Craig Station, located in Moffat County, is one of Colorado's largest coal fired power plants. It's operated by Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

Photo by Noelle Leavitt Riley

Craig Station, located in Moffat County, is one of Colorado's largest coal fired power plants. It's operated by Westminster-based Tri-State Generation and Transmission.

Colorado one of 24 states suing EPA over Clean Power Plan

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Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman joined attorney generals from 23 other states on Friday in challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan in federal court.

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Cynthia Coffman

“I think there is significant legal issue about the federal government’s regulatory power that is at play here,” Coffman said in an interview with the Craig Daily Press Friday morning.

The Clean Power Plan sets standards to reduce national carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels — a cause for concern in coal-reliant Moffat County.

Figures from Yampa Valley Data Partners, a nonprofit research organization, show the top 10 taxpayers in Moffat County are energy-related.

Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, which operates Craig Station, the second-largest coal-fired power plant in Colorado, is the number-one tax contributor in Moffat County. In 2014, Tri-State paid $5,762,011 in taxes — accounting for almost one out of five dollars collected by the county.

A legal challenge of the plan was filed by Tri-State on Friday, as well.

Coffman said she thinks that in enacting the Clean Power Plan, the EPA has misused the authority granted it under the Clean Air Act.

As attorney general, it is Coffman’s job to raise legal questions on behalf of the residents of Colorado.

“It’s important for the states to put up a hand and say, ‘stop, wait a minute, we need to explore the legal question and your authority before we’re too far down the road with implementation,’” she said.

According to a news release from Coffman’s office, a bipartisan, 24-state coalition filed claims against the EPA in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and requested the court put the plan’s deadlines on hold pending proceedings.

A stay would allow states the option of waiting for a definitive court ruling before working on implementation of a rule that may be found illegal. The state plaintiffs also will seek an expedited court decision, whether or not the Clean Power Plan is stayed.

In the meantime, Tri-State, an electric power supplier owned by 44 electric cooperatives, is following through with plans to meet state and federal regulations on emissions.

Tri-State has added nearly 250 megawatts of renewable energy since 2008 and has plans to add another 281 by 2017, spokesman Lee Boughey said. In 2014, Tri-State generated 1,866 megawatts from coal, 897 megawatts from natural gas and 863 from renewable energy resources.

“Even as we work constructively with the states to develop state plans under the new rule, strong arguments exist to show EPA exceeded its legal authority and many of the requirements of the rule are legally flawed,” Boughey said.

Coffman said she spoke with Gov. John Hickenlooper about her decision to join the lawsuit, and it will not prevent the state from moving forward with plans to meet requirements of the Clean Power Plan.

“We can both operate on parallel courses and not interfere with one another, but I’m asking the legal question,” she said.

When introducing the plan in August, President Barack Obama called it the nation’s “biggest, most important step we’ve ever taken to combat climate change.”

The Clean Power Plan sets standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

States will be responsible for creating their own plans to meet the requirements and have the option of working with other states by trading in an emission-credit market.

Two options are set for evaluating emissions — rate-based and mass-based.

A rate-based plan looks at pounds of carbon dioxide produced per megawatt hour while mass-based considers overall CO2 emissions.

In 2012, Colorado produced 1,973 pounds of CO2 for every megawatt hour generated, meaning it will have to achieve a 40 percent reduction to meet the 2030 goal of 1,174 pounds per megawatt hour.

For a mass-based plan, Colorado would seek to reduce total emissions by 28 percent, reducing to 29.9 million short tons of CO2 in 2030 from 2012’s 41.7 million short tons.

Colorado’s goals under both categories are less stringent in the new plan, according to an EPA fact sheet.

According to the EPA document, “The 2012 baseline for Colorado was adjusted to be more representative, based on information that came in during the comment period.”

Moffat County Commissioner John Kinkaid said he is glad that Coffman is pursuing the lawsuit.

“This is a great outcome for us. I just hope that we get a 5-4 decision from the Supreme Court in order to save what’s left of the coal industry,” he said.

Northwest Colorado is also home to another coal-fired power plant. Hayden Station is located 23 miles east of Craig in Routt County and operated by Xcel Energy. Recently, Xcel initiated a $160 million project to improve emission controls at the plant.

Mark Stutz, Xcel spokesman, wrote in an email, “Xcel Energy currently is at a 26 percent reduction from 2005 carbon dioxide levels in Colorado, and we are on track to achieve a 35 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2020.”

Conservation Colorado opposed Coffman’s decision in a news release.

“Last time I checked, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman represented the interests of all Coloradans, not just a select few special interests. But it has become increasingly clear that Cynthia Coffman is more interested in doing the bidding of dirty fuel interests and out-of-state Texas lawyers than protecting and representing Coloradans,” said Communications Director Chris Arend in a statement.

Reach Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or pkelly@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

Comments

Tim Keenan 1 year, 6 months ago

Does the Clean Air Act give the EPA the authority to mandate cleaning up the air. Hmmm. I certainly hope so. Otherwise it would kind defeat the purpose, don't you think?

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Eric Morris 1 year, 6 months ago

Does the Constitution give the federal government the power to set up an organization to purportedly try to clean up the air? No, it does not.

If this charlatan Coffman were serious she'd be raising that issue, and also recommending to the governor to consider secession or at least nullification.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

If there is any hope for the Republic, it will involve nullification.

If states simply ignore retarded mandates from the Fed, they would find they and their people have the power that the authors of the 10th amendment intended for them to have. It is happening in Colorado right now vis a vis Marijuana.

The drug-like addiction to federal $$$ is the main hang-up. Don't do what Uncle Scam wants? Find out how much Highway funding you get.

