October 6, 2010

WhyRewrite a Good Headline? “Interior Secretary Salazar Is Costing America Plenty”of Jobs. Thomas J. Pylewrites (10/4) for FoxNews.com, “After toeing the White House line beforethe BP Oil spill commission on the future of offshore energy exploration,Interior Secretary Ken Salazar continued his public relations tour last weekwith a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center. In the speech he outlined the Obamaadministration’s stance on energy policy, and specifically offshoreexploration. Secretary Salazar continues to justify the offshore drillingmoratorium, which has cost thousands of jobs even by his administration’s ownestimates. Yet his ongoing spin cycle is only a small part of a larger effortto portray the image-conscious Salazar as a hero in the BP debacle. While theSecretary paints his ongoing moratorium, one which his own administrationstates will cost “only” 12,000 jobs, as necessary for the safety of the GulfCoast, it’s important to remember that he has a long history of opposingdomestic energy resource development and the jobs and security that come withit. In 2008, when working families were pushed to near breaking point by $4 agallon gas, then Senator Salazar advocated draining the Strategic Oil Reserve– a crucial part of our national security plan – rather thanincreasing the amount of domestic energy exploration in the U.S. It stands toreason that paying foreign dictatorships for oil would constitute a greaterthreat to our safety than excavating a natural, American made substance –except in the mind of Secretary Salazar.”

WhiteHouse Doubles Down on Solar Power; First Families Water to be Heated by the Sun– Here’s to Hoping They’re Not Forced to take Cold Showers, When the SunDoesn’t Shine. Bloomberg (10/5) reports, “President Barack Obama will have solar panelsput back on the roof of the White House to demonstrate that renewable-energytechnology is practical for U.S. homeowners, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. “TheWhite House will lead by example,” Chu said today at a conference in Washington.A solar-water heater will be installed in addition to photovoltaic panels togenerate electricity, which will be in place by the end of June, he said. “It’sbeen a long time since we’ve had them up there.” Asked whether the panels onthe White House roof must be made in the U.S., Stephanie Mueller, an EnergyDepartment spokeswoman, said in an e-mail that the criteria for the winningbidder will include “how well it showcases American technology, products andknow-how.” Thomas Pyle, president of the Institutefor Energy Research, a free-market analysis group in Washington, said therooftop panels will underscore hostility by Obama toward fossil fuels such ascoal. ‘Ineffective, Expensive’ Solar energy is “ineffective, expensive andunreliable and will continue to be in our lifetimes and probably our children’slifetimes and beyond,” Pyle said in an interview.”

What’sAnother 40,000 Jobs when Nearly 1/10 Americans are Out of Work? That’s theNumber of Jobs at Risk if Interior Continues to Withhold Shallow Water DrillingPermits.The Hill (10/5) reports, “The slowdown in shallow-water drillingpermits following the BP oil spill could cost tens of thousands of jobs andimpose a tougher economic blow than the formal moratorium on deepwaterprojects, according to an upcoming industry-backed report. The report, whichwill be widely released Wednesday, is written by the Maguire Energy Instituteat Southern Methodist University. The Shallow Water Energy Security Coalition,a recently formed industry group, commissioned the report. It surveys variousanalyses to date of the drilling restrictions that have followed the oil spill.“[T]he Interior Department’s drastic slowdown in approving permits forshallow-water drilling operations has very serious economic implications forthe region that rival, or exceed, those of the spill and moratorium. Thus far,this impact has attracted little attention from Congress, the media, orthird-party analysts despite the fact that the nearly 40,000 jobs related tothe Gulf of Mexico’s shallow-water drilling industry have been placed injeopardy by the Department of the Interior’s apparent decision to slow-walk theshallow-water permit approval process,” the report states.”

