Washington Examiner exposes Big Green

Posted on September 29, 2010 by Quallurce

The Washington Examiner, D.C.’s daily newspaper, is hard at work exposing the real agenda and inner workings of the Big Green lobbyists who want to control your life.

And not only do Editor Mark Tapscott and Examiner columnists laying bare the very real threat Big Green poses to you, Tapscott beautifully sums up why WTP is in this fight:

But there is one key difference that makes Big Green more powerful than all of the other special interests…Big Labor can’t tell you where you can and cannot live. The trial lawyers didn’t turn your daily commute to work into a nightmare of congestion and delay.

Similarly, college professors have no power to transform your  once-fertile farm fields into a wasteland. Government dependants will never tell you when you can cut your grass. And abortion fanatics have no power to scare your kids in school with apocalyptic visions of environmental disaster.

Only Big Green can do those things to you. And so much more.

The Examiner kicks off its expose with these columns Monday:

Monday

WTP uses new technology to send personalized mail on Schwartz Energy Tax

Posted on September 28, 2010 by Quallurce

WTP uses cutting-edge technology to send personalized mailings on Schwartz Energy Tax
Mailings feature hybrid Gail Schwartz/Donald Trump image, informing residents – by name – ‘you’re fired’ with a personalized web address
 
SAMPLE MAILING AT: http://www.westerntradition.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/WTP-Youre-Fired.pdf

DENVER – Colorado’s largest grassroots energy and property-rights issues group is using cutting-edge technology to contact over 12,000 Coloradans and urging them to contact State Senator Gail Schwartz to express their concerns over the impact of her “renewable energy standards” (HB 1001) on jobs.
 
“Gail Schwartz has two words for Coloradans – ‘you’re fired,’” said Donald Ferguson, Western Tradition Partnership (WTP) Executive Director.  “Her energy tax forcing utility companies to buy more expensive electricity eliminates jobs by increasing utility bills.  Citizens should call her at 970-309-1411 and tell her to drop her support of higher electric prices by forcing everyone to subsidize wind and solar.”
 
Over 12,000 residents of the Fifth Senate District were sent a WTP mailing Monday with a photograph of Senator Schwartz photoshopped onto the body – and trademark hair – of Donald Trump of the TV show, “The Apprentice.”  Using variable print technology, the photograph addresses the resident by name, informing them Senator Schwartz’s bill threatens their employment.
 
The reverse side of the mailing explains the impact of HB 1001 on electric prices and employment, with citing studies showing “green energy” creates additional pollution, has a net negative effect on jobs, and costs ratepayers billions.  It directs the resident to a SchwartzEnergyTax.com URL personalized with their surname (Ex. www.SchwartzEnergyTax.com/SchwartzFamily.)
 
A study by Colorado’s Independence Institute shows “renewable energy standards” increase utility costs by $2,800.00.  That state-level think tank is affiliated with WTP.
 
“Senator Schwartz’s energy price hike impacts you personally.  It’s only logical our mailings informing you of the damage she is doing to your employment address you personally as well.  Whether you work in the oil and gas industry or at the McDonald’s serving commuters, these policies affect everyone. We hope this convinces Senator Schwartz to stop hiking your utility bills and threatening your job,” said Ferguson.

WTP is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that does not advocate the election or defeat of candidates.  Supported by grassroots members from across the nation, WTP is a fast-growing citizens’ group dedicated to fighting environmental extremism and promoting private property and responsible development and management of land, water, and natural resources. 

For more information on WTP, go to http://www.westerntradition.org.  For more information on this issue, or to schedule an interview, contact Executive Director Donald Ferguson at 703-200-3669 or at donald.f@westerntradition.org.
 
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Senate to vote in just hours on taking away your free speech

Posted on September 22, 2010 by Quallurce

Dear friend,

Harry Reid and Barack Obama want to take a razor blade to WTP’s vocal cords.

They just announced the Senate will vote within 24 hours on the radically misnamed DISCLOSE Act. 

More accurately, this is the “First Amendment Repeal Act.” 

If you’ll recall, this is the attempt by the liberals who control Washington to virtually outlaw political speech by their opponents, while exempting the wealthy special interests that bankroll their campaigns. 

This bill is intended to crack down on speech by citizen groups like WTP and rig elections in favor of liberal candidates.

If passed, WTP would have to file mountains of legal forms and hand over to Obama a list of all our supporters and their addresses before we are allowed to speak publicly about issues.

We will not comply.  Ever.  No matter what.

But we’d rather defeat the election-rigging First Amendment Repeal Act than spend millions on attorneys to defend your freedoms in court.

