10 things to know today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:
AP Wire
Sep 13, 2013



The secretary of state rejects a Syrian pledge to turn over information rather than Damascus' chemical weapons.


A massive fire engulfs dozens of businesses along an iconic Jersey shore boardwalk that spread from Seaside Park, N.J., to Seaside Heights.


Heavy rains send water cascading down mountainsides, cutting off remote towns, forcing the University of Colorado to close and leaving at least three dead.


A jihadist from Alabama who liked to rap and was on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorist list was killed by al-Qaida-linked rivals in Somalia.


The popular short messaging service was able seal its filing with the SEC because it made less than $1 billion in revenue its last fiscal year.


Launched 36 years ago, the spacecraft escapes the sun's influence and is now cruising 11 1/2 billion miles away in interstellar space.


Women make up a larger share of workers in fields that have been hiring — retail, health care, restaurants and hotels.


California's minimum wage would rise to $10 an hour within three years under a bill that is all but certain to head to Gov. Jerry Brown.


Passengers reported buying tickets for $5 to $10 before United Airlines shut down the bookings on its website and phone centers.


Defending FedEx Cup champion Brandt Snedeker cards an 8-under 63 to lead the third leg of the PGA Tour playoffs.




11.) A new report out shows that total energy use per dollar of goods produced is down, as are gasoline use per mile driven, cost of energy services (from lighting to refrigeration) and greenhouse gases emitted. These reductions are saving hundreds of billions of dollars every year. They are helping American workers and companies compete worldwide. And they are making our country more secure. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/1...


This is not a "new report" - it is an editorial written by an environmental activist from the Natural Resources Defense Fund, praising Obama as part of a nationwide effort by activists to build public opinion in support of President Obama's climate change plan. http://www.bna.com/environmental...

It uses some cherry picked statistics but more tellingly, fails to acknowledge the cause and effect of unbelievably high unemployment, huge numbers of people who have dropped out of the workforce, and a stagnant economy on the consumption of oil, gas and electric. Who is surprised that people are driving less and conserving electricity, that companies are using less energy, when they are forced to because they can't afford to do what they used to do?

At the same time, the editorial doesn't note that production of American oil and gas on federal lands has significantly decreased under Obama thus increasing our reliance on foreign oil (hello Middle East chaos), and has refused to build the Keystone Pipeline bringing in clean oil from our neighbors in Canada, costing jobs and forcing the Canadians to sell to China.

This is all part of a push to get people to agree to Obama's bypassing our elected representatives in Congress through unconstitutional "executive actions", killing the coal industry and raising energy costs.

Don't be fooled by the liberals and supporters of Obama who place these stories in local papers as part of the push from environmental extremists.


Oh my you! In your haste to write a scathing rebuttal, I fear you have overestimated my motivations in giving my link. With all the seriously negative and depressing news lately, I thought the fact that the US has made great strides in energy conservation in the last several years was a Good Thing. Obama and climate change weren't even a blip on my consciousness at the time, as, frankly, Obama does not have the greatest track record for the past five years on climate change, being busy saving capitalism after the 2007-09 Great Recession.

'Government data indicate that our energy-saving efforts already have yielded some amazingly good news. Our factories and businesses are producing substantially more products and value with less energy, which goes to the heart of the president’s climate strategy. In fact, energy use in the United States has been dropping since 2007, and last year’s total was below the 1999 level, even though the economy grew by more than 25 percent from 1999 to 2012, adjusted for inflation.'

Ahem - You'll note the final statement about how the economy grew by more than 25% from 1999 to 2012. I'm hearing that people are actually driving MORE these days, buying record numbers of cars and trucks - especially more gas-efficient models, and both businesses and households are embracing energy-saving efficiencies. Meanwhile, I'm not aware that SUV's, incandescent light bulbs, or any other high energy consuming product has been pulled from the marketplace. You'll have to fill me in on that.

