Friday, April 24, 2020

AOC Celebrates Oil Workers Losing Their Livelihoods: 'You Absolutely Love to See It'

On Monday, U.S. oil prices fell below zero for the first time ever, shocking observers and raising doubts about the solvency of oil and gas companies coming out of the coronavirus crisis and the oil selling war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. These negative prices were distressing news for the U.S. economy, threatening the livelihoods of oil and gas workers and the availability of the gasoline Americans will need after the crisis ends. Yet Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) saw them as a reason to celebrate.

"You absolutely love to see it," AOC tweeted. "This along with record low interest rates means it's the right time for a worker-led mass investment in green infrastructure to save our planet. *cough*"

In other words, AOC found the negative prices not only a reason to celebrate but another excuse to push her radical Green New Deal legislation. Except, the Green New Deal would not be "worker-led," of course. The green big government boondoggle would not just devastate America's energy sector and cost all those workers their jobs, but it would require the government to tax the life out of the rich, the middle class, and probably the poor, too.

But you know what they say, never let an opportunity — oh, sorry, I mean a crisis — go to waste, right?

Even Ocasio-Cortez seems to have had some shame, however. She deleted the tweet but not before it had been saved for eternity.

House Minority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) was among those calling out AOC's despicable words.

"Oil & gas workers are losing their livelihoods. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez's response was 'you absolutely love to see it.' Then she deleted it because she doesn't want people to see the truth: Dems are willing to sacrifice people's jobs & livelihoods for their radical socialist agenda," Scalise tweeted.

AOC had retweeted independent journalist Brandon Smith, who noted that "oil prices [are] now at 'negative values,' meaning oil producers have to pay people to take it off their hands and store it because when demand plunges (like now), that is less expensive for them than building more storage and/or shutting wells down."

After deleting her original retweet, AOC retweeted Smith again, this time omitting the celebration over an economic downturn that will cost roughly 145,000 people their jobs. She did call the situation an "opportunity," however.

"This snapshot is being acknowledged as a turning point in the climate movement," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it‘s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy. A key opportunity."

Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it‘s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy. A key opportunity.

To be fair, it seems AOC is a true believer. She's not celebrating oil and gas workers' misery — she's dismissing it as incidental to this opportunity for enacting her green utopia.

"Now is the time to create millions of good jobs building out the infrastructure and clean energy necessary to save our planet for future generations. For our economy, our planet, and our future, we need a [Green New Deal]," she tweeted.

AOC may be a true believer, but that doesn't make her any less dangerous. The kinds of renewable energy she champions cannot meet the demands of today's American grid, and a forced transition would not "empower" anyone but the government, which would become increasingly totalitarian as the green dream falls apart.


Earth Day Musings

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the hippie springtime festival of lamentations known as Earth Day. Honestly, I almost never give Earth Day a thought, but this year’s occurrence provides me with an opportunity to write about something other than the dreaded coronavirus. Sure, we will get to some of that too, but let us turn on all of the lights in our houses and examine the folly of trying to “save” this planet from anything.

I have always been of the opinion this planet doesn’t need to be saved from anything. Ol’ Earth has made it through a lot worse than the perceived scourge of puny humans. The arrogance involved in the mindset that we are influencing the planet is staggering.

Earth Day originally had an environmental, conservationist focus, which is something that most people can get behind. Like many people, I like to spend time out in nature. I grew up in a little town in the White Mountains of Arizona where my friends and I would spend half of the summer camping in the woods near our houses. We were all instinctively respectful of our surroundings, innately environmentalist, if you will.

Unfortunately, environmentalism was quickly co-opted by the climate change freakshow. They ruin everything they touch, of course, and they’ve had their filthy, fear-mongering paws all over Earth Day for quite some time now.

Now, environmentalism and climate hysteria are constantly conflated: "We must act decisively to protect our planet from both the coronavirus and the existential threat of climate disruption" - UN Secretary-General António Guterres

It took some time, but the UN finally decided to try and take over Earth Day, passing a resolution in 2009 renaming it -- I kid you not -- International Mother Earth Day. Here’s a snippet from this year’s United Nations International Mother Earth Day message:

Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Australian fires, heat records and the worst locust invasion in Kenya. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic link to the health of our ecosystem. Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can increase contact and the transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonotic diseases) like COVID-19.

Never let a crisis go to waste, right?

I'm not sure if I've ever engaged in any criminal disruption of biodiversity, because I'm not really sure if such a thing even exists.


Save Our Energy Industry by Slashing Royalty Payments and Energy Taxes Now

America's domestic energy producers are under siege. The price of oil fell to below $5 a barrel on Monday, down from roughly $50 a barrel a year ago. This 90% drop in price is sending nearly the entire oil and gas industry into bankruptcy.

What is going on here?

Saudi Arabia and Russia have flooded the international market with cheap oil at the very time of a massive drop in demand due to the coronavirus pandemic. This "perfect storm" for America's drillers sent prices into this unprecedented tailspin.