As far as the Fed goes: Moral Clarity? Non-existent. Leadership? No. Protection from invasion? Ain't happening. Protection of Citizens traveling abroad? Gone. Accountability of federal thugs? Never had it-never will.Threats and intimidation are just about all the Fed has left.

If states stop knuckling under, hold back their federal contributions, and fix their own roads, the Feds are deservedly screwed. Succession isn't necessary.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 6 months ago

Aw yes, "Nullification" The backup plan for the extremists who think armed revolution is just not palatable.

Also summarized as "Any law or regulation that we do not like can just be ignored with no consequences whatsoever. "

Sure Mark, lets just rip apart the republic by allowing anyone that does not agree with a law to simply ignore it. How has the Tea Party Republic come to the conclusion that Laws can simply be ignored?

100+ MPH on 129 - no problem, I do not like that speed limit law. Free groceries - The Constitution says nothing about how I have to pay for food. No Taxes - I disagree with the IRS, therefore I do not have to even file a tax return. My Gun allows me to ignore the Feds. That is what it is for after all right?

Sorry Mark, but if "Nullification" is your grand political strategy you better be buying even more ammunition for that M16 of yours. You will be needing it when you start "Nullifying" Laws that you personally disagree with. I predict that these States spend taxpayer money "Tilting at Windmills" to fight this regulation and in the long run they will lose and end up complying anyway after donating our tax dollars to the lawyers.

Yes Eric, it is called the general Welfare clause and the EPA has been upheld in the courts since the Nixon era. These States may in fact have a case, but that has not yet played out in the courts now has it? At most this most recent round of EPA regulations will be found to have slightly over stepped the EPA's authority and need to be modifed, but the EPA itself is on solid Constitutional ground.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Your argument is a cunard. The laws you mention, like speeding on 129... that's a STATE law. Theft is a STATE law enforcement issue. But Stalinists don't jibe well with states rights. I understand.

The 10th amendment is "extreme" only to Stalinists like yourself, Chris.

Your argument must be very weak. Otherwise you wouldn't feel the need to put together such a string of absolute lies about what I wrote.

Don't forget I'm a racist, and mentally unstable too.

I never suggested ignoring laws that "I personally disagree with". Again, its one lie right after the other with you Stalinists, isn't it?? It is, after all, the STATE of Colorado which is suing Uncle Scam. Not Me.

I know that Stalinists abhor the idea of states standing up to thugs from Moscow on the Potomac. Why don't you go polish your Jack-Boots and wait for them to call you up to put down the revolt, Comrade?

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 6 months ago

Sure, call me names because I disagree with your diatribe about "Nullification" Read more closely what I actually wrote and you will quickly find that I never accused you of mental instability, racism or beating your wife. In fact, you are the only one that wrote anything like that.

I did use several specific examples of how "Nullification" might work at the individual level and laid waste to your nullification argument which is probably why you feel the need to personally attack me as a "Jack-Booted Stalinist" . I will have to go check my closet, but I am pretty sure that I do not own any Jack Boots to go polish. I personally support the laws and regulatory structure as they currently exist in the United States do you?

Regardless of your opinion and understanding of the 10th amendment, it remains the actual Supreme Court that is tasked to decide these things. Their decisions are law no matter what your opinion is or how much you disagree with them. Remember that last time States revolted against the Fed? How well did that go for them anyway?

Your Nullification argument is a right wing pipe dream that will end up going the same way that the No Nothing Party party did. Watch and listen as this plays out in the courts.

Notice, not one personal attack against you, just a serious discussion about your perceived correction/nullification response to the current set of EPA regulations. How will you react when it stands as written and these 24 States are required to comply right along with the other 26 States that comprise The United States of America?

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Ken Mauldin 1 year, 6 months ago

"A nullification is the rightful remedy whenever the government violates the Constitution." - Thomas Jefferson

"Nullification is a Natural Right." - James Madison

In Federalist #78 Alexander Hamilton writes "…every act of a delegated authority, contrary to the tenor of the commission under which it is exercised, is void. No legislative act, therefore, contrary to the Constitution, can be valid. To deny this, would be to affirm, that the deputy is greater than his principal; that the servant is above his master; that the representatives of the people are superior to the people themselves; that men acting by virtue of powers, may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.

US Constitution Art VI, Clause 2 reads "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land"

"Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof" is the specific language that allows for Nullification by the States. Laws that are not "made in Pursuance thereof (the Constitution)" are void and may be ignored by the States.

Chris - I align more with Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton on the matter of nullification and think you have it wrong.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 6 months ago

So how do you propose "nullifying" the Federal Gov't Ken? Please be specific.

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Ken Mauldin 1 year, 6 months ago

Hi Chris - It's not my proposition, it's a function of our form of government. Reasonable specific examples include marijuana laws across several States rejecting the Federal supremacy of drug laws. In the 60's, many people in the south refused to comply with segregation as a form of nullification. For example, I don't think that Rosa Parks felt that segregated buses were permitted under our Constitution (even in light of Plessy v Furgeson) and in her mind and actions those laws were "nullified" and not binding on her. Lunch counter sit-ins were another example of nullification of these laws. As for examples of individual citizens acting in like-minded groups, there are a hundred-thousand-plus people in New York State that refuse to comply with a law to register their firearms under the premise that the State lacks this authority; hence refusal to comply is under the concept of nullification. Jury nullification is also part of the American legal landscape that empowers juries to determine matters of both fact and law. We are not bound to obey unConstitutional laws. Don't take it from me: read a little Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in your spare time and let me know what you think. The letter he wrote from the Birmingham jail would be a great place to start.

