Monday, June 05, 2017

Campaign PROMISE KEPT as Trump Exits Paris Climate Deal

What an unorthodox politician!  One who keeps his promises! Crazy man

An American in Paris no more. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. exit from the Paris climate agreement Thursday afternoon in a welcome instance of a campaign promise kept. "In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord," Trump said, while leaving open the possibility of renegotiating a better deal. "We're going to have the cleanest air. We're going to have the cleanest water. We will be environmentally friendly. But we're not going to put our businesses out of work. We're not going to lose our jobs." And in acknowledgment of who brung him to the dance, he said, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

Given that the U.S. entered the agreement only thanks to Barack Obama's strategically skirting the Senate, it's worth revisiting why this treaty deal was a ridiculous farce from the start. Claiming the 195-nation deal was simply an executive agreement, Obama made the pact in the waning days of his administration. On the campaign trail, Trump vowed to un-make it.

As we explained last year, the Paris agreement was a UN scheme to cut global greenhouse gas emissions to keep earth's temperature increases "well below" two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times, as opposed to the projected three-degree increase the world would otherwise see by 2100. Yep, a costly international agreement for an ineffective one degree.

And that's just the stated goal. The real agenda, of course, is statist control of the world's economy — control that would just happen to benefit Europe and China at the expense of the United States.

The Daily Signal notes, "If carried out, the energy regulations agreed to in Paris by the Obama administration would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs, harm American manufacturing, and destroy $2.5 trillion in gross domestic product by the year 2035."

Trump critics and the media (but we repeat ourselves) are in an uproar at the exit, with the press quick to point out the only other non-participating countries are Syria and Nicaragua. As if the U.S. under Trump's leadership is now comparable to Syria under Bashar al-Assad. Clearly, these critics missed the childhood lesson, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump off, too?"

Hillary Clinton comically went further in her reasoning, stating, "Part of what keeps us going is that America's word is good, and that you stand with your prior administration whether it was of your party or not." Yep, just like Obama stood by everything George W. Bush did.

Speaking of Obama, he once again eschewed the humble example of his predecessor in blasting his successor. "It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made [the Paris agreement] possible," he boasted of himself. Then, using his familiar tripe, he accused Trump of joining "a small handful of nations that reject the future." Finally, he turned to a cynical call for "hope": "But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I'm confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we've got."

The Wall Street Journal rebutted succinctly: "Leadership is not defined as the U.S. endorsing whatever other world leaders have already decided they want to do, and the U.S. is providing a better model in any case. Private economies that can innovate and provide cost-effective energy alternatives will always beat meaningless international agreements."

Indeed, for all its costly restrictions, the Paris climate agreement is somewhat of a joke. As National Review's Rich Lowry wrote prior to Trump's decision, "The treaty's advocates, hoping to forestall a Trump exit, are trying to save the accord by arguing that it is largely meaningless. In this spirit, a piece on the liberal website Vox explained, the Paris accord 'asks participants only to state what they are willing to do and to account for what they've done. It is, in a word, voluntary.'"

The deal has little enforcement mechanism. As Hot Air's Ed Morrissey notes, the agreement "basically allows each nation to write its own rules, and then decide what enforcement and reporting will look like." Thus, he explains, "The idea is that nations will compete to look super-greeny, and the laggards will get so ashamed of their foot-dragging that they'll finally comply."

But make no mistake: Current carrots would become sticks before long. The Left's objective is always to tighten the screws, and this agreement would become more restrictive over time.

Of course, some companies see their own super-greeny photo-ops as good for their bottom lines, so they oppose bidding Paris adieu. As Rosebud Mining CEO Cliff Forrest writes for the Wall Street Journal, "The commercial interests that strongly support the Paris Agreement typically have created programs to exploit, game or merely pass through the costs of the climate-change agenda. Many also maintain a green pose for marketing purposes." Yet, Forrest adds, "It seems that Paris backers hope for a sudden public amnesia about the many businesses that use government to push out smaller competitors."

And as Heritage Foundation policy analyst Katie Tubb notes, "Big business and big government often go hand-in-hand. Big businesses generally can absorb and adapt to the costs of complying with burdensome regulation, of which Paris is a wellspring. Smaller companies have a much harder time complying, which means less competition for big business."

Of course, now that Trump has made the U.S. exit from Paris official, climate-change alarmists and the media (but again, we repeat ourselves) are eviscerating him based on their tyrannical pseudo-science that permits no debate, only agreement. But it was high time to leave this absurd deal behind.


 By Leaving Paris Climate-Change Deal, Trump Will Do U.S. Economy A 'Yuuuge' Favor

Sorry, Trump's right, and his foes are wrong. The Paris Agreement is a bad deal that will devastate the economies of the West, in particular, the U.S., while leaving the fastest growing emitters of CO2 — namely, China and India — out of the picture.

