Energy & Environment
The national news media — obsessed with the upcoming election — missed a significant news story two weeks ago: President Obama signed an executive order to create a Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force that is a key first step to fulfilling his promise to restore the Gulf of Mexico and to make it even better than it was before the BP Macondo well exploded six months ago, on Apr. 20. What exactly does “better than it was before” mean?
October 13th is the 235th Anniversary of the founding of the United States Navy. So it was incredibly appropriate that yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at two events focused on our military’s energy policy, because how the Navy and Marine Corps have harnessed energy has shaped our history since the birth of the Republic. And how energy is used and produced in the United States will continue to affect both our national security, and the strategic and tactical capabilities of our forces, long into the future.
Natural fish stocks have been so depleted in the past few decades that more than half of the salmon we consume here in the United States comes to us from “fish farming,” 97 percent of which is imported. That’s because we consume highly-desirable fish like salmon at least twice as fast as it can reproduce in the wild.
In another disturbing instance of politically-motivated intimidation of climate scientists, last week Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli issued a new civil investigative demand (CID) to the University of Virginia for emails and documents related to Dr. Michael Mann. This follows on an earlier demand issued by Cuccinelli that was fought by the University and rejected by an Albemarle County Circuit Court judge for being unfounded. Cuccinelli's latest demand is a revised version of his first, unsuccessful CID, and attempts to work around the judge's prior ruling. To anyone that reads Cuccinelli's demand, it looks more like a fishing expedition designed to smear scientists than a real fraud investigation. Cuccinelli demands documents related to 39 people, but many of them are unrelated to Dr. Mann's research grant that is nominally the focus of the investigation.
Since the Senate will not pass the flawed cap and trade legislation, the administration is taking matters into their own hands, using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as their lead enforcement agency. New regulations planned by the EPA could have detrimental effects to our economy – particularly causing a loss of jobs, impeding economic recovery and harming livelihoods.
Now, after just 150 years of oil extraction, we have burned through roughly half of it. The world is consuming four barrels of oil for every one we find, more than 80 million barrels of oil every day. The United States alone consumes more than 20 million barrels a day. Most major oil exporting nations are well past their supply peaks, with giant fields rapidly diminishing in size and new finds proving to be small and relatively insignificant. Worldwide oil supplies have plateaued and now face a decline from which there is no return. This peak, plateau and decline is referred to as “Peak Oil.”