Justin Sykes

Clinton Vows to Put Coal Miners “Out of Business”

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Friday, April 15th, 2016, 11:46 AM PERMALINK


At a recent Town Hall in Ohio, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton proudly stated that she was the only candidate with a policy to bring renewable energy “into coal country, because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

Such a statement not only evidences Clinton’s reckless indifference to the plight of thousands of hard-working Americans, but more importantly highlights the fact that Clinton is all to willing to capitalize on far left, populist talking points at the expense of low-and-middle income families. 

Tragically, Clinton’s pledge to put “a lot of coal miners…out of business” is already coming to fruition with her support for President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, or more commonly referred the “Carbon Rule.” Hillary’s support for the Carbon Rule shows that a Clinton Whitehouse would simply be a continuation of Obama’s war on affordable energy and the American economy.

Under Obama’s Carbon Rule, a projected 45,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired electric generating capacity will be forced to retire. To put that in perspective, 45,000 MW is more than the entire electricity supply of New England. So when Clinton boast of putting coal miners out of business, her support for the Carbon Rule is already doing so, as thousands of coal country jobs are already being destroyed.

Yet the impact of Clinton’s support for the Carbon Rule, and her pledge to further destroy the already fledgling coal industry once in office, doesn’t just end with coal jobs. As more and more electricity generation is forced to shift away from affordable and reliable sources, the cost of that shift is passed onto consumers in the form of higher rates. 

For instance, the Carbon Rule is projected to cause a 12 to 17 percent average increase in electricity prices. An estimated 44 states will see double-digit rate increases, with 17 states facing price increases of over 20 percent. While Clinton claims that her support for the Carbon Rule and related policy stems from her desire to protect the nation’s most vulnerable, the exact opposite is true.

Hillary’s support for, and future plans to increase economically disastrous energy policy, will only reduce the disposable income of low-to-middle income families as more and more of their budget goes towards increased energy costs. Taken together, increased energy costs and thousands of layoffs under Clinton would be an economic disaster.

Make no mistake, when Hillary Clinton claims that her policies will destroy good paying jobs for thousands of hard-working Americans, she means it. 

 

Photo credit: Marc Nozell

Top Comments

Cancel_NPR

Those " shovel-ready " jobs are part of why YOU NOW OWE OVER $ 150,000 because of the 19.2 Trillion, which was @ 6.9 when Bush left office...
THIS IS NOT $ 150,000 FOR YOUR FAMILY, FOLKS...
THIS IS $ 150,000 FOR YOU, YOUR WIFE, YOUR 17 YEAR OLD SON, YOUR 1 DAY OLD SON, YOUR 5 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, YOUR GRANDFATHER, YOUR GRAND MOTHER, YOUR SISTER, YOUR BROTHER, YOUR GREAT-GRAND MOTHER, AND EVER HUMAN BEING IN THE UNITED STATES, REGARDLESS OF HIS / HER / IT'S AGE...

THANX OBAMA, YOU STUPID MOTHER FCKU-ER.


ATR Urges Opposition to Renewables Extension in FAA Reauthorization

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Wednesday, April 6th, 2016, 10:10 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) urges lawmakers to oppose efforts by some in the Senate to try and attach extensions for expiring renewable energy provisions to legislation that would reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Efforts to extend the expiring renewable provisions are not germane to FAA reauthorization, and would also continue special interests handouts that distort the market and consistently fail to deliver the job and economic growth their proponents promise.

In December of 2016 Congress considered the issue of expiring tax provisions, eventually signing into law a $680 billion package that allowed some provisions to be made permanent and allowed over two dozen to expire. Congress also extended special tax treatment to renewable energy in the omnibus appropriation legislation that accompanied the tax extender package, which included extensions for the wind production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC). 

Given the special interest handouts renewables received last December, which will cost upwards of $20 billion over the next decade, the current push for further extensions is wholly unjustified. The $1.4 billion in expiring tax provisions now under consideration, which include those for wind power, geothermal heat pumps, fuel cell facilities, and combined heat power (CHP) properties, were left out of the December discussions and should not be extended as part of the FAA reauthorization.

Despite the arguments from proponents of such renewable energy handouts, such preferential treatment repeatedly fails to produce neither sustainable job creation nor real economic growth. The role of government should not be to use loans, subsidies, and mandates to prop up politically connected industries at the expense of the free-market and taxpayers.

Such market distorting policies come at the expense of American consumers and taxpayers who are left with higher energy costs, while also being deprived of affordable and reliable energy sources. Government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers in the marketplace, which is why Americans for Tax Reform opposes the ongoing efforts to attach renewable extenders to FAA reauthorization, and encourages lawmakers in Congress to do the same. 


Photo credit: Elliott P.