Call your two U.S. senators IMMEDIATELY at 202-224-3121 (you may have to call twice to reach each one.)  Ask him or her to vote NO on the DISCLOSE Act.

I’m calling my senators right now.  Please join me immediately.

Sincerely,

 

Donald Ferguson
Executive Director

Obama admin “loves” new “mandate” to outlaw home appliances

Posted on September 20, 2010 by Quallurce

Do you have a permit for that washing machine?

That may sound silly, but it could soon be federal government policy.

“Assistant Energy Secretary Cathy Zoi said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Energy has a ‘mandate’ to issue regulations to determine what household appliances are available to Americans in the future,” CNSNews.com reports this morning.

“Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the recently reestablished Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB), Zoi pointed to four tactics the Obama administration intends to use to advance the “deployment of clean energy,” CNSNews.com reports.

“The fourth one, which the secretary and I love,” said Zoi, “is where we have a mandate. Where we can actually just issue regulations and do market transformation.”

Not only is the Obama administration going to tell you what appliances you are allowed to use, the “love” having the power to dictate your private home life.

Obama Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the federal government would dictate five new “higher energy efficiency standards” for commercial clothes washers, small electric motors, water heaters, direct heating equipment and pool heaters.

The Obama White House will announce next year 10 additional categories of home appliances that will fall under their control.

Under their plan, the sale and possibly ownership of home appliances not approved by the Obama administration will likely be subject to heavy federal fines.  After all, total government control over your private life and property is one of the sacraments of radical green activism.

And it’s just one more reason WTP will push for legislation in the next Congress stripping Obama’s radical EPA and Energy Department of their power to simply “just issue regulations” with no accountability or representation.

Stay tuned, as long as you’re still allowed to own an electric-powered computer…

Sincerely,

Donald Ferguson
Executive Director
Western Tradition Partnership

WTP issues final warning to Loudoun Board before Chesapeake Bay vote

Posted on September 17, 2010 by Quallurce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 17, 2010
Contact: Donald Ferguson, Donald.F@westerntradition.org
 
WTP issues final warning to Loudoun Board before Chesapeake Bay vote
Citizen-powered grassroots group warns about 20,000 residents of bigger government, fewer jobs, higher taxes, loss of homeowner rights under Chesapeake Bay Tax and Control Plan
 
WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest grassroots opponent of radical environmentalism, with roots in Loudoun County, issued its final warning to county supervisors to drop its controversial Chesapeake Bay Act.  The citizens’ group sent a recorded telephone alert to nearly 20,000 Loudoun residents Friday evening.
 
“This radical Board is using fake claims about water as a ruse to seize control of your home,” said Donny Ferguson, Western Tradition Partnership’s Executive Director.  “The Board knows they’re lying, but they view private property as a threat to their radical green views.  The outdated, unscientific Chesapeake Bay Tax and Control Plan’s massive tax hikes and iron-fisted control of private property is the most ruthless weapon available,” said Ferguson.
 
“When the Board’s scheme accomplishes their goals of higher taxes, bigger government and bureaucratic control of private homes, but they admit it does nothing to address water pollution, people know what this Board’s real agenda is.  Higher taxes and control of your home.” said Ferguson.  “The time has come for this Board to drop its radical agenda.”
 
Residents in the Blue Ridge, Potomac and Sugarland Run districts were urged to call their supervisor at home.  Residents in the Leesburg District, where Supervisor Kelly Burk does not offer constituents a way to personally reach her, were urged to contact her government office.
 
Roughly 5,300 Dulles District residents represented by the frequently-moving Supervisor Stevens Miller, whose business phones have been cut off and does not list a reliable home phone number, were urged to contact him on his cell phone.
 
Ferguson served as a Board staff aide to Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio from 2002 to 2007.  Delgaudio has no involvement in or input into any of WTP’s lobbying efforts or programs.
 
WTP does not advocate the election or defeat of candidates.  Supported by grassroots members from across the nation, WTP is a fast-growing non-profit organization dedicated to fighting environmental extremism and promoting private property and responsible development and management of land, water, and natural resources.  WTP is active nationwide.
 
For more information on WTP, go to http://www.westerntradition.org.  For more information on this issue, or to schedule an interview, contact Executive Director Donald Ferguson at donald.f@westerntradition.org.
 
#  #  #

The facts about Loudoun’s radical Chesapeake Bay Tax and Control Plan

Posted on by Quallurce

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is proposing adopting the entire 1988 Chesapeake Bay Act and imposing its radical restrictions on all Loudoun homeowners and employers. 

The radical green-controlled Board is considering adopting this two-decade old Tidewater-area law despite the fact Loudoun staffers admit they’re using outdated post-World War II maps and that it will do nothing to protect the Potomac or Chesapeake. 

