Commentary: America’s Recycling Program Failed – and Scarred the Environment

In March 2019, The New York Times ran a shocking story exploring why many prominent US cities were abandoning their recycling programs.

“Philadelphia is now burning about half of its 1.5 million residents’ recycling material in an incinerator that converts waste to energy,” Times business writer Michael Corkery reported. “In Memphis, the international airport still has recycling bins around the terminals, but every collected can, bottle and newspaper is sent to a landfill.”

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21 U.S. Federal Agencies Are Analyzing the ‘Environmental Damage’ of Ukraine War

The federal government has assembled a 21-agency working group to study and assess the environmental impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The “Interagency Working Group on Environmental Damage in Ukraine” — which was assembled by the Department of State and includes officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of Defense — has met weekly for about a month, Axios first reported Friday.

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Commentary: A Huge Opportunity for America Arises as the Iron Curtain Falls Once Again

statue of Winston Churchill with British flags in front of him

Almost exactly 76 years ago, on March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of Great Britain, delivered one of the most important speeches of the century. Surveying the increasing despotic rule by the Soviet Russians over Central and Eastern Europe in the wake of World War Two, Churchill declared, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.”

That phrase, “iron curtain,” stuck, helping to define the Cold War for the next five decades. In such a chilled environment, significant trade and normal exchange of any kind between the Free World and the Communist Bloc was unthinkable.

So now today, we can see that an iron curtain is once again descending; only time will tell if brave Ukraine will be held, once again, as a captive nation on the wrong side of this terrible barrier.

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Commentary: The Green Immoralists

President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry participate in a virtual meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, Thursday, September 17, 2021, in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Thousands are dying from Russian missiles and bombs in the suburbs of Ukraine.

In response, the Biden Administration’s climate-change envoy, multimillionaire and private-jet owning John Kerry, laments that Russian president Vladimir Putin might no longer remain his partner in reducing global warming.

“You’re going to lose people’s focus,” Kerry frets. “You’re going to lose big-country attention because they will be diverted, and I think it could have a damaging impact”

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White House to Hold First-Ever ‘Climate Denial’ Roundtable

"It's not easy being green" sign

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will hold a roundtable Thursday to discuss how officials can combat climate denialism and delay, The Washington Post reported.

The OSTP will host nearly 20 climate scientists, social scientists, economists and engineers from across the country for the first-of-its-kind event, the Post reported.

“Clearly, we see tangible evidence of climate change all around us with sea-level rise, increases in extreme heat, increases in drought, wildfires, ocean acidification (and) floods,” OSTP Deputy Director for Climate and Environment Jane Lubchenco told the Post, confirming the roundtable.

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Commentary: The Biggest Myth About Nuclear ‘Waste’

Biohazard sign

With a dismissive wave of the hand, nuclear power opponents play their trump card to argue why they will never support this safe, dependable, carbon-free source of energy.

“Radioactive waste.”

But in doing so, they reveal their ignorance. Nuclear ‘waste’ – in the form of spent uranium fuel rods – is not really waste.

The United States, which generates about a fifth of its electricity from nuclear power, produces roughly 2,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel each year, which must be securely stored in immense concrete and steel casks for hundreds of years. That sounds like a taxing task, but if you aggregate all of the spent fuel produced in the U.S. since the 1950s, it would actually fit on one football field stacked about ten yards high. Nuclear plant operators are more than capable of handling this amount for the foreseeable future.

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Commentary: Carbon Offsets – Not Taxes or Emissions Caps – Are the Best Path to Carbon Neutrality

Carbon taxes, emissions caps, subsidies – these all seek to reduce atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases, yet regularly meet criticism and opposition. Is there a more efficient solution to achieving climate balance? Not only is the answer yes, but the potential benefits could far outperform what other strategies hope to achieve.

Most solutions seek to reduce emissions –abruptly or over time– or attain carbon neutrality by utilizing renewable power sources, but increasingly we hear that carbon neutrality is not enough. We must find new technology and techniques to reduce greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, which will require meaningful investments in research and development. One solution is voluntary carbon offsets.

Carbon offsets are certificates for purchase intended to counteract operational emissions or capture legacy emissions from the past. This is done by paying for a given quantity of CO2 to be neutralized through investment in offsetting projects or technology. Whether the certificates are directed towards conservation efforts, renewable energy, or carbon capture or removal, purchasing carbon offsets provides one party investor satisfaction and the other party an infusion of funding intended to finance a carbon-reduction strategy. When purchasing high quality offsets, these serve as a down payment and incubator toward the best climate solutions available in the laboratory or in the field.

