EPA’s Rules On CO2 Emissions Will Kill The Economy

Regulation: In Washington, no good deed goes unpunished. So it’s no surprise that Obama regulators want to impose giant new costs on the Texas economy — the very state that has led the nation in job creation.

We’re referring to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new “Clean Power Plan” to reduce carbon emissions from electric power plants. These rules are estimated by the Heritage Foundation to cost the national economy some $2 trillion in lost GDP and 600,000 jobs through the next decade.

But a new study shows that some states are much bigger losers than others. Just eight — Texas, Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma — will absorb almost as much of the carbon-reduction requirements as the other 42 states combined. Texas and Florida are responsible for one-quarter of the plan’s costs.

What’s curious is that all these are red states with Republican governors, and many are wondering why they get clobbered by the Obama regulatory hammer. “This law hits Texas much harder than any other state,” fumes Gov. Rick Perry. “We’re being punished for being economically successful and for providing energy for the rest of the nation.”

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily:

SideBear: Well, if can’t audit your political enemies (IRS) then you drown them with new rules and regulations.

RFK, Jr. wants me jailed … as a war criminal! by Paul Driessen

Perhaps he should serve time for eco-manslaughter and crimes against humanity?

The “people’s climate march” was notable for the amazing energy, economic and climate illiteracy displayed by the mostly young people parading along New York City streets September 21.

Their chants, rants and placards demanded that we stop climate change (that’s been ongoing throughout Earth and human history), eliminate fossil fuels (that supply 80% of the energy that makes their modern living standards possible), ban fracking (which is largely responsible for reducing the carbon dioxide emissions they blame for global warming that ended at least 18 years ago), and abolish capitalism!
Some of the absurdities can be enjoyed here and here. Among my personal favorites:

* Al Gore grinning for a photo op with NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio and UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon. This is same Al Gore who got a C and D in his two college science courses, told “Tonight Show” audiences that the Earth’s interior is “several million degrees” (the core is actually nine thousand deg F), and refuses to debate anyone on climate change or even take audience questions he has not preapproved.

* Actor Leonardo DiCaprio basking in the NYC limelight, releasing a series of movies claiming that climate change is immediate and dangerous, and marching with other people’s anti-tar sands and “100% for the planet” signs – after arriving in the Big Apple not via commercial jetliner and subway.

* Actor Mark Ruffalo denouncing Climate Depot director Marc Morano for daring to ask whether celebrities like Messrs. Gore and DiCaprio are appropriate spokesmen for “stop global warming” campaigns – considering how much they enjoy multiple mansions, global vacations, and private jets, yachts, SUVs, helicopters and limos. Questions like that are “off-limits,” Ruffalo declared. “That is a question you shouldn’t be asking here today, because that defies the spirit of what this is about,” he said. “Anyone who attacks Leonardo DiCaprio is either a coward or an ideologue.”

Wow! I wasn’t aware that asking inconvenient questions or pointing out inconvenient truths was improper – especially when posed to people who put themselves forward as paragons of virtue for leading campaigns that inevitably restrict access to energy, lower developed country living standards, and keep the Third World impoverished – while the leaders enjoy lifestyles that are many times more profligate, carbon-intensive and carbon dioxide-spewing than the average American or African citizen’s.

But surely the most surreal episode of the march was Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. saying Morano and I and thousands like us should be jailed for expressing doubts about “dangerous manmade climate change.”

So RFK the younger wants to punish us for the “crimes” of exercising our First Amendment rights, demanding actual evidence to support alarmist assertions, saying people’s needs for reliable, affordable energy must be part of the conversation – and insisting that those needs take precedence over absurd claims that climate change is “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” posing “greater long-term consequences” than ISIL, terrorism or Ebola, as Secretary of State John Kerry insists.

Mr. Kennedy needs to read the Constitution, reflect on the once proud history of free speech and civil rights in the United States, and acknowledge the harm his policies are causing. He also needs to get his facts straight.

