Do you really need to know ANY MORE than this??
|Recently Obama was a guest on ‘The Daily Show’ and when referring to the four dead Americans in Benghazi, he said it was ‘not optimal’. This outrageous statement from the President of the United States has many Americans upset and demanding the truth about this horrific terrorist attack on one of our Embassies.
From the National Review Online
A new Obama campaign ad directed at women votersstates that Republican candidate Mitt Romney would ban abortion, but uses a Romney quote that has been cut off to distort the candidate’s stance toward the 1973Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
The quote is from a Republican primary debate during which moderator Anderson Cooper asked the candidates, “If Roe v. Wade were overturned, Congress passed a federal ban on all abortions and it came to your desk, would you sign it? Yes or no?”
The ad depicts Romney’s response as, “I’d be delighted to sign that bill,” but truncates the remainder of his sentence, which was, “But that’s not where we are. That’s not where America is today.”
The ad comes as a new USA Today/Gallup poll finds more women in swing states are leaning toward Romney. The Obama campaign and the campaigns of many other Democrats around the country are doubling down on the left’s “War on Women” canard, a sure sign that the “women’s vote” is no longer a certainty for Democrats.
In the state of Connecticut, for example, abortion and access to birth control took center stage during the final debate between U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Chris Murphy and Republican Linda McMahon. Similarly, on Thursday we reported that Planned Parenthood is spending an additional $828,000 on Romney attack ads in the swing states of Colorado and Virginia.
In response to the ad, Romney spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said:
President Obama’s campaign continues to mislead voters in a desperate attempt to distract from this president’s failed economic record. Five and a half million women are struggling to find work in the Obama economy, and they are suffering from record unemployment under this president.
From The Foundry
October 18, 2012 at 8:25 am
It is no secret that President Obama’s and green-energy supporters’ (from both parties) foray into venture capitalism has not gone well. But the extent of its failure has been largely ignored by the press. Sure, single instances garner attention as they happen, but they ignore past failures in order to make it seem like a rare case.
The truth is that the problem is widespread. The government’s picking winners and losers in the energy market has cost taxpayers billions of dollars, and the rate of failure, cronyism, and corruption at the companies receiving the subsidies is substantial. The fact that some companies are not under financial duress does not make the policy a success. It simply means that our taxpayer dollars subsidized companies that would’ve found the financial support in the private market.
So far, 36 companies that have received federal support from taxpayers have either gone bankrupt or are laying off workers and are heading for bankruptcy. This list includes only those companies that received federal money from the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy. The amount of money indicated does not reflect how much was actually received or spent but how much was offered. The amount also does not include other state, local, and federal tax credits and subsidies, which push the amount of money these companies have received from taxpayers even higher.
The complete list of faltering or bankrupt green-energy companies:
- Evergreen Solar ($24 million)*
- SpectraWatt ($500,000)*
- Solyndra ($535 million)*
- Beacon Power ($69 million)*
- AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million)
- Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million)
- SunPower ($1.5 billion)
- First Solar ($1.46 billion)
- Babcock and Brown ($178 million)
- EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million)*
- Amonix ($5.9 million)
- National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million)
- Fisker Automotive ($528 million)
- Abound Solar ($374 million)*
- A123 Systems ($279 million)*
- Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million)
- Johnson Controls ($299 million)
- Schneider Electric ($86 million)
- Brightsource ($1.6 billion)
- ECOtality ($126.2 million)
- Raser Technologies ($33 million)*
- Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million)*
- Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million)*
- Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million)*
- Range Fuels ($80 million)*
- Thompson River Power ($6.4 million)*
- Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million)*
- LSP Energy ($2.1 billion)*
- UniSolar ($100 million)*
- Azure Dynamics ($120 million)*
- GreenVolts ($500,000)
- Vestas ($50 million)
- LG Chem’s subsidiary Chemical Power ($150 million)
- Nordic Windpower ($16 million)*
- Navistar ($10 million)
- Satcon ($3 million)*
*Denotes companies that have filed for bankruptcy.
The problem begins with the issue of government picking winners and losers in the first place. Venture capitalist firms exist for this very reason, and they choose what to invest in by looking at companies’ business models and deciding if they are worthy. When the government plays venture capitalist, it tends to reward companies that are connected to the policymakers themselves or because it sounds nice to “invest” in green energy.
