In the Pipeline: 5/30/13

“First they came for the manufacturers, and I did not speak because I was not a manufacturer. Then they came for the coal miners, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a coal miner. Then they came for the drillers, and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a driller. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” CBS Pittsburgh (5/29/13) reports: “Janice Gibbs is a grandmother and was born and raised in Washington County. Although she has no drilling lease on her land, she believes that shale gas drilling is great for the local economy… ‘I just think it’s a good thing for our community,’ Gibbs said… When she started posting her pro-gas views on local websites under the name “Proud American,” she was soon shocked at how nasty things got… First, State Rep. Jesse White allegedly posted Gibbs’ real identity. Then, someone posting under the name “Prouder American” called her an ‘industry troll.’… The internet protocol — or IP — address of those people came up as the same computer as Rep. White’s state e-mail address.”

So when is Congress going to start reining in an Executive branch that is drunk with power? WSJ (5/29/13) reports: “The Environmental Protection Agency isn’t known for restraint, and now it has a new reason to let it all hang out. A federal court says it can be judge and jury for every development project in the U.S… That’s the impact of a unanimous late April decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the EPA’s veto of the Arch Coal ACI -2.63% Spruce Mine in West Virginia. The sweeping but little-publicized decision remakes regulation under the Clean Water Act, turning the Army Corps of Engineers into a bystander and elevating EPA to the nation’s water regulator of consequence.”

We are all about self-determination, but can’t help pointing out the irony here. LATimes (5/28/13) reports: “In acting to protect their water supply, the 5,000 residents of poor, conservative Mora County make it the first in the U.S. to ban fracking — hydraulic fracturing for oil… ‘We are one of the poorest counties in the nation, yes, but we are money-poor, we are not asset-poor,’ Olivas said.”

Recall that Van Jones, former Special Assistant to the President for Bankrupting the Coal Industry, had the hubris to rally with the workers against these necessary reductions in benefits. These hundreds of families are the real victims of this senseless ideological war against affordable energy and the blame is squarely on the Van Jones’ of the world. Washington Post (5//13) reports: “Surratt-States ultimately concluded the cost-cutting proposals were legal, perhaps unavoidable, for Patriot, which sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last summer to address labor obligations it insisted have grown unsustainable… ‘Unions generally try to bargain for the best deal for their members,” the judge wrote. “However, there is likely some responsibility to be absorbed for demanding benefits that the employer cannot realistically fund in perpetuity, particularly given the availability of sophisticated actuarial analysts and cost trend experts.’”

Maybe a sophisticated guy like Kerry realized it’d be easier to bribe the Iranian government than the Obama administration to issue oil and gas permits. Free Beacon (5/29/13) reports: “Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments last year in a company that allegedly bribed Iranian government officials to obtain oil and gas contracts in the country… The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday charged French oil and gas company Total S.A. with violations of U.S. law for allegedly paying $60 million in bribes to “intermediaries” who helped the company win lucrative state contracts in Iran.”

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