The direct benefit of increasing oil and gas production includes the value of increased production attributable to the technology. In 2011, the USA produced 8,500,983 million cubic feet of natural gas from shale gas wells. Taking an average price of $4.24 per thousand cubic feet, that’s a value of about $36 billion, due to shale gas alone. This increase in value produced can also increase the number of people employed directly in production and delivery activities. These numbers will often be pointed to in political debates. In an economy with full employment, such an increase would not be considered a ‘benefit’ per se, but a state such as New York with a high unemployment rate of 8.2 might wish to weigh the potential employment effects when evaluating the merits of a moratorium. At its peak in 1980, the oil and gas extraction sector supported 267,000 employees, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. As more easily tapped oil reserves grew scarcer and domestic oil production gradually declined over the following two decades, so did employment, with the number of employees in oil and gas extraction shrinking by over 50 percent to 118,400 in 2003. Since 2003, however, there has been a steady upward climb in employment, slowing only slightly during 2009 and reaching 198,400 by December 2012 – over a 67 percent increase. As other industries have sputtered in the a”ermath of the 2008 recession, oil and gas has been a remarkably bright spot in the US economy, with employment at the end of 2012 at its highest since 1987.
On its face, the Waters of the United States rule is largely a technical document, defining which rivers, streams, lakes and marshes fall under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. But opponents condemn it as a massive power grab by Washington, saying it will give bureaucrats carte blanche to swoop in and penalize landowners every time a cow walks through a ditch. . . . "This rule will provide the clarity and certainty businesses and industry need about which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act, and it will ensure polluters who knowingly threaten our waters can be held accountable,” Obama said in a statement after the EPA released a final version of the regulation. “My administration has made historic commitments to clean water, from restoring iconic watersheds like the Chesapeake Bay and the Great Lakes to preserving more than a thousand miles of rivers and other waters for future generations. With today’s rule, we take another step towards protecting the waters that belong to all of us.”Obama's emphasis is on safety and clean water; the rule, however, greatly expands the definition of what waters "belong to us all," including that on privately-owned property.
The House has passed two Republican-backed bills that would place new restrictions on the Environmental Protection Agency. A bill approved Wednesday would require the EPA to disclose scientific data behind proposed regulations, while a measure passed Tuesday would prohibit the agency from appointing registered lobbyists to the EPA's Science Advisory Board. Both were approved largely along party lines. The scientific data bill was approved 241-175, while the advisory board measure was approved 236-181. Republicans said the bills would increase transparency at the EPA and make it more accountable to the public. "Right now, the EPA is trying to impose harmful regulations based on scientific studies that no one can check — not the public, not independent scientists, not even the United States Congress,' said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. "It's called 'secret science' and it's wrong." If the EPA or any other agency proposes a rule that adds costs to businesses or infringes on private property, "the people have every right to know why," McCarthy said.
The facts of the case were astounding. As the environmentalist Left pushed new, job-killing regulations in the interests of “public health,” Dr. Enstrom took his own look at the data and determined that the health threat from diesel emissions was being wildly overstated. As he looked further, he discovered that the lead researcher pushing the new regulations actually possessed a fraudulent degree, purchased from “Thornhill University,” a shady, long-distance diploma mill. Moreover, members of the state’s “scientific review panel” tasked with evaluating the science had in some cases overstayed term limits by decades. At least one was a known ideological radical. (He was a member of the infamous “Chicago Seven.”) Dr. Enstrom did what a scientist should do. He exposed public corruption, called out fake scientific credentials, and worked to save California from onerous and unnecessary regulations. So UCLA fired him. After more than 30 years on the job.
Two possible explanations exist for EPA's conduct following Landmark Legal Foundations' filing of a Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") request in August 2012. Either EPA intentionally sought to evade Landmark's lawful FOIA request so the agency could destroy responsive documents, or EPA demonstrated apathy and carelessness toward Landmark's request. Either scenario reflects poorly upon EPA and surely serves to diminish the public's trust in the agency.
The Internal Revenue Service isn’t the only government agency dealing with missing emails or faulty hard drives. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy on Wednesday cited a similar cyber snafu during a House Oversight Committee hearing. “Another missing hard drive?” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, asked McCarthy. She responded, “We are having trouble acquiring the data.”It's not just a problem of Congressional oversight. The Landmark Legal Foundation served a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on the EPA regarding attempts to influence the 2012 election by delaying damaging environmental regulations until after the election. We reported on that delay in 2013, which concerned not just environmental regulations but Obamacare also. Landmark alleges that it has met stonewalling and missing documents, and now it's seeking sanctions, as described in a press release today, Landmark is seeking sanctions:
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Sr. Contrib Editor