Friday, May 6, 2011

Observations From the Back Row:5-6-11

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“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

If the congressional, administration and activist conspirators behind this massive deceit were in the private sector – peddling bogus drugs, rather than bogus science – they’d quickly become convicts. Instead of jail time, though, they’ll probably get bonus checks. – Paul Driessen

***Featured Article***

The overwhelming body of scientific evidence supports the safety of myriad chemicals in use today - A fusillade of recent items by the New York Times, US News, CNN, and others purports to show how certain common pesticides lead to reduced IQs among children of women exposed to these chemicals while pregnant. Dismayed, I carefully went over the paper that lies at the ground zero of the media frenzy. It is a study of the organophosphate (OP) class of pesticides by a group of researchers based at the University of California at Berkeley and led by Brenda Eskenazi.

My Take - I hope this puts a huge damper on this issue.  Junk scientists are as rampant as the flu in January.  Only far more distructive! 

Why Illinois’ proposed ban on trans fats should be stopped: Fact sheet Publisher’s note: A bill has passed the Illinois House that would ban trans fats. Here is a fact sheet that can be used to debunk the ban. Click here for a PDF version of the fact sheet. HB1600 (Trans Fat Ban) Should Be Stopped
Overview. Illinois House-passed bill HB1600 would ban bakeries and other food facilities from using trans fat-containing oils, shortenings, and margarines in spreads, baking and frying. The proposed ban is based on “junk science” and will produce no public health benefits.

Former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson hopes that Osama bin Laden's death will spur President Barack Obama to promote climate change legislation.“My hope is that from this success in the foreign policy arena two days ago, that he will be emboldened to take once again to the Congress legislation — not just to increase a renewable energy standard — but climate change legislation that this country and the world need,” Richardson said Tuesday at a Climate Leadership Gala hosted by the Earth Day Network in Washington.

My Take – You have got to be kidding! How can anyone at this stage of the game buy into this horsepucky?

Enviros demonstrate case for removing EPA from all real-world decision making Two environmental groups have challenged the air pollution permit for a $750 million iron plant in southwestern Louisiana, which is the first project that was approved under the greenhouse gas regulations that were implemented by U.S. EPA in January. The petition, which was filed yesterday by the Sierra Club and the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, asks EPA to throw the brakes on a $3.4 billion complex being developed in southeastern Louisiana by Charlotte, N.C.-based Nucor Corp.

Editor Junk Science - The US EPA supposedly worries about a few piffling hundredths of one percent of the atmosphere comprised of a particular species of greenhouse gas while (for now) ignoring a greenhouse gas very similar in action but comprising 1%-4% of the atmosphere and exerting 25-100 times the effect. If they want to make any measurable difference to earth’s greenhouse effect then they are going to have to start work on removing the clouds from the sky and drying the atmosphere, although this would not have the result they are looking for either because it would increase surface-absorbed solar energy. Given that their stated aims and purpose are patently stupid it is apparent they have another agenda.

Gasoline Prices and Taxes Everybody is asking that question these days. The average nationwide price for all grades this week is $3.96/gallon; Californians are paying on average $4.26, the highest in the nation. Why does it cost so much, especially considering that the price was below $2.00/gallon just within the last couple of years?

Nearly seventy percent of the price of a gallon of retail gasoline is the price of the crude oil it is refined from. Two graphs from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) make that point. The first shows the price of a gallon of gasoline (left axis) plotted against the price of a gallon of crude oil (right axis). The two move in virtual lock-step; if you know the crude oil price per gallon, add $1.00 and you’ll know the price of gasoline within a few cents. (At $105 per 42-gallon barrel, the per-gallon price of crude is $2.50; add a buck, and you get a gasoline price around $3.50.)….. One last point — even at $4.00, it is difficult to name a liquid product which is cheaper per unit volume than gasoline.

My Take - Unfortunately….this is a liquid that can change the economy drastically. We need to drill…..now! And I don’t what to hear any claptrap about perceived values. The price of energy and its availability is the key to a booming economy. We really do need to get that!

In the debate over rising gas prices, Washington is creating a massive distraction: whether Congress should eliminate tax “subsidies” for oil and gas companies. Of course oil and gas companies don’t receive checks, grants, or direct payments from the federal Treasury, so the debate is a red herring. What’s really needed is price relief for consumers at the pump. The best way to do that is to produce more affordable energy here at home…… We certainly have plenty of it: according to the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), America’s combined supply of oil, coal, and natural gas is the largest on Earth. Put another way, America’s recoverable resources are far larger than those of Saudi Arabia (3rd), China (4th), and Canada (6th) combined. And that’s without including America’s immense oil shale and methane hydrates deposits……….. But this administration is saying no. By restricting supply — through its de facto moratorium on deepwater permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, and its restrictions on production on federal lands — prices have gone up. This is exactly what this administration wants. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, for instance, told the Wall Street Journal that “[s]omehow we have to figure out how to boost the prices of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Consider just Great Britain: consumers there pay over $7.00 a gallon for gasoline.


"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax -
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."

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