States Still Face a War on Coal from the Obama Administration

coal fired plantThe Obama Administration’s assault on the nation’s coal producers took a remarkable turn recently. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay against the president’s massive “Clean Power Plan” (CPP), blocking the new program until a federal court determines its legality.

The ruling produced a huge sigh of relief from the 27 states currently suing to halt what they see as the most far-reaching and intrusive regulations ever imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.)

Cash-strapped states no longer need to scramble to reduce power sector carbon dioxide emissions 32% by 2030. Because the power plan requires interim targets in 2022, though, many states were already mobilizing to build new power sector infrastructure at substantial cost.

Now they don’t have to, and any state still following the EPA mandate risks wasting taxpayer money just to comply with a regulation that could soon be judged unlawful. Unfortunately, even those states taking advantage of the reprieve have already sensed the risks facing affordable, reliable power generation.

Despite the Court’s reprieve, more trouble is on the way, too. That’s because the president is still waging a wider battle against coal-based power. His team hopes to replace coal with solar and wind power, even though neither one has demonstrated real ability to generate robust power or cost efficiency.

The Department of the Interior recently proposed a complete overhaul of coal mining regulations, largely replacing environmental oversight by the states with a massive new set of federal rules so broad as to potentially render more than half of U.S. coal reserves off-limits. Even though states have demonstrated considerable success in policing their respective mining sectors, the “Stream Protection Rule” (SPR) proposed by the Obama Administration has morphed into a staggering expansion of regulatory controls that, if fully implemented, could eliminate up to 280,000 jobs tied to the coal sector.

This hostility to coal was clearly on display during the president’s final State of the Union address, when he announced a moratorium on federal coal leases. If the president can’t stop coal through the CPP, he will simply order it to remain in the ground. Sadly, federal coal leases provide much of the nation’s affordable power supply, and generate whopping annual revenues, thanks to the hefty 40% royalty and tax fees applied to mining claims.

The great problem with this war on coal is that it ignores coal’s preeminence in generating roughly 37% of U.S. electricity (compared to less than 5% for wind and solar). Coal remains the most dependable source of continuous power, and the state-of-the-art clean coal plants that scrub emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and particulate matter are currently running overtime to keep Americans warm during winter and cool in summer.

In short, any one of President Obama’s three proposals would result in higher electricity costs. Not only would this harm America’s already troubled economy, but it would disproportionately affect the country’s most vulnerable populations, like seniors and low-income communities. Americans on the poverty line, and rural residents depending on electricity co-ops, already pay an outsized percentage of their income for energy. Without affordable coal power, they will be significantly affected by higher monthly electric bills.

The Obama Administration has a record of imposing regulations without regard for expense, however. Last summer, the Supreme Court struck down a separate EPA regulation on coal, saying the agency must consider cost before deciding if a regulation is “appropriate and necessary.” Thus, the administration is now 0 for 2 in imposing its agenda. But the Supreme Court may not be able to stop every one of the administration’s efforts, which means the American people could be the real losers if the president continues his costly assault on coal.

Terry Jarrett is an energy attorney and consultant, and is a former commissioner of the Missouri Public Service Commission.

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El Nino brings relief to California’s long-running drought

folsomEl Ni√±o is having a beneficial side effect on the long-running California drought, filling many reservoirs to capacity. Unfortunately, it’s only affecting Northern California, which has been rocked by a series of soakers over the past few months. All that rain, a byproduct of the naturally occurring El Ni√±o in the tropical Pacific Ocean, has blanketed the state, filling once-dusty lakes like Lake Shasta and Lake Oroville. They have either reached capacity or surpassed historical levels. Some are even using their floodgates.

The LA Times notes that the “growing snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, are important because both are key sources of water for California. The snowpack now stands at 92% of normal statewide, with the northern area now at 102% of normal.” That’s great news for a state being hammered by a four-year-long naturally occurring drought.

Previously, Governor Jerry Brown has blamed global warming for California’s long-running drought despite numerous studies indicating that natural variability and mismanagement of water resources were to blame. Now California residents are complaining about having to pay a drought surcharge on water, while nearby reservoirs are full or at capacity and releasing water via their floodgates.