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Hillary Was for Fracking Before She Was Against It

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Monday, March 7th, 2016, 4:56 PM PERMALINK


During the Sunday, March 6th Democratic debate in Michigan, Hillary Clinton led a verbal assault on the energy extraction method known as “hydraulic fracturing.” In doing so Clinton was not only lying through her teeth in criticizing an extraction method she was all too happy to promote while Secretary of State, but was also ignoring the economic benefits of “fracking,” of which she knows all too well.

When asked at the debate about fracking, Clinton proceeded to outline a slew of far-flung and ideological conditions under which she would oppose the oil and gas extraction method. Clinton closed with a statement so ominous it should give voters in energy rich states extreme cause for concern:

“By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.” 

The irony of Clinton’s anti-fracking double-speak is suffocating. Not only has Hillary Clinton urged countries around the world to expand fracking operations during her time as Secretary of State, but has openly praised the benefits of fracking.

Speaking at a 2010 meeting of foreign ministers in Washington, DC, Clinton touted America’s efforts to increase fracking abroad and the known benefits of doing so, stating:

“I know that in some places [it] is controversial,” she said, “but natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today, and a number of countries in the Americas may have shale gas resources. If developed, shale gas could make an important contribution to our region’s energy supply, just as it does now for the United States.”

In 2014 Clinton also stated with regard to fracking that “expanding production is creating tens of thousands of new jobs,” and “lower costs are helping give the United Stated a big competitive advantage.” While Hillary may no longer admit this about fracking, her past statements of support are completely accurate.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), fracking has led to reductions in imported energy, down from 60 percent of what the U.S. used in 2004 to 38 percent in 2013. For 2012 alone, this led to a $284 billion increase in U.S. GDP, 2.1 million jobs created, and increased the income of every American household by roughly $1,200.  

Hillary Clinton’s criticism of fracking at the recent Democratic debate is a blatant attempt by her campaign to gain power by appealing to the misinformed prejudices and emotions of the extreme left.

Make no mistake: Hillary Clinton’s new found critique of fracking has nothing to do with actual concerns over the practice itself, as evidenced by her time as Secretary of State. Instead, Hillary’s opposition is simply a thinly veiled, narcissistic effort to combat the momentum of her anti-fracking, socialist primary opponent, nothing more, nothing less.  

 

Photo credit: edition88

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ATR Supports Rep. Johnson's Legislation (H.R. 4557) to Block EPA Regulatory Interference

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Monday, February 29th, 2016, 12:14 PM PERMALINK


This week the U.S. House of Representative is expected to consider legislation to ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not allowed to pre-emptively subject another American industry to costly and burdensome regulations until legal challenges have been resolved. ATR supports this legislation and urges all members to vote YES on the bill.

H.R. 4557, the “Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns (BRICK) Act of 2016,” sponsored by Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) will protect the U.S. brick industry from being forced to comply with the Brick Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) air quality issued by the EPA, until judicial challenges to the rule are resolved. 

The brick industry was previously damaged by such regulations when the EPA enacted similar rules under the Brick MACT in 2003. While the 2003 rule was subsequently thrown out in court, the industry had already wasted millions in compliance costs and investments. 

H.R. 4557 would prevent such a scenario from again impacting the industry, by setting a compliance date for the final Brick MACT rule until after judicial challenges are completed and after any subsequent final rule is issued.

The common sense protections afforded under H.R. 4557 would protect this vital American industry from forced and costly compliance with a rule that may later be thrown out. ATR urges a Yes vote on the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act.   

Photo credit: Christina Castro

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ATR Supports The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Friday, February 12th, 2016, 9:13 AM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform today expressed support for H.R. 2017, “The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act”, being offered by Rep. McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.). H.R. 2017 would stand in stark contrast to the White House menu-labeling law, the language of which is overly broad, and increases the regulatory burden and compliance costs through enhanced bureaucratic red tape. 

The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to revise the nutritional information that restaurants and retail food establishments must disclose. Doing so would protect restaurants and related businesses of all sizes from the ever-growing regulatory burden created by the President and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

In 2015 the FDA released expansive new regulations in a one-size-fits all regulatory approach that will have a disproportionate impact on smaller, and medium sized businesses. Under the new regulations, the FDA created a broad and expansive new definition of “menu” that requires any food industry related materials that contain a photo of an item and a phone number to be considered a menu.

The compliance costs inherent in this expanded definition will be too much for smaller and medium size restaurants and related businesses to absorb. These increased costs have led some larger restaurants and chains to advocate in support of the FDA rules, as the increased compliance burden will likely offer a competitive advantage. 

