War on Coal: California and New Mexico Celebrate Meaningless “Win”

Official White House Photo of President Trump

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A Californian judge ruled that President Trump’s administration acted illegally in suspending Obama era royalty hikes against resource projects on government land. But given the rules will shortly be abolished, the rules will not be re-instated.

Court says feds broke the law when delaying new royalty rule

By Laura Paskus

A federal judge said Wednesday that the United States government broke the law when it delayed a rule updating how royalties are calculated when companies drill and mine offshore and on federal and tribal lands. Those royalties are paid out to states, tribes and the United States government.

After five years of analysis, meetings with stakeholders and public comment, in 2016 the Office of Natural Resource Revenue (ONRR) issued a rule updating valuation rules, which had been set in the 1980s. ONRR estimated the changes would increase royalty collections by $71.9 to $84.9 million annually.

The rule took effect on January 1, 2017 and initial reports were due in February.

But in late 2016, industry groups filed three lawsuits, saying the rule was “arbitrary and capricious.” In February, ONRR postponed its implementation.

On Wednesday, the court issued a summary judgement saying the federal government had broken the law by postponing the rule, but it did not reinstate the rule. Doing so, according to the judgement, would be “unduly disruptive” because it would require industry to comply for only a short time before the repeal takes effect.

According to Balderas’ office, the rule is important for New Mexico because it affects how royalties on oil and gas leases on federal lands are calculated. In New Mexico, those royalty payments fund public schools.

“Attorney General Becerra and I sued President Trump because his administration broke the law trying to deny New Mexico’s public school students the royalties they are owed,” Balderas said in a statement following the decision. “I’m pleased that a federal court agreed with us that Donald Trump broke the law as this is a big win for New Mexico’s students, families and teachers.”

Read more: http://nmpoliticalreport.com/407130/court-says-feds-broke-the-law-when-delaying-new-royalty-rule/

What a nonsensical waste of public money. President Trump suspended the rule as a step towards abolishing it. The abolition of the bill will happen anyway in a few days. Yet the Attorney Generals of California and New Mexico spend who knows how much public money to obtain a ruling that Trump should have abolished the bill in the first instance.

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123 thoughts on “War on Coal: California and New Mexico Celebrate Meaningless “Win”

  1. For two States prepared to squander billions on the useless CO2-Global Warming-Renewable fiasco and scam, spending and wasting money in the Courts is very small beer. As it is all other people’s money, and not their’s, it is not important to them at all. It is the moral posturing that counts.

    • There is an old, old maxim in the law that ‘de minimus non curat Lex’ (the Law does not care for trifles).

      Apparently in California and New Mexico legal trifles are very much ‘in’ and cared about very much.

      Oh San Andreas, stop dithering and let your fault loose!

      • All they have to do is turn the trifles into felonies (which they’re increasingly doing) and suddenly the law isn’t caring for trifles.

      • “Apparently in California and New Mexico legal trifles are very much ‘in’ and cared about very much.”

        It’s all about demonizing Trump. Trump broke the law. Trump is depriving the poor students of New Mexico and California an adequate education. And on and on and on.

        It’s a talking point. A smearing point. An opportunity. The politicians don’t care that their taxpayers have to foot the bill for partisan politics.

  2. I see no legal problem in delaying implementation of a ‘Rule’ that is subject to legal challenge before the Courts Prior to its coming into force.

    I struggle to see how an impartial Judge could see that the considered restraint of implementation as “illegal” when at worst it is respecting the legal process that has been asked to determine if the Rule is fair or if it is “arbitrary and capricious”, and awaiting a Court’s ruling on that.

    perhaps there are aspects I don’t understand ……..

    • The judge is not impartial. The case was taken to court in California and presided over by a California judge.

    • But itveas cool for Obama to suspend kaws years on the books with no change in the law on the horizon at all.
      And it’s Ok for cities to ignore the law and encourage breaking the law, ifvitvhelpscthem with their peculiar institution of illegal immigration.

      • Yes, because anything the Left does is fine. Nothing the Right does is fine or even to be allowed. These actions can be identical. It only matters which side is doing them, not what the action is.

      • When Reagan vetoed a budget bill that was passed by a Democrat congress, the subsequent shutdown was Reagan’s fault.
        When Clinton vetoes a budget bill that was passed by a Republican congress, the subsequent shutdown was the fault of congress.
        At least according to the media.

  3. It sounds like there was a lot of circular reasoning involved in that decision and a waste of a lot of taxpayer money.

  4. The purpose of royalty hikes was to make coal less competitive with wind and solar by driving up costs. It was also anti-mining. This is why the hikes were suspended by Trump.

    • Yeah, God forbid we should burden the coal industry with some of the billions of dollars in worker health care costs they dump onto the government.

      • Poor Chrith….

        You do know that coal and gas are responsible for EVERY bit of modern society, don’t you.?

        Disconnect, live without anything manufactured using from or using fossil fuel….

        or forever remain a laughable hypocrite. !!

      • So since the government must take care of worker’s health, it must also decide that coal is not for workers because it’s costly for the government, based on “billions of $ health care costs” pulled out of your hat. Yeah, I understand the logic…

      • @ Chris – September 2, 2017 at 2:07 am

        Yeah, God forbid we should burden the coal industry with some of the billions of dollars in worker health care costs they dump onto the government.

        Chris, when one is truly ignorant in/of a particular subject matter they should, ….. at the very least, attempt to educate themselves, …… prior to offering their opinion on said, …….. to wit:

        Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees.

        Worker’s compensation systems vary from state to state, but employers pay for workers’ compensation typically in one of three ways: premiums to a state-run insurance program, payments to an insurance company, or directly to workers.

      • “Chris September 2, 2017 at 2:07 am”

        Lets not forget a form of aspirin was discovered in coal (Dead tree).

      • Chris is making up things in his head again. Underground coal mining still has problems, yes. Strip mining has no more problems than construction or working in a restaurant. Workers generally have excellent insurance, then Medicare. Many of their illnesses are self-inflicted due to very unhealthy lifestyles.

        (I’m married to an ex-coal miner, so don’t accuse me of no familiarity with the industry. My “problem” is I understand causality and correlation, blaming and hysterics on the part of activists. It’s not a lack of familiarity with coal mining.)

      • Chris: So why in Hell is the government responsible for all these health expenses? Oh, yes, that’s right. Because all the leftists pushed for laws requiring it.

      • Chris, since the very day they started working (and, even if it was at McDonald’s back when they were 16 years old, before they worked at the coal mines) each one of those coal miners contributed 7.65% of their salaries to Social Security, and their employers matched that 7.65%. Medicare is responsible for about 3.3% of that total. So, until that miner retires at 62-65 years old, that miner and their employer have paid 3.3% of his salary, for 40+ years into Medicare w/o collecting so much as a penny from it. Medical care up to that point is the mine’s responsibility.

        Now, if the miner leaves sooner due to injury or disease and applies for SS disability that miner is going to wait 29 (twenty nine) months before they collect Medicare. The miner (and perhaps their employer, perhaps not) will pay for their portion (at 105% of cost) of the employer group policy under COBRA for 18 months, and (if they were approved by the SS Administration for disability) the miner will then pay for another 11 months (at 150% of cost) to remain on COBRA. After that, and only after that, will the miner go on Medicare. Remember; by that time that miner and his employer have been paying into his Medicare policy for decades. The government really hasn’t.

        And that miner, once on Medicare, will continue to make monthly payments into it until they die. And, that Medicare will cover no more than 80% of all costs; the miner will cover the other 20%. If the miner can’t cover that 20%, and ‘only’ if the miner has exhausted virtually the entirety of their financial assets, will the government step in with Medicaid. But that assumes that the miner’s union doesn’t provide medical insurance as a supplemental to cover that 20%. And he better hope that his union does since Medicaid will take the miner’s home away from his family.

        I hope the foregoing information will disabuse you, Chris, of any notion that a beneficent government steps in to shoulder any medical costs that a miner may accrue on his job. The world is different than you think.

      • Maybe Chris thinks that the billions of tax payer dollars that is currently being spent by the federal and state governments on healthcare for illegal immigrants should be increased dramatically because the “wellness” of illegal immigrants and their children is far, far more important than any coal company paying for the healthcare of their employees.

        “YUP”, iffen you are sick or injured and in need of medical care, …… just go to the ER at any hospital ……. and tell them you are an “illegal immigrant” …… and you will be given, …. free of charge, …. the bestest medical treatment possible,

        Illegal drug users, pushers and/or dealers who get shot, beat-up, knifed or “overdose” and go to, or are transported to, hospital ERs ……. will also be given, …. free of charge, …. the bestest medical treatment possible,

      • Let’s see what we have here. Andy talks about the role coal and gas have played in modern society. So what? I’m simply talking about them bearing their responsibilities. Folks on this site trash talk subsidies for wind and solar – what, are you a hypocrite and ok with subsidies when it is coal and gas?

        Frederic, your post is incoherent.

        Eric, I fully agree that the costs of those mines should be borne by the respective users, just as i agree the same for diamonds, rare earth elements used in smart phones, etc. One of the reasons this occurs is that FTAs don’t contain much if anything in environmental standards, because Republicans have fought against those.

        As to the accusation that Frederick made that I pulled my billions figure out of my hat, and Samuel C Cogar’s that workers comp covers this.The federal shortfall in the black lung trust fund adds up to billions over a multi year period. You do know that the incidence of black lung disease is on the increase, right?

      • Wasn’t ‘dumped’ on the Government until Democrats insisted on ObamaCare. Prior to that, it was insurance companies.

      • It would help if Chris would supply specifics about exactly which healthcare costs he is referring to. How Workers Comp is handled varies by state, but I suspect he is referring to the UNMW healthcare cost issue that is causing a lot of headaches in DC. If so, I hope he is aware that this is primarily an eastern issue and has little (if anything) to do with California or New Mexico. In any case a reference/link would be helpful.

      • My last post appeared to be somewhat laggy, but I now see this is a discussion of the status of the Black Lung Benefit Trust Fund. The BLBTF pays benefits through the state WC disability systems, acting as a reinsurer. It pays benefits ONLY when no coal mine operator can be identified as the responsible party, usually as the result of a finalized bankruptcy proceeding. If a responsible operator can be identified, it IS handled through the respective Workmans Comp system. The BLBTF is partially funded (about 45%) via excise taxes per ton of coal mined or sold, but the majority of the cost is paid via general funds. The active operators are therefore paying the liabilities of the failed operators. How would you like to pay someone else’s debts? Any action that impairs the operations of the mines (such as the “War on Coal”) therefore negatively impacts the fund. Claims against the fund had been declining yearly until passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 reinstated 2 benefit provisions that had been removed in 1981. This positively impacted beneficiaries, but negatively impacted the fund. Claims against the fund increased 36% in the 4 years after passage of the ADA in comparison to the 4 years prior. (It should be noted that in the event the Trump administration manages to nullify the ACA, this situation will revert to its previous state. You are, therefore, presumably in favor of Trump’s efforts in this regard.) As of January, 2016, 100 of the 253 self-insured coal-mine operators were parties in active bankruptcy proceedings. I have no handy figures on insured operators. It should be noted that a mine that has been closed and sold may or may not return to operating status. Under federal law, any liability to the BLBTF does not transfer with the assets. Again, running the mines out-of-business negatively impacts the fund.

      • Econdude, you are correct, I am talking primarily about the black lung trust fund. An article that mentions the approximate $2.2B deficit – which the federal govt will need to pick up – is here: http://www.tribdem.com/news/mine-wars-the-struggle-for-coal-miners-health-care-and/article_04537e68-30ee-11e7-afec-3b1ab9b9528d.html

        You mentioned that the cause of claims increasing is the ACA. Actually that is not the case, it is an increase in occurrence of BLD. . http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/12/16/new-data-show-spike-in-severe-black-lung-disease.html
        http://www.npr.org/2016/12/15/505577680/advanced-black-lung-cases-surge-in-appalachia

      • @ Chris – September 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm

        You do know that the incidence of black lung disease is on the increase, right?

        Chris, don’t be “talking trash” to me.

        “DUH”, as usual, your “trash talking” is based solely on the “fear mongering” rhetoric being touted by the entrenched “DC Swamp” inhabitants and broadcast by the highly partisan, profoundly liberal, Democrat Party supporting News media, …. a prime example of which is, to wit:

        Updated Sep 16, 2014
        Black Lung Disease Rates Skyrocket To Highest Levels Since 1970s

        The data in the letter was based on NIOSH’s Coal Workers’ Health Surveillance Program, which administers occasional chest examinations of working miners. The letter was first reported by BuzzFeed.

        NIOSH says the disease played a role in an estimated 10,000 deaths over a recent 10-year period.

        According to Monday’s letter, PMF was “virtually eradicated” just 15 years ago, but the sample of long-term underground miners from last year showed a nearly ten-fold increase, to 3.23 percent of workers, in the central Appalachian states.

        Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/15/black-lung-disease-levels-letter_n_5824470.html

        So, Chris, …… all the above “fear mongering” rhetoric was based solely on ….. “occasional chest examinations of working miners ”.

        And Chris, …… why just “an estimated 10,000 deaths over a recent 10-year period”? Why not an estimated 30,000 deaths ……. or an estimated 50,000 deaths, …… no Democrat or liberal will ever question the “estimate” but will simply repeat/mimic it as if it was “gospel truth”..

        And double “DUH”, Chris, …… their ESTIMATION of “a nearly ten-fold increase, to 3.23 percent of workers” …….. simply means that …. “3.23 out of every 100 workers” is now ESTIMATED to be afflicted with Black Lung.

        Chris, without a biopsy, those ESTIMATED increase in afflictions of lung problems could have been caused by “smoking meth” or another illegal entity.

      • As always, the troll just can’t accept that it isn’t the role of government to provide for all our needs, much less wants.

      • Samuel C Cogar – The link I posted about the resurgence in black lung disease was from Fox News – not exactly a liberal news source. So your point about this being a liberal construct is incorrect. The other link I posted goes into great detail about why black lung is on the rise again. Because the rich coal seams are tapped out, miners now are working in areas that have a very high proportion of rock to coal. This in turn means that lots of quartz dust is being put into the air, since it is present in the rock. Quartz dust is very hard to filter and is extremely toxic to the lungs.

        As to your ridiculous comments about the word estimation being used in the articles, it’s not even worth a reply. Here is a link to a site on diabetes. Note how many times they use the word estimate. Of course it is not possible to know EXACTLY how many youths get diabetes each year, just as it is not possible to know the exact number of new cases of black lung disease. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

      • MarkW said: “As always, the troll just can’t accept that it isn’t the role of government to provide for all our needs, much less wants.”

        As usual, MarkW completely misses the point I was making. I was talking about coal companies not fully looking after their workers health care for problems directly caused by their work, and the fact that that cost was being borne by the taxpayers.

      • Chris,
        The 2.2 B deficit referred to in your linked article has to do with the UNMW health trust fund (property of UNMW), not the BLBTF. This is a separate and very complicated dispute for both legal and political reasons and the two should not be conflated.
        As for the “increase” in BLD to which you refer, I would quibble over some of the language used in the articles, but they were based on actual NIOSH reports. (Full disclosure: My comments were based on published BLBTF and DOL figures, while NIOSH come via the CDC. They therefore have different sources and intended uses. However, BLBTF benefits-paid have steadily declined since the mid-1980’s.)
        It should be noted that the NIOSH-CWCHP is a voluntary program covering only active miners (participation rate 17%) where active miners admitted to the article authors that they refused the tests necessary to confirm a diagnosis under that program, or retired/unemployed miners waited until they were separated from the company to report symptoms. This should inspire some caution in the use of these figures.
        In general, the NIOSH figures “http://www.npr.org/documents/2016/dec/blacklungreport121516.pdf” appear to indicate that reported PMF (5-year avg.) sharply declined from about 2% of the active population to practically nil in the mid-90’s, gradually climbed back to 2% between the late 90’s and 2010, then rapidly spiked after 2010, peaking above 5%.
        Given that miners quoted in the articles admitted that they often did not report symptoms out of fear of losing their jobs, my first question would be to ask whether anything happened between about 1992 and 1998 that might cause miners to fear for their jobs to the extent that they would stop reporting BL symptoms to the CDC. (BLBTF figures would certainly not suggest that the disease was suddenly near eradication.)
        From about 1998 to 2010, miners were reporting again, and cases slowly climbed back to 2%.
        After 2010, the average of reported cases went through the roof. Is it a complete coincidence that this coincided with the changes in the ACA?

        Ultimately, I think you are attempting to support mutually exclusive events. If you’re desire is to close the mines, then you must accept the end of industry support for the BLBTF. If you want to maximize industry contributions to the BLBTF, then your goal should be to maximize output from the mines.

      • Econdude,

        There are several levels to this. In a general economic sense (ie how I would view any generic industry) I am not trying to close the mines. I understand that requiring the mines to pay for these health care costs undermines their financial viability, but I also believe that companies should be responsible for health care damage they do to their workers. I say the same thing for renewables, or ship building, or steel. The cost of the product should reflect an operation that takes reasonable care of workers and the environment.

        I think AGW is real and that action is required. By definition, that means a decline on coal use. So yes, that means that with the above mentioned obligations, a decline in coal use will mean less money to fund health care.

        As to your comments about the number of cases being reported, you are right in that fear of job loss could cause less cases to be reported. But it also makes sense that if the coal being mined includes a far greater amount of rock, then the incidence of black lung at those mines would go higher. It might be possible to look at it mine by mine, comparing the mines that have a high rock preponderance compared to those where the coal seams are still large. But I think that there are little to no great coal seam mines underground in the US, and open pit mining would have very different air/dust ratios.

      • Chris – September 3, 2017 at 11:40 am

        miners now are working in areas that have a very high proportion of rock to coal. This in turn means that lots of quartz dust is being put into the air, …. Quartz dust is very hard to filter and is extremely toxic to the lungs.

        Chris, it appears that you are totally stupid and pathetically ignorant of the federal and state regulations and enforcement of “air quality” in underground coal mining operations.

        “DUH”, ….. Federal, State, coal company and/or Union appointed Mine Inspectors have the authority to “shut her down”, any mining operation if the air quality is not deemed healthy for the miners.

        And, ps, …. Fox News ….. reports the News, ….. it doesn’t choose or select only the News stories/articles that it wants you to be reading/viewing.

        Fox News permits their subscribers/viewers …… decide for themselves, what they want to be informed about.

      • Samuel C Cogar said: “DUH”, ….. Federal, State, coal company and/or Union appointed Mine Inspectors have the authority to “shut her down”, any mining operation if the air quality is not deemed healthy for the miners.”

        You are colossally naive, ignorant or stupid – which is is? Kentucky has no unionized coal workers. Zero. Company appointed inspectors? Haha, that’s a good one. Please post links of how many mines have shut themselves down in the last 20 years during self inspections. Having an ability to shut down mines over air quality, and having that actually occur are two very different things.

        Tell you what, you keep believing your ivory tower ideas. I’ll listen to the black lung experts: “In the last three years, 644 cases of complicated black lung were diagnosed at Stone Mountain Health Services with clinics in three Virginia communities. That’s six times the NIOSH national count in nearly half the time.

        Laney and other black lung experts believe thinner coal seams in Appalachia are probably to blame. The thin seams that remain have coal embedded in rock containing quartz — producing mining dust with silica that’s especially toxic in lung tissue.”
        https://www.statnews.com/2016/12/16/black-lung-disease/

      • Chris – September 5, 2017 at 12:05 am

        You are colossally naive, ignorant or stupid – which is is?

        Shur nuff, Chris, …… and there are several Doctors …. and Lawyers ….. who “specialize” in diagnosing Worker’s Compensation claims ….. and they have collected hundreds of millions of dollars by doing said.

        Chris, FYI ……

        Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969
        Public Law 91-173*
        https://arlweb.msha.gov/solicitor/coalact/69act.htm

        Kentucky – Division of Mine Safety

        Safety Inspections and Licensing
        http://minesafety.ky.gov/Pages/SafetyInspectionsandLicensing.aspx

      • Samuel C Cogar said; ” Shur nuff, Chris, …… and there are several Doctors …. and Lawyers ….. who “specialize” in diagnosing Worker’s Compensation claims ….. and they have collected hundreds of millions of dollars by doing said.”

        So what? The data in the article I posted did not come from lawyers. If you are going to accuse a medical clinic of falsifying data and then linking up with lawyers to file lawsuits, provide evidence to back up those claims. otherwise, they are just empty words.

        your links to various authorities in no way refute measure results showing the black lung is on the increase.

      • Chris – September 5, 2017 at 10:20 pm

        your links to various authorities in no way refute measure results showing the black lung is on the increase.

        Chris, please tell me, ……. just why in hell should anyone GIVE A DAMN whether or not diagnosed cases of Black Lung are on the rise, ……. increasing?

        Why should anyone actually “give a feces” ……. and I cite your above “comment” as justification for my total lack of concern, to wit:

        So saidith Chris – September 5, 2017 at 12:05 am

        Kentucky has no unionized coal workers. Zero. Company appointed inspectors? Haha, that’s a good one. Please post links of how many mines have shut themselves down in the last 20 years during self inspections. Having an ability to shut down mines over air quality, and having that actually occur are two very different things.

        Chris, if the coal miners in Kentucky are so f’ing stupid, idiotic, imbecilic and/or learning disabled as to continue working in the coal mines when they know for a fact that the air quality therein is extremely dangerous to their health, …… then I don’t have any more concern or sympathy for their diagnosed “health problems” than I do for the health problems of the stupid, idiotic, imbecilic and/or learning disabled meth smokers and cocaine, heroin, etc., addicts.

    • And yet did the recent grid review not say that natural gas competition, not regulation, was responsible for coal plant closing?

      • Regulation weakened coal and fatally wounded it.
        And so let’s not skip over the part about how regulation props up the riduculousy expensive, ineffective and intetmittent falsely named “renewable resources” scam.

      • Grid reviews say a lot of things. Some true, some not. Coal can be exported and is now that Trump is in office. The entire world is not using exclusively natural gas. China and India use a great deal of coal.

      • Like most trolls, Griff isn’t intelligent enough to handle a world in which there is more than one cause for any individual affect.

      • Like most trolls, MarkW isn’t intelligent enough to handle a world in which there is more than one cause for any individual affect.

        A perfect example is AGW. It is not the only cause of a warming climate, natural variation can also contribute to rising temperatures, But MarkW insists that there cannot be more than one significant cause for rising temperatures, it is only natural variation.

      • Chris, you are confused. Natural variation is not causative, either in the singular or plural. Natural variation is simply the shorthand way of describing the, probably many, mechanistic causes which are currently unknown or unexplained but not obviously caused by humans.

      • Poor poor Chris. It actually believes it has said something intelligent.
        FIrst off, natural variation isn’t a single cause, it is hundreds of causes.
        Secnondly, I’ve never denied that CO2 warms the world, I’ve just pointed out that the science shows that it is by an amount that is so small that it isn’t worth worrying about.

      • Michael Hart, yes, I am aware that “natural causes” comprises a number of specific things. But how is it that there is never an effort here on WUWT to dive deeper into natural causes and try to “unpeel the onion” layer by layer to understand the underlying causes? It’s lazy science. As long as there is a general purpose bucket called natural variations, then it can be used to explain away any changes. The temperature jumps by xxC in 30 years – natural variation! The Arctic melts – natural variation! 90% of the world’s glaciers in retreat – natural variation!

        You say “Natural variation is simply the shorthand way of describing the, probably many, mechanistic causes which are currently unknown or unexplained but not obviously caused by humans.”

        What is your proof that these causes are not caused by humans?

  5. This doesn’t really fit with any current thread but is definitely about wasting money on yet another daft and self-defeating green initiative hyped to part fools with their money in the belief that it will save the planet from something or other:
    Green enthusiasts have been insulating their new eco-homes with fashionable eco-friendly wool, which when made into sensible things like clothes does indeed possess excellent insulation qualities. Stuffed into cavity walls it has turned out to be not so good, as those unfortunate enough to have been persuaded to do it are now suffering massive moth infestations – steak for moth larvae. Another to add to the long, long, list of green failures which is costing many thousands and semi-dismantling of houses to possibly fix. Ho hum!

    • MCEA,
      OTOH when my Dad was back from New Guinea fighting the war with Japan, we made a solar hot water system to plans from CSIRO. We used woollen military greatcoats from the surplus store to insulate the hot water holding tank. The design worked like a charm except that the heating was intermittent and uncontrollable for the whims of Nature. This was around 1953. The unreliability lesson shown then was ignored by too many by 2017. Sorrow will result. Geoff.

      • Geoff, in Beijing old fashioned black, passive solar heated hot water tanks are to be seen on second floor rooves in older parts of the city. Apparently, they continue the tradition on modern apartment buildings. Now this is sensible solar. Hot water is a big energy user.

    • In the US, denim is recycled into insulatoin. At one time, newspaper was ground and blown in. The newspaper worked fairly well. The denim is so-so. If it gets wet (it requires a moisture barrier when installed) it stay wet a long time. Eco-friendly in no way means “useful” or “wise choice”. It just raises the price.

    • Two layers of plywood with an air pocket between them is insulation enough for most non-extreme climes, and the lack of potential food/nesting material limits its appeal to verminous species. This comes from my older brother who worked on many home construction sites in Oklahoma and Texas, before the 2008 housing bust forced a career change. He’s a ranch foreman now.

  6. Off topic but possibly interesting:
    San Francisco is experiencing a heatwave, and the local soon is that thus is “proof” of so-called “climate change”.
    My instincts tell me that the temps being experienced are not actually that historic, since this has turned out to be the casevevery other time the claim us made.
    Perhaps a stats analysis of SF temps would be useful. SF is ground zero of lefty hype. And since the increasingly oppressive internet giants are centered there, what these people are believing can have a big impact.

    • I believe it was Mark Twain who once wrote that the coldest winter he ever experienced was a summer in San Francisco.

    • The left coast is warm because very cool air is pushing south into the central US & this causes air to move north there. Simple, common weather synoptics that leftards don’t understand.

    • “San Francisco is experiencing a heatwave, and the local soon is that thus is “proof” of so-called “climate change”.”

      All the heat in the west is proof of is that a high-pressure system is curently over the area, and when a high-pressure system is over an area, the area heats up. The longer the high-pressure system sits over a particular area, the hotter that area will get.

      So the answer to why the heat, is a high-pressure system combined with the length of time it sits over an area. In order to claim the heat is due to CAGW, the CAGW advocates will have to explain how CAGW controls the movement of high-pressure systems. I don’t think they are there yet.

      Here’s a nullschool snapshot of the high-pressure over the western U.S. (the center is marked):

      https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/isobaric/700hPa/orthographic=-104.15,42.81,355/loc=-113.898,38.839

    • Hunter,
      Having lived in Northern California for decades, I can attest that some of the hottest weather regularly occurs in October, and some of the worst fires (Oakland hills) occur in the same month. On the other hand, Mark Twain famously said, “The coldest Winter I have ever experienced was a Summer in San Francisco.” Fog makes all the difference!

    • hunter, I learned a new thing so I guess I have to use it. It’s the Shepard Tone. Continually rising but never going up…

  7. Paying for local education with royalty monies distorts the incentive to properly price that education. Any reduction here will only improve local control..

  8. ‘“Attorney General Becerra and I sued President Trump because his administration broke the law trying to deny New Mexico’s public school students the royalties they are owed,” Balderas said in a statement…’

    Um, is he genuinely referring to the New Mexico’s public school students or, more likely, to the New Mexico public school teacher’s union?

  9. The courts again proving their focus is activism and political idealogy.

    Yet the courts and judges are still regarded as above reproach.

    It’s disgusting.

  10. The stupidity being demonstrated by the Democrats has reached epic proportions.
    Funny that they like to pretend to be “progressive” when their trajectory of stupidity is regressing their existence and advocacy into a a twisted form of a lesser humanity.
    Where does their trek end?
    Where will they arrive and discover their adventure has been a mission of mendacious confusion?
    They are mental vagabonds roaming randomly until they run out of stupidity.

  11. The list of felonious activities perpetrated by the Clintons and their minions is very long. My biggest disappointment with Trump, so far, is his lack of action on these. I will give him more time but the constant attacks on him are probably to keep him from pursuing these and the law loses its meaning if it is not equally applied.

    • Yeah, it sounds like the “fix was in” when it concerns Hillary and former FBI Director Comey. It looks like Comey was making every effort to exonerate Clinton.

      It also looks like Comey was trying to rig the game to Trump’s disadvantage before the election, and after the election. I’m not so sure the Mueller appointment was not a setup. Mueller is supposed to have integrity, but so was Comey, and we see how that turned out. So I guess we’ll see.

      It looks awfully suspicious that Mueller has hired only lawyers who have either donated money to Democrats or have actually worked for the Clinton’s previously, and now Mueller is supposedly getting together with the notorious Attorney General of New York, Sneiderman, who as skeptics know, is not above skirting the law in his political prosecutions.

      The Democrats and the Left are playing hardball. We should be playing hardball, too.

      Trump’s Attorney General needs to get busy. There is an abundance of Democrat corruption and criminality that needs to be investigated.

      • The Democrats and the Left are playing hardball. We should be playing hardball, too.

        TA, you seem to have overlooked the fact that the “old school” Republicans in Congress (Paul Ryan, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, etc., etc,..) are all “hardball playing” buddies of the Congressional Democrats and the Lefties ……. and are all trying to stymie, distort and/or terminate any “changes” proposed by POTUS Trump for aiding in the draining of “the DC Swamp”.

        Don’t ya forget now, ….. the “old school” Republicans got to where they now are ……. by complying with and adhering to the contents/context of “The DC Swamp Book of Rules and Regulations”.

      • “TA, you seem to have overlooked the fact that the “old school” Republicans in Congress (Paul Ryan, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, etc., etc,..) are all “hardball playing” buddies of the Congressional Democrats and the Lefties ……. and are all trying to stymie, distort and/or terminate any “changes” proposed by POTUS Trump for aiding in the draining of “the DC Swamp”.”

        I agree, Samuel. The “we” I was referring to were Trump supporters, not the RINO’s in Congress. We need to play hardball with the RINO’s, too. Which means getting them out of office at the first opportunity and replacing them with someone Coservatively sensible.

      • “People that are coservatively sensible are not good spellers.”

        Either that, or they have old keyboards that don’t always print what is typed, in combination with a fellow who isn’t concerned too much with a misplaced letter or two, figuring the smart people on this website can figure out what was meant.

        But when all you can do is nitpik, that’s all you can do, I guess. You don’t seem to have any other arguments on this website, other than pointing out spelling errors.

        Whatever floats your boat. Have at it.

      • Every now and then we gets us a spell troll, who’s only contribution is to whine that everyone can’t spells as good as it cans.

      • TA, those with the intelligence to refute arguments, try to do so.
        The rest pick nits in order to distract.

      • MarkW September 3, 2017 at 7:57 am
        “TA, those with the intelligence to refute arguments, try to do so.
        The rest pick nits in order to distract.”

        Or call people names……

    • No, the biggest disappointment was because of his big ego, HE had to be the person to say no to the Paris agreement. For ever, this no will be understood by a wide majority to be his personal opinion.

      He should have sent it to the Senate, where even in the current political climate it would have been ruled against, maybe not with the 95-0 against Al Gore’s acceptance of the Kyoto, but with a wide margin.

      This would made it law, not subject to another future exec order, and it would have provided the credibility that unfortunately Trump so far has not been able to collect.

  12. A pyrrhic victory for the coal hating carbon-luddites, similar to Clinton ‘winning’ the pre-election polls but Trump winning the election.

    • Prior to the 2000 election, it looked like Bush might win the popular vote while Gore would win the electoral college.
      When asked about this, Gore’s campaign manager stated that it didn’t matter since if the election had been by popular vote, both teams would have run vastly different campaigns.
      Apparently this guy was the last honest Democrat.

  13. Meanwhile I see Trumps team have decided to halt a $1m study into the effects of “mountain-top” coal mining on the health of people living nearby. What a wonderful strategy by a forward thinking president….. If you don’t like the likely outcome of a study (the truth in other words) ….. you just cancel it. Then it becomes Trump truth. The US is becoming more and more like Soviet Russia by the day.

    • Your comments seem ‘simple’, Simon.
      1. What ‘study’ did Trump cancel? Reference/link please.
      2. You are apparently clairvoyant, as you can see the ‘truth’ in the non-results of a non-study. Amazing…..
      3. Putin doesn’t halt studies. He beats up or kills his political opponents, kinda like Antifa, BLM, and Black Bloc terrorists here in the US.
      4. Just one $65,000 job in an open mining operation provides $1M to a family in 15.4 years. The employment gift that just keeps on giving….
      5. Employment, good paychecks, and healthcare benefits improve the health of the families and communities living nearby.
      6. Unemployment, no jobs, and failing Obamacare destroys the health of families and communities denied viable employment by socialist environmental fanatics.

