Land And Water U.S.A.




Sunday, July 9, 2017

THE CRISIS OF INTEGRITY-DEFICIENT SCIENCE

Falsifying or ignoring data that don’t support conclusions or agendas is worse than junk science.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

MONUMENTAL, UNSUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS


Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy would inflict major land, wildlife, resource damage.
Paul Driessen
Demands that the world replace fossil fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy – to prevent supposed catastrophes caused by manmade global warming and climate change – ignore three fundamental flaws.
1) In the Real World outside the realm of computer models, the unprecedented warming and disasters are simply not happening: not with temperatures, rising seas, extreme weather or other alleged problems.
2) The process of convicting oil, gas, coal and carbon dioxide emissions of climate cataclysms has been unscientific and disingenuous. It ignores fluctuations in solar energy, cosmic rays, oceanic currents and multiple other powerful natural forces that have controlled Earth’s climate since the dawn of time, dwarfing any role played by CO2. It ignores the enormous benefits of carbon-based energy that created and still powers the modern world, and continues to lift billions out of poverty, disease and early death.
It assigns only costs to carbon dioxide emissions, and ignores how rising atmospheric levels of this plant-fertilizing molecule are reducing deserts and improving forests, grasslands, drought resistance, crop yields and human nutrition. It also ignores the huge costs inflicted by anti-carbon restrictions that drive up energy prices, kill jobs, andfall hardest on poor, minority and blue-collar families in industrialized nations – and perpetuate poverty, misery, disease, malnutrition and early death in developing countries.
3) Renewable energy proponents pay little or no attention to the land and raw material requirements, and associated environmental impacts, of wind, solar and biofuel programs on scales required to meet mankind’s current and growing energy needs, especially as poor countries improve their living standards.
We properly insist on multiple detailed studies of every oil, gas, coal, pipeline, refinery, power plant and other fossil fuel project. Until recently, however, even the most absurd catastrophic climate change claims behind renewable energy programs, mandates and subsidies could not be questioned.
Just as bad, climate campaigners, government agencies and courts have never examined the land use, raw material, energy, water, wildlife, human health and other impacts of supposed wind, solar, biofuel and battery alternatives to fossil fuels – or of the transmission lines and other systems needed to carry electricity and liquid and gaseous renewable fuels thousands of miles to cities, towns and farms.
It is essential that we conduct rigorous studies now, before pushing further ahead. The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and Interior Department should do so immediately. States, other nations, private sector companies, think tanks and NGOs can and should do their own analyses. The studies can blithely assume these expensive, intermittent, weather-dependent alternatives can actually replace fossil fuels. But they need to assess the environmental impacts of doing so.
Renewable energy companies, industries and advocates are notorious for hiding, minimizing, obfuscating or misrepresenting their environmental and human health impacts. They demand and receive exemptions from health and endangered species laws that apply to other industries. They make promises they cannot keep about being able to safely replace fossil fuels that now provide over 80% of US and global energy.
A few articles have noted some of the serious environmental, toxic/radioactive waste, human health and child labor issues inherent in mining rare earth and cobalt/lithiumdeposits. However, we now need quantitative studies – detailed, rigorous, honest, transparent, cradle-to-grave, peer-reviewed analyses.
The back-of-the-envelope calculations that follow provide a template. I cannot vouch for any of them. But our governments need to conduct full-blown studies forthwith – before they commit us to spending tens of trillions of dollars on renewable energy schemes, mandates and subsidies that could blanket continents with wind turbines, solar panels, biofuel crops and battery arrays; destroy habitats and wildlife; kill jobs, impoverish families and bankrupt economies; impair our livelihoods, living standards and liberties; and put our lives under the control of unelected, unaccountable state, federal and international rulers – without having a clue whether these supposed alternatives are remotely economical or sustainable.
Ethanol derived from corn grown on 40,000,000 acres now provides the equivalent of 10% of US gasoline – and requires billions of gallons of water, and enormous quantities of fertilizer and energy. What would it take to replace 100% of US gasoline? To replace the entire world’s motor fuels?
Solar panels on Nevada’s Nellis Air Force Base generate 15 megawatts of electricity perhaps 30% of the year from 140 acres. Arizona’s Palo Verde nuclear power plant generates 900 times more electricity, from less land, some 95% of the year. Generating Palo Verde’s output via Nellis technology would require land area ten times larger than Washington, DC – and would still provide electricity unpredictably only 30% of the time. Now run those solar numbers for the 3.5 billion megawatt-hours generated nationwide in 2016.
Modern coal or gas-fired power plants use less than 300 acres to generate 600 megawatts 95% of the time. Indiana’s 600-MW Fowler Ridge wind farm covers 50,000 acres and generates electricity about 30% of the year. Calculate the turbine and acreage requirements for 3.5 billion MWH of wind electricity.
Delving more deeply, generating 20% of US electricity with wind power would require up to 185,000 1.5-MW turbines, 19,000 miles of new transmission lines, 18 million acres, and 245 million tons of concrete, steel, copper, fiberglass and rare earths – plus fossil-fuel back-up generators for the 75-80% of the year that winds nationwide are barely blowing and the turbines are not producing electricity.
Energy analyst David Wells has calculated that replacing 160,000 teraWatt-hours of total global energy consumption with wind would require 183,400,000 turbines needing roughly: 461,000,000,000 tons of steel for the towers; 460,00,000,000 tons of steel and concrete for the foundations; 59,000,000,000 tons of copper, steel and alloys for the turbines; 738,000,000 tons of neodymium for turbine magnets; 14,700,000,000 tons of steel and complex composite materials for the nacelles; 11,000,000,000 tons of complex petroleum-based composites for the rotors; and massive quantities of other raw materials – all of which must be mined, processed, manufactured into finished products and shipped around the world.
Assuming 25 acres per turbine, the turbines would require 4,585,000,000 acres (1,855,500,000 hectares) – 1.3 times the land area of North America! Wells adds: Shipping just the iron ore to build the turbines would require nearly 3 million voyages in huge ships that would consume 13 billion tons of bunker fuel (heavy oil) in the process. And converting that ore to iron and steel would require 473 billion tons of coking coal, demanding another 1.2 million sea voyages, consuming another 6 billion tons of bunker fuel.
For sustainability disciples: Does Earth have enough of these raw materials for this transformation?
It gets worse. These numbers do not include the ultra-long transmission lines required to carry electricity from windy locations to distant cities. Moreover, Irina Slav notes, wind turbines, solar panels and solar thermal installations cannot produce high enough heat to melt silica, iron or other metals, and certainly cannot generate the required power on a reliable enough basis to operate smelters and factories.
Wind turbines (and solar panels) last just 20 years or so (less in salt water environments) – while coal, gas and nuclear power plants last 35-50 years and require far less land and raw materials. That means we would have tear down, haul away and replace far more “renewable” generators twice as often; dispose of or recycle their component parts (and toxic or radioactive wastes); and mine, process and ship more ores.
Finally, their intermittent electricity output means they couldn’t guarantee you could boil an egg, run an assembly line, surf the internet or complete a heart transplant when you need to. So we store their output in massive battery arrays, you say. OK. Let’s calculate the land, energy and raw materials for that. While we’re at it, let’s add in the requirements for building and recharging 100% electric vehicle fleets.
Then there are the bird and bat deaths, wildlife losses from destroying habitats, and human health impacts from wind turbine noise and flicker. These also need to be examined – fully and honestly – along with the effects of skyrocketing renewable energy prices on every aspect of this transition and our lives.
But for honest, evenhanded EPA and other scientists, modelers and regulators previously engaged in alarmist, biased climate chaos studies, these analyses will provide some job security. Let’s get started.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death

Friday, June 23, 2017

U.S. Dodged the Paris Accord Bullet!

Paris Accord – TALKERS Topline:

The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first.
The Accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy and job growth while extracting meaningless commitments from the world’s top global emitters, like China.
The U.S. is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers.
UNDERMINES U.S. Competitiveness and Jobs 
According to a study by NERA Consulting, meeting the Obama Administration’s requirements in the Paris Accord would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion over the next several decades. 
By 2040, our economy would lose 6.5 million industrial sector jobs – including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs.
It would effectively decapitate our coal industry, which now supplies about one-third of our electric power.
The deal was negotiated BADLY, and extracts meaningless commitments from the world’s top polluters.
The Obama-negotiated Accord imposes unrealistic targets on the U.S. for reducing our carbon emissions, while giving countries like China a free pass for years to come.
Under the Accord, China will actually increase emissions until 2030 The U.S. is ALREADY a Clean Energy and Oil & Gas Energy Leader; we can reduce our emissions and continue to produce American energy without the Paris Accord.
America has already reduced its carbon-dioxide emissions dramatically.
Since 2006, CO2 emissions have declined by 12 percent, and are expected to continue to decline. o According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the U.S. is the leader in oil & gas production.
The agreement funds a UN Climate Slush Fund underwritten by American taxpayers.
President Obama committed $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund - which is about 30 percent of the initial funding – without authorization from Congress.
With $20 trillion in debt, the U.S. taxpayers should not be paying to subsidize other countries’ energy needs.
The deal also accomplishes LITTLE for the climate. According to researchers at MIT, if all member nations met their obligations, the impact on the climate would be negligible.
The impacts have been estimated to be likely to reduce global temperature rise by less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

FAREWELL MY FRIENDS


FAREWELL  MY FRIENDS
From Michael Coffman June 2017 
      Michael Coffman
      As a scientist and writer, I have been fighting the global agenda that would destroy America as we know it for decades. As a researcher in the American paper industry, I ran a multimillion dollar research project on the effects of acid rain. When the results came in that it was basically a non-issue, I was told to quash my results or find a new job. That was when my eyes were opened to the fact that it was politics driving the science and not the other way around.
      In 1994, myself and a few other individuals stopped the cloture vote to move forward to ratify the Convention on Biological Diversity Treaty which would have destroyed property rights in our country, thereby destroying free enterprise, the American way of life, and ultimately Freedom itself.
      That is the goal of the Globalists. It is not “saving the planet,” it’s not even redistribution of wealth ultimately. It is Control. Global control of everyone and everything. Together with my wife and all who have worked with us, both as colleagues and as fellow warriors in the fight for freedom, we have labored to inform citizens and policy makers, and to stop this agenda.
      To all of you who read this, I say this, Don’t give up. Keep fighting. Keep working. Keep doing whatever it is that God has called you to do.
      For me the fight is over. After a 2 ½ year battle with cancer, I am going Home. My time here is almost over. I thought I had more to do, but God is saying otherwise.
      Thank you to all who have fought and are continuing to fight for freedom.
      Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58

