JunkScience.com greets Huntsman, RINOs at dinner

The RINO group Republicans for Environmental Protection held its second annual dinner last night, featuring “Republican” presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. You won’t want miss JunkScience.com’s pre-dinner welcome wagon… Continue reading JunkScience.com greets Huntsman, RINOs at dinner

Study: Taxpayers subsidize rich enviro groups to sue feds

A new study in the Journal of Forestry reports that the U.S. Forest Service paid $6.1 million in attorney’s fees to enviro groups that sued it between 1999 to 2005. During the same period, the enviro group recipients had $116 million in revenues. The study concludes that “Frequent [Equal Access to Justice Act] claimants often possess considerable financial resources calling into question how the purposes of the law have evolved in the last 20 years.”

Republicans green with Democrat envy

By Steve Milloy
September 27, 2010, Washington Times

Just who are the Republicans against environmental protection? That’s the intriguing question posed by the activist group that calls itself Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP).

At first glance, REP violates in spades former California state Republican Party Chairman Gaylord Parkinson’s Eleventh Commandment, later adopted by Ronald Reagan: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” REP implicitly and sanctimoniously defames all Republicans – or at least the vast majority who haven’t signed on to its dubious agenda.

REP formed in 1995 when a network of anti-development, nominally Republican activists gelled to fight the new Republican-controlled Congress’ effort at regulatory reform, including the oft-abused Endangered Species Act (ESA).

So as Contract With America Republicans tried to get a meaningful grip on the alphabet soup of laws and regulations empowering federal agencies to be impervious to sound science, cost-benefit-analysis and even common sense, REP was helping Clinton administration EPA chief Carol M. Browner portray the newly empowered congressional Republicans as pillagers of the Earth and threats to the public health.

In that landmark battle of the 104th Congress, REP actions were indistinguishable from those of any radical environmental group. The consequences can be seen today in the greens’ use of the ESA-protected snail darter to block much-needed water from farmers in California’s Central Valley.

Fast-forward to the current 111th Congress, and the REP is again working against the interests of Republicans and America.

REP supported the Waxman-Markey “cap-and-trade” bill, which squeaked by in the House, 219-212. Eight REP-applauded Republicans helped Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pass the bill, including REP honorary board members Reps. Michael N. Castle of Delaware and Mark Steven Kirk of Illinois. And what did REP say about Republicans who opposed Waxman-Markey?

Reps. Joe Barton of Texas, John Shimkus of Illinois and Fred Upton of Michigan were given “environmental harm demerits” for their supposed “failure to engage constructively in the committee debate about climate legislation.” No word from REP on the “constructiveness” of Mrs. Pelosi inserting a 300-page amendment in the bill at 3 a.m. the day of the final vote.

REP slammed Reps. Mike Pence of Indiana, Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and John A. Boehner of Ohio “for their efforts to poison and polarize the debate on energy and climate legislation.” REP doesn’t just speak ill of fellow Republicans – it demonizes them.

On the Senate side, REP slammed South Carolina’s Jim DeMint for the audacity of trying to bar the Department of the Interior from reducing water allocations to the aforementioned California farmers. Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski was hit for blocking efforts to regulate carbon dioxide because of polar bears. Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn got a demerit for opposing a 2009 Obama administration land grab.

Though Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine earned “environmental leadership credits” for supporting carbon caps, one can only imagine the insults they will get from REP because Mr. Graham single-handedly torpedoed the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman cap-and-trade bill by withdrawing his co-sponsorship, and Mrs. Collins voted to block EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases. REP honorary board member Sen. John McCain may very well be defrocked for vocally opposing efforts to ram through cap-and-trade.

So it appears that any Republican who dares to oppose the radical environmentalist agenda of total government control over energy use and property is a Republican Against the Environment.

Though REP members probably aren’t the same sort of hard-core Marxist-socialists who make up the radical environmental movement, they appear at the very least to be severely misguided highbrows (honorary board member Theodore Roosevelt IV comes to mind) who think the government ought to protect the natural world from the plundering plebeians – and no taxpayer/consumer expense is too great to bear and no individual freedom or constitutional principle is too sacred to sacrifice in that cause.

Giving REP the benefit of the doubt about Marxist-socialism, perhaps it would consider re-forming as Democrats for Freedom and Capitalism. That would solve several very obvious problemsimmediately, including this one: Because environmental protection is essentially a luxury affordable only by wealthy nations, as the Obamacrats impoverish America with high taxes, outlandish spending and more economy-killing regulations, they also will wind up, ironically, hurting the very environment about which they claim to care so much.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery, 2009).

