H/T Daily Signal
H/T Daily Signal
David Jacques, publisher of the Roseburg Beacon, told Bill O’Reilly on Monday that the people of Roseburg would not welcome Barack Obama if he came to town to politicize the funerals of the Umpqua College shooting victims.
Madman Chris Harper-Mercer murdered eight students and a teacher last week in a shooting spree on campus.
David Jacques and community leaders, including Douglas County commissioners, the police chief and local sheriff, do not want Obama to come grandstand in Roseburg for political purposes.
Now, there is a Facebook protest page set up to protest Obama in Roseburg.
They rolled out their “Unwelcome Mat.”
From the Defend Roseburg-Deny Barack Obama Facebook Protest page:
The anointed one his majesty king 0bama and the White House have announced a Friday arrival in Roseburg, Oregon in the wake of Oct 1st’s horrific tragedy at UCC.
Polarizing as usual, Mr 0bama has insisted on politicizing the event as a conduit for increased executive orders on gun control via means of his pen, and his phone.
This blatant disrespect of the victims families, the community and the town of Roseburg, Mr 0bama’s administration is flying not just the 747 that is airforce one to Oregon, but a three helicopter team of Sikorsky’s that make up HMX-1, known as Marine one to travel to Roseburg at the taxpayers expense.
We need a lot of people. Please come show your support for Roseburg, not the little man who has no respect for the constitution.
Local activist Casey Runyan is organizing the protest.
UPDATE: (7:30 PM ) 1,900 people have signed up to attend rally to protest Barack Obama.
When Marla Stout put up a new swing set in her family’s backyard, her two daughters pleaded with her to paint it the color of bubblegum. Marla wasn’t a fan of the pink swing set idea, but she agreed to paint it purple.
Now, she and her husband have been threatened with jail time because of it.
According to Fox News, the Stouts painted the swing set two years ago, but it wasn’t until this summer that the Raintree Lake Subdivision Homeowners Association (HOA) decided to make a stink about it.
While there are no distinct rules about swing set colors, the HOA dictates that they must be “harmonious with the community and with nature.” In the HOA’s opinion, the purple swing set wasn’t “in harmony” with the others in the community.
“We got very frustrated,” Marla said. “There’s somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 homes in our community. There’s all kinds of colors. There’s people with bright purple doors. There’s trees that are the color of this swing set.”
Marla and her husband were told that if the swing set wasn’t removed, they would be fined or jailed.
The HOA claimed that the Stouts were in the wrong for not getting their swing set color pre-approved. They tried to dissuade the Stouts from filing a lawsuit, claiming that the costs would be “far greater than any principle [they] are trying to prove.”
But after an initial hearing on August 21, a Missouri judge ruled a week later that the swing set can stay purple. While the Stouts are thrilled with the judge’s decision – they had a barbecue Friday to celebrate – they believe that the HOA should apologize to the entire community.
“It’s been very embarrassing for our community and it’s cost every resident in this community a lot of money and reputation,” Marla said.
In their never ending quest to control all aspects of life with silly regulations, the liberal ninnies that run California have come up with a long list of safety rules for porno film shoots. Among other things, they want to require actors and actresses to wear safety goggles while performing sex scenes. It would seem as if the state has become every adult in the movie A Christmas Story: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board released a 21-page proposal of porno regulations. If you find it funny that the state is pushing this volume of rules for porn shoots, it’s even more hilarious that they spent 5-years of hearings and research to come up with this stuff.
One of the big recommendations is to make condom use mandatory for all filmed sex scenes, something Los Angles passed into law recently. As unenforceable as that is, there’s even more hard-to-regulate regulations:
No one on a porn set would be allowed to pick up broken glass with their hands. They’d have to use a broom and dust pan.
Porn actors would not be allowed to share razors or any personal grooming devices.
Porn sets would have to be covered in plastic protective coverings capable of keeping the area safe from contamination.
There’s a set of rules regarding the cleaning of dildos.
Porn producers would have to provide soap to the actors that is not irritating.
Anyone handling clothing, including the actors, must wear latex gloves.
And the best of the bunch: If there is to be a facial “money shot” actors and actresses would have to wear eye protection. In fact, the facial as we know it would be outlawed by these regulations:
6. Barrier protection for the eyes, skin, mouth, and mucous membranes. The employer shall not permit ejaculation onto the employee’s eyes, non-intact skin, mouth or other mucous membranes.
In addition to this stuff, there are pages and pages of regulations requiring that porn producers provide vaccinations, laundry service, and my favorite: that they post warning signs on the set. It’s not real clear what these warning signs should be, but I imagine “Caution: Splash Zone” would do the trick.
In addition, there are 10 different regulations related to condom use, including mandatory lubricant. If a porn actor changes the point of entry, he must then remove the condom and put on a new one.
Cal/OSHA is holding public hearings on their massive porn regulation proposal and will soon make a decision on whether to implement these rules or not. This being California, it’s a given that they will vote in favor of unrealistic unenforceable regulations.
I think it will be hilarious to see a porno shot with all of these rules in place: the walls and furniture are covered in plastic drop cloths, the actor and actress are wearing latex gloves and safety goggles, every time they switch positions the actor stops to apply a new condom and lubricant, when it’s over crew members in biohazard suits rush in to quickly decontaminate the set. It should be pretty hot.
A Mississippi man was putting things into his truck at his house near Jackson just before 7 a.m. Saturday when two armed men approached him, forced him into his house and took his wallet, police told WABT-TV.
Then they ordered him to drive them to an ATM, WLBT-TV reported.
But after one of the kidnappers talked of kicking the victim out of his Toyota truck so the pair could return to his house and harm his wife, the man did something they likely didn’t expect.
He grabbed his own gun from his truck and fatally shot one of the kidnappers, police told WLBT.
The other kidnapper got away on foot and was still at large Saturday night, police told WLBT. Authorities described him as a black male with a bandana and dark shirt possibly driving a tan SUV with no tags, the station said.
Police were calling the victim’s actions a justifiable homicide but said it will go to a grand jury, WABT noted.
Many residents in the neighborhood told WLBT the kidnapped man is a doctor, but police didn’t confirm that information.
The Supreme Court just ruled against a major Obama agenda in a decision that is sure to leave the president devastated.
The highest court in the land just ruled against Obama’s attempt to force Christian organizations to pay for abortion-causing drugs for their employees. This is the fifth time the Supreme Court has ruled against President Obama.
Christians everywhere rejoiced at the decision and were thankful that their religious freedoms were being protected.
“How many times must the government lose in court before it gets the message?” asked Lori Windham, Senior Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “For years now the government has been claiming that places like Catholic Charities and the Little Sisters of the Poor are not ‘religious employers’ worthy of an exemption.”
“That argument has always been absurd. Every time a religious plaintiff has gone to the Supreme Court for protection from the government’s discriminatory mandate the Court has protected them,” she added. “That’s what happened to the Little Sisters of the Poor, Wheaton College, Notre Dame, and Hobby Lobby.”
“The government really needs to give up on its illegal and unnecessary mandate,” Windham concluded. “The federal bureaucracy has lots of options for distributing contraceptives–they don’t need to coerce nuns and priests to do it for them.”
The Supreme Court has told Obama no time and time again, yet he just can’t seem to get the message. Hopefully, this time he finally will.
“It is appalling that President Obama would cut off federal healthcare dollars to Florida in an effort to force our state further into Obamacare,” a furious Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said Thursday as he announced that he plans to sue the Obama administration.
“It’s outrageous,” Scott told Fox News Thursday night.”The federal government started a program in our state in 2006. It’s called the Low Income Pool. It’s (health care) for low income families,” Scott explained. “Now, what they are saying is they are not going to keep that program going unless the state expands Obamacare (Medicaid). So this, first off, is horrible.”
“It sounds like extortion,” Fox News’s Kimberly Guilfoyle told Scott.
“Absolutely,” the governor agreed. “First off, you think about the families in our state that are relying on this. Second, (Supreme Court Chief) Justice Roberts said…that it’s not lawful for the federal government, for the Obama administration, to use coercion tactics, basically held a gun to our head, if we don’t expand Obamacare. They say they can’t do that.”
The Supreme Court in 2012 upheld Obamacare’s individual mandate, but it also said the federal government could not compel the states to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income people. As of this writing, 28 states and the District of Columbia have ageed to expand Medicaid. The federal government has agreed to pay 100 percent of the expansion costs through 2016, but after that, the states must pick up a larger share of the costs, and that’s what worries Scott and other governors.
In July 2012, shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, Gov. Scott announced that Florida would “opt out of spending approximately $1.9 billion more taxpayer dollars required to implement a massive entitlement expansion of the Medicaid program.”
“Floridians are interested in jobs and economic growth, a quality education for their children, and keeping the cost of living low,” Governor Scott said at the time. “Neither of these major provisions in Obamacare will achieve those goals, and since Florida is legally allowed to opt out, that’s the right decision for our citizens.”
He also noted that “Florida already has health care safety net programs for those with the greatest need.”
Scott told Fox News on Thursday that he and his attorney general are working on a lawsuit right now.
He questioned whether President Obama really cares about the low-income families in Florida for whom the federal government created the LIP program in the first place.
“And doesn’t everybody now understand that this is an administration that’s going to use coercion tactics, and when it’s appropriate, they’ll cut back funding if you don’t do another program they want?”
“One, they don’t care about the low income families because they are willing to walk away from a program. And then, two, they are using bully – this is a Sopranos. They are using bullying tactics to attack our state. It’s wrong. It’s outrageous just that they’re doing this.”
A White House spokesman, asked for his reaction to the anticipated Florida lawsuit, said he hadn’t seen “specific details.”
“But what is true is that expanding Medicaid in the State of Florida would ensure that 800,000 Floridians would get access to quality health-care coverage,” Josh Earnest said on Thursday.
Earnest noted that under Obamacare, the federal government picks up the full cost of expanding Medicaid through 2016.
“So there’s not a good reason why anybody in Florida would be in a situation of trying to block a policy that would benefit 800,000 Floridians. In fact, they would have a positive impact on the finances in the State of Florida.
“And it’s difficult to explain why somebody would think that their political situation and their political interest is somehow more important than the livelihood and health of 800,000 people that they were elected to lead.”
In a message on his website Thursday, Scott said the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) sent him a letter this week, saying that “the furture of LIP’ and “Medicaid expansion are linked.”
“We will fight to protect the healthcare of Floridians, and their right to be free from federal overreach,” Scott said. “Our citizens already pay federal taxes that go into the federal LIP program. Now, President Obama has decided that the state must take on a larger Medicaid program, forcing our taxpayers to pay even more to government, before they get their own federal tax dollars back. This is outrageous, and specifically what the Supreme Court warned against.”
In 2012, the city of Sharpstown, Texas, made the controversial decision not to renew its contract with the local police department and instead hire a private security firm to combat crime.
Since SEAL Security Solutions took over law enforcement in Sharpstown, crime has reportedly dropped by 61 percent in just 20 months.
James Alexander, director of operations for SEAL Security Solutions said, “Since we’ve been in there, an independent crime study that they’ve had done [indicates] we’ve reduced the crime by 61 percent,” according to Guns.com.
In addition to the apparent increase in efficiency, the private firm is reportedly saving taxpayers roughly $200,000 each year – even though the community is getting more patrol officers than before.
“On a constable patrol contract, it’s either a 70/30 or an 80/20. Meaning they say they patrol your community 70 percent of the time, [while] 30 percent of the time they use for running calls out of your area or writing reports,” Alexander said.
He continued: “The second thing that drastically reduces the crime is that we do directed patrols, meaning we don’t just put an officer out there and say ‘here, go patrol.’ We look at recent crime stats, and we work off of those crime stats. So if we have hotspots in those areas say for that month, we focus and concentrate our efforts around those hotspots.”
The SEAL officers also don’t “receive the same protection, as we are in the private sector,” according to Alexander. He argues that leads to better accountability because they have to worry about keeping their jobs.
Of course, privatizing police forces has raised concerns as well. The Washington Post reports:
The growth is mirrored nationally in the ranks of private police, who increasingly patrol corporate campuses, neighborhoods and museums as the demand for private security has increased and police services have been cut in some places.
The trend has raised concerns in Virginia and elsewhere, because these armed officers often receive a small fraction of the training and oversight of their municipal counterparts. Arrests of private police officers and incidents involving SCOPs overstepping their authority have also raised concerns.
Do you think privatizing police forces is a good idea?
We were warned…
In January 2008 Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that cost onto consumers.”
He promised that his plan would cause electricity rates to skyrocket.
He wasn’t kidding.
On Monday the Obama administration unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants.
FOX News reported:
The Obama administration on Monday unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants, a controversial regulation aimed at fulfilling a key plank of President Obama’s climate change agenda.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants existing plants to cut pollution by 30 percent by 2030, under the plan.
The draft regulation sidesteps Congress, where Obama’s Democratic allies have failed to pass a so-called “cap-and-trade” plan to limit such emissions. The EPA plan will go into effect in June 2016, following a one-year comment period. States will then be responsible for executing the rule with some flexibility.
They are expected to be allowed to require power plants to make changes such as switching from coal to natural gas or enact other programs to reduce demand for electricity and produce more energy from renewable sources.
They also can set up pollution-trading markets as some states already have done to offer more flexibility in how plants cut emissions.
If a state refuses to create a plan, the EPA can make its own.
Obama’s energy policies will disproportionately harm the poor, middle class and minorities.
Real Clear Energy reported:
A study by Eugene M. Trisko for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity reviewed the disproportionate impact of higher energy costs on differing income groups from 2001 to 2011.
The study found that the amount of money spent on energy for half of American households that make less than $50,000 almost doubled rising from 12 percent in 2001 to 20 percent in 2011.
Minorities with lower average incomes than white households are disproportionately harmed by rising energy prices.
For example, in 2009, 67 percent of black households and 62 percent of Hispanic households had average incomes below $50,000 in contrast with only 46 percent of white households.
Since minority households have lower incomes than white households, rising energy prices will take a larger share of their family’s disposable income leaving fewer dollars for housing, medicine and clothes.
Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, new greenhouse gas regulations from the EPA and discussions of a carbon tax provides more evidence that Obama’s anti-fossil fuel agenda will force energy prices higher.
A retired Army general is calling for the “forced resignations” of President Obama, other administration officials and the leadership of Congress for the direction they’re taking the nation, his list of grievances including the systematic political purge of hundreds of senior military officers in the U.S. military.
Retired Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely told WND he is calling for nationwide rallies and protests to demand the resignations and added that a peaceful “civil uprising is still not out of question.”
In his capacity as chairman of the organization Stand Up America, Vallely issued what he termed a “National Call to Action” to force the resignations of Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Vallely, formerly the deputy commanding general of Pacific Command, said the current crop of leaders must be forced to resign by the “demand resignation” process, which he explained requires massive grass-roots protests and social networking. As an example, he cited the public and media pressure that led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Impeachment, Vallely said, is not a viable option because of “partisan politics.”
“Our federal government continues down the path of destroying America,” he said. “Americans must now stand up and put America back on the right track.”
In issuing his national call to action, Vallely said the federal government has not subsided in “sucking the oxygen” out of America.
“And we call to action all branches of government to do your constitutional duties and not be led astray in the cultural and moral decay of America. We have witnessed far too many lies,” he said, as well as “deception and the corruption of the republic.”
Vallely reminds Americans that the Declaration of Independence itself states that whenever “any Form of Government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem more likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
Vallely said the nation he long defended is self-destructing “before our very eyes,” because of “our inept and incompetent leadership in Washington.”
“The battle is on,” he added, “and we shall not retreat.”
Vallely, who has also served as a Fox News military analyst, claimed the Obama administration and leadership of Congress have been leading the nation down a road of “progressive socialism.”
The retired general said the U.S. faces a battle that is unknown to generations of Americans, and that the fate of the nation is “now in our hands” to enforce the Constitution and “severely limit the federal government and its out-of-control spending.”
He said conditions today are approaching those of the time of the inaugural address of President Abraham Lincoln, who said at the time that people have a “right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one.”
“Shake off,” said Vallely, “means replacing government leaders.” He argued America today bears “many similarities to the fall of Rome.” America, he added, is not immune to collapse or even revolution, which he notes “has happened many times in history… External and internal threats could precipitate this as well as any financial collapse.”
Vallely added that “politics as usual will not be effective or sufficient enough to turn the country around.”
“We are in a war for America,” he told WND, adding that Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Dr. Ben Carson, the noted brain surgeon and author of “America the Beautiful” and other bestselling books have made similar observations.
Americans have had enough, he said, and the Obama White House and identifiable members of Congress “must now depart from a progressive socialist and treasonous death march and bankrupting the country beyond expectations.”
“A civil uprising is still not out of the question as ‘pain’ grips the country more each day,” Vallely said, adding that there is time to change the country in a peaceful way.
“This means raising your voice now to your neighbors, family, co-workers and friends,” he said. “Be the captains of your souls. I pray for another George Washington to appear within the year and lead us.”
One of the issues that alarms Vallely is the high number of senior officers in the U.S. military who have been fired under the Obama administration, a toll estimated at one officer per week. Indeed, Vallely has been very outspoken to what he calls a “purge” of the U.S. military by the Obama administration – with a stunning nine generals and flag officers relieved of duty this year alone.
WND has been reporting on the surge of firings, suspensions and dismissals, for which Vallely has assigned a good portion of the blame to Obama’s close adviser, Valerie Jarrett. Rampant “political correctness” due to her influence, Vallely tells WND, is now permeating the military and negatively affecting everyone from top generals to the ranks of the enlisted.
According to Vallely, Obama is “intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing the U.S. as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”
Vallely equated the current treatment of U.S. senior military officers watching over what is said and done among mid-level officers and enlisted ranks to that of the “political commissars from the Communist era.”
He also told WND that the White House won’t investigate its own officials, but finds it easy to fire military commanders “who have given their lives for their country.”
“Obama will not purge a civilian or political appointee because they have bought into Obama’s ideology,” Vallely said. “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into Fast and Furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”
He’s far from alone in his concerns about the military purge, as J.D. Gordon, a retired Navy commander and a former Pentagon spokesman in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, says the Obama administration is rushing to unload senior officers whom he believes have become “political pawns” dismissed for questionable reasons.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, a recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, similarly has told WND that Obama needs to apply the same standards to his political appointees as he does to the military.
“Just when you thought the leadership of this government could not get any worse, it does,” Brady said. “Never in history has an administration spawned another scandal to cover the current one.”
This was a reference to the recent firing of a number of generals to mask “Obama’s serial scandals, all prefaced by lies – Fast and Furious, Benghazi, NSA, IRS,” among others, said Brady, former president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.
Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, who was a founding member of Delta Force and later deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush, tells WND it is worrying that four-star generals are being retired at the rate that has occurred under Obama.
“Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause,” Boykin said. “I believe there is a purging of the military. The problem is worse than we have ever seen.”
Airline giant Boeing announced Friday it would move much of its current engineering projects from Washington state. The company will move the projects to nonunion facilities in South Carolina and Long Beach.
Airline giant Boeing announced Friday the company will shift much of its current and future engineering projects out of Washington state, opting instead to focus more resources on engineering centers in South Carolina and California.
According to a statement Boeing released, Boeing Commercial Airplanes will establish a propulsion operation in South Carolina and a engineering help center in Long Beach, Calif. The transition away from the Puget Sound to other areas will take about six months.
Propulsion operation and engineering help for older model airplanes are currently based in the Puget Sound.
“During the next six to nine months, most out-of-production airplane support, including the 707, 727,737-100/-2–/-300/-400/-500 and 757 will move from Puget Sound to Long Beach,” the statement said.
Boeing is also exploring design centers in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia…
…according to the Times, Mike Delaney, Boeing’s vice president of engineering, warned that if an engineering union forced an expensive contract, Boeing would look toward other locations. Boeing engineers negotiated a new contract with the company in February.
“Slowly over time, if you become uncompetitive, you have to deal with the arbitrage and leverage other resources,” Delaney told the Times in October.
The Long Beach and South Carolina sites are nonunion.
In April 2011 the Obama National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) told Boeing it must build a plant in Washington state not South Carolina. South Carolina is a right to work state. In December 2011 the NLRB dropped its politically charged case against Boeing after the union that represents 31,000 Boeing workers in Washington urged the board to withdraw it.
In a very strange and sad story developing out of Pennsylvania, one of Michael Bloomberg’s “Mayors Against Illegal Guns” members has found himself in jail. James Schiliro, mayor of Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, was arrested this past Thursday for official oppression, reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, and furnishing a minor with alcohol.
Schiliro ordered a local policemen to bring him a 20-year-old male to his home. At which point Schiliro allegedly served the minor alcohol and tried to have sex with him. When the minor refused, Schiliro apparently retrieved multiple handguns, where he then proceeded to fire one of them in the minors direction as a form of intimidation.
Schiliro was released on bail and states he will be fighting the charges.
Let him know what you think: firstname.lastname@example.org
That was the very first question in my mind when I heard about the SCOTUS ruling. J.E. Dyer, breaks the bad news to us.
1. Congress can force you to buy an electric car.
2. Congress can force you to buy solar panels.
3. Congress can force you to buy and install a remote-control thermostat for your home.
4. Congress can force you to buy internet service.
5. Congress can force you to buy particular kinds of food.
6. Congress can force you to buy contraceptives for yourself.
7. Congress can force you to buy biofuels, even if you don’t have any use for them.
8. Congress can force you to donate to political causes and “charities.”
9. Congress can force you to pay union dues.
10. Congress can force you to buy the New York Times.
11. Congress can force you to buy “green travel” packages.
12. Congress can force you to buy a 3-bedroom, 2-bath townhome with a 1-car parking spot for your electric car.
Those are a few to ruminate on, But please, go read the whole thing.
Via A View From The Beach comes this news. The T-Rex was a very bad beast
Scientists say they have proof that the Tyrannosaurus rex, the dinosaur adored by children and makers of plastic toys, had the most powerful bite of any creature that lived on land.
The bite of a grown T-rex was up to 10 times that of a Mississippi alligator, exerting a force of nearly six tonnes – the weight of an elephant – on a single tooth, according to a study published on Wednesday.
The estimate comes from a 3-D computer simulation of a T-rex head, with reconstructions of its bones, jaw movement and muscle power, say University of Liverpool palaeontologists led by Karl Bates.
“Models predict that adult T-rex generated sustained bite forces of 35,000-57,000 Newtons at a single posterior tooth, by far the highest bite forces estimated for any terrestrial animal,” says the paper.
By comparison, humans exert only 70 to 100 kilos of force on a single tooth.
Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.
Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”
The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.
The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.
“What the modeling showed was in communities like Kaktovik, Shell’s drilling would increase air pollution levels close to air quality standards,” said Eric Grafe, Earthjustice’s lead attorney on the case. Earthjustice was joined by Center for Biological Diversity and the Alaska Wilderness League in challenging the air permits.
At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil. That’s how much the U. S. Geological Survey believes is in the U.S. portion of the Arctic Ocean. For perspective, that represents two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history. That pipeline is getting dangerously low on oil. At 660,000 barrels a day, it’s carrying only one-third its capacity.
Production on the North Slope of Alaska is declining at a rate of about 7 percent a year. If the volume gets much lower, pipeline officials say they will have to shut it down. Alaska officials are blasting the Environmental Protection Agency.
“It’s driving investment and production overseas,” said Alaska’s DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan. “That doesn’t help the United States in any way, shape or form.”
The EPA did not return repeated calls and e-mails. The Environmental Appeals Board has four members: Edward Reich, Charles Sheehan, Kathie Stein and Anna Wolgast. All are registered Democrats and Kathie Stein was an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. Members are appointed by the EPA administrator. Alaska’s Republican senator thinks it’s time to make some changes.
“EPA has demonstrated that they’re not competent to handle the process,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “So if they’re not competent to handle it, they need to get out of the way.”
Murkowski supported budget amendments that would have stripped the EPA of its oversight role in Arctic offshore drilling. The Interior Department issues air permits to oil companies working in the Gulf of Mexico.