Archive | Energy RSS feed for this section

Mark Caserta: Obama’s war on coal has a cost

6 Aug

And is based on mythical “man-made” global warming.


Mark Caserta: Free State Patriot Editor

Aug. 06, 2015 @ 12:01 AM
FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.  President Barack Obama on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, will unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The Obama administration first proposed the rule last year. Opponents plan to sue immediately to stop the rule's implementation. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. President Barack Obama on Monday, Aug. 3, 2015, will unveil the final version of his unprecedented regulations clamping down on carbon dioxide emissions from existing U.S. power plants. The Obama administration first proposed the rule last year. Opponents plan to sue immediately to stop the rule’s implementation. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

Liberals hate fossil fuels and have no plans to incorporate them into any sort of an “all of the above” energy strategy. And as the U.S. coal industry faces increased regulatory pressures from President Obama and his EPA minions, our state as well as others will continue to feel the economic crunch.

U.S. coal is used to generate about 40 percent of our nation’s electricity. As the Environmental Protection Agency, under Obama’s direction, intensifies regulations on the coal industry, expect electricity prices as well as associated costs to rise accordingly. Obama revealed this as part of his environmental plan early in his presidential campaign.

In a 2008 interview with The San Francisco Chronicle, Obama explained that under his plan of cap-and-trade, it was incumbent that our electricity prices should increase. The president’s progressive strategy obviously includes forcing the nation into pursuing green energy alternatives to avoid the mythical damages of carbon dioxide emissions.

obamacare a

“Under my plan of cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” Obama told the Chronicle. “Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”

Every time I hear a liberal decry carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) as destroying our planet, I can’t help but wonder if they’ve ever taken a biology course. Literally thousands of laboratory and field experiments have conclusively demonstrated that enriching the air with CO2 stimulates the growth and development of nearly all plants. But apparently facts aren’t important to progressives when it comes to defending climate change.

Just this week, Barack Obama unveiled the final version of his unprecedented plan to clamp down on CO2 emissions from existing U.S. power plants in an effort to cripple the industry.

In the president’s proposal, he’s calling for even steeper cuts on greenhouse emissions than previously expected. Calling it the most significant step the U.S. has ever taken to fight global warming, he plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Obama cites decades of data that he insists proposes we are facing more extreme weather and escalating health problems without tough action.

Opponents of Obama’s actions vow to sue immediately, and plan to ask the courts to put the rule on hold while legal challenges play out. Many states have already threatened not to comply.

Understand that as the price of electricity increases, every industry that relies on this utility will have to cover their losses by either raising their prices or reducing costs. In other words, there will be higher prices and fewer jobs for the American people.

food stamp pres

It’s fundamental economics, which this president simply cannot grasp.

This is yet another attempt by an autocratic, egotistical president to force his progressive ideology upon the American people with total disregard as to the ultimate price we’ll pay.

But, the cost to Americans and our nation has never prevented Barack Obama from his pursuit of fundamental change.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


2 Jan

It’s time for an “all of the above” energy strategy like we were promised.  Not “everything but fossil fuels”.


Please join thousands of other Americans in signing the petition below by going to the following link and filling out the box to the right.

I Support the Keystone XL Pipeline

The proposed TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline will allow the United States to access safe, reliable, and affordable energy supplies from Canada, and reduce our need to import crude oil from less stable countries and regions of the world.

In addition to improving the nation’s economic and energy security, during its building phase the proposed project will provide approximately 42,100 badly needed manufacturing and construction jobs, and contribute an estimated $3.4 billion in benefits to the U.S. economy.

The Keystone XL pipeline has been studied for over 5 years—and the delays are still continuing. Enough is enough. I support the expansion of the Keystone XL Pipeline and call on the President to act now!

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

27 Aug



A coal-fired power plant in Kentucky. Coal-heavy states could be economic losers in any climate-change protocol that targets such plants, which are among the largest greenhouse gas emitters. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. 

obama climate

“If you want a deal that includes all the major emitters, including the U.S., you cannot realistically pursue a legally binding treaty at this time,” said Paul Bledsoe, a top climate change official in the Clinton administration who works closely with the Obama White House on international climate change policy.

Lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming.

“There’s a strong understanding of the difficulties of the U.S. situation, and a willingness to work with the U.S. to get out of this impasse,” said Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for climate change to the United Nations. “There is an implicit understanding that this not require ratification by the Senate.”

