Archive for March 17th, 2009

Obama jobs guru’s Freudian slip

March 17, 2009

In an interview with New America Media, Van Jones, President Obama’s recently-appointed green jobs guru, was asked,

How do you define a green job?

Jones replied,

Green jobs have a minimal impact on the environment…

I could not have said it better myself.

At-risk youth go green in California

March 17, 2009

MSNBC reports that,

Hundreds of California at-risk students may become part of the green economy if they sign up for the state’s new “green corps,” which the governor launched Monday.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made the announcement just after meeting with President Obama’s Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in Sacramento.

If this is about jobs, that’s fine. If this is about taking “troubled youth” and turning them into green automatons, that’s quite another matter.

8 Dems oppose Obama climate trick

March 17, 2009

The Associated Press reports that,

Eight Senate Democrats are opposing speedy action on President Barack Obama’s bill to combat global warming, complicating prospects for the legislation and creating problems for their party’s leaders.

The eight Democrats disapprove of using the annual budget debate to pass Obama’s “cap and trade” bill to fight greenhouse gas emissions, a measure that divides lawmakers, environmentalists and businesses. The lawmakers’ opposition makes it more difficult for Democratic leaders to move the bill without a threat of a Republican filibuster.

The budget debate is the only way to circumvent Senate rules that allow a unified GOP to stop a bill through filibusters.

“Enactment of a cap-and-trade regime is likely to influence nearly every feature of the U.S. economy,” wrote the Democratic senators, mostly moderates. They were joined by 25 Republicans. “Legislation so far-reaching should be fully vetted and given appropriate time for debate.”

It takes 60 votes to overcome a filibuster in the Senate, but Democrats and allied independents currently control 58 seats…

The Democrats who signed the letter, addressed to the chairman and top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, were: Robert Byrd, W.Va.; Blanche Lincoln, Ark.; Mary Landrieu, La.; Carl Levin, Mich.; Evan Bayh, Ind.; Ben Nelson, Neb.; Bob Casey Jr., Pa.; and Mark Pryor, Ark.

The 25 Republicans were led by Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska.

Take action:

E-mail your support to at last one of the following Democrat Senators who are standing against the Obama Climate Railroad:

Sen. Robert Byrd, W.Va.;
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, Ark.;
Sen. Mary Landrieu, La.;Carl Levin, Mich.;
Sen. Evan Bayh, Ind.;
Sen. Ben Nelson, Neb.;
Sen. Bob Casey Jr., Pa.; and
Sen. Mark Pryor, Ark.

Ghost of Caterpillar layoffs to come?

March 17, 2009

Heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar today announced plans to lay off more than 2,400 employees at five plants in Illinois, Indiana and Georgia as the heavy equipment maker continues to cut costs amid the global economic downturn.

Since it’s hardly rocket science that,

Bad economy = Less construction = Bad news for Caterpillar,

inquiring minds want to know why caterpillar is lobbying, via the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, for economy-harming greenhouse gas regulation. Moreover, since such regulation is likely to be anti-coal in nature, why is Caterpillar effectively lobbying against the coal industry, one its biggest customers?

Take action:

Ask Caterpillar Investor Relations why CEO James Owens is lobbying against his own earnings.

AutoNation CEO wants higher gas prices

March 17, 2009

As related in today’s Wall Street Journal entitled, “Tax My Products, Please,” AutoNation CEO Michael Jackson said at a conference earlier this month that

“We need more expensive gaosline.”

Why would Mr. Jackson adopt such an anti-consumer, anti-car and anti-his-own business attitude? The WSJ reported that,

While last year’s energy spike briefly encouraged small-car sales, Mr. Jackson complained that those sales have plummeted with gas prices. “I have fuel-efficient vehicles parked at my dealerships as far as the eye can see. I can’t give them away.” He figures a tax that guarantees a gas-price floor of $4 a gallon is a “good start.” [Ford CEO Alan Mulally], for his part, talked about how good Ford’s sales of small cars were in Europe, and that “one of the reasons is that gasoline and diesel is somewhere between seven and nine dollars a gallon.”

Jackson won’t suffer if gas prices go up. He made $4.5 million in 2006 and $3.4 million in 2007. While information on his 2008 compensation will be released later this month, it could very well be in the same neighborhood since his base salary is $1.1 million.

Take action:

E-mail AutoNation CEO Michael Jackson and tell him that his problem could be resolved by selling vehicles that Americans want to buy — like SUVs. You may want to mention that higher gas taxes are regressive and will hit those in lower tax brackets much harder than it will multimillionaires like himself.

Getting real on ‘clean coal’

March 17, 2009

The New York Times reports today on the folly of “clean coal” projects.

As the federal government and industry spend billions of dollars on projects to capture CO2, the daunting task remains what to do with it after capture. Here’s what the greens say, according to the Times

:Greenpeace argues that the energy required to capture the carbon, pressurize it and pump it underground is too large and the risks of underground storage too high. The effort, the group says, would divert money from more promising alternatives. Others argue that making coal safe to burn would simply encourage damaging mining, like mountaintop removal.

For more on the clean coal controversy, check out this piece by Steve Milloy.

The bottom line: Coal, as used in the U.S., is already clean. There’s no need to capture and bury it — even if such a Herculean task could be accomplished.

Shell: CO2 intensity increasing

March 17, 2009

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell today offered a dose of reality concerning energy and CO2 in a federal securities filing:

In the future, in order to help meet the world’s energy demand, we expect to produce more hydrocarbons from unconventional sources than currently. The production of hydrocarbons from those sources has an energy intensity that is a number of times higher than that for production from conventional sources. Therefore, in the long term, it is expected that the CO2 intensity of our production will increase.

Unfortunately, the sentence immediately preceding the above quote stated:

Emissions of greenhouse gases and associated climate change are real risks to Shell and society in general.

Would you invest in a company that condemns its own products and then says it plans on selling more of them?

Take action:

E-mail Shell Investor Relations and ask them whether pretending that manmade global warming is real is a good business strategy.