Thursday, January 17, 2013

Unsettled science: Warmists Get The Stratosphere Wrong

British Met Office analyses not reproducible

Time and again the proponents of catastrophic climate change use the mantra of “settled science” to shout down their critics. This is nothing less than blind faith that science actually knows what is going on in the complex environment that regulates this planet's climate. Imagine a part of that system that is literally only 10km from anywhere on Earth, a component of our environment that science thought it understood quite well. Now imagine the embarrassment when a major review in a noted journal finds that previous datasets associated with this component are wrong and have been wrong for more than a quarter of a century. Yet that is precisely what has happened. The area in question is Earth's stratosphere and the impact of this report is devastating for climate scientists and atmospheric modelers everywhere.

Scientists have been launching instrument packages into the upper portions of Earth's atmosphere for a long time. Instruments used for such research were standardized decades ago and programs to collect such data on a world wide basis put into place. If any part of atmospheric science was considered well in hand, if not actually “settled” (a phrase seldom used by real scientists) it would be the long term monitoring of global stratospheric temperatures. However, a report in the 29 November 2012 issue of Nature, “The mystery of recent stratospheric temperature trends,” says that things are not so.

The perspective article by David Thompson, et al., reports that what we thought we knew well we hardly knew at all. A new data set of middle- and upper-stratospheric temperatures indicates that our view of stratospheric climate change during the period 1979–2005 is strikingly wrong. Furthermore, “[t]he new data call into question our understanding of observed stratospheric temperature trends and our ability to test simulations of the stratospheric response to emissions of greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting substances.”

What is particularly troublesome about this report is the scope of the damage done. The problem involves two different sets of historical data from two respected agencies: the UK Met Office and America's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). How significant the error and the puzzlement over what to do about it is shown in the article's title, where it is referred to as a mystery. The background of the problem is stated by the authors this way:
The surface temperature record extends for over a century and is derived from multiple data sources. In contrast, the stratospheric temperature record spans only a few decades and is derived from a handful of data sources. Radiosonde (weather balloon) measurements are available in the lower stratosphere but do not extend to the middle and upper stratosphere. Lidar (light detection and ranging) measurements extend to the middle and upper stratosphere but have very limited spatial and temporal sampling. By far the most abundant observations of long-term stratospheric temperatures are derived from satellite measurements of long-wave radiation emitted by Earth’s atmosphere.

The longest-running records of remotely sensed stratospheric temperatures are provided by the Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU), the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU), and the Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU). The SSU and MSU instruments were flown onboard a consecutive series of seven NOAA polar-orbiting satellites that partially overlap in time from late 1978 to 2006; the AMSU instruments have been flown onboard NOAA satellites from mid-1998 to the present day.
The widely accepted, continuous record of temperatures in the middle and upper stratosphere going back to 1979 was based exclusively on SSU data. The SSU data were originally processed for climate analysis by scientists at the UK Met Office in the 1980s and further revised as newer satellite data became available in 2008. Here is were things begin to get a bit dodgy.

There are rules that scientists must follow in order for their work to be judged valid. The work must be done openly, transparently—there can be no secret steps or hidden incantations. This is because the work must be reproducible, not just by those who originated it but by outsiders as well. Things began going off the rails when NOAA recently reprocessed the SSU temperatures and published the full processing methodology and the resulting data in the peer-reviewed literature. This is as it should be, NOAA followed the rules. But it soon became obvious that there were grave discrepancies between the new NOAA data and the older Met Office data.

Time series of monthly mean, global-mean stratospheric temperature anomalies.

The global-mean cooling in the middle stratosphere, around 25–45 km in altitude, is nearly twice as large in the NOAA data set as it is in the Met Office data set (see the figure) The differences between the NOAA and Met Office global-mean time series do not occur in a single discrete period of time, but begin around 1985 to increase until the end of the record. According to the Nature article: “The differences between the NOAA and Met Office global-mean time series shown in Fig. 1 are so large they call into question our fundamental understanding of observed temperature trends in the middle and upper stratosphere.”

How did the Met Office get their data so wrong? Well there's the rub. You see, the methodology used to develop the Met Office SSU product was never published in the peer-reviewed literature, and certain aspects of the original processing “remain unknown.” Evidently the boffins at the Met didn't bother to write down exactly how they were massaging the raw data to get the results they reported. Indeed, those who did the data manipulation seem to have mostly retired.

