Choo Choo Chu Blows Another $Billion

Beneficial trace gas to be scrubbed away with your money, for no discernible benefit to you or the planet.

Dept. of Energy Folly Emission, June 10, 2010 [here]

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that three projects have been selected to receive up to $612 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act - matched by $368 million in private funding - to demonstrate large-scale carbon capture and storage from industrial sources.

The projects - located in Texas, Illinois, and Louisiana - were initially selected in October 2009 for phase one research and development grants. Following successful completion of their Phase 1 activities, these three projects were identified as the most promising industrial CCS projects through a competitive process and will now enter into Phase 2 with additional funding to begin design, construction, and operation.

Today’s project selections are aimed at testing large-scale industrial carbon capture and storage, an important step in moving CCS technology toward eventual commercial deployment. The Obama Administration has made a goal of developing cost-effective deployment of CCS within 10 years, with an objective of bringing 5 to 10 commercial demonstration projects online by 2016. … [more]

Note: Who cares? It’s not real money, is it? Does anybody know how much kickback Choo Choo will be stuffing into his offshore bank account?

11 Jun 2010, 12:32pm
Tramps and Thieves
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No Special Session for Oregon Legislature

“We gave schools an additional 200 million dollars in February based on the passage of the tax measures and we are now asking them to give it all back plus some.”


by Senator Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, District 1

I was one of four Senators along with one House member who requested a vote on the Legislature calling itself into a special session to deal with the budget shortfall. We did this because we consider the Governor’s plan to do 9% across the board cuts unacceptable and poor management. We also recognize the fact that the earlier in the biennium the reductions are made the less painful they will be as they will not have to be as deep. Unfortunately no Democrats joined us in our request and as they have the majority in both Houses we did not get the required majority of votes.

What we have heard from the Senate President and the Speaker of the House is it is much too soon to consider such a move. I wonder when the right time will be. The reality is they do not want to deal with this issue heading into the election season. By allowing the Governor, who is not running for re-election, to make the cuts, they feel they can be blameless in what happens. I would submit the deliberate lack of action by Leadership puts the blame squarely on them. I think they are also hoping for another federal bailout, which is how they were able to increase government during this recession in the first place.

We are already starting to hear about proposals to release prisoners early, cut back on state police, cut back on assistance to seniors, cutting school days, laying off teachers and the list will continue to grow. What is interesting is the first place government looks to make cuts is in essential services when there are so many other viable options. I think one of the reasons we are not meeting in Special Session is they don’t want to give us the opportunity to put these other options on the table.

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11 Jun 2010, 11:11am
Latest Climate News
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Brit Science Writer Loses Statist Faith

by George Gilder, Discovery News, June 6, 2010 [here]

The preeminent UK science writer Matt Ridley, formerly an editor of The Economist and author of the best-selling Genome and other books, has long upheld the politically correct canons of his trade. But in his new book, The Rational Optimist, he has finally exhausted his patience with the environmental movement and the rest of the economic left. The cause of his sudden and violent disillusionment is the collapse of global warming science, which he and the Economist have long gullibly accepted but which Ridley has now discovered to be so deeply flawed as to rise to the level of fraud.

This is the most complete and far-reaching and even profound critique of environmentalism and socialism that has come from Britain since Hayek’s Road to Serfdom. Ridley shows that the green movement poses a devastating threat to the environment, which throughout history has always benefited most from the very economic growth and progress, fueled by fossil energy, that the Greens are dedicated to ending. … [more]

11 Jun 2010, 11:08am
Latest Wildlife News
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Agreement fuels Klamath discord

In wake of historic dam-removal deal, doubts linger over ultimate outcome

By MITCH LIES, Capital Press, June 10, 2010 [here]

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — Don Boyd, a third-generation farm equipment dealer in Merrill, Ore., has watched the water crisis in the Klamath Basin decimate the area’s economy.

“People that work for me aren’t going to movies,” he told the Oregon Board of Agriculture at a recent meeting in Klamath Falls. “They aren’t eating out as much.

“This is devastating to this community,” Boyd said.

Sales of tractors, balers and windrowers are down 66 percent at Floyd A. Boyd Co., he said. And business in his service department is off 55 percent.

