Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Presidential Dithering and Hubris…Every American is being Hurt

As the President continues to belatedly dither on dealing with uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and other Middle Eastern hot spots, he might want to take a hard look at his energy policy or rather a lack thereof. 
During the presidential campaign, he assured the American people, that he would support a comprehensive energy plan which spanned oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, bio-fuels, solar, and wind resources.  To date, he and his administration have directly attacked the use of oil, coal, and nuclear while misleading the American people on green technologies such as bio-fuels, solar and wind.  Recently the President said, “Because we know we can’t power America’s future on energy that’s controlled by foreign dictators”…adding, “We are taking big (green energy) steps down the road to energy independence…that can create countless well-paying jobs”.

The picture the President has painted of the benefits of green technologies do not comport with the facts of the science, technology, engineering, and economic realities of these energy sources.  His vision is pure fantasy!  However, he continues to commit very large subsidies to their development and continues to insist “we can double the amount of renewable energy produced over the next three years”.  Currently green energies produce less than 2% of our energy requirements and have created almost no jobs while the oil and gas industry directly employs 2.1 million people. 

The technology and engineering know-how to build efficient solar or wind generation facilities is 20-30 years away, maybe more.  Many energy experts contend we are where Alexander Bell was when he invented the phone, or compare the vacuum tube relative to the microchip.  In his book, Energy at the Crossroads, scientist Vaclav Smil stated that because of the “power density” required by solar and wind, the human footprint on the continent would have to double to supply even half of our current energy needs.  To wit, wind and solar will require years of development to be made economically viable or technologically practical.

The President should be doing everything possible to expedite and streamline the regulatory process to speed the use of all forms of domestic energy, including oil, coal and nuclear.  One of Obama’s favorite solar initiatives, the Calico Solar Project in the Mojave Desert, had cleared all the myriad hurdles necessary to move forward with construction (it had taken just over 2 years with admin support).  Then the Sierra Club, an early proponent of the project, stepped in and sued California to block going forward.  Sierra asserted stimulus money rushed regulators to approve the project and that they had discovered 10 endangered Desert Tortoises on the 4,600 acre site.  Now the project and Obama is stymied by a former environmental ally.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Obama, Kenneth Salazar, and now Steven Chu are doing everything possible to ignore a Federal Court order, in fact a contempt order, to lift the moratorium on drilling.  The original moratorium, scheduled to end in Nov. 2010, was based on a deliberately misleading study prepared by an appointed White House panel.  The court vacated the moratorium which was replaced by a reworded new moratorium to get past the judge’s ruling.  This led to Judge Feldman’s contempt order.

The President does not have an Energy Plan.  If one exists it is clearly not balanced and does not include oil, nuclear or coal.  Oil supply disruptions, or the fear of same, create appreciable increases in the price of gasoline.  Before the Middle Eastern turmoil a gallon of gas cost $3.104, an increase of 69.6% (from $1.83) since Obama took office in Jan. 2009; since the uprisings the price has grown to $3.614 per gallon an increase of 97.3% (USEIA).

President Obama, through his inaction and fantasizing about green energies etc., has placed a “hidden” tax on all Americans, the price of a gallon of gas.  His defense will be that the Middle East is causing a temporary spike, even in the face of the earlier facts.  This “hidden” tax is very regressive and the poor and disadvantaged will suffer the most.  If no realistic action is taken soon to promote the expeditious harvesting of all types of energy resources, maybe President Obama will be dithering in the face of a major and angry energy uprising in the United States.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Are You God's Wife?

An eye witness from New York City,
on a cold day in December, some years ago:

A little boy, about 10-years old, was standing
before a shoe store on the roadway,
barefooted, peering through the window, shivering with cold.

A lady approached the young boy and said, ‘my,
but you’re in such deep thought staring in that window’.

‘I was asking God to give me a pair
of shoes,’ was the boy’s reply.

The lady took him by the hand, went into
the store, and asked the clerk to get a half dozen pairs
of socks for the boy.  She asked if he could
give her a basin of water and a towel.
He quickly brought them.

She took the little fellow to the back part
of the store, and removing her gloves, knelt down,
washed his little feet, and
dried them with a towel.

By this time, the clerk had returned with the socks.
She placed a pair upon the boy’s feet…and then
purchased a pair of shoes for him.

