BREAKING: WTP files ballot initiative restoring right to lower utility bills

Posted on March 25, 2010 by Quallurce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2010
Contact: Donny Ferguson, 703-200-3669 or donnyferguson@gmail.com

Coloradans file ballot initiative restoring right to lower utility bills
Proposed initiative restores right of customers to opt out of price-hiking mandates

DENVER — Colorado citizens submitted to the Legislative Legal Council Wednesday a proposed ballot initiative restoring the right of consumers to lower their utility bills by choosing less-expensive forms of energy.

“In this economy, families should have the right to buy less expensive electricity.  It comes down to one question, who controls your family budget, you or the political class?,” said Dan Fuchs, WTP Director of Government Relations and a former Montana state legislator.

“All we are doing is restoring the opt-out approved by the voters in Amendment 37 and without which that measure might not have passed.  Legislators took away that opt-out provision in a subsequent session,” said Fuchs.

The “Consumer Choice in Energy” initiative was submitted by Parker resident Bob Kennedy and Greeley resident Kurt Overturf.  Kennedy started up a successful video production company and Overturf is a drywall installer and home remodeler.  Western Tradition Partnership (WTP) a Denver-based citizens’ grassroots group promoting affordable energy, property rights and job security in the West, has been drafting the ballot language for a year and will work with citizens to pass it.

If approved, the initiative allows a utility’s customers to submit a petition requesting an election among customers on whether to opt out of so-called “renewable energy standards.” Renewable energy standards are government mandates forcing a utility to buy a certain percentage of their power from more expensive sources such as wind and solar, driving up utility bills.

Renewable energy standards are a favorite tool of speculators, who invested in the more expensive, less efficient sources and cannot attract consumers in a competitive market.  By lobbying politicians to make purchasing their product mandatory, speculators pass their losses to captive customers.

“Renewable energy standards are the ultimate bailout – government officials forcing citizens to buy a more expensive product from speculators who are often political allies.  You should have the right to make that decision for yourself, not have it imposed on you and extracted from your wallet by politicians,” said Fuchs.

WTP is a fast-growing, grassroots-supported non-profit organization advocating rational, responsible natural resource development and land use policy.  For more information, go to http://www.westerntradition.org.  For more information on this issue, or to schedule an interview, contact Donny Ferguson at 703-200-3669 or at donny.f@westerntradition.org.

The initiative language can be found here.

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Paris scraps carbon tax plan

Posted on March 24, 2010 by Quallurce

The French government on Wednesday said it would abandon its plan to introduce a carbon tax on domestic energy and road fuels unless there was agreement for a European Union-wide levy.

The U-turn on the controversial environmental tax come two days after the governing UMP party of President Nicolas Sarkozy suffered a heavy defeat in regional elections. Senior UMP politicians have blamed the defeat in part on the proposed tax, which was due to come into effect on July.

François Fillon, prime minister, told a meeting of centre-right parliamentarians that France would not penalise its industry by introducing the tax unilaterally…

From the Mar. 23, 2010 Financial Times.  Read the entire article here.

As Congress, Obama cut off energy production, gas prices skyrocket

Posted on March 20, 2010 by Quallurce

As the White House and congressional majority continue to shut down energy production by denying leases, placing more land under federal control, seeking national carbon taxes and heaping on mountains of more regulations, gasoline prices are skyrocketing to levels unseen in over two years. 

“U.S. motorists are paying the highest prices for gas since October 2008. Retail gasoline prices rose on Thursday on an expected increase in demand and as more expensive spring and summer blends of gasoline make their way to the pumps.   The nationwide average hit $2.799 per gallon, a penny higher than Wednesday, according to AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.   Prices have now jumped 18.9 cents in the past month and are 87.9 cents higher than year-ago levels. Back on Oct. 23, 2008 prices averaged $2.8215 per gallon.   The Energy Department and many industry experts expect prices to top $3 this spring,” the Associated Press reports.

Prices are also rising due to government requirements that gasoline sold in the summer contain mandated chemicals, forcing refinieries to shut down and retool.  Radical green efforts to shut down refinery construction and expansion have left the nation unable to produce needed gasoline during the spring.

Oil prices are also rising as the Obama administration and congressional majority continue to wage war on energy production.  Energy prices and unemployment continue to skyrocket as they consider New York City Democrat Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s NREPA land grab of the West, seperate land grabs proposed by Montana Senator Jon Tester (D) and Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D) and a new effort by the Obama administration to declare millions of acres of the West “national monuments.”  The land grabs are intended to shut down employment activity, specificually energy development, in the West. 

They are also still considering using unconstitutional “deem and pass” rules to impose a national carbon dioxide tax should it be defeated in the Senate, or having the Obama EPA ignore the Senate vote and impose carbon dioxide regulations anyway, a move that would send millions to the unemployment line and dramatically increase energy prices.

Obama’s EPA stifles new energy gains

Posted on by Quallurce

Editorial in Friday’s The Washington Examiner.

Federal judge shuts down employment activity in Montana

Posted on March 18, 2010 by Quallurce

“A federal judge has approved a groundbreaking settlement requiring the government to suspend oil and gas leases on almost 38,000 acres in Montana because potential climate change impacts were not studied prior to leasing,” the Billings Gazette reports today.

Judge Donald Molloy, a Clinton appointee, nullified the leases saying they could create global warming, despite the lack of scientific proof of so-called “man-made global warming” and multiple admissions from researchers that supposed evidence for the theory was fabricated.  The suit was brought by a group of radical environmentalisty groups, seeking to block the job-creating activity by any means necessary.

Obama anti-mining policies could cost 5,600 West Virginians their jobs

Posted on March 15, 2010 by Quallurce

The minority staff of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plans to issue a report this week that shows the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s holdup of mining permits in Appalachia jeopardizes more than 5,600 jobs in West Virginia alone.

More than that, Senate staffers believe their research shows the EPA has launched a war on coal that is far broader than restricting mountaintop mining. The EPA’s response to the 404 permitting process also is prohibiting the development of smaller surface mines, deep mines and related coal operations, staff members said.

Committee staff members, who work for Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., said their research shows the EPA has issued 45 of the 235 Clean Water Act Section 404 coal mining permits that it froze last year. The staff found the EPA is threatening 2.2 billion tons of coal production during the life of the proposed mines and posing financial threats to 81 small Appalachian businesses that serve the industry.

Only 19 of those permit applications — 10 percent — involve mountaintop mining projects, according to staff members.

“These impacts hit especially hard in West Virginia and Kentucky, where the majority of the delayed mining operations are located,” the Senate staff said. “EPA’s obstruction will also impact other Appalachian states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama.”

Staff members said the Obama administration and the EPA are on a double track in attacking coal. It is using the EPA to disrupt the mining of coal by delaying the permitting process, and it is threatening utilities and other companies that burn coal by declaring carbon dioxide a pollutant it should regulate.

U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Congressmen Nick Rahall and Alan Mollohan, both D-W.Va., have introduced legislation that would block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases for two years. Rockefeller said the two-year delay would give Congress “the time it needs to address an issue as complicated and expansive as our energy future.”

In the meantime, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has taken a more aggressive position. She wants to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases. That was a power the agency received in 2007 through a U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Murkowski’s position makes more sense to me. I’m not sure what good would come from giving Congress two years to wrestle with climate legislation. Would that inspire anyone to invest in coal while the Obama administration continues to attack America’s most abundant and affordable energy source?

– From WVNS, Channel 59, Beckley/Bluefield

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