of Lives by Nixing Obama CAFE Standards

There is no single more foolish way to stem global warming than by increasing vehicle fuel efficiency standards, which forces carmakers to increase miles per gallon in part by lightening cars. It does an undetectable amount to stem global warming but kills thousands of actual human beings.

According to the Washington Examiner:

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that he is scrapping former President Barack Obama’s strict new fuel-efficiency and greenhouse gas rules for cars and light trucks.

Pruitt said the Obama administration’s rules that set a 54-mile per gallon standard by 2025, up from the current average of 38.3 mpg, were “not appropriate” in light of recent automobile sales data and should be revised.

He did not say what the new standards should be but argued the Obama targets are “too high.”

“The Obama EPA’s determination was wrong,” Pruitt said. “Obama’s EPA cut the midterm evaluation process short with politically charged expediency, made assumptions about the standards that didn’t comport with reality and set the standards too high.”

Pruitt said he is starting a joint notice and public comment process with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop a new rule setting greenhouse gas emission standards for cars and light-duty trucks, such as pickups and sport utility vehicles, for model years 2022 to 2025.

There will, of course, be outrage, because anything labeled as “good for the environment” – especially anything done by Obama – is immediately accepted as a wise course of action. But while the extent of mans effect on the environment, and our ability to do anything about it, is debatable, the slaughter of people by Obama’s misguided policy is undeniable.

From a 2011 article in Forbes:

A 2003 NHTSA study estimated that every 100 pounds of weight taken off a car weighing more than 3,000 pounds increases the accident death rate slightly less than 5%, and the rate increases as vehicles become lighter than that. Two years earlier a National Academy of Sciences study estimated that CAFÉ standards at that time were responsible for as many as 2,600 highway deaths in a single year. A 1999 study conducted by USA Today applying federal government Fatality Analysis Reporting System Data attributed deaths of 7,700 people for each additional mpg mandated to meet CAFÉ regulations.

Those who voted for Hillary Clinton and will avoid death in a four-wheeled aluminum can should thank President Trump. Unfortunately, they won’t know it, and they probably wouldn’t thank him if they did.

 

Surprise: The United States is the Leading Reducer of Carbon Emissions

Oh, that terrible Trump. He withdrew us from the Paris climate accords, and now icebergs untethered from Antartica will soon float up the Mississippi River and destroy St. Louis.

The Europeans are contemptuous of our decision not to join their One-World Government and submit our economic future to the incomparable IQs of the central planners in Brussels. And yet, who is doing the most, right here, right now, to reduce carbon emissions and whatever effect they have on global warming?

The United States of America. You know, the bad guys.

From a June 2016 article in Forbes:

The U.S. also leads the world in reducing carbon emissions for the most recent 5- and 10-year periods. Over the past 5 years U.S. carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by 270 million tons. In 2nd place for that period was the UK, with a 93 million ton decline. Over the most recent 5-year period, China led the world with a 1.1 billion ton increase. India was in 2nd place with a 540 million ton increase.

U.S. emissions have fallen at about the rate of those of the entire European Union, even as our economic growth — and hunger for carbon molecules — has far outpaced theirs. And yet you would never know that given the opprobrium heaped on us from our far-more-enlightened — and over-regulated — friends on The Continent.

Why are we doing so well? Let me introduce another commonly known dirty word, to go alongside “America.” That is, “fracking.”

As Forbes notes, the biggest contributor to our carbon emissions decline is not Barack Obama running around spinning windmills. It’s the growing production of natural gas.

The Washington Examiner explains where that’s coming from:

As the Wall Street Journal reports, fracking-based energy firms in Texas’ Permian Basin are finding a useful side-benefit to their innovation: gas comes up alongside the oil! The consequence: a growing glut of cheap natural gas. This gas is the golden ticket. It offers American businesses and families access to cheap energy, and an alternative to polluting energy sources . . . it is cheaper and far more emissions-efficient than coal, and it doesn’t require massive public expenditures. In the coming years, more consumers and utilities will choose gas over coal. And indirectly, total carbon emissions will fall. Along with new technologies such as battery-based vehicles, this gas is the path to a lower carbon emissions future.

Could it be that the future of stemming the earth’s warming does not come from bankrupting Western economies, but from private sector spending on basic energy research and innovations that get more out of fossil fuels, with cleaner and more efficient results?

Sure, we should continue research on renewables. But these technologies are mostly not ready to be deployed. Let’s allow Bill Gates to invest all he wants in cars that plug into wall sockets, and if you want to risk freezing beneath your solar panels while the sun don’t shine, that’s your business.

Meantime, American entrepreneurs will continue to figure out surprising new ways to create efficiencies and new technologies that reduce the cost of energy and the emissions that result.

Cohn: Trump’s Views on Paris Climate Accord “Evolving”

Uh oh. You know what that means. When a president’s views are “evolving,” that means he feels he needs to take his time flip flopping so that it doesn’t look too much like he flip flopped.

You know, like George H.W. Bush’s views on abortion “evolved” so he could be Reagan’s vice president. And Barack Obama’s views on gay marriage “evolved” once he felt it wouldn’t keep him from winning elections.

During the campaign, as you know, President Trump was completely clear about withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement, which requires countries to slash their carbon emissions.

Trump at the G7 in Italy May 26, 2017
Trump at the G7 in Italy May 26, 2017

But now, he’s in the White House, and Trump has surrounded himself with moderate Republicans and Democrats like National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, and so he’s getting lots of new information.

“His views are evolving, he came here to learn and get smarter,” Cohn told reporters in Italy where Trump is meeting with G7 leaders. I’ve never heard an aide suggest a president needed to “get smarter,” but there you go.

Somehow, I’m pretty sure his views are not evolving towards hating the Paris accords even more.

