Federal energy hypocrisy

From time to time, I monitor the research of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), a think tank in Bozeman, Montana, to see their take on issues. If you are unfamiliar with them, they bill themselves as “the nation’s first and largest institute dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets.”

Currently, they have two articles I found interesting:

The first, titled “‘Clean Energy’ Is Cooling The Economy And Damaging The Environment,” deals with the hypocrisy of the federal government’s over-application of the “precautionary principle” to conventional sources of energy versus the government’s practice of completely ignoring the principle with regard to the consequences of renewable energy.

“As we continue to pile precautionary energy policies onto a struggling economy, we may bump into an inconvenient truth. Publicly supporting clean energy can damage our economy and environment. That’s not precautionary – that’s risky!”

“When regulations go too far, they harm both our economy and environment. A recent peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Economic Growth estimated that, except for such historically onerous regulations, each American could now enjoy an extra $100,000 in his or her pocket.”

“What’s more, energy regulations that promise to save our planet may instead be harming Mother Nature. The environment and economy do better when people make more from less.”
See the complete article here.

Note that this hypocritical stance on energy is part of Obama’s “Climate Action Plan.” See my article: “Obama’s Climate Action Plan is Clueless and Dangerous.”

Furthermore, I note that on September 18, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before the House Energy Committee. Although asked several times, she was “unable to identify any discernible health and welfare benefits of her agency’s draconian regulatory policies. Instead, the apparent goal of the EPA’s current and proposed greenhouse gas regulations is to persuade the international community, particularly China, India, and other developing nations, to follow the Obama administration’s U.S. leadership over an economic precipice.” Read portions of her testimony as reported in Forbes.

The second PERC article is “The Energy Wealth of Indian Nations.” PERC claims that “Native American reservations are unable to develop their vast energy resources due to poorly-defined property rights.”

That deprives the Native Americans of an estimated $75 billion per year and keeps tribe members in poverty.

PERC estimates that “Indian reservations contain almost 30% of the nation’s coal reserves west of the Mississippi, 50% of potential uranium reserves, and 20% of known oil and gas reserves — resources worth nearly $1.5 trillion, or $1.5 million per tribal member. Yet, 86% of Indian lands with energy or mineral potential remain undeveloped because of Federal control of reservations that keeps Indians from fully capitalizing on their natural resources if they desire.” See full report here (a 29-page PDF).

For more of Obama’s energy hypocrisy, see another Forbes article: “Wind Energy Gets Away With Murder.”

The article refers to administration policy of allow wind farms to kill eagles, an endangered species and an icon of America, while at the same time fining other industries for bird kills. “Under both the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Acts and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the death of a single eagle is a felony, and the Administration has prosecuted oil companies when birds drown in their oily facilities, and fined utilities when birds are electrocuted by their power lines.” But, the administration has never fined or prosecuted wind-energy companies that repeatedly kill eagles.