Your next two paragraphs are so full of fallacies that I hesitate to even address them, thinking you must have been in a good mood and trying to make a funny. But, in case this wasn't an attempt at high comedy:

* US crude oil imports are at their lowest in 17 years.

* Domestic crude oil production is the highest in 22 years.

* Domestic drilling/fracking is at record highs.

* 'Any increase in production of natural gas on federal lands is likely to be easily outpaced by increases on non-federal lands, particularly because shale plays are primarily situated on non-federal lands and is where most of the growth in production is projected to occur'. http://energycommerce.house.gov/...

* 1,500 coal mining jobs have been created under Obama.

* US Oil/Gas production is at all-time levels and for the first time ever the US is exporting more oil/gas than importing.

To pivot to another topic, you'll have seen the headlines this morning that the US and Russia have come to a diplomatic agreement on Syria. Please don't be too upset that once again my prediction has been realized - Obama stood his ground and has achieved the highly desired result of a peaceful settlement while establishing a new standard for a military engagement of the world's only remaining super power.

Of course, don't mope too much - the whole thing could still turn into a sh!tshow, and there is plenty of potential you could collect on your bets.

Tri-cities realist

I don't have the time now to fact check, but 25% growth in 13 years is pretty lame, we are capable of doing better.

Also aren't incandescent bulbs set to phase out soon due to EPA mandate?


I don't have any measures to gauge 25% rate of growth, but when you consider 2-3 years of that 13 years included a severe recession and major contraction of the economy, 25% doesn't seem too shabby.

Traditional incandescents will phase out in a few years, not due to an EPA mandate, but.....YES! Legislation signed by Bush in 2007!

In a spirit of bending over backwards to show my open-mindedness re: sources, I have chosen, for the first time ever, a rather good Foxnews.com references: 'One of the biggest myths about the phaseout plan is that it targets traditional filament-based bulbs, but what it really does is impose higher energy efficiency standards on all lighting options. In 2011, Philips debuted its EcoVantage line, an incandescent bulb that is up to 30 percent more energy efficient than traditional bulbs. These halogen-based bulbs, which cost just a little more than traditional bulbs, produce the same warm light that consumers have come to expect from incandescents, but last three times longer and meet the new energy-efficiency standards.'

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2...

Some of the foxnews information regarding CFL's is really not timely. There have been many improvements since the early bulbs - no delay when turned on; 'warmer' glow; cheaper; last longer, etc.

If you have time, check out this Part 2 of a 2-part series that goes into more detail on the highly successful CFL bulb saga.



Way to throw up the smoke and mirrors!

1. Is it a "New Report" or "an editorial written by an environmental activist from the Natural Resources Defense Fund, praising Obama as part of a nationwide effort by activists to build public opinion in support of President Obama's climate change plan. http://www.bna.com/environmental..." as I stated?

2. Cherry picking: " In fact, energy use in the United States has been dropping since 2007, and last year’s total was below the 1999 level, even though the economy grew by more than 25 percent from 1999 to 2012, adjusted for inflation.' Why go back to 1999, 9 years before Obama, and then only compare to 2007 - let's see the economy growth from when Obama was elected to present, and the lower energy use from that same point? Because they don't show what he wants us to believe.

3. Is Obama killing the coal industry? Your 1,500 jobs figure is only one state (West Virgina) and caused by an increase in subsurface mining, which takes more miners, over surface mining, which has been limited by environmental regulations. Obama is closing down coal fired refineries and thereby costing thousands of jobs, which is what he promised he would do.

"Start with a proposed regulation under the Clean Air Act that’s set to be finalized in November. The Utility MACT (“Maximum Achievable Control Technology”) rule seeks to cut US power plants’ emissions of mercury from 29 tons a year to just five. Yet EPA itself estimates that cutting even as much as 41 tons out of total emissions of 105 tons “is unlikely to substantially affect total risk.”

