EPA Targets Oil and Gas Industry With Methane Regs + More – Daily Digest

Posted on Wed 08/19/2015 by

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THE FOUNDATION

“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men.” —John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

TOP RIGHT HOOKS

EPA Targets Oil and Gas Industry With Methane Regs

Money up in smoke.

Doesn’t the Environmental Protection Agency have better things to do like, oh, cleaning up a Colorado river? The EPA has taken aim at the scourge of methane gas emitted during oil and gas drilling, proposing a rule that would require the oil and gas industry to reduce methane gas emissions by 40-45% of 2012 levels by 2025. It’s a stunning example of government incompetence, as the rule disregards human motivation and the EPA’s own data on the subject of methane emissions. First, methane is natural gas. Natural gas is energy. For an energy company, energy is money. As Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw notes, “Any methane that escapes the well is literally money floating away into the air. … Believe me, if the drilling companies can get the methane emission levels down to zero … they’re going to do it and it won’t be to make the EPA happy.” Furthermore, the EPA admits that the oil and gas industry has been the driving force in reducing the nation’s methane production. The biggest human-caused culprit driving the rise of methane to the heavens is enteric fermentation — a.k.a. cow farts. (Not to worry: environmentalists have a plan for that too.) But the EPA goes after the energy industry because it fits its propaganda regarding man-made global warming.

It Was Called ‘Operation Wetback’

Clearly, not everyone is a fan of Donald Trump’s immigration plan. The Wall Street Journal, for example, is always eager to hammer the “nativists” and “restrictionists” who don’t buy into the Chamber of Commerce line on immigration. Of Trump’s plan, the Journal’s editorial board opined, “Trump’s [plan] may finally smoke out a real immigration debate within the GOP. Many restrictionists have claimed only to oppose immigrants who break the law in coming to the U.S. Now we’ll see how many join Mr. Trump in calling for mass deportation and walling off America to all newcomers. The last time Republicans tried this, in the 1920s, they alienated immigrant groups like the Irish and Italians for decades until Ronald Reagan won them back. If they want to lose in 2016, they’ll follow Mr. Trump’s anti-immigrant siren.” Actually, the last time Republicans proposed and executed a mass deportation strategy was not the 1920s, but in 1954 under Dwight Eisenhower. And it worked. In the first year of “Operation Wetback,” there were 1,078,168 apprehensions and deportations. In the following years there were 250,000 and smaller numbers over each of the next 10 years. Clearly, nothing using the word “wetback” would be palatable in our politically correct era, and there are certainly legitimate arguments to be made for otherwise handling illegals who’ve been here for a long time. But somebody needs to do their research.

Tuskegee Airman Robbed, Carjacked by Black Thugs

Black lives matter, right? Not to some blacks. According to St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI, “A 93-year-old Tuskegee Airman had his car stolen and was robbed in two separate incidents on Sunday night.” The good news is he wasn’t hurt. The perpetrators were all black, and both incidents took place just a few miles from infamous Ferguson. First, the victim got lost trying to get to his daughter’s home. One suspect approached the car, got in, took some cash from the veteran’s pocket, jumped into another car and fled. The victim drove to the intersection where he last saw the suspect and got out of his car to ask two other black men for help. So they stole his car. Fortunately, the car was recovered two days later. Fox interviewed some residents who were none too pleased with “out of control” crime in the neighborhood. One man gave some solid advice: “Find something constructive to do other than rob old people.” Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals immediately began raising money to help the victim, and they’re also giving the World War II vet a “VIP experience” with free tickets and a field pass — including an offer to make the first pitch — in an upcoming game.

FEATURED RIGHT ANALYSIS

Scott Walker’s ObamaCare Replacement

By Nate Jackson

Step one: Repeal ObamaCare. Step two: Replace it with market reforms. That, in a nutshell, is what Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposed Tuesday in releasing his presidential campaign’s “Day One Patient Freedom Plan.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because Republicans have been wrestling with the “Well, what would you do?” question for six years.

“ObamaCare cannot be fixed. It must be repealed and replaced with a plan that returns power to consumers and the states,” Walker says on his campaign website.

The basics are, well, basic. Rather than mandate everyone buy insurance and then tax them if they don’t, a la ObamaCare, Walker’s plan hinges on tax credits for people whose employers don’t provide health insurance. And the credits are based on age, not income — while kids under 17 would net a credit of $900, adults between 50 and 64 would receive $3,000.

The Wall Street Journal explains, “This is an important change from ObamaCare’s income-based subsidies. As they phase out, income-based subsidies create high marginal tax rates on the next dollar of income that contribute to a poverty trap. A universal credit is fairer and smooths out these labor-market distortions.”

Some conservatives, however, argue these tax credits are merely another expensive and unfunded entitlement.