The First Green President

By Steven Milloy
November 06, 2008, FoxNews.com

President-elect Barack Obama could be the nation’s first green president — whether he likes it or not. The Greens’ early investment in Obama’s political soul has matured, and they’re already angling for — and even demanding — payback.

Though the financial crunch should place economy-harming global warming legislation on the back burner, the Natural Resources Defense Council is pushing for it within the first 100 days of the new Congress, supposedly as a means of easing the credit crisis and financing renewable energy projects, according to a report in the November 3 issue of Carbon Control News.

Under the NRDC proposal, credits covering as many as six billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions would be issued in the program’s first year. The credits would be guaranteed a minimum value of $15 per ton by Obama’s Treasury Department, magically converting all that hot air into a $90 billion asset. The guarantee would allow the credits to be used as collateral for loans to green energy projects.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a key Obama supporter and rumored Secretary of Energy candidate, lobbied on behalf of the green energy industry the morning after the election. Responding to a question from a CNBC interviewer about the merits of “undivided government,” Rendell said, “[Undivided government] is going to allow us to act quickly. We need… to send a message to the renewable energy economy, to the [20 to 25] companies in Pennsylvania and… in New Jersey who are hanging in the balance and, if that tax credit is not renewed or made permanent, they’re done in the next three to four months. This government is going to be able to move in the first weeks of the new Congress.”

Then there’s wannabe green-energy billionaire and Obama supporter Al Gore. Not only did Gore’s climate campaign group place full-page ads in national newspapers on Nov. 5 asking “NOW WHAT?,” in a same-day Wall Street Journal op-ed, Gore argued for carbon-free electricity within 10 years and electrification of the automobile fleet. Both are areas in which Gore has significant financial interests through his UK-based investment firm, Generation Investment Management, and his U.S.-based venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins.

The Greens are more to Obama than just one of many constituencies. He credits the early endorsement of his candidacy by the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters (LCV) in February 2004 for his rise from the Illinois State Senate to the U.S. Senate. “I had no money, had no organization, it was unlikely that the Democrats would nominate a skinny guy from the Southside with a funny name like Barack Obama,” he told the National Journal’s CongressDaily publication.

Momentum began to shift his way “when we got the support of the League of Conservation Voters,” he said. “Not only did they provide us financial support, not only was [LCV head] Deb Callahan’s gorgeous face on television saying I was a pretty good guy — and that sold some tickets right there — more importantly the League, along with the Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, signaled to those who are considered swing voters in the state of Illinois, Republicans and independents who may sometimes veer toward that side of the aisle.” Obama was the first non-incumbent member of Congress to be included on the LCV’s list of “environmental champions.”

The LCV said it made an early decision to invest heavily in Obama’s race, “largely because of his support for environmental issues during his tenure in the state Senate.”

“Early on, we recognized Barack’s leadership on these issues, and made a substantial investment in helping him win the Democratic primary,” Callahan said. Not surprisingly both the LCV and Sierra Club endorsed Obama in 2008. The Obama web site emphasized that “The League of Conservation Voters has given Barack Obama the highest lifetime rating of anyone currently running for president.”

When a reporter asked Sierra Club head Carl Pope whether expectations for Obama have been set too high, Pope responded: “We are not electing the archbishop of Canterbury or a saint. We’re electing an American politician. Is he susceptible to pressure? He damn well should be.…We’re not going to go away when he’s elected. We and other forces that are supporting him are going to stay organized. And as he told the environmental community when he met with us, we’re going to have to keep his feet to the fire.”

It’s little wonder, then, that the Sierra Club program director for global warming told the media after this week’s election that a federal renewable energy mandate — that is, compulsory use of expensive and unreliable, but Green-supported, wind and solar power — “is almost a certainty.”

Obama has selected (or perhaps had thrust upon him) former Gore staffer and Clinton administration EPA head Carol Browner to advise on the environmental aspects of the transition. Browner was perhaps the most ruthlessly green EPA administrator ever. In 1997, she issued the most expensive EPA air pollution regulations ever — even over the objections of Gore. Now that’s green.

Finally, Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Hollywood) is moving to oust closet global warming skeptic Rep. John Dingell (D-General Motors) from the chairmanship of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, so that Waxman can play a lead role in climate and other green legislation.