“He said, ‘I would rather take my time and understand the issues and then get to the right decision on that,'” Cohn said.

And as you and I know, once he understands the issues and is aware of all the settled science lying around, he will come to the “right” decision.

Coal miners be damned.

UPDATE: Cohn also said that coal “doesn’t really make that much sense anymore as a feedstock,” and that by exporting more natural gas and investing in wind and solar energy, the United Staates “can be a manufacturing powerhouse and still be environmentally friendly.”

Democratic Senator Proposes Putting Coal Plants in a Museum

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., said today that that he wants to vastly expand the Smithsonian Institution so that it can hold every coal-fired electicity plant by mid-century.

“Let’s take and put every coal, electricity generating plant into a museum by the year 2050,” Merkley said.

I guess he’ll call it the Museum of Natural Resources History.

Of course, like other Democrats trying to put people out of business, he probably has some plan for the “workers” to teach them all how to ring up customers at Target. Those “worker retraining programs” are famously ineffective except as a fig leaf for Democratic politicians.

Note how former Barack Obama economic advisor Austin Goolsbee, who is sitting next to Merkley, was careful not to offer a positive reaction. But Merkley, who is being touted as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, is simply saying what other Democrats think but are mostly smart enough not to say.

Well, mostly.

Trump Signs Order Reviewing Offshore Drilling Regulations

In another move to overturn Barack Obama’s legacy, President Trump Friday signed an executive order that will begin a review of existing regulations on offshore drilling for oil and natural gas.

From the White House pool report:

The small desk and a podium were set up under Roosevelt’s portrait, with members of Congress and administration officials arrayed behind it. The EO and a single pen were set out on the desk.

The EO orders a review of the current five-year plan for offshore oil and natural gas leasing and a review of all regulations concerning oil, gas and renewable energy leasing in federal waters, per a WH briefing last evening.

Among the roughly 25 attendees: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, NEC Director Gary Cohn, WH Staff Secretary Rob Porter, Andrew Bremberg at WH Domestic Policy Council, Alaska Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and many members of Congress.

While waiting for POTUS, Stephen Miller walked through and chatted with several attendees.

Vice President Pence arrived at 11:01 a.m. to introduce the president, opening with comments on first 100 days. Energy has been a focus since day one and the war on coal is over, he said to applause.

At 11:03 a.m. POTUS came to the podium wearing traditional suit and red tie.

The order reverses the previous administration’s Arctic leasing ban and will produce jobs, Trump said.

The president made sure to lob an arrow at one of his favorite targets.

Trump said he was very proud of the people behind him and far less proud of the people in front of him, pointing to and calling out the media.

Trump to Gut Centerpiece of Obama Climate Change Agenda

This keeps Trump promise to the coal miners who helped him win the election. And it helps reverse Obama’s radical environmental agenda that was raising energy prices on poor and middle class Americans. 

President Trump will sign an executive order Tuesday to roll back the centerpiece of the Obama administration’s climate change agenda, the Clean Power Plan, and cancel what Trump says are unnecessary rules on coal, oil and natural gas production that are harming economic growth, the Washington Examiner reported.

The executive order is seen as central in meeting the president’s campaign promises to help coal country rebound from the tens of thousands of job losses that the industry blames, in part, on restrictive environmental regulations.

A senior administration official told reporters on a call Monday that the order has the “twin goals” of both moving forward while also looking backward.

It “looks forward” by setting the stage for the “beginning strategy” in devising an energy policy framework for the nation, said the senior official. And it looks backward by eliminating regulations from the previous administration that hinder growth and energy production.

It will call on all agencies to conduct a comprehensive review of all rules to determine those that inhibit energy production, and report back to the White House in 180 days.

Trump Approves the Keystone Pipeline

Finally, a president who cares more about workers and the economy than appeasing overwrought environmentalists. There was never any reason not to approve this. The oil was going to get shipped one way or another, and the negative effects of the pipeline were minimal. The White House even laughably tried to suggest that it was deferring to Nebraska’s Republican governor, as if they gave a whit about the states and weren’t trying to overrule localities on every other issue. 

After years of stalling under President Obama, President Trump on Friday approved the Keystone XL pipeline, and the company looking to build the massive pipeline project has received its permit to finish it, the Washington Examiner reported.

TransCanada announced Friday morning the State Department issued a permit to build the 1,187-mile pipeline stretching from Alberta, Canada to oil refineries in the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. The project had previously been stopped by President Obama in November 2015, but Trump ordered it reviewed once again during his first month in office.

Obama’s decision to kill the pipeline in November 2015 after more than seven years of consideration was widely seen by oil industry figures as a political decision. The decision came just weeks before the Paris Agreement on climate change, the world’s first climate change agreement, was signed.

Senate Confirms Scott Pruitt to be EPA Chief

The bureaucrats at the EPA must need grief counseling. Pruitt is going to put an end to the Leftist Obama environmental agenda they’ve all been enjoying so much for the last eight years. From the Washington Examiner: The Senate confirmed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to become President Trump’s administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. The 52-46 vote… Continue Reading

Obama Declares More Land Off Limits

The Obama administration designated 1.6 million acres of Utah and Nevada as national monuments Wednesday, including one controversial area of Utah that is rankling congressional Republicans. The White House announced the 1.35 million-acre Bear Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah and the 300,000-acre Gold Butte National Monument just outside of Las Vegas. The two desert… Continue Reading

Obama Bans Offshore Drilling in Arctic, Atlantic

President Obama took the “historic step” to ban offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and off the Atlantic coastline, the White House announced Tuesday afternoon. The action represents a partnership between the United States and Canada “to build a strong Arctic economy, preserve a healthy Arctic ecosystem and protect our fragile Arctic waters, including designating… Continue Reading