“The methodology used to generate the original Met Office SSU data remains undocumented and so the climate community are unable to explain the large discrepancies between the original Met Office and NOAA SSU products highlighted here,” Thompson et al. summarize. And the damage doesn't stop there.

The data from the erroneous dataset has been used widely to help drive and define computer climate models, the same models used to prop-up alarmist claims of impending catastrophic climate change. According to the report: “Two classes of climate models commonly used in simulations of past climate are coupled chemistry–climate models (CCMs) and coupled atmosphere–ocean global climate models (AOGCMs). By definition, the CCMs explicitly simulate stratospheric chemical processes, whereas the AOGCMs explicitly simulate coupled atmosphere–ocean interactions... A key distinction between the model classes that is pertinent to this discussion is that in general the CCMs resolve the stratosphere more fully than do the AOGCMs.”

One of the predictions made by climate models is that as surface temperatures rise temperatures in the stratosphere should drop. Precisely why this should be so is complex and not important to the point being made here. Suffice it to say, the Met Office version of the SSU data suggests that the models overestimate the observed stratospheric cooling, whereas the NOAA SSU data suggest that the models underestimate it. As the authors put it:
If the new NOAA SSU data are correct, they suggest that the stratospheric mass circulation is accelerating at a rate considerably higher than that predicted by the CCMs, at least in the middle and upper stratosphere (that is, at the altitudes sampled by the SSU instrument). Again, it is possible that the models are correct and that the SSU data are in error. But the fact that the discrepancies between the magnitudes of the simulated and observed cooling in the tropical stratosphere extend to MSU channel 4, which samples the lower stratosphere and exhibits trends that are fairly reproducible from one data set to the next suggest that model uncertainties should not be discounted.

The bottom line here is that models based on this almost universally accepted data are wrong. “If the NOAA SSU data are correct, then both the CCMVal2 and CMIP5 models are presumably missing key changes in stratospheric composition,” the report plainly states. The article goes on to suggest corrective actions to prevent such a travesty being repeated in the future. Alas, the damage has already been done.

What is documented here is simply astounding. That which was thought to be understood is found to be misunderstood. Readings thought to be accurate are shown to be inaccurate. How the data were derived is found to be a secret now lost. The impact of the bogus data ripples through past results and, in particular, climate models, rendering old assumptions invalid. What was that line again about “settled science?”

This is an egregious example of sloppy science, slipshod science, bad science. How other climate scientists blindly accepted the Met Office's manufactured data, even when their models could not be reconciled with nature, leads one to question the scientific integrity of many of those in the field. This is not acceptable behavior in any realm of scientific endeavor, and when the results of research are used to inflame the public and drive questionable socioeconomic programs the malfeasance could be considered criminal. This is what happens when the race for fame, government funding and political advantage collide with science—the validity of the science is destroyed.


More scientific than thou

Economist Don Boudreaux replies to a Warmist letter

Dear Mr. Aaron:

    You write that I “flout objective science” when I question the “need for government to attend to” the issue of global warming “with taxes or regulation.”  You continue: “Your [Boudreaux's] unwillingness to accept objective guidance of established welfare economics demonstrates your dangerous ideology and your obliviousness and disdain of science.”

    I’ll not comment on your suggestion that I improve my “commitment to science” by reading more attentively Paul Krugman.  But I will say that a strong case can be made that persons such as yourself who leap immediately from your observation of a plausibly real negative externality (such as carbon emissions) to the conclusion that government must be given more power to “attend to” the problem are the ones who behave unscientifically.

    What science is it that assures you that government officials will, in such situations, act impartially and for the public good rather than politically and for special-interest groups?  What objective and established proof, or even plausible hypothesis, have you that the very same knowledge, free-rider, and transaction-cost problems that promote the negative externality to begin with do not also operate – or operate with even greater force – to distort decision-making by government officials?  I believe that history and science reveal that the answer to both questions in typical situations is “none.”

    I leave you with this scientific observation from my colleague Richard Wagner:

    “Expositions of welfare economics typically assume that the analyst possesses knowledge that is in no one’s capacity to possess.  A well-intentioned administrator of a corrective state would face a vexing problem because the knowledge he would need to act responsibly and effectively does not exist in any one place, but rather is divided and dispersed among market participants.  Such an administrator would seek to achieve patterns of resource utilization that would reflect trades that people would have made had they been able to do so, but by assumption were prevented from making because transaction costs were too high in various ways.  A corrective state that would be guided by the principles and formulations of welfare economics would be a state whose duties would exceed its cognitive capacities.”*  And, I add, exceed also its ethical capacities.


