MADISON, Wis. — An energy consulting firm predicts several new EPA regulations will go through bank accounts like a tsunami, and the storm will come from three directions.
Environmental Protection Agency policies that aim to cut carbon dioxide emissions are expected to create $284 billion in additional energy costs in 2020, according to a report by Energy Ventures Analysis Inc.
The policies, which President Obama supports, will result in a $680 increase in annual electricity and natural gas bills, says the study, commissioned by Peabody Energy, the world’s largest private-sector coal company.
The American industrial industry will be hardest hit, with some $200 billion in new energy expenses.
Some of that, of course, will be passed along to the consumer, putting an even further strain on personal finances.
But don’t forget about paying for an influx of families that will now qualify for help from publicly funded energy assistance programs.
“The EPA is forcing its agenda at a time when more than half of Americans have said only a $20 increase in their monthly utility bills would create hardship and a record 115 million families qualify for energy assistance,” Peabody spokesman Vic Svec said in a statement. “The Administration’s policies will hurt the poor, working class, elderly, minorities, and business and manufacturing the most.”
In Wisconsin, the number of families seeking help from the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program has increased steadily, although the average distribution amounts are having a hard time keeping up.
The program, which operates with state and federal money, gave $122,679,158 to 178,337 households in 2009, with close to 209,000 applying. Each family got an average of $687.91.
Nearly 243,000 households filed for energy assistance in 2013, but only 221,962 were accepted. They shared $111,838,560, an average of $503.86 per family
The Wisconsin Department of Administration, which oversees the program, estimates it will help 227,000 families pay their heating bills in 2014-15, according to agency spokeswoman Stephanie Marquis.
Since Oct. 1, the state has helped 39,347 households.
The program should see even more activity in 2020, especially with Wisconsin’s energy costs expected to increase by $4.8 billion, with the average family paying $488 more in annual bills. That 28 percent hike represents the 34th largest in the country.
“Consumers and policymakers must understand the full consequences of EPA’s existing and proposed policies and the real energy crisis that the agency is about to create,” Svec said.
The Energy Ventures Analysis report blames a majority of the cost increases on several EPA regulations in recent years, including the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.
A 135 percent hike in the wholesale price of natural gas is also affecting electricity and natural gas rates.
Blame that increase on baseline market and policy changes between 2012 and 2020, as well as a higher pressure on gas prices caused by recent EPA regulations on the power sector and the proposed Clean Power Plan, the study says.
Testifying before the EPA this summer, Peabody called for a withdrawal of the planned carbon rule for existing power plants and instead recommended a greater expansion of technology as the long-term solution to improving emissions, according to Svec.
Peabody has proposed investing in efficiency improvements, deploying advanced super-critical coal plants and supporting greater research and development toward next-generation technologies, including carbon capture and storage, Svec said.
Found at WatchDog Org.
A teenage capitalist faces school suspension.
Tommie Rose, 15, bought junk food in bulk and resold it to his peers. He was so profitable—making nearly $22,000 before he was shut down—that he even hired two employees to help. “We admire this pupil’s entrepreneurship,” said the school’s head teacher, whose biggest concern was that the business was trafficking in unhealthy food.
I really have no interest in parsing the web of lies Barack Obama spit out last night. So, if you were expecting a dissection from Dianny today, I’m sorry. But why bother?
Yesterday afternoon, I figured I knew exactly what Obama was going to say. He would claim our system is broken. He would claim that he tried to work with Congress, but the Republicans in Congress wouldn’t do their job so he is forced to “act alone.” He would claim that we are a nation of immigrants and the illegals “living in the shadows” deserve an opportunity to become a part of our nation. He would cry over the cruelty of breaking families apart. Then he would proceed to justify his legislating from the Executive Branch in defiance to the Constitution and Separation of Powers.
So, was I right?
I suspected I was pretty close from the comments on the Twitters. Then, I read the transcript this morning, and, yup. I was right.
He said all that and a whole lot of saccharine lies shrouded in whiny excuses.
And for the seven millionth time, Barack.
We are not a Democracy.
We are a Constitutional Republic.
And, honey. This is not how a Constitutional Republic works.
You would think a “Constitutional Law Lecturer” would know that.
But, given the fact that we have no proof whatsoever that you earned the degrees you received, there’s no way to determine if you’ve ever read the Constitution.
What I found interesting about this pile of twaddle is Obama, despite Gruber spilling the beans…
[Wait. Is it racist to use the word beans?]
Despite Gruber divulging the Democrat Secret Recipe, Obama used the Gruber Method in his speech last night. He made claims, cited “facts,” and declared things as reality that were big fat lies. He knew he could get away with it because he is directing all this garbage at people who are so uninformed and stupid they will buy anything he says.
The long and short of this speech was to justify acting unconstitutionally.