Has the world heated up in the last 150 years? Of course. But that's because we were leaving something that climatologists have dubbed "The Little Ice Age."

But is human-produced CO2 the cause? The proof is thin, and relies heavily on more than 70 mathematical models, none of which can even back-cast past temperatures, much less forecast future ones.

And the temperature data themselves are compromised. They have been fudged so many times by pro-global warming scientists that there's now little question that much of what passes for science is really fraud. The most reliable temperature data, which come from satellites, show unequivocally no warming since 1998. But this is ignored.

Worst of all, the 200 signatories to this so-called accord would have us all spend trillions of dollars each year to mitigate global temperatures by a mere 0.17 of a degree by 2100. That's one-fifth of a degree, rounded up.

Put in perspective, the main global warming models predict as much as two degrees of warming by the end of the century.  Take that at face value: That means we'll  spend literally trillions of dollars each year for 1.8 degrees of warming instead of 2 degrees of warming.

This is crazy from a cost-benefit perspective, especially since many agriculture experts say that if the climate warms — for whatever reason — it will raise crop yields and help us to feed the two billion or so added people we are likely to have on Earth by then.

Meanwhile, as a report reminded us last year, Europe's CO2 emissions have continued to rise, despite spending over $1.2 trillion on green subsidies of various types.

As for the U.S., its emissions have plunged 12.2% since peaking in 2007. Thanks to fracking and other new technologies, we are cutting more CO2 per capita than any major nation on Earth.

So the question arises: if the Paris Accords are so bogus, why are they being pursued with such intense, even fanatical, political energy?

The short answer is, bureaucrats and government officials want to keep their power, even as disenchantment with bad governance sweeps the globe. What better way than to predict a catastrophe that will occur if we all don't give them massive amounts of our money and near-total control over our lives?

And if you think that isn't true, just this month, a new report by 13 economists, all global warming true believers, called for a $4 trillion global carbon tax "to avoid dangerous climate change," as Britain's Independent reported.

Let's be clear: There is no evidence that a carbon tax of that magnitude will do anything other than crush the world economy, making billions of people poorer.

That's not all. At a global warming conference earlier in May in Bonn, Germany, conferees called for $400 billion to be handed over each year to poor countries to help them deal with the effects of warming. This has nothing to do with global warming science; it's a massive income-transfer scheme from rich nations to poor nations cooked up by socialist climate planners.

This is another reason why Donald Trump's election has been so fortunate; had all this taken place under President Hillary Clinton, the U.S. would today be saddled with economy-killing regulations that would have destroyed our prosperity and cost us hundreds of billions of dollars a year for nothing in return.


Despite the left’s best efforts, the Dakota Access Pipeline is now delivering oil

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline became an international news story last year. Progressives around the country rallied to the cause and held marches around the country. Over a million dollars was raised on social media to support the main protest camp and thousand of people traveled to remote Cannonball, North Dakota to become part of the effort to block the final mile of the nearly 1,200-mile long pipeline.

Protesters battled police on land and in the water and over several months hundreds, mostly from out of state, were arrested. One woman faces 10 years in jail for (allegedly) firing a gun toward police officers.

The Obama administration came to the protesters’ rescue when Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy overruled the Army Corps of Engineers recommendation that the pipeline be approved. Instead, she announced a new environmental study which would have taken up to two years to complete. The new study was officially announced just a couple days before President-elect Trump took office.

These transparently political moves were cheered by progressives, but not for long. On February 7th the Trump administration ended the new study and approved construction of the final stretch of pipeline. A few weeks later the main protest camp was cleared out by police. It cost over a million dollars to clean up the mess protesters left behind and prevent it from washing into the river they were supposedly there to protect. Dogs and puppies left behind at the frozen camp were also rescued.

A court challenge brought by the Native American tribes failed a few weeks later. Not all of the anti-pipeline protesters were content to go along with the rule of law. There were acts of sabotage in a few locations and some arson as well. Meanwhile, the pipeline was completed and being filled with oil.

Thursday, despite all the time, money and media savvy the left could throw at it, the Dakota Access Pipeline began making oil deliveries to customers. From the Associated Press:

Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners announced that the 1,200-mile line carrying North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a distribution point in Illinois had begun commercial service. The Dakota Access pipeline and the Energy Transfer Crude Oil Pipeline from Illinois to the Gulf Coast together make up the $4.8 billion Bakken Pipeline system, which ETP said has commitments for about 520,000 barrels of oil daily.

“The pipeline will transport light, sweet crude oil from North Dakota to major refining markets in a more direct, cost-effective, safer and more environmentally responsible manner than other modes of transportation, including rail or truck,” the company said in a statement.

