Environmental interest groups and federal agencies greatly exaggerate problems so they can get more money and power. Moderate commentator Michael Barone pointed this out in regard to energy:
“Lobbyists and litigators for environmental restriction groups have produced energy policies that I suspect future generations will regard as lunatic. We haven’t built a new nuclear plant for 30 years, since a Jane Fonda movie exaggerated their dangers. We have allowed states to ban oil drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, prompted by a failure of 40 or 50-year-old technology in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 - though current technology is much better as shown by a lack of oil spills in waters off Louisiana and Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina. We have banned oil drilling on a very small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that is godforsaken tundra for fear of disturbing a heard of caribou - a species of hoofed animals in no way endangered or scarce."
ANWR is 19.8 million acres, some 35 times the size of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Smokies get over 9 million visitors a year, and people think it is huge. They cannot humanly comprehend how big ANWR is, yet it is home to only a couple hundred people in the village of Kaktovik and gets a couple of hundred visitors each year.
"The ANWR ban is the work of environmental restriction groups that depend on direct-mail fundraising to pay their bills and keep their jobs. That means they must always say the sky is falling,” Barone continued.
The BP oil spill in the Gulf is a terrible thing, and we need to do all we reasonably can to see that something like this does not happen again. However, some extremists want us to stop offshore oil production entirely. This would wreck our economy and kill countless jobs all at a time when our unemployment is far too high and underemployment is even higher.
Respected commentator Charles Krauthammer asked why we were drilling in 5,000 feet of water in the first place:
"Environmental chic has driven us out there. Environmentalists have succeeded in rendering the Pacific and nearly all the Atlantic Coast off limits to oil production. And, of course, in the safest of all places, on land, we've had a 30-year ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge."
All types of energy production can be done in clean ways today, but environmental groups oppose drilling for oil, cutting any trees, digging for any coal, or producing any natural gas because of the pipelines and the refineries. And, heaven forbid, they certainly don't want more nuclear power.
The opposition varies from group to group and geographic location, but the environmentalists are always there to fight any kind of energy production except for solar and wind. But then some oppose the windmills, too. And solar energy, despite mega billions in government subsidies over the last 30 years, only produces one-seventh of 1 percent of our energy, and adding wind power only brings it up about 1 percent more.
If we limit this Nation to wind and solar, we might as well just shut the country down economically. And all these young people with degrees who are working as waiters and waitresses or in other low-paying jobs can thank the environmentalists.
We need to wake up and realize that the worst polluters in the world have been the socialist and communist countries. And we need to realize that only a free market, free enterprise system can generate the money to do the good things for the environment that everybody wants done.
Charles Krauthammer wrote in another column a few months ago that, "socialism having failed so spectacularly, the left was adrift until it struck on a brilliant gambit: metamorphosis from red to green. The cultural elites went straight from the memorial service for socialism to the altar of the environment. The objective is the same: highly centralized power."
More on Energy
WASHINGTON--Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) questioned the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Wednesday about management failures during her watch.
Administrator Gina McCarthy appeared before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing to answer questions about an employee who was paid $900,000 to do nothing.
Rep. Duncan is a senior member of the committee.
Video of Rep. Duncan's statement and questioning can be found below:
WASHINGTON –Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement Friday in response to reported increases in pay for top executives at TVA:
“I think some of the compensation is ridiculously excessive. To give pay raises as high as 50% in times of relatively low inflation is just wrong and unfair to the rate payers.
“Because East Tennessee is one of the most popular places to live in the entire country, TVA can get outstanding people at its top level without paying these extraordinary salaries.