Monthly Archives: April 2009

Cap and Trade or ….Bait and Switch?

What is cap and trade?


The Cap – It is a system that sets a limit or a cap on emissions generated by fossil fuel use. Companies will be given an emission limit based on either a formula or a historical profile. Over time the limit would be reduced to achieve a target that in theory would reduce the cumulative global output to 80% of 1990 actual output by 2050.


The Trade – Companies that perform below their allocated levels can bank the unused units and sell them to companies that exceed their allocated units.


Theoretically, the system would be adopted worldwide and the total global cap would be designed to reduce global warming. This sounds great right?


So are you ready for the rest of the story?


First, the implementation of this program will have a major impact on our economy and your wallet.


– The implementation of this type of program could result in an increase in electricity rates by as much as 60% in the next 10 years.

– It could add an additional $0.30 to $0.40 to the price of a gallon of gas.


Second, the various proposals all require quick implementation so there are no provisions for easing into them. Since, 85% of the energy used in the U.S. is a by product of fossil fuel moving quickly to alternative energy sources will be difficult. First the technology and required infrastructure must be built before it can be adopted. This will be an expensive change. Europe has been attempting to implement these measures since 1997 when many European nations signed the Kyoto Protocol which is an international treaty to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The time and cost to implement have exceeded original projections. The bottom line for American businesses is their costs will go up making them less competitive in the global economy.


Why would a global treaty unfairly penalize U.S. businesses? To start with, our government will hold our businesses to the standard through federal legislation. This would be fine if the rest of the world would play on the same field. However, this is not the case. Under the terms of the Kyoto Protocol developing and emerging third world nations are exempt from the guidelines. The theory is that the U.S., Europe and Japan were unencumbered by such restrictions during our early growth years so the only fair thing to do is give these developing nations a break in their formative years. As a result China and India are building new coal burning power plants at an alarming rate and by the way these plants are not utilizing clean coal technology. China is now the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide but they are completely exempt from Kyoto.


Meanwhile back at home in the U.S., the federal government has piled on the regulations and restrictions that continue to reduce America’s global competitiveness. The Congress and environmental groups have objections to almost every solution to America’s move toward energy independence which translates into a healthier economy.


Here is a list of potential solutions along with the associated objection:


Nuclear power: Cheap and surprisingly safe, despite the safety concerns the industry has had a long record of safe operations in the U.S. There are 439 nuclear power plants operating in 30 countries around the world, 104 in the U.S. This is one of the largest sources of power in Europe. It also has a smaller carbon footprint than other energy sources. Legitimately, nuclear power is the easiest to argue against due to storage, safety and potential target for terrorism.

Coal Powered Electric Generation: The largest source of power in the U.S. coal plants produce the highest level of carbon dioxide of the primary sources. While there is a lot of work on building clean coal technology debate rages over whether it is real and cost effective. Ironically, coal provides the most immediate solution to U.S. energy independence because we have some of the world’s largest reserves. However, if we are not allowed to use it here at home I am sure we will eventually sell our coal reserves off to China and India allowing them to use the cheaper fuel while we pay higher prices at home.

Oil, Off Shore Drilling: The U.S. also has large potential reserves of our shore line but environmentalists go crazy at the thought of off shore drilling. Again, modern technology has made this much safer and more cost effective. While it may not be the answer long term, increased domestic oil production could help bridge the gap short term while we ramp up alternative energy sources.


Ironically, even the green solutions raise the ire of environmentalists:


Solar Power: Solar technology has evolved to a point where base load solar power is now technically feasible. California has started exploring the possibility of constructing such plants in the Mohave Desert. While today it remains relatively expensive 4x the cost of coal powered electricity per kilowatt hour there is confidence in the engineering community that costs could be cut by as much as two thirds as the technology continues to be refined. The only known negative environmental impact is construction of the plants and the use of transmission lines to bring the power back to the population centers. The environmentalists have already started their campaigns to protect the desert and all the areas the transmission lines will be built on. Prompting a frustrated California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to say, “They say we want renewable energy but they say they don’t want us to put it anywhere. I don’t know if this is ironic or absurd. But, I mean, if we can’t put solar power plants in the Mohave Desert, I don’t know where the hell we can put them.”

Wind Power: While wind power is one of the cleanest and most environmentally friendly sources for power it still receives continuous attacks from environmental and citizens groups. The primary complaints from environmentalists focus on birds and bats with regard to migratory patterns. While citizen groups often complain about the aesthetics of the turbines themselves. Even Sen. Ted Kennedy, supposedly a supporter of all things green, complained about the Cape Wind Project near his summer home. Of course, wind turbines will also require those nasty transmission lines.


