11.01.2008 0

Courting Energy

  • On: 11/18/2008 10:57:55
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • By Isaac MacMillen

    America needs more and better sources of energy. That’s not up for discussion. But what a firestorm has erupted over what those sources should be!

    Despite public opinion (e.g. with prices down, support for offshore drilling remains high—at 68%), America’s energy solutions continue to be dictated and repressed by Hard Left environmentalist groups—and they are increasingly turning to the courts to enforce their liberal, anti-energy agenda.

    A quick look at available energy sources tells a sad tale:

    • Coal? In Utah, the permit for a coal-burning plant was blocked by the EPA for CO emission reasons. This halts the construction of new coal power plants. Using similar environmentalist reasoning, a judge in Georgia blocked another coal plant earlier this year. Even clean-coal plants are feeling the pressure, with 8 plants forced to cancel construction in 2007 because of regulation-driven costs or uncertainties.

    • Natural gas? A natural gas pipeline in Long Island was blocked for environmental reasons. And the fate of a gas pipeline in Colorado remains uncertain.

    • Drilling? We have the oil. But as Shell found out last year, courts can step in and prevent exploration. Of course, given the strength of envirolobby supporters in Congress, Shell—and other oil companies—will have to consider the courts the least of their worries. The lifting of the offshore drilling moratorium may be short-lived. New, advanced methods of extracting oil may be doomed by environmental regulation. And the oceans of oil and gas in the continental United States will continue to be neglected.

    • Nuclear? Regulations have made this—the safest of all power options—economically impractical. Too bad, as it has already helped France achieve virtually complete energy independence. But apparently France’s near-pristine safety record doesn’t move their hard-core dogmatists. A quick glance at the safety precautions in place show that most fears of nuclear disaster (accidental or deliberate) are misplaced, as the threat is extremely remote.

    • Wind and solar power? The same liberals who have opposed offshore drilling because of its supposed aesthetic impact—will they be silent as huge wind and solar farms are built across beautiful plains and rugged desert? (Wait—looks like they’ve already spoken up—as when Robert Kennedy, Jr., put his own aesthetic wants above his neighbors’ energy needs.)

    Environmental radicals have even used the courts for measures as extreme as forcing the U.S. Navy to cease a vital sonar drill because of potential environmental impact, despite a paucity of proof or a scintilla of evidence. (Fortunately, the Supreme Court overturned the ruling.)

    How well is the Left’s judicial activism working? The environmental legal group Beverage and Diamond stated:

    “By way of these lawsuits, the courts are to some extent shaping climate change policy while state regulatory agencies act more slowly.”

    Donnell Van Noppen III, the president of Earthjustice, a group affiliated with the liberal Sierra Club, stated:

    “People who support us are the ones who really believe that the use of the courts is crucial. It’s been really proven true in the last few years that the courts are essential because we’ve had a Congress and a White House really wanting to go in quite an anti-environmental direction, and the courts have been the backstop.”

    The damage the courts are doing to American energy policy is staggering. As a tool of the liberal envirolobby, they have wreaked havoc on America’s energy policies, turning solutions into problems, including the Supreme Court classifying carbon dioxide a pollutant regulable under the Clean Air Act. But that should come as no surprise to those who have followed their antics throughout the years.

    The zeal that radical environmentalists have shown to saving the planet—even at the cost of human life—will ultimately prove fruitless. While they may preserve the planet, what is the point if no one is left to enjoy it? It’s no wonder that they are forced to rely on an oligarchy of black robed judges to proceed with their plans.

    If courts continue dictating court-ordered environmental policy, American businesses may eventually find themselves in the same situation as a UK power plant, which was vandalized by environmental activists to the tune of nearly $75,000. But when it brought the crooks to court, the vandalism was ruled “justified” in light of the “greater threat” of global warming.

    Businesses need to know, for the long-term, what the rules are going to be. At present, these rules change so often that it is impossible for the businesses to be confident that the investment they make today will not be pillaged tomorrow.

    So, it’s true: America needs more and better sources of energy. But right now, even more, it needs to stop the courts from doing the bidding of the radical envirolobby before its wholly contrived firestorm leaves energy independence in ashes.

    Isaac MacMillen is a contributing editor of ALG News Bureau.

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