In the Pipeline: 4/24/13

Don’t let your children out of sight: “The more we learn about a gas-drilling practice called hydraulic fracturing—or ‘fracking’—the more we see it as a zenith of violence and disconnect…”Weekly Standard (4/29/13) reports: “Recognizing the significant environmental benefits of natural gas as a source of electric power, some prominent national environmental groups, such as the Environmental Defense Fund and NRDC, have mostly supported the increase in domestic gas production—and at least by implication the use of fracking to obtain the gas. For most in the environmental movement, however, opposition to fracking has become a virtually sacred cause…”



Thank you, TransCanada, for politely calling EPA out on this one. While it doesn’t change the fact that this thing will never get built while this guy is in charge, this latest stunt is simply a bridge too far. The WH might be winning the battle, but they will surely lose the war. Politico (4/23/13) reports: “TransCanada said EPA’s concerns about the State Department’s environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline were surprising given how closely the agency has been involved in the review… ‘The scope and tone of the EPA’s comments are somewhat surprising because EPA has been a cooperating agency throughout the four-plus year NEPA review of the project,” TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard wrote in a response. He added: “There are no ‘new issues’ identified in their letter.’”

Leo DiCaprio also threw money away on Fisker, but that’s okay because he’s a private citizen. And if he was willing to invest, our argument is that much stronger that the government has no business in this business. WSJ (4/24/13) reports: “Barring a last-minute rescue, Fisker is poised to become another DeLorean Motor Co. or Tucker Corp., a symbol of the difficulties of creating entirely new car companies. Unlike those others, it also represents one of the most prominent failures of the government’s use of public funds to wean American industry from fossil fuels—and of how that government interest pushed Fisker to reach too far… Originally, Fisker wanted to start small. But, says investor David Anderson, the U.S. asked it to think big. ‘”We can’t loan you money to make a low volume car [in Finland],'” he said the U.S. argued. ‘”But if you wanted to bring forward in time your idea of the small car to be produced here in the U.S.,’ then, they’d say ‘OK,'” Mr. Anderson said.”

Was this planted by Jim Connaughton? Have we been Punk’d? Politico (4/23/13) reports: “As Bush begins to position himself for a presidential run in 2016, former aides and even some greens admit he could be positioned to achieve global warming’s equivalent of a ‘Nixon to China’ moment, especially if he had to work with a Democrat-led Congress… ‘I can see him coming around to some combination of a cap-and-trade program as the best alternative to regulate and at the same time not completely abandoning his principles on something by going to a place where we’re scientifically uncertain,’ said David Struhs, who served six years as the Bush-appointed head of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.”

This is pretty good. I bet he is on the board of some really solid organizations. Weekly Standard (4/29/13) reports: “If you had told environmentalists on Election Day 2008 that four years later there’d be no successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, that a Democratic Congress would not have enacted any meaningful climate legislation, that domestic oil production would be soaring even after a catastrophic offshore oil spill, and that the environmental community would be having a lively internal debate about whether it should support reviving nuclear power, most might have marched into the ocean to drown themselves. Yet that’s the state of play four months into President Obama’s second term.”

We are going to go way out on a limb and say “no”. Energy & Commerce (4/23/13) reports: “‘This deal has been plagued with problems and the question remains: should Fisker have received the half billion dollar loan in the first place?’ House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Tim Murphy (R-PA) expressed concern today over news that the Department of Energy has seized $21 million from Fisker Automotive.”

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