So what does this proposal, which no other locality in Virginia has voluntarily adopted, do — other than raise taxes, eliminate jobs and create more government bureaucrats to police private homes?  Read more in this fact sheet from the Loudoun Environmental Council. (http://lecva.org/important-facts-about-the-chesapeake-by-act.html)

Adopting the Chesapeake Bay Ordinance in Loudoun County


Important Facts Loudoun Residents Need to Know

To get the Important Facts sheet as an adobe file with footnotes click here -> Important Facts About the Chesapeake By Act

  1. The CBPA and the CBPO. Some members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors (BOS) are attempting to pass an ordinance that will severely and substantially affect your property and what you may choose to do with your property. The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (CBPA) is a 20-year-old law that was passed specifically for tidal counties in Virginia. Loudoun is not tidal and was not part of this Act when it was passed. Some Loudoun Supervisors are now proposing that Loudoun County voluntarily adopt a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance (“CBPO” or the “Ordinance”).
  2. Cost vs. Results. The original intent of the Ordinance was to improve water quality in the Bay. According to one County estimate “an annual investment of up to $10 million” [i] is needed for this effort. However, a cost/benefit analysis has never been done for this massive investment and the benefits of this undertaking have not been demonstrated.
    We do know, however, that the results of this ordinance will put decisions about what you can do with your property in the hands of the County government staff that apparently are accountable to no one and will potentially cost you thousands of dollars.
  3. The Stream Assessment Study. The conclusions used by the BOS and County staff to determine our stream water quality, are questionable. The County is telling residents that our streams are “stressed” — but is this in fact true or do we have a manufactured “crisis?” Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (“DEQ”) water quality assessments indicate our water is generally very good. The County’s own Stream Assessment (VERSAR) report performed in 2009 during a wet spring with excessive run off after several years of drought found that 94% of Loudoun’s streams were in the top two (average or above average) of the four assessment categories [ii] with none in the bottom category of “poor.” The VERSAR study indicated that the water chemistry of our streams was not “stressed.” There are 8 metrics that make up the Virginia DEQ’s “Virginia Stream Condition Index” (VSCI). In the VERSAR study, Loudoun streams were found to be stressed only in benthic macro invertebrates (bugs) categories: Mayflies, stoneflies & caddis flies, & scrapers—comprising 3 of the 8 metrics, which abnormal readings lowered Loudoun County scores. (Consultation with DEQ found that lower VSCI scores are often observed in spring compared with fall sampling. DEQ has noted that scores for the same site may fluctuate 20 to 30 points, with scores typically lower in the spring). For the remaining 5 metrics, the 108-page VERSAR report states: “the other metrics had a more normal distribution of values.” Dissolved oxygen, needed for aquatic life, at all sites was “above the commonly accepted standard.” The County staff seems to be justifying imposing tidal buffers on private property in non-tidal Loudoun County based on the VERSAR study. [iii] In fact, it is apparent that this stream assessment study is “unrelated” to the Chesapeake Bay Act.

    It can be argued that this rush to adopt the CBPO appears to be based on a false crisis with no sound conclusive scientific evidence for its enactment. Nonetheless, in order to “de stress” these streams the County is proposing development of 100+ foot buffers that prohibit all “land disturbing” activity around these streams even though their own county standards recommend that a 18 meter buffer, if needed, (about 59.06 feet) is adequate. In other words, why is the County proposing more stringent buffer requirements than currently exist, with no proof they are needed and no factual assessment that they will have favorable impact on the streams notwithstanding the tremendous cost that will be invested by the County government, the taxpayers and the homeowners.

  4. The County’s Definition of Streams. But what really constitutes “protected water” around which these buffers will be placed? The County proposes to impose extreme no land disturbing buffers of 100 feet on each side of drainage ditches! [iv], broadly defined perennial waters (not those that just support aquatic life), surface flow and undefined “wetlands”. Most people in these proposed buffer areas would be shocked to learn that the County now considers their backyard a “no disturb” area. Again, these 100-foot buffers were designed for low-lying tidal shores and wetlands, with sandy soils and flooding, not the foothills of the Blue Ridge with clay soil like we have in Loudoun.
  5. The Study’s Flawed Methodology. The VERSAR study cannot be used to support the CBPO. The reference conditions of the VERSAR study compare Loudoun’s urban, suburban and agricultural area streams to more “pristine” sites and “represent the least disturbed condition readily available in the State.” We call that comparing apples to oranges. The VERSAR study concludes, “Given the extent and long history of urban and agricultural land uses in Northern Virginia, it may be difficult to find many stream sites in Loudoun County that are comparable to the reference conditions.” Which begs the question: if they are not comparing apples to apples in defining the need to adopt the CBPO, what is the real motive for demanding pristine area standards where Loudoun County people live? You be the judge.
  6. The Map. In order to fully understand the impact of the buffers, one needs to read and understand the mapping used by the County. The County is using a three-year-old map to show where some, but not all, of the County’s steams and water bodies are located. On this map, they have designated green areas called Resource Protection Areas (RPA), which are the 100-foot county mandated buffers around all the identified water bodies as described above. In addition, the County is recommending 300-foot buffers on the Potomac River, Goose Creek and the Goose Creek Reservoir and the Beaverdam Reservoir in the Lower Sycolin and Middle Goose subareas, consistent with the River and Stream Corridor River and Stream Overlay District (RSCOD) policies. [v]