American negotiators are instead homing in on a hybrid agreement — a proposal to blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification.

Countries would be legally required to enact domestic climate change policies — but would voluntarily pledge to specific levels of emissions cuts and to channel money to poor countries to help them adapt to climate change. Countries might then be legally obligated to report their progress toward meeting those pledges at meetings held to identify those nations that did not meet their cuts.

“There’s some legal and political magic to this,” said Jake Schmidt, an expert in global climate negotiations with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. “They’re trying to move this as far as possible without having to reach the 67-vote threshold” in the Senate.

The strategy comes as scientists warn that the earth is already experiencing the first signs of human-caused global warming — more severe drought and stronger wildfires, rising sea levels and more devastating storms — and the United Nations heads toward what many say is the body’s last chance to avert more catastrophic results in the coming century.

At the United Nations General Assembly in New York next month, delegates will gather at a sideline meeting on climate change to try to make progress toward the deal next year in Paris. A December meeting is planned in Lima, Peru, to draft the agreement.

In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. That regulation, which would not be final until next year, already faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed on behalf of a dozen states.

But unilateral action by the world’s largest economy will not be enough to curb the rise of carbon pollution across the globe. That will be possible only if the world’s largest economies, including India and China, agree to enact similar cuts.

The Obama administration’s international climate strategy is likely to infuriate Republican lawmakers who already say the president is abusing his executive authority by pushing through major policies without congressional approval.

“Unfortunately, this would be just another of many examples of the Obama administration’s tendency to abide by laws that it likes and to disregard laws it doesn’t like — and to ignore the elected representatives of the people when they don’t agree,” Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, said in a statement.

A deal that would not need to be ratified by the United States or any other nation is also drawing fire from the world’s poorest countries. In African and low-lying island nations — places that scientists say are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change — officials fear that any agreement made outside the structure of a traditional United Nations treaty will not bind rich countries to spend billions of dollars to help developing nations deal with the forces of climate change.

obama climate 2

Poor countries look to rich countries to help build dams and levees to guard against coastal flooding from rising seas levels, or to provide food aid during pervasive droughts.

“Without an international agreement that binds us, it’s impossible for us to address the threats of climate change,” said Richard Muyungi, a climate negotiator for Tanzania. “We are not as capable as the U.S. of facing this problem, and historically we don’t have as much responsibility. What we need is just one thing: Let the U.S. ratify the agreement. If they ratify the agreement, it will trigger action across the world.”

Observers of United Nations climate negotiations, which have gone on for more than two decades without achieving a global deal to legally bind the world’s biggest polluters to carbon cuts, say that if written carefully such an agreement could be a creative and pragmatic way to at least level off the world’s rapidly rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions.

About a dozen countries are responsible for nearly 70 percent of the world’s carbon pollution, chiefly from cars and coal-fired power plants.

At a 2009 climate meeting in Copenhagen, world leaders tried but failed to forge a new legally binding treaty to supplant the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Instead, they agreed only to a series of voluntary pledges to cut carbon emissions through 2020.

The Obama administration’s climate change negotiators are desperate to avoid repeating the failure of Kyoto, the United Nations’ first effort at a legally binding global climate change treaty. Nations around the world signed on to the deal, which would have required the world’s richest economies to cut their carbon emissions, but the Senate refused to ratify the treaty, ensuring that the world’s largest historic carbon polluter was not bound by the agreement.

Seventeen years later, the Senate obstacle remains. Even though Democrats currently control the chamber, the Senate has been unable to reach agreement to ratify relatively noncontroversial United Nations treaties. In 2012, for example, Republican senators blocked ratification of a United Nations treaty on equal rights for the disabled, even though the treaty was modeled after an American law and had been negotiated by a Republican president, George W. Bush.

This fall, Senate Republicans are poised to pick up more seats, and possibly to retake control of the chamber. Mr. McConnell, who has been one of the fiercest opponents of Mr. Obama’s climate change policy, comes from a coal-heavy state that could be an economic loser in any climate-change protocol that targets coal-fired power plants, the world’s largest source of carbon pollution.

Mark Caserta: Obama out to cripple coal industry

16 Apr

Feb. 27, 2013 @ 10:10 PMcoal industry

Barack Obama plans to bankrupt the coal industry — with or without Congress.

A recent U.S. News article revealed that an emboldened Obama administration plans to move on climate change with or without congressional support by asserting executive privilege aimed at preventing any new coal-fired power plants from being built in the United States.