For zero benefit, the Utility MACT is one of the most expensive federal regulations ever. In comments submitted to the EPA, Unions for Jobs and the Environment, an alliance of unions representing more than 3.2 million workers, estimated that this needless regulation would jeopardize 251,000 jobs." http://nypost.com/2011/08/10/oba...

Obama: "“So if someone wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them.” Did he lie or did he keep his promise?

4. Has Obama increased or decreased the production of oil on public lands? And the reduction of foreign imports does not make us energy independent, which utilizing all of our natural resources and building the Keystone Pipeline would in the future. Let;s not obfuscate and equivocate.

The agreement you noted is an unsigned "Framework" which has no force and effect, a commitment "to prepare and submit in the next few days to the Executive Council of the OPCW a draft decision setting down special procedures for expeditious destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program and stringent verification thereof." I note that it sets the completion of removal and destruction of all chemical weapons "in the first half of 2014." Want to bet on that date? Want to bet that the Russians and Syrians will still demand other U.S. concessions, like stopping arming the rebels? I'll take that bet any day.Pray tell, when will we see the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons inventory?

How's this part of your "agreement" "The United States and the Russian Federation note that there are details in furtherance of the execution of this framework that need to be addressed on an expedited basis in the coming days and commit to complete these details, as soon as practicable."?

No moping here, just saddened that Obama has brought the United States of America to such a low point in respect worldwide, and how his "red line" has morphed into "It's not my red line" to "unbelievably small military action" to a certain loss in Congress, to an inablility to gain any allies for his military action, to letting Putin jump on a Kerry gaffe and become the peacemaker, to an uncertain framework that will continue to let Assad murder his citizens with conventional weapons, adding to the hundred thousand he has already killed. I'm also saddened that otherwise intelligent Americans, blinded by Obama-love, consider this a "Victory,"


Talk about buzz kill! Your propensity to pronounce my carefully-crafted comments as 'smoke and mirrors' reminds me of one of your colleagues' profundities - "If ands and buts were candy and nuts, every day would be Christmas". John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

1.) And what in the Sam Hill does this matter?

2.) Maybe this will satisfy your urge for cherry-picking: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy...

3.) See above chart that shows steady growth in the coal industry through 2035, presumably long after Obama is president.

4.) "Obfuscate and equivocate"? Pinkie up! The 'report' link I provided couldn't be clearer - please reread.

5.) See Washington Post link below. Speaking of obfuscating and equivocating, I still am not clear on just how you think Obama should have handled the Syrian thing - bomb or no? Diplomacy or no? You just seem he11-bent on damming Obama no matter what. Please elucidate, if you actually have any thoughts other than critiques or quoting Groundswell crib sheets.


10 Channeling Hillary on Benghazi?

2,3,4) (1) I don't believe the EPA's B.S. statistics; (2) the chart itself has a proviso that states it is based on existing laws and regulations - EPA continues to tinker with the MACT Utility and Boiler regulations, it has rules in the works limiting surface mining, and a huge one impacting coal ash. Here is a detailed, authoritative analysis of the war on the economy, that includes details on the war on coal, on a state by state basis. http://www.alec.org/docs/Economy...

5) In response to your question regarding how Obama should have handled the Syrian "thing" I again posit he should have adopted the Sarah Palin approach "Let Allah sort it out."


Everything is a 'war' with you - you should consider Sarah's admonishment in a general sense.

* Coal Mining - There is activity in Kentucky, where it is badly needed....'Coal operator plans to open 7 mines in eastern Ky.; coal headed to China'.

* Oil drilling in the Gulf - 'Gulf’s $1.5 trillion oil wildcat play marks post-spill drilling 'renaissance'

US oil output is rising in no small part because of a major deep-water oil play that turned the Gulf of Mexico’s drilling fortunes from bust to boom. http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/201...


1. I would be pleased to consider Sarah's advice and let God straighten our affairs out rather than Obama and his left wing administration.

2. Coal Mining - The second paragraph of your link provides the salient fact:

Bill Smith said most of the coal extracted by his High Ridge Mining operation in Pike County will be shipped to China to help fuel its economy.

"We plan on mining a million tons a year," Smith said recently."

3. Oil drilling in the Gulf - That is indeed good news that I was not aware of - if the government continues to approve permits for new wells, that seem to be lagging somewhat, it will be a step toward energy independence. Kudos to big oil and private enterprise, and to the Obama administration for allowing the drilling. (see, no war).


1. Roger that.

2. See below.

3. See #1


STAR DRECK: EPA plans to shut down coal plants by requiring they use technology from the future that has yet to be invented

Mr. Peabody, does the Wayback Machine have a setting for the year 2030 http://www.freeenterprise.com/en...?

This past spring, EPA pulled its first attempt at a greenhouse gas emission standard for new power plants, fearing it was so draconian that it wouldn't stand up in a federal court...
The Washington Post reports that the agency is about to take a second stab at stacking the deck against new coal-fired power plants:

According to those familiar with the new EPA proposal, the agency will keep the carbon limit for large natural gas plants at 1,000 pounds but relax it slightly for smaller gas plants. The standard for coal plants will be as high as 1,300 or 1,400 pounds per megawatt hour.

However, the average coal plant emits 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, meaning new plants will need carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology--something that is a long way from being viable. Jeffrey Holmstead, who represents coal-fired power plant owners and is a former EPA official in the President George W. Bush administration, told the Post, “As a practical matter, this means that the new proposal will still stop any new coal-fired power plants for the foreseeable future.”

The International Energy Agency doesn't expect CCS technology to be routinely used by power generators until 2030. That’s years away. In the meantime, we need to continue improving the efficiency of current coal-fired technology and continue investing in CCS research instead of writing off an abundant and economical energy source. http://www.washingtonpost.com/na...

The only campaign promise that President Obama appears to have kept with was his 2008 pledge to make "electricity prices necessarily skyrocket".

"Under my plan of a cap and trade system, the price of electricity would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was... [t]hey will pass that money on to consumers." --Barack Obama, 1 November 2008

He can run, he can hide, he can evade, he can blame Bush and James Buchanan. But this is one campaign promise Barack Obama actually followed through with. And you. Ain't. Seen. Nothing. Yet.


Ok - The pleasant interlude of comparing Pootie Poot with Obama is kaput. War has re-commenced. I will base my comment on the premise that surely you understand the degree of pollutants that are emitted from US coal-fired power plants. In fact, of the country's 6,000 coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, wind, and solar electric-generating facilities, a small sub-group of mostly coal-fired power generators produces more than its share of the nation’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions compared with the electricity it produces, the report found. The "50 dirtiest" power plants generated nearly 33 percent of the US power sector's carbon dioxide emissions in 2011 but only about 16 percent of its electricity.

Secondly, surely you understand that Obama did not invent, instigate, create, or promise the concept of the EPA, the Clean Air Act, or carbon emissions. Actually, he can blame Bush - Bush Senior, that is. We have to go back to George H.W. Bush to get the Full Monty:
'Clean Air Act regulations are long-overdue. George H.W. Bush's EPA administrator acknowledged that the Obama administration inherited several court-mandated rules from previous administrations, calling them "grenades" that required action. For instance, this timeline put together by energy giant Dynegy shows that the Mercury and Air Toxics rule issued under the Obama administration underwent a "thorough and lengthy development process." The 1990 Clean Air Act amendments required that the EPA study mercury and other emissions. In 2005, the EPA issued its final rule for controlling mercury that the Bush administration's own lawyers reportedly said would "almost certainly be reversed" by the courts. After the courts indeed reversed it, the burden of complying with the requirement to regulate mercury fell to the Obama administration.'

In denial about the health impact and subsequent economic impact on the population?
'These health impacts have huge economic costs. After studying 406 coal-fired power plants in the U.S., the National Academy of Sciences concluded in 2009 that they were causing approximately $62 billion in societal damages, not including their contribution to climate change. The vast majority of damages were related to adverse health effects, but the report found that coal plants also do harm to agriculture and outdoor recreation.'

