So it appears the Associated Press has discovered what conservative and libertarian economic critics have been saying all along: top-down government regulation to promote "green energy" has numerous unintended consequences, including negative repercussions for the environment.
In their November 12 article, "The secret, dirty cost of Obama's green power push," AP writers Dina Cappiello and Matt Apuzzo laid out how "the ethanol era has proven far more damaging to the environment than politicians promised and much worse than the government admits today," adding (emphasis mine):
Biofuels harm the planet more than fossil fuels, and even lead to greater deforestation, according to areport put out this month by the British think tank Chatham House. The study also said that biofuels are far less cost effective than traditional fuels.
The think tank said that sticking with traditional fossil fuels might actually be better for the environment, since the use of cooking oil as an alternative fuel leads to higher imports of palm oil from Indonesia, a product often grown on deforested land.
The rogue collection of bureaucrats known as the Environmental Protection Agency continues its lawless ways. The establishment press continues to serve as enablers.
In January, a federal court vacated the EPA's regulations mandating the use of cellulosic biofuels which weren't produced at all until last year, and barely exist now. In response, the agency, directly defying the court, increased the production requirement of these fuels for 2013. In covering the story, as I noted at NewsBusters on January 31, the Associated Press's Matt Daly only wrote that "An oil industry representative said the Obama administration was thumbing its nose at a ruling last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia" -- as if the agency's action was only a matter of some eeeevil oil guy's opinion.
Yesterday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner featured a discussion about the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is anathema to the environmental left, and which President Obama cynically delayed a decision on until after the 2012 election. With the decision to approve or decline the project still looming for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry -- who technically is the point person on approving the project -- Melinda Pierce of the Sierra Club was brought on the panel to discuss the pending doom we face with climate change, and disseminate the message that we can’t drill our way to energy independence.
To Wagner’s credit she did cite a piece from, of all things, Joe Nocera of the New York Times to give an alternative view to Pierce’s. Whereas Pierce responded by equating the approval of the pipeline to setting off a “carbon bomb”:
Let's see. Last week, USA Today reported that "A federal court delivered a defeat to the biofuels industry Friday, ruling the U.S. government exceeded its authority by requiring refiners to purchase cellulosic biofuel despite the fact the next-generation fuel is not commercially available."
Specifically, the court ruled, in Hebert's words that "the Environmental Protection Agency had 'the authority to set a standard' for cleaner gasoline under the 1990 Clean Air Act, (but that) it could not 'mandate the manner of compliance or the precise formula' for the fuel."
Today, Matthew Daly at AP reported that the EPA in 2013 will "require production of 14 million gallons of so-called cellulosic biofuels made from grasses and woody material." In other words, EPA, in defiance of a federal court order will continue to mandate how these fuels will be produced. Daly, of course, didn't characterize what EPA did as direct defiance. Here are several paragraphs from Daly's whitewash:
In their third Presidential debate analysis, the Jurassic Press Media last night and thus far this morning have failed utterly in their role as fact checker and record-corrector - at least when it comes to what President Barack Obama had to say.
As but one glaring example, there were the President’s absurd assertions regarding the auto bailout and China.
At the Associated Press on Saturday, Gosia Wosniacka did something one rarely sees any more in wire service coverage, actually blaming a government policy for an industry's financial problems -- in this case, state-imposed price controls on the California dairy industry.
But price controls in the highly tarnished Golden State, while very relevant, have been around for decades. Ms. Wosniacka ignored the most recent cause of farmers' difficulties, namely the government-mandated diversion of much of the corn crop towards ethanol production. Several paragraphs from her report (also carried at CNS News) follow the jump:
The severe drought affecting the Midwest this year has caused the latest corn projections to be the lowest since 1995. With such a small corn crop, the government mandates that make some of that corn be used for ethanol make even less sense, and will raise prices even further.
The drought has been a big news story for the network morning and evening show in the past six months, earning 55 stories about facets of the drought including struggling farmers, predictions of increased food prices and coverage of wildfires. That figure did not include weather reports that also often mentioned drought.
Contaminated water, health problems, and now … earthquakes? Fracking, a way to get natural gas out of layers deep within the earth, has been blamed for it all and the liberal news media have been consistently against the method, rarely showing supporters or mentioning any upside of the process.
Hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as fracking, is a technique used to get natural gas out of the ground. It’s not new technology — the first use of hydraulic fracturing was actually in 1947 (according to a textbook on Rock Mechanics), but this process has come under fire from the left and the media in the past two years especially.
The Jurassic Press is missing much in their reporting on the $50 billion bailout of General Motors (GM). The Press is open channeling for President Barack Obama - allowing him to frame the bailout exactly as he wishes in the 2012 Presidential election.
The President is running in large part on the bailout’s $30+ billion loss, uber-failed “success.” And the Press is acting as his stenographers. An epitome of this bailout nightmare mess is the electric absurdity that is the Chevrolet Volt. The Press is at every turn covering up - rather than covering - the serial failures of President Obama’s signature vehicle.
Since the original “Dallas” debuted in 1978, times have changed. Texas has prospered but the liberal agenda against big oil stayed the same. TNT’s “Dallas” remake introduced the Ewing family feud with a twist, and the rest of the season is set for a showdown: Alternative energy against drilling for oil.
