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Grand Rapids, MI – Congressman Justin Amash R-3rd US Congressional District, on Wednesday received the Constitution Defender award from the Constitution Celebration Committee. Presenting the award was Heather Cerone, Jody Ferry, and Candy Gillman (shown here with Representative Amash)
The award is presented to our elected officials who follow adhere closely to the United States Constitution and further advocate government compliance to it. The award reads:
On this day June 13, 2012, let it be known to all that
U.S. Representative Justin Amash ..
“Has been recognized by the Constitution Celebration Committee and membership as a person of indefatigable character, who abides by the laws of our country, and defends with vigor, the principles of its founding by lawful means.
This person’s actions have had a positive impact on the community, and has promoted a better understanding of our founding documents through writings or actions and has shown a willingness to resist usurpation of the rights granted by our Constitution.
This person promotes awareness of the United States Constitution through outreach and participation and an unfailing dedication towards preserving it for our children and beyond.”
Previous winners of the award were presented to Michigan State Representative Ray Franz R-101st house, and also to the founder of the Constitution Celebration, Jody Ferry.
A friend attended the Romney campaign event at the Park Place Dome in Traverse City Michigan, and bought himself a hat.
Each Presidential Election cycle, he has bought a trinket, or Souvenir or shirt etc, and in the past he has bought a few hats.
For a moment, ignore the subtle tagline that is Oh-So-Apropriate, and note his objection was that for the first time, a hat he bought from a Republican presidential effort came from China.
Saying as little as necessary, this tag says so very much.
Amidst the gifts that we pass among ourselves, nothing can compare to the ultimate endowment given to us with the birth of Jesus Christ. Nothing can compare to the gift God bestowed upon those of us who are less than perfect.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
No one on this day, can say he or she is without charity, or at the very least a significant dowry unless they would turn it down.
A Merry Christmas to our readers.
May this be a joyous and fruitful time for you and your families.
After choking down my lunch after watching half of it, I did my patriotic duty and gave it the rating it deserved.
Apparently the majority of viewers agreed with my assessment.
Acting is not in the cards for these young heads full of mush and stewed tomatoes. Convincing the population that Barack Obama is worthy of a second term will require a brainwashing on the order of Jim Jones and a potent flavored sugar drink.
Have conservatives and conservative Republicans ever felt that no matter how correct we are, the wind is always in our faces?
Jack Hoogendyk has an interesting look at something that shows those of us on the conservative side of the fence face opposition from even those who are presumably our friends. An analysis of contributions apparently reveals we (or at least “Republicans’) face roughly complete financial opposition from union interests, and a fence sitting 50% from business interests.
“I did a little research using OpenSecrets.org, the web site that tracks campaign contributions. Here is what I found. No matter how far down the list you look, union PAC’s all give donations to Democrats at about a 24 to 1 rate. 96% of all union PAC dollars go to the Democrats. But what about “business” PAC’s? This is where it gets interesting.
Of the top 8 business PAC’s, 52% of the dollars go to Republicans, 48% goes to Democrats. The union bosses are putting all their eggs in the Democrats’ basket. The business groups like to play both sides of the fence.“
So did Humpty Dumpty. We know how THAT ended.
At this point, best advice to business would be that its time to pick a side, as chances of avoiding the crossfire are less with that fence between you and the enemy.
Its not here as a complete replacement, but as an enhancement and is on a clean server with an easier to use WordPress template. Pictures will also be hosted from RightMi.com as well.
Accounts will start as author accounts and featured stories will be front paged as mgt deems fit.
Stay tuned for more developments.
I have been adding to this all week, and have tried to make it as concise as possible, but as more information became available editing was required. Let me know if its hard to follow.
I wrote at the beginning of the month about the coal fired plant in Marquette being threatened by a new and extremely aggressive set of EPA rules. The shutdown of that plant of course would leave in question the future of paper mills, and the electrical needs of yoopers. At least the future of the cost being at all affordable. The jobs that would be lost as higher costs come to bear also joined by a literal health care crisis as fewer would be insured, and less money in the pockets of those Michiganders would encourage poorer health choices.
Health, of course is the victim of the ‘boogeyman’ coal fired power industry. You’ve seen the ubiquitous American Lung Association “coughing baby” ads supporting the Obama EPA’s push to shut down the coal industry, right? What might surprise you is that those ads are funded in part by Chesapeake Energy, the country’s second-largest natural gas producer.
Coming amidst an impending decision by the EPA on the Utility MACT (maximum achievable control technology) rule that is expected to lead to job loses, plant shutdowns, and rolling blackouts across the country, this strange partnership raises a question. What does Chesapeake stand to gain, by pouring money into a seemingly disparate organization with extremely different objectives and priorities? Politico writes:
The ads come as the coal industry is at war with the Obama administration over new rules to curb pollution from coal-fired power plants. The EPA is expected to issue new rules on Friday to curb air toxics from power plants, which are estimated to cost industry about $10.9 billion each year.