“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” the president remarked in his fourth State of the Union address. “I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions … to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

Obama’s yearning to dismantle the coal industry was evident early in his presidency.

“Under my plan of cap and trade system, electricity price would necessarily skyrocket … Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, natural gas … whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers,” the president said. “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

This shameful disregard for the families of coal-producing states and the subsequent impact on our nation suggests a supreme naivety as to its impact.

According to the Institute for Energy Research, coal is currently used to meet 20 percent of America’s total energy demand and generate 42 percent of all its electricity. In addition, the United States has enough recoverable coal reserves to last at least another 250 years, with reserves that are over one-and-one half times greater than our nearest competitor, Russia, and over twice that of China.

America’s “known” coal reserves alone constitute 27 percent of the entire world’s coal supply. Clean coal technology using gasification is a promising alternative to meet the global energy demand and provide a significant energy resource advantage for the U.S.

But Barack Obama has proven he isn’t interested in the United States becoming energy independent. He’s simply obsessed with achieving his “presidential prize” of eradicating the coal industry.

And while the president aspires to become our nation’s global warming “savior,” other countries are ardently pursuing the benefits of coal and dismissing lobbyist-led carbon emissions concerns, leaving America choking on its own “fumes of folly.”

According to the U.S. Energy Information administration, China burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world combined!

Yet experts expect President Obama will soon order the EPA to set standards on the coal industry which are so economically unrealistic it will not only prevent any new plants from being built, it will lead to crippling regulations on existing coal-fired plants.

At this point, I’m not sure which is worse — the “trumped” up charge that “man” is impacting climate change or Obama’s self-proclaimed “anointing” to save the world from carbon emissions.

Either way, the coal industry, the U.S. and states like West Virginia lose.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Iran gamble gives Tehran time and money

14 Dec

Iran nuclear sites

Iran gamble gives Tehran time and money

Dec. 12, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

The Obama administration is gambling on the world stage, and the stakes are very high.

A deal was reached last month with Tehran and six major powers meant to freeze key components of the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions.

At the time the deal was signed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “historic mistake” and one that made the world a “much more dangerous place.”

Consider first, the players at the table — Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States.

An argument can be made that the interest of our closest ally and the nation with the most to lose from these negotiations was missing from the table. That is Israel.

Second, both China and Russia are known to be actively engaged in assisting Tehran in its nuclear and missile technology. In fact, the very foundation of Tehran’s nuclear program can be traced to extensive Chinese and Russian cooperation.

Tehran has received extensive missile testing and guidance assistance from China and Russia, according to multiple reports. In June 1996, the results of a Congressional hearing cited U.S. intelligence findings that China had already “delivered dozens, perhaps hundreds of missile guidance systems and computerized tools to Iran.”

With Russian help, Iranian scientists have set up two sites to use laser technology to “more efficiently” enrich uranium which could be used for a nuclear bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports Tehran expects Russia to build two “additional” nuclear plants in the Bushehr province where they’ve been assisting the Iranians for years.

Two years ago, the IAEA released a comprehensive report on Tehran’s nuclear program based on intelligence from multiple countries, interviews with scientists who helped Tehran develop their program and the IAEA’s own investigations.

The report clearly indicated Iran engaged in “activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device.” These activities include:

Research on uranium cores and detonators for nuclear weapons.

Acquiring nuclear weapons information and documentation from a clandestine supply network.

Developing an indigenous nuclear weapons design and testing of the components.

Computer modeling of nuclear explosions and logistics for nuclear testing.

Engineering studies to adapt missiles for nuclear warheads.

The IAEA’s May 2013 report noted Tehran already had a sufficient stockpile of enriched uranium to produce weapons-grade uranium for seven nuclear bombs and was continuing to increase its capacity to enrich to weapons-grade.

Remember, Tehran is considered to be the leading state sponsor of terrorism, providing financial support and training for organizations such as Hamas, Hezbollah and others.

The United States seems to be the only nation with no “down cards” in this apocalyptic game. Inspections and “fail-safe” measures aside, once a rogue nation has technology, it cannot be extracted!

A good gambler knows when to walk away. Right now, President Obama is “all in,” wagering the safety of millions on the hope we can trust Tehran, China and Russia — and the odds aren’t favorable.

Staying in this game provides our enemies with the two resources they need most — time and money.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


10 Jul



28 Feb



%d bloggers like this: