Category Archives: News

New study: fracking doesn’t contaminate groundwater

Hydraulic fracturing also known as "fracking"
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking”

I doubt this will be interesting to the Bill Nye / Neil deGrasse Tyson socialist crowd, but it will be interesting to conservatives, who do care about the latest peer-reviewed research.

This was reported by the radically leftist National Public Radio:

Fracking the Marcellus Shale did not pollute groundwater in northwestern West Virginia, but wastewater spills did contaminate surface water, according to a new study from Duke University.

[…]The study was unique in that it monitored drinking water wells and surface water over three years, a longer time period than previous research on the impact of fracking on drinking water. The study also used multiple methods of determining the source of the pollution, and was able to draw on baseline water quality data.

“Based on consistent evidence from comprehensive testing, we found no indication of groundwater contamination over the three-year course of our study,” said Avner Vengosh, professor of geochemistry and water quality at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. ”

[…]The peer-reviewed study was published recently in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, a European journal.

[…]Vengosh said the baseline data, gathered from drinking water wells before shale gas drilling occurred nearby, boosts their confidence in the results. A total of 112 water wells were sampled over three years, with 20 sampled before drilling or fracking occurred.

Now, I know that Democrats will not like this study, but the study was rigorous and thorough:

David Yoxtheimer, a hydrogeologist with Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, who was not involved in the study, said the report is comprehensive in that it used a number of different tools to determine the source of contamination.

“This is a good example of an objective study,” said Yoxtheimer. “They kept their scientific glasses on and looked at it objectively. It’s the type of science we need more of out there. Collect data without motive and come back and report.”

Prior to this study, we had a peer-reviewed PNAS study:

Now comes a study, conducted by scientists at the University of Texas and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — and co-financed by one of the highest-profile environmentalists in the country — that shows much smaller amounts of methane emissions associated with fracking, far less than environmentalists and the Environmental Protection Agency have contended.

[…]The study, billed as the first to measure the actual emissions of methane from natural gas wells, finds these emissions were, in some cases, only about 2% of the most recent national estimate by the EPA in 2011. An upcoming EPA rule, effective January 2015, requires all methane to be captured when liquids are removed after drilling.

[…]“For those wells with methane capture or control, 99% of the potential emissions were captured or controlled,” the study notes.

[…]Thanks in large part to fracking, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 were the lowest in the U.S. since 1994, at 5.3 billion metric tons. With the exception of 2010, emissions have declined every year since 2007.

Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson didn’t like that study, because it was experimental science.

They also hated this report from the far-left EPA, also reported in the radically leftist National Public Radio.

Excerpt:

The Environmental Protection Agency says it finds no evidence that hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — has led to widespread pollution of drinking water. The oil industry and its backers welcome the long-awaited study while environmental groups criticize it.

“We found the hydraulic fracturing activities in the United States are carried out in a way that has not led to widespread systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” says Tom Burke, Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “In fact, the number of documented impacts to drinking water resources is relatively low when compared to the number of fractured wells,” he adds.

The EPA’s draft assessment was conducted at the request of Congress. “It is the most complete compilation of scientific data to date,” says Burke, “including over 950 sources of information, published papers, numerous technical reports, information from stakeholders and peer-reviewed EPA scientific reports.”

I remember telling Democrats in my previous job about these peer-reviewed studies and DOE reports and EPA reports, and they denied all of this data. I guess they had their feelings roused by carefully produced Hollywood movies, and their worldviews have been set in stone. They believe what they believe, and the strength of their beliefs are not going to be affected by peer-reviewed science.

Trump budget funds Obamacare, refugees, Iran deal, Planned Parenthood

National Enquirer: "Trump Must Be President", and Rubio has sex and drug secrets
National Enquirer: “Trump Must Be President”

This is from the Conservative Review:

When Republicans initially gained control of the House in 2011, they promised to defund Obamacare, end funding for Planned Parenthood, and cut spending in the first budget bill in March. Even though they only controlled one branch of government, the understanding was that, buttressed by an electoral landslide, Republicans would stand their ground on at least half of their demands. Well, they caved immediately and then promised us they’d fight “the next time” in the fall budget. It became an inside joke among conservatives on Capitol Hill – “don’t worry, we’ll do it the next time” – even though the same rationale for the maniacal capitulation the first time would always persist in the subsequent iterations.