    Are there studies to really justify these buffers? Actually no. The County has performed no studies to justify that 100-foot tidal shore buffers are needed or even optimal in Loudoun.

    They have further designated yellow or brown areas on their map that are called Resource Management Areas (RMA) which are areas adjacent to these water bodies outside of the 100 foot buffer areas. It is important to note that ALL of Loudoun County is included in either an RPA or RMA. Which begs the question – why this extreme overreach? One could only conclude that a hidden agenda must be at work to place new restrictions on all land disturbing activity regardless of its impact on streams and water quality, using the RMA as the vehicle for County control. The problem with this map though, is that it is not complete and may not be complete by the BOS vote in September. If so, this lack of disclosure would prevent Loudoun citizens from knowing the direct impact this Ordinance would have on their own property prior to its passage.

  7. “Subject to Change.” The fine print of the “official” CBPO map that has been published states it is “subject to change.” [vi] The “official map” is not a true map or predictor of what the staff intends to regulate. It shows only about 8 percent of the landmass of Loudoun designated as RPA (the entire rest of the County is the “Resource Management” area). The map is a deception, however, because the REAL map, which shows “Possible RPA,” has never been published in the press or given to Home Owners Associations or civic groups, and as of now can only be accessed online through a complicated entry process. This map shows about ONE HALF of the County as Possible RPA, and in a no disturb buffer! [vii] The “Possible RPA” map overlays the County base drain map, intending to buffer every drain in the County! If the BOS enacts this Ordinance, this ambiguity on the Map, will be the vehicle upon which the County is going to determine who is or is not in the designated regulated areas. This would leave property owners at the mercy of County staff as they constantly change the definitions of what constitutes RPA and RMA.
  8. The Mechanics of Enforcement. So how does being in a Resource Protection Area or Resource Management Area affect you and your property? The proposed Ordinance defines “development” as any land disturbing activity greater than 2500 square feet. Any “development” (e.g., a small barn, or pool and patio) requires an owner to prepare a Resource Protection Delineation Study and Water Quality Impact Study, even if your property is dry. (Or you can apply for a waiver or exception, both of which are costly and time consuming and may not be given by County Staff). The County estimates that the cost of just the engineering for the Delineation Study, not the other fees, might be $6,700 for a quarter to half-acre lot. How much for 25 acres? 50 acres? 100 acres? If any Resource Protection Area is found on your lot you will be required to mitigate your “disturbance,” which means protecting existing vegetation and planting indigenous trees as determined by a certified arborist (250 per acre, “good stock”) [viii] on the County list. You will be required to prevent deer browse in the 100-foot buffer, and guarantee the life of trees with a surety bond or other financial guarantees.

    Once RPA is designated on your lot, you may not take down any trees, and the County will oversee replanting if a tree dies. In addition, you will have to get a locational clearance approved for a structure as small as a play set in the RMA (Resource Management Area.) [ix] The staff can require an RPA delineation study at their discretion for ANY project on any property. [x]

  9. The Impact on Agriculture. Our comprehensive County plan has a stated goal to encourage agriculture and the rural economy. The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance puts unreasonable rules on farmers, squeezing them and discouraging farming as an undesirable land disturbing use. It requires farmers to jump through a multitude of regulatory hoops to build a shed or small barn, forces them to deal with bureaucrats on all aspects of farming decisions, and imposes 100 foot buffers for “agricultural drainage ditches” and farm ponds, which provide for irrigation and water for animals. The Ordinance makes any use of land in an RPA non-conforming. If the use ceases or changes, the owner is forced to delineate the RPA, do a WQI study, and plant the buffer. This makes it economically unfeasible and impossible for a farming use to change to a rural economy use. The CBPO was drafted without regard to our rural economy needs, our existing goals and our zoning to promote our rural economy.
  10. Conclusion: “Unwarranted.” The State studied the question of whether the Chesapeake Bay Act should be mandated for other than tidewater counties, and concluded that there was no sufficient proof that the 100 foot buffers would improve the health of the Bay, and that the administrative cost and burden as well as the private taking were unwarranted. [xi]