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California to Ban Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers, Lawn Mowers

Leaf blower moving leaves downstairs

A California environmental regulator approved a measure banning new purchases of small off-road engines including leaf blowers and lawn mowers beginning in 2024.

The measure will also affect portable generators and recreational vehicle engines which will need to meet “more stringent standards” in 2024 and zero-emission standards in 2028, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announcedThursday. The vote was part of the state’s aggressive climate program and goal to achieve a “zero-emission future” as outlined by an executive order Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in September 2020.

“Today’s action by the Board addresses these small but highly polluting engines. It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in a statement. “It will also essentially eliminate exposure to harmful fumes for equipment operators and anyone nearby.”

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‘Political Uncertainty’: Energy Firm Abandons Oregon Pipeline Project After Years of Environmentalist Pushback

The newest inflatable pipeline prop had it's debut action at the Capitol in Salem, OR. 350Eugene mobilized the creative imagery joining with people across the state to call on the governor to take concrete action to halt the proposed LNG pipeline and export facility in Jordan Cove. The prop was used to highlight the first life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions analysis and climate impacts of the project from the fracking in Colorado, Wyoming or Canada, to the export facility and the burning of gas overseas. The rally in Salem, Oregon during Lobby Day with Governor Brown and Legislators amplified the call to end the Pacific Connector Pipeline and Terminal plans for Jordan Cove, Coos Bay, Oregon. Activist from all over the state took part with diverse rally speakers, songs, chants, a skit with bobble head Puppet Gov Brown & the actions she must take to halt the project. They walked the pipeline to the Department of State Lands Board building then back to Capitol steps. Photos by 350Eugene, Don Ewing.

Canadian energy firm Pembina Pipeline Corp. pulled the plug on a years-long project that would have led to greater natural gas exports from to Canada to the U.S.

The multi-billion-dollar Jordan Cove project included plans to construct a marine export terminal, which would have been the first of its kind in the continental U.S., and a 230-mile pipeline across Oregon, The Associated Press reported. The terminal would have liquefied up to 1.04 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day for export and hosted two full-containment storage tanks on site, according to previous federal permit records.

But the project, which dates back to 2004, was fiercely opposed by environmentalists while state officials created permitting roadblocks that Pembina struggled to hurdle. In 2020, the Republican-majority Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project, but the agency rescinded approval in January, upholding Oregon’s rejection of the plans.

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Commentary: Green Technologies Have a Glaring Problem of Scale

In the context of the massive attention paid to climate change, nations around the world have committed to substantially reducing and even eliminating their carbon emissions by 2050. Achieving these goals relies on several ‘green’ technologies that would form the basis of a future energy system. As envisioned, mass deployment of these technologies will encounter fundamental physical limits that call into question their ability to function as replacements for their equivalents in the current energy system. By placing firm targets, nations around the world have committed to terminating their carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 to offer confidence that a better world is achievable if only society implements the right policies and employs the correct technologies. This assumption is inaccurate, based on a view that is at odds with nature.

Due to unavoidable physical constraints, future green technologies offer little promise for achieving economies of scale. Many of the improvements suggested to improve their performance remain marginal and frequently come with the environmental costs of additional embedded energy requirements, extensive land use and greater material complexity. The outcomes achieved under laboratory conditions are not guaranteed to be viable at the scale necessary for them to make a significant difference.

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Commentary: The Navy’s New Emphasis on ‘Diversity’ Puts the Nation at Risk

group of Navy members sitting on bleachers

After the 2020 summer of riots, the U.S. Navy’s Chief of Naval Operations stood up Task Force One Navy (TF1N) on July 1, 2020. After a six-month effort, the final 142-page report was submitted on January 28, 2021 Its two operating assumptions are, first, that the Navy, as an institution, is systemically racist, and, second, that “Mission readiness is stronger when diverse strengths are used and differing perspectives are applied.” Notwithstanding several key military principles—such as unit cohesion, strict discipline across the chain of command, and, well, uniforms—the Navy is now ideologically committed to the mantra that “diversity is strength.”

Not surprisingly, considering the key entering assumptions, the task force report identified problems with Navy systems, climate, and culture; and submitted almost 60 recommendations aligned with four lines of inquiry: Recruiting, Talent Management/Retention, Professional Development, and Innovation and STEM (as well as a fifth line for miscellaneous recommendations).