Now, with control of all three branches and a president who sold himself in the primaries as the antithesis of weak-kneed Republicans who don’t know the first thing about tough negotiations, we are in the exact same position. Last night, President Trump signaled that, after not even fighting on refugee resettlement and Planned Parenthood, he would cave on the final budget issue – the funding of the border fence. But fear not, he’ll resume his demand … the next time!

The true-believing Trumpers are telling me that Trump will do all the best things in time, so that I will get tired of all the winning. But the odds are less likely that we get the votes without the leverage of shutting down the government:

If Republicans can’t deliver on any of these basic promises when their political capital is the strongest and they stand the farthest from the next election, what dynamic will change in the next year to provide conservatives with a single legislative victory?

If the budget will never be used as leverage to fight back against the courts, for example, on refugees and visas from the Middle East, what is stopping the courts from erasing even the few remaining benefits of this presidency in its executive orders? If Congress fails to act, the courts will likely “strike down” the executive order against sanctuary cities.

Next time? That’s not what he said when he was running for President. He sounded like such a tough guy, and many people who preferred confidence over resume were fooled. But confidence doesn’t do anything, it’s just appearance. The reality is now upon us. Now we know for certain.

When Trump did some good things at the beginning of his Presidency, I was glad, and blogged about them. Now he is doing horrible things, and showing his true nature as a Democrat. I think it’s fair to mock the people who believed his confident, insulting words – instead of insisting on seeing evidence from past battles that would show his real priorities.

 

Ted Cruz introduces bill to fund border wall with confiscated drug cartel assets

Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Jeff Sessions
Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Jeff Sessions

Unfortunately, Donald Trump is backing away from his national security wall proposal.

Far-left ABC News gleefully reports:

President Donald Trump stepped back Monday from demanding a down payment for his border wall in must-past spending legislation, potentially removing a major obstacle to a bipartisan deal just days ahead of a government shutdown deadline.

Trump told a gathering of around 20 conservative media reporters Monday evening that he would be willing to return to the wall funding issue in September, according to two people who were in the room. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the get-together, which was not originally intended to be on the record.

The border wall money is fiercely opposed by Democrats, whose votes are needed to pass the government-wide spending legislation that comes due Friday at midnight. The wall is also unpopular with many Republicans, and GOP negotiators on Capitol Hill were uneasy about the clash over the wall potentially sparking a government shutdown.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who has a key role providing Democratic votes to pass the legislation, welcomed Trump’s reported shift on the wall.

“It’s good for the country that President Trump is taking the wall off the table in these negotiations,” Schumer said late Monday. “Now the bipartisan and bicameral negotiators can continue working on the outstanding issues.”

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said, “The president’s comments this evening are welcome news given the bipartisan opposition to the wall, and the obstacle it has been to the continuing bipartisan negotiations in the appropriations committees.”

Trump promised to make Mexico pay for the border wall, but that was never going to happen.  And at least Democrat leaders Schumer and Pelosi are pleased with his backing down on the border wall.

Team Trump is now trying to say that he would build the wall later this year, or maybe next year.

The Washington Examiner reports:

With the threat of a shutdown looming, press reports said Monday evening that Trump was admitting that funding for the border wall could be passed later this year. Tuesday morning, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed on Fox News that the deadline might be able to slip even further, into next year.

Into next year.

However, there is some good news from Senator Ted Cruz, who has an idea for where to get the money from for the national security wall right now.

He posted this about his new legislation:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today introduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act. The bill would reserve any amounts forfeited to the U.S. Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of “El Chapo” (formally named Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea) and other drug lords for border security assets and the completion of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. Government is currently seeking the criminal forfeiture of more than $14 billion in drug proceeds and illicit profits from El Chapo, the former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel who was recently extradited to the U.S. to face criminal prosecution for numerous alleged drug-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and money laundering.

“Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way toward building a wall that will keep Americans safe and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals across our southern border,” said Sen. Cruz. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities. We must also be mindful of the impact on the federal budget. By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and his ilk, we can offset the wall’s cost and make meaningful progress toward achieving President Trump’s stated border security objectives.”