In addition, he said, the “can-do” attitude and the unity that once permeated the area is harder to find.

“I have two kids and I’m telling them not to come back to Klamath Falls,” Boyd said.

From a conflicted citizenry to conflicting biological opinions for three endangered fish — one calling for water managers to keep water in Klamath Lake and another calling for managers to release the water — the Klamath Basin these days is home to conflict. …

At the core of the dispute is an agreement on how to resolve environmental and irrigation needs in and around the Klamath Reclamation Project. It’s a deal many don’t agree with.

The pact between farmers, Indian tribes, fishermen and environmentalists calls for conserving water and removing four dams on the Klamath River in exchange for assurances of water delivery. …

The precedent-setting plan has drawn praise from high-ranking Obama administration officials and top state officials in Oregon and California.

“It’s all about keeping productive, viable agriculture in this area for the next 100 years,” said Greg Addington, executive director of Klamath Water Users Association.

But opponents say environmentalists, tribes and fishermen were handed far too many concessions at the expense of farmers and ranchers.

“We didn’t get anything we asked for,” said Tom Mallams, who ranches outside the Klamath Reclamation Project.

Mallams said opponents were willing to make concessions, but in exchange they wanted affordable power, stable water deliveries and protection from lawsuits over the Endangered Species Act.

The agreement, Mallams said, provides none of that.

“We’re typecast as unbending, but we’ve compromised all over the place,” Mallams said.

“The KBRA doesn’t give us assurances,” said Bill Kennedy, a Klamath Basin rancher who uses off-project and on-project water. “I’ve asked over and over to show me where it says we’re assured water.”

“We’re giving up major, permanent concessions for some hoped-for benefits,” Mallams said. … [more]

11 Jun 2010, 11:00am
Latest Forest News
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Tester to post counter-proposal to forest bill draft that chopped logging

By ROB CHANEY, the Missoulian, June 9, 2010 [here]

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester has dismissed a proposed rewrite of his forest bill as “dead on arrival,” and promised to publicly post his counteroffer that is expected next week.

“We wanted to make sure they knew if this bill got released to the public, if it got through another channel, they need not be worried,” Tester said. “This bill was not my idea. When it comes out of committee as screwed up as this bill was, why release a dead bill to anybody else?”

A discussion draft of Tester’s Forest Jobs and Recreation Act started making rounds in Montana last week. The new version was written by staff of the Senate Energy Committee, and proposes significant changes to Tester’s bill. Tester’s staff and an Energy Committee spokesman declined to release the draft to the media.

Tester defended that decision, saying he was not authorized to publicize legislation crafted by someone else, including committee staff working on a new version of his own bill. He did pledge to post all his own proposed changes to his bills on his Senate website in the future. … [more]

Note: Tester’s bill was D.O.A. when he unveiled it a year ago [here].

11 Jun 2010, 12:12am
Latest Fire News
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Maalaea Fire being tamed

5,800 acres of brush burned, but fire 75% contained

By CHRIS HAMILTON, Maui News, June 10, 2010 [here]

MAALAEA - Maui firefighters appeared to have gained the upper hand Wednesday in battling a wild-land blaze that had consumed an estimated 5,800 acres of brush in the West Maui Mountains above Maalaea.

“I drove the perimeter today, and it looks really good,” said Deputy Fire Chief Robert Shimada around 7 p.m. Wednesday. “I don’t want to curse myself, but I feel a whole lot better tonight than I did yesterday.”

Gusting winds continued hampering firefighting efforts. …

more »

10 Jun 2010, 11:43pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Wallowa County seeks wolf plan changes

Written by Katy Nesbitt, The Observer June 09, 2010 12:27 pm [here]

ENTERPRISE — In response to repeated livestock depredation by wolves, the Wallowa County Board of Commissioners have drafted a letter asking the governor to declare a state of emergency.

“Somehow we need to elevate the awareness or spur political action,” Commission Chairman Mike Hayward said.

The letter will be sent by the end of the week and will include minor revisions suggested by some of the more than 40 citizens who attended Monday’s board of commissioners meeting.

“We are looking for ways to elevate this for people who are still in the dark; people who are not aware of the wolf issue at all or who think wolves live harmoniously with humans.

“What we want,” Hayward said, “is acknowledgment from the state that their plan and rules are not working. There need to be changes and those changes need to happen quickly. The Wolf Plan was fine when there weren’t any wolves.”

The letter will ask the governor, ODFW and Oregon Emergency Management for funding to pay for all wolves to be collared, better tracked and for an increase in staff to manage the growing wolf population in the county.

“This way we can document their activity and that carries some weight,” Commissioner Dan Deboie said.

Hayward added, “I really believe the real solution is for this to become a statewide issue.” … [more]

8 Jun 2010, 11:25pm
Tramps and Thieves
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The Western Watersheds Project’s Assault on Family Ranchers

The WWP’s ultimate goal is to destroy families and a way of life with absolutely no regard for the economic or human cost.

by Patrick Dorinson, Pajamas Media, June 4, 2010 [here]

Another Earth Day has come and gone. Earth Day has become a holy day of obligation for America’s secular religion, the environmentalist movement.

But hidden behind the facade of planting trees or discussing the virtues of “paper or plastic” is a well-financed global group of dedicated radicals who are bent on changing the way we live whether we like it or not. They are funded by a vast network of wealthy individuals, trust funds, and foundations who selectively give money to organizations they can control like puppets on a string (think George Soros).

One such organization has dedicated its entire existence to the warped dream of one man who says that his ultimate goal in life is to destroy families and a way of life with absolutely no regard for the economic or human cost.

Meet Jon Marvel and the Western Watersheds Project.

This is an organization that talks a big game about saving the environment but in truth has never lifted a finger or raised a dollar to mitigate the environmental issues they claim to care so much about.

This is an organization that bills itself, according to its mission statement, as a group dedicated “to protect and restore western watersheds and wildlife through public education, public policy initiatives and litigation”

That last word “litigation” is the key, because in truth they are nothing more than a group of professional plaintiffs who have filed hundreds of lawsuits against the government and individuals to accomplish their goals. Between 2000 and 2009 they have filed 91 lawsuits and 31 appeals in Idaho alone and hundreds more throughout the West..

And this is an organization that has been funded in part with the hard-earned tax dollars of the American people to the tune of $1.2 million in Idaho Federal District courts alone by the abuse of the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA)… [more]

8 Jun 2010, 11:24pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Governor assails species litigation

by CHAD BALDWIN, Casper Star-Tribune, June 4, 2010 [here]

CASPER — Gov. Dave Freudenthal on Friday called for changes in both the federal Endangered Species Act and in the law that allows environmental groups to search for friendly venues to file lawsuits under the act.

Speaking at the summer convention of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association in Casper, the Democrat said litigation in recent years concerning wolves and sage grouse should have been handled in federal court in Wyoming, not in Montana and Idaho.

“I lost my shirt” in rulings in those cases, Freudenthal lamented, because environmental groups’ lawsuits were handled by judges “who rule how environmental groups want them to.”

The governor was referring to U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy in Montana and U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill in Idaho.

Having ruled in 2008 against Wyoming’s plan for managing wolves, Molloy is considering a lawsuit filed by 13 conservation and wildlife groups over whether wolves can be removed from federal protection in Montana and Idaho yet remain protected in Wyoming. Molloy also ordered last year that grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area be returned to federal protection.

Winmill found in 2007 that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2005 decision against protecting the sage grouse was inappropriately influenced by politics and not based on science, and he ordered another 12-month review of whether an Endangered Species Act listing was warranted. The agency this year found that sage grouse protection is warranted but precluded by other priorities. …

The governor said the prospect of an endangered listing for the sage grouse “hangs like the sword of Damocles” over Wyoming’s economy. … [more]

8 Jun 2010, 11:22pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Scientists study wind-farm risks to birds

By Hal Bernton, Seattle Times, June 6, 2010 [here]

GOLDENDALE, Klickitat County — Biologist Orah Zamora spends her days walking around wind turbines in search of dead birds and bats. Most of her surveys turn up nothing, but every once in a while she finds a carcass that may have been felled by a whirring blade.

“It’s like a crime scene, and you try to figure out what happened. Sometimes, it’s really obvious because you see a slice mark,” Zamora says.