'But coal plants are not paying for these costs. Two economists, including one who spoke at the right-wing Heartland Institute's conference on climate change, published a study in the prestigious American Economic Review finding that the gross external damages (GED), or the amount of external costs that an industry imposes on society through pollution and other harm, was higher for coal-fired power plants than for any other industry, and that these plants "are responsible for more than one-fourth of GED from the entire US economy." As the GED costs of the coal power industry were greater than the value it added to the economy, the study concluded that coal may actually be "underregulated" -- and therefore only superficially "cheap."


Forget about Obama, cap and trade, climate change, and Republican spin. This is much too serious of a problem, on many levels, to debase it as some Obama plot to take down the power plant industry.


I don't expect a whole lot of folks to grasp what the EPA is doing, and on what bases, but I expected more of people like you who are capable of doing your own research and reaching your own conclusions.

Unfortunately, when you dip your beak into the Cool-Aid, you don't sip, you chug, just like the low information voters.

Starting with the new MACT rules, which are targeted at removing mercury from power plant emissions, they are estimated to cost 9.6 BILLION dollars by EPA itself, but the benefit is to stop the reduction of pre-natal (you know, those things liberals abort) I.Q. levels. The EPA bases the necessity for its rule reducing
methylmercury emissions from coalfired power plants, on its claim that it will improve the health of a truly niche population: the
unborn children of pregnant, subsistence fisherwomen who consume more than 225 pounds of self caught fish exclusively from
90th percentile most polluted bodies of inland freshwater. It will not have perceptible health impacts on other population groups. Of course, this population doesn't exist in the United States, but if it did EPA computer models say if it did, it could be harmful.

Regarding the founding of the EPA, it was under your favorite, Richard Nixon, under "Executive Action" : officially opening on December 2, 1970. The EPA’s outlays for 1971, its first full year of operation, were $701 million. The EPA’s 2011 outlays were $10.722 billionand in 2011 it employed 20,610 full time equivalent workers. Talk about mission creep!

Regarding your $62 Billion in economic damages, if you go to the report you will note that it includes billions caused by heating our homes and businesses, and motor vehicles produced $56 billion in health and other nonclimate-related damages. Maybe we should go all total environmental and shiver in our homes and walk where ever we need to go, since horses, we are told, also pollute Mother Earth. It is estimated the cost of EPA regulations are $353 billion per year.

This is just like cigarettes - if coal is so dangerous, so damaging to people and the environment, why not just ban it and stop nickel and diming it to death while collecting huge fees, fines, and taxes from power plants? Let's do the right thing by humanity and Gaia.

Government command and control baby, that's what this is all about.


1.) The anti-EPA agenda is largely being driven by the big-bucks conservative activists, such as the Koch brothers and Tea Party bankroller and former Representative Dick Armey. Armey penned a recent op-ed for FoxNews.com. The Wonk Room reports that David Koch met with John Boehner on his very first day as Speaker of the House to express his beef with the EPA.

2.) In an ongoing effort to forestall carbon regulations, the new Republican House is agitating to cripple the Environmental Protection Agency. Newt Gingrich went so far as to call for the agency to be scrapped. A bill written by Fred Upton, the new chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and notorious climate denier James Inhofe would stop short of axing the agency, but would repeal its authority to regulate greenhouse gases and grant states like California waivers to impose stricter emission standards than the federal government.

But a recent poll conducted by ORC International found that the voters don't support these efforts. Just 25 of those interviewed in late January backed Gingrich's plan to abolish the EPA; 67 percent opposed it. Perhaps even more telling, when asked about eight actions Congress could take this year, providing incentives for renewable power garnered more support (83 percent) than anything else.