Currently, California’s water issues favor the agriculture industry, which eats up over 80 percent of all water used in the state. And after four years of drought and a strict water conservation mandate, many California residents are wondering why they still have to pay these surcharges and abide by onerous watering restrictions. San Diego has requested relaxing these conservation efforts and may get some relief.

There was so much water dumped on the northern half of the state in December and January that “engineers began releasing water from Folsom Lake near Williams’ Granite Bay home for flood control reasons.” Now March is ending up being another wet month as even larger reservoirs are filling “up to and above their normal levels.” There’s only one problem. The mandates and fines for using water are still in use even as overages in many reservoirs are being released.

Consumers who don’t meet the governor’s restrictive “water conservation requirements face fines of $500 per violation per day.” Regulators argue that they still aren’t out of the woods and have extended the mandates into the fall, even as they dump excess water from reservoirs that have reached capacity. All of which is infuriating residents.

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Questions Arise Concerning Whether GOP Candidates Remain Climate Skeptics

Remaining GOP candidatesAn article published by MSNBC reports leading Republican presidential candidates who once denied humans are the cause of global warming are now softening their stance and subtly embracing the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory.

MSNBC advances its claim some candidates are moderating their views on the threat of climate change by pointing to real estate billionaire Donald Trump’s recent appearance on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends morning show, where he said, “Obviously, I joke [about global warming]. I know much about climate change, and I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China.”

MSNBC contrasts this statement with posts made by Trump on social media site Twitter between 2012 and early 2015, in which he said climate change was a “con job,” a “canard,” a “hoax,” and a concept “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

MSNBC also points to an appearance by Trump on conservative pundit Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, during which Trump, while criticizing President Barack Obama for trying “to solve a problem that I don’t think in any major fashion exists,” seemingly opened the door to the possibility climate change may create, at the very least, small problems in the future.

Trump isn’t the only candidate MSNBC says has reversed his position on climate change. The MSNBC article claims Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) stressed he’s “not skeptical” of climate change at a September 2015 GOP debate, although MSNBC acknowledges Rubio rejected Obama’s particular response to climate change, because Rubio says he is certain Obama’s climate change policies will harm the economy without slowing global warming.

MSNBC contrasts Rubio’s supposed backtracking with statements he made two years ago, in which he denied humans were causing climate change entirely.

“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate,” Rubio said on ABC News’ This Week in 2014.

MSNBC says the lone holdout among the Republican field is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R), who MSNBC says has never wavered in his claim climate change is “the perfect pseudo-scientific theory.”

Doesn’t Buy the Premise

Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot, says he does not believe MSNBC’s claim many of the Republican candidates are changing their views on climate change is accurate.

“Let’s start with Trump,” Morano said. “He has not backed away from anything. He made some really silly comments about climate, about how China started it and mocking AGW when it snows, and now [he] sounds perfectly nuanced and sound on the issue.” 

“I don’t see a shift in Trump,” Morano said. 

“Rubio has been a deer in the headlights when it comes to climate change … He makes a reasonable skeptical statement and then seems to back away,” Morano said. 

Morano says Cruz has always been the strongest critic of climate alarmism.

“Cruz is the most well-versed and the strongest candidate who understands global warming issues,” Morano said.

“So the Republican presidential candidates have not really softened their skepticism on global warming,” Morano said. “This is a warmist-mainstream media created narrative [that is] not backed up by facts.” 

Other analysts have also detected little change in leading GOP presidential candidates views on global warming.

“I don’t see any significant changes in the GOP candidates’ positions on climate change,” said Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “I have no idea what Donald Trump may do on climate and energy policy if elected president, since he says a lot of things, but his deeds don’t often match his rhetoric.”

“Sens. Cruz and Rubio have slightly different understandings of climate science, but their policy positions are very close,” said Ebell. “Cruz and Rubio have both said that they will overturn the EPA’s greenhouse gas rules.

“Sen. Cruz promised to withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty, while Sen. Rubio promised to submit it to the Senate, with the understanding the Senate will defeat ratification,” said Ebell.

