Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: April 11, 2012


Economic Statistics for 11 Apr 12 (Updated)

The following statistics were released today on the state of the US economy:

MBA Purchase Applications slipped -2.4% for the week, as purchase apps declined by -0.5% and refinance apps fell by -3.1%.

Export prices rose 0.8% for the month, and were 0.9% higher for the year. Import prices rose 1.3% for the month, and were 3.4% higher than a year ago.

UPDATE: The Fed’s Beige Book was released this afternoon. It reports the economy continued to grow at a "modest to moderate pace", but rising energy costs are a growing concern. The Beige Book is compiled as an overall look at economic conditions. It’s used by the Federal Open Markets Committee when setting interest rate policy at their meetings.

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Dale Franks
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Keystone XL: Protest Was Never About “Sensitive” Lands

In Nebraska, where environmental groups had protested the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline because it would pass through the “environmentally sensitive” Sand Hills, they are now protesting a proposed solution as well.

The bill is Legislation Bill 1161

The legislation is designed to restart a state review of a pipeline route that avoids Nebraska’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region.

Gov. Dave Heineman has indicated that he would sign the bill. He supports getting the Keystone XL pipeline built as quickly as possible.

But, say the environmental groups, this is just not acceptable:

Such eagerness was one of the concerns expressed by the groups. Under LB 1161, the governor would make the final decision on whether to approve a crude-oil pipeline route through the state.

Jane Kleeb of Bold Nebraska said that would be a clear conflict of interest because an agency under the governor — the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality — would oversee an environmental review of the new route.

Using Kleeb’s logic, Obama had no right to refuse it in the first place because the agencies that conducted the review process for the pipeline at a national level worked for him.

Regardless, the environmentalists intend to try to tie the law up in court:

Kleeb and others said they would prefer the pipeline regulation bill that was passed during last November’s special session, which would put the Nebraska Public Service Commission — an independent agency with elected commissioners — in charge of reviewing the Keystone XL.

Ken Winston of the Sierra Club said he expects a lawsuit to be filed challenging LB 1161′s constitutionality.

Of course Nebraska, as those who’ve followed this story know, is criss-crossed with multiple oil pipelines, none of which have caused the catastrophic environmental problems the environmental groups claim will come with the approval of this pipeline.

The obvious point, of course, is this has never been about “environmentally sensitive” areas.  It has been about stopping this pipeline because it will be carrying crude that comes from an area environmentalists have decided produces “dirty” fuel and that we should be denied its benefit.  For whatever reason they seem to think if they stop this pipeline, the oil sands in Canada they will come from will simply cease to produce.  Of course that’s poppycock.  Canada has already said it has plenty of other customers for its oil, to include China.

So this is the latest in the battle to deny this country a safe and secure fuel source for groundless practical reasons, but instead based in ideology which refuses reality for some asinine utopian fantasy world.  They would deny this country the benefit of 800,000 barrels of oil a day because they have decided we shouldn’t have it.

Yet my guess is they’d also claim to be big proponents of “democracy”.  The only problem, as poll after poll demonstrates, “democracy” firmly backs the construction of the pipeline by huge majorities.

So to hell with it.  It’s off to Plan B as outline by Saul Alinsky – use their own rules against them.

Or, in other words, instead of letting the democratic process work and accept the results, tie it up in court.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO


Former NASA scientists and administrators denounce current NASA and GISS climate change stance

In a letter to NASA’s Administrator, 50 former NASA scientists and astronauts voice their displeasure over the climate change stance NASA has taken finding it to be unsubstantiated by science. They request that NASA  “refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject.”   Among those signing the letter is Dr. Chris Kraft, the former Apollo Flight Director and Director of Johnson Space Center for 24 years.

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that NASA and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) refrain from including unproven remarks in public releases and websites. We believe the claims by NASA and GISS, that man-made carbon dioxide is having a catastrophic impact on global climate change are not substantiated, especially when considering thousands of years of empirical data. With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecasts, coming particularly from the GISS leadership, it is clear that the science is NOT settled.

The unbridled advocacy of CO2 being the major cause of climate change is unbecoming of NASA’s history of making an objective assessment of all available scientific data prior to making decisions or public statements.

As former NASA employees, we feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate. We request that NASA refrain from including unproven and unsupported remarks in its future releases and websites on this subject. At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.

Apparently Dr. James Hansen’s most recent charge that global warming is the moral equivalent of slavery was the last straw, and the men and women who signed the letter refuse to suffer the embarrassment he continues to bring to NASA in silence.

Note the last sentence in the first paragraph where the letter writers make the most obvious point – the science, despite claims by alarmists to the contrary, is NOT settled.  Additionally, much to the displeasure of the alarmists, as more and more scientific information comes available on the subject, the majority does NOT support their theory.

Thus the desperation exhibited by alarmist advocates like Hansen and his “slavery” nonsense.

The scam is coming apart at the seams and those like Hansen who’ve staked their professional reputations on the bad science that undergirded it are now suffering the appropriate consequences.

That is, being dismissed as a serious scientist.

And deservedly so.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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