One should be skeptical, however, about the entire exercise and the recommendations that flow from it. It inaccurately depicts the proud institution of the United States Navy as systemically racist—a slander that has more potential to undermine morale, good order, discipline, and military effectiveness than any geostrategic adversary. 

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‘America Is Back’: Biden Unveils Sweeping Oil, Gas Regulations That Would Cut Methane Emissions by 41 Million Tons

Drilling site at night

The Biden administration rolled out broad new regulations that it said will substantially reduce U.S. methane emissions within 15 years.

The sweeping regulations would cut methane emissions, which account for roughly 10% of the greenhouse gasses emitted by the U.S., by 41 million tons between 2023 and 2035, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Tuesday. Such a reduction is equivalent to 920 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the amount emitted by all cars and commercial aircraft in 2019.

“As global leaders convene at this pivotal moment in Glasgow for COP26, it is now abundantly clear that America is back and leading by example in confronting the climate crisis with bold ambition,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a statement.

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Commentary: Three Environmental Doomsday Myths, Debunked

For many, thinking about the future of our planet is terrifying. According to a global survey reported by the BBC, 56 percent of young people believe that humanity is doomed because of climate change and 45 percent say that their anxiety about the climate affects their daily lives. Here in the US, the story is much the same; three-quarters of Americans believe that climate change will result in the extinction of man, and one in five millennials believe that that extinction will occur within their lifetime.

A college student recently wrote the following in a campus newspaper about her climate anxiety:

I stay up into the early hours of the morning, Googling some variation of “Is there hope for climate change,” and “Biden climate change plan good?” (…) I fret over every piece of waste I encounter, wondering whether I should trash it or wash it and hope it qualifies for the recycling bin. What if I wash the aluminum foil I heated leftover lasagna on, does it become recyclable then? The anxiety is crippling.

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House Lawmakers Set to Square off with White House, Treasury Department over ‘Stifling’ Crypto Tax Plan

House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.

The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.

The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.

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Commentary: Politically Correct Ideology Is Masking and Contributing to the Widespread Failure of Our Institutions

close up of green masks on a table

We know the nature of mass hysterias in history, and how they can overwhelm and paralyze what seem to be stable societies.  

We know the roots and origins of the cult of wokeness.  

And we know, too, how such insanity—from the Salem witch trials to Jacobinism to McCarthyism—can spread, despite alienating most of the population, through fear and the threat of personal ruin or worse. These are the dark sides of the tulip, hula-hoop, and pet-rock fads, the mass obsessions so suited to past affluent Western societies.  

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Commentary: A Warning About Joe Biden’s Power Plan

Joe Biden

With President Biden pressing on with attacks against America’s oil and natural gas workers to push his environmental agenda, it’s past time to shed a little light on the failure he’s promoting. He may claim that his proposal to produce 80% of America’s electricity through non-carbon sources is a bold new idea, it’s actually a green failure that he’s trying to recycle…and we’ve got the receipts from two states to prove it.

Let me introduce you to California and Arizona, two neighboring states where one has embraced the Biden Green Plan for years while the other rejected it. Rest assured, Biden, John Kerry, and their army of eco warriors are hoping you ignore the following inconvenient truths.
In November 2018, Arizona voters soundly defeated Prop 127 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The ballot measure was heavily pushed by former presidential candidate current extreme eco-leftist billionaire Tom Steyer. Similar to Biden’s plan, Prop 127 required Arizona to get 50 percent of its power from “renewable” sources by 2030. Keep in mind, these are the same voters that would elect a Democrat to the US Senate and give its electoral votes to Biden just two years later, tipping the presidential race toward the left. In other words, Prop 127, less restrictive than the Biden plan, proved to be too extreme for down-the-middle voters.

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New House Rules Carve-Out for ‘Climate Change’ Bills Exempted from Requiring Projected Price Tag

House Democrats blocked a Republican attempt on Monday to require any proposed climate change legislation to also include its projected cost.

Under the Pay As You Go (PAYGO) rule, any additional government spending proposed must be accompanied by tax increases or separate cuts. After a push from several lawmakers in the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, however, the rules package for the 117th Congress states PAYGO will not apply to legislation relating to the necessary economic recovery or U.S. efforts to combat climate change.

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Michigan Governor Seeks Shutdown of Great Lakes Oil Pipeline

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took legal action Friday to shut down a pipeline that carries oil beneath a channel linking two of the Great Lakes.

Whitmer’s office notified Canadian company Enbridge Inc. that it was revoking an easement granted 67 years ago to extend a roughly 4-mile (6.4-kilometer) section of the pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac. The revocation takes effect in 180 days, when the flow of oil must stop.