The 2009 stimulus set aside $80 billion to subsidize politically preferred energy projects. Since that time, 1,900 investigations have been opened to look into stimulus waste, fraud, and abuse (although not all are linked to the green-energy funds), and nearly 600 convictions have been made. Of that $80 billion in clean energy loans, grants, and tax credits, at least 10 percent has gone to companies that have since either gone bankrupt or are circling the drain.
Despicable – Obama outright LIED during the debate saying that he called the Benghazi attack a terrorist attack. As with his Administration, he LIED yet again. Americans deserve BETTER.
From the Heritage Foundation
Taxmageddon and its impact
A tsunami of tax hikes is set to hit the American people in 2013 if Congress fails to act. Here are some snapshots of how Taxmageddon affects the country, drawn from the research of The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data
■ The Nation: $494 billion total tax
increase on all Americans
■ Families: $4,138 average tax
■ Baby Boomers: $4,223 average tax
■ Millennials: $1,099 average tax
■ Low-Income Workers: $1,207 average tax increase
■ Retirees: $857 average increase
■ States: $1,929 (WV) to $5,161 (CT)
range in average tax hikes per
■ Congressional Districts: $1,236
(NY-16) to $13,951 (NY-14) range
in average tax hikes per return.
These tax increases, which will hit every taxpayer in the country, will take effect on January 1, 2013 because the Senate hasn’t bothered to re-authorize the Bush Tax Cuts. To find out how badly they will affect you, please read the research done by the Heritage Foundation here: http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com/2012/pdf/sr-110.pdf.
These increase will have a negative effect on an economy that’s already hurting thanks to failed Democrat policies and they simply don’t care that you’ll pay even more than you do now. Americans can hardly afford more job killing government idiocy like this.
Obama’s campaign manager, Stef Cutter, is actually claiming that Romney and Ryan are politicizing Obama’s failure in Benghazi and that is why people are talking about it.
NO you despicable moron, Americans deserve to know the truth about what happen so they can decide that Obama has blood on his hands for themselves.
Still think Democrats aren’t despicable?
Organizing For America – the group that campaigns for Obama – doesn’t bother telling people that it’s ILLEGAL to vote TWICE in the election. They are despicable.
Obama and his Administration continue to lie to the American people about his FAILURE in Benghazi. 4 Americans DIED because Obama refused to send American Security forces to protect them. He and his Administration then lied about it to the American people. This is beyond despicable.
From the Center for Freedom and Prosperity
The economy is suffering from the weakest recovery since the end of World War II, in large part because President Obama has increased the burden of government. This CF&P Foundation mini-documentary also contrasts the economy’s anemic performance under Obamanomics with the strong expansion under Reaganomics.
More Obama numbers that should scare the living hell out of you.
OCTOBER 7, 2012
COURTESY OF READER ROBERT MCCLURE, here’s an updated version of that deficit chart, showing how absurd it is to blame today’s huge national debt on George W. Bush’s spending on Iraq and Afghanistan.
UPDATE: Here’s another, more precise one, from a reader who asks to remain anonymous.
Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 8:55 am
Obama and his team believe Americans are stupid and won’t look into the actual numbers. Fortunately some have. Obama has continued to lie about his job creation throughout his campaign; especially in his comparison to President George Bush. Unreal.
(CNSNews.com) – From fiscal 2008 to fiscal 2011, according to the U.S. Treasury, the federal government increased spending on foreign aid by 80 percent and, in fiscal 2011, spent 76 percent more on foreign aid than it did securing the borders of the United States.
In fiscal 2008, the government spent a total of $11.427 billion in international assistance programs, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. In fiscal 2011, according to the statement, it spent $20.599 billion—an increase of $9.172 billion, or 80 percent, from 2008.
Prior to President Obama taking office, international assistance spending had been trending down for three years, according to the Treasury. In fiscal 2005, it was $14.787 billion. In fiscal 2006, it dropped to $13.914 billion. In fiscal 2007, it dropped again to $12.764 billion. And, in fiscal 2008, it dropped yet again to $11.427 billion.
Since 2008, international assistance spending has increased each year. In fiscal 2009, it climbed to $14.827 billion. In fiscal 2010, it jumped to $20.038 billion. And, in fiscal 2011, it climbed again to $20.599 billion.
By the end of August, after the first eleven months of fiscal 2012, the federal government had already spent $20.058 on foreign aid in that fiscal year. That was well ahead of the $18.439 billion the federal government had spent on foreign aid through August of last year. The Treasury has not yet published the final amount that was spent on foreign aid in fiscal 2012, which ended on Sunday.
