Friday, September 11, 2009

Watch: Inhofe Kicks Off Liberty Summit - Part of 9/12 March on Washington

Senator Inhofe helped kick off the Liberty Summit on Thursday morning in Washington DC.  Hundreds of people from around the country turned out for a great event.  Check out the video -Inhofe Kicks Off Liberty Summit - Part of 9/12 March on Washington For more information visit the the Tea Party Movement website.

Wheat Growers Change Course: After Supporting Waxman Markey, Now Oppose

Senator Inhofe this week applauded the board of the National Wheat Growers Association, which, on September 4, by a vote of 26 to 2, approved a new resolution on climate legislation and regulation.  The new resolution puts the group on record as "opposed to greenhouse gas legislation or regulation that has a negative impact on production agriculture." 

The new resolution marks a stunning shift from the group's recent endorsement of the Waxman-Markey legislation passed by the House of Representatives in June.  As the Oklahoma Farm Report noted today, the Wheat Growers Association firmly stated that, "neither greenhouse gas regulation nor legislation should take effect until the major carbon emitting countries of the world have agreed to regulation their own greenhouse gases in a like manner to ours."  And it will "oppose EPA regulation and will work to overturn the Supreme Court ruling." 

The board also voted 24 to 0 to "remove existing resolutions relating to greenhouse gas regulation and an agriculture cap-and-trade program." 

Sen. Inhofe issued the following statement on the Wheat Growers' resolution:

"I'm pleased that the organization representing the interests of wheat growers nationwide has reached the right conclusion: cap-and-trade legislation and potential EPA greenhouse gas regulation pose serious harm to farmers and rural America.  In times of great hardship in rural communities across America, both of these approaches to addressing climate change will only bring further job cuts and economic decline.  This new resolution marks an important step in the effort to defeat a cap-and-trade energy tax and EPA's misguided regulations."


As EPA prepares to finalize its proposed endangerment finding for greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, many are wondering: doesn’t Waxman-Markey take care of that endangerment mess?  It’s true that in the bill’s vast wasteland of mandates, restrictions, and controls, there are provisions preempting specific provisions of the Clean Air Act.  One such is Section 831, prohibiting EPA from establishing a national ambient air quality standard for greenhouse gas emissions. This is indeed helpful, considering the mess such a standard setting process would cause.

Yet despite this and other narrow preemption provisions, Waxman-Markey is in no way a panacea for endangerment, as there is nothing in the bill that overturns Massachusetts v. EPA, or blocks EPA from making an endangerment finding (not to mention tying the hands of Interior and NOAA on the Endangered Species Act, or preempting GHG regulation under the National Environmental Policy Act).  What’s clear is that the bill’s authors attempted to manage some of the potential results of an endangerment finding.  But their attempt, while admirable in some respects, in no way prevents a regulatory nightmare from occurring.

What’s more, Waxman-Markey uses existing provisions of the Clean Air Act to drive emissions reductions. In Section 811, EPA is required to utilize Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to impose new source performance standards on certain sources emitting between 10,000 and 25,000 tons of GHG per year.   Also, Section 821 explicitly preserves existing Clean Air Act authority for EPA to regulate GHG emissions from mobile sources.  And to make matters worse, Section 705f(3)(C) instructs EPA to “develop strategies and approaches for achieving additional reductions” of GHG beyond those established in the act.  One would bet the farm that EPA would use this authority to mandate any and all sources not covered under Waxman-Markey, even to invoke Clean Air Act authorities otherwise preempted by the bill.

Beyond the Clean Air Act, the bill only temporarily preempts state cap-and-trade regimes.  Section 861 says that “no state or political subdivision thereof” shall implement a cap-and-trade system between 2012 and 2017.  This explicitly leaves open the possibility of states pursuing cap-and-trade after 2017, and clearly does not preempt regional cap-and-trade programs at any time.  And Section 861 explicitly preserves “any other standard, regulation, or program” to reduce GHG at the state level.  

These provisions offer a hard lesson for those hawking Waxman-Markey as the trump card for endangerment, or as a “comprehensive” solution to global warming.  No one doubts that the endangerment finding will lead to a regulatory miasma.  And Waxman-Markey will do nothing to stop it. 

Related Links:

WSJ Editorial: Terms of 'Endangerment'

National Journal: Should EPA Bow To Chamber's Demand ?