    • Simon, You can study all you want. Heck you are free to spend your entire lifetime studying. Just don’t expect the American taxpayers to write you a blank check for you to do so. Here’s an idea: Since this is such an important issue for you, go out and organize private industry and private dollars to do this study. It’s a win-win solution.

      • Haha. Great idea. Lets see, get private industry to do a study that stops them making money. That’s gonna work…..

      • Simon, I’m not joking-I’m serious. You really should think about it. There TONS of industries and concerned (some really rich) citizens such as yourself who really care about this. Go for it! Make it happen! But be honest about it. Too many have made a mockery of clean energy by turning it into nothing more than a money grab, an abuse of the system. That behavior turns the ‘movement’ into something selfish and ugly and it makes a lot of people cynical. If you can, do better. Prove that it can be done. (I wish you all the success in the world)

      • witch hunt…. yep…. the great Trump keeps using the phrase, only his hat gets pointier by the day. Wonder what it’s called when the witch hunt finds a witch?

      • “witch hunt…. yep…. the great Trump keeps using the phrase,”

        Yeah, and Trump is correct, it is a witch hunt. Seen any evidence of Trump colluding with anyone? The Deep State has been working real hard to try to find something on Trump but they have come up with nothing. I don’t expect they ever will.

        As soon as the Special Counsel exonerates Trump, the MSM and the Left should offer their apologies for all the lies they spread. Although I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.

        The MSM will keep carping about Trump and conservatives from now until the end of time. What we can hope for is the MSM loses so much of their credibility that noone ever listens to them again. That is a possibility.

        You have to hand it to the American people because even though many millions have been fooled by the lies of the MSM, many millions more have not been fooled. Enough that we managed to get Trump elected. But it was a close thing. We need more millions in our corner, but the bumbling Republican Senate and to a lesser extent the House, are not winning any converts. It’s time for them to get the job they promised to do, done. They have 12 days.

    • @ Simon – September 2, 2017 at 11:51 am

      Meanwhile I see Trumps team have decided to halt a $1m study into the effects of “mountain-top” coal mining on the health of people living nearby.

      Simon, betcha you and a lot of other are totally ignorant of the fact that the 1st ever “mountain-top removal” construction in West Virginia coal country was what is now known as Yeager Airport, named in honor of then-Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, to wit:

      The city started construction in 1944; the airport opened in 1947 as Kanawha Airport and American Airlines flights started in December.” Read more @ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yeager_Airport

      Yup, they cut all the brush and timber and then “pushed” two mountain tops together, filling in the ravine and creating the airport infrastructure. And there were 100,000+- residents of Kanawha County and the City of Charleston at the time of said construction and I don’t believe anyone suffered any “ill health” conditions.

      Mountain-top Removal permitted the construction of this airport. http://www.wvgazettemail.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/storyimage/CH/20150312/DM05/150319672/EP/1/4/EP-150319672.jpg

      Much of the present day “health of WV” is dependent upon that long ago MTR project.

      • @ Mark S Johnson

        Mark SJ, …… I thank you for your response to my above post, …….. but, …… your cited News article “calamity” was not addressing anything associated with the original MTR construction that occurred in 1944-1947.

        A better comprehension and/or understanding of the contents of the article you cited would have been beneficial in aiding your ability at composing your posted commentary, ……. to wit:

        Excerpted from your cited article:

        After the airport noticed the cracks in 2013, officials contacted Triad Engineering, the firm that designed the runway expansion project, according to accounts provided by Yeager and Triad. S&S Engineering, another firm involved with the construction project, also surveyed the area.

  14. “Health effects” on people living nearby?
    Is there any actual evidence that there might be a problem?
    Or was this just a delaying tactic?

    PS Who (names please) would be getting paid $1m to do the “study”?

  15. “Apparently, they continue the tradition on modern apartment buildings. ”

    So Gary P how many modern apartment buildings did you see in China with solar hot water systems?

    I would estimate solar hot water systems are economical with cheap labor and four story apartments. Saw some of those is rural China. I have no idea if they are still being used.

    Modern apartment buildings in China are much taller so the roof area would be inadequate to serve tenants.

    Out hot water heater in China was electric.

  16. Grand staircase and bears ears both locked up huge swaths of Utah public lands that could have been developed with royalties going to utah public education budgets.

    Clinton and Obama didn’t care about utah schools, and still don’t. Bears ears is such a joke, a formation spanning a few dozen acres with another million acres locked up around it.

    Where were all the lawsuits to stop Obama? It’s sick how Obama did so many things by executive order, but as soon as trump tries to undo them with an executive order the lawsuits start flying.

  17. “….“backup” for when the wind stops blowing and the sun doesn’t shine…..”
    Edit
    “backup” for when the wind stops blowing and [where] sun doesn’t shine.

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