TANGLED WEB: U.S. Senate Releases Report Showing Collusion Between EPA, Billionaires, and Far-Left Enviros

That the Environmental Protection Agency is corrupted by out-of-touch billionaires and far-left environmental wackos may seem obvious to many, but a new report published today, “The Chain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA”, shines a blinding light on the environmental machine in the United States.  And, it ain’t pretty.  Here’s the gist:

“In reality, an elite group of left wing millionaires and billionaires, which this report refers to as the “Billionaire’s Club,” who directs and controls the far-left environmental movement, which in turn controls major policy decisions and lobbies on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Even more unsettling, a dominant organization in this movement is Sea Change Foundation, a private California Foundation, which relies on funding from a foreign company with undisclosed donors.  In turn, Sea Change funnels tens of millions of dollars to other large, but discreet foundations and prominent environmental activists who strive to control both policy and politics.”

The report also covers the junk science that this cabal has shoved down everyone’s throats:

“It reveals that activists are skilled at creating and pushing out propaganda disguised as science and news.  For example, both the Park Foundation and the Schmidt Family Foundation have financed questionable scientists to produce anti-fracking research, which the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, andClimate Desk – all grant recipients themselves – eagerly report on.”

As if this wasn’t bad enough, guess which state is featured as an epicenter of this corruption?  Yes, Colorado and its fracking debate.  Local Control Colorado and Frack Free Colorado have benefited mightily from the Park and Schmidt Family Foundations.

“Local Control Colorado claims to be, ‘a coalition of community, consumer and public interest groups from across Colorado” promoting an anti-fracking ballot measure. However, they list DC-based Food & Water Watch, which is funded by CA-based Schmidt and Tides, and NY-based Park, as part of the coalition. Food & Water Watch is also listed as a partner to another member of the Local Control Colorado coalition, Frack Free Colorado (FFC).  Self-described as a ‘collaborative, grassroots movement that works to raise awareness about the dangers of fracking,’ FFC’s website states the group is ‘a people’s movement that consists of concerned citizens, companies … and organizations.’ However, at least two of the organizations listed as a member of FFC – Artists Against Fracking and Food & Water Watch – are based in New York and Washington, DC. Interestingly, FFC has reportedly tried to hide its partnership with another NY-based organization, Water Defense.”

The report is 92 pages long and there is a plethora of interesting information in there.  This is just an overview.  We’ll take a deeper dive over the coming days into the funders and how they impact Colorado politics.

 

THE OBAMA DISEASE: Hickenlooper Incredulous At Those Who Question His Infallibility

“How dare you disbelieve it doesn’t smell like roses.”

What’s worse than a politician?  A politician who thinks he’s not a politician.  PeakNation™, right now we have a whiner-in-chief commander in chief who believes people only disagree with him because they personally don’t like him.  All criticism of him has to do with who he is, not what he does.  Disagreement with him has nothing to do with a trillion dollar, red-tape filled, bureaucratic-creating, inefficient bill that affects every American and directly interferes with 1/6th of our economy—which, in the end, only got the uninsured level to the same point a thriving economy was able to accomplish on its own.  Much to our dismay here in Colorado, it appears our own Governor, John D. Hickenlooper has caught the same disease.

Hickenlooper has long thought his shit doesn’t stink he’s above the political fray; that when he passes a bill all experts around him tell him is unenforceable, it’s only because they are trying to score political points.  With him being above such shallow deficiencies of character, he truly is more prophet than politician: bringing the truth from on high and delivering it to us low mortals who care about such trivial things like paying our bills.

Such arrogance from Hickenlooper was again on full display last night when he responded that any criticism of him comes from those who are merely playing politics, and could in no way be related to worrying about our electricity bills skyrocketing.  As Lynn Bartels at The Denver Post writes:

On Tuesday afternoon, Republican Bob Beauprez, who wants to unseat Hickenlooper in November, appeared at a Denver rally protesting EPA power plant proposals and once again repeating his mantra about the lack of leadership in Colorado.

When asked about the charge, Hickenlooper shrugged.

“It’s a political season,” he said. “If I say ‘up,’ they’re going to say ‘down.’ If I say ‘left’ they’re going to say ‘right.’” [the Peak’s emphasis]

Yep, Hick, it’s all about you.  It has nothing to do with a unilateral power grab by the EPA that some estimate will increase our electricity bills by nearly 50%, while doing away with 24,000 good-paying, Colorado jobs related to the coal-industry.  Yep, Hick, it’s all about you, you smug, arrogant liberal.

It is now quite clear Hickenlooper has a full-blown case of Obama Disease: where all disagreement with him comes not from a place of legitimate concern, but rather, just a case of us plebeians trying to bring him down to our slimy level.  Heaven forbid the thought that Hickenlooper might not be as omnipotent as he thinks himself to be.