Exit polling indicates that Obama triumphed over John McCain because of the economic crisis. Though he wasn’t elected to be the first green president, the Greens are set to call in their chits and, if necessary, to force that mantle on him.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and manages the Free Enterprise Action Fund. He is a junk science expert and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

IgNobels for Obama

By Steven Milloy
October 30, 2008, FoxNews.com

Seventy-six American Nobel laureates in science endorsed Barack Obama this week. Despite their scientific successes, their political analysis just doesn’t make the grade.

Featuring signatories such as James Watson — the co-discoverer of the structure of DNA who shocked the world in 2007 with his assertion that blacks were not as intelligent as whites — the Nobelists praised Obama in an Oct. 28 letter as a “visionary leader who can ensure the future of our traditional strengths in science and technology and who can harness those strengths to address many of our greatest problems: energy, disease, climate change, security, and economic competitiveness.”

Although the election is between Obama and John McCain, the letter first criticized President Bush for “stagnant or declining federal support” of science and politicizing the scientific advisory process.

But in 2007, Bush asked Congress to double the funding for AIDS programs from $3 billion per year to $6 billion per year. During the Bush administration, the budget for the National Institutes of Health increased by 38 percent from $17.1 billion to $23.7 billion. Bush increased funding for climate change research by 15 percent from $1.75 billion to $2.02 billion. The National Science Foundation budget went from $4.4 billion in 2001 to $6.0 billion budget in 2008. The budget for the National Institute of Standards and Technology increased by 34 percent from 2002 to 2008 ($692 million to $931).

In August 2007, Bush even signed the so-called “America Competes Act,” a law that would double federal funding for basic science research by 2016. Ironically, it is the Democratic-controlled Congress that so far has failed to appropriate funds to implement the law.

Although the Obama Web site says,“Barack Obama and Joe Biden support doubling federal funding for basic research over ten years…,” there’s no indication they’ve made any progress in convincing their fellow congressional Democrats on this point.

While the Nobelists claim that “Senator Obama understands that Presidential leadership and federal investment in science and technology are crucial elements in successful governance of the world’s leading country,” they overlook the fact that McCain also supported the America Competes Act and, on his web site, says he “will fully fund” the law.

The Nobelists’ assertion about the Bush administration politicizing science is also a canard that boils down to their political differences with Bush on subjects like embryonic stem cell research and global warming.

The Nobelists wrote that, “We have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse climate change, strengthen our security and improve our economy.” But what does any of this really mean?

Shouldn’t the 48 signatories who won their Nobels for chemistry and physics return their prizes for signing a letter that calls for climate change to be “reversed”? Just how would that be physically accomplished? And, then, reverse the climate to what point? What it was in, say, 1750, 1850 or 1950? Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that they actually did reverse climate change; how would they keep climate from changing the moment after they got it where they wanted it?

On the other hand, there’s not a single climate expert among the letter’s signatories — so maybe they really didn’t understand what they were signing.

The “treat disease” comment in the letter is undoubtedly aimed at the embryonic stem cell research controversy. But despite limitations in the U.S., the rest of the world was free to conduct such research. Has there been any progress? There’s been nothing to speak of except a lot of fraud — remember South Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk?

Is Obama really a science “visionary” as compared to McCain? As liberal-leaning Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein wrote on Oct.16, “Both presidential candidates… offer policies farther from the president than they are from each other. They advocate mandatory caps on the main global warming gas and favor federal funding for embryonic stem cell research — positions opposite the Bush Administration.”

A quick review of the political contributions of the 76 Nobelists revealed that at least 28 of them have contributed to Democratic politicians, including Barack Obama. There seems to be no recent record of any of the signatories contributing to any Republicans.

Contrary to the Nobelists positioning themselves as independent geniuses looking out for the nation’s best interests, the group appears to be nothing more than a collection of liberal academics who rely on their elite status rather than well-reasoned argument to promote a political candidate.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and manages the Free Enterprise Action Fund. He is a junk science expert and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Greens Aim to Take Us Forward to the Past

By Steven Milloy
October 23, 2008, FoxNews.com

If you need more evidence that the Greens intend to destroy our standard of living, you need not look further than the Oct. 18 issue of New Scientist magazine — the cover of which reads, “The Folly of Growth: How to stop the economy killing the planet.”