None of us says global warming or climate change “does not exist.” Global warming, global cooling, “climate disruption” and “wild weather” have been “real” since Earth began. What we challenge is alarmist assertions that human carbon dioxide emissions have replaced the powerful, complex natural forces that caused repeated ice ages, little ice ages, warm periods, droughts, storms and other fluctuations throughout history. We dispute claims that any climate changes will be dangerous, and are our fault.

We vigorously refute claims that CO2 is “pollution.” This is what we exhale. It’s the trace gas (0.04% of our atmosphere) that enables plants to grow, and makes all life on Earth possible.

We debunk talk of countless “disasters” that Climate Armageddonites – from President Obama on down – blame on fossil fuels and insist “are happening right now.” The planet hasn’t warmed for 18 years. The nearly nine years since Wilma in October 2005 is the longest period since 1900 (and maybe the US Civil War) without a category 3-5 hurricane hitting the United States. Floods, droughts and other events are all within historic patterns, as readers can see in my new report, Climate Hype Exposed – how pseudo-science is used to justify policies that hurt jobs, liberties and people.

Just as crazy, RFK Jr. made it clear that he and his wife will not give up their $5,000,000 Malibu home or “reduce the, uh, our quality of life in order to have a, uh, rational free market, in order to, um, stop the use of carbon and to divorce ourselves from a fuel that is destroying our planet.” But they, many of the NYC marchers and climate alarm leaders are surely doing all they can to reduce your quality of life.

The policies RFK & Comrades demand would raise the price of fossil fuel energy that powers our modern world, creates and preserves jobs, and improves, enhances and safeguards lives. In Europe, they’ve made energy so expensive that millions of pensioners and other poor families cannot afford to heat their homes properly – and thousands die needlessly from hypothermia every winter. We’re heading there, too.

They cause millions of deaths every year in developing countries – by preventing construction of state-of-the-art coal and gas-fired power plants, and depriving people of reliable, affordable energy. More than 2.5 billion people worldwide must still use wood, charcoal, coal and dung in open fires to heat and cook; well over a billion still do not have electricity, still do not enjoy its wondrous blessings.

As a result, millions die every year from lung diseases due to constantly breathing polluted smoke from cooking and heating fires, from intestinal diseases caused by spoiled food and tainted water, and from countless other diseases of energy deprivation and poverty. The vast majority are women and children.

My colleagues and I would gladly go on trial and even serve time for “treasonous” speech against the climate alarm establishment … and for “polluting” the atmosphere with plant-fertilizing, life-giving CO2.

But then we would insist that Mr. Kennedy and his comrades also be tried and sentenced: for eco-manslaughter and crimes against humanity, for the disease and death their policies cause and perpetuate.

The International Criminal Court might be the proper venue, just as RFK suggested for us. But perhaps the climate demagogues and anti-fossil fuel zealots should be tried – and serve their sentences – in countries that have suffered the most at their hands, for their war on women, children and the poor. Conditions in those Third World prisons are notoriously worse than in the zealots’ mansions, and in the comparatively posh modern jails and prisons found in most of the USA and Europe.

Alternatively, these true climate criminals could be sentenced to do community service, while living like the natives: in mud huts, breathing their air, drinking their water, being bitten by disease-infested insects, and having to walk miles to basic medical services when they inevitably contract malaria, pneumonia or dysentery. That could make alternative community service a death sentence – akin to what Mr. Kennedy and his self-righteous friends are imposing on so many unfortunate people.

It’s time to refocus. The world needs abundant, reliable, affordable energy, to create opportunity and prosperity, improve and save lives, and enable us to adapt to whatever climate changes might come. Misguided noise about climate change “deniers” and humans replacing natural forces in controlling Earth’s climate serve only to distract us from the critical job at hand.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death

Breaking Russia’s energy stranglehold By Paul Driessen

European Union nations want to impose tougher economic sanctions on Russia for invading Ukraine and providing the missiles that shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17. However, they are worried about biting the hand that feeds them—with the natural gas that fuels much of its economy.