Standing Up to the United Nations and EPA

“If any Republican candidate but Cruz is elected president, hopefully a President Trump or Rubio would stand up to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.N. Paris agreement, as well as reverse the EPA regulations,” Morano said. 

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The Settled Science of Grant Snaffling

glacierFeminist glacier studies, an expanding field of academic climate-science rigor, sometimes needs an R-rating. Like this new feminist glacier research from a team led by Professor Mark Carey at the University of Oregon. Carey  scored a $US413,000 grant in 2013 for his glacier research, with the paper being one output from it.  It is titled  “Glaciers, gender, and science: A feminist glaciology framework for global environmental change research.”

The epic, 15,000-word monograph cites Sheryl St Germain‘s obscure, 2001 novel, To Drink a Glacier, where the author is in the throes of her midlife sexual awakening. She “interprets her experiences with Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier as sexual and intimate.[i] When she drinks the glacier’s water, she reflects:

That drink is like a kiss, a kiss that takes in the entire body of the other … like some wondrous omnipotent liquid tongue, touching our own tongues all over, the roofs and sides of our mouths, then moving in us and through to where it knows … I swallow, trying to make the spiritual, sexual sweetness of it last.

Continuing in the tradition of 50 Shades of Ice, the paper further cites Uzma Aslam Khan’s (2010) short story ‘Ice, Mating’. The story

explores religious, nationalistic, and colonial themes in Pakistan, while also featuring intense sexual symbolism of glaciers acting upon a landscape. Khan writes: ‘It was Farhana who told me that Pakistan has more glaciers than anywhere outside the poles. And I’ve seen them! I’ve even seen them fuck!’ (emphasis in original)

Icy conditions normally inhibit tumescence, but the paper’s four authors (two of them men, but writing through “the feminist lens”) seem to be in a state of sustained arousal. To them, even ice core drilling evokes coital imagery:

Structures of power and domination also stimulated the first large-scale ice core drilling projects – these archetypal masculinist projects to literally penetrate glaciers and extract for measurement and exploitation the ice in Greenland and Antarctica.

The study quotes feminist artists and suggests that satellite and aerial imaging of glaciers, rather than involving scientific credibility and accuracy, is actually a masculine construct and “reminiscent of detached, voyeuristic, ‘pornographic’ images.” It continues, “Such a gaze has been troubled by feminist researchers who argue that the ‘conquering gaze’ makes an implicit claim on who has the power to see and not be seen.”

In passing, the study notes that climate change “can lead to the breakdown of stereotypical gender roles and even ‘gender renegotiation’ (Godden, 2013).” This had me worried as I prefer to stay with my male gender. I looked up Naomi Godden’s tract, and was relieved to find that it merely reported on a Peru village’s fishermen and housewives switching roles when fishing declined (climate change, which halted 19 years ago, being of course the stated culprit for the decline).

The feminist-glaciology lead author of the 15,000-word paper, Mark Carey, is a historian. Of his co-authors,  Jerrilyn M. Jackson is  a geography post-grad student, Alessandro Antonello is an environmental history post-grad, and Ms Jaclyn Rushing (below) has a BA in environmental studies and Romance languages. Worth noting is that Antonello acquired his credentials at the University of Canberra.

By about 7000 words in, readers are subsumed in  an Alice in Wonderland discourse. The Cold War, we learn, was apparently not about the contest with the Communist bloc, but a tussle “pursued by a particular group of men as policy-makers who were products of specific elite masculinities (Dean, 2003), operating in the context of anxieties about American masculinities (Cuordileone, 2005), and with particular discourses of masculinity and male bodies, especially in distant places like the Arctic (Farish, 2010)…”

The study ranges widely, and includes citation of Scottish visual artist Katie Paterson, who made long-playing records out of glacier melt-water. These LPs play glacier whines and other noises  for ten minutes until the ice disks themselves melt. Maybe caution is needed with 240V apparatus.