Inhofe Highlights Energy Report: Common Sense for Concerned Americans

Senator Inhofe spoke on the Senate Floor Tuesday highlighting a recent report from Robert P. Smith, Ph.D., P.E., of Strategic Resource Consulting.  In his speech, Inhofe outlined energy policies that would help reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil and make energy more affordable by increasing domestic energy supplies and fostering new energy technologies.


Organized into seven chapters, and written in non-technical language, the report is a perfect primer for any citizen concerned about America’s energy future. 



Highlights from the Report – Energy: Present and Future  (Common Sense for Concerned Americans)

The U.S. Congress is blocking energy initiatives that could help reduce energy costs and increase energy supplies. These include:

 -Domestic oil exploration offshore, in Alaska, and on federal lands;

 -Coal-to-liquid fuels for secure military applications and domestic supply;

 -Permitting for shale oil development and recovery in Western states; 

 -Fast-track permitting for nuclear plants.


Public policy formulated with global warming alarmism as its premise would destroy jobs and harm the economy.


Carbon taxes and caps, combined with mandated requirements for “alternative energy” sources, will drive up the cost of fuel and electricity. This will increase the cost of food, fuel, and utility bills. These higher costs will cause disproportionate hardship on those who can least afford it: middle-class and lower income Americans.

The U.S. must have a reliable and affordable energy supply as a matter of national security. Economic growth will require adequate and economical sources of energy. Many environmentalists and some members of Congress are blocking practical energy alternatives simply because they are not perceived as “renewable,” without fully understanding the harmful consequences of their obstruction.

The U.S. has abundant supplies of non-conventional oil. Shale oil and coal-to liquids technology can produce gasoline and diesel fuel in the $3 per gallon range for many decades, with at least a 200-year supply.


Conservation and energy efficiency are always good practices. The U.S. is already becoming more energy efficient every year –without government mandates.


Link to Strategic Resource Consulting


Link to Speech

In the News...Dismal Outlook For Climate Bill As Congress Returns From August Recess

“Recipe For Disaster” – “Democrats Skeptical” - “Climate Bill Slog”

Reuters - U.S. Senate Democrats Skeptical About Climate Bill (09/10/09) - WASHINGTON, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Several U.S. Senate Democrats, including a top leader, on Wednesday questioned whether it would be possible to vote on a climate change bill this year, especially with healthcare reform eating up so much of the lawmakers' time. "It's a difficult schedule" with many members already "anxious" about healthcare reform, Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat, told Reuters when asked about prospects this year for a bill to cap emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. President Barack Obama is engaged in the toughest fight of his presidency in trying to win passage of expanded healthcare. Obama also has called on Congress to approve legislation this year to control climate change by reducing pollutants from utilities, oil refineries and factories. Besides the need to pass the complex healthcare bill this year, which Durbin said was "first in the queue," he also noted the need to tackle legislation imposing stricter rules on the U.S. financial industry.Durbin said it was unclear whether the climate bill or financial industry reform would be a higher priority in 2009. With most Senate Republicans expected to oppose a climate change bill in the 100-member Senate, nearly all of the 60 seats controlled by Democrats would have to line up in favor of the legislation for it to clear procedural hurdles.

Inside EPA  - Senators Offer No Firm Plan For Passing Cap-And-Trade This Year (09/10/09) - Senate leaders have set no firm deadline for committees to finish work on climate change legislation, a revelation that comes amid increasing talk that the chamber may be unable or unwilling to act on a controversial cap-and-trade plan before the end of the year given a host of other competing concerns. In interviews, Democratic lawmakers were split on whether the Senate can or should even try to enact climate legislation ahead of December talks in Copenhagen aimed at crafting a new global climate change treaty, and none put forward a clear plan for how the chamber will tackle the issue. Given the dwindling amount of time left for lawmakers to address the topic this year, some senators suggested Congress may be better off passing piecemeal measures, such as a utility-only cap-and-trade scheme, or simply leaving the issue for EPA to handle. In late August, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, announced their climate bill would not be introduced until at least the end of this month, the most recent in a series of delays for the bill’s introductionThe lack of a firm deadline -- or a public consensus on the plan even from committee chairmen tasked with drafting aspects of the bill -- may be an indication Senate leaders are not fully committed to holding a vote on climate legislation before the end of the year.  Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), for instance, said in an interview that “there hasn’t been a lot of discussion” within the Senate about the climate and energy agenda for the rest of the year, evidence the health care debate has been dominating lawmakers’ attention. That said, he didn’t rule out that there would be some form of action. “My expectation is that we are going to move forward,” he said. “Once health care is done, that is next up on the agenda.”