It’s time for Colorado to have a Governor whose arrogance doesn’t poison all political debate.

 

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: Polis, Perlmutter Both Vote Against Energy Jobs In Their Districts

We’ve written at length about the all the jobs created by oil and gas in Colorado, and the economic benefits the industry provides.  That is why we love a new data that parses out those statewide jobs numbers by congressional district and calls out members who are voting against their own constituents. 

(According a story in the Washington Examiner, the data was courtesy of John Dunham and Associates via Western Energy Alliance.)

Basically, WEA has compiled a list of 20 congressmen who voted against the Keystone XL pipeline and in favor of Pres. Obama’s overreaching emissions standards.  Both votes directly threaten the thousands of jobs and millions of dollars their districts receive from the oil and gas industry.

It’s no surprise that Rep. Jared Polis votes against energy jobs in his own district, but guess who else made the list?  Rep. Ed Perlmutter.  According to WEA, 5,224 of Perlmutter’s constituents make their living off of the oil and gas industry.  These workers make $358 million in wages and produce $1.3 billion in economic output.

The numbers for Polis are even more striking – 7,056 of his constituents make their living off of oil and gas, which translates to nearly $438 million of wages.  Polis has made it clear that he doesn’t give a sh*t about those 7,056 jobs.  It’s probably safe to say in light of his recent behavior that Polis even looks down on those jobs.

But what about Perlmutter?  Does he share Polis’s view about oil and gas workers?  Or will he find the courage to publicly oppose the Polis initiatives and stand up for his constituents?

 

ICYMI: Highlights from AFP’s “Stop the EPA Power Grab” Rally

If you missed today’s AFP rally outside of the Environmental Protection Agency’s hearings to foist job killing regulations on the energy industry, we’ve got you covered.  Below are the highlights of the fun today.
 

MVP: State Sen. Bernie Herpin Named Legislator Of The Year

Legislator of the Year

Democrats vowed to take back former state Senator John Morse’s seat almost immediately after he lost it.  Too bad for them, the man, Sen. Bernie Herpin, who replaced him has demonstrated himself to be quite the skilled legislator.  So much so that The Colorado County Clerks Association, who are gathered together for a few days, just voted him the Colorado legislator of the year.  As Joey Bunch at The Denver Post reports:

State Sen. Bernie Herpin didn’t waste any time making a name for himself in Denver. Elected in the wake of the recall of Sen. John Morse last September. Herpin on Monday was chosen Legislator of the Year by the Colorado County Clerks Association.

According to a press release from Herpin’s re-election team, he won the prize “because of his ability to lead and reach across party lines to get things done in Denver.”

As a legislature mostly built on bipartisanship and bonhomie (hence, the need for extremists like Morse, who forced his personal agenda on the state, to be booted out), Herpin’s commitment to working across the aisle should be rewarded with another term.  Over the past few years, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s failed leadership led to some nasty partisan battles; hopefully more legislators like Herpin can step up and fill the bipartisan leadership void Hickenlooper has let fester in our state.

 

FLAILING: Romanoff Attacks Coffman On Issue Coffman Just Passed

Won’t you be my neighbor?

Time for a new campaign manager for Andrew Romanoff (D- Winnebago)?  For a man many were touting as the silver bullet to the industrious Rep. Mike Coffman, Romanoff really hasn’t gained any traction.  Then again, when you have to learn a whole new part of a city that you’ve never been to (but, are just using as a way to further your political ambitions), it might make it hard to have solid footing to attack from.  Yet, Romanoff’s latest wild swing is just downright embarrassing.  Yesterday morning, Romanoff attacked Coffman for voting against what Romanoff’s campaign alleged were protections against sexual assaults in the military; in reality, it was just a procedural vote.  Much to Romanoff’s chagrin and embarrassment, at the same time his campaign dropped this wild accusation, Coffman was completing a deal to make such protections a reality.  Who’s trying to make political hay out of a very serious issue now, Mr. Romanoff?

As Jon Murray at The Denver Post reports:

The Romanoff campaign’s news release assailing Coffman for the Friday vote came out Monday morning, just as the VA deal was being announced. “Congressman Coffman recently spent thousands of taxpayer dollars to send glossy brochures about sexual assault in the military, but given the opportunity to back up his words with actions, he failed,” Romanoff campaign spokeswoman Denise Baron charged in the release.

Coffman campaign manager Tyler Sandberg called the accusation “sleazy Washington politics at its worst.” Coffman voted against what he saw as a partisan motion Friday, he said, while working to ensure the sexual assault provisions survived through the conference committee. [the Peak’s emphasis]

Bad timing much?  If you’re Baron at Romanoff’s campaign, having to be the face of such a sleazy attack surely makes you want to turn to either Romanoff or your campaign manager and ask them point blank, “What is this, amateur hour here?  Get your sh*% together.”