Obama actually blames the Republicans for him having to defy the Constitution. Of course he does. Because at the end of the day, Obama remains who he has always been. A self-centered, pampered narcissist completely incapable of accepting responsibility or owning up to anything.
Blaming the Republicans for his actions is about the same as a parent who beats the snot out of his kid then stands over his bloodied body hollering, “Look what you made me do!!!!”
Obama knows that what he is doing defies the Constitution.
But he also knows there are enough people in this country who either don’t know what the Constitution says, or, don’t give a damn what the Constitution says.
One of the benefits of a public school education is, we’ve created a whole generation or two of people who have no idea that the President of the United States does not have the authority to make a law that Congress does not pass.
Why do you think Liberals gained control of public education?
Call it the Grubering of the Students.
Read all of this, plus some super great graphics, HERE.
The world’s oldest monopoly is finally coming to an end
Starting in 2016, China will start liberalizing its nearly 2,600-year-old monopoly on table salt—opening up the world’s oldest monopoly to competition at last.
At the moment, China National Salt Industry Corporation is the only entity allowed to sell table salt in China. And it’s a big business. China produces more of it than any other country, and, if you count the demand from the chemical industry, uses a quarter of all the saltconsumed on the planet, reports the China Daily.
In fact, demand is so stiff that contraband salt is a recurrent problem. Since 1994, Beijing had its own special salt monopoly-enforcing police force, which was at one point staffed with more than 25,000 officers, reports Forbes contributor Brian Viard. In 2013, Taobao, Alibaba’s massive online marketplace, and other e-commerce sites launched anillegal salt crackdown to comply with regulations.
Government control over salt began in the independent state of Qi—in what’s now Shandong—during the Spring and Autumn period (722 and 479 BC), roughly around the same time that Confucius lived. In 119 BC, the Han emperor instituted it nationally. The fortunes of Chinese empires have sometimes depended on the control of salt supplies. While often a critical source of government revenue, salt was so valuable that it enabled the rise of two smugglers who eventually overthrew the Tang and the Yuan dynasties (link in Chinese).
Michelle Obama and the Why of Ferguson, Missouri
It’s difficult to imagine a sadder state of affairs than political figures suggesting that any constituent group must adhere to a predetermined ideology without question, preaching that the flock should unquestionably follow a political party’s whims in lockstep. We all know such a thing be an anathema among free-thinking people, don’t we?
This is a trait of past civilizations that we often ridicule and lament, having the benefit of hindsight and the blessings of Western concepts of morality. How, indeed, did Germans fall under the Nazi spell? When, exactly, did the Khmer Rouge accept their roles as enforcers of party-line groupthink to the extent that they would murder their own countrymen for a lack of faith in the Communist regime? At what moment did Mao’s subjects sacrifice their own right to human choice such that millions perished under the yoke of communalist agricultural revolution called the “Great Leap Forward?”
These are all enduring questions in our effort to dissect political dysfunction and the nature of humankind. But I would offer this: we need not look at history. Look at our current First Lady to see such methods of indoctrination at work.
Before this month’s election, Michelle Obama beseeched an audience to vote along party lines, “no matter who’s on the ballot.” “It’s not about that person on the ballot,” she said. “It’s about you, and for most of the people we are talking to, a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on regardless of who said what or did this, that shouldn’t even come into the equation.”
As the television audience to whom she directed these comments is primarily composed of blacks, we can safely infer that she meant blacks should think and act of one mind, and march to the polls and vote Democrat at her behest. Or at the very least, the color of their skin alone should compel them to do so. That is a suggestion that should be pretty ridiculous if you consider in most other contexts.
Imagine that I were to suggest that all other Anglo-Hispanic Americans, be they from California, Maine, or anywhere in that broad space between, are singularly tied to my personal experience in such a way that despite having shared little or no common experience with me beyond our ethnic and racial background, we are bound by a singular expression of thought and action. Then imagine that I tell you that you should vote Republican, because anyone in that racial category should always vote for Republicans at all costs, regardless of which politician is on the ballot, irrespective of the party’s track record, and oblivious to what Republican politicians have expressed to be the intended consequence of their having a future mandate.
If you listened to me and unthinkingly voted Republican on the weight of my plea, you wouldn’t be acting on your own volition. You would be acting in accordance to my will, because you have surrendered your right to think for yourself and have put your faith in a political machine.
In a nutshell, that is how individualism dies, and collectivist ambition prevails — through the invention and exploitation of identity groups which elites insist must define one’s thoughts and expression. One’s supposed inclusion with this preset identity group must necessarily forbid any individual expression to the contrary — a message usually delivered by charismatic mediums.