I’m disappointed with Trump. He hasn’t gotten a lot done so far, even with a Republican House and Senate. He told everyone that this national security wall was his first priority, but now he’s delaying construction. It’s not going to be easier to get the funding for this after Republicans have already funded the government. I am all for a shutdown of non-essential government services until we get the wall. But then again, I really meant it when I said I was for border security. And I like to win.

Former Obama official admits Democrats manipulated climate data to push policy

Cost of renewable wind and solar energy
Cost of renewable wind and solar energy

This story is from the Daily Signal, and it also appeared at the Daily Caller.

Excerpt:

A former member of the Obama administration claims Washington, D.C., often uses “misleading” news releases about climate data to influence public opinion.

Former Energy Department Undersecretary Steven Koonin told The Wall Street Journal Monday that bureaucrats within former President Barack Obama’s administration spun scientific data to manipulate public opinion.

“What you saw coming out of the press releases about climate data, climate analysis, was, I’d say, misleading, sometimes just wrong,” Koonin said, referring to elements within the Obama administration he said were responsible for manipulating climate data.

He pointed to a National Climate Assessment in 2014 showing hurricane activity has increased from 1980 as an illustration of how federal agencies fudged climate data. Koonin said the assessment was technically incorrect.

“What they forgot to tell you, and you don’t know until you read all the way into the fine print, is that it actually decreased in the decades before that,” he said. The U.N. published reports in 2014 essentially mirroring Koonin’s argument.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported there “is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century” and current data shows “no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century.”

Press officers work with scientists within agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA and are responsible for crafting misleading press releases on climate, he added.

Koonin is not the only one claiming wrongdoing. House lawmakers with the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, for instance, recently jump-started an investigation into NOAA after a whistleblower said agency scientists rushed a landmark global warming study to influence policymakers.

Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s chairman, will “move forward as soon as possible” in asking NOAA to hand over documents included in a 2015 subpoena on potential climate data tampering.

[…]Neither agency responded to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Why would the Obama administration lie about science?

Well, first of all, after being elected, Obama funneled piles of taxpayer money to so-called “green” businesses owned by his campaign fundraisers.

Here is an example reported by the Washington Free Beacon:

New disclosures show that one of President Obama’s bundlers is the wife of an executive at an energy company that received a more-than-$1.2 billion Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee for a solar power plant.

Arvia Few is a bundler for the Obama re-election campaign who has promised to raise between $50,000 and $100,000. She began bundling for Obama in the first quarter of 2012. Her husband, Jason Few, is an executive at a company that has benefited handsomely from the Obama administration’s clean energy spending, records show.

The U.S. Department of Energy granted NRG Solar a $1.237-billion loan in September 2011 to help build NRG’s California Valley Solar Ranch, which is described as “a 250 MW alternating current PV solar generating facility” by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Few became senior vice president of Houston-based Reliant Energy in 2008. He was named President of Reliant in May 2009 when NRG Energy acquired Reliant for $287.5 million. He currently serves as executive vice president and chief customer officer of NRG Energy.

“This investment and its outcome represent a pattern in which the Obama Department of Energy took promises of technological development with an undue amount of credence,” says energy expert Kenneth P. Green, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Scientists looking for grant money to research global warming have a lot to gain from exaggerated results. It’s a vicious circle: the scientists scream about a crisis, and the government funnels them more money to them to research “solutions”. Everybody wins – except taxpayers who have to foot the bill.

How feminism undermines a woman’s ability to attract a husband

Painting:
Painting: “Courtship”, by Edmund Blair Leighton (1888)

A while back, Duane Caldwell mentioned this article from Life Site News in the comments of this blog post.

It says:

Fewer young men in the US want to get married than ever, while the desire for marriage is rising among young women, according to the Pew Research Center.

Pew recently found that the number of women 18-34 saying that having a successful marriage is one of the most important things rose from 28 percent to 37 percent since 1997. The number of young adult men saying the same thing dropped from 35 percent to 29 percent in the same time.

Pew’s findings have caught the attention of one US writer who maintains that feminism, deeply entrenched in every segment of the culture, has created an environment in which young men find it more beneficial to simply opt out of couple-dom entirely.