But, here’s the dirty little secret of Colorado Democrats this election cycle: they are the only ones trying to score political points off of women.  Insultingly, they think women only care about abortion and birth control.  They think women don’t care about how President Obama has tanked our economy with his inexperience and failed policies.  They think women don’t care about how Romanoff believes more layers of bureaucrats needed to be added to our health care industry to make it even more inefficient.  They think women don’t care how Sen. Mark Udall has utterly failed to represent the true, independent spirit and voice of Colorado when he is in Washington D.C. rubber stamping Obama’s failed agenda.

Seriously, how stupid do Colorado Democrats think Colorado women are?

 

MARK “HOLLYWOOD DOLLAR” UDALL: Colorado Dollars Ain’t Backing Udall

“Califorians, you are rocking! I wish Colorado was more like you!”

What do you do to fundraise if you’ve become way too extreme for the constituents you’re actually supposed to represent?  If you’re Sen. Mark Udall, you just turn to Hollywood and various other bastions of far-left liberals along the coasts.  Sure, these rich donors don’t have beliefs anywhere near to what the average Coloradan thinks, but that just must be because we’re still too busy banging rocks together to even know how to create roads.  As The Colorado Observer reports, more than half of Udall’s donations this last reporting period came from states other than Colorado; with New York, California, and Virginia (aka: the D.C. Beltway) heavily represented:

Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Barbra Streisand topped the list of liberal Hollywood legends donating money to Colorado Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in the last reporting period.

Udall’s success at raising money from Hollywood luminaries helped give him a fundraising advantage over his Republican challenger Rep. Cory Gardner. Udall has raised more than $13 million for the closely contested race with just under $6 million left in the bank.

Udall’s supporters are mostly from out of state — 58 percent of his contributors were located in New York, California, Virginia and other states. [the Peak’s emphasis]

Hasn’t Udall been paying any attention to how Coloradans feel about out of state-ers  coming in here with their millions just to tell us how to live our lives? *cough* Bloomberg *cough*

Udall looks especially bad when you factor in that around 70% of Rep. Cory Gardner’s donors are domestic:

Comparatively, 70 percent of Gardner’s campaign contributions were from donors living in Colorado, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

That Udall has to go out of state to reach a majority of his donors is no surprise; he has spent the last six years accumulating a voting record in the Senate that is much more suited to California or New York than us here in Colorado.  Surely, if Udall didn’t live in his insulated, liberal bubble that is Boulder, he would have left us Neanderthals a long time ago for our betters: the enlightened few who live among the Sierra Nevadas.

PeakNation™, don’t be surprised if he finally moves out that way once he loses reelection; that way, he can hang out with his BFF Tom Steyer whenever they want.  “Hey Tom, let’s go hike a mountain and talk about how the U.S. would be a better place if everyone was as smart and enlightened as us!”

 

1,750%: Cost Increase Needed To Justify Udall-Endorsed EPA Regulations

#AskUdall: Why do you hate Colorado families?

PeakNation™, it’s Monday, we’re feeling frisky (had some Taco Bell for lunch), so let’s get a little wonky.  You may have heard the Environmental Protection Agency is rolling through tomorrow (if Sen. Mark Udall is such a fan of it, can we expect him to be here in person to personally advocate for them?), and today the top climate advisor to President Obama claimed the tougher EPA regulations would be a boon for Colorado.  The only problem for Udall and him is that their statements aren’t based in reality whatsoever.

Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Gov. Bill Ritter have already forced stringent regulations on us Coloradans to expand the use of wind and solar (but, not hydro, because in Hickenlooper’s world, hydro doesn’t count as renewable.  Yep, someone tell Isaac Newton gravity just became a finite resource).  According to the proposed EPA regulations all that reduction in emissions won’t matter.  There has been no indication that the proposed 35% reduction in carbon emissions will factor in reductions already achieved.  This means all those states that haven’t done anything to reduce carbon emissions will still have some low-hanging fruit to pick, while we here in Colorado have already snatched up the easy reductions.  Any further reductions will be quite painful; thanks Udall.

From this, it is easy to see how some estimates have the price of electricity in Colorado going up a whopping 49% under these Udall-endorsed, EPA regulations.  Not to mention, a loss of 24,000 jobs related to Colorado’s coal-industry.  Hickenlooper’s war on rural Colorado continues with these proposals as a full 9,000 of the jobs lost are based in western Colorado.  Those jobs only pay $116,000 in wage and benefits; surely, they can just be replaced by increasing the minimum wage to $10.10.

The real kicker for the EPA, is an article The Economist wrote last week that shows even factoring in carbon emission reductions, wind and solar are still a net loser when compared to coal.  As it wrote:

If all the costs and benefits are totted up using Mr Frank’s calculation, solar power is by far the most expensive way of reducing carbon emissions. It costs $189,000 to replace 1MW per year of power from coal. Wind is the next most expensive.

… all this assumes a carbon price of $50 a tonne. Using actual carbon prices (below $10 in Europe) makes solar and wind look even worse. The carbon price would have to rise to $185 a tonne before solar power shows a net benefit.

…At the moment, most rich countries and China subsidise solar and wind power to help stem climate change. Yet this is the most expensive way of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

That’s right, the price of carbon would have to increase by an incredible 1750% for us to see a total net benefit from attacking carbon emission reduction this way, and that’s including the cost of carbon itself.

Now, if you’re Udall and the faux-hippie bourgeoisie of Boulder, the enormous costs foisted on us by these brutal EPA regulations might amount to just one less kale-fed, karma-injected, locally-grown, Buddhist-massaged, tofu lambchop a week, but for the rest of us that money is our kid’s tuition.  The U.S. already leads the world in carbon emissions reduction; it’s ludicrous for us to even consider importing their failed policies.  Too bad Udall is too busy hanging out with eco-extremists to recognize that.

 

TELL THE EPA NO: AFP Rally to Protest EPA Overreach Tomorrow

Tomorrow, July 29, Americans for Prosperity will co-host a rally at Lincoln Park to protest the latest Environmental Protection Agency’s “far-reaching and controversial” new emission regulations.  The event will be at Lincoln Park in Denver from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.  The event promises a star-studded line-up, including:

  • Former Congressman Bob Beauprez
  • State Rep. Ray Scott – NW CO legislator (Mesa County)
  • Dustin Zvonek – Americans for Prosperity
  • Michael Sandoval – Independence Institute
  • Ray Beck – Craig City Council/Club 20
  • Frank Moe – Craig, CO businessman
  • Mary Frontczak – Peabody Energy
  • Tony Gagliardi – NFIB Colorado-Wyoming
  • Jess La Buff – Boilermakers Montana
  • Jason Dean Small – Boilermakers Montana
  • Greg Kohn – Montana Chamber of Commerce
  • Mark Gordon – Wyoming State Treasurer
  • Bill Schilling – Wyoming Business Alliance
  • Kim Floyd – AFL-CIO Wyoming

This issue promises to have an impact on families across Colorado. We railed against the EPA’s attempts at a listening tour on this issue back in October for the following reasons:

  1. The “townhalls” were occurring in places that didn’t produce coal (e.g., San Francisco).
  2. The proposed regulations would increase energy costs for the middle class.
  3. The regulations would kill jobs in the coal industry, which employs some 750,000 through the country.

Come out to show your support for Colorado’s middle class tomorrow.

 

ABOVE THE LAW: Did Colorado’s Department of Insurance Skirt Law to Benefit Udall?

If DOI Commissioner Salazar says the plans are legal, they are. It’s magic.

This morning, Complete Colorado‘s Todd Shepherd dropped a bombshell – despite acknowledging that new health plans were illegal under the Affordable Care Act, Colorado’s Department of Insurance greenlighted them anyway.  Here’s a snippet from his story:

“According to internal emails from late March, DOI Commissioner Marguerite Salazar was certain the state would be breaking the law if it allowed the sale of some older health insurance plans which didn’t meet all of the ACA requirements.

The March 26 email summarized a meeting between a few of the highest officials and stakeholders involved with the implementation of the ACA in Colorado. Michelle Patarino, a consultant with “Collaborative Health Solutions,” created a post-meeting summary, which included a bullet point: ‘No specific timeframe was given, but Commissioner Salazar made it clear that allowing sale of non-ACA [compliant] plans would require legislative action.’”

Following that meeting, they asked for legislative action, right?  Wrong.  Just five weeks later, the Department of Insurance announced the sale of non-ACA compliant plans.  Insurance Commissioner, Marguerite Salazar, already in hot water for her response to accusations of fudging numbers, used her “rulemaking” power to make the plans legal.  Yes, it’s magic like that.

But, what does this have to do with Sen. Mark Udall?  His election in 2014 is…contentious, to say the least. One of the major complaints from voters is that he was part of the crew saying if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.  That was a big, fat lie.  Many have lost the plans they liked – over 335,000 to be exact.  Allowing Coloradans to keep non-compliant ACA plans through 2015 gives Udall political cover through the 2014 election.  Can you imagine if there was another tidal wave of cancellations due to Obamacare?  Exactly.

Look, we’re fine with extending the option for non-Obamacare compliant plans for eternity because telling people what kind of health insurance they “need” is nanny statism at its worst.  But, we have to ask whether Salazar’s rulemaking, allowing non-compliant plans to be purchased through 2015, is a cheap political ploy to save her buddy Udall’s hide.

 
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