Reuters is now hedging its bets

For a long time they were fanatical Green/Leftists.  Their heading to the article below is "Climate change doesn’t have to be all bad"

This week the National Climate Data Center confirmed what most had long believed: 2012 was the warmest year on record for the United States. Ever. And not just a bit warmer: a full Fahrenheit degree warmer than in 1998, the previous high. In the land of climatology statistics, that is immense. In the understatement of one climate scientist, these findings are “a big deal.”

Almost every news story reporting on this juxtaposed the record with a series of disruptive climate events, ranging from the drought that covered much of the United States farmland and punctuated by Hurricane Sandy in its tens of billions of dollars of devastation. Many also pointed out that eight of the 10 warmest years have occurred since 1990 (though it should be noted that official records only extend to 1895). Not surprisingly, these observations were almost always followed by warnings of more warming and substantially worse consequences to come.

But what if climate change isn’t the disaster we fear but instead one more obstacle that humans can meet, one that may spur innovation and creativity as well as demand ever more resilience? What if it ultimately improves life as we know it?

That the planet is getting warmer there should be no doubt. Nor should there be much question about the role of human development, industrialization and carbon emissions as a causal factor. Of course, many do still question these changes, or at least to what degree they have been triggered by human activity, and yes, there have been wide climate swings throughout the millennia. Still, the preponderance of current scientific knowledge maintains that warming is accelerating and that fossil fuels and various effluvia of modern industry are a cause.

It does not, however, follow that the future arc of these changes is disastrous. Unwanted, unwelcome and uneasy? For sure. Potentially lethal? Yes. But so much of the debate over the past 30 years has been over what is causing climate change, and how to prevent more change from happening, that comparatively less energy has been spent on adapting to it. In part, those most focused on these issues, from Green parties in Europe to environmentalists in the United States, have often believed that any discussion of mitigating the effects of climate change is tantamount to giving up on preventing it. That has led to a jeremiad mentality, epitomized by Al Gore and the scathing warnings of what lies ahead in his hugely influential 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth.

The advantage of that approach was that it alerted many to the dangers of climate change; the disadvantage was that it scared people into passivity and closed fruitful avenues to policies focused on mitigating the effects rather than halting the trend. And while halting the trend might have been feasible (just) 20 years ago, the most we can achieve now is to reduce the rate and intensity of climate change until the world’s population levels off sometime in the middle of the 21st century. Activists can and should still focus on reducing global emissions, but not at the expense of answering how we will live with the change.

Perhaps in recognition of the need of a new paradigm, “resilience” has quietly become a buzzword. The ever provocative Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his recent book Antifragile argues that only organizations capable of meeting crises can survive crises. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, counties and cities in the Northeast have been contemplating how best to prepare for future weather shocks. That has led to renewed appreciation for cities, such as Rotterdam, that have long undertaken environmental planning organized around the notion that floods will happen no matter what humans do. The challenge isn’t to find a way to prevent floods; it’s to find a way to live with them.

The two approaches could not be more distinct: One warns of catastrophe and attempts to steer away from it. One pragmatically accepts that some undesirable things will happen no matter what. Rotterdam has thus focused both on preventing as much flooding as possible (floodgates) and on urban infrastructure that is as flood-resistant as possible: power grids that have dispersed nodes, waterproof insulation, even floating parts of the city in case of truly severe inundation.

Far from signaling a resignation to climate change, resilience, adaption and mitigation all shift energy away from holding back the tide and toward innovation and creativity in meeting it. In fact, those are precisely what have fueled whatever positive development there has been in human history (and admittedly, some negative as well). The theoretical physicist David Deutsch points out that pessimism about future trends is actually more “blindly optimistic” than genuine optimism because it assumes that we can know the future.

But as has been all too evident recently, we cannot. Instead, the only source of progress has been the ability of humans to learn and adapt. While climate change could spell death and harm to low-lying areas around the world as the seas rise, life 30,000 years ago was hardly hospitable. Yet people managed to create viable living conditions anyway. Necessity demanded it, and our ability to create and innovate made it possible.