Low prices are good news for American motorists and manufacturers, for sure. Get ready for $1 a gallon gas prices in some places. But the market saturation in cheap oil is a scheme by the Saudis to regain the power they lost when innovative U.S. drillers cracked the code to unleash the most prolific and unexpected oil and gas boom in the history of North America.

Because of their grit and determination, and for leading us out of the 2008 to 2009 recession, I love this industry. I wrote a book about the frackers in 2015, and, for full disclosure, I get some limited funding from energy firms. Under President Donald Trump's policies, which were highly supportive of American energy independence, the U.S. became a net exporter of energy, and OPEC's energy dominance was over.

But now, Russia and Saudi Arabia want their price war to shut down American energy production while the world isn't looking. They are succeeding.

Many small- and medium-sized producers, from Texas to North Dakota and Pennsylvania, have been shutting down and are even fighting off bankruptcy. These companies are amazingly resilient and are experts at slashing production costs for the sake of survival. Almost no one (other than radical environmentalists) favors decapitating an industry that has made America an energy powerhouse, created as many as 5 million new jobs, and almost single-handedly pulled our nation out of the 2008 to 2009 recession.

Oil remains one of the necessary elements in society's ability to prosper and function. For example, the blue-collar jobs in oil production, transportation, refining, and petrochemical manufacturing were all deemed "essential workforce" (even in California!) during this period of national emergency. It would be dangerous and shortsighted to hand over energy production to foreign regimes that are less than friendly to the U.S. and have proven themselves to be less than dependable suppliers.

One smart retaliatory move would be to slash the taxes paid by our onshore drillers and royalties on drillers in the Gulf of Mexico and on federal lands. These royalties paid to Uncle Sam can range from a "tax" of between 12% and 18.5%. Ending the royalties through the end of the year would lift the after-tax price paid to drillers by as much as $5 a barrel. This would apply to about 4 million barrels of oil per day on federal properties.

The feds now collect about $6 billion a year in royalties. Canceling those payments would be a small price to pay to save an industry that employs several million workers. Under federal law, the president has the executive authority to take this action.

America has become the world's largest oil and gas producer -- and the Russians and the Saudis want to end that supremacy. Trump can and should make sure they don't succeed by slashing the taxes and royalties this critical industry pays until the coronavirus crisis is over.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the American Economy."


'Happy' Lenin/Earth Day

Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and also (not so coincidentally) the 150th birthday of Russian dictator Vladimir Lenin, who the world can thank for ushering into power the murderous and anti-human ideology of communism. In 1970, the same year that the Environmental Protect Agency was formed, leftist Democrat Sen. Gaylord Nelson (WI) helped found Earth Day. There’s plenty of irony in communist ideology claiming to exist to promote the flourishing of humanity when in reality it’s responsible for killing more of humanity than any ideology in history. In many ways, the same can be said of the ecofascist movement responsible for creating Earth Day.

The goal of eliminating pollution for the betterment of humanity and the environment is laudable. However, when environmentalists actively celebrate the suffering of humanity brought about by the massive slowing of industry due to the China Virus pandemic (see: socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) as being “good for the planet,” they show their true colors.

Over the past 50 years, the U.S. has led the world in massively reducing pollutants that harm humanity and the environment. As Jason Isaac, senior manager and distinguished fellow of Life:Powered, notes, “The United States has dramatically reduced emissions of the six key pollutants that harm human health. Lead, ozone, carbon monoxide, and other harmful airborne substances have declined by 74% — all while our economy, population, vehicle miles traveled, and energy consumption have skyrocketed. Our cities are no longer shrouded by smog and toxic fumes, despite our dramatic growth.”

“In fact,” Isaac adds, “we’re the only highly populated nation to meet the World Health Organization’s standards for safe air. Of developed countries, only Canada and Australia have cleaner air. It’s worth noting, however, that both of their economies are considerably smaller — smaller than the state of Texas’s economy alone.”

The great irony of ecofascists celebrating the massive downturn in global industry and energy production is that the current malaise actually leads to fewer environmentally beneficial developments. Isaac cogently observes, “Without energy to provide for our physical needs — heating and cooling our homes, cooking our food, shipping our medicine, and providing clean, running water — scientific experimentation would be nearly impossible. When mined, transported, and used properly, fossil fuels are a friend of environmental progress.”

Finally, in a related story, The Washington Post reports that 2020 is on track to be the hottest year on record, even despite the massive decrease in CO2 emissions due to the pandemic. However, the Post conveniently dismisses this fact because its true commitment is to blame human activity for climate change: “Climate scientists do not place too much emphasis in annual rankings for monitoring and attributing global climate change, but rather focus more on long-term trends in greenhouse gas emissions, air and sea temperatures and climate indicators such as melting glaciers, sea level rise and changes in precipitation patterns.” So, when a massive decrease in human-caused emissions does happen and yet it won’t contribute to a decrease in global temperatures, the Post suggests that it’s merely an anomaly that should be ignored. How convenient.



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