The paper insists on respect for folk knowledge about glaciers. Yukon indigenous women, for example, say glaciers are easily excited by bad people who cook with smelly grease near glaciers, but glaciers can be placated by the quick-witted, the good and deferential. Cooked food, especially fat, “might grow into a glacier overnight if improperly handled”. Such narratives “demonstrate the capacity of folk glaciologies to diversify the field of glaciology and subvert the hegemony of natural sciences… the goal is to understand that environmental knowledge is always based in systems of power discrepancies and unequal social relations, and overcoming these disparities requires accepting that multiple knowledges exist and are valid within their own contexts.”

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Hillary Calls Her Own Supporters Science Deniers

nuclear power plantHillary Clinton said that her own supporters in the environmental movement “put ideology ahead of science” when they deny the advantages of natural gas and nuclear power.

“Proposals to end natural gas production or rapidly shut down our nation’s nuclear power fleet put ideology ahead of science and would make it harder and more costly to build a clean energy future,” the former secretary of state said in a Monday press statement.

Clinton’s statement was an attempt to affirm her stance on coal power while approving some form of governmental support to out-of-work coal miners. Clinton’s statement does not change her position on coal power, as she has consistently stated her policies are “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” The statement also notes Hillary’s objection to coal bankruptcies, which she sees as coal companies shirking their responsibilities to retired coal miners and dependents.

“Although Hillary Clinton is eager to kill the coal industry and thereby put people working in energy-intensive manufacturing industries as well as coal miners out of jobs, her comments on natural gas and nuclear power demonstrate that she is not entirely out of touch with economic reality,” Myron Ebell, director of the Center for Energy and Environment at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “She understands that her climate policies will harm the economy, particularly in states that vote Republican, but cannot be allowed to kill the economy in states that vote Democratic.  That would compromise her political future.”

The former secretary of state claimed to be “agnostic about nuclear power” in the 2007 YouTube Democratic Primary debate. As a result, she rarely directly discusses nuclear energy, though one of her campaign fact sheets states she favors “advanced nuclear,” which requires “expand[ing] successful innovation initiatives, like ARPA-e, and cut those that fail to deliver results.” In Monday’s statement, she says that the government needs to continue “supporting safe and responsible natural gas production and nuclear energy, and the thousands of jobs that come with it.”

Clinton made promoting hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for natural gas in other countries a big priority during her tenure as Secretary of State. Her Department of State advised world leaders on the benefits of fracking, connected them with American energy experts, and organized visits to American drilling sites with the explicit goal of making the U.S. into a role model for natural gas fracking around the world.

“Hillary Clinton has consistently put ideology ahead of science and reality when it comes to energy issues,” Chris Warren, a spokesman for the American Energy Alliance, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “This is the same Hillary Clinton who just recently bragged that her policies would crack down on hydraulic fracturing, which would severely limit American natural gas production, eliminate jobs, and increase energy costs. This is the same Hillary Clinton who supports the idea of banning natural gas, oil, and coal production on federal lands.”

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Al Gore flip-flops on end-of-world tipping points ahead of elections

goreSpeaking in Manila yesterday during a Climate Reality training event, Al Gore said we only have two years left to save the planet and to convince people of global warming’s imminent threat. But in 2014, former VP-turned-green-activist Gore told Rolling Stones that we have reached a turning point, have seen “the worst effects of climate change and have saved civilization as we know it.” Al “sees the future and it is good,” wrote the Daily Kos in 2014.

“The forward journey for human civilization will be difficult and dangerous, but it is now clear that we will ultimately prevail,” Gore said in that 2014 interview. “The only question is how quickly we can accelerate and complete the transition to a low-carbon civilization…” Apparently not fast enough, especially with a presidential election in November.

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Scientists Are Freaking Out About February’s Record Warmth — Ignore The Incredibly Strong El Ni√±o

climate protestClimate scientists are warning the world may be getting closer to catastrophic global warming faster than projected based on news that February 2016 was the warmest month on record — despite there being an incredibly strong naturally-occurring warming event.

“We are in a kind of climate emergency now,” Stefan Rahmstorf, a climate scientist at the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research, told The Sydney Morning Herald: “This is really quite stunning” and “it’s completely unprecedented.”

