Small Business owners are concerned about the threat of rising fuel and energy costs. According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey, 77 percent of small businesses say that rising energy prices pose an immediate threat to their business. The Chamber’s survey shows that 80 percent feel that the administration is not doing enough to keep gas prices low, increase domestic energy sources, or develop an energy policy that supports American jobs. The United States can do a number of things to ease these concerns but one in particular stands out from the rest.
Energy & Environment
Recent polls show that most Americans want our government — and corporations — to take stronger action to address climate change, and as we all know, that process starts with taking a serious look at the way we use energy.
It is quite a shock when an industry, built by taxpayer dollars and surviving on government support, touts the importance of fair competition. Clearly, advocates of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its biofuel blending mandates lack a basic understanding of how markets work here in the United States. Worse still, they feign ignorance and completely deny that their bread-and-butter policy is dealing a blow to our economy — raising costs for fuel, food and engine repairs for consumers, constraining vital American industries and failing in its goal of protecting the environment.
As much energy as the United States consumes, it’s nothing compared to how much energy we allow to go to waste.
When it comes to factory farms, however, the legislative tide seems to be moving in the exact opposite direction. That is because of a set of laws being pushed across the country which not only discourages whistle-blowers from coming forward. It actually threatens them with jail time if they do.
For anyone who’s been following the Keystone XL debate, it’s by now common knowledge that the 1200-mile pipeline is being touted by proponents of energy independence as an important step forward. It’s also no secret that Keystone XL will create jobs – lots of jobs.
Obama’s Organizing for America recently launched a campaign criticizing members of congress for failing to listen to scientists on climate change.
Lead by example, it is often said. And when it comes to making buildings more sustainable and use less energy, architects are worried that the Federal government could soon abandon that worthy role.
Legislation currently being considered in Congress would weaken or eliminate energy efficiency performance standards for federal buildings. Ironically, such a proposal is likely to be offered as an amendment to the Shaheen-Portman energy conservation bill, which our profession heartily endorses and which is scheduled for mark-up on Wednesday, May 8.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently got in a rather public spat with the U.S. Department of State over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project. Apart from the irregularity of one Cabinet agency attacking another, the episode was a boondoggle for the EPA, which came out looking both petty and unscientific.
In a letter to the State Department, the EPA contends that the State Department (which has the ultimate say in the whether or not the pipeline gets the green light) did not accurately assess the magnitude of the carbon dioxide emissions that would result from the burning of the 830,000 barrels of oil the pipeline would transport each day.
In 2012, National Geographic told us, “Unlike CO2, methane affects human health, because it is a precursor of smog.” Now the Environmental Defense Fund tells us, “... each pound of methane is 72 times more powerful at increasing the retention of heat in the atmosphere than a pound of carbon dioxide.” So, what is this toxic greenhouse gas, methane? It’s natural gas, that stuff we get from “fracking.”