Americans for Tax Reform believes Congress should work towards increased and fair competition in the market place, and urges lawmakers to support H.R. 2017. Doing so will ensure that the FDA and Obama Administration’s costly policies do not create a crony capitalistic regime that disadvantages small, medium, and growing businesses in the industry.    

 

Photo credit: Al Hikes AZ

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Logic Prevails, Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Carbon Rule

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Wednesday, February 10th, 2016, 8:40 AM PERMALINK


The Supreme Court dealt a major blow this week to President Obama’s climate legacy and his aggressive regulatory regime. The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled in favor of staying the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (Carbon Rule), meaning the rule cannot take effect while legal challenges are ongoing.

The stay by SCOTUS prevents the EPA from enforcing the carbon rule until lower courts decide on challenges brought by a number of states and industry groups that have alleged President Obama and the EPA exceeded their authority. The ruling confirms what many opponents of the President’s carbon rule already new: that the rule exemplified federal overreach; would be catastrophic for states and the economy; and was premised on backwards and illogical legal grounds. 

As Harvard Law Professor and Obama mentor Laurence Tribe has stated, the rule “lacks legal basis” and “is a remarkable example of executive overreach and an administrative agency’s assertion of power beyond its statutory authority.” The court obviously realized just how disastrous this rule would be for the country, while at the same time having little to no impact on the environment. 

The President’s Carbon rule represents the worst of federal overreach, and would have sent electricity rates soaring by double digits in over 40 states. The rule was also projected to kill thousands of jobs, potentially pushing integral industries to look for lower energy prices, potentially overseas.

The ruling by SCOTUS blocking the carbon rule prevents an economically disastrous outcome, much like what was seen with the recent mercury rule. In Michigan v. EPA, the Supreme Court ruled that the EPA’s Mercury regulation was legally unsound. However roughly 40 gigawatts of generating capacity had been prematurely shut down in response to the rule despite the fact the legal challenges had not yet been resolved.

To begin implementing the new carbon rule before legal resolution would have repeated the mistakes of the past, destroyed thousands of jobs, and cost millions in wasted taxpayer dollars. The ruling by the Supreme Court this week is a victory not just for the states and American economy, but also a victory for basic common sense and logic. 

 

Photo credit: Jeff Kubina

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SEC Taking Heat on...Climate Change?

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016, 9:54 AM PERMALINK


Recently the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has come under fire for it’s handling of climate change disclosures with regard to SEC filings. At first blush one would assume very limited, if any, justification for considering the science of climate change in SEC filings…and this assumption would be logical.

So why is the SEC being pressured to require disclosures on climate science in filings by companies, that for the most, are not nor have been engaged in the field of climate science? The issue arose in 2010, when the SEC proposed “interpretive guidance” on existing disclosure requirements with regard to climate science. To be clear, the SEC did not issue a disclosure rule, simply “guidance” most likely the result of outside influence from extreme idealist and the government.

Given that most companies filing SEC disclosures are not climate scientist, and are not likely engaged in climate science research, the “guidance” went somewhat unheeded. In fact, the SEC has seemed to agree for the most part with reluctance to follow up on the issue.

In the two years following the release of the interpretive guidance, the SEC issued over 40 comment letters to companies addressing climate change disclosure. Yet that number dropped significantly with only three letters issue in 2012 and zero issued in 2013. 

The most logical reason being that the SEC came to realize that such disclosures find little company in basic logic, and the agency’s time is better spent on its core mission, instead of serving the ideological musings of the extreme left. Just the same these outside pressures have reared their misguided head again, recently pushing an agency charged with holding expertise on securities laws to expand to climate science.

The SEC should take comfort in the fact that such a push for climate science based disclosures in securities filings sounds, as far outside the scope of SEC functions to most as it does the agency itself. One can only hope the SEC stands strong, sending a message to other federal agencies, that serving core policy goals, and not outside ideologies is the goal. 

 

Photo credit: John M

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ATR Urges Opposition to King-Reid Net-Metering Amendment

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Monday, February 1st, 2016, 4:38 PM PERMALINK


This week Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plan to offer an amendment to the “Energy Policy and Modernization Act” that would expand federal control over the states and infringe upon the power of state authorities to make decisions regarding energy policy. Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) urges opposition to this amendment to protect state sovereignty and halt further expansion of the federal government’s power. 

The King-Reid amendment would establish stringent federal standards dictating how each state may operate their net metering programs. Net metering policies vary by state, but in general electric utilities are required to purchase excess electricity generated by customers with rooftop solar installations at the full retail rate as opposed to wholesale. As result, solar customers avoid paying for many of the fixed costs of the grid, and thus these fixed costs are shifted onto non-solar customers.  

The new federal standards imposed by the King-Reid amendment, such as requiring extensive evidentiary hearings, would thus act as a new legislative barrier to states seeking to address the cost-shifting dilemma. 