Stricter rules for power plants are expected to offer a competitive advantage to the cleaner-burning natural gas industry.
Oh, so its an end-justifies-the-means kind of thing. Rent seeking. But when questioned, Chesapeake officials have stated that the flood of cash to ALA is merely business as usual for the company, which donates to “a wide variety and number of health and medical-related organizations. Well that’s very responsible of them, bravo for being so charitable.
Or is it? (Below)
The article continues:
But Chesapeake and ALA’s relationship goes deeper than just simply writing a charitable contribution.
The American Lung Association thanked Chesapeake in its 2010 annual report for its “generous” funding of a nationwide advertising campaign titled “Fighting for Air.” The ads feature blue skies and children and tout the group’s advocacy work on clean air issues.
Chesapeake also announced a $500,000 contribution to the association in 2008 to match donations for the group’s Clean Air Initiative, a public education campaign about air quality.
So Chesapeake is a private company looking out for its economic interests. But isn’t the American Lung Association purporting to be some sort of public health authority in these ads? Aren’t Americans supposed to be able to trust non-profit health organizations to act with integrity when advancing a policy agenda?
“It comes as no surprise that Chesapeake is trying to buy credibility for its lobbying objectives,” said National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich. “But that the ALA would sell its credibility to a gas company should disturb those who still view the ALA as an impartial voice.”
Apparently the American Lung Association has no problem letting itself be used as a pawn in a corporate chess game, as long as it keeps the checks coming in the door.
And now the scare campaign has transformed into real action by the EPA, and a reality of a BILLION Dollars in added cost to Michiganders is upon us. The Obama EPA, along with an eagerly capitulating American Lung Association, and a rent-seeking competitor perfectly willing to advocate higher costs through its ‘philanthropy’ have decided we are still a little too rich for our own good. The MACT rule goes into effect in a few hours.
The EPA’s Utility MACT rule has reportedly was signed on Friday., and will begin its assault on coal-fired plants, including the Marquette Michigan facility immediately. The Institute for Energy Research has released a new analysis of the anticipated plant closures estimating that a total of 30 GW (up from a previous estimate of 28 GW) of power will be taken offline as a result of the rule’s passage.
In a curious irony, the very day that the new rule was issued, a power outage delayed the start of a 49ers football game. This comes just days after a group of mostly Democratic New England Senators raised the alarm about grid unreliability leaving Northeasterners without power during winter storms. But of course, it seems like an excellent idea to take even more power offline.
Below is a summary of what has happened so far and what is expected to happen over the coming weeks and months if the Utility MACT rule remains as-is.
Utility MACT Update – (as published by the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council)
“Probably” seems to be the way decisions are continuing to be made in government. The source quoted here (Electric Reliability Coordinating Council) has an interest in maintaining sufficient electrical generating capacity. Sufficient for Manufacturing, heating our homes, and providing for the conveniences we have grown accustomed to in our daily lives. Director Scott Segal adds the following points today in a memo:
“As you may have seen, it looks like EPA has said that it will make a major Clean Air Act announcement at a children’s health center tomorrow at 2:00pm. It is likely that EPA will be unveiling the utility maximum achievable control technology (Utility MACT) final rule that the Administrator purportedly signed last Friday. In anticipation of this event, we thought it might be helpful to ask and answer some pertinent questions related to the rule.
Is Utility MACT likely to be a costly rule in terms of jobs?
Answer: Utility MACT will undermine job creation in the United States in several different ways. It will result in retirement of a significant number of power plants and either fail to replace that capacity or replace it with less labor-intensive forms of generation. It will increase the cost of power, undermining the international competitiveness of almost two dozen manufacturing industries, and it will reduce employment upstream in the mining sectors. All told, it is anticipated that the rule will result in the loss of some 1.44 million jobs by 2020. While some jobs are created by complying with the new rule, the number and quality of those jobs is far less than those destroyed. We estimate that for every one temporary job created, four higher-paying permanent jobs are lost. The bottom line: this rule is the most expensive air rule that EPA has ever proposed in terms of direct costs. It is certainly the most extensive intervention into the power market and job market that EPA has ever attempted to implement.
EPA says the benefits of the rule greatly outweigh the costs. Is that true?
Answer: Unfortunately no. Most of the benefits EPA claims to the rule come from reducing soot emissions. But EPA also is on the record saying that most of these soot benefits come in areas already achieving the Agency’s prescribed standards for soot. EPA has said that soot emissions in those areas are already so low that they pose no threat to human health and the environment, even for very susceptible populations. Therefore, the rule is expected to have almost NO incremental health benefits over and above what current law is achieving. Recently, former OMB official and current George Washington University expert on regulatory affairs Susan Dudley wrote that the rule likely has no real benefit and is so costly that it will actually undermine public health. See http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-a-environment/200539-epas-risks-outweigh-rewards-for-new-mercury-rule
EPA is announcing its rule at a children’s health facility – does that mean it has an impact on children’s asthma?