John Ross Ewing, son of the long-time “Dallas” villain J.R. Ewing (played by Larry Hagman), has already discovered a major find of oil on Southfork: the Ewing family’s ranch. He wants to drill it, but his uncle Bobby Ewing opposes drilling on the family land. Of course, he’s portrayed as the bad guy, ruthless, conniving and a “chip off the old block.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, a climate conference is taking place this weekend in Washington, D.C., where thousands of youth activists are sadly being brainwashed by the likes of Obama's former green jobs czar Van Jones and members of the International Socialists Organization.
Giving one of the keynote speeches Friday evening was Nobel laureate Al Gore who told attendees that the fight against global warming is like the Civil Rights movement of the '60s (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Wednesday's All Things Considered, NPR's Ari Shapiro acted as a stenographer for the Obama administration's energy proposals. Shapiro played four clips from the President's recent speech on the issue, and another from a sympathetic environmentalist. Even the lone clip from an oil industry representative came from someone who "supports the move to invest in biofuels and clean energy."
At the beginning of his report, the correspondent noted that "the White House described this event as a pivot away from speeches about Libya and Japan. But President Obama acknowledged that those crises make it important to talk about energy now." After playing his first clip from the chief executive, who stated that "the situation in the Middle East implicates our energy security," Shapiro stayed within the perspective set by the Democrat: "America's past is strewn with moments when a global crisis has driven up the price of gas or scared people about the risks of nuclear energy."
The promises of pie-in-the-sky liberal environmentalists that we can convert to "clean" energy sources and stimulate our economy are based on dubious environmental and economic assumptions, fantastic notions about alternative energy, and a disturbing acceptance of the tyrannies inherent in command-control economies.
It would be bad enough if President Obama and his Democratic allies were pushing budget-busting green energy solutions during an economic boom and times of a manageable national debt. But it's inconceivable that they would do so under the current dire fiscal circumstances.
"For the sake of a cleaner planet, should Americans wear dirtier clothes?"
So comically began a New York Times article on the front page of the Gray Lady's Science section Tuesday ironically titled "When Energy Efficiency Sullies the Environment" (photo courtesy Viktor Koen):
Chris Matthews on Wednesday called Republicans that are skeptical of man's role in global warming Luddites, referring to the 19th century movement in Great Britain that was opposed to changes associated with the Industrial Revolution.
Clearly missing the absurdity in his analogy, the "Hardball" host arrogantly stated (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Monday, NewsBusters was the first American media outlet to report Nobel laureate Al Gore's admission that he only supported ethanol mandates in the '90s because he thought it would help his presidential ambitions.
As it turns out, with very few exceptions, no major news divisions thought this was at all important:
If you needed any more evidence that the entire theory of manmade global warming was a scheme to redistribute wealth you got it Sunday when a leading member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change told a German news outlet, "[W]e redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy."
Such was originally published by Germany's NZZ Online Sunday, and reprinted in English by the Global Warming Policy Foundation moments ago:
The Obama administration gave corporate giant General Electric—the parent company of NBC--$24.9 million in grants from the $787-billion economic “stimulus” law President Barack Obama signed in February 2009, according to records posted by the administration at Recovery.gov.
CNN's Ali Velshi enthusiastically touted the Obama administration's promotion of "alternative energy" on Tuesday's Newsroom, and advanced the idea that the field would become a major economic force: "This may be the driver of the economy for the next 15 years....And I will give this administration credit. It is such a dramatic increase over the last administration's commitment to alternative energy."
Velshi brought on correspondent Josh Levs to discuss the current administration's latest push concerning the "stimulus," focusing on the percentage of the $862 billion spent on "green" energy: "Vice President Biden [is] talking about what's been done for energy, and they released this report, saying $100 billion out of the $862 billion stimulus is going to innovation- things like electric cars, things like solar power."
After Levs cited some of Biden's figures, the CNN anchor reacted with his "15 years" prediction and added, "I mean, nobody can come up with a more obvious driver. It's not going to be the credit system. It's not going to be banks. It's not going to be other things. It may be this." He concluded with his endorsement of the Obama administration "commitment to alternative energy."
At the top of CBS's Sunday Morning, host Charles Osgood proclaimed: "From sky-high air-conditioning bills to gasoline-fueled vacations in the car, there's nothing like summer to remind us that we Americans are power hungry." In the story that followed later, correspondent Seth Doane declared: "In the wake of the Gulf oil disaster, calls for cleaner, greener energy, are growing louder."
Doane lamented: "America is still powered by the energy of yesterday. 95% of our electricity comes from an aging network of coal, natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectric plants. Despite decades of promise, today less than 5% of our electricity comes from all other forms of alternative energy combined." He then turned to "Nobel Prize-winning physicist" and Obama administration energy secretary, Dr. Steven Chu: "Secretary Chu sees the oil spill as a tragedy, of course, but also as something else." Chu argued: "The United States has an opportunity to lead in what I consider to be essentially a new industrial revolution."
After detailing different forms of alternative energy, Doane moved on to liberal advocacy. He warned:"But agreeing on a national energy policy won't be easy....And the coal and petroleum lobbies spend millions to protect the status quo." Doane then cited the head of the left-wing group Environmental Defense Fund, Fred Krupp, who whined: "You know, we've passed three energy bills in the last ten years and none of them has done a damn thing to get us a brighter energy future."