E & E Publishing - Cap and trade in Senate limbo as Obama Makes All-Out Push on Health Care (09/08/09) - President Obama's energy and global warming agenda stands at a major crossroads as lawmakers return today from their monthlong summer break amid an all-out push to pass health care legislation. Senate Democrats originally intended to roll out their version of a cap-and-trade climate bill this week, but they have since delayed that schedule until later this month in part because of the brewing battle over health care. Gone is the immediacy for action on global warming, and there is even talk that passing a climate bill this year has faded to third place on the administration's agenda behind financial reform legislation that responds to last year's Wall Street meltdown. Asked last week about prospects for the Senate climate bill, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs changed the subject and instead predicted a "major push" from Obama and Congress to pass a bill that heads off any future financial crisis.

Politico - Baucus Makes a Grab for Climate Bill (09/11/09) - For liberal Democrats unhappy with the way Max Baucus is handling health care reform, here’s another dose of bad news: He’s got his hands on climate and energy, too. Behind closed doors, Sen. Baucus has been staking his claim on major aspects of the climate bill, including financing for a cap-and-trade system.

NYT - Nations Remain Divided on Global Warming Policy, U.S. Negotiator Says (09/11/09) - The Obama administration’s senior negotiator on global warming warned Thursday that developed and developing nations remained deeply divided in talks on reducing greenhouse gases and that time was running out before United Nations treaty negotiations in December.

Cap-and-Trade: Recipe for Disaster, Economist Says (09/10/09) - If you liked what Enron, AIG, and the Federal Reserve did to the economy, you’ll love cap and trade. That’s the thrust of a new paper from Louisiana State University economist Joseph Mason. Cap-and-trade programs, like the one passed by the House and simmering in the Senate, pose a couple of big problems, he says: They don’t work, and they can gum up the rest of the economy.

The Hill - Climate lobby urges Democrats to Reject Pressure to Accept Modest Energy Gains (09/09/09) - If healthcare poisons the well for climate change, some observers expect Democrats to settle for more modest environmental gains. Ditching the cap-and-trade piece to pass a so-called renewable electricity standard and stronger energy-use standards could give Democrats a partial win and President Barack Obama at least something to show off at the climate talks in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December. But it would also threaten to fracture Democrats and their base of support, in much the same way the public option is threatening to split the party in the healthcare fight.

Reuters - Senate Agriculture Chair Lincoln Sees Climate Bill Slog (09/10/09) - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate faces "a heavy lift" if it tries to pass a climate change bill this year, the new leader of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Blanche Lincoln, said on Wednesday. Lincoln, a second-term Democrat from Arkansas, succeeds Tom Harkin of Iowa, an advocate of public nutrition and land stewardship programs. Lincoln is a staunch defender of crop subsidies and founder of a Senate group that focuses on hunger. She will be the first woman to head the Agriculture Committee. Senate Democrats announced her selection after Harkin opted to become chairman of the Health Committee. The formalities of the turnover are expected to take a few days."All I'm saying is I think it (passage of a climate bill) is a heavy lift for the Senate" in a session filled with major legislation, she said.

NYT - Health Care to Be a Stumbling Block on Road to Copenhagen  (09/08/09) - The Senate's newest round of delays on global warming legislation has some current and former climate negotiators worried about prospects for a global emissions deal this year in Copenhagen. Environmental activists insist that Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) announcement that she will push back introduction of her climate bill in the wake of Sen. Edward Kennedy's (D-Mass.) death is insignificant. But others said that Democrats' desire to realize health care reform -- which Kennedy called "the cause of my life" and which at least one senator has suggested renaming in Kennedy's memory -- makes it all but certain that climate legislation won't see the Senate floor this year. "Even if Senator Kennedy had been alive and well, health care probably wouldn't have been able to pass until the fall. With his unfortunate passing, it means the debate will be prolonged," said Stuart Eizenstat, who was the lead U.S. negotiator on the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. "The Congress as an institution has difficulty doing a lot of things at the same time," Eizenstat said. Climate change this year "is going to be a casualty. We will not have a bill signed by the president by Copenhagen."