 

KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT HOW THIS WILL AFFECT

YOU AND YOUR NEIGHBORS

 

FIRST: Map your property to see where the RPA and Possible RPA are shown, and then zoom out to see your neighbors: Go to www.loudoun.gov

  • Click on “Assessments/Parcels” under e-Services
  • Click on box “Yes” at bottom.
  • Click on circle “Property Address”  Put your address in empty box (do not use “Road, Street, etc.”)
  • Click box “Submit
  • Click on “Map It
  • Click “Yes” box
  • Click on “Map Layers” on top left tab
  • Click on “Land Records” box
  • Click on “Environmental”
  • Click box for “Buildings” and for “Draft RPA Screening Tool
  • Click on “Apply” oval at bottom left.

Resource Protection and Possible Resource Protection Areas that require preservation are shown. Dots are buildings.

TAKE ACTION NOW!

SECOND: Join the Loudoun Environmental Council at www.lecva.org and donate your time and money to defeat this ordinance and promote cost effective ways to promote clean water and clean air.

Here are two Facebook pages set up by concerned citizens, with a lot of information:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Loudouns-Chesapeake-Bay-Act/114808068538296 and

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Loudoun-Citizens-United/125411734146789

THIRD: Call, write or email your Supervisor. Attend public input sessions. Talk to your neighbors, HOA’s, community groups and business associations about THE FACTS concerning this proposal.

REMEMBER: Citizens opposed to this Ordinance are FOR clean water. The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance does not effectively evaluate or adequately address our water quality in Loudoun County and is an unreasonable, fiscally unsound and poorly thought out ordinance that will adversely affect what Loudoun citizens can do with and on their privately owned property. Join the thousands of Loudoun citizens in fighting this Ordinance and help promote clean water and clean air solutions that make sense for Loudoun.

[i] Loudoun County Environmental Policy and Program Assessment, June 10, 2008, Attachment 3, p.29

[ii] VERSAR Study: Stream Assessment Report http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=2548

[iii] Stream Assessment Report http://www.loudoun.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=2548

[iv] From the proposed Ordinance: -1222.05 DEFINITIONS, (w) “Water body with perennial flow”

http://www.loudoun.gov:80/Portals/0/docs/Chesapeake%20Bay/LC_CBPO_4_30_10.pdf

[v] Draft Revisions to Revised General Plan, page 17B and 17#1, re: “300-foot buffers” http://www.loudoun.gov/Portals/0/docs/Chesapeake%20Bay/RGP-with_changes-04302010.pdf

Also, see Draft Revisions to Revised General Plan, page 20, #9[8]

[vi] See Section 1222.08. of the proposed Ordinance, re: “Subject to Change”

http://www.loudoun.gov:80/Portals/0/docs/Chesapeake%20Bay/LC_CBPO_4_30_10.pdf

[vii] From the BOS meeting packet 5.24.2010 (Note: Capitalization & Italics added)

“Staff suggested that an RPA delineation not be required where streams and water bodies are not present within the limits of land disturbing activity or within 300 feet of the limits of land disturbing activity. The Planning Commission elected to reduce the proposed 300-foot limit to 200 feet. Staff prepared an RPA http://www.loudoun.gov:80/Portals/0/docs/Chesapeake%20Bay/LC_CBPO_4_30_10.pdfScreening Tool (“Screening Tool”) that depicts areas located within 200 feet of a stream or water body. SUCH AREAS ENCOMPASS APPROXIMATELY 50% OF THE LAND AREA WITHIN THE COUNTY. “

[viii] http://www.loudoun.gov:80/Portals/0/docs/Chesapeake%20Bay/LC_CBPO_4_30_10.pdf

[ix] Section 1222.11(b) of the proposed Ordinance.

http://www.loudoun.gov:80/Portals/0/docs/Chesapeake%20Bay/LC_CBPO_4_30_10.pdf

[x] Section 1222.09(b) of the proposed Ordinance. http://www.loudoun.gov:80/Portals/0/docs/Chesapeake%20Bay/LC_CBPO_4_30_10.pdf  

[xi] Report of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, Implementation of the CBPA, House Document No. 23, http://jlarc.state.va.us/Reports/rpt281.pdf see also,

Vermont Journal of Environmental Law, http://www.vjel.org/editorials/ED10053.html

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