I think you are starting to get the point. Ironically, the U.S. Senate already voted 95-0 against participation in the Kyoto Treaty or any similar treaty.


Recognizing that there is not support in Congress to vote this type of legislation into law, on April 17th the Administration used its’ regulatory power through the EPA and announced that greenhouse gas emission were a threat to public health because they contribute to climate change. This sets the stage for the EPA to regulate emissions from a wide spectrum of sources including vehicles, power plants, manufacturing facilities, oil refineries and airplanes. Soon we will be chasing environmental standards that are unrealistic and hurt our ability to compete in the world. These standards will raise the cost of power, transportation and products for both citizens and most American businesses. This feeds into the larger cycle of government rules and regulations that reduce the profitability of our economy, put us at a disadvantage in the global market and slows economic recovery.


The only winners in this situation will be the multi-national businesses such as GE which spent an estimated $20 million on lobbying efforts on all things green. In addition to their huge footprint in wind and solar power, GE has announced the launch of a new subsidiary called Greenhouse Gas Services, which will facilitate the trading of carbon tax credits. GE and others are poised to cash in on this “crisis” while the rest of us are left to foot the bill.


A few more fun facts on the mythical climate change/global warming that is the driver of these efforts:


  • In the last 100 years the earth has warmed 0.74 degrees Celsius.
  • Both man and natural changes have both contributed to these changes.
  • Historically, weather patterns have changed in cyclical patterns.
  • In support of weather being cyclical here are a few blast from the past: In 1924 both the N.Y. Times and Time magazine wrote alarming articles about global cooling but by the mid 1930’s both were reporting that we were headed for a period of scary global warming. Then in the mid 70’s, during my high school years, both were back to reporting cooling trends and even a potential second ice age.
  • There is not conclusive evidence that all of the claims being made by the forces of Al Gore are accurate. In fact there is a large group within the scientific community that do not agree. However, media coverage of this opposing view is limited and most attempts at public debate on the issue gets no notice.
  • Nitrous oxide and methane which warms the planet at 296 times and 23 times the rate of carbon dioxide respectively is a natural emission of live stock so maybe we should all be vegans and eliminate the pesky livestock population all together. Wait PETA will never go for that.
  • Environmentally friendly (hybrid) cars seem like a good idea. However here is some perspective – it would take 3 billion Ford Expeditions driving 15,000 miles a year each to equal the amount of carbon dioxide emissions that will enter the atmosphere from China’s increased use of coal powered electricity by 2020. (side note: it would take Ford 15,000 years to sell that many Expeditions based on current sales stats)
  • Last but not least a few of quotes from leading environmentalist that should leave you wondering if climate change initiatives are  about protecting the planet or social reengineering:

 To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective and being honest.”  Stephen Schneider, 1989  Schneider was the lead author of the 2007 UN IPCC report. In 1970 he was also the author of one of the reports that lead to the global cooling scare.




From Paul Ehrlich, current president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University a series of predictions:

1969 – “I’ll take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000”

1970 – “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”

1978 – “Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”


And the one that should frighten you the most……


“Climate change (provides) the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”

“No matter if the science is all phony, there are still collateral environmental benefits” to global warming policies – Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environmental Minister


This brings us back to Cap & Trade and the Bait and Switch:


The Bait: We are in the midst of an environmental melt down and all good citizens of the world must work together to avert impending disaster. This seems logical and reasonable on the surface if the rules are fair.


The Switch: Turns out the rules are not fair. The U.S. government is not protecting America’s economy or the best interests of its’ citizens by not insisting on a level playing field.


In the end Cap & Trade will be just another undisclosed tax and financial burden on the citizens of the U.S. It is an international wealth shifting program that holds the U.S. to the highest standard while holding China arguably the other super power to none.


Write your representatives and tell them we are not interested in Cap & Trade or subsidizing the cost of switching to alternative energy systems on an artificial schedule. We will be good citizens of the world. Through American innovation we will continue to move toward cleaner energy and more thoughtful environmental policies but not at the expense of our own economic security. Scare tactics aside, we have time to both “fix” the problems and protect our economy.


(Some of the Fun Facts and Quotes courtesy of an Inconvenient Book by Glenn Beck)

After the Tea Party………….

So what’s next? Now that the Tea Parties are over, will those who participated go quietly into the night after having their moment in the sun as many in the liberal media are predicting? If our little group in St. Paul, MN is any indication, I think not.