Newly updated National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) data shows February was 1.35 degrees Celsius warmer than the 1951 to 1980 average for that month. It’s even warmer than January’s 1.14 degrees Celsius — a record level for that month as well.

Gavin Schmidt, the head of NASA’s climate research unit, tweeted his own amazement at the record-high global average temperature for February.

“Nasa dropped a bombshell of a climate report,” Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, weather data analysts with the Weather Underground, wrote on the website. “February dispensed with the one-month-old record by a full 0.21C ‚Äì an extraordinary margin to beat a monthly world temperature record by.”

But what’s gone unmentioned is the impact an incredibly strong El Ni√±o warming had on average global temperature last month. Indeed, the current El Ni√±o is said to the strongest such event in 18 years as it warms up ocean temperatures in the Pacific.

El Niño is a naturally-occurring warming phase across the span of the Pacific Ocean along the equator. It occurs fairly regularly, about every two to seven years, and if often followed by a La Niña cooling phase.

The current El Ni√±o reportedly peaked in December 2015, but it’s effects are felt for months after it starts to dissipate — which scientists expected. It’s not clear how much of global average temperature can be attributed to current El Ni√±o, but some say it only results in a few tenths of a degree of warming.

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Lynch, ‘Climate Change’ Is a Joke

cartoonThere are people who believe the whole climate change bedtime story nonsense. They have bought into the notion that the earth is going to burn up, even though back in the 1970s the earth was going to freeze to the core. Not really sure what changed in 20 years. Then, in the 1990s, we have Al Gore running about in his limo, after riding in his personal jet, to give a speech about global warming. Oh, and Gore made sure his car was nice and cool as it was left running for an hour during one of his Chicken Little, the-earth-is-burning-up speeches.

We also have examples of brain dead Hollywood fools like Leonardo Dicaprio spreading the excited delirium about climate change, while also following his hero’s example by jetting around the country on his own jet. Or world leaders flying to France to talk about climate change and dropping thousands of tons of carbon into the atmosphere. You, however, better buy a Prius, put solar paneling on your roof, wear Birkenstocks, go smoke copious amounts of weed, putting more pollutants in the air, then complain about carbon emissions from vehicles that are operated 100% on gasoline. This is what you do. You “climate change” believers are hypocrites and live in a world that is constantly changing, making your environment argument less and less believable.

In fact, you scream in the faces of those who do not believe this farce. You get so mad that you have the Department of Justice discussing civil penalties for those who deny climate change. Can anyone say Orwellian? Is this really being discussed with Justice Department head Loretta Lynch? We have domestic terror groups, who call themselves Social Justice “Warriors,” and Lynch does not condemn what they are doing. Nah. That’s not a big deal. It does not matter they are looting and burning down cities. Never mind that police officers are being assaulted by the mobs of animals. Global warming…no, climate change, or whatever it is called this week — that is a big deal.

The Justice Department must defend “settled” science. If this whole subject is settled science, then why is Lynch discussing civil penalties for the First Amendment right to challenge this subject? Why do they want to shut up the critics for something they claim is true? They say, “Ah, well, science says so.” Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just wait a minute. These scientists that you are talking about, who funds them? Who essentially pays them every other week? It is you, the government. I have had many debates online with these idiots who believe this climate change garbage. They always, I mean 100% of the time, say, “Well, NASA says so.” They are too ignorant to do simple research as see that NASA is, you guessed it, government-funded. When liberal progressives are running things, and they are responsible for the funding of NASA, whatever the givers want the takers will say. As the saying goes, just follow the money.