While foreign aid spending has climbed over the past four years, spending on border security peaked in fiscal 2009 and has since declined. In fiscal 2008, the federal government spent $9.984 billion on customs and border protection, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement. In fiscal 2009, that increased to $12.122 billion. But, in fiscal 2010, that dropped to $11.376 billion. In fiscal 2011, it increased slightly to $11.698 billion—still less than the $12.122 billion spent on customs and border protection in fiscal 2009.
Through August of fiscal 2012, spending on customs and border protection was $11.259 billion, ahead of the $10.656 billion on customs and border protection spent through August of fiscal 2011.
The $20.599 billion spent on foreign aid last year was 76 percent more than the $11.698 billion spent on customs and border protection.
Included, among other things, in the $20.599 billion spent on foreign aid last year, according to the Treasury, was $5.717 billion for the Economic Support Fund, $5.322 billion for the Foreign Military Financing Program, $3.177 in multilateral assistance, $4.248 billion for the Agency for International Development (including $1.210 billion in operating expenses for AID), $395 million for the Peace Corps and $125 million for international monetary programs.
The foreign military sales program, which Treasury includes in its accounting of international assistance programs, took in $23.947 billion in fiscal 2011 and paid out $23.947 billion. Thus it had no impact on the net outflow of aid from the United States to foreign interests.
Below in billions of dollars is the annual spending on international assistance and customs and border protection over the past nine fiscal years. (The figures for fiscal 2012 include only the first eleven months of the fiscal year.)
……………………………………Foreign Aid…Customs & Border
FY 2012 (first 11 months)……….$20.058 $11.259
FY 2011……………………………….$20.599 $11.698
FY 2010……………………………….$20.038 $11.376
FY 2009 ………………………………$14.827 $12.122
FY 2008 ………………………………$11.427 $9.984
FY 2007 ………………………………$12.764 $7.948
FY 2006 ………………………………$13.914 $7.069
FY 2005 ………………………………$14.787 $6.278
FY 2004 ………………………………$13.788 $6.660
- Posted on October 5, 2012 at 9:36am by Meredith Jessup
From The Blaze
The reported unemployment rate measures the ratio of unemployed workers seeking work relative to the size of the workforce. So what happens when the size of the workforce shrinks to historic lows? You get a small dip in the unemployment rate.
As this chart (via Zero Hedge) demonstrates, America’s workforce continues shrink as unemployed workers give up on finding jobs:
Does today’s dip in the unemployment rate mean our economy is on the right track? That’s the argument President Obama and his campaign are sure to make. But the labor force participation rate – which has fallen precipitously from 66.1 percent in 2008 to 63.5 percent today – tells a different story.
The median family income in America has dropped 8% since Obama took office.
The nation’s real unemployment rate remains near 11%.
The percentage of college graduates who can’t find work now exceeds 50%.
The U.S. birthrate has even declined as young Americans struggle to get established.
The number of workers settling for part-time work rose 7.5% last month to 8.6 million.
Clearly, the unemployment rate is not telling the whole story.
To add insult to injury, the United States added 114,000 jobs in September. Cause for celebration? Hardly: With just 1/10th of the population of the United States, Canada added 52,000 jobs last month. If the United States economy created jobs at a rate on par with Canada’s economy, we would’ve created about 480,000 jobs last month, not 114,000.
If this is what moving “forward” looks like in America nowadays, we’re in serious trouble.
During the robust Reagan jobs recovery in the 1980s, liberals regularly dismissed good news by attributing it to the creation of “McJobs.” So it’s interesting to see liberals celebrating the September jobs report, in which the headline unemployment figure fell to 7.8 percent, largely because of an increase in Americans settling for low paying part-time jobs.
Once a month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports two main sets of employment numbers. Under one measure, based on a survey of employers, the economy added 114,000 jobs in September. Under another measure, based on a smaller survey of households, the economy added 873,000. But a more detailed look at these numbers shows that 572,000 — or about 67 percent — of the reported job gains that contributed to the reduction in the unemployment rate came from workers who had to settle for part time work. BLS explains that, “The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.” This is why a broader measure of unemployment, which takes into account those who were forced to accept inferior jobs, remained flat at 14.7 percent.