As our emcee Sue Jeffers said, “This isn’t a one-time hissy fit; this is the start of something big.”
Our grassroots steering team is already planning future events for July 4th (Independence Day) and Sept. 17th (Constitution Day). We are also going support the events of other groups that became part of the coalition that made our event so successful, starting with the Jason Lewis Tax cut Rally on May 2nd.

The inaccurate media coverage and the continued bashing of the Tea Parties by the liberal press has only strengthened our commitment to our message and our cause. We are not a bunch of right wing extremists trying to be disruptive; we are concerned citizens trying to make our voices heard and participate in our political process. We are not protesting people or political parties; we are protesting the direction and policies of the current Congress and the new Administration.

Our issues are:


·  excessive taxes

·  out of control government spending

·  nationalization of private businesses

·  redistribution of wealth

·  the T.A.R.P. bailout plan

·  loss of individual freedoms

·  excessive government regulation

·  socialized medicine

·  loss of national sovereignty


It is time for concerned citizens everywhere to find a way to get involved. We have a unique right as Americans to participate in the process of government. If you value your freedom, you have a responsibility to exercise these rights. Our Constitution is the most original government charter every created and it gives to Americans guarantees of liberties and freedoms that exist no where else in the world. Those rights and freedoms fueled America’s greatness, the American Dream and the innovation that made us the most powerful nation in the world.


As Dr. W. Cleon Skousen asserts in his book, The 5000 Year Leap, the founding fathers established 28 principles of freedom which were framed into the Constitution. Adherence to these principles in our laws and beliefs for the past 200 years has created more progress than had been made in the previous 5000 years. Why would we want to give this up?

America it is time to wake up! Let’s take back our country and our destiny. We are a good and generous country. We need to return to a government that follows our Constitution and its principles. The Tea Parties represent a desire by many citizens to return to these roots. Through our peaceful rallies we attempted to promote these ideals and make our voices heard by those that we elected.


As Thomas Jefferson said,” I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms are in the physical.”


So go, find your voice and join us. We are not going away, we are here to stay!

States’ Rights Bills: a legitimate move by state governments or a plot by right wing extremists……………

Amendment X – The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or the people.

– The United States Constitution


Ever heard of the 10th Amendment? It was put in the U.S. Constitution by the founding fathers to protect us from a run away federal government. The Constitution clearly and deliberately delegates the authority that is allocated to the federal government. Everything else falls to either state or local government and allows the will of the citizens to be the deciding factor in many aspects of the law. The idea being that local and state governments would be better able to determine community needs than the federal government.


Why were the founding fathers so intent on delineating state and federal government? Probably because many of them or their families had left Europe to escape oppressive governments or monarchies that thought they knew what was best for everyone on all issues from religion to taxes. By limiting the scope of the federal government they were creating a union  of sovereign states that allowed for unique differences based on the desires of each states’ population.


“The powers delegated to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, [such] as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce. The powers reserved to the several states will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people.” James Madison,  The Federalist


Continuous over reaching by the federal government for the last twenty years is causing a backlash at the state level. The movement for state sovereignty has gained momentum because the balance of power has tilted too far and for too long in the direction of the federal government. These bills are not political statements of independence. They are a rejection of the increasing cost of unfunded mandates being placed upon the states by the federal government. Currently, there are at least 30 states with bills before their state legislatures. As out of control federal spending increases, so do the odds of some of these sovereignty bills passing in the next year.


Last week just in time for April 15th  and the Tax Day Tea Parties that had been announced, the Department of  Homeland Security released a report that detailed the department’s concerns about increased security threats from “right wing extremists”. One of the ideologies warned about in the report was … states’ rights. Contrary to rumors most supporters of states’ rights are not interested in secession or avoiding their tax obligations but rather restoring the appropriate balance (as defined by the Constitution)

between states and the federal government. Make no mistake those in power at the federal level are not in favor of reducing the size and scope of Washington’s authority. As this movement gains momentum expect increased friction and fighting over this important issue.


More things to consider as this story unfolds…..


“Right wing extremists” are not the problem – radical legislators and activist judges are a bigger threat. A threat that the founding fathers anticipated, so they provided no Constitutional power for Congress to override state laws.  Also if they really intended to give Congress the authority to act in the interest of the “general welfare,” why would  Article I, Section 8,  have been included ? Keep in mind, it also did not give the judicial branch unlimited jurisdiction over the states.


The Tenth Amendment was written after the Constitutional was ratified. It was added to reinforce that the states remained individual and unique sovereignties and as such, were empowered in areas that the Constitution did not delegate to the federal government. Therefore, any federal attempt to legislate beyond the Constitutional limits of Congress’ authority is a usurpation of state sovereignty making it illegal.