Such are the sly seductions which have infected our culture in recent decades, and these leftist seductions — not institutional white racism — are the culprit that keeps Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of a world where men are judged “by the content of their character” and not by the “color of their skin” just out of reach. Democrats outwardly claim to desire Dr. King’s post-racial world, yet they deny it an existence and smother his dream by relentlessly clinging to racial identities and fomenting racial animus. They disseminate theories about a society which is motivated by strangling black ambition and success, even as a black man and a black woman hold the two highest-of-high profile positions within that very society. Some among Michelle’s target audience have the good sense torecognize the hypocrisy in Democrats sermonizing about the curse of poverty among black demographics from their lavish pulpit. But tragically, most just take Michelle Obama’s plea to heart, and focus on the supposed microcosms of institutional racism against blacks — like black people are supposed to do, as I’m sure Michelle would argue.
And like marionettes on strings, the rabid flock, influenced by the attack-politics of Democrats and media race-hustlers, has descended upon Ferguson, Missouri, undoubtedly driven at some level by delusions of grandeur about it being this generation’s Selma, Alabama. Some are there to profit and/or grow the brand (Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the deceased Michael Brown’s family, et al), while some are there to simply break things, steal stuff, and hurt people, disguisingtheir selfish aggression and desire for attention as festering anger about racism, or something like that. And undeterred by the onslaught of released evidence which suggests that Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Darren Wilson wasnot a simple matter of a teen with his hands up gunned down by a murderous officer as the popular narrative suggests, and despite the results of a grand jury investigation which angry black mobs will likely find disagreeable in any event, Democrats and the media will report the profiteering, arson, thievery, and violence that will ensue in Ferguson as if it has anything to do at all with Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, and nothing to do with the incendiary and dangerous rhetoric that Democrats have delivered leading up to and surrounding the incident which brought all of it about.
Yes, Ferguson is indeed a microcosm of a deeply rooted societal disease. But it’s certainly not white racism.
HEALTH AND HOLINESS
“The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind.” – G.K. Chesterton
It is no secret that this blog celebrates some unhealthy things, like beer and pipe smoking. And inevitably, whenever I write a post on the joys of bacon or post a meme on the Facebook page featuring a smoker, I am scolded for promoting something that is potentially harmful to health. Smoking is risky and bacon is bad for you, I am told, and our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, these things are immoral and no one should enjoy them.
Because this criticism is so common, I thought it would be worth providing my reasons for promoting things that could be deemed unhealthy.
IS BEING UNHEALTHY IMMORAL?
In modern society, health is sacrosanct, and there is almost no sin greater than potentially harming your body. It is a new form of pharisaism in which things like abortion and promiscuity are praised as moral goods, but cigarette smoking is condemned as a grave evil.
One reason I believe this is the case is that our culture is largely materialistic, rejecting any notions of transcendent spiritual realities or absolute truths. As a society, we have rejected a universal moral law, and yet human beings remain moral creatures in need of moral strictures. Therefore, health has become the new summum bonum, and unhealthiness the new mortal sin.
The vilification of all things unhealthy has largely infiltrated Christianity too, with the argument that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit used to condemn anything and everything that might be deemed harmful to the body.
So where do I stand on this issue? If it isn’t clear by now, I think the whole equation of health and morality is simply wrong. Here’s why.
First, our bodies are temporary and are meant to be used, not worshiped Countless saints were extremely hard on their bodies, disciplining them rigorously with fasting and penance. Even St. Paul said, “I beat my body and subdue it.” St. Francis famously referred to his body as “brother ass,” wearing it out with fasts and mortifications.
These ascetical practices of the saints horrify the modern advocates of health, and in fact, I have seen Catholics go to great lengths to dismiss them as ignorant and misguided. But the fact remains that the saints had little use for their bodies, and in many ways viewed them as disposable. St. John Vianney sums up the attitude of the saints well, “Our body is a vessel of corruption; it is meant for death and for the worms, nothing more!”
How can we reconcile this attitude with the teaching that our bodies are holy? It’s pretty simple. If you read 1 Corinthians 15 (the whole chapter is worth reading), St. Paul teaches that our present physical bodies are essentially worthless, doomed to death and corruption by the curse. In the resurrection of the dead, however, we will receive new and glorified bodies, made after the incorruptible immortality of Christ. What these glorified, spiritual bodies will be like is difficult to tell—but we know they will be holy, beautiful, and eternal.
The saints knew this theology well, and so they didn’t take their earthly bodies that seriously. They used them and even abused them to a degree, knowing that they were entirely temporary and would be replaced with an upgraded model, so to speak. Now, obviously, asceticism and smoking are two different things, and I do not mean to equate them. My point is that, like the saints, we shouldn’t take our present bodies too seriously, pampering them or treating them as somehow of the same value as our souls. Our eternal souls are infinitely more valuable than these temporary bodies. Whether you’re a triathlete or a chain smoker, your present body is going to rot and return to the dust—but your soul will live forever.
More to read on this HERE.
Story on this is almost 10 years old, but still. So go and read about this HERE.