That approach is imperative not just for climate change but for multiple areas that generate such anxiety about the future. The imbalance of the financial system? Those are only made worse by the false belief that a system could be created where such risks don’t exist; better to find ways to mitigate the risks of a global interconnected financial system than seek, Don Quixote-like, ways to eliminate risk. The dysfunction of Washington? Better to find ways to meet collective needs that don’t depend on the federal government (or any large central bureaucracy) than pile all those needs onto one large, unwieldy and cumbersome institution and hope for the best. Our response to climate change is only one way that we have chosen the path of pessimism instead of a path of innovation. How we meet this challenge will say much about how we meet all of our challenges.


Why all the green pork in a deal meant to avoid the fiscal cliff?

When President Obama’s autopen turned the fiscal cliff deal into law, Americans might have thought that the federal government had begun to walk down the road to a balanced budget.

But the 157-page American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is business-as-usual. The backroom deal, chiefly engineered by Vice President Biden, fed the special-interest well while leaving the federal budget in crisis. The final bill includes some $68 billion in favors over the next ten years.

The fiscal irresponsibility continues unabated. A look at the energy provisions alone shows why.

For starters, the cliff deal renewed the twenty-years-and-counting “temporary” tax credit for new wind startups. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates this extension alone will cost taxpayers $12 billion in the coming decade.

And what, perchance, can we expect in return for all that money?

Not much. The perpetually infant wind industry is in decline. Shockingly, consumers do not want to buy expensive and unreliable energy. Even grassroots environmentalists are saying “not in my backyard” to both the noisy, unsightly turbines — and the power lines needed to transmit wind power from the windy wilds all the way to population centers.

Senators John Thune and Chuck Grassley were the chief advocates of the extension. Just perhaps their high-sounding arguments had something to do with South Dakota and Iowa both being home to huge wind energy facilities.

But wind cronyism is now being questioned all across the political spectrum. The Washington Post editorial page, for example, recently lambasted wind credits for placing “hidden costs on taxpayers” and embodying the liberal caricature of “spending freely on nice-sounding programs.”

The Wall Street Journal identified the renewable sector as the biggest winner in this “Crony Capitalist Blowout.” Biomass, geothermal, and hydropower facilities were also extended large production credits. And the cliff deal reinstated the tax credit for renewable diesels at one dollar per gallon — and made it retroactive to 2012. Total cost to taxpayers: $2.2 billion.

The definition of qualifying “cellulosic” biofuels has been expanded to include algae-based fuels — the most quixotic of green-tech fetishes. That little definitional wrinkle is expected to cost the American public another $59 million.

The Obama Administration has ignored the Left’s distaste for biofuels. The stridently pro-Democrat Think Progress recently relayed a report connecting American ethanol subsidies to severe food shortages in Guatemala.

The fiscal cliff package also installs a new tax credit for the purchase of electric motorcycles, worth 10 percent of the sticker price up to $2,500. That’s $7 million more in deficit spending.

The deal retains another $650 million in tax credits for the manufacturers of energy-efficient appliances. It extends $154 million in credits for green home construction. And it reinstates the investment credit for alternative fueling stations, worth as much as $30,000 per facility.

The question must be asked: Why throw good money after bad, considering the Administration’s track record with so-called “green” energy?

It’s not just Solyndra. A Heritage Foundation study shows that a grand total of 34 green tech companies benefiting from federal favoritism have either gone bankrupt or are teetering toward insolvency. Every time one of these chosen few goes belly up, taxpayers get stuck with the tab.

Take the electric car battery manufacturer A123. After gobbling up about a quarter of a billion dollars in federal stimulus money — and $238 million in subsidies from the state of Michigan — the company filed for bankruptcy in October. Back in 2010, President Obama had boasted that A123 would create 3,000 new jobs by the end of 2012.

Federal lawmakers would like you to believe that they’ve turned over a new leaf in 2013. But this fiscal cliff deal is the same old corrupt, insider dealing that so disgusted the public last year. About a fifth of the deal’s pork spending is special favors for flailing green energy initiatives.

Can there be hope for a new beginning, without pork barrel politics? Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, hints that next time will be different. “There’s no question more needs to be done to weed out wasteful tax cuts,” reads a recent statement from his office. “The Finance Committee will take a hard look at each and every expiring provision as part of comprehensive tax reform.”

