Daily Archives: May 1, 2011
By: Hans Bader 04/28/11 12:34 PM
Special to the Examiner
The Obama Administration has spent $1.6 billion on Chinese and other foreign wind power, notes Wintery Knight. The practical effect of these subsidies is to outsource more American jobs. ABC News reports on the subsidies for Chinese wind turbines contained in the stimulus package:
Despite all the talk of green jobs, the overwhelming majority of stimulus money spent on wind power has gone to foreign companies, according to a new report by the Investigative Reporting Workshop at the American University’s School of Communication in Washington, D.C.
Nearly $2 billion in money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been spent on wind power, funding the creation of enough new wind farms to power 2.4 million homes over the past year. But the study found that nearly 80 percent of that money has gone to foreign manufacturers of wind turbines.
“Most of the jobs are going overseas,” said Russ Choma at the Investigative Reporting Workshop. He analyzed which foreign firms had accepted the most stimulus money. “According to our estimates, about 6,000 jobs have been created overseas, and maybe a couple hundred have been created in the U.S.” Even with the infusion of so much stimulus money, a recent report by American Wind Energy Association showed a drop in U.S. wind manufacturing jobs last year.
The stimulus package also funnelled money to left-wing community organizers and liberal lobbying groups.
Gulf Oil CEO Joe Petrowski says President Barack Obama’s weekend comments in Brazil that the United States looks forward to purchasing oil drilled for offshore by that nation “is rather puzzling,” and “hypocritical” as his administration has imposed a virtual moratorium Gulf Oil, Joe Petrowski, Barack Obama, Brazil, Drillingon domestic drilling. The signal to purchase more foreign oil comes after the U.S. Export-Import Bank invested more than $2 billion with Brazil’s state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration.
The CEO of General Electric, which has received government “green jobs” money, is a close Obama advisor. GE has been busy outsourcing American jobs, eliminating a fifth of its U.S. workforce since 2002. GE made $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but paid no taxes at all, even though America’s corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world, and shareholders in American companies are burdened by heavy, double taxation. (American companies pay hefty corporate income tax on their earnings. Then, taxes are imposed yet again on that same income when it is distributed to shareholders as dividends. The shareholders have to pay income tax on that same income, hence double taxation.)
Oddly, while subsidizing some foreign “green” jobs, the stimulus package also contained other terrible provisions that ignited trade wars with Mexico and Canada, wiping out more jobs in America’s export sector and aggravating the U.S. trade deficit.
Written by Joe Wolverton, II Friday, 29 April 2011 15:51
Van Jones, the erstwhile “Green Jobs Czar,” is using his influence to support a movement to establish a slate of global statutes that would protect planet Earth in as vigorous a manner as living beings. A story published by Fox News online records that:
The new movement is almost certain to be showcased at a U.N.-sponsored global summit on “sustainable development” to take place in Rio de Janeiro in May 2012, when similar issues of “global environmental governance” are a major focus of attention.
This effort is one aspect of the new role of Jones as a member of the board of the Pachamama Alliance, an organization committed to “creating a global movement to make human rights for Mother Nature an international reality — complete with enforceable laws — by 2014.”
Jones is accustomed to attaching his name to questionable causes. According to the Fox News story:
He resigned from the administration in September 2009 after making public apologies for some of his past actions, including the signing of a 2004 petition that questioned whether the Bush administration had deliberately allowed the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to happen, and his previous affiliation with a self-described communist organization, the Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM).
Jones’s new affiliation with the Pachamama Alliance is consistent with his earlier work. On its website, the group proclaims that it “is working to build a movement of millions of educated and inspired individuals, with thousands of successful cases of enforceable Rights of Nature legislation having been enacted at local and national levels, by the end of 2014.”
Furthering the goals of the radical green agenda has been the primary avocation of Jones since leaving his post at the Obama White House. He is currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a group with close ties to controversial financier George Soros.
The efforts of Jones are not going unnoticed. In fact, many of the Central and South American nations stand behind the effort to make the planet a “person” in the eyes of international law. Specifically, the delegates to the United Nations from Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Brazil are actively promoting the scheme.
Time is of the essence for Jones and his fellows. As reported:
This year, the global celebrations also start an unofficial countdown to the U.N.-sponsored global summit in Rio de Janeiro next year.
The summit, known in U.N. shorthand as Rio + 20, is intended as a 20th anniversary successor to the famous Earth Summit of 1992, which gave enormous stimulus and legitimacy to the global environmental movement.
“Rio + 20 is a good opportunity to have that step forward,” observed Pablo Salon, Bolivia’s ambassador to the U.N. “It would be like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Ambassador Salon told Fox News that Bolivia is cooperating with an affiliate of the greater Pachamama Alliance, known as the Pachamama Foundation, to promote its “nature rights campaign.”
This foundation is not new to the fight for Earth’s recognition as an equal to a person. According to reports, “it was instrumental in helping to install the same ‘fundamental rights for nature’ it espouses into the constitution of Ecuador in 2008.”