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Many Scientific “Truths” Are, In Fact, False

crops droughtJust imagine, if you will, their shock. Their outrage. Their incomprehension. Britain’s most famous, achingly right-on, liberal lefties being blackballed from university campuses because they are insufficiently achingly right-on and liberal. They are being out-pioused from the far left — not simply told that they are wrong and vile, which they certainly are being told, but also that they are not allowed even to speak in case they upset people even more left-wing than themselves. Boy, are they furious. You would need a heart of stone not to laugh. Up to a point.  –Rod Liddle, The Sunday Times, 13 March 2016

In 2005, John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, published a paper, “Why most published research findings are false,” mathematically showing that a huge number of published papers must be incorrect. He also looked at a number of well-regarded medical research findings, and found that, of 34 that had been retested, 41% had been contradicted or found to be significantly exaggerated. Since then, researchers in several scientific areas have consistently struggled to reproduce major results of prominent studies. By some estimates, at least 51%—and as much as 89%—of published papers are based on studies and experiments showing results that cannot be reproduced. —Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, 13 March 2016

The student activists do not wish to hear anything at all that conflicts with their views. Or even hear anything that does not conflict with their views but allows for the fact that there might be conflicting views. “This mob mentality has echoes of the Red Guard in China back in the 1960s,” says Peter Tatchell. –Rod Liddle, The Sunday Times, 13 March 2016

A fascinating rift is growing in the climate community. While US scientists appear to be doing everything in their power to bury the ongoing pause in global warming, with questionable adjustments to their data, UK Ocean Scientists are refusing to give up without a fight. On the basis of a 2014 paper, UK Ocean scientists have just secured a budget, to launch a major investigation into why global warming has paused, and to work out how to predict future pauses. –Eric Worrall, Watts Up With That, 12 March 2016

For years, climate activists have been concerned and puzzled by the fact that a lot of people don’t agree with them. In order to rectify this problem, they tried to get the message out about climate change, thinking that if everyone had the correct information, we could all happily live together in a world of onethink and pursue the rapid and drastic political agenda they wish for. They then realised that this naive idea, called the deficit model, didn’t really work: despite an enormous effort from the climate propaganda machine, public concern about climate change and support for action continued its steady decline. This “problem” is a regular concern at Adam Corner’s blog, Climate Outreach. The next idea was finding the right words: spinning the message in a particular way so that it might appeal to, for example, Conservative voters, or “framing the narrative”, to use the sociology jargon. Unfortunately for them, this doesn’t seem to work either.  –Paul Matthews, Climate Scepticism, 11 March 2016

We recently discussed the February 2016 El Ni√±o-related upsurges in the RSS and UAH lower troposphere temperature (TLT) data in the post March 2016 Update of Global Temperature Responses to 1997/98 and 2015/16 El Ni√±o Events.  Not to be outdone, the GISS Land-Ocean Temperature (LOTI) data showed a +0.21 deg C jump in global land+ocean surface temperatures from January to February 2016…tacked on to the +0.24 deg C jump from September to October 2015. –Bob Tisdale, Climate Observations, 12 March 2016

The El Ni√±o weather pattern, while weakening, continues to hurt crop farmers as well as cattle ranchers across the Asia-Pacific region with its hot and dry conditions. Global temperatures in February were 2.43 degrees Fahrenheit above the average temperature for that month in the period from 1951-1980—a three-decade yardstick the National Aeronautics and Space Administration uses to understand recent temperatures—according to data released Saturday by the agency. The El Ni√±o phenomenon began in the first half of 2015, peaked in December and has started to recede. But the phenomenon will continue to affect weather patterns as it breaks down. Normal conditions are expected in the second half of 2016, according to weather bureaus in Australia, Japan and the U.S. –Lucy Craymer, The Wall Street Journal, 14 March 2016

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Hillary Clinton Has A Message For Coal Miners: You’re Fired

hillaryDuring CNN’s Democratic townhall event in Ohio on Sunday night, Hillary Clinton said she wants to move away from using coal as an energy source — even if it means eliminating jobs in the process.

“We’re gonna put a lot of coal miners and coal companies outta business,” Clinton said.

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“If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them,” Obama said.

During his tenure in office, one in five Americans working in the coal industry lost their jobs due in large part to his energy policies. On Sunday, Clinton confirmed that her plan would put many more Americans out of work.

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Climate Scientist Arrested for Fraud

AlongiClimate scientist Daniel AlongiClimate scientist Daniel Alongi has been indicted by the Australian government on charges of defrauding taxpayers out of $556,000 in false expenses since 2008.

Alongi has already admitted to creating false invoices, credit card statements, and e-mails to cover his misappropriation of funds.