Zamora’s monitoring at the Windy Flats project is part of a larger series of surveys to assess how the wind-power boom is impacting birds that must now share air space with the towering turbines. …

One survey at Big Horn Wind Farm in Klickitat County estimated that more than 30 raptors were killed during an initial year of operations — more than seven times the number forecast in a pre-construction study. The dead raptors included kestrels, red-tailed hawks, short-eared owls and a ferruginous hawk, which Washington state lists as a threatened species. …

Based on that information, the wind-power turbines currently operating in Oregon and Washington kill more than 6,500 birds and more than 3,000 bats annually.

In an era of climate change and a massive oil spill off the coast of Louisiana, wind-power advocates say these deaths are an acceptable trade-off for development of a renewable energy source. …

These Altamont wind farms have consistently killed more raptors per megawatt of power than anywhere else in the nation. Despite efforts to modify these wind farms, surveys indicate the Altamont wind farms still kill more than 1,600 hawks, eagles and other raptors annually… [more]

6 Jun 2010, 4:27pm
Latest Climate News
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NASA Covers All Bets Re Solar Activity

As the Sun Awakens, NASA Keeps a Wary Eye on Space Weather

NASA Science News, June 4, 2010 [here]

Earth and space are about to come into contact in a way that’s new to human history. To make preparations, authorities in Washington DC are holding a meeting: The Space Weather Enterprise Forum at the National Press Club on June 8th.

Richard Fisher, head of NASA’s Heliophysics Division, explains what it’s all about:

“The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity. At the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms. The intersection of these two issues is what we’re getting together to discuss.” …

Solar Cycle Prediction Lowered Again

The Hockey Schtick, June 6, 2010 [here]

Solar physicist Dr. David Hathaway of NASA has again lowered his prediction of the peak in sunspot numbers for the current solar cycle 24 to only 65 sunspots/month as of June 2010…

The predictions for Solar Cycle 24 have plummeted from “one of the most intense” [in 2006] to now one of the least intense cycles of the past 400 years. If the anemic activity continues, the sun may be entering a quiet phase similar to the Dalton Minimum, characterized by approximately 50 sunspots/month at the peak of the solar cycle. …

Note: cognitive dissonance from NASA. The sun is “waking up” or it’s “entering a quiet phase”. Take your pick. NASA doesn’t care — they have a dire report (it’s new to human history!) for either situation. Just send them all your money because…?

5 Jun 2010, 12:04pm
Latest Climate News
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R.A. Hall fourth-grader is science national champion, June 5, 2010 [here]

R.A. Hall Elementary School fourth-grader Julisa Castillo has been named junior division champion for the 2010 National Science Fair.

Her project, “Disproving Global Warming,” beat more than 50,000 other projects submitted by students from all over the U.S.

Julisa originally entered her project in her school science fair before sending it to the National Science Foundation (NSF) to be judged at the national level.

The NSF panel of judges included former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, 14 recipients of the President’s National Medal of Science, and four former astronauts.

“Before she sent it off, she just had to add more details, citations for her research, and the amount of hours she spent working on it,” said Julisa’s father, J.R. Castillo.

In addition to a plaque, trophy and medal, Julisa has won an all-expenses-paid trip to Space Camp at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala., which she plans to attend this summer.

Questions surround Kagan’s handling of White House eco-terrorist controversy

By Byron York, Washington Examiner, May 12, 2010 [here]

In 1995 and 1996, future Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was involved in a bizarre controversy in which the Clinton White House was accused of siding with an eco-terrorist group locked in a standoff with federal agents deep in the woods of Oregon. The incident led to an investigation by House Republicans, who concluded that a staffer on the White House Council on Environmental Quality tipped off the environmental radicals to impending action by U.S. Forest Service law enforcement agents — a leak that Forest Service officials believed endangered the lives of their agents on the ground.

Kagan, at the time an associate White House counsel, had no role in leaking the feds’ plans to the radicals, but House Committee on Natural Resources investigators concluded she shirked her responsibility by not searching for the source of the leak or pushing for punishment of the leaker.