Suzanne Venker’s article, “The War on Men,” which appeared on the website of Fox News in late November, has become a lodestone for feminist writers who have attacked her position that the institution of marriage is threatened, not enhanced, by the supposed gains of the feminist movement over the last 50 years.

“Where have all the good (meaning marriageable) men gone?” is a question much talked about lately in the secular media, Venker says, but her answer, backed up by statistics, is not to the liking of mainstream commentators influenced by feminism.

She points out that for the first time in US history, the number of women in the workforce has surpassed the number of men, while more women than men are acquiring university degrees.

“The problem? This new phenomenon has changed the dance between men and women,” Venker wrote. With feminism pushing them out of their traditional role of breadwinner, protector and provider – and divorce laws increasingly creating a dangerously precarious financial prospect for the men cut loose from marriage – men are simply no longer finding any benefit in it.

As a writer and researcher into the trends of marriage and relationships, Venker said, she has “accidentally stumbled upon a subculture” of men who say “in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married.”

“When I ask them why, the answer is always the same: women aren’t women anymore.” Feminism, which teaches women to think of men as the enemy, has made women “angry” and “defensive, though often unknowingly.” 

Actually, feminism teaches men to regard certain men as the enemy: men who are chaste before marriage, and who want marriage and who want children and who expect women to stop working when young children arrive are the enemy. But bad boys who don’t want marriage, and just want to have fun and thrills without imposing any pro-child structure on the relationship are still very much in demand.

As I read it, the problem is that women have a natural desire to get acceptance sexually from “bad boys” men who exhibit traits that are entirely opposed to the traditional tasks of a husband in marriage.

Instead of preferring men with abilities as protector and provider and moral / spiritual leader, women have been pushed by feminism to deny the value of these traditional male roles. In the past, women were taught to resist the temptation to pick the bad boy, because there was widespread suspicion of single women’s ability to make rational choices about men. Their fathers and brothers and churches pushed them towards men who had marital ability: chastity, self-control, communication skills, personal responsibility, enterprise, etc. Today, no one is telling women to pick men who have demonstrated ability in husband behaviors. So, they just pick the ones that look the part: height, muscles, facial hair, tattoos, piercings, etc. Those men give them the tingles, and they are more interested in showing off than in picking a man who can do the marriage job.

The feminist solution to the natural desires of women to prefer the bad boy is not to direct them towards good men who have marriage ability. It’s to continue to direct them to bad boys, but to remove the need for a provider man by directing them into life-long careers and/or dependency on government welfare programs. I am all for women getting STEM degrees and working prior to the arrival of young children, but feminism is really telling women that staying at home as a wife and mother is wrong. And so, rather than looking for a man who can allow them to stay home with young children, they focus on working or collecting welfare for fatherless kids.

The article says this:

[T]he link between marriage and childrearing has become disconnected in the minds of the so-called Millennial generation, those between 18 and 29. While 52 percent of Millennials say being a good parent is “one of the most important things” in life, just 30 per cent say the same about having a successful marriage, an attitudinal survey found.

The gap, of 22 percentage points, between the value Millennials place on parenthood over marriage, was just 7 points in 1997. The research found that Millennials, many of whom are the children of divorce and single-parenthood themselves, are also less likely than their elders to say that a child needs both a father and mother at home, that single parenthood and unmarried couple parenthood are bad for society.

Young women keep choosing bad boys who are fun and non-judgmental and live in the moment, then they are disappointed when these free and easy bad boys reject the responsibilities of husbands: fidelity, providing, etc. From their small sample of bad boys, the young women conclude that all men are incapable of marriage. But the reason they get the relationship results they get is because they choose poorly in the first place. Unfortunately, this just drives them further into their careers or further into dependency on big government.

What I’ve been finding lately is that the traditional skills that women used to have that made them suitable as wives are disappearing. The traditional skills are soft skills like listening, caring, nurturing, encouraging, supporting, being responsible and frugal, etc. Women traditionally were able to focus on relationships and sacrifice fun and thrills in order to invest in others and build them up. Today, I see a lot of forced busy-ness and impatience with the needs of others. Instead of focusing on relationships, there is a focus on selfishness. An impatience with the demands of relationships, and a desire to delay marriage and child-bearing as long as possible.