3.) Indeed, the a World Resources Institute analysis concludes, "there is extensive literature showing that the costs of environmental regulations are more than offset by a broad range of economic, public health and jobs-related benefits." Over the 10-year period starting October 1, 1999, the Office of Management and Budget estimated that EPA regulations cost the nation $26-29 billion. Their benefits, however, saved between $82 and $533 billion. In other words, their benefits outpaced their costs by at least a factor of three, and possibly by a factor of 20.

4.) The EPA program to limit sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, cut levels of the pollutant to 35 percent what they were in 1976 at a mere fourth of the cost the agency projected. Of course, affected industries bandied about numbers that wildly exceeded official estimates to back their claims that the regulation would put them out of business.


Ideological command and control baby, that's what this is all about.


I stand by my comment. Saving a non-existent computer modeled population of pregnant fisherwomen to justify the imposition of $9.6 billion cost on Americans and the American economy is a perfect example of the perfidy that characterizes the EPA.

Using statistics on the costs of coal that include the costs of heating our homes and businesses, and driving our cars,and trucks, is a perfect example of the meaninglessness of such statistics.

Sorry, I just won't accept being wrapped in the statist liberal cocoon - you can have it all to yourself.


Ok Vlad. You can harrumph over a silly factoid about pregnant fisherwomen that is so obscure I can find no mention of it to substantiate other than some weird website that features Fantasy Porn ads.

You might find the EPA to be deceitful all you want, but I take comfort in the fact that both you and I, and our family and friends, whether they be leftists or staunch conservatives, are breathing cleaner air, drinking cleaner water, and just generally living better lives because of it.

Growing up, I played and swam in creeks that progressively became so polluted we had to push away thick, orangey foam before diving in, and a Great Lake that was declared officially dead. They are infinitely less-polluted now, thanks to the EPA.

And you should consider that cocoon - no shivering in here, nice and warm, where awesome things are hatched.


I don't know where your computer is taking you, but the link is to the Competitive Enterprise Institute "The Competitive Enterprise Institute is a non-profit public policy organization dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty. Our mission is to promote both freedom and fairness by making good policy good politics. We make the uncompromising case for economic freedom because we believe it is essential for entrepreneurship, innovation, and prosperity to flourish."

If you need other links, see http://www.americanthinker.com/2..., which also has a link to an organization of nearly 2,000 state legislators at the nation’s largest nonpartisan, individual membership association.


Googling "EPA pregnant fisherwomen 9.6 billion", I get the following site: http://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyNET.exe. It is a detailed EPA study that I think might contain the information on those fisherwomen, and the source of this ridiculous myth being bantered about. Problem is I can't bring up the page (out of 400+ pages). Would you have time/talent to bring it up?

By the way, lest you think I've totally lost my mind, this is the site I previously referred to:



http://www.epa.gov/ttn/atw/utili... See pp. 17, 51 among others.

See also http://www.globalwarming.org/201... for readability.


Diolch i chi!


Rydych yn croesawu (?)


Fy bleser!


oíche mhaith


On your "Checkmate" 'propaganda' I offer you a rational and accurate assessment of Obama's performance on Syria, with humor: http://www.nationalreview.com/no...


Meeoooww! What drivel. Apparently Steyn would rather the US bomb the living daylights out of Syria, since he's a self-proclaimed human-rights activist....but wait...And, of course, he's Canadian (like his colleague Ted Cruz).

The best thing I got from this is....'the audacity of Vlad'. I'm sure I can make good use of this in future.


I prefer this one: http://www.washingtonpost.com/bl...

3 guesses which one I choose?


None of the above? Here is an adult analysis of Obama's smart diplomacy: http://www.theatlantic.com/inter...


Hmmmm....you'd have better luck with your guess work pulling out the ouija board.

Perhaps this morning meditation madrigal will help in the assessment of Obama's smart diplomacy ....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-...


It's amazing what I learn from the two of you.

Tanks for all the liberal edukation Lan;-p

Thanks for the conservative education Vlad;-)



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