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Eric Morris 1 year, 6 months ago

Chris, the courts don't really give much due to either mention of General Welfare, except slightly regarding taxing and spending. EPA relies on a contorted view of the commerce clause, whereby air and water are commerce. That really goes back to the absurd ruling in Wickard v Fillburn that wheat grown for on-that-same farm consumption is "interstate" commerce. And that really only occurred because of FDR's court packing threat several years earlier (switch in time to save nine) after the court had properly ruled that much of the New Deal schemes were unconstitutional.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 6 months ago

Oh this Clean Power Plan. When it comes to future climate change, mainstream scientific projections, predict about 2.5°C of warming by the end of the century as a result of carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas). Nearly 90% of this warming is expected to come from developing nations such as China, India, and countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the remaining warming, amounting to about 0.3°C, about half will come from U.S. emissions.

This means, that if we in the United States were to cease emitting all carbon dioxide from this day forward, future global warming would only be reduced by about 0.15°C by the end of the century. That's all. This is why incremental actions like the Clean Power plan, which only seeks a 10% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030, will have no appreciable impact on the future course of climate, only around 0.02°C. Put simply, when it comes to mitigating climate change, the U.S. has little role to play.

And yet if I read the tea leaves correctly this Clean Power Plan has the potential to raise energy costs. If so that will not be good for the middle and less then middle class. But then really, who cares as long as we reduce temps by .015 degrees C by 2100. No pain, no gain!

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Eric Morris 1 year, 6 months ago

And Ken, to add to your excellent list, sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants and the states failing to enforce fugitive slave act ("Underground Railroad") are other concrete examples of nullification/interposition. The funny thing Chris probably won't get is the Fugitive Slave Act, as abhorrent as it was, is about the most clearly constitutional law the federal government has ever passed.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Chris,

What you did was portrayed me as wanting to ignore state laws on speed limits, on theft, and back up my alleged lawlessness with violence.

You are not listening to ANYTHING I said. I specifically said "succession is not necessary".

Your assertion that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter only holds true so long as the states recognize that as fact. THE VERY MOMENT they decide otherwise, that court has no more power to push individuals around than you do.

If you cared to actually KNOW what you're talking about, instead of demonizing anyone who even suggests questioning your pals at the imperial federal gubbamint, then you might want to consider READING what more knowledgeable people have to say about it, both recently and at the begenning of the union of states.

Thomas Woods wrote a pretty good book about it a few years ago. He cites discussions with multiple parties as the union was formed, and the contingencies which you are obviously unaware. It's not too thick, so maybe you can manage it. It's titled... "Nullification" .

Try READING IT FIRST, and stop making ridiculous claims that wanting states to have some autonomy is tantamount to violent insurrection and treason and anarchy.

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Chris Hadlock 1 year, 6 months ago

Just in case you forgot how to read I wrote:

Sorry Mark, but if "Nullification" is your grand political strategy you better be buying even more ammunition for that M16 of yours. You will be needing it when you start "Nullifying" Laws that you personally disagree with. I predict that these States spend taxpayer money "Tilting at Windmills" to fight this regulation and in the long run they will lose and end up complying anyway after donating our tax dollars to the lawyers.

You will notice that I said the States would use the courts to fight this EPA regulation spending our tax dollars to do so and when they lose the end result will not be nullification.

Nowhere did I say the Mark would do anything. I just used crazy examples to help you understand. I can see that the crazy got through to you but not much more.

Again, very slowly so you understand. I predict the states will lose this case and end up complying with the new EPA regulations.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Geez you're hard-headed. I'm not personally nullifying ANY laws. And I haven't proposed doing so by force.

You did NOT use "crazy examples to get through to me". What you did was insinuate that I had proposed drastic, extreme positions and that I'd use violence to accomplish goals only you suggested I had. Backpedal all you want.

I figured others would point out that Colorado is already practicing Nullification when it comes to Marijuana. I don't recall THAT being such a problem for some who now see Nullification of the EPA as so terrible.

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Tom Willman 1 year, 6 months ago

Hugh fan here of the legal tenants as provided and the 10th Amendment!

How is it that all these "pro-almighty government types" thinks, say, write that "we the people" have NO CHANCE of challenging the almighty federal government. NO CHANCE!

They are so lost. They constantly confuse "State Rights" with Federal Doctrine", and apparently see "we the people" as mere servants and slaves to the almighty federal thugs.

Sad...just sad. Nullification is just one of the many anti-tyranny tools in the toolbox of those of us who DO NOT worship government. All you "pro-government" folks see is the governments "police power" and "intimidation" by those thugs you idolize.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." ...and you know who said that don't you? Mr. Adams was so right on!

Cheers!

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

This is mostly for show by the Colorado Attorney General. As implied by the article, the lawsuit is not supported by Gov Hickenlooper and the already existing state plan is awfully close to the CPP plan. The CPP calls for a bit more renewable and seeks to have a bit less nat gas replacing coal in power plants than the state's plan, but the price of solar PV panels has come down more than generally expected when the state came up with its plan.

So Gov Hickenlooper and others don't really have problems with the CPP requirements for Colorado. They see global warming as a serious threat and want to get their house in order before pressing for others to reduce their CO2 emissions.

As for Moffat County large businesses, they can hang onto declining coal industry and deal with the long slow economic decline. Personally, I look at the major transmission lines and substations near restored areas of coal mines and think that the owners should be promoting their properties as prime locations for major solar farms.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Dan,

That article is wrong for numerous reasons and is highly dependent upon false arguments, false analogies, and false logic. As I read the article I was noticing how little he had for an argument. Could use the same article structure and "reasoning" to make just as convincing argument that smoking cigarettes doesn't cause cancer. "Does everyone smoke get cancer? Well so then it doesn't cause cancer." and so on and so forth.

I think overall the science has gotten more convincing. More large studies with large amounts of data are finding warming and have been proving various explanations as it being possible natural variations as not plausible.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Solar farm on California/Nevada line is now struggling with a new, unforeseen problem. Birds are flying into the 7,000 deg F reflection from the sun mirrors and getting singed. They are coming in after the bugs attracted to the bright light. The coyotes are then coming in to get the manna from heaven.