The foundation declares that its aim is to “promote an alternative and innovative model of development, based in good living and with an emphasis on recognition and respect for human rights and the rights of Nature.” One aspect of that goal is the push for “an alternate monetary system for use among native peoples in the Amazonian region.”
Recently, the Pachamama Alliance proudly proclaimed that “the Ecuadorian foundation has forged a strong relationship with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the U.N.’s flagship anti-poverty arm, as an official monitor of UNDP investment in the Amazon region.”
The Pachamama Alliance is adept at the manipulation of social media outlets to broadcast the tenets of its green gospel. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook are the technological tracts being disseminated by the foundation.
Through such efforts, Pachamama is positioning itself as a player in the Rio environmental summit to be held next year. As a member of the board, Van Jones is giving the group the false appearance of some sort of official American endorsement of the radical green agenda.
Illustration: Gaia, the primal Greek goddess personifying the Earth
Sun, May 1st, 2011 8:09 pm BdST
WASHINGTON, May 1 (bdnews24.com/Reuters) – The White House is using mostly symbolic measures to address soaring gasoline prices, but the strategy is failing to resonate with frustrated American voters.
President Barack Obama, whose 2012 re-election bid may be complicated by the high gasoline prices, says he has no simple solution to drive down fuel costs, and his aversion to “quick fix” policy moves reflects that.
His administration has neither tapped strategic oil reserves nor advocated a major increase in domestic drilling, and has not offered to trim taxes for drivers.
Instead, Obama and his advisers have blamed market speculators for pushing up prices, criticized oil companies for reaping record profits, expressed sympathy for consumers and called on world oil producers to raise output — all while advocating longer-term solutions involving renewable energy and conservation.
“The most important thing we can do is have a long-term strategy to make sure we don’t end up here again,” Heather Zichal, Obama’s top energy adviser, said in an interview.
That strategy includes a push to reduce U.S. oil imports by a third over a decade by increasing domestic production, making cars and trucks more efficient, and fostering biofuels and natural gas.
But focusing on long-term goals holds political risks for Obama as he seeks re-election. He already is seeing his support drop in opinion polls on his handling of the economy.
In a Washington Post-ABC News poll of 1,001 U.S. adults published last week, 71 percent of those surveyed said gasoline prices are causing them serious financial hardship and 57 percent disapproved of the way Obama is handling the economy.
While Obama’s ability to control gasoline costs could impact his chances of re-election, demand for oil from fast-growing countries such as China and India makes it nearly impossible for him to talk market prices down.
“There’s going to be a lot of political wordsmithing over the next few months, and ultimately I don’t think it’s going to work,” said Ken Medlock, an energy expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston. “I don’t see … any relief in sight.”
Republicans and the oil industry lobby contend that there is something that can work right away, which they say the Obama administration has thwarted: more drilling.
“We’re the third-largest producer in the world, and yet the signal that this administration is sending is that we’re not interested in producing oil and gas in this country,” said Thomas Pyle, president of the Washington-based Institute for Energy Research, a group that typically promotes the conventional energy industry, including more drilling.
Republicans plan to bring to a vote at least one bill this week in the House of Representatives aimed at bolstering domestic energy production.
SHORT TERM, LONG TERM
The White House argues that drilling is not a panacea for high energy costs, a contention backed up by industry analysts. Obama has called for lawmakers to get rid of $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies, putting that money instead toward renewable energy research and deficit reduction.
White House officials say their short-term approach to the price problem is multi-pronged.
This includes investigating potential price gouging through a group set up by Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking to the public about reducing consumption through “town hall” meetings with Obama, and dangling the possibility of tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“We’ve been clear that it is a tool that we have available at our disposal. We are monitoring the situation,” Zichal said of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world.
With unrest in the Middle East and North Africa having an effect on oil markets, foreign policy is another instrument in Obama’s toolbox that could be used to affect prices hitting consumers at home.
“Communicating a vision for what (is) America’s policy in the Middle East more clearly, particularly regarding large oil producing states, would help create some more certainty in the markets,” said Trevor Houser, director of energy and climate at the Rhodium Group, which does research for private companies.
Obama said last week that his administration is talking to producer countries about increasing crude output, an echo of the Bush administration, which was not averse to pressuring OPEC into producing more oil.
Pyle and most Republicans say the administration should turn its focus toward boosting deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, encouraging exploration in Alaska, and approving a new pipeline from Canada.
The White House says activity in the Gulf is continuing, with 23 deepwater permits approved for 12 unique wells since new safety standards were set up after the 2010 BP oil spill.
To ease voter angst, analysts said Obama has to show his concern — a feeling the White House is eager to project — even though his options are limited.
“What you try to do is basically show that, hey, I’ve noticed,” said Mark Hansen, a political science professor at the University of Chicago.
“It’s largely symbolic. It’s more an expression of concern than anything that’s going to have a substantive effect on prices that people are paying at the pump.”