Americans can only hope Baucus is serious about trimming the hedges. And he should start with special subsidies for green-eating green energy.


First, the Bad News

John Stossel
We in the media rarely lie to you.  But that leaves plenty of room to take things wildly out of context.

That's where most big scare stories come from, like recent headlines about GM foods. GM means "genetically modified," which means scientists add genes, altering the plant's DNA, in this case to make the crop resistant to pests.

Last week, Poland joined seven other European countries in banning cultivation of GM foods.

The politicians acted because headlines screamed about how GM foods caused huge tumors in rats. The pictures of the rats are scary. Some have tumors the size of tennis balls.

What the headlines don't tell you, though, is that the female Sprague-Dawley rats used in the test usually develop tumors -- 87 to 96 percent of the time.

It's a similar story with chemicals that the media constantly tell us to fear.

More often than not, rats get tumors if given high enough doses of manmade chemicals. I shouldn't say "manmade." Nature's chemicals cause tumors at the same rate.

Reporters and environmental activists have incentives to leave out details that might make the story boring. It's useful if you think you're in danger.

"It's a great way to get attention," says Bjorn Lomborg, statistician and author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," "but it focuses you on the wrong solutions." Instead of doing something that really fights cancer, like quitting smoking, people devote their energy to banning things like GM foods.

GM foods require less water, need fewer pesticides and grow where other crops will not survive.

By forcing farmers to stick to the old-fashioned corn, activists and regulators force customers to pay higher prices for food.

Reporters sleep with clear consciences because we (usually) don't say anything completely false. We tell ourselves that we may save lives and draw attention to important issues -- and so what if people err on the side of safety?

But the answer to "so what?" is that people waste time, money and emotional energy, and we are less safe, because we worry about the wrong things.

Years ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council claimed the chemical Alar, which helps keep apples from rotting, killed kids. When "60 Minutes" ran the story, I believed it. So did lots of people.

Schools across America banned apples. Moms poured out apple juice. Apple growers lost billions.

But the scare was bunk. Apples, even apples with Alar, are good for you. Since banning Alar meant apples decay more quickly, apples become slightly more expensive, and that meant some kids ate less healthy food.

Today, we have new scares, like the one over plastic water bottles. Some contain a chemical called BPA, which activists say causes cancer, hyperactivity, all sorts of problems.

Chemicals called phthalates, which keep school supplies like backpacks soft, are accused of damaging kids' livers and kidneys and causing asthma.

If these stories were true, who could blame parents for being frightened? Who can blame reporters for telling the story?

Julie Gunlock, from the Independent Women's Forum, blames them. She points out that the activists scare mothers needlessly, because "over 1,000 studies, independent studies, have said that BPA is perfectly safe."

She knows how the scare stories work: "BPA is easily vilified. I mean, it's invisible. And people tend to say: 'Chemicals, it's scary. I'll just trust what some activist organization or consumer rights organization says and avoid it.'"

There's no reason to get excited about chemicals -- unless you're an environmental activist eager to acquire money and power.

"A lot of them make money on newsletters," says Gunlock. "Bad news sells." NRDC has raised $185 million by scaring people.

To keep scares in perspective, remember all the good news that gets less attention. Coverage of horrors like the shooting in Newtown, Conn., makes us think our kids are in more danger today, but school violence is actually down.

And despite all the chemicals -- actually, because of them -- we live longer than ever.

There is plenty of bad news that's real -- like the national debt, and most of what politicians do. But in most ways, most of the time, the world slowly but surely gets better. To most of us, that's good news.


Obama Giveth but mostly taketh away

For the last four years, President Obama and his EPA have waged a war on coal. Though they deny it, their regulations have cost thousands of miners their jobs, and hundreds of coal-fueled power plants are scheduled to be closed within the next few years. On January 7, Georgia Power announced that it will “shut down 15 coal and oil-fired units, cutting nearly one-sixth of its power grid capacity to comply with federal rules aimed at reducing air pollution.” This, the latest in a string of plant-closure announcements, will take away nearly 500 jobs. Over the next five years, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation forecasts closures of plants that currently produce 20 percent of the nation’s coal-fueled generation.

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution report cites the closures come “after the utility and parent Southern Co. spent years unsuccessfully fighting the regulations.” The regulatory hit to the coal industry is tough to deny: “Currently, the amount of coal that Georgia Power uses to produce electricity stands at 47 percent, down from 70 percent five years ago.”