All unintended, and unanticipated consequences of solar farm.

More studies also reveals what a huge mistake ethanol was. Another trillion dollar boondoggle foisted on the American taxpayer by special interest farmers given cover by members of the Church of the Holy Environment.

Ethanol is a complete disaster, Windmills will prove to be even WORSE, and solar farms in Cali lose 7-11% in transit from state line to Loa Angeles. Rooftop systems might be sensible. Other than that it's fossil fuels.

Also, just for good measure, A Toyota Prius recently raced around a track, followed by a "gas-guzzling" BMW. After they were checked, the Prius got 17.4MPG. The "gas -guzzling" BMW got 18.4MPG.

Environmentalism is a hoax, and the benefits of Carbon Dioxide CAN NOT be overstated. A rise of 3 degrees VS a drop of 3 degrees isn't even a contest. The 3 degree drop would be far, far more catastrophic for planet earth.

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Eric Morris 1 year, 6 months ago

Scott, it is somewhat humorous that you are correctly the most skeptical of government writ small, such as Oak Creek water rates and hotels along the Yampa, yet at its least concrete, air particles over the whole world, you seem to be a true believer. I know you trust the scientists, but aren't you a little skeptical of scientists who receive the vast majority of their funding from governments?

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Tom Willman 1 year, 6 months ago

To all the "HUMANS DID IT" global warming-climate change folks...just watched this on youtube last night. It will take 47+/- min of your time...but watch it and tell me again that "HUMANS" caused ALL the so-called climate problems! Our effect and little stint on this planet is a mere drop of water in the ocean, compared to the big picture. But it makes for a "great crisis" in the political religion of the left, to blame EVIL HUMANS.

How the Grand Canyon Was Made - The Earth - Full Length Documentary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsMMLozttN4

Cheers!

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

I agree than ethanol is a disaster. Entire program was based upon hope to build production infrastructure that could then use the waste parts of plants such as the stalks. But using the food portion of the crop is just bad. Ethanol rogram should be ended.

Solar farms suffer the same transmission losses as other power plants. Solar farms gain from efficiency of mass installs and mass maintenance. The solar cells seem to last well, but invertors aren't lasting that long.

All sorts of birds die all the time. Audubon Society says global warming threatens the lives of billions of birds and they are currently satisfied that there is research on wind mills and solar to reduce bird kills.

Prius is not designed to be raced around a track. It is designed to be a commute car. It gets great gas mileage in stop and go traffic. That race track test is intended to prove a point, but no one with a Prius is saying it only gets 18 mpg.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

According to the engineer I know who is involved with the solar project referenced above, there is NO solution to the bird problem. The problem is that ethanol will NEVER go away, even though we now know it's bad. The same is true for the windmills.

And what we don't know about wind and solar power today is no different than ethanol two decades ago. We are forcing square pegs into round holes to assuage misplaced enviro guilt. Instead, we could slow down a bit and let the problems iron themselves out before going nationwide or worldwide with things that are not proven.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

But the solar thermal furnace is not the typical design for generating electricity from solar as solar PV has continued to come down in price and doesn't require water intensive cooling towers.

Windfarms kill more birds, but they seem to think that the older smaller windmills that are closer to the ground kill many more than the bigger newer towers where the blades are higher above the ground.

And no, solar and wind installs are not being made on assumptions that they will make sense when the technology improves. Installs are justified by their economics and tax breaks they get today. Thus, solar/wind is not comparable to ethanol subsidies.

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Tim Keenan 1 year, 6 months ago

If we don't try these things, how are we gonna learn?

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Jim Kelley 1 year, 6 months ago

Hush Tim! Coal is the only way forward! Only 19th century technology will save us from these Stalinists!

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Tom Willman 1 year, 6 months ago

Jim and Tim...I don't think it is intelligent to NOT "try" other energy technologies. However...it also, in my opinion is NOT intelligent to totally "squash" a viable energy source by heavy handed "government" thugs.

When the Coal Industry is "squashed" in the way that the EPA is going about it, energy is lost, jobs are lost, community fabric is lost and no one wins.

By the way...I do not agree with calling good Americans "Stalinists". Unless of course they ARE Stalinists.

Cheers!

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Tim Keenan 1 year, 6 months ago

There's plenty of things you can do; that doesn't necessarily mean you should. We know that burning coal belches lots of carbon into the atmosphere. The only people who want to keep things status quo are the people making money off coal, first, second or third hand. That's a small minority of Americans, and it's only natural. You go where the jobs are. But should we continue to generate energy this way even though we know we can do it better and cleaner? Or should we ramp this down as quickly as feasible. This has happened with many processes and technologies in the past, and it will continue to in the future. Just another page of history that needs to be turned. Except in a modern society like ours, we should be able to do that without throwing peoples' lives into turmoil. We need these regs because without them, irresponsible people running corporations will be perfectly content to go on exploiting these resources and saddling future generations with the results. Instead of spending millions fighting this tooth and nail, Tri-State could put this money into diversifying its energy portfolio. Same with Exxon, etc. Same with agribusiness and big food fighting GMO labeling. Their cries of "this will increase costs to consumers" would be more credible if they weren't spending millions fighting these regs. Are those costs being passed to consumers?