Walker would also nearly double the annual contribution limits for tax-free health savings accounts (HSAs), which help consumers control what they spend, as well as offer a $1,000 tax credit to those who sign up for an HSA.

The governor would reform Medicaid into three distinct programs — one for needy families, one for disabled and poor seniors, and a third for long-term health needs. He’d also permit people to buy insurance in groups not defined by employment, allow for purchasing insurance across state lines and pursue tort reform.

“It’s all about freedom,” Walker said in Minnesota. “Putting freedom back in the hands of patients and families to make decisions about your health care and about your money.”

His plan is essentially a “tax cut of about a trillion dollars,” he said. “That’s probably about one of the biggest … pro-growth, economic development tax relief plans we’ve had in the past 40 years. That’s going to have a dynamic and important impact on the nation’s economy.”

He’s absolutely right that reforms based on the free market will do far better than Barack Obama’s centralized control, and objections about the cost of his plan should take into account removing the massive economic and tax burden of ObamaCare. But Walker also aims to achieve reform without pulling the rug out from anyone and while offering a wider appeal. One such concession is a provision protecting people from being denied insurance over pre-existing conditions. Like it or not, such a practical approach will almost surely be necessary.

As the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein put it, “Walker’s presidential campaign rejected an ideologically purer alternative in favor of a plan that he hopes will prove more politically viable by extending coverage to a wider cross-section of people than rival Republican plans.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan, for example, offers a standard tax deduction rather than the age-based credits. Fewer low-income families could take full advantage of such a plan, though it is the more limited-government idea.

Certainly imperfect, Walker’s plan is still quite good all around — particularly given the political and economic reality any reform has to take into account. As we have said before in noting similar Republican reform ideas from Senators Tom Coburn, Orrin Hatch and Richard Burr, ObamaCare has moved the political baseline for health care policy, and any effort at moving policy back to the Right will require accounting for that reality before changing it.

Finally, space doesn’t permit a full review, but Marco Rubio was actually ahead of Walker in offering his own good reform this week — which largely reiterated his earlier proposal.

To perhaps oversimplify, the biggest difference between the two plans is that Rubio would use increasing tax credits to phase out the employer-based health insurance system over the next decade. That’s probably more ideal than Walker’s credits, but also a heavier lift. Rubio also proposes Medicare reform — essentially the Paul Ryan proposal of leaving current seniors untouched but moving to a premium support model. Walker doesn’t address Medicare at all.

In short, 2016 is shaping up to have a robust debate over real conservative prescriptions to cure the chronic disease known as ObamaCare.

TODAY AT PATRIOTPOST.US

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more, visit Right Opinion.

TOP HEADLINES

OPINION IN BRIEF

Arnold Ahlert: “For the last few years the promise of electing America’s first black president has given way to the reality that race relations have actually taken a turn for the worse. While some of the grievances that have emerged have been legitimate, there is little doubt that the ‘fundamental transformation of America’ demanded by the Left and their media allies requires the elevation of a narrative over America’s historical record. … What have black Americans gotten from Democrats for their unwavering support over the last 50 years? How about an egregious learning gap in public schools, courtesy of a Democrat/education union symbiosis that protects the odious status quo? Or the utter destruction of the nuclear family, courtesy of LBJ’s Great Society and its change in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program? … When something isn’t working, it is often a good idea to reexamine one’s premises. Perhaps it is time black Americans reexamined their belief that Democrats, and only Democrats, are looking out for their best interests. That reexamination begins with the simplest of questions: Why hasn’t 50-plus years of loyalty yielded little more than the very same discontent that arose in the 1960s? Hint: One definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities.” —Alan Bloom (1930-1992)

Village Idiots: “[N]o matter who is elected to be president, that person will not be able to address the enormous problems facing the working families of our country. They will not be able to succeed because the power of corporate America, the power of Wall Street, the power of campaign donors is so great that no president alone can stand up to them. … [T]hat is why what this campaign is about is saying loudly and clearly: It is not just about elected Bernie Sanders for president, it is about creating a grassroots political movement in this country.” —Bernie Sanders

Braying Jenny: “I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate.” —Hillary Clinton telling the Black Lives Matter crowd how it’s going to be

Intraparty dissent: “[W]e have now abandoned our long-held policy of preventing nuclear proliferation and are now embarked, not on preventing nuclear proliferation, but on managing or containing it — which leaves us with a far less desirable, less secure and less certain world order. So, I am deeply concerned that this is a significant shift in our nonproliferation policy, and about what it will mean in terms of a potential arms race in an already dangerous region.” —Sen. Bob Menendez announcing his opposition to Obama’s Iran nuclear deal

Late-night humor: “There are reports that if Joe Biden runs for president, he would promise to serve for only one term — because nothing says confidence like promising your presidency would be over quickly.” —Jimmy Fallon

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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