This report is part of a broader trend that we’ve seen over the past few years, in which job gains have been concentrated in lower-wage positions. And this isn’t just spin from the Romney campaign. Over the summer, the liberal National Employment Law Project released a report that was highlighted in the Atlantic, which focused on this trend. The report found that:
– Lower-wage occupations were 21 percent of recession losses, but 58 percent of recovery growth.
– Mid-wage occupations were 60 percent of recession losses, but only 22 percent of recovery growth.
This is illustrated by the NELP chart above. Though Obama has touted modest job gains during the recovery as evidence things are getting better, looking merely at the headline jobs and unemployment number obscures the fact that the middle class has still struggled to find quality jobs, while more Americans are settling for lower-paying work.
Oct 1, 2012 1 Comment Pat DollardExcerpted from The Washington Examiner: President Obama has made so-called “green energy” policies a key part of his economic agenda, but as a new book argues, they actually disproportionately hurt the poor by boosting the cost of energy.
Last week, Examiner columnist and Manhattan Institute fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth, author of the new book “Regulating to Disaster: How Green Jobs Policies Are Damaging America’s Economy,” explained that:
Most people think green is good but pay little attention to associated increases in costs. In 2015, it will cost between $49 and $79 to generate one megawatt hour of electricity from natural gas. A megawatt hour from onshore wind will cost between $75 and $138, and from solar photovoltaic will cost between $242 and $455.
As her book demonstrates in this chart, rising costs of energy hit lower income Americans the hardest, because they spend a higher proportion of their incomes on energy:
Energy Costs as a Percentage of Income by Quintile, 2011
Obama thinks the American people are stupid. Throughout the debate, Obama regurgitated his talking points about a balanced solution to the debt crisis. In the process he insulted the intelligence of every voter by intimating that the budget can be balanced by eliminating a few tax credits. No, he didn’t commit to tackling the tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities to Medicare and Social Security. He declined to confront the ballooning cost of all the welfare programs. The only thing he wanted to discuss was eliminating a few tax credits for oil companies and corporate jets.
In May 2011, the Senate took up a bill to eliminate $2 billion worth of tax credits for the gas and oil industry. Let’s overlook their fallacious charges that these are unique handouts to the industry – and treat them as if they are expenditures. We are slated to spend over $3.6 trillion this year, yet Obama is obsessing over $2 billion in tax credits. Here are some of the major expenditures for last fiscal year, including the so-called handouts to big oil (in billions):
Yes, these tax credits barely register among our major ‘expenses.’
Using a 10-year budget frame, we are expected to spend another $46 trillion. Democrats claim that their plan to cut the oil tax deductions would save us $21 billion over 10 years. That amounts to .00045% of our estimated outlays.
What about the much beleaguered corporate jet tax deduction? That would save $3 billion over ten years – $300 million per year.
Mitt Romney rightfully lambasted Obama for overlooking the $90 billion in subsidies for green energy while focusing on a few billion in deductions he feels he could demagogue.
But there’s more to the story than just the dollar figure comparison. For Obama, a universal tax deduction to those who already pay a lot of taxes is a handout, while a parochial handout to a sectarian interest that pays no taxes is a tax cut. And the fact is that green energy companies have no tax liability. Perforce, their tax credits are nothing more than refundable handouts.
The green energy sector is even more parasitic when scrutinized by performance. Consider this chart detailing our energy usage by source for 2009; solar, wind, and biomass are barely on the map, even though they are almost completely subsidized. Here is a chart from the Institute for Energy Research comparing federal subsidies per unit of production of different energy sources:
As you can see, Solar is being subsidized by over 1200 times more than fossil fuels, while Wind enjoys over 80 times more in taxpayer cash. The reality is that no amount of subsidy can compensate for the impotence of green energy.
Moreover, while most of the government’s investments in green energy are in the form of direct subsidies, Oil and Gas companies don’t receive subsidies; they enjoy universal credits and deductions that are afforded to all businesses. Additionally, oil and gas companies pay an effective corporate tax rate about 55% higher than that of most other industries. All the while, the renewable-energy sector is ostensibly kept afloat by the taxpayer, offering nothing in terms of revenue.
Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal laid out the facts about who pays taxes and who doesn’t.
The federal Energy Information Administration reports that the industry paid some $35.7 billion in corporate income taxes in 2009, the latest year for which data are available. That alone is about 10% of non-defense discretionary spending—and it would cover a lot of Solyndras. That figure also doesn’t count excise taxes, state taxes and rents, royalties, fees and bonus payments. All told, the government rakes in $86 million from oil and gas every day—far more than from any other business. [...]