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Eric Morris 1 year, 6 months ago

Well, one way to give consumers real choice is to end the collusion between the monpolists and their captured regulators at FERC, the state public utility commissions, and the municipalities that grant franchises. You do this by ending government granted and enforced monopolies. Then, less destructive distributed options would probably have better chances of success.

https://mises.org/library/myth-natural-monopoly

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 6 months ago

Scott, Is it possible that science is not settled and there are 2 sides to the story. I am willing to admit that. Are you? Regards the article link I posted you said this. "That article is wrong for numerous reasons and is highly dependent upon false arguments, false analogies, and false logic." Is this false? "The Greenhouse Effect In this section, I focus on CO2 because it’s regarded as the main greenhouse gas after water vapor. Looking at the 750-million-year graph below, we see some extreme cold periods, then warm epochs punctuated by ice ages, all while CO2 (yellow) was far above what it is today. There is almost no correlation between temperature and carbon dioxide until about ten million years ago."

Is this false? " Despite what you read on Wikipedia, this graph was manufactured by carefully cherrypicking the data from tree rings. Looking at tree rings is about the least accurate way to measure ancient temperatures. Better methods involve looking at drilled ice and sediment cores. Using those methods, we see a pronounced period warmer than today from 1000 to 1300 AD, called the Medieval Warm Period, and then the Little Ice Age about 400 years ago (same time period as above):"

Is this false? "Note: It’s easy to find nonscientific articles and videos that “prove” the hockey stick has been validated by updated research and that the sun’s energy doesn’t fluctuate. However, one central tenet of journalism is that you can’t fact-check a source by asking the source, and that’s exactly what most journalists are doing. To fact-check the IPCC, look at the peer-reviewed literature written by scientists who are not in the IPCC."

Is this false? "The current cycle peaked in 2014. Solar experts speculate that the next cycle, which starts in 2020, will have fewer sunspots. If that turns out to be true, temperatures could be heading down, rather than up. Reactions to this cooling prediction range from “unlikely,” to “plausible,” to “probable.” Whatever mechanism causes sunspots could be part of the picture, but there are several different solar cycles, different research approaches, and competing theories. They are converging, but it’s a complex work in progress. A single predictive model is still years or decades away."

I could go on but what's the point. My mind is not made up. What say you?

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Tom Willman 1 year, 6 months ago

Eric...right on again! The fact is that when "O-Bam-Bam was first running, he promised that if you build a coal plant "YOU WILL GO BANKRUPT"! This actually is one of the few things he did not personally LIE about!

This concept that coal is evil is sooooo overblown by the eco-heads. Coal is a big producer of energy and jobs so Coal is an easy target when looking at flawed information. Doses Coal make money for the producers? Of course, but not in the overblown way the eco crowd represents. The "risk-reward" standard with Coal production is not even close to the "price gouging" going on in... let's say the "retail gasoline" model right here in Steamboat, Aspen, Snowmass and Vail. I don't see anyone marching in the streets over that highway robbery!

Anyone that produces energy should be able to make a profit. That's the problem with wind and solar...the producers CANNOT make money!

I still believe that much of the "energy needs" issue could be solved by further study and use of the "Tesla Generator", sometimes referred to as "free energy". The "torus" is the answer. Now, talk about a dangerous idea?!? It will take many braves souls(including the eco-types) to step away from all of the intimidation, threats and suppression from all of the elites and power brokers...including our government and get behind this valid energy solution.

Cheers!

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Tim,

It's not a matter of not trying these things. I'm all for these things being tried. But it's no more "we" that should be trying them than it was "we" that should buy the Iron Horse Inn.

Let private business take the risk, the losses, ans have any potential profit. If it's as close to a done deal as Scott suggests, the subsidies can go away right now. Just like the subsidies for Ethanol went away as soon as we found out that was a complete disaster.

Oh, wait... ethanol subsidies DIDN'T go away... and they NEVER will. THAT'S my point!!!

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Jim,

You must feel your position quite weak to misrepresent my position and/or the position of others.

The mere fact that the article is about the latest pollution standards, and the most up-to-date technology available, proves that we are not talking about 19th century technology, but in some cases technology that is more current than what is being used on recent wind and solar operations.

You know this, so stop lying, ok?

Since coal is thousands or millions of years old, why not call it "million year old" technology???

Of course, since wind and the Sun has existed longer than coal, I'm sure you won't object when I point out that the technology YOU favor is, by YOUR OWN STANDARDS, older and more primitive than the one I favor, for which you ridicule me, no??

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Tim Keenan 1 year, 6 months ago

Just as the subsidies to oil companies haven't gone away. I agree we need to cut subsidies to corporations that don't need it and to areas proven ineffective. But I think subsidies are a great way to encourage companies to try new things.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Of course subsidies are a great way to encourage companies. But it isn't government's job or duty or even their RIGHT to "encourage" or "discourage" business trends. That is properly a by-product of a free market.

When people like you and Scott want to "save the planet" and you go shopping for solar panels and windmills, the market must put it's best foot forward and earn your business. If government has interfered, you will never get the best product possible at the best price, without some other poor taxpayer being forced at gunpoint to take up the slack.

A good example is the solar panels contemplating for my home. The Feds are going to give me several thousands of dollars in rebates. That's coming from someone is Seattle who will never benefit from a solar panel on my roof. The state is going to give me several thousand dollars. That means state taxpayers will have money confiscated from them for that. Then the power company is going to give me several thousand dollars. We both know that is also coming, one way or another, from taxpayers or electric company customers.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Dan K,

CO2 concentrations for 750 million years is irrelevant because so many other factors altered climate over that time. I saw a show that was pretty convincing that when Central America connected the North American and South American continents that changed the ocean currents and had a big impact upon the climate of the northern hemisphere.

CO2 concentrations and climate is relevant only for the last 10,000 years or so. That is the period in which CO2 affects the climate for which we have pretty good knowledge.

And it is irrefutable that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that warms the atmosphere. That is relatively simply physics. It is also confirmed by a variety of calculations that if earth's atmosphere didn't contain any greenhouse gases then our planet would be about 100C colder.