    Friday, June 2, 2017

    PARIS ACCORD: TEMPEST IN A TEAPOT

    Monday, May 29, 2017

    DEAR MR. PRESIDENT: PLEASE EXIT PARIS

    Dear Mr. President: Please Exit Paris
    By Paul Driessen
    Are you are still wondering whether to Exit Paris? Overseas and US officials, environmentalists and bureaucrats urge you to Remain. But you promised voters you would Exit. Please keep your promises.
    Exit Paris isn’t about the environment. It’s about letting us utilize our fossil fuel energy to create jobs, rebuild our economy, and Make America Great Again. It’s about avoiding immense transfer payments from the USA to foreign governments, bureaucrats and parties unaccountable to Trump-voting taxpayers.
    Worse, even if the USA Remains, and the repulsive payments flow, Paris offers no help in removing real air pollutants. Carbon dioxide isn’t one of them, by the way: it’s plant food, not poison.
    Exit Paris: Business
    Some high profile American companies recently signed a note urging Remain. Follow the money. Many leaders of those companies didn’t support your election and voted Hillary. And they expect to get billions from us taxpayers and consumers, for locking up our fossil fuels and switching to renewable energy.
    We who voted Trump, your base, want Exit. Just as you promised.
    Remain, so that we maintain markets for American energy technologies? Some companies will make off like bandits. The rest of us will get skewered. Global buyers of energy systems understand the benefits of America’s world-beating fossil technologies. They understand the life-cycle value of after-sales support poorly delivered by our international competitors. Trust Chinese warranties? We don’t either.
    Why ask corporations about Remain or Exit Paris? They pass Remain-driven energy costs on to consumers. Instead, ask consumers about ever-increasing energy bills. You’ll get a different answer.
    Corporations have shareholders in the USA, of course, and some of them elected you. But corporations also have European shareholders. Corporations there must survive political economies aligned with Paris’s unaccountable bureaucratic control of energy, jobs, economic growth and living standards. You have to choose: shareholders, entrepreneurs, consumers and families – or rent seekers and bureaucrats.
    Renewable energy lobbyists, Obama holdovers – and misguided souls in your own administration – say Remain, to keep a seat at the table. That’s nonsense. Businesses were flogged by the past administration and no longer recognize their obligations to shareholders, much less to societies they are supposed to serve with reliable, affordable power that creates and preserves jobs.
    Those companies responded to incentives in a massively hostile American political economy. Those hostilities represent decades-long campaigns by anti-energy groups that got rich while claiming to represent shareholders, and by foreign governments seeking transfer payments. You promised change.
    Exit Paris: Group of Seven
    Mr. President, you’ll be pressured mightily at the G7 to Remain Paris. Hugely-invested and conflicted world leaders will give you no peace. Your delegation will hound you. Keep your Exit staff close. Why?
    Because America got snookered into signing the Arctic Council’s May 11, 2017, Fairbanks Declaration. Now the same pro-Remain forces will claim America wants that language. What language?
    Start with Perambulatory Paragraphs 8 & 9: “Reaffirming the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the need for their realization by 2030.” And this: “U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 13.a: Implement the commitment undertaken by developed country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.”
    They want to take our money, while they shackle our economy. But there’s more.
     Paragraph 31 (p. 6): “…we welcome the updated assessment of Snow, Water, Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic, note with concern its findings, and adopt its recommendations.…The Arctic states, permanent participants, and observers to the Arctic Council, should individually and collectively lead global efforts for an early, ambitious, and full implementation of the Paris COP21 Agreement….”
    Your State Department Obama-carry-overs slipped this one past their boss, Secretary Tillerson – and you, by extension. This is where the real art of the deal comes in. Take a leadership role and terminate this. Don’t get sandbagged. Don’t sandbag the people who voted for you. Resist the pressures you’ll face in Sicily. Anything but Exit Paris undermines your credibility and betrays voter trust and America’s future.
    Exit Paris: Diplomacy