Exxon Mobil, the world’s largest oil and gas company, says that in the five years prior to 2010 it paid about $59 billion in total U.S. taxes, while it earned . . . $40.5 billion domestically. Another way of putting it is that for every dollar of net U.S. profits between 2006 and 2010, the company incurred $1.45 in taxes. Exxon’s 2010 tax bill was three times larger than its domestic profits. The company can stay in business because it operates globally and earned a total net income after tax of $30.5 billion in 2010 on revenues of $370.1 billion.
Now let’s contrast that with green energy companies:
For comparison, nuclear power comes in at minus-99.5%, wind at minus-163.8% and solar thermal at minus-244.7%—and that’s before the 2009 Obama-Pelosi stimulus. In other words, the taxpayer loses more the more each of these power sources produces.
If Obama wants his green-energy campaign donors to be on equal footing with oil companies, maybe they should begin producing something useful and actually incur a tax liability before they receive tax credits.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project
October 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm
One of the few bright spots over the past few years in America’s economy has been energy production, but this has occurred largely in spite of this Administration’s energy policies, not because of them.
And the simple fact remains that our energy economy could be even brighter, but egregiously burdensome regulations have stifled energy projects or threaten to dim the lights on the successful energy endeavors that have created jobs and increased supply to put downward pressure on prices. The President has doubled down on wasting billions of dollars to subsidize politically preferred energy sources. Although he has aimed to save or create jobs, in the energy sector he is destroying jobs, threatening to destroy jobs, or failing to create them.
Here are 10 of the most troubling energy and environmental regulations implemented or proposed by the Obama Administration.
- Slowing energy production on federal lands. According to a recent report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy production decreased 13 percent on federal lands in fiscal year (FY) 2011 when compared to FY 2010. The official moratorium and de facto moratorium as a result of a molasses-like permitting process reduced planned capital and operating investments by $18.3 billion and cost the Gulf more than 900,000 jobs in just the past two years. Federal production in the West has experienced a similar fate: The Administration’s delays on permitting oil and gas projects public lands are preventing economic activity. In Utah and Wyoming, for instance, 20 projects held up by the National Environmental Policy Act process is preventing the creation of 120,905 jobs, $27.5 billion in economic activity, and $139 million in government revenue.
- Failing to open areas to exploration and development. Where the Administration is destroying energy jobs on federal jobs, it is failing to create them by aggressively opening America’s federal lands and waters to exploration and development. According to a recent study from energy consultant Wood Mackenzie, allowing access to domestic resources and imports of Canadian oil would generate more than 1 million jobs by 2018 and more than 1.4 million jobs by 2030. The federal government would stand to benefit tremendously as well, collecting more than $36 billion as soon as 2015 and more than $800 billion by 2030.
- Delaying a decision on Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline would bring up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to the U.S., but President Obama punted the decision until after the election despite bipartisan support and despite the Department of State’s conclusion that the project would pose no significant environmental risk. The pipeline would create thousands of jobs, and the states through which the pipeline would pass—Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas—would benefit greatly. The six states are collectively projected to receive $5.2 billion in property taxes in the course of the 100-year operating life of the pipeline,
- Tripling down on energy subsidies. America’s addiction to energy subsidies began well before President Obama took office. According to the EIA, the U.S. spent $8.2 billion on energy subsidies in 1999. That spending more than doubled to $16.6 billion in 2007. Rather than eliminating subsidies for all energy sectors, President Obama tripled down by providing $53.2 billion in the 2009 stimulus bill for energy programs. We have a diverse, competitive energy sector, but government subsidies merely concentrate power in Washington. Energy subsidies merely shift labor and capital away from economically viable projects that would actually help grow our economy to those projects that have political preference. Further, subsidies increase the incentive to lobby and perpetuate mediocrity in technological innovation by removing the incentive to lower costs and compete in the marketplace without the subsidy.
- Stifling all energy projects in red tape. The government’s assault on energy projects is relentless. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce identified 351 energy projects stalled by “not in my backyard” lawsuits, regulatory red tape, and, of course, endless lawsuits from environmental activists who want to quash these projects. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that almost half of these projects (140) are renewable-energy ones. These energy projects could provide a $1.1 trillion injection to the economy and create almost 2 million jobs.
