Tag Archives: Oil And Gas

Let’s Save California Now!

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Just a handful of legislative acts might still save California. Here are 12 brief examples:

1. The Hetch Hetchy Smelt and Salmon Act

This so-called “Skip a Shower, Save a Smelt Act” would transfer control of the Hetch 800px-Flag_of_California.svgHetchy reservoir releases from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The legislation would dismantle sections of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct west beyond the San Joaquin River, stop the present unnatural diversion of fresh water to San Francisco, and allow instead Hetch Hetchy fresh water to resume natural flows to the San Joaquin River — thus allowing the San Joaquin River and Tuolumne River to recover their salmon populations.

In addition, the transfers of fresh Hetch Hetchy water into the delta and beyond to the Pacific Ocean would preserve delta smelt populations.  To make up the losses, the law Read more →

The Year of the Dud

Obama, and left-wing causes, had a bad 2013.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Lots of things that should have happened in 2013 did not.

We were supposed to have long ago reached “peak oil” and an age of always-higher gas prices. Wind and solar power — and a reduced lifestyle — were our dismal future. Read more →

The Double-Dealing Middle East Is Double-Dealt

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Boo-hoo, Middle East

About every day or so, a throat-clearing Middle East pundit weighs in to warn us of the Obama’s administration’s dereliction of traditional American engagement. They rightly lament “lead from behind” in Libya. After Benghazi, Libya has turned into something like Somalia. Far more are dying there from sectarian chaos than during the latter years of the hated Moammar Gaddafi’s Photo Credit: John Wardell via Flickrdictatorship.

The Sunni reactionary establishment of the Gulf is right to deplore Obama’s incoherent flip-flop-flips in Egypt and Syria. The oil lords logically conclude that a directionless president will do nothing to stop Iran’s race to get a bomb — and all the subsequent Middle East WMD catch-ups to match it.

Even Obama’s pet Turkey seems confused that its favorite administration is now nowhere to be seen. The Iraqis were given a fresh start after the surge and hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. aid — and still claimed that they wanted the U.S. out. Obama gladly called their hand. Now, left to themselves, they are reverting to the pre-surge violence, whining about security and sectarianism — and back asking us for even more money. Rule One: never bluff an isolationist to yank all his forces from your country. Read more →

Beware of Beautifully Misnamed Laws

Who would oppose “affordable care” and “farm security”?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Washington has a bad habit of naming laws by what they are not.

These euphemisms usually win temporary public support. After all, who wants to be against anything “affordable”? But on examination, such idealistically named legislation usually turns out to be aimed at special interests and the opposite of what voters were promised.Capitol_Building_3

The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010,” otherwise known as Obamacare, frontloaded for immediate enactment some popular freebies. Who would oppose keeping children on their parents’ health coverage until age 26, or prohibiting denial of insurance for those with pre-existing illnesses?

Then, three years later and with two elections out of the way, the tab for all the perks suddenly came due. The law turns out neither to protect patients from rate hikes nor to make health care affordable. In fact, the administration promises of 2009–10 are becoming the nightmare of 2013. Read more →

Sort of True, Sort of Not

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner

The problem with negotiating with President Obama is not necessarily that he sometimes makes things up, but that he always sort of makes things up. Take a Photo Credit: President of the European Council via Flickrsingle recent October 8 press. All at once, the president used a weird assortment of similes and allusions to brand ad nauseam his opponents as little more than ransom takers, house burners, defaulters, global-economy crashers, nuclear-bomb users, extremists, threateners, extortionists, hostage takers, plant burners, and equipment breakers. He then bragged that domestic oil and gas production on his watch are at an all-time high—true, but he left out the salient fact that such gains are entirely the result of exploration on private lands, given that under his administration new federal oil and gas leases have by intention radically slowed. In 2010 actual oil and gas production on federal land hit historic lows. Ditto Obama’s brag that he lowered the deficit by half. If that claim turns out to be true, it is largely because of congressionally imposed sequestration cuts he opposed and record-low interest rates of scarcely over 2 percent that reflect a moribund Read more →

What Are They Fighting Over?

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO’s The Corner 

The deficit this year may fall to below $700 billion, but that is still huge at a time of a record near $17 trillion in debt, and comes despite a supposedly recovering economy and more revenue, despite recent sequestration cuts, despite dramatic Apples_apple_piegains in U.S. domestic energy production, despite the return of the Clinton-era tax hikes to the top brackets, and despite the end of the war in Iraq and the wind down in Afghanistan.

Wars, tax cuts on the wealthy, and out-of-control defense spending were all in the past variously cited as causing these huge deficits. In fact, the more compelling causes were always chronically slow economic growth, out-of-control federal spending, and the exemption of nearly half of America from paying any income tax at all.

No wonder we have a deadlock, when the best medicine for restoring fiscal health—stronger GDP growth through suspending Obamacare, opening up federal gas Read more →

Obama as Chaos

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Amid all the charges and countercharges in Washington over the government shutdown, there is at least one common theme: Barack Obama’s various charges always lead to a dead end. They are chaos, and chaos is hard to understand, much less refute. Read more →

Rich, Arrogant, and Stupid

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine 

The modern West demonstrates a phenomenon unknown in history––750px-Bicentennial_Lunch_Boxunprecedented wealth, technology, and access to information combined with abject stupidity. Wisdom once known by every village explainer and cracker-barrel crank has been discarded and replaced with phony “sciences” making claims about human nature and behavior that are based on nothing other than false assumptions, political ideology, and wishful thinking. Whether it’s foreign policy, managing the economy, or teaching the young, our leaders institute policies that violate the traditional wisdom accumulated by generations of human experience. Read more →

The Late, Great Middle Class

It’s never been harder to find a decent job making something real.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

The American middle class, like the American economy in general, is ailing. Labor-force participation has hit a 35-year low.Destitute_man_vacant_store

Median household income is lower than it was five years ago. Only the top 5 percent of households have seen their incomes rise under President Obama.

Commuters are paying more than twice as much for gas as they were in 2008. Federal payouts for food stamps, unemployment insurance, and disability insurance have reached unprecedented levels.

Meanwhile, the country is still running near-record budget deficits and is burdened by $17 trillion in aggregate debt. Yet the stock market is soaring.

How can we make sense of all this contradictory nonsense? Irony.

Obama promised to restore the middle class. In truth, Read more →

The Myth of a California Renaissance

Sacramento’s strategy for recovery is more taxes, more regulation, and more government.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Are the recent raves about a new California renaissance true?

SF_From_Marin_Highlands3Rolling Stone magazine just gushed that California governor Jerry Brown has brought the state back from the brink of “double-digit unemployment, a $26 billion deficit and an accumulated ‘wall of debt’ topping $35 billion.”

Unfortunately, California still faces existential crises. Read more →