The government has taken away.

Despite the assault on coal that has decimated the economy of entire regions, lawmakers voted to subsidize coal through Section 406 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act—known as the “Fiscal Cliff Deal.” The 400 Section of the 157-page bill is for “Energy Tax Extenders” and includes “provisions of the Bill that are relevant to ongoing and future projects in the renewable energy space.” Within the package, various tax credits are extended—including the Production Tax Credit for wind energy that I’ve fought to end. Other extensions include those for “closed and open-loop biomass facilities, geothermal facilities, landfill gas facilities, trash facilities, qualified hydropower facilities, and qualified marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy facilities.” And then, there are a few lines in Section 406, buried in a group of renewable energy provisions, which extend a tax credit for coal produced on American Indian land.

American coal is bad, but apparently coal from Indian lands is good?

Section 406 “extends,” by one year, an accommodation in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that allows a credit for “Indian coal”—which the bill defines as coal produced from reserves which were owned by an Indian tribe on June 14 2005.

Compared to the amount for renewables, the actual dollar amount going to Indian coal is miniscule in the grand scheme of the Fiscal Cliff Deal—estimated to be about $1 million, The Missoula Independent states that Section 406 currently applies to only three mines in the country, but it is the hypocrisy; the incongruity of it that is so troubling.

One mine that benefits from the tax credit is the Absaloka mine, a 10,427-acre, single-pit surface mine on the Crow Indian reservation in southeastern Montana, operated by Westmoreland Coal Company. The mine employs about 100 tribal members and provides royalties for the Crow Indians. According to the Independent, “The section 406 tax credit pays Westmoreland an estimated $2.26 per ton of coal extracted at Absaloka. In 2007, the mine produced 7,704,556 tons of coal. In 2010, it produced 5,467,670 tons.” So, in 2010, the US taxpayers gave Westmoreland nearly $12.5 million to mine coal on the Crow Indian Reservation.

The government gives.

Native Americans have long been given some special accommodations—though it does seem that their coal contributes to CO2 as well. While the tax code gives, the EPA has taken away.

The Navajo Nation occupies land in what is known as the Four Corners region—where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado meet. Coal is important to the everyday life of the Navajo. A report on coal’s uncertain future, says the following about coal’s place in the life of the Navajo: “It warms their homes, and provides them with jobs. Recent events threaten both winter warmth and job security for the future.”

Navajo lands include coal mines and coal-fueled power plants that are facing decommissioning and closure due to the EPA’s expensive emission controls. The coal mines support the power plants—if the power plants shut down, quick closure of the mines is expected. All three coal-fueled power plants in the area are facing closure of some or all of their units.

The Navajo Mine has one customer: the Four Corners Power Plant—which has five coal-fueled units—and provides electricity to 300,000 households in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The three older units are scheduled to be shut down by the end of the year, and the plant’s partial shutdown will reduce demand for the mine’s coal by about 30 percent. On January 8, jobs cuts at the mine were announced: “BHP Billiton plans to cut about 100 jobs at Navajo Mine.”

The government has taken away.

Sources tell me, BHP Billiton, the Australian company that operates the mine, has been trying to sell it for several years. Tightening environmental regulations decrease the mine’s potential profitability. With the mine’s sole customer’s partial shutdown, it hasn’t attracted any buyers.

Enter Section 406.

Back in December, BHP Billiton reached an agreement with the Navajo Nation that provided for a 100 percent stock sale of the mine’s assets to a tribally chartered corporation by mid-2013. The regional newspaper reported: “A tribal corporation would have certain tax advantages.” The sale of the Navajo Mine to the Navajo Nation could preserve 800 high-paying jobs at the plant and mine. BHP will continue to run the mine through 2016.

The government gives.

Encouraging resource development and the economic prosperity that comes with it is good for the Navajo Nation, the Crow Tribe, and all Native Americans—but that can happen through an inviting, rather than hostile, regulatory environment. And, if coal is OK for them, it should be OK for the American Nation. Coal warms our homes and provides good paying jobs for all Americans —whether in the coal mines, coal-fueled power plants, manufacturing that depends on cost-effective energy, energy-intensive high-tech industries, or other fields. Instead of taking away our resources, we should all benefit from the bounty—which includes “winter warmth and job security for the future.”

The government shouldn’t be in the business of giving and taking.




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here and here


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