She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and
gave them to the boy…patted him on the head and said,
‘no doubt, you will be more comfortable now’.

As she turned to go, the astonished boy caught her by
the hand and looking up into her face,
with tears in his eyes, asked her,

‘Are you God’s wife?’
Author unknown

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Meddling in Wisconsin's Business-Maybe the President's focus should be elsewhere!

President Obama has yet to present a rational national budget; in fact it appears he has punted on dealing with the deficit, national debt, and meaningful spending reductions.  His response to the difficulties in Egypt was confusing and disjointed at best…and what is his administration’s foreign policy?  He has not developed a rational energy plan for the country, but trumpets cost prohibitive solar, wind, bio-fuels…contrary to his pronouncements while on the campaign trail. 

President Obama has deliberately hurt the oil industry and the energy industry in total…coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric. His ban on future drilling in the gulf, Alaska, and the lower 48 is already hurting every American… a court has ruled his moratorium to be illegal relative to the gulf…yet he continues to ignore the court order.  He has done nothing to promote the further development of nuclear, clean coal or even natural gas.  He has, by his actions, created a huge hidden tax which is affecting everyone i.e. the skyrocketing price of gasoline (up 69.6% since Jan. 2009-USEIA).  His administration is not transparent.  He has decided that only African-Americans are protected by our civil rights laws….he created Obamacare, the Stimulus and this list could go on for pages.

Nevertheless, this President feels compelled to stick his nose into the business of the people of Wisconsin regarding their budget, deficits et al.  This is the same man who created a $4.1 trillion addition to our national debt in just 2 years, and presides over an economy which has not seen unemployment fall below 9.0% in 21 months.  President Obama, please show us you know something about economic policy, or foreign policy, or energy policy…But, please, first focus on and fix some of these pressing National problems before dispensing advice to the states and their governors. 
And finally, before commenting on Wisconsin and their business, read the X Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Malloy's Budget-The consequences Connecticut will face in the future!

It’s like beating a dead horse, yet I think the horse is worth beating again!  So here goes.

Gov. Dan Malloy has proposed a budget that will include higher taxes and more spending.  His rationalization is the $3.7 billion projected budget gap for the fiscal year.  The current trajectory of the state is disconcerting and the budget will just continue the cycle of crushing deficits into the future.  The population has remained basically static over the past 20 years, increasing on average .4% per year.  Therefore, using simple math every tax bill will increase appreciably…depressing jobs, growth, personal spending, business profits & expansion, investment, and accelerating the flight of businesses, the wealthy and highly skilled people to states with lower taxes and less regulation .

State expenditures have grown dramatically during this same period, averaging 4.2% per year and taxes even faster.  Almost every state, local tax and fee imaginable has grown in the past few years.  State fuel, excise, utility, sales, real estate, and income taxes…dog, fishing, hunting, and vehicle licenses, and the hidden taxes of regulation et al. have in some cases skyrocketed…and the exodus of people and jobs continues.  Nevertheless our new Governor is proposing more of the same.

The State has been controlled by Democrats.  Our state’s representatives have been aggressively pro-higher taxes, anti-business and have supported greater intrusion into our lives.  The results are clear and will continue.  A few examples, Connecticut spends approximately 50% more per student on education than the national average, yet testing surfaces student achievement at the national average…when will our elected leaders deal with this reality and take steps to insure we are “getting what we are paying for”…and deal with the teacher’s union that ignores this glaring fact.

Another example worth addressing is the growth in size of the state’s government.  Not that many years ago (approximately 25), the state employed about 26,000 people in contrast to United Technologies Corp. which employed 57,000.  Today those numbers are upside down.  The state’s payroll is around 57,000 while UTC’s in-state payroll is approximately 26,000 (to escape the aforementioned anti-business environment, and attract skilled/competent personnel).  What added state services have we received from this astonishing growth?…name just three…and you will amaze your neighbors!     

Hopefully you will decide as I have that a new course needs to be charted…one of job creation, appreciable spending reductions, the creation of a positive business environment, less government intrusion and deficit control.  It would be refreshing to believe that new solutions and ideas which reverse the current trajectory get a hearing with the new Governor…maybe even a few might be implemented…or maybe Mr. Malloy should take the time to have lengthy conversations with Governors Christie, Daniels, Cuomo, Kasich and Jindal to name just a few.