Russia is the world’s second-biggest natural gas producer and third-biggest oil producer, so it can inflict tremendous pressure and damage on its neighbors without firing a shot. The 28 EU nations as a whole depend on Russia for one-third of their oil and gas. However, Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania get 100% of their natural gas from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Six other European countries get more than half of their gas from the powerful Russian Bear: Czech Republic (57%), Poland (59%), Ukraine (60%), Hungary (80%), Slovakia (84%) and Bulgaria (89%).

That makes the Europeans highly vulnerable to cuts in the fuel supplies they need to power their cars, keep their businesses, factories and economies running smoothly—and heat homes, to literally keep people alive during brutal winters like those they’ve experienced recently. A simple “nyet” from Mr. Putin could reduce or cut off energy exports, leaving the continent hostage to Russia and creating a potential disaster. European officials know this but so far are frozen by their own fears and policies.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) calls Russia “a gas station masquerading as a country,” because 60% of its exports are oil and natural gas. Cutting these exports to pressure Europe politically might hurt Russia’s economy. However, it has already done so, is currently squeezing Ukraine over winter gas supplies—supposedly over late payments for past deliveries—and is making export arrangements with China and other countries, to reduce any economic harm it might suffer from engaging in renewed energy blackmail.

Russia supplied up to 45% less gas than Poland requested

Moreover, during one week this September, Russia supplied up to 45% less gas than Poland requested, the Poles’ largest oil and gas company reported. Over the past decade, “Russia has halted the flow of gas through Ukraine three times, directly affecting eastern and southern European countries most reliant on Gazprom, the giant Russian energy monopoly,” the Christian Science Monitor has observed.

Indeed, 16% of Russian natural gas exports flow through Ukraine. In yet another pressure tactic, Russia began tightening the export spigot in June. Russian gas supplies through Ukraine to Slovakia have been cut by 25%, says Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan.

There’s no question that the EU and USA must punish Russia for seizing Crimea, infiltrating troops and military equipment into eastern Ukraine to support secessionists, aiding terrorism, and killing hundreds of innocent jetliner passengers. Since no one wants a shooting war with Russia, economic sanctions are all that’s left. Failure to do even that would give Putin a green light to move more forcefully against Ukraine—or even try to occupy other former Soviet Union nations.

Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest tragedy of the 20th century

Putin has called the breakup of the Soviet Union “the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.” Before invading Ukraine, Russia invaded the former Soviet territory of Georgia in 2008 to support separatists who had declared independence for the Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. It’s not at all hard to imagine Putin moving against Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, other former Soviet possessions or even Finland, to bring them into Mother Russia’s suffocating embrace. But how can the EU end the blackmail, enjoy some foreign policy independence and improve its faltering economy with less reliance on Russia?

If European countries faced food shortages due to import restrictions, they would offer their farmers incentives to grow more. EU members need to act the same way on the energy front. Otherwise, they give Russia tremendous sway over their future. European nations certainly have the ability to take action.

For one thing, they could import more natural gas from the United States and other countries besides Russia, until it can produce more domestic energy. Europe is blessed with enormous quantities of oil and natural gas—including enough gas to supply all its needs for at least 28 years, during which it could develop viable alternatives to gas and the dozens of coal-fired generators it is now building. US Energy Information Administration data reveal that Sweden has enough gas to meet its needs for 250 years. Denmark, Poland, Bulgaria, France and Spain also have extensive potential, as do Great Britain and other countries. Unfortunately, those deposits aren’t economically recoverable using traditional drilling.

However, they can be captured using hydraulic fracturing (fracking)—which has been used safely and with great economic and employment benefit more than a million times in the United States since 1947. It has made the United States the world’s largest natural gas producer.

Not surprisingly, environmental extremists strenuously oppose fracking—further crippling Europe’s ability to meet its energy needs and chart its economic destiny and foreign policy. Also not surprising, Russia is secretly funding the European anti-fracking movement “to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently revealed.