That’s what I call progress.



EPA halts Obama-era rule on methane pollution

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has halted an Obama administration rule to cut down on pollution of methane, a greenhouse gas produced at oil and natural gas drilling wells.

The EPA on Wednesday said it had issued a 90-day stay of agency rules designed to limit methane leaks at drilling sites, as well as rules setting standards for equipment and employee certification.

President Trump ordered the EPA to reconsider the methane standards in March when he signed an executive order to repeal several Obama administration climate regulations.

Obama administration officials finalized the methane rule last May. The regulation, part of a federal methane reduction strategy that Trump has also repealed, was designed to cut 520,000 short tons of methane pollution by 2025. The EPA said compliance costs would be about $530 million.
Drillers opposed the rule, saying it was costly and duplicative. Several states sued over the standards at the time, including Oklahoma, whose then-attorney general, Scott Pruitt, is now administrator of the EPA.

The EPA said in April it would formally review the methane rule, a lengthy process that includes a formal federal rulemaking.

The decision to roll back its methane standards comes as Canada begins the process of tightening its standards. Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced their methane reduction strategies together in 2016.

Environmental groups have said they will sue over the decision to reconsider the methane rules. In a Wednesday statement, the Natural Resources Defense Council said the Trump administration is “giving its friends in the oil and gas industry a free pass to continue polluting our air.”


The EPA wrecked a Colorado river, then wreaked legal havoc on the affected landowners

The photographs shocked the nation. The Animas River had been turned mustard yellow as it meandered through a Colorado national forest into Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and onto tribal lands. Federal bureaucrats denied responsibility and, when sued, argued they were not liable for their tortious conduct. Then, to cover up for their incompetence, they declared hundreds of thousands of acres of land "toxic" and under federal civil and criminal jurisdiction.

But in a Washington, D.C., courtroom, the landowners and others are fighting back.

In August 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency was in charge at the abandoned Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colo., when a 3-million gallon flood of dangerous mine waste, including 880,000 pounds of toxic chemicals (lead and arsenic), blasted through the mine's adit, through a creek, into the river and downstream. Later, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, declared, "There was nothing unintentional about [it]. [EPA] fully intended to dig out the plug…."

Incredibly, with EPA's on-scene coordinator on vacation, his replacement, contrary to his express instructions, removed material from the face of the mine, causing the blowout.

Despite then-EPA Administrator McCarthy's statement that the "EPA is taking responsibility" for the "tragic and unfortunate incident," it refused to pay the $1.2 billion in claims stating federal law made it immune from liability. Lawyers for the slowly-developing Trump administration made the same argument in filings in February; the issue is now before EPA Administrator Pruitt.

Unfortunately, damage to waterways is not the only mess President Barack Obama's EPA left behind.

In 1980, Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund) requiring designation of hazardous waste sites that need prompt remediation. In 1986, a frustrated Congress mandated that the EPA designate only sites posing a "risk to human health and the environment," and not those, such as mining sites, with only trace toxic metals, which the EPA assumed, inaccurately, to be present throughout the site.

One reason was to protect landowners. Designation has serious legal and financial consequence for anyone who, over the decades, owned interest in the land; as potentially responsible parties (PRPs), they are liable for the full cost of cleanup.

Little wonder that, when the EPA, in a brazen attempt to obscure its responsibility, designated the "Bonita Peak Mining District" — a geographically diverse area covering more than 100,000 acres in San Juan County, encompassing three drainages, 46 specific mine sites, and two study areas (and not a true "mining district") — as a vast new Superfund site, it got attention. Sunnyside Gold Corporation, which, under the watchful eye of the EPA and state and local governments, engages in private remediation throughout the area, was fearful the designation will not only scuttle the millions of dollars it invested in remediation but also will end the willingness of mine owners to engage in voluntary remediation. Sunnyside sued.

Last month, represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, Sunnyside drew the friends of the court support from two national mining groups and Frank Anesi, who owns interest in several patented mining claims in San Juan County and in the Galena Queen Mine. Not only does the designation make him a PRP, the stigma attached to his property in or near the site drastically decreases property values and his ability to sell or use his property.

Anesi argues the EPA evaluated only 19 of the 46 mine sites and two study areas it included, in direct contravention of the mandate by Congress and, incredibly, the EPA's own regulations. Also, in an attempt to circumvent Congress, its regulations, and the holding of the nation's top appeals court, the EPA coined a new term, "commingled release," to justify listing sites it had not evaluated. Finally and logically, if the EPA did not evaluate the sites, it could not determine if any were "commingled." The EPA decision is illegal, Anesi argues.

It appears Pruitt has one more Obama mess on his already full plate.



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