As the Administration and the Congress make plans for massive bailouts and expanded social programs, state governments are wondering where the money will come from. If they don’t comply they can lose federal funding and if they do, many of these programs come with long strings that result in unfunded obligations for the states. Reasserting their sovereignty maybe the only way to take a stand.


“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.”  — Patrick Henry


“With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” — James Madison

The G20 moves the world a step closer to global financial regulation…………

( A single clause in Point 19 of the communiqué issued by the G20 leaders amounts to revolution in the global financial order.

“We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (£170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity,” it said. SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund that has lain dormant for half a century. In effect, the G20 leaders have activated the IMF’s power to create money and begin global “quantitative easing”. In doing so, they are putting a de facto world currency into play. It is outside the control of any sovereign body. Conspiracy theorists will love it. It has been a good summit for the IMF. Its fighting fund for crises is to be tripled overnight to $750bn. This is real money.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director, said in February that the world was “already in Depression” and risked a slide into social disorder and military conflict unless political leaders resorted to massive stimulus.

The Russians had hoped their idea to develop SDRs as a full reserve currency to challenge the dollar would make its way on to the agenda, but at least they got a foot in the door. There is now a world currency in waiting. In time, SDRs are likely evolve into a parking place for the foreign holdings of central banks, led by the People’s Bank of China. Beijing’s moves this week to offer $95bn in yuan currency swaps to developing economies show how fast China aims to break dollar dependence.

Need more evidence…….

( US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner shocked global markets by revealing that Washington is “quite open” to Chinese proposals for the gradual development of a global reserve currency run by the International Monetary Fund.

The dollar plunged instantly against the euro, yen, and sterling as the comments flashed across trading screens. David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC, said the apparent policy shift amounts to an earthquake in geo-finance. “The mere fact that the US Treasury Secretary is even entertaining thoughts that the dollar may cease being the anchor of the global monetary system has caused consternation,” he said.

Only hours earlier, President Barack Obama had told a news conference that there was no threat to the reserve status of the dollar. Later, Geithner qualified his remarks, insisting that the dollar would remain the “world’s dominant reserve currency … for a long period of time” but the damage was already done. The markets appear confused by the conflicting statements coming from the Administration.

So what does this mean to America? It means for the first time in a 100 years the rest of the world is trying to regain control of the world economy and put the U.S. in its’ place. These moves are designed to strengthen the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. This will lay the ground work for global financial regulation and a new world currency. The creation of a Financial Stability Board looks like the first step towards a global financial regulator. This is a serious threat to the U.S. economy and the dollar.

Once again the Administration is on the wrong side of this issue. The President supported the creation of the Financial Stability Board which in the future could/will technically be able to impose global regulations that the SEC would be obliged to follow. Welcome to the New World Order, goodbye sovereignty! The U.S. government elected by its‘ citizens, our regulators and our courts should be the only bodies that are allowed to interfere with, oops I mean, regulate U.S. businesses. Friends, we are embarking on a journey down a very slippery slope. At the bottom of this slope is a place where America as we knew it is GONE.

The dangers of a world central bank are glaringly frightening. The European Central Bank has struggled with managing policy for 16 countries in a region with a common history, and EU institutions (Commission, Court of Justice, competition police, etc). The potential politics of global monetary management would be disastrous.

The heads of the Fed, the ECB, and the Bank of England, must all testify before parliaments and answer to democratic government. In the absence of a world parliament or some type of world government, who would control a super-IMF? Are you starting to see the bigger picture more clearly?

On April 15th all across America there will be Tea Parties and Tax Rallies. The themes of these events are centered on taxes, redistribution of wealth, economic policy, individual rights and Liberty. Currently there are over 500 such events planned. These are grass root organizations made up of concerned citizens who have transcended partisan politics in order to make their voices heard. Their common goal is take back our country and the ideals that made it the strongest, freest nation on earth. We may not be perfect, as the Administration, is so quick to point out but overall the world has been a better place as the result of a strong and free U.S.A.!

George Washington warned of the dangers our country would face over 200 years ago if we lost sight of guiding principles that were used to form this great Union:

“’Tis folly in one Nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its Independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect, or calculate upon real favors from Nation to Nation. ‘Tis an illusion which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.
…….. ‘Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.

George Washington, Farewell Address, September 19, 1796

If the idea of being part of some global nation engineered by politicians, dictators, kings, sheiks and communist party chiefs scares the hell out of you, then join us and make your voice part of the ground swell to Take our Country Back!