Russia’s naked aggression

But if there’s a silver lining to unfolding Middle East events and Russia’s naked aggression, it’s that more sensible Europeans are finally looking more critically at their self-destructive energy and environmental policies. The European Union announced in September that it will combine previously separate energy and climate ministries into one office. The decision infuriates radical greens, but it reflects growing business, worker, consumer and family concerns about reliable, affordable electricity and motor fuels.

Next, Europe needs to allow fracking. Right now, virtually every EU nation except Poland and Britain bans fracking. Besides making Europe more energy independent,fracking would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by enabling European nations to rely more on natural gas and less on coal. Fracking would also reduce EU natural gas, electricity and even oil prices, as it has in the USA. It would also create or save millions of jobs that are endangered (or gone) because of Europe’s outrageously high energy costs. In fact, many EU companies and families pay three to eight times more than Americans do for electricity.

Another problem in Europe is that people living above the shale deposits have no ownership or economic interests in developing them. They are inconvenienced, but the state and drilling companies get all the money. The EU needs to devise incentives that give landowners and residents a positive stake in development—such as a royalty or percentage of every Euro of oil and gas produced and sold.

On this side of the pond, US petroleum production must be further increased. The huge gains in American oil and gas output since 2009 were all on private and state lands, while the Obama administration has presided over a nearly 40% decline in production from onshore and offshore federal lands. The President and congressional Democrats need to stop being energy obstructionists, and let American companies tap these energy treasure troves. That would create jobs, generate billions in government revenues, make more gas available for European purchase, and strengthen our economy and balance of trade. Congress should also consider prohibiting state and local fracking bans as unconstitutional constraints on trade.

The world is not going find safe, efficient, affordable, environment-friendly alternatives to oil, natural gas and coal in the next decade or so
Congress and the President should also fast-track US natural gas exports to Europe, by speeding permits for¬† liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities. These actions would encourage further drilling, technology improvements and job creation. As Europeans adapt and improve America’s rapidly advancing fracking technologies and develop their own gas, these exports will be less vital. But they are essential now.

The world is not going find safe, efficient, affordable, environment-friendly alternatives to oil, natural gas and coal in the next decade or so. (Right now, Europe gets just 1.3% of its energy from wind and solar, but 75% from fossil fuels—and both wind and solar exact significant environmental costs.) In the meantime, we need to rely more on realistic opportunities and initiatives, and on our oil supplier friends in Canada and Mexico. If we don’t, we’ll have to continue importing from increasingly unstable and unfriendly parts of the world—and being constantly at their tender mercies, just like the Europeans.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive
Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and Congress of Racial Equality, and author or
Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.

Protect the poor—from climate change policies By Paul Driessen

Cornwall Alliance works to ensure reliable, affordable energy for poor families worldwide

In a more rational, moral, compassionate, scientifically literate world, this Cornwall declaration would not be needed. It assesses the “far-reaching, costly policies” that the world’s governments are adopting, supposedly to prevent global warming and climate change. It calls on governments to focus instead on protecting the poor, who desperately need the affordable energy that those policies circumscribe.

The declaration was crafted by the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation. This coalition of theologians, faith leaders, scientists, and economic, environmental and policy experts is committed to safeguarding God’s entire creation: not just the Earth and its wildlife, but the people who also inhabit our wondrous planet, especially the poorest among us. More than 150 have already signed the declaration.

The declaration lists ten reasons to “oppose harmful climate change policies.” It notes that our Earth is “robust, resilient, self-regulating and self-correcting.” Its climate system will respond to and correct damage that might arise from the relatively small effects of carbon dioxide that we humans are adding to the atmosphere—compared to the numerous, complex, powerful, interacting natural forces that have always ruled our planet’s ever-changing climate and weather.

For one thing, crops and forests and other plants will respond to the extra CO2 by growing even faster and better, greening the planet and helping to feed wildlife and people. For another, as my extensive new climate report makes clear, the real world is simply not cooperating with the alarmists’ dire forecasts.