The medieval warming period and little ice age are smaller deviations from the average than current period of global warming because both appear to more limited to Europe probably due to variations in warmth of gulf stream currents.

A few years ago, a group of statisticians that had made names for themselves pointing out flaws in global warming papers decided to rigorously consider global temp trends. Deniers were all excited that someone was finally going to prove the hockey stick to be false. Instead, after including scathing criticism on how some original data sets were lost by amateurish "corrections" they analyzed remaining original data sets with the best statistical methods for adjusting for urban heat bubbles and so on. It was peer reviewed by other top statisticians with the obvious intent of being able to say their results cannot be questioned as not being statistically correct. And they found that the hockey stick is statistically real. And then deniers suddenly claimed they were also part of the global warming conspiracy.

Changes in irradiation due to the solar cycle are much too small to explain the rising temperatures. I don't know who is being quoted as saying they don't know how the solar cycle will affect climate.

And recently another group of statisticians from Stanford looked at worldwide temp data and said that talk of a "hiatus" is simply a poor understanding of statistics. That people focused on a peak temp year or two as if those were typical, but a correct statistical analysis was that those were peak years within normal variations and the statistically real trend was the warming trend during the "hiatus".

I have not found any of the claims that global warming is not happening to be the slightest bit convincing. It looks a whole lot like the nonsensical claims by the tobacco industry that smoking is not a health hazard.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

Three centuries ago, Alexander Pope said, "A little learning is a dangerous thing". I would NOT want to be a student in "Professor Wedel's" chemistry class. He presents too many HALF-truths.

1) If it were not for Co2, nearly all life on earth would end .

2) Many scientists now believe that the warming influence of Co2 has been greatly overstated. The fact that significant emissions since the 1980's has resulted in no statistically significant global temperature increases in the last 18 years, completely explodes computer model predictions about the result of increased Co2.

3) Earth's atmosphere consists of78% nitrogen,21% oxygen, 1% argon and just .04 % Co2. In other words, if the atmosphere were $1,000, Co2 would make up about 40 cents worth, or 1.4 inches on a football field. Put another way, earths atmosphere weighs about 5.7 quadrillion tons. The Co2 in it weighs about as much as 1 penny out of 1 million dollars. Therefore, the miniscule amount of tonnage emitted by man is insignificant.

4) Eliminate Co2 and plants would shrivel and die. Citto for lake and ocean algae/ photoplankton; followed immediately by animals and man.

5)Co2 reduces the harmful effects of pollutants like nitrous oxide and ozone in the air.

6) Rising Co2 levels help plants endure and overcome stress from increasing soil salinity due to irrigation. The more Co2 in the air, the better plants survive prolonged heat, drought, and even floods.

7) Co2 levels change with the seasons; rising as plants go dormant and decreasing as more plant material absorbs it in the growing season.

8) Volcanoes and deep-sea vents release HUGE amounts of Co2.

9) Higher Co2 levels help wildlife and mankind by enabling plants to produce more vegetation a d crops. This slows deforestation. HIGHER Co2 LEVELS SAVE THE RAINFOREST and continued increases in Co2 would increase crop yields world-wide and ensure that people and animals have greater quantities of more nutritious food.

10) Increasing Co2 levels let us increase vital food production which enhances food security for millions of people without taking more land away from nature and wildlife.

11) 85% of all plant life is known as "C3" variety. They are believed to have evolved during the Mesozoic and Paleozoic eras when Co2 levels were much, much higher than today. This suggests they are currently undernourished in Co2.

12) Co2 is a powerful weapon against poverty, malnutrition, hunger, and species extinction. One of the WORST things that could happen to our planet, it's people and it's animals, is for Co2 levels to drop back to levels seen before the Industrial Revolution. It would be ESPECIALLY destructive is temperatures cool.

13) Water vapor is also a greenhouse gas and can range to levels hundreds of times more concentrated in the atmosphere than Co2.

That ought to keep Professor Wedel busy for a few minutes...

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

The climate for which the ecosystem had evolved and humanity's infrastructure was constructed was based upon the climate that results from a CO2 level of about 300 ppm.

Human activity has changed atmospheric CO2 to over 400 ppm and it is still increasing.

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

And there is mountains of evidence that higher Co2 levels are a good thing, that a slightly warmer planet would be a net positive for man, animal and plant life, and that cooler temps and lower Co2 levels would be a BAD thing for all. Co2 levels at 500 ppm would be even better.

Co2 levels of over 800 ppm were the norm when most plants evolved on earth. They want more Co2, not less.

More Co2 will help farmers feed the world without wrecking more jungle (you probably prefer "rain forest"). Wrecking the jungle is a "human activity" too.

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Tim Keenan 1 year, 6 months ago

Only that the last few years, including this one, have been the hottest on record. You deniers really believe that the world is lining up to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a hoax? I forget that little parable where some guy is in the middle of a flood on the verge of being washed away. A boat comes by, but he turns them away, saying "God will save me." Two more boats come by, and he gives them the same refrain. Then the inevitable happens and he's swept away and drowns. He gets up to heaven and asks God, why didn't you save me? God says, I sent three boats!

You don't think science has progressed to a point where we can determine that we're on an unsustainable path and work to change that?

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mark hartless 1 year, 6 months ago

No. I don't. Far from it, in fact. I think the majority of Americans are utterly stupid, incompetent, willfully and blissfully ignorant zombies staring into their I-phones and parroting whatever their hypnotizers have repeated.

A 2014 Time magazine report showed a Discovery News poll that 1 in 4 American actually believe the sun revolves around the earth. A 2013 Pew research poll revealed that fewer than 1 in 5 knew which gas makes up the most of earths atmosphere. (do YOU know without looking, Tim???)