- Shutting down coal. With 497 billion tons of recoverable coal in the U.S.—enough to provide electricity for 500 years at current consumption rates—coal has the potential to be an important resource long into the future. Regrettably, the Obama Administration has taken actions that significantly reduce coal’s share of America’s energy portfolio now and in the future. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) regulatory train wreck will prematurely shut down approximately 20 percent of America’s coal-fired electricity generation—enough to power 50 million homes. The EIA projects that 8.5 percent of the coal-fired generation capacity will come offline in the next four years.
- Using extreme and unprecedented power. In an unprecedented move, in January 2011, the EPA revoked a water permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2007 for a West Virginia mine. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia struck down those EPA procedures, calling them “unreasonable.” The EPA also proposed a more stringent revision of National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. Attaining that standard would have exceeded $1 trillion in costs between 2020 and 2030 and destroyed more than 7 million jobs by 2020; it was so devastating economically that President Obama had to request that EPA administrator Lisa Jackson withdraw the agency’s draft for more stringent NAAQS. The EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule, which would compel companies to retire up to seven gigawatts of electricity generation and retrofit up to 576 plants, was struck down recently by a federal appeals court panel, which decided that the rule “transgressed statutory boundaries.” And the EPA, using inadequate and inaccurate information, is threatening to shut down the Pebble Mine in Alaska, one of the world’s largest concentrations of copper, gold, and molybdenum in the world that would create 1,000 high-paying jobs. The companies have not even applied for the permit yet, but the EPA is threatening to veto the permit because of an environmental analysis of a theoretical mine that would not come close to meeting state and federal standards for mining activities.
- Threatening hydraulic fracturing. The shale gas production as a result of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has dramatically lowered natural gas prices, saving consumers money through lower energy bills but also lower prices for goods and services. In fact, the Yale Graduates Energy Study Group calculated that in 2010 alone, the consumer surplus (the consumer savings or gain from reductions in price) from shale gas production was worth over $100 billion. The abundance of natural gas makes the U.S. an attractive place to do business, especially for energy-intensive industries. Used in over 1 million wells in the U.S. for more than 60 years, fracking has been successfully used to retrieve more than 7 billion barrels of oil and over 600 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Just 1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas is enough to heat 15 million homes for one year. Despite the length of time that hydraulic fracturing has been used, and despite the fact that the states have effectively regulated fracking, the Administration is proposing regulations that would be both unnecessary and duplicative and drive away opportunities for the safe development of affordable, reliable energy. In 2010, unconventional gas supported 1 million jobs in the U.S. and that figure is set to increase to 1.5 million by 2015, with an estimated $3.2 trillion in investments in unconventional gas over the next 25 years.
- Shutting down Yucca Mountain. The Obama Administration says it wants to pursue nuclear power, but its rhetoric does not match its nuclear policy. Its decision to abandon the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project without any technical or scientific data is a case in point. With nearly $15 billion spent on the project, the data indicates that Yucca would be a safe place to store America’s used nuclear fuel. Yet the Obama Administration decided to terminate the program without having anything to replace it. Absent any nuclear waste disposal options, the U.S. simply will not significantly expand nuclear energy. In fact, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has suspended its reactor licensing activities as a result of this failed policy.
- Attacking on consumer choice. The federal government finalized new automobile efficiency rules today for cars and light trucks for model years 2017–2025. The rules require an average fuel economy of 54.5 miles per gallon (mpg) in 2025. The government acknowledges that increased fuel efficiency standards will increase the upfront cost of a vehicle. Although the government also estimates that higher prices will be more than offset by gasoline savings, generally these cost savings assume that the buyer keeps the vehicle for its entire lifespan, which usually doesn’t happen. Further, consumers tend to drive new, fuel-efficient vehicles more, which reduces the estimated price, oil, and emissions savings. Higher prices reduce demand and force people to hold onto their older vehicles longer. Reduced demand means fewer cars produced, which means automakers have to shed jobs. Although not directly applicable to the Administration’s new rule, the Michigan-based consulting firm Defour Group projected that a 56 mpg standard would destroy 220,000 jobs. At the heart of the issue is consumer choice. Consumers have plenty of vehicles to choose from, including more than 160 different models today that get better than 30 mpg. While some may argue that the increased efficiency came as a result of mandated fuel efficiency standards that have been around since the 1970s, fuel efficiency has always been a top priority for consumers—whether they are purchasing compact cars, light-duty trucks, or heavy-duty trucks. The federal government shouldn’t be restricting that choice and determining what producers make and what consumers buy.