President Obama says climate change “will define the contours of this century more than any other” issue. Secretary of State John Kerry insists that climate change is “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” and poses “greater long-term consequences” than ISIL, terrorism or Ebola—even as ISIL butchers crucify men, behead little children, and promise to murder Westerners in their homes and streets.

Abundant, affordable, reliable energy is indispensable to lifting and keeping people out of poverty

Reality tells a different story. Not a single category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States in nine years—the longest such period since at least 1900 and perhaps the US Civil War. Arctic ice has rebounded. Antarctic ice that is supposed to be melting is instead expanding to new records, “because of” global warming that’s supposed to be happening with increasing speed, but instead stopped 18 years ago. Sea levels are barely rising. Perhaps all this good climate news is due to our carbon dioxide emissions?

All these “inconvenient truths” are at the heart of the Cornwall appeal. Look first, it suggests, at actual, empirical, real-world climate observations. In almost every case they differ significantly from—or are directly opposite to—what the White House, Environmental Protection Agency, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and other alarmists assert and predict.

Second, the declaration implores, consider how anti-fossil fuel climate policies would affect the poorest and most vulnerable people on Earth. Then “abandon fruitless and harmful policies to control global temperature, and instead adopt policies that simultaneously reflect responsible environmental stewardship, make energy and all its benefits more affordable, and so free the poor to rise out of poverty.”

As UCLA emeritus professor Deepak Lal (who wrote the foreword to the India edition of my Eco-Imperialism book) wrote in Poverty and Progress: Realities and Myths about Global Poverty:

“The greatest threat to the alleviation of the structural poverty of the Third World is the continuing campaign by western governments, egged on by some climate scientists and green activists, to curb greenhouse emissions, primarily the CO2 from burning fossil fuels…. t is mankind’s use of the mineral energy stored in nature’s gift of fossil fuels … accompanying the slowly rolling Industrial Revolution, [that] allowed the ascent from structural poverty which had scarred humankind for millennia. To put a limit on the use of fossil fuels without adequate economically viable alternatives is to condemn the Third World to perpetual structural poverty.”

The Cornwall Alliance echoes and expands on these concerns in its Call to Truth, Prudence and Protection of the Poor, a 55-page analysis by professor of climatology David Legates and professor of economics Cornelius van Kooten.

Abundant, affordable, reliable energy is indispensable to lifting and keeping people out of poverty, the Alliance points out. Mandatory reductions in CO2 emissions would greatly increase the price of energy, as well as goods and services. Such policies would slow, stop or even reverse the economic growth that enables people to prosper and adapt to all climates. They would harm the poor more than the wealthy,

President Obama says the United States is committed to helping poor nations deal with the effects of “climate disruption.” However, he has also signed an executive order requiring that federal agencies take climate change into account when preparing international development, loan and investment programs. This has meant that U.S. agencies will support wind, solar and biofuel projects—but will not provide loans or other assistance for state-of-the-art gas-fired power plants in Ghana, coal-fired power plants in South Africa, or similar projects in other severely energy-deprived and impoverished nations.

Worldwide, 2.8 billion people still use wood, charcoal, coal and dung in open fires to heat and cook. At least 1.2 billion people still do not have access to electricity and the countless blessings it brings. In India alone, more than 300 million people lack electricity; in Africa more than 550 million. The result is millions of deaths every year from lung and intestinal diseases. The vast majority of these victims are women and children.

But under current White House, IPCC and EU policies, they are not likely to get electricity anytime soon. Mr. Obama justified his policies by telling students in Johannesburg, South Africa, “if everybody has got a car and everybody has got air conditioning and everybody has got a big house, well, the planet will boil over—unless we find new ways of producing energy.”

In other words, in a world where hydrocarbons still provide 82% of all energy, for this White House and IPCC, exaggerated concerns about climate change 50 or 100 years from now trump concerns about safeguarding billions of people from rampant poverty and lethal diseases. This is intolerable.