Paying forElectricity, Twice. Central Government in Spain Floats $19 BILLION inBonds to Pay Utilities for Wind and Solar Power.Bloomberg (10/5) reports, “The Spanish government’s plan to sell about14 billion euros ($19 billion) of bonds to pay debt owed to the country’sbiggest power companies may help Iberdrola SA and Enel SpA avoid credit-ratingdowngrades. The bonds, whose proceeds will be used to pay back utilities forsubsidizing power rates, are being marketed this week to investors by bankersat Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and four other firms. The salecomes after Moody’s Investors Service lowered the country’s credit rating toAa1 from Aaa on Sept. 30 and said the outlook is “stable.” “This will be awatershed,” said Raimundo Fernandez- Cuesta, a utilities analyst at NomuraInternational Plc in Madrid. “It will put to bed fears” of potential downgradesfor Iberdrola and Enel, he said. The government hasn’t sold bonds to reimburseutilities since before New York-based investment bank Lehman Brothers HoldingsInc. collapsed in September 2008. Spain, like the rest of the so-called europeripherals, is under pressure to reduce its budget deficit without stranglingthe economy. Finance Minister Elena Salgado forecasts the economy will grow 1.3percent next year, more than twice the 0.6 percent estimated by theInternational Monetary Fund.”

Sure HFand Shale Gas Development is Revitalizing Rural Communities; Philly and NYCNone Too Happy, as Their Economies Continue to Struggle. Holman W. Jenkins writes (10/6) for the Wall Street Journal, “Folks who’ve been hanging on in placeslike upstate New York and Pennsylvania for 100 years waiting for anothereconomic boom have finally got one, thanks to the Marcellus Shale. Hydraulicfracturing combined with horizontal drilling has given energy producers aneconomical way to release natural gas in this massive, dense formation. Sostupendous is the potential, it could transform global energy politics andeconomics. Listen closely to the resulting "environmental" debate andthe real question is: Do the locals want a boom? Fracking divides neighbor fromneighbor, roughly speaking the penurious locals from the weekend residents andgentleman farmers. It has fired up environmental groups who have a nose forsaleable controversy to raise donations. The political fight is now mutatinginto a battle of the cities, especially New York and Philadelphia, againsttheir upstate watersheds. Water is the key to most of fracking’s environmentalworries. Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals deep undergroundto create fissures in gas-bearing rock. An entire region of the country isunexpectedly being transformed by a new industry. Toes are being stepped on,but money and politics will slop around in ways designed to reduce theopposition to manageable proportions. That’s what politics is for.”

We Don’tKnow Much About this O’Donnell Candidate in Delaware, But She Must have aChance if the LCV Adds her to the Prestigious “Dirty Dozen” List. The Hill (10/5) reports, “The League of Conservation Voters addedDelaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell to its list of “DirtyDozen” candidates targeted for defeat in November. Green groups are growingmore aggressive in the remaining weeks of the campaign to stave off expectedRepublican gains, particularly by Tea Party candidates such as O’Donnell whohave questioned the science behind climate change and the need to address theissue. The LCV last week added to its Dirty Dozen list Sharron Angle, who istrying to topple Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); Sen. Russ Feingold’s(D-Wis.) Republican challenger, Ron Johnson; and Ken Buck, who is challengingSen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.). The group typically uses the list to targettight races where the group’s involvement ideally would make a difference. O’Donnellis running well behind. A FoxNews poll conducted Sept. 18 had the Democraticnominee, Chris Coons, leading her by 15 percent, with 60 percent of thosepolled saying O’Donnell is not qualified to be a U.S. senator.”

PopularCoal State Governor Behind in the Polls for Senate Seat, Plans to File SuitAgainst EPA on Surface Mining, Hopes for Bump in Polls.CharlestonGazette (10/5) reports, “Gov.Joe Manchin has scheduled a press conference Wednesday morning where he isexpected to announce that the state is filing suit against the federalgovernment over the Obama administration’s crackdown on mountaintop removalcoal mining. Late Tuesday, the governor’s office announced the 9 a.m. pressconference where Manchin would "discuss the coal mine permitting processin West Virginia." The release said "various representatives from thecoal-mining community" would join Manchin at the event. Sources said thegovernor was expected to announce a long-anticipated lawsuit against the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, but administration officials declined toconfirm those details until Manchin makes his announcement. The National MiningAssociation has already filed a federal court lawsuit to try to challenge EPA’smore rigorous review of Clean Water Act permits issued by the federal ArmyCorps of Engineers and to block new EPA guidance meant to limit pollutionscientists say increases the electrical conductivity of streams to dangerouslevels.”



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