    One reason cited to Remain Paris and Remain UNFCCC and their climate treaties is to “avoid diplomatic blowback.” There certainly will be that, but it’s a cost far more easily borne than the sum of what we paid yesterday and will be told we must pay tomorrow in lost energy, jobs and money. Follow the money:
    Emerging nations want the USA to Remain because they expect billions in cash from us every year – plus free technology transfers – at US corporate, taxpayer and consumer expense. Advanced countries want us to Remain because we will inadvertently fund and sign onto programs that they use to seize ever-greater bureaucratic control over energy, resources, jobs and living standards, within their own borders and ours.
    The Chinese want us to Remain because it protects access to our market for energy technologies. Do you believe Chinese press releases and speeches that claim they are switching massively to renewable energy? Neither do we. But we see them building more coal-fired power plants in China, Africa and elsewhere.
    Europeans want us to Remain in Paris to ensure that our fossil fuels, energy prices, economy, jobs, living standards and ability to compete globally are as shackled by climate insanity as theirs already are.
    Some say Remain Paris for a seat at the table. Will the planet otherwise forget American leadership? Better that the deal crumbles without us making huge transfer payments and shackling our economy. Even better is that you lead America and the world back from the climate hysteria precipice.
    Anti-America, anti-energy forces unite at the UN and its UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its director, Ambassador Espinosa of Mexico, spoke recently at Georgetown University – to advocate greater bureaucratic control over energy, natural resources, jobs, living standards and human lives. The past administration was in lock-step with this. You should absolutely be against every part of it.
    Exit Paris: Science
    Paris is a horrible idea, since unassailable empirical evidence demonstrates that: Carbon dioxide makes plants grow faster and better. Atmospheric CO2 levels trail rather than lead warming. Water vapor is a much more potent greenhouse gas. Thanks to carbon dioxide, agricultural productivity has increased over recent decades by over $3.2 trillion. Scientists project up to $10 trillion more in improved crop yields over the coming decades.
    Climate science is absolutely not settled. Smart scientists who support you prove there’s no credible path to climate cataclysm due to fossil fuel use and CO2 increases. Doomsayers have gotten rich by peddling false, alarmist, anti-scientific claims, while the rest of us have suffered. This must not continue.
    To support Exit Paris, you should reverse the absurd, scientifically unsupportable claim that carbon dioxide “endangers” our welfare. Doing that will substantially remove the ability of subsequent administrations to restore policies that demonize fossil fuels and CO2. Many of the policies addressed and corrected by your recent environmental Executive Order are vulnerable until the endangerment finding disappears. Much of the mischief and job killing of the last eight years can be laid at that doorstep. 
    Exit Paris, because even outgoing EPA officials admit it will not noticeably affect Earth’s temperature.
    Exit Paris: US Politics
    Paris intentionally provides for ever-tightening restrictions on American citizens and businesses – thus far with no vote by us or the Senate. Who rewrote our Constitution to allow a president, in his final days in office, to impose such a far reaching treaty on us without our advice, consent, approval or vote?
    If you need Exit support of fellow elected officials or a constitutional avenue, submit Remain Paris to the Senate. The measure will crash on that rocky shore, giving you all the support you need to Exit Paris.
    Your voters heard you promise to Exit Paris. The support you still enjoy from your voters is because we see that you are keeping your promises. Keep this one, too, Mr. President.
    Please Exit Paris. Those who voted for you will remember and approve. Those who detest and resist you will still detest and resist you if you Remain.
    Thank you for considering our heartfelt analysis.
    Sincerely,
    Paul K. Driessen and Mark J. Carr
    Driessen is an environmental policy analyst and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death. Carr consults on energy, environmental, transportation and agricultural policy. (To contact President Trump about this vitally important Exit Paris issue, go here to sign CFACT’s Say No to Paris petition.) 

