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« Express service | Main | Gang of four »

Jul 20, 2011


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Excellent development !

A constituency such as this may very well be able do the fundamental science that everyone else seems to be dragging their feet on.

John D. Young

The community efforts for the expansion of the Haw River State Park and the halting of the proposed huge Bluegreen development took the efforts of the broad environmental base that included some in the hunting and the fishing community. Those folks along with additional rural community support were helpful with other land preservation projects by the Guilford County Open Space Committee.

Fracking remains a key issue for the broad environmental/conservation community and many of us appreciate the efforts of this blog to help us become more aware of the environmental hazards of fracking, moreover, we all should also be aware of HR 2018 passed by the US House.

"Yesterday evening (7/13/11) the House of Representatives passed The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act (HR 2018), a bill that turns back the clock forty years on the environmental and public health protections in the Clean Water Act. This brazen attack on public protections is the closest big industrial polluters have ever come to completely gutting laws that protect Americans’ ability to access clean water." ( http://appvoices.org/2011/07/14/house-once-again-passes-attack-on-water-science-humans/ )

This bill is designed to help drastically weaken the Clean Water Act and open the door more fully for those involved with fracking and mountain top removal for coal. It is essential that the US Senate defeat this bill. Our state has already significantly cut into the important budget of DENR and at the federal level the budget of the EPA may soon be drastically cut. It is hard to imagine who will be sufficiently enforcing the Clean Water Act at any level.

Billy Jones

Years ago I ended my relationship with the Sierra Club because of their efforts against hunters-- among the first environmentalists. What the Sierra Club was doing was confusing just who their enemy was just as many on the right today are confused as to who their enemy is. Protecting the air and water should be at the top of any conservative's list of priorities and conservatives who aren't environmentalists aren't conservatives.


Promoting hysteria is not a conservative value.


Tell it to the guys who manipulated the terrorist color code, bubba.


"Tell it to the guys who manipulated the terrorist color code, bubba."

No, I'd rather tell it to the guy who promoted hysteria over the Valerie Plame non-outing "scandal", who also lied when confronted about what he said about Karl Rove.


Hysteria in the defence of clean water is no vice...


Hysteria in support of regulation without facts that justify said regulation is only good for agenda propaganda purposes.


fyold fset

Billy Jones

Abner, Floyd festival? I know it's founders.

Fred Gregory

Free market, not government policies, drives energy boom

"Renewable energy sources like wind and solar still produce only a tiny percentage of electricity. ..

"...In contrast to the marginal effects of these much-ballyhooed public policies, there has been a huge breakthrough in energy production in the past couple of years.

Petroleum engineers working for private companies have used a technique called "hydraulic fracking," injecting vast amounts of water into rock, to release commercially viable amounts of natural gas and oil..."

Ed Cone

Government has subsidized the petroleum industry for years, directly and indirectly, the latter including everything from military deployments to road-building policy. Public investment in other forms of energy is long overdue.


"Public investment in other forms of energy is long overdue."

Yes, of course.

We just haven't spent enough money promoting such great ideas like ethanol, have we?

And of course, there's no negative effects from things like that, even as these efforts fail miserably, is there?

Why do we always allow "progressive" agenda tunnel vision to guide our energy public policy? The previous half century of efforts and results produced from that mindset have provided little more than mis-guided worldview agenda pursuits, higher costs,wasted investment, and a failure to accomplish significant progress toward meeting the energy needs of the future.

Billy Jones

"Why do we always allow "progressive" agenda tunnel vision to guide our energy public policy?"

Funny, it was the Bush Administration and Republicans who were the push behind ethanol.

Ed Cone

Ethanol is another sop to the petroleum industry, and to agribusiness and corn-state politicians of both parties. Not a very progressive program.

John D. Young

Good example of a the fishing group, Trout Unlimited, responding to the gutting of the Clean Water Act.

"Izaak Walton League of America ● National Wildlife Federation ● Trout Unlimited

For Immediate Release

House approves bill to undercut the Clean Water Act

H.R. 2018 puts nation’s waters, fish and wildlife at risk.

Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to approve sweeping, harmful changes to the nation’s bedrock water-quality protecting law, the Clean Water Act. In a 239-184 vote, the House passed H.R. 2018, a bill that will adversely affect waterways across the nation.

H.R. 2018, dubbed the The Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011, purports to strengthen “cooperative federalism” by giving the states more control over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Act oversight. In fact, the bill undermines the federal-state partnership on which the Clean Water Act is based. Introduced less than four weeks ago, the House of Representatives held no legislative hearings on the bill and rushed to approve it, apparently to avoid giving it the scrutiny it deserves.

“For 38 years, the Clean Water Act has provided protection for our nation’s waters,” said Steve Moyer, Vice President for Government Affairs at Trout Unlimited. “The Clean Water Act has led to immense progress nationwide on cleaning up our waters, restoring fish habitat, protecting drinking water sources, reducing wetlands loss, and developing water-based recreational economies. This bill weakens the power of the Clean Water Act and puts our lakes, rivers and streams at risk,” Moyer said. ......."

( http://www.tu.org/press_releases/2011/house-approves-bill-to-undercut-the-clean-water-act )


Ethanol has long been a boondoggle for the reasons Ed points out.

At it's heart to mislead from the beginning, is the manipulation of numbers. The manipulation is conscious and deliberate.

For those interested in details of numbers and formulations of those numbers on this topic, I recommend Robert Rapier's Fun with Numbers: The New USDA Report on Corn Ethanol.