This amendment would effectively take such decision making ability away from the states and give it to the federal government. Furthermore, the King-Reid amendment would only work to further the practice of forcing non-solar customers to subsidize net-metered customers.

States, rural electric cooperatives, and certain localities are undoubtedly in a much better position than the federal government to make decisions about state energy policy. The states are already reeling from a slew of regulations put forth by President Obama, such as the Clean Power Plan, that empower federal regulators at the expense of state sovereignty.

ATR urges lawmakers this week to oppose the King-Reid amendment, and instead vote to protect state sovereignty and to stop the further expansion of the federal government’s power over the states. 

 

Photo credit: Glyn Lowe

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ATR Supports Rep. Scalise's Resolution Opposing a Carbon Tax

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Friday, January 29th, 2016, 4:08 PM PERMALINK


Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist sent the following letter to Congress this week, urging support for House Concurrent Resolution 89, sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). Concurrent Resolution 89 expresses the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would be detrimental to American families and businesses and is not in the best interest of the United States. 

Below is the full text of the letter:

January 28, 2016

Dear Majority Whip Scalise

Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports your leadership in the fight against any form of a carbon tax.          

I urge all members of Congress to support and vote for your House Concurrent Resolution 89, which puts Congress on the record in opposition to a Carbon Tax. 

A carbon tax would kill jobs in the United States, reduce economic growth and set the state for future tax hikes.

A carbon tax is a VAT or Value Added Tax on training wheels.  Any carbon tax would inevitably be spread out over wider and wider parts of the economy until we had a European Value Added Tax.      

A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found a carbon tax would: have a negative effect on consumption, investment and jobs; increase the cost of coal, natural gas and petroleum products thus resulting in higher production costs and less spending on non-energy goods; and lead to lower real wage rates, lower labor productivity, and decrease workers’ incomes. 

Americans for Tax Reform encourages all members of Congress to vote for House Concurrent Resolution 89.

Thank you Congressman for your continued strong leadership in protecting Americans from a carbon tax today and forever. 

Sincerely,                                

Grover G. Norquist                                                    

President                                                                    

Americans for Tax Reform

PDF link to letter

Photo credit: Nicolas Raymond

 

 

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President Obama’s Methane Rule Threatens to Stymie U.S. Energy Growth and Innovation

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Posted by Justin Sykes on Tuesday, January 19th, 2016, 10:00 AM PERMALINK


In 2015 President Obama and his EPA cronies unveiled a plethora of new regulations that will surely send energy costs skyrocketing and stymie the ongoing renaissance in U.S. energy development. Regulations such as the Clean Power Plan, Ozone Standard, and the Waters of the U.S. Rule all pose a threat to efficient and affordable energy. On top of these costly new rules, President Obama will use the EPA in 2016 to once again impose his regulatory agenda on the American consumer and energy industry.

For 2016 the EPA is set to push new regulations to cut methane emissions once again targeting the already overregulated energy industry. According to the EPA’s own estimates, this new rule will cost $180 to $200 million in 2020, with costs possibly reaching $500 million in 2025.

To achieve its goal, the EPA is expanding its regulatory powers over a vast array of equipment not previously under its control. Under the EPA’s expanded powers, energy producers will be forced to install highly expensive equipment on new operations, the costs of which will inevitably be passed onto consumers in the form of higher energy rates.

These new rules would especially harm the boom in natural gas production the U.S. has experienced, which has created huge economic growth in the past few years. In 2012 alone the industry boosted the economy by $284 billion and supported over 2 million jobs. The new set of EPA rules threatens to stymie such momentous economic growth.

The EPA’s methane rule is quite simply a regulation for regulations sake. According to the President’s own EPA, the U.S. natural gas industry has successfully cut methane emissions by 11 percent in recent years, even as gas production has increased 44%. During that same period methane emissions from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells are down 79 percent.  

The industry has accomplished these reductions through investment and innovation in new technology. Because of such innovation, researchers estimate that less than 2% of methane is lost during natural gas production. 

However by seeking to impose new methane rules on the industry, the President and EPA will effectively deter further innovation and improvement by the energy industry. Such government overreach and intervention in the market will interrupt the drive to continue these advances by diverting attention away from innovation back towards regulatory compliance.   

The energy industry is complex and varies greatly across different operations. The industry’s efforts to reduce methane emissions, without directly regulating methane, dwarf the emission reductions EPA has estimated in their rules. The bureaucrats at the EPA simply cannot match the expertise and knowledge of industry experts.

Lawmakers should be aware that the President’s regulatory agenda, in particular the new methane rule, is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at preserving his personal legacy at the expense of the consumers and the American economy. 

 

Photo credit: Erik Kamfjord

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