    Monday, May 1, 2017

    IGNORANCE, INTOLERANCE, VIOLENCE

    Using junk science marches, ignorant professors, 
    resistance and violence to drive public policy
    By Paul Driessen
    Recent science and climate marches demonstrated how misinformed, indoctrinated, politicized and anti-Trump these activists are – and how indifferent about condemning millions in industrialized nations and billions in developing countries to green energy poverty. Amid it all, University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole helped illustrate how the marchers became so ignorant, insensitive and intolerant.
    It’s always amazed me how frequently academics, journalists, politicians and students confuse poisonous carbon monoxide (CO) with plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide (CO2). But Professor Cole’s April 17 article in The Nation presents unfathomable ignorance from the intellectual class that is “educating” our young people, while displaying and teaching intolerance toward countervailing facts and viewpoints.
    Bashar al Assad’s sarin gas attack “consumed the world’s attention,” Prof. Cole intones, but President Trump is committed to releasing hundreds of thousands of tons a day “of a far more deadly gas – carbon dioxide.” Even CO2 that is washed out of the atmosphere “typically goes straight into the oceans,” he continues, “where it turns them acidic,” threatening a “mass die-off of marine life.”
    Cole’s polemical nonsense is too extensive to address in full. But these two claims require rebuttal.
    A deadly gas? Carbon dioxide is the Miracle Molecule that enables plants to grow and makes all life on Earth possible. Plants absorb CO2 exhaled by humans and animals, and emitted by burning wood, dung, fossil fuels and biofuels – and then release oxygen that people and wildlife need to survive.
    Hundreds of studies demonstrate how slightly higher atmospheric CO2 levels (rising from 0.03% a century ago to 0.04% today) are making crop, forest and grassland plants more drought resistant, helping them grow faster and better, and “greening” vast areas that had been brown and barren. Claims that CO2 has replaced the solar and other powerful natural forces that have always controlled Earth’s climate, and is now causing “dangerous manmade climate change,” are not supported by actual planetary evidence.
    Marine life thrived when CO2 levels were many times higher during past geologic eras. Far from being or becoming acidic, the oceans are mildly alkaline, and their vast volumes of water will not become acidic from human fossil fuel use: that is, to drop from their current pH of 8.1 into the acidic realm below 7.0 on this logarithmic scale. Oceans may become slightly less alkaline with another century or two of human carbon dioxide emissions, but most marine organisms will be unaffected; others will adapt or evolve.
    The science marchers forget that President Trump’s actions are in response to eight Obama years of “highly politicized so-called research on climate,” under grants that “anticipated particular scientific outcomes before funding was provided,” Princeton University physicist Dr. Will Happer told me. Real science “is not based on political agendas, belief systems or computer models. It’s based on evidence – and actual observations have found normal icecap fluctuations, seas rising a foot or less per century, drought cycles little different from the twentieth century, and a decline in major landfalling hurricanes.”
    These inconvenient truths contradict the dominant narratives in college classrooms and political circles. Climate alarmists thus demand that they be vilified, banned and silenced, through vile, even violent confrontations if need be – along with other conservative speech on and beyond too many campuses.
    It’s as if reality, truth, discussion and debate have become irrelevant where feelings, leftist dogma, climate science or public policies are involved. Even more troubling, it’s as if our culture, education and public forums have been taken over by jack-booted fascists, Mao’s Red Guards, Maduro thugs, and “heroes” like Pavlik Morozov, memorialized by Stalin for betraying his father to the secret police.
    Some intolerant protesters may be delicate snowflakes, too easily intimidated, offended or made to feel “unsafe” by conservative or other contrarian thought. However, the near-constant intimidation and threats of expulsion or violence have become a deliberate tactic, used repeatedly to impose speech codes and political agendas – and too often ignored, acquiesced in or supported by professors, administrators and politicians who welcome the silencing of opposition voices or lack the courage to confront  it. During Science March weekend in Huntsville, Alabama, shots were fired into the offices where reality-based climatologist John Christy works. “Mainstream media” and academia coverage was minimal.
    They demand diversity of race, language, handicaps, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status and sexual self-identification. They cannot tolerate diversity of thought, speech or faculty and student ideology.
    George Mason University economics professor Walter Williams calls it “a spreading cancer,” a re-emerging mentality that gave us loyalty oaths, which today come in the form of demands that faculty members sign “diversity statements, especially as part of hiring and promotion procedures…. The last thing diversity hustlers want is diversity of ideas.” The goal is “political conformity among the faculty indoctrinating our impressionable, intellectually immature young people,” Williams says.
    As far-left protest marches, window smashing, limousine burning and physical assaults in Berkeley, Portland, Washington, DC and other cities attest, the cancer is metastasizing – particularly when movements and political groups believe their money, power, influence and control are threatened.
     On the climate front, at stake are $100 billion a year in reparation funds for poor countries, $7 trillion a year for companies that want to build “sustainable low-carbon” energy systems, and boundless power for politicians and bureaucrats who want to control economic growth, livelihoods and living standards. They cannot tolerate “climate deniers,” even those who merely question the extent of human influences, the degree and impact of temperature and climate changes, whether changes will all be bad, or the supposed inability of wildlife and wealthy, technologically advanced societies to adapt to future changes.
    Members of this activist, governing and corporate elite also excel at inflating trivial risks and dismissing easy solutions, to advance their agendas and self-interests. For example, as President Trump revises many Obama era environmental rules, activist groups are using other tactics to continue their war on coal.
    Dry ash from coal-fired power plants can be used in wallboard and to partially replace sand in high-strength concrete for bridges, roads and buildings. However, regulations, engineering considerations and other factors limited that option and resulted in most wet and dry ash being sent to impoundments that can leak barely detectable pollutants into surface and ground water. Studies have shown that these levels of chromium and other metals pose little risk to humans, but scare campaigns are creating pressure to force utility companies to spend billions of dollars relocating the ash and closing more power plants.
    The best solution is likely to leave the ash in place, shore up the coffer dams, put solid clay seals over the deposits, and let them dry out, locking the metals in place. Radical groups demand relocation and seek to bankrupt the utilities – after which they intend to intensify their attacks on natural gas-fired power plants, drilling, fracking, and the factories, petrochemical plants and other industries that use fossil fuels.
    In essence, they have brilliantly established a mantra that can ensure victory in every campaign. Whatever they support is safe, sustainable, climate-friendly environmental justice; whatever they oppose is dangerous, unsustainable, ecologically destructive and unjust. End of discussion.
    In the process, they are unwilling or unable to recognize two facts. One, cheap, reliable energy improves living standards, saves lives, and supports new technologies and opportunities, with poor families benefitting most. Policies that make energy less accessible and affordable harm the poorest most of all.
    Two, fossil fuels have undeniable environmental impacts, but allow us to produce vast amounts of cheap energy from relatively few acres. Replacing those fuels with wind, solar and biofuel energy would require hundreds of millions of acres worldwide that are now cropland or wildlife habitats. Those “eco-friendly” alternatives are actually our least sustainable, most ecologically destructive energy options.
    The stakes are too high to let intolerant ideologues continue to control energy policy decisions.
    Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.

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