Wind and solar power will let people in remote areas have light bulbs, cell phone chargers and tiny refrigerators, until they can be connected to an electrical grid. However, such limited, unreliable, expensive electricity cannot support modern economies, factories, shops, schools, hospitals or families.

No wonder China, India and other developing countries are building hundreds of coal-fired generating plants. Their leaders may be happy to participate in wealth transfer schemes, in which they receive (at least promises of) “climate adaptation and mitigation” money from rich countries. But they will not sign any international accord that restricts their fossil fuel use and economic development. They understand all too well the need to end rampant poverty, misery, disease and premature death—even if Mr. Obama, UN Secretary Ban-Ki Moon and Al Gore do not, or do not care.

Put bluntly, “climate-smart” policies for poor countries and poor families are stupid—and immoral.

As American University adjunct professor Caleb Rossiter asked in a June 2014 Wall Street Journal article: “Where is the justice when the U.S. discourages World Bank funding for electricity-generation projects in Africa that involve fossil fuels, and when the European Union places a ‘global warming’ tax on cargo flights importing perishable African goods?”

So study these issues. Ponder what the Cornwall Alliance has to say. Sign the declaration. Speak out against energy deprivation, prolonged poverty and needless death. And help protect your children’s futures—and the hopes, aspirations, lives and basic human rights of the world’s poorest families.

Paul Driessen is a senior fellow with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, nonprofit public policy institutes that focus on energy, the environment, economic development and international affairs. Paul Driessen is author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power, Black death

What really drives anti-fracking zealots? By Paul Driessen

Recent news stories underscore the tremendous benefits brought by America’s fracking revolution.

•The shale oil production boom could boost US crude production to 9.5 million barrels of oil per day (bopd) next year, reducing America’s crude oil imports to 21% of domestic demand, the lowest level since 1968. Output from fracked wells represents 43% of all US oil production and 67% of natural gas production; “frack oil” could hit 10 million bopd by 2016, the Energy Information Administration says.

•The global economy saves $4.9 billion per day in oil spending because of the shale oil boom. Without it there would be a 3 million barrel per day shortfall and prices would likely be 55% higher: $150/barrel.

•Constantly improving hydraulic fracturing technologies continue to increase production. For example, Cabot Oil & Gas refracked a 2013 Pennsylvania well, increasing its output to 30.3 million cubic feet of gas per day; that’s four times the output from the best well drilled in 2003. Fracking is even being used in decades-old onshore and offshore wells, to keep them producing for many more years.

•Rust Belt cities and industries—from manufacturing, real estate and law to hotels, restaurants and many others—are rebounding because of drilling,fracking and production in nearby shale areas. In Ohio unemployment fell to 5.7% in July from 10.6% four years ago; oil output increased 26% just from the previous quarter, while gas production rose 31%—generating billions in state and local revenues.

•The US oil and natural gas boom means jobs and business for almost 30,000 companies within the industry’s vast and complex supply chain. Indeed, the petroleum industry accounts for nearly 10 million jobs and almost 8% of all domestic economic activity, including states far from actual drilling activities.

•The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers launched a new website to help veterans and other men and women find high-paying jobs in the booming oilfield, fuel and petrochemical industries.

Anti-fracking zealots: Follow the money—and the ideology

There are numerous other benefits, while the alleged risks are exaggerated or even fabricated. So what drives anti-fracking zealots who seem to materializeen masse whenever a new project is announced?

Follow the money—and the ideology. Big Green is big business. The US environmental activist industry alone is a $13.4-billion-a-year operation. It pours that money into determined campaigns to eliminate fossil fuels, gain ever greater control over our lives, reduce our living standards, and end free-enterprise capitalism. It drives its agenda with clever but phony crises: catastrophic climate change, unsustainable development, imminent resource depletion, poisonous frack chemicals and dozens of others.

Fracking obliterates its claim that we are about to run out of oil and gas—and so must slash our living standards, spend billions on crony-corporatist “renewable energy” schemes, and put radical green bureaucrats and activists in charge of our lives, livelihoods, living standards and remaining liberties. They are incensed that fracking guarantees a hydrocarbon renaissance and predominance for decades to come. They won’t even acknowledge that “frackgas” helps reduce (plant-fertilizing) carbon dioxide emissions.

