Sierra Club took $26 million from natural gas lobby to battle Mississippi Power’s Lignite Coal Plant

This battle has more to do with the destruction of America’s economy and energy than the environmental issues of coal. This is Sustainable Development through the United Nations  and will be the end of America IF we don’t stop it.  The first step is for us to learn more about it and see for yourself, know for yourself, then decide what action you can do.

Start here.   http://www.freedomadvocates.org/

Sierra Club took $26 million from natural gas lobby to battle coal industry

12:45 AM 02/04/2012

A Time magazine blogger reported Thursday that the Sierra Club, America’s oldest and most august environmental organization, accepted millions of dollars in donations from one of the nation’s biggest natural gas-drilling companies for a program lambasting coal-fired power plants as environmental evildoers.

The total take for John Muir’s conservation group? A whopping $26 million over four years from Chesapeake Energy and its subsidiaries, mostly through Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon.

The news rocked the environmental movement, sent the Sierra Club headlong into explanation mode, angered coal companies that the organization targeted with natural gas money, and had free-market advocates shaking their heads.

The episode “raises concerns about influence industry may have had on the Sierra Club’s independence and its support of natural gas in the past,” wrote Time’s Bryan Walsh.

The Daily Caller asked Chesapeake Energy spokesman Jim Gipson whether his company’s donations were made with the expectation that the Sierra Club would attack the coal industry, and whether the company has subsidized other green groups that oppose generating electricity by burning coal. Gipson did not respond to the email.

The Sierra Club launched its “Beyond Coal” campaign in 2001 on a shoestring budget, aiming to shut down as many coal-fired power plants as it could. McClendon’s money appears to have helped that campaign during a critical time when it was firing on all cylinders, lobbying against new power plant construction and working to close existing facilities, all the while hammering clean-coal advocates and blaming “big coal” for mercury pollution, asthma and assorted unforgivable ecological sins.

In 2007, the natural gas industry was also engaged in trying to persuade the federal government that its product was a more environmentally benign alternative to coal. Having the Sierra Club as a compatriot didn’t hurt.

“Back in 2007,” Gipson told Time, “Chesapeake and the Sierra Club had a shared interest in moving our nation toward a clean energy future based on the expanded use of natural gas, especially in the power sector.”

The company made its Faustian bargain with the Sierra Club’s then-leader Carl Pope, whose replacement Michael Brune put an end to it more than a year ago and refused an additional $30 million of Chesapeake’s money. The green group likely found that bitter financial pill easy enough to swallow, however, after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged $50 million from his personal philanthropy in July 2011 for the anti-coal program.

On the Sierra Club’s blog Thursday, Brune explained his organization’s past lapse of judgment, saying “[t]he idea was that we shared at least one common purpose — to move our country away from dirty coal.”

But that was then. When the Chesapeake dollars began flowing five years ago, the natural gas extraction process called hydraulic fracturing — or “fracking,” in industry-speak — had not yet become the environmental movement’s bête noire.

Now, Brune quickly added, “It’s time to stop thinking of natural gas as a ‘kinder, gentler’ energy source.”

A Charleston, West Virginia-based business newspaper reported that a Friday morning meeting of the West Virginia Coal Association ended with a new accusation of undue influence by natural gas industry insiders.

Kentucky Coal Association president Bill Bissett told the meeting that Chesapeake has also funded the American Lung Association’s Clean Air Initiative. The result, he said, is that the lung health group has attacked the coal and oil lobbies while leaving the natural gas industry alone.

Scott Rotruck, Chesapeake’s vice president of corporate development and state government relations, holds a seat on the American Lung Association’s board. The association’s Clean Air Initiative website currently features a large Chesapeake Energy logo and describes a $500,000 matching-gift pledge by the company.

Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Chris Horner told TheDC that the natural gas industry’s financial support “apparently dictated, as opposed to followed,” the Sierra Club’s advocacy work.

“Here we see the group being paid so much money I have no idea how they could possibly spend it all, to tout gas, block — according to their own boasts — more than 100 coal plants and now force closure of many existing plants. Only to no longer receive support and coincidentally find gas to be a very, very bad thing. Huh.”

Food and Water Watch, another environmental group with a strong position against natural-gas fracking, declined to comment.

Ron Arnold, the executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, told TheDC that the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign is a divide-and-conquer tactic to convince electric utilities to use natural gas instead of coal. But by 2010, he said, with the Sierra Club nearing its goal of making coal-derived power production burdensome and prohibitively expensive, “it backed out of the gas deal and suddenly refused to take any more dirty money.”

“How long will the Sierra Club’s grassroots members put up with this?” Arnold asked.

National Mining Association spokesman Luke Popovich was livid Friday, blasting the Sierra Club for “both its hypocrisy and its incompetence.”

“[I]ts support for gas as the bridge fuel has ironically dampened investment in renewable energy which the Club claims to support,” Popovich told the Platts energy newswire. “With friends like the Sierra Club, the renewable energy industry doesn’t need any enemies.”

At the helm of a crisis of confidence, the Sierra Club’s Brune may find himself with a shrinking pool of allies after President Obama fondly name-checked natural gas in his Jan. 24 State of the Union address.

“We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years,” Obama said, “and my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy.”

“Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. … The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don’t have to choose between our environment and our economy.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/04/sierra-club-took-26-million-from-natural-gas-lobby-to-battle-coal-industry/#ixzz1lfqTeXVX

Mississippi Power Counting on EPA CO2 Regulations For Kemper County

Mississippi Power Needs the new CO2 regulations to justify the additional energy fees to ratepayers. Unfortunately Mississippi Power fails to consider the number of lost jobs from the closures related to the increased energy fees and burdensome regulations bankrupting Mississippi businesses. 

EPA CO2 Regulations would require 230,000 new employees, $21 billion

FILE - In this June 15, 2011 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama is sacking a controversial proposed regulation tightening health-based standards for smog, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders. In a statement Friday, Obama said he had ordered Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposal, in part because of the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)  Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/09/26/epa-regulations-would-require-230000-new-employees-21-billion/#ixzz1ZA5aEoPs

Lisa Jackson with the EPA Increasing regulations

FILE – In this June 15, 2011 file photo, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Barack Obama is sacking a controversial proposed regulation tightening health-based standards for smog, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders. In a statement Friday, Obama said he had ordered Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposal, in part because of the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

‘EPA has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be ‘absurd’ in application and ‘impossible to administer’ by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules’

The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.

The EPA aims to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act, even though the law doesn’t give the EPA explicit power to do so. The agency’s authority to move forward is being challenged in court by petitioners who argue that such a decision should be left for Congress to make.

The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.

These new regulatory efforts are not likely to succeed, the EPA admits, but it has decided to move forward regardless. “While EPA acknowledges that come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance … may still be absurd or impossible to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds,” the EPA wrote in a September 16 court briefing.

The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up to 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimated cost of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves.

“Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year,” the EPA wrote in the court brief.

The petitioner suing the EPA is the Coalition for Responsible Regulation, a trade group reportedly linked to domestic chemical companies.

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