Answer: No. There is no direct relationship between today’s action and children’s asthma. EPA has reported that “between 1980 and 2010…total emissions of the six principal air pollutants dropped by 67 percent.” See http://epa.gov/airtrends/aqtrends.html#comparison Over this same period – as soot (or particulate matter) emissions have fallen sharply, childhood asthma rates have increased – likely as a result of better-insulated homes or other indoor exposures. The broader strain on treatment facilities from the rule is evident. With respect to treatment costs, it is important to note that U.S. hospitals spend $8.5 billion annually on energy, often equaling between one and three percent of a hospital’s operating budget. Additionally, EPA estimates, in the U.S., the health sector is the second most energy-intensive commercial sector. Under Utility MACT and interstate rules, energy costs are estimated to increase 23.5% over the next decade. Hospital administrators will have no choice but to pay attention to the cost of energy as these surging energy costs will squeeze hospital budgets like never before. Without adequate power supply, built upon a foundation of stable and cost-effective coal-fired generation, the healthcare sector and the American public can expect rapidly increasing costs that consumers can ill-afford. A real threat to the control of asthma symptoms, however, is the availability of lower cost, over the counter epinephrine inhalers, which regulators citing the Clean Air Act will be pulling off the shelves on December 31 – making the cost of addressing asthma symptoms go up by a factor of three. See http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2011/12/07/banning-epinephrine-inhalers-fda-making-it-harder-breathe
There are public health “experts” present with EPA. Doesn’t that add credibility to their claims?
Answer: You can’t be sure. The American Lung Association has been paid some $20 million by the EPA over the past ten years. Then, at events like this one, the ALA stands up and defends EPA rules – or even buys advertisements on EPA’s behalf. See http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/40175 Given that ALA’s endorsement of the final Utility MACT was offered before they could have possibly reviewed EPA’s work, their views must be met with some skepticism. Indeed, seven physicians that serves in the US House of Representatives wrote the EPA Administrator complaining that EPA’s rule has few health benefits and may even injure public health due to its high costs and impact on employment. For a copy of that letter, see http://burgess.house.gov/UploadedFiles/09222011_Letter_to_Lisa_Jackson.pdf
Not all utilities oppose the rule. Why is that?
Answer: Some power companies have business models that allow them to charge more for the power they provide as the wholesale clearing price for energy increases – even if they are spending no more money on compliance with new regulations. For these companies, the more expensive environmental regulations are for their competitors in other regions, the higher the clearing price will be, and the more money they will make. Somewhat perversely, this economic reality gives these companies a motive to support the most expensive and least flexible EPA rules – provided they fall primarily on their coal-fired competitors. For a description of this, including quotes from earnings calls, see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576019730082447432.html
EPA says that it has ensured greater flexibility in the Utility MACT rule now. Why isn’t that enough?
Answer: While we are still reviewing it, at first blush, the final rule appears to be pretty close to the proposed rule, which is unfortunate. The rule suffers from statistical errors, inaccurate technological assumptions, and inadequate economic and reliability analysis. Given that the rule is one of the most expensive air rules ever, the American public deserves better. As for relying solely on EPA to grant discretionary amounts of additional time, that can be dangerous from a planning and reliability perspective. As the nation’s grid operator – the NERC – observed, it is better to address the timing and scope of the regulation at the front end.
Do the states support EPA’s actions?
Answer: At least from a reliability perspective, most do not. Concern with reliability is widely shared by some 27 states as reflected in briefs filed in the deadline case regarding Utility MACT, letters from governors, and rulemaking comments filed by public service commissioners and other state officials. For example, attorneys general representing half the states noted that Utility MACT “has the potential to undermine significantly the reliability of our Nation’s electrical supply and significantly increase the cost of electricity to the consumer.” Amer. Nurses Ass’n v. Jackson, Civ. No. 1:08-CV-02198-RMC. Of particular interest are the views of state public utility commissions – the frontline for reliability concerns – around the nation. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission found that the rule “could lead to expensive upgrades at greater cost to ratepayers or premature retirement of fossil units which could compromise system reliability.” The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio wrote to EPA that, “The current and foreseeable economic environment indicates that Ohio’s ratepayers will be hard-pressed to absorb rate-shock due to the implementation schedule advanced in the proposed rule.”
Its a sure bet Michigan jobs will go away in certain parts of the upper peninsula, and given the backhanded way in which the current white house occupiers pee where they eat, it is likely not an isolated concern.
A billion here, a billion there. Hardly any pressure on the working stiffs when those costs are passed along.