In the News...Van Jones Resigns

"Too Much Drama for Obama" - "Rise and Fall of Van Jones" - "Resigns Amid Controversy" 

Obama's Green Jobs Czar Steps Down  

YouTube:  Beck Got it Right on Van Jones

President Obama's Green Jobs Czar, Van Jones, was forced to resign Saturday after reporting by several investigative blogs and Fox host Glenn Beck led to main stream media coverage on his extreme views and incendiary statements. In a statement, Jones wrote: "On the eve of historic fights for health care and clean energy, opponents of reform have mounted a vicious smear campaign against me. They are using lies and distortions to distract and divide."

Quoted: His Own Words ....

Fox News : Raw Data - Van Jones in his Own Words (09/03/09)

Van Jones: "The environmental justice community that said, 'Hey, wait a minute, you know, you're regulating, but you're not regulating equally.' And the white polluters and the white environmentalists are essentially steering poison into the people-of-color communities, because they don't have a racial justice frame." (January 2008)  VIDEO 

Van  Jones:  "Right now we say we want to move from suicidal gray capitalism to something eco-capitalism where at least we're not fast-tracking the destruction of the whole planet. Will that be enough? No, it won't be enough. We want to go beyond the systems of exploitation and oppression altogether. But, that's a process and I think that's what's great about the movement that is beginning to emerge is that the crisis is so severe in terms of joblessness, violence and now ecological threats that people are willing to be both pragmatic and visionary. So the green economy will start off as a small subset and we are going to push it and push it and push it until it becomes the engine for transforming the whole society." (April 2008)  LISTEN 

Van Jones: "That's a technical, political science term. And -- Barack O -- Barack Obama's not an asshole. So -- now, I will say this: I can be an asshole. And some of us who are not Barack Hussein Obama are going to have to start getting a little bit uppity. How's that capitalism working for ya?" (February 26, 2009) VIDEO 

WATCH:  Glenn Beck: Van Jones -- In His Own Words

WATCH: Van Jones Portrays President Bush as a "Crackhead"

WATCH: Obama White House Official Calls Republicans "A**holes"

Gateway Pundit - Jones Linked to 911 Truther Movement (09/04/09) 

Signed: Link to 911 Truth Commission Petition

NewsBusters: NY Times Finally Picks Up Van Jones Story -- After He Resigns 

FOX: Media Playing Catch-Up on Van Jones Story  (09/07/09) 

Main Stream Media - Finally Gets It....

SF Chronicle - Too Much Drama for Obama (09/08/09) - The Obama White House was right to distance itself from "green jobs" adviser Van Jones after his radical history came under intense scrutiny. And Jones was right to tender his resignation this weekend. This administration has far too many pressing issues on its plate to spend its energy defending Jones' past statements on race and politics, his support of cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal or his association with the conspiracy theorists trying to link the Bush White House to 9/11.For all those on the left who are expressing frustrations that the Obama administration did not choose to "fight" the forces who are determined to discredit Jones because of his past, we say: There was a time for that fight. It was before Jones assumed his high-level position in the administration. The White House either missed the inflammatory aspects of Jones' past - which raises serious questions about its vetting process - or assumed they would never become an issue, which suggests a certain naivete about the ways of Washington. Those of us who have observed Van Jones' work over the years know him as a dedicated activist whose once polemic and confrontational style on matters such as police misconduct has been redirected and transformed into a more polished and inclusive advocacy of the environment.

Chicago Tribune: Cursing Aide Left Voluntarily, White House said. (09/07/09)   - White House officials said Sunday that the presidential environmental adviser Van Jones resigned this weekend of his own accord after a furor over his fiery remarks about Republicans and his signature on a petition questioning whether the U.S. government had any role in planning the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. White House officials never defended Jones, a prominent California community activist, and took pains over the weekend to distance themselves from Jones' statements. Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said Sunday that Jones made his own decision to leave, but he commended him for the departure. "The bottom line is that he showed his commitment to the cause of creating green jobs in this country by removing himself as an issue," Axelrod told NBC's "Meet the Press." Jones issued a statement decrying "lies and distortions" and a "smear campaign" that had been waged against him by the right.  But, despite his defiance, Jones had been forced to apologize in recent days for some of his past statements, including a fiery speech shortly before his appointment in which he used an expletive to describe Republicans. The controversy began bubbling to the surface last week, as conservative talk show hosts homed in on Jones as the latest example of a "radical" Obama associate.