In the piece RR shows with the sources own numbers the creative formulations going back to 2002 and 2004 reports for context. His perspective of why this is a problem can be seem from his closing:

For that reason, when I consider ethanol as a replacement contender for gasoline, I am more interested in the expenditure of energy to produce ethanol, and less interested in how creative we can get with allocating energy inputs to byproducts. In any case, what was approximately one BTU of ethanol output for one BTU of fossil fuel input in 2002 is now 1.4 BTUs of ethanol out for 1 BTU in, with the caveat that secondary inputs have not been considered.

It's clear to me this is the most practical approach to the topic and makes clear why practicality is shoved aside in others perspectives.


Shorter bubba: "Look! Shiny!"


"Shorter bubba: "Look! Shiny!""

Shorter Lex: "W-w-what?"


"Funny, it was the Bush Administration and Republicans who were the push behind ethanol."

"Ethanol is another sop to the petroleum industry, and to agribusiness and corn-state politicians of both parties. Not a very progressive program."

Ethanol was promoted heavily by environmentalists during the Clinton years as a cleaner, less-polluting alternative to gasoline. We have only to look to algore's since recanted support to understand that. As noted in the link they found out years later that ethanol had some rather negative unexpected consequences.

On the other hand, ethanol HAS made a comeback in the "progressive" world recently, thanks to Obama's EPA carbon thug wannabees.

I suppose you could make the argument that the environmentalists and politicians who were responsible for touting ethanol so heavily to the public in its intial push weren't "progressives", but that would amount to a weak effort to avoid admitting that you have selective (or no) memory on how the whole ethanol fad got started.

For grins, shall we find who Big Ethanol has supported politically over the years?

Andrew Brod

I don't think anyone here is defending ethanol subsidies, certainly not me. But Bubba can't help but view the issue through his one-size-fits-all ideological prism. So it goes.

I realize the conservatives want us to hate the very air Obama breathes, but the reality is that his depressing support of ethanol is hardly "progressive." And even if some environmentalists advocated ethanol in years past, that movement has rethought its support. You'd think it might be admirable for a group to admit being wrong when new facts emerge.

As the article to which Bubba links notes, ethanol has received extensive subsidies since the 1970s. That means politicians from both parties. The early ethanol supporters were farm-state politicians, and the Midwest is where the strongest support continues to be. The last I checked, a few of those states have Republican senators and representatives.

Andrew Brod

Numbers aside, the main problem with ethanol subsidies is that they encourage the following activity:

We take perfectly good food, and instead of eating it, we burn it.

Fred Gregory

"Government has subsidized the petroleum industry for years, directly and indirectly..Ed Cone "

Like the policies you advocate haven't been pupmed up with taxapyer dolars. The entire green energy industry is suported by massive subsidies and government intervention.

The Mad World of Wind Turbines

Ed Cone

Right, Fred, the fact of government support for alt fuels is not in dispute, just responding to the idea that fossil fuels have not enjoyed significant gov love as well.

Fred Gregory

So what do we have to show for all the $$$ invested in wind power.. Nada !

The NY Times tried to discredit fracking with an abysmaly dissembling hit piece on fracking but their own public editor called BS on it.

Lets see you are closing in on an obsessive 40 post mark on fracking..

Paul Chesser presents a compelling case for fracking and the ferocity of misleading info being put out about it .

Inhibiting an Oil and Gas Boom

"The fossil fuel shale extraction industry, where technological advancements and discoveries of huge reserves of oil and natural gas hold great promise for the nation's future energy needs, is under attack. ( as I mentioned above by the NY Times ..fhg )

Then there is the obsessed, Herb and Marion Sandler-funded ProPublica, which has published 120 stories almost entirely dedicated to alleged problems with the gas industry -- mostly about hydraulic fracturing (called 'fracking'), the process used to break open the shale to access the natural gas. Some environmentalists allege the practice harms drinking water, an unfounded claim. Former Rocky Mountain News columnist Dave Kopel discovered ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten's prejudice in 2009. In an email, Wyoming groundwater regulator Mark Thiesse told Kopel, 'I spent several hours on the phone and around a dozen follow up emails to try and help [Lustgarten] write a factual article. Unfortunately he seemed to have his own agenda.' ProPublica's exuberance for attacking natural gas is highlighted in their music video titled, 'The Fracking Song.'

But media distortions are less of a problem than excessive government regulation and panic by environmental extremists. Earthjustice, amidst hysteria over fracking and other normal activities that have been safely employed to access gas, recites from Reuters: 'A widening shale gas revolution is killing the economics of renewable energy, even as falling costs allow wind and solar to overtake fossil fuels in niche areas.' They think this is bad and ignore the facts that wind and solar costs are artificially 'low' (but still not low enough) thanks to taxpayer subsidies."

Ed Cone

Fred, again, the NYT public editor did not question the reporting on fracking, which was not the focus of the article. The problems were with reporting on an alleged market bubble in natural gas, which seems to be more applicable to certain independent operators than to the industry as a whole.

And, yes, as is widely understood, it will take time and money to develop alternative fuels. That's all the more reason to get serious about doing so.

Fred Gregory

Widely understood ? By who ? Those obsessed with halting any extraction of our natural resources ? By those with a death wish , wanting to turn into a popsicle in the dark, so not as to despoil the carribou's playground or such other pablum ?

Ed Cone

Fred, "widely understood" includes you, unless you believe developing alt fuels will be cheap and fast.

I have no interest in freezing in the dark, or in my children doing so. That's why it makes sense to get serious about the long development phase of alt fuels, so a comfortable transition from the fossil fuel-dominated economy is possible.

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