Alongi’s indictment raises serious questions concerning the credibility of his research. During the period of Alongi’s alleged fraud, his research focusing on the impact of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, coastal mangroves, and coastal ecosystems was published in numerous national and international journals.

Meteorologist Anthony Watts said in a post on his popular climate website Watts Up With That he’s concerned Alongi may have falsified scientific findings to justify his expenses. Alongi has published 140 scientific publications and his work has been cited 5,861 times by other researchers.

“If Alongi falsely claimed to have spent half a million dollars on radioisotope testing, it would look pretty strange if he didn’t produce any false test results, to justify the expenditure of all that money,” wrote Watts. 

‘Scientists Not Immune to Corruption’

Alongi’s arrest marks the second time in recent months questions have been raised concerning the use of government funds given to carry out climate research.

In late 2015, the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology began an investigation into George Mason University professor Jagadish Shukla’s non-profit research think tank, the Institute for Global Environment and Security Inc (IGES). IGES received more than $63 million dollars in federal grants, accounting for 98 percent of its operating revenue since 2001, but it produced very little published research.

A complaint filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Cause of Action with the Internal Revenue Service requested the tax agency to investigate Shukla and IGES for illegally engaging in lobbying and advocacy activities, rather than conducting the research the government grants were given to them for.

“Scientists can be tempted by money just like any other profession,” said Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot. “A Ph.D. does not make one immune to potential financial corruption.

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Banning fossil fuel benefits

fracking protest“Natural gas is a good, cheap alternative to fossil fuels,” former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi famously intoned. (Psssst. Ms. Nancy, natural gas is a fossil fuel.)

“If I thought there was any evidence that drilling could save people money, I would consider it. But it won’t,” President Obama said in 2008. “We can’t drill our way out of the problem” of high energy prices and disappearing supplies, he still insisted two years later. How shocked he must be now.

Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – aka, fracking – has unleashed a gusher of oil and natural gas, sent oil prices plunging $100 a barrel since 2008, dropped US oil imports to their lowest level in 45 years, and saved American families tens of billions of dollars annually in lower energy costs.

But if price and “peak oil” rationales fail, there is always “dangerous manmade global warming” to justify carbon-based energy and fracking bans, and renewable energy mandates and subsidies.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton contend that climate change is an “existential threat” to people and planet. Senator Sanders says bluntly, “I do not support fracking.” He also wants legislation that would keep America’s abundant oil, gas and coal “in the ground.”

Mrs. Clinton opposes all fossil fuel energy extraction on federal lands. She rejects fracking if “any locality or state is against it,” any methane is released or water contaminated, or companies don’t reveal “exactly what chemicals they are using.” Under her watch, there won’t be “many places in America where fracking will continue.” She will “stop fossil fuels” and ensure 50% renewable energy by 2030.

One senses that these folks inhabit a parallel universe, cling like limpets to anti-hydrocarbon  ideologies, or perhaps embody Mark Twain’s admonition that “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you’re a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

One also senses that as president the two Democrat candidates will continue Mr. Obama’s imperial practices. If Congress resists their policy initiatives, they will simply issue more Executive Branch diktats, and ignore their impacts on jobs and the economy, the absence of evidence that fracking harms human health or water quality, the reality that renewable energy “alternatives” also cause serious problems ‚Äì and scientists’ continuing inability to separate human from natural influences on climate and weather events and trends that are essentially the same as during the twentieth century.

Officially, 7.8 million Americans are still unemployed. But add the long-term unemployed, those who looked for a job once in the past year but not in recent weeks, and those who are working involuntarily in low-pay, part-time positions – and the total swells to 16.8 million. Over 46 million are on food stamps.

The federal debt hit $19 trillion in February and is projected to reach $23 trillion by 2020. In FY2015, the US Treasury collected $3.2 trillion in taxes and other revenues, but spent $3.7 trillion. Profligate state and local spending has swollen these deficits by tens of billions more, for the same reason: politicians are in cahoots with unions, crony capitalist rent seekers, and assorted grievance, victim and welfare groups.