Wash. Post: Resigns Amid Controversy Over Past Activism (09/07/09) - White House environmental adviser Van Jones resigned late Saturday after a simmering controversy over his past statements and activism erupted into calls for his ouster from Republican leaders on Friday. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs on Sunday explained the resignation on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," saying, "Van Jones decided was that the agenda of this president was bigger than any one individual." The president does not endorse Jones's past statements and actions, "but he thanks him for his service," Gibbs said. A White House official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel matter, said Jones's past was not studied as intensively as other advisers because of his relatively low rank. Jones's position did not require Senate confirmation, so he avoided the kind of vetting Cabinet officials were subjected to. In addition, as an adviser to the Council on Environmental Quality, rather than to Obama directly, his past was not reviewed to the same degree as the more senior "assistants to the president" and other top advisers inside the West Wing. The result was the revelation of a controversial past that, administration officials acknowledge, caught the White House off guard. "He was not as thoroughly vetted as other administration officials," the official said. "It's fair to say there were unknowns."

LA Times: Quits as Obama's Environmental Advisor (09/07/09) - Responding to a firestorm that raged on conservative talk shows and websites, the White House on Sunday announced the resignation of a top environmental advisor who had made fiery remarks about Republicans and signed a petition questioning whether the U.S. government had any role in planning the Sept. 11 attacks. Van Jones, a prominent Oakland community activist, issued a statement decrying "lies and distortions" and a "smear campaign" that had been waged against him by the right. But despite his defiance, Jones had been forced to apologize in recent days for some of his past statements, including a speech shortly before his appointment posted on YouTube, in which he used a vulgar term to describe Republicans. White House officials never rose to his defense and took pains over the weekend to distance themselves from Jones' statements and decisions about his status. President Obama's senior advisor David Axelrod said Sunday that Jones made his own decision to leave, but he commended him for the departure. "The bottom line is that he showed his commitment to the cause of creating green jobs in this country by removing himself as an issue," Axelrod told NBC's "Meet the Press." The controversy began bubbling to the surface over the last week as conservative talk show hosts such as Fox News Channel's Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity homed in on Jones as the latest example of a "radical" associate of Obama. In accepting Jones' resignation over the weekend, White House officials in effect acknowledged that the president could ill afford such damage as he was already struggling to win congressional support for a healthcare overhaul.

WSJ - The Lesson of the Rise and Fall of Van Jones (09/08/09)  - The abrupt resignation of White House aide Van Jones, deep in the news hiatus of Labor Day weekend, will probably be forgotten in a few days. But it's a story that still deserves elaboration for what it says about the political coalition that helped to elect President Obama and whose demands are leading him into a cul-de-sac. As a candidate, Barack Obama was at pains to offer himself as a man of moderate policies, and especially of moderate temperament. He said he would listen to both the right and left, choosing the best of each depending on "what works." He sold himself as a center-left pragmatist. When his radical associations-Reverend Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers-came to light, Candidate Obama promptly disavowed them. Now comes Mr. Jones, with a long trail of extreme comments and left-wing organizing, who nonetheless became the White House adviser for "green jobs." This weekend he too was thrown under the bus. However, Mr. Jones wasn't some unknown crazy who insinuated himself with the Obama crowd under false pretenses.

NY Daily News:  Adviser Van Jones Signed Creepy Conspiracy Petition (09/04/09) - On the flip side of the President's reappointment of Dr. John Howard as 9/11 health czar is the troubling case of Van Jones, the White House green jobs adviser. A group called, whose mission is to "expose the official lies and coverup surrounding the events of Sept. 11, 2001," lists Jones as a signatory of a 2004 statement, "Demanding Deeper Investigation into the Events of 9/11." It "calls for immediate public attention to unanswered questions that suggest that people within the current administration may indeed have deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, perhaps as a pretext for war." Jones' name appears among the names of "100 prominent Americans" who endorsed this vile conspiracy manifesto. Others included actor Ed Asner, comic Janeane Garofalo, former Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Ralph Nader. In 2004, Jones headed the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, a California-based social advocacy group. Today he spearheads the Obama administration's effort to create green jobs and is backing the Green the Block Campaign, which will mark its "first milestone" on Sept. 11 as part of a National Day of Service.