The issue features eight articles that New Scientist editors believe justify their editorial entitled, “Why economic growth is killing the planet and what we can do about it.” Presented below the editorial is an ominously drawn graph purporting to show how global temperatures, population, carbon dioxide concentrations, GDP and loss of tropical rainforest and woodland have dramatically spiked upward since 1750, and how species extinctions, water use, motor vehicle use, paper consumption, fisheries exploitation, ozone depletion and foreign investment spiked during the 20th century.

The editorial concludes that “the science tells us that if we are serious about saving the Earth,” economic growth must be limited.

In the first essay, University of Surrey (UK) sustainable development professor Tim Jackson doubts renewable energy technologies will work without reduced consumption. Rather than buying an energy efficient TV, he says, you ought to consider not buying a TV at all.

Next, prominent Canadian Green David Suzuki says that nothing is more important than the environment and that we need to lower our standard of living. You need to judge your standard of living by “quality of life, your relationships with other people and your community,” Suzuki says. Stores filled with food, record longevity and wealth are an “illusion,” he asserts, because we’re using up our children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance.

University of Maryland ecological economist Herman Daly claims that we’ve passed the point where economic growth provides benefits and that we need to “transform our economy from a forward-moving aeroplane to a hovering helicopter,” but that such a “steady-state” economy “doesn’t have to mean freezing in the dark under a communist tyranny.” In trying to explain his latter comment, he says that “Most of the changes could be applied gradually, in mid-air,” by which he apparently means replacing the income tax with a tax on goods to “encourage people to use them sparingly.” Although he acknowledges that this regressive policy would hurt the poor, he says taxes could be used to provide welfare.

James Gustave Speth — Yale University dean, co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council and former adviser to President Jimmy Carter — says that green values stand no chance against market capitalism. Economic growth “creates barriers to dealing with real problems,” he says. While we need to spend more money on social services and environmental protection, he is “not advocating state socialism,” he claims, but rather a “non-socialist alternative to today’s capitalism,” whatever that means.

Andrew Simms of London’s New Economics Foundation describes as “disingenuous” the argument that global economic growth is needed to eradicate poverty. He says that “we have to overcome knee-jerk rejection of the ‘R’ word — redistribution” and that we need a “Green New Deal” that controls capital and raises taxes to create environmental jobs.

Susan George of the Amsterdam-based Transnational Institute advocates developing a World War II-type mentality toward life including rationing, “victory” or home gardens and the government run by wealthy elites who would work for a salary of $1 per year.

London Metropolitan University “environmental philosopher” Kate Soper says that the tourist industry, food service industry, dating services and gyms are evidence that we need to shift to a less work-intensive economy. “Of course, we would have to “sacrifice some conveniences and pleasures: creature comforts such as regular steaks, hot tubs, luxury cosmetics and easy foreign travel,” she says, but “human ingenuity will surely contrive a range of more eco-friendly excitements.”

What’s missing from the New Scientist compilation of Green-think, of course, are essays from Thomas Malthus, Karl Marx and, perhaps, Al Gore. Malthus, a prominent 19th century economist, famously predicted that a geometrically expanding human population would outpace the arithmetically expanding food supply. Unable to foresee the improvements in agricultural technology, he turned out to be entirely wrong.

Karl Marx could have chimed in with his communist slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” — where the government gets to determine what your needs are. As implemented in the Soviet Union and Communist China, Marxism resulted in the starvation and murder of perhaps more than 100 million people and the political and social repression of the survivors.

Al Gore could have contributed an essay reassuring Green elites that none of this wealth redistribution and standard of living contraction would affect those who, like him, can already afford home indoor heated pools or those who can could afford to spend $65,000 and three weeks jetting around the world with the World Wildlife Fund.

The New Scientist essays reveal how the Greens aim to eviscerate life as we know it. They want to take us from 200 years of “more-bigger-better” to a future of “less-smaller-worse.” Won’t happen, you say?

With Barack Obama leading in the polls, one of his advisers recently issued an ultimatum to Congress regulate carbon dioxide emissions in 18 months, or an Obama EPA will do it unilaterally. And then there’s Obama’s famous colloquy with “Joe the Plumber,” where he said he was for redistributing the wealth. And let’s not forget Obama’s comment in May that “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times…”

Obama has said he’s for economic growth, yet he’s willing to force-feed us Green policies that would crush it. And as it turns out, that’s what the Greens are really after in the first place.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com, manages the Free Enterprise Action Fund. He is a junk science expert, and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Greens Exploit Wall Street Bailout

By Steven Milloy
October 02, 2008, FoxNews.com

Will the Wall Street bailout be the beginning of the New (Green) Deal?

