Necessary skyrocketing

Sky high.

Here it comes.  DirectorBlue (Doug Ross) has a superb summary of recent updates on the colossal increase in electricity prices being imposed by the Obama EPA.  With the ongoing and prospective shutdown of coal-fired generating plants throughout the Northeast, the recent power-capacity auction for the year 2015 produced a market-clearing price of $136 per megawatt, or eight times the price from the 2012 capacity auction.

For northern Ohio, the price was a surreal $357 per megawatt – because northern Ohio has been heavily reliant on coal plants that will all be shut down by 2015.

These increases can only be passed on to the consumer – or taxpayer.  Again, Continue reading “Necessary skyrocketing”

Reversion to the Clinton tax hikes: Time to rethink what our government has become

Stop treading on us.

As we read more and more about the US federal government handing out money – borrowed-against-our-future money – to the private enterprises of Obama’s campaign donors, it is heart-warming to remember that the tax code is scheduled to revert on 1 January 2013* to what it was under Bill Clinton.

This means that unless the Super Committee comes to an agreement to avert it, you are almost guaranteed to have a larger federal income tax bill after next year.

Money-manager-types explain, each time we reach this precipice, that going back to the Clinton tax code means virtually everyone who pays now will pay more.  It also means some who don’t currently pay net federal income tax will have a balance owed in 2013 after exemptions.

It’s not just rate increases for the “rich.”  The 10% bracket goes away, Continue reading “Reversion to the Clinton tax hikes: Time to rethink what our government has become”

“Invertebrates aren’t sexy megafauna”: Your tax dollars at work for you

Fish tale.

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit highlights a Powerline piece from Sunday by Steven Hayward on “demosclerosis,” which Hayward sees evidence of in the twin tales of the Keystone XL pipeline and a fallen Sequoia redwood tree in California.

For a slightly different tale of demosclerosis, see the Wall Street Journal today on “Flies and their lawyers,” which are keeping the Paiute Cutthroat Trout from “going home.”  The drama unfolds in the Sierra Nevada wilderness of California, southeast of Tahoe near the Nevada border.  In brief, the Paiute cutthroat trout (not to be confused with other varieties of cutthroat trout, like the Lahontan, for which there are also restoration projects underway) has been absent for decades from the 9-mile-long lower-creek area from which it is believed to have sprung some 10,000 years ago.  State fish and game officials introduced different varieties of trout into the lower-creek area some time back, and those trout did away with the Paiute cutthroat.

Happily, however, Continue reading ““Invertebrates aren’t sexy megafauna”: Your tax dollars at work for you”

All things are no longer equal: Favoritism for the Mexican trucking industry

Let them truckers roll.

One of the impressions one would get from mainstream media coverage of any event is that we’re still in Kansas (as it were), and that the context of truth and value that we all grew up assuming still applies.

If the 2012 election is about anything, it will be about how many voters have figured out that that isn’t the case.  The world has, metaphorically speaking, turned upside down – and not by accident but by agency.  The voters, and the ideologues making decisions in the US government, have two different sets of assumptions about truth and value.

A good illustration of this is the differing concepts of each party about “jobs.” Continue reading “All things are no longer equal: Favoritism for the Mexican trucking industry”

The EPA assault on Texas

Got energy? Not for long.

The necessary precondition for Texas’s unique economic success – a beacon in a deep recession – is energy.  And the EPA is closing in for the kill.

This would be one thing if Texas were an outlier among the 50 states in terms of dirty air or an otherwise demonstrably imperiled environment.  But the truth is closer to the opposite:  the air in Texas has been getting cleaner; in the urban areas, much cleaner.  And in spite of being by far the largest electric power producer of the 50 states, and heavily reliant on coal, Texas has been steadily reducing its emissions of the EPA’s least-favored compounds from coal combustion (e.g., sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide). Its emissions of NOx and SO2 are substantially lower than the national average; Texas is ranked the 11th lowest in NOx emissions (.098 lb/mmBtu in 2009, versus a national average of .159 lb/mmBtu), and 24th in SO2 (.309 lb/mmBtu in 2009, versus a national average of .458 lb/mmBtu).

But the EPA isn’t really making the argument that Texas is an environmental pigsty. Continue reading “The EPA assault on Texas”