“Nothing was ever done by Elena Kagan to learn the details about the leaks, or to identify the leaker and ensure that proper punishment occurred,” the committee’s 1999 report concluded. In fact, investigators found evidence suggesting that Kagan, in internal White House discussions, defended the alleged leaker.

The story began in September 1995, when loggers planned to harvest timber from Warner Creek, an old-growth area that had been hit by a 1991 arson fire. The Forest Service approved the harvesting of dead and damaged trees, but some environmentalists claimed the clearing would endanger healthy trees as well.

A group of activists took over the road leading into the forest and blocked it with large rocks and chunks of concrete. They dug trenches, some six feet deep, to prevent trucks from passing, and in one trench they embedded a car in concrete. They built a fortress and settled in for a showdown. More ominously, Forest Service officials believed at least one of the protesters was armed. … [more]

Note: the “protesters” also burned down the Oakridge Ranger Station. Eventually some of those involved in the Warner Creek “protests” formed an eco-terrorist group that also burned down sawmills, powerlines, car dealerships, and the School of Horticulture at the University of Washington. More than a dozen were eventually captured and sentenced to long terms in Federal penitentiaries. See [here].

Note 2: the connections between the Obama Administration and domestic terrorist groups is well known. After all Weatherman bombers Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn are close associates [here]. What is perhaps less well known are the deep connections between domestic terrorists and other leftish politicians, such as Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and former Gov (now candidate) John Kitzhaber.

Note 3: putting Kagan on the Supreme Court is an act of violent sabotage to the U.S. Constitution and to America. Let’s hope Congress is not that insane.

4 Jun 2010, 8:02pm
Latest Wildlife News
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Cowardly Wolf Management

Rogue Pundit, June 04, 2010 [here]

ODFW is still doing nothing more than pretending [here] it’s dealing with the problem wolves in Wallowa County.

Wolves still savoring WC beef — Breeding pair to be protected

By Kathleen Ellyn, Wallowa County Chieftain, 6/3/2010

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack after confirming that members of the pack have killed five calves and wounded a sixth during 24 days in May. Two other calves killed on other nearby ranches were identified as wolf kills by USDA Wildlife Services wolf hunter Marlyn Riggs but not confirmed by ODFW.

The alpha male and female of the pack are exempt from the “take.”

Seven “caught in the act” permits to kill wolves have been issued to ranchers in Wallowa County. Ranchers have named each other as co-agents on the permits with approximately 31 individuals now registered as agents capable of killing a wolf caught in the act of harassing or biting cattle.

Ranchers, however, say the permits are “not worth the paper they’re written on,” said Rod Childers, wolf committee chairman for the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association. “The likelihood that we’ll just happen upon them when they’re killing a calf is slim to none,” he said.

It’s obviously difficult to strike a balance between doing all one reasonably can to prevent wolf problems and essentially admitting failure by culling some of them. But, it’s a fact of life that there will always be wolves which can’t live in harmony with man… and vice versa. ODFW knows that caught in the act permits are a sham designed to deceive the public into thinking that something is being done. Allowing the wolves to continue causing problems is cruel to the ranchers and their livestock. Why has our leadership in Salem purposefully made victims of these hardworking folks?

Wolves are in no danger of extinction. The same isn’t true for the livelihoods of the ranchers bearing the brunt of this reintroduction effort. … [more]

The Price of Admission - Wilderness Rape Trees

TruthOnTheBorder, May 26, 2010

Rape Trees in the Arizona wilderness represent unimaginable violent crime against women. Our wilderness, national wildlife refuges, monuments and other federal lands along the Arizona border are becoming havens for criminal activity due to drug and human smuggling cartels that now own these areas. Law enforcement is minimal due to environmental regulations. We must secure our borders and get law enforcement in these areas.

Video [here]

Trash On The Border

TruthOnTheBorder, May 19, 2010

Our wilderness, national wildlife refuges, monuments and other federal lands along the Arizona border are being destroyed by illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. They are dumping TONS of trash, destroying vegetation and doing damage beyond comprehension to our wilderness, wildlife refuges, monuments and other federal and state owned land. We must secure our borders and get law enforcement in these areas to protect our natural resources. If this continues, these areas may never recover from the damage.

Video [here]

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