Google "stupid Americans" or You Tube it and there are MILLIONS of examples of people who are pathetically ignorant.

Perhaps scientists are smart on science, or perhaps they know where their grant money comes from and the rest of society hasn't the basic intellect to know the difference.

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Ken Mauldin 1 year, 6 months ago

Hi Tim - Did you happen to catch the former Princeton physicist, Freeman Dyson, that shared in an interview last week his opinion that man caused global warming has been blown way out of proportion and that the liberals Dems are wrong on policy and the Republicans are correct? He's an Obama supporter and loyal democrat voter that claims Obama and Dems have it wrong on climate change. At Princeton in the 1950's he was a contemporary of Albert Eisenstein, so he's probably a pretty smart guy.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/11/freeman_dyson_interview/

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Dan K,

Rigorous statistical methods show that there was no hiatus. So all of Judith Curry's statements on what the hiatus means to computers models are irrelevant.

http://news.stanford.edu/news/2015/september/global-warming-hiatus-091715.html

And Freeman Dyson is 91 years old and it was an interview so none of his opinions were fact checked. And he acknowledges global warming, but is making assumption on worldwide economics on why the developed countries should do nothing.

What he fails to consider is that global warming also represent huge costs to China and India, but they, and about everyone else, think that it would be fundamentally unfair to say that China and India greatly limit their CO2 emissions while developed countries release far more CO2 per capita. That would be acknowledging that CO2 emissions are essential for economic development and require that no other country could ever become economically developed.

The developed West has to set a standard of reduced CO2 emissions so that the rest of the world can be held to that standard of per capita emissions. And it is not just blind faith that other countries will be pressured to meet those per capita emissions. Europe has considered tariffs based upon CO2 emissions, but right now they would be more punitive on imports from USA and Australia than on China or India.

So right now we are in a political period of countries getting their house in order in preparation for future carbon tariffs against those that don't get their house in order.

India has such problems due to their regulatory rules with their grid and so many businesses and towns with generators that solar industry business analysts believe that solar PV is already cheaper than generators in India. Thus, solar PV installs that have been growing rapidly in India are expected to really take off to be wanted by literally everyone that can afford them.

And China has awful in country air pollution problems and huge concerns of the impact of the impacts of paying CO2 tariffs. Right now they suffer major cuts in production due to having to shut factories so that Beijing can have tolerable air for an international event and so on.

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Tim Keenan 1 year, 6 months ago

There are always, always, always going to be respectable people who disagree. I'll definitely check it out, though, I remember his name from somewhere. But these people are most certainly in the minority. I mean, there are a fair few physicists, architects and engineers who maintain that the WTC was destroyed by thermite explosives.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey Tim, I am guessing that once upon a time it was only a minority of scientists that believed the earth was round. LOL. I know, I know. There were no peer reviewed papers proving it was round so it couldn't be true.

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Tim Keenan 1 year, 6 months ago

Just as once upon a time there were a minority of scientists who believed that continued use of fossil fuels would be unsustainable. Such as, the scientists at Exxon: http://insideclimatenews.org/content/Exxon-The-Road-Not-Taken

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 6 months ago

So what you are agreeing with then Tim is that even the experts can be wrong. So maybe, just maybe AGW is not settled science. Maybe just maybe CO2 is not going to cause catastrophic change. Maybe just maybe there is hope for humanity after all (that's humor by the way).

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Physics is not a "settled science" because it isn't settled whether the Standard Model is completely true or if there are other particles that don't follow it. But a whole lot of physics is well known with no credible doubts.

Human caused global warming is not settled science in terms of exactly knowing the future impacts and the climate at any particular date. It is settled science that CO2 is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the lower atmosphere. It is settled science that human activity has been releasing large amount of CO2 and has changed atmospheric CO2 from 300 to 400+ ppm. It is settled science that earth is currently warmer due to human activity.

Note that Freeman Dyson and many of Mark H's arguments are not that human caused global warming don't exist, but are arguing that it isn't a bad thing or might even be a good thing.

The general consensus is that any area benefiting from global warming will be a relatively short period since as long as we are releasing large amounts of CO2 then soon enough climate will change some more to that area's detriment.

Is it only worthwhile reducing CO2 emissions if it is proven that global warming will cause "catastrophic" changes? And catastrophic changes to what countries in what ways? Would it be catastrophic if it was too hot with too little water for Phoenix to remain inhabited? Would it be catastrophic if local winters have too many warm days for Howelson to be a ski area?

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 6 months ago

Is another of the global warming guys going over to the dark side. Maybe it's not settled science after all.

a piece on Vox.com a few days ago by David Roberts about climate modeling uncertainty “loops.” Here’s what he wrote in 2006:

When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these [climate skeptic] bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.

Yet in his Vox piece, Roberts notes this:

"Basically, it’s difficult to predict anything, especially regarding sprawling systems like the global economy and atmosphere, because everything depends on everything else. There’s no fixed point of reference.

Grappling with this kind of uncertainty turns out to be absolutely core to climate policymaking. Climate nerds have attempted to create models that include, at least in rudimentary form, all of these interacting economic and atmospheric systems. They call these integrated assessment models, or IAMs, and they are the primary tool used by governments and international bodies to gauge the threat of climate change. IAMs are how policies are compared and costs are estimated.

So it’s worth asking: Do IAMs adequately account for uncertainty? Do they clearly communicate uncertainty to policymakers?

The answer to those questions is almost certainly “no.” But exactly why IAMs fail at this, and what should be done about it, is the subject of much debate."

It’s a very long article, but among other things it finds that model uncertainty is probably underestimated. Take in this:

"Or to put it another way: Think about how insane it is to try to predict what’s going to happen in 2100.