Mountains of federal regulations cost businesses and families $1.9 trillion annually – half of our national budget. They drag down investment, job creation and tax revenues. State and local rules add more pain.

To borrow the Greens and Democrats’ favorite term, this is unsustainable.

Oil, gas and coal account for 82% of all US energy and 78% of US electricity generation – reliably and affordably. Producing this abundant energy also generates positive cash-flow: fossil fuel bonuses, rents and royalties from federal lands totaled $126 billion between 2003 and 2013; corporate and personal taxes resulting from the jobs and activities powered by that energy added tens of billions more.

Wind, solar and biofuel programs, by contrast, are black holes for hard-earned taxpayer subsidies – and rarely work unless consumers are required to use that energy, and pay premium prices for doing so.

Even getting to 50% “carbon-free” energy fifteen years from now will require: vastly more subsidies and mandates; turning entire forests into fuel; blanketing croplands and habitats with enormous biofuel plantations, wind farms and solar installations; and killing millions of birds, bats and other wildlife in the process. However, biomass and biofuels are also carbon-based and also release carbon dioxide ‚Äì and their energy per volume is paltry, their energy efficiency deplorable, compared to hydrocarbons.

A renewable energy future means scenic, wild and agricultural lands become industrial zones and high voltage transmission corridors ‚Äì feeding urban centers where people will have lower living standards.  

Environmentalists used to tell poor countries they could never have the lifestyles of people in developed nations, as it wouldn’t be sustainable. Now they say our living standards are unsustainable and aren’t fair to the world’s poor. Therefore, their lives should be improved a little via wind, solar and biofuel energy, while ours are knocked down a peg via climate and sustainability regulations (except for ruling elites).

Environmentalists and other liberals are also hardwired to be incapable of acknowledging the countless health, welfare and technological blessings that creative free enterprise capitalism has bestowed on humanity – or to recognize the dearth of innovation by repressive socialist regimes.

Liberals like to say Republicans want to control what you do in your bedroom. But Democrats want to control everything you do outside your bedroom ‚Äì but for the noble, exalted purpose of changing genetically coded human behavior, to Save the Planet for future generations. That means unelected Earth Guardians must control the lives, livelihoods, living standards, liberties and life spans of commoners and peasants, especially in “flyover country.”

Fossil fuel and fracking bans are part of that “fundamental transformation.” They will force us to use less oil and gas, but they also mean we will import more petroleum from Saudi Arabia and Iran, though not from Canada via the Keystone pipeline. Energy prices will again climb into the stratosphere, more jobs will disappear, manufacturing will shrivel, and royalty and tax revenues will evaporate.

The billionaire bounties that Hillary, Bernie and their supporters also need to pay for all the free college, ObamaCare, renewable energy subsidies, income redistribution and other “entitlements” will likewise be devoured quickly, while millions more people end up on welfare and unemployment rolls. The bills will simply be forwarded to our children and grandchildren.

Meanwhile, despite any US bans, other countries will continue using fossil fuels to create jobs and grow their economies. So total atmospheric CO2 and greenhouse gas concentrations will continue to rise.

Of course, “climate deniers” and other members of The Resistance will have to be dealt with. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will pave the way on that. In the process, as Obama and Clinton mentor Saul Alinsky put it in his Rules for Radicals, the ruling elites will pick, freeze, personalize and polarize their targets. They will repeat their allegations and maintain their pressure until all resistance crumbles. Facts will be irrelevant. Power and perceptions will rule.

Blue collar, middle class and minority families feel they are fighting for their very survival, against policies and regulations that profoundly impair their jobs, incomes and futures. Indeed, the governing classes are actively harming the very people they claim to care the most about ‚Äì and actually killing people in the world’s poorest nations, by denying them access to energy and other modern technologies.

That’s why Trump, Cruz, Carson and other “outsider” candidates have resonates. People are fed up.

Perhaps it’s time to borrow a page from Alinsky ‚Äì Rule Four, to be precise ‚Äì and make “the enemy,” the ruling elites, live up to their own rules. Watching them scream and squeal would be most entertaining.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power ‚Äì Black death.

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