Environmental activists are trying to figure out ways to advance their global-warming-regulation agenda by exploiting the current financial crisis, including the Wall Street bailout bill to be voted on by the House.

The good news for them is that they may not need to succeed, since someone with a very Green agenda will be in charge of implementing the bill should it become law.

As reported by Carbon Control News (Sep. 24), “Environmentalists and some Democrats are seizing upon the financial sector crisis to call for major federal investments in energy efficiency and improvements in the electricity grid as a way to address climate change and spur a lagging economy.”

Michael Moynihan, former Clinton administration economic adviser and director of the Green Project for the New Democrat Network, has called for a national infrastructure bank to fund clean energy projects.

Following up on this idea, two house Democrats introduced a bill last week to establish a “Clean Energy Investment Bank.”

Although Moynihan claims this would be an improvement over the current earmark system, the bank seems to be little more than a permanent Green earmark.

The activist group Friends of the Earth (FoE) is lobbying for the Treasury Department to conduct global-warming impact reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) — the federal law requiring federal agencies to conduct environmental-impact studies of their actions.

Through its citizen-lawsuit provisions, the Greens often use NEPA to block energy, highway and logging projects that involve federal agencies and lands.

FoE claims that as the Treasury Department becomes a significant shareholder in financial institutions that it bails out, it would be obligated to carry out environmental impact studies since, to some extent, the activities of those financial institutions would also be activities of the Treasury Department.

“Subjecting entities that receive financial backing from taxpayers to NEPA could provide a hook for environmentalists to force greater scrutiny of actions by those entities that increase greenhouse gas emissions, including the underwriting of fossil fuel projects,” reported Carbon Control News (Sep. 26)

Anti-nuclear Greens are trying to use the recent bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers to block the construction of the first nuclear reactor built in the U.S. in 30 years.

This column previously reported on how the Greens are trying to stop Maryland from permitting the construction of a third reactor at Constellation Energy’s Calvert Cliffs power plant by arguing that emission-less nuclear power actually worsens global warming.

Lehman’s bankruptcy raised concerns about the financial health of Constellation, leading to a buy-out offer from the Warren Buffet-led Mid-American Energy Holdings Company.

The Greens called for the project to be halted “in light of the nation’s worsening financial crisis and serious concerns about the stability of the company building the project,” according to Carbon Control News (Sep. 26).

Monday’s rejection of the Wall Street bailout bill by the House has opened the door for the alternative-energy industry to again try to renew the tax credits about to expire for wind power projects such as the Pickens Plan.

The Senate bill passed Wednesday night extends the much-lobbied-for tax credit.

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called on Congress to “Green the Bailout” (Sep. 28).

Friedman quoted a green-collar jobs proponent who said, “You can’t base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart biofuels and a massive program to weatherize every building and home in America.”

Finally, even if none of these provisions make it into the bailout bill, the Greens will likely be able to count on Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to implement their agenda for them.

The former head of Goldman Sachs — who simultaneously headed up the Nature Conservancy and recently told Fortune magazine that action on global warming is crucial to the U.S. — is no stranger to using “other people’s money” to implement the Green agenda on land secured by distressed debt.

Paulson could use bailout money to purchase debt securities that are secured by property either coveted by Greens or targeted for energy or natural resource development projects that the Greens oppose.

Once the U.S. Government owns the securities (and, thereby, the property) an omnipotent Paulson could essentially take the land out of circulation by “preserving” it as public land.

He could even claim — through the economic device of “contingent valuation” — that the acquired land has more value as pristine public land than as, say, an energy or logging project.

Contingent valuation uses opinion surveys to value intangible assets for which there is no market, such as scenic views and crystal-clear air.

Respondents are asked hypothetical questions like, “How much would you pay to preserve a seashore view from oil drilling?” or “How much is it worth to keep a forest pristine and un-logged?”

Though the whole process is pretend — the respondents know they won’t actually spend any of their own money for this preservation — the government uses the method to establish monetary values of preserved lands.

It doesn’t take too much imagination to see how contingent valuation could be used to gin up phony bailout profits through land preservation.

Paulson has already said that he would bequeath the bulk of his fortune — in the neighborhood of $500 to $800 million — to Green causes.

Imagine what he would be willing to do with your money.

Steven Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and DemandDebate.com. He is a junk science expert, and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.