Even uber wealthy celebrities get involved. Exaggerations and fabrications, confrontations and often callous disregard of other people’s needs are their stock in trade. In torrents of angry outrage and demands for totally one-sided precaution, they denounce any suggestion that fracking is safe or beneficial.

Whatever alternative technologies they support comply with their “precautionary principle.” Whatever they oppose violates it. They trumpet alleged risks of using fracking and hydrocarbon technologies, but ignore even the most obvious benefits of using them… and most obvious risks of not using them.

Anti-fracking zealots tend to be well-off, and largely clueless about the true sources of modern living standards. They assume electricity comes from wall sockets, food from grocery stores, iPhones from Apple Stores. You can count on one hand the farm, utility or factory workers they know personally.

They are dismissive about people who are jobless because of their war on affordable energy—and about poor rural New York families that are barely hanging onto their farms, unable to tap the Marcellus Shale riches beneath their land, because of an Albany and Manhattan-instigated moratorium.

They are equally uncaring about the world’s impoverished billions, whose hope for better lives depends on the reliable, affordable electricity that drilling and fracking can help bring. Worldwide, 1.4 billion people still do not have access to electricity including 300 million in India and 550 million in Africa. Millions die from lung and intestinal diseases that would largely disappear if they had electricity.

What the frack is wrong with this picture? This is not the same environmental movement that Ron Arnold, Patrick Moore and I belonged to decades ago. Big Green has become too rich, too powerful, too driven by perverse, inhumane notions of ethics, social responsibility and compassion. Their claims aboutethanol and wind power being environment-friendly are just as out of touch with reality.

Incessant claims that fracking contaminates groundwater and drinking water?

But what about their incessant claims that fracking contaminates groundwater and drinking water? Even EPA has not been able to cite a single “proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.” A September 2013 report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences further confirms this. After carefully examining water wells in heavily fracked areas of Pennsylvania and Texas, researchers concluded that rare cases of methane (natural gas) contamination were not due to fracking.

Instead they resulted from improper cement and pipe installation near the surface, thousands of feet above the frack zone. The problem is covered by existing regulations and is preventable and relatively easy to correct. Petroleum industry and state officials are already collaborating to further strengthen the regulations where necessary, enforce them more vigorously, and improve well completion practices.

Moreover, some of the contamination resulted from water wells being drilled through rock formations that hold naturally occurring methane. Indeed, there have been very few cases of any contamination, out of more than one million wells hydraulically fractured since the first “frack job” was done in 1947, and out of 20,000 wells fracked in Pennsylvania since the Keystone State’s boom began in 2008.

Of course, none of this is likely to assuage anti-fracking factions or end their fictions. They are driven by motives that have nothing to do with protecting people’s health or environmental quality. In fact, what they advocate would further impair human health and environmental quality.

The great Irish statesman Edmund Burke could have been talking about these “fracktivists” when he said: “Because half a dozen grasshoppers make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle… chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that they are the only inhabitants of the field… or that they are other than little, shriveled, meager, though loud and troublesome, insects of the hour.”

Unfortunately, these definitely loud and troublesome insects have also grown powerful, meddlesome and effective. So fracking supporters must continue to battle the anti-energy ideologues—by becoming better community organizers and persuaders themselves, to counter the anti-fossil fuel lies and insanity, and the destructive policies, rules and moratoria imposed by ill-advised or ideological politicians and regulators.

We fracking supporters are clearly on the side of humanity, morality, true sustainability and real environmental progress. We also know that—no matter how hard eco-activists despise it and rail against it—they cannot put the fracking genie back in the bottle.

America and the world have awakened to its potential—and to the critical need for this technology. Let us applaud this incredible progress, and champion it throughout Europe, Asia, Africa and worldwide.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive
Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and Congress of Racial Equality, and author or
Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death.