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Whitmer Signs Orders Wednesday to Make Michigan Carbon Neutral by 2050

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed two executive orders on Wednesday aimed at making Michigan carbon-neutral by 2050.

The first order creates an advisory council within the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) called the Council on Climate Solutions, which will be tasked with developing and implementing the MI Healthy Climate Plan. The second order creates EGLE’s Office of Environmental Justice Public Advocate, which will “ensure fairness for and representation from underserved communities,” the governor’s office said.

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From Nixon to Trump: EPA Chief Touts Environmental Gains, Hits ‘Single Issue Advocacy’

Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the government has reduced air pollution by 7%, declared Superfund sites safe again at a record pace, and directed tens of billions of dollars to ensuring clean water, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler said Thursday in a speech marking the agency’s 50th anniversary.

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REVIEW: ‘Apocalypse Never’ Takes Direct Aim at ‘Consensus’ of Climate Alarmism

An important new book by Michael Shellenberger, Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All, attempts to counter the common belief that climate change poses an imminent and existential threat to humanity and the planet. At 285 pages, this is a relatively short and very readable book, but it covers a lot of ground. And with an additional 125 pages containing over 1,000 footnotes, Shellenberger’s arguments are well documented.

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Enbridge Continues to Run Line 5, Despite Whitmer’s Concerns About Damage

Enbridge Inc. rebuffed a request from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to shut down Line 5 after one of the supports for the pipeline sustained damage, according to a statement released by the company on Saturday.

Enbridge owns Line 5, a set of two 20-inch pipelines running under the Straits of Mackinac that pump crude oil. The company notified the state on Thursday that an anchor support on one of the pipelines had “incurred significant damage,” according to a statement from Whitmer’s office. The damage was reportedly discovered on or around May 26.

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Michigan Sues Owner of Edenville Dam After Catastrophic Flood

The state of Michigan filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Boyce Hydro, the company that owns the Edenville Dam. It, along with the Sanford dam, failed last month after a rainstorm, causing massive flooding in Midland County.

The suit — filed by the Department of the Attorney General on behalf of the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the Department of Natural Resources — will compel Boyce Hydro to immediately comply with a state order to fully inspect the portion of Edenville dam that still has potentially dangerous crack and erosion. It also requires Boyce Hydro to repair damages to the state’s natural resources, clean up the debris and hazardous materials released by the dams’ failure and pay civil fines.

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Rep. Debbie Dingell Introduces Resolution Against Environmental Policy Changes

by Bruce Walker   U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) introduced a resolution opposing changes proposed by the Trump Administration aimed at scaling back certain provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). NEPA, passed by Congress in 1969 and signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970, mandated environmental…

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Commentary: Rescuing the GOP’s Climate Policy From Absurdity

For the fanatics on the far Left, and perhaps even for those deranged millions in the middle of the Democratic pack, there is nothing a Republican can say about “climate” that would impress them. As far as they’re concerned, Republicans are racist, sexist, and xenophobic, with a long history of “denying” that climate change is an existential crisis. So anything the GOP has to say on the topic has no credibility.

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House Dems Introduce Bill Package to Hold Polluters Accountable

Democrats introduced a package of eight bills into the House of Representatives on Monday that are aimed at holding polluters in Michigan accountable for destruction they may cause. The package, which would increase both financial and criminal penalties for polluting in Michigan, comes as a response to the “green ooze” discovery on Interstate-696 in December.

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Appeals Court Allows Michigan Township to Block Nestle Company Permit to Draw More Groundwater

A three-judge panel in the Michigan Court of Appeals struck down a lower court decision that required Osceola Township to approve an attempt from Nestle Waters North America to build infrastructure necessary to increase the amount of groundwater drawn from a wellhead near Evart, Michigan.

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EPA Awards More Than $50,000 to Kent Conservation District for Educational Program on Watersheds

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded a Michigan conservation organization a grant for more than $50,000 to educate students and local farmers about how agriculture and water health combine. The EPA gave a grant totaling $53,645 to the Kent Conservation District in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for their “Connecting…

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Commentary: How Conservatives Can Protect the Environment and Win Voters, Too

Conservatives need to do a better job on the environment. That seems like a controversial thing to say, because usually when you hear a conservative speak positively about an issue closely identified with liberalism, it is the precursor to a sellout of conservative principles. How many times have you read an essay claiming to make “the conservative case” for some profoundly anti-conservative project like voting for Hillary Clinton or government-run healthcare?

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