There is a school of thought that says the whole exercise of IAMs, at least as an attempt to model how things will develop in the far future, is futile. There are so many assumptions, and the outcomes are so sensitive to those assumptions, that what they produce is little better than wild-ass guesses. And the faux-precision of the exercise, all those clean, clear lines on graphs, only serves to mislead policymakers into thinking we have a grasp on it. It makes them think we know exactly how much slack we have, how much we can push before bad things happen, when in fact we have almost no idea.

In the view of these researchers, the quest to predict what climate change (or climate change mitigation) will cost through 2100 ought to be abandoned. It is impossible, computationally intractable, and the IAMs that pretend to do it only serve to distract and confuse."

The article in it's entirety so I can't be accused of "cherry picking" or "taking quotes out of context". http://www.vox.com/2015/10/23/9604120/climate-models-uncertainty

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 6 months ago

Dan K,

That article is about one particular type of model, the integrated assessment model. It tries to model future CO2 emissions based upon how government, businesses and populations react to future global warming. Thus, their predictions on future CO2 emissions become completely dependent upon their assumptions on how people will react to global warming. Thus, they are not the common type of model used to make future predictions.

It is more common to consider future CO2 emissions as values not affected by future global warming. So a models can be run as if future CO2 emissions will continue to increase, if it will stay at current levels or if reduced as projected by various plans to reduce emissions.

And most of the various GCMs have some level of consistency. If we cause atmospheric CO2 to get about 500 ppm then we should expect to see very large changes in climate.

Also, it is just part of good models to change certain values or assumptions and see how that affects the final results. Such as SSSD demographic projections are exceptionally sensitive to current and 3 year ago kindergarten enrollment. Reduce 2014 kindergarten enrollment by 15 students and then suddenly we don't need any new schools and we will have declining elementary school enrollment. So that would be considered an unstable model.

Meanwhile, a model using local births can change 2014 kindergarten enrollment or birth to locals in any year by 15 students and that changes future enrollment by 15 students. So that would be considered a robust model because any errors or variations in the starting values doesn't cascade into much larger errors in the future.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 5 months ago

Dan K,

What that sort of article lacks is any sense of perspective. Yes, rotting pumpkins in dumps release methane gas. All leftover food rotting in dumps releases some methane gas. About 18% of the global warming impact from the US is methane (where methane is considered 25 more and so methane releases being about .63% compared to CO2 means that it has about 18% of the impact of CO2 emissions).

But rotting pumpkins is a small percentage of a family's food waste and dumps are a modest source of methane (20%) so pumpkins are a trivial issue.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 5 months ago

And so could write a similar article on Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners contributing to greenhouse gases if that is the sort of click bait that works for you.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 5 months ago

OMG. Scott W. has all the answers. Even on pumpkins releasing methane gas. I stand in awe.

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Scott Wedel 1 year, 5 months ago

Just look up methane emissions and do a few calculations on how much a pumpkin is compared to a family's overall organic waste.

Hardly awe inspiring.

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Tom Willman 1 year, 5 months ago

Hey guys...most of the "global warming" these days comes from Bill Clinton's pants!! This guy, according to the secret service is still chasing "tail", in a big way. Of course who could blame him...being "Married?" to that "Wicked Witch", Sillary!!

Sorry about changing the subject...but this thread has become totally boring. A hundred years from now...none of this will matter. Why not talk about something that really matters...ya know like "controlling and regulating" fantasy football. HA! Dan K et al, give it up...you're beating a dead horse. Or keep it up...it's entertaining! I've got to go now and find my "SHEEPLE COSTUME" for this evenings festivities.

Cheers!

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Dan Kuechenmeister 1 year, 5 months ago

Hey Tom, I know I am beating a dead horse, (I think the meat balls I had in a pasta in Manduria a few weeks ago may have been made from that dead horse - too sweet to be beef) but need to throw a little red meat to the troll from time to time. I do find it interesting that from time to time a "respected" - well once respected - LOL - global warming/ CO2 zealot goes over to the dark side.

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mark hartless 1 year, 5 months ago

To members of The Church of the Holy Environment, he's the NAACP eqivilant of an "Uncle Tom". No more to be believed. He's a "sell out" to his religion, etc, etc. Therefore, HIS scientific opinion no longer counts as "settled science".

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mark hartless 1 year, 5 months ago

Why Does the EPA Need Guns, Ammo, and Armor to Protect the Environment? And not just a few weapons. The agency has spent millions of dollars on guns, ammo, body armor, camouflage equipment, unmanned aircraft, amphibious assault ships, radar and night-vision gear, and other military-style weaponry and surveillance activities.

Some of these weapons are for full-scale military operations.

Among the EPA’s purchases: •$1.4 million for “guns up to 300mm.” •$380,000 for “ammunition.” •$210,000 for “camouflage and other deceptive equipment.” •$208,000 for “radar and night-vision equipment.” •$31,000 for “armament training devices.”

Question for the anti-gun folks: Is it ok for EPA folks to have high-capacity magazines? Do you care that the EPA having military-style weapons violates Posse Comitatus?

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mark hartless 1 year, 5 months ago

The number of federal offices with armed personnel climbs to 73 when adding in the 33 offices of inspector general, the government watchdogs for agencies as large as the Postal Service to the Government Printing Office, whose IG has only five full-time officers.

Why does the EPA need armed officers to look for violations of the Clean Water Act? Why does the Federal Reserve Board and Library of Congress need armed officers? Why do so many federal agencies need to have employees that are packing heat? It would be one thing if they simply had security guards on premises, but as you see with the EPA, when a government agency has guns, it looks for any excuse to use them.

It’s especially ironic that the federal government is looking for any excuse to take away the 2nd Amendment rights of the American people while government agencies appear to be looking for any excuse to arm themselves.

Goose-Gander??????????????????????????

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