PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – “Green” Energy, an Environmental Disaster + More evidence of deep state collaboration with CNN on the Steele dossier

Powerline John Hinderaker at HoaxAndChange

PowerLine -> John Hinderaker – “Green” Energy, an Environmental Disaster + More evidence of deep state collaboration with CNN on the Steele dossier

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Powerline image at HoaxAndChange

Daily Digest

  • “Green” Energy, an Environmental Disaster
  • More evidence of deep state collaboration with CNN on the Steele dossier
  • The Power Line Show, Ep. 71: A Hard Look at Hard Power
  • University Suicide Watch, Chapter 5
  • The Obamas move upstream
“Green” Energy, an Environmental Disaster

Posted: 22 May 2018 04:36 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)One of the worst features of both wind and solar energy is that they are terrible for the environment. Land-based wind turbines are bad enough, but offshore installations are a fiasco waiting to happen. Steve Goreham writes at Watts Up With That?

Several eastern US states are planning major investments in offshore wind. Wind turbines are touted as clean, green, and economically sound. But experience from around the world shows that offshore wind systems are both expensive and at high risk for early system degradation.

The governors of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia have signed executive orders or passed laws to procure offshore wind systems valued at billions of dollars. Officials are eager to win leadership in what is perceived to be a new growth industry. The US Department of Energy has funded over $200 million in offshore wind research since 2011.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a law in 2016 requiring utilities to purchase 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind systems over the next 10 years.

It is remarkable that the heavy hand of government has lined up behind such a risky technology.

Ocean-located turbines face one of the harshest environments on Earth. Turbines are battered by wind and waves, struck by lightning, and need to endure salt spray that is very corrosive to man-made structures.

In February, it was reported that Danish wind operator Ørsted must repair more than 600 wind turbines due to early blade failure. The blades are to be disassembled and brought to shore for repair after only five years of operation, at a cost on the order of $100 million.

Then in March, it was announced that wind turbines at the 175-turbine London Array, the world’s largest offshore wind system, would also need major repairs after only five years of use. Few offshore systems have made it to the end their specified 25-year lifetimes without a major overhaul.

Wind turbines sited off the eastern US coast must survive brutal weather compared to offshore turbines in Europe. From March 1 to March 22 of this year, four powerful extratropical cyclones, called nor’easters, battered our east coast from Virginia to Maine. These storms produced ocean storm surges, large snowfalls, wind gusts of up to 100 miles per hour, and even 20 tornados.

Specifications call for wind systems to withstand gusts up to 156 miles per hour, but this isn’t good enough for some of our Atlantic hurricanes.

Meanwhile, wind energy is ridiculously expensive:

[H]istory shows that costs are likely to be far above the New England wholesale market price of 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Massachusetts paid solar generators a subsidy of 25 cents per kilowatt-hour during the state’s solar build-out in 2013. Rhode Island’s Block Island wind system, the first offshore system in the United States, now receives over 27 cents per kW-hr, with an annual guaranteed rate increase of an additional 3.5 cents per kW-hr. New England residents must enjoy paying renewable generators more than six times the market price for electricity.

In May of last year, Maryland’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved electricity-rate increases to fund two wind projects east of the Ocean City shoreline. Maryland’s residents will pay an additional $2 billion over 20 years in increased electricity rates to support the projects.

Expensive, risky and–best case–an eyesore that will slaughter uncountable numbers of seabirds, offshore wind turbines are just about the worst possible way to generate electricity–half the time.


More evidence of deep state collaboration with CNN on the Steele dossier

Posted: 22 May 2018 01:04 PM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)I believe most Power Line readers know the story of how the infamous anti-Trump dossier compiled by Christopher Steele, and in particular, its most salacious contents found its way into the mainstream media. To recap, CNN had the dossier in late 2016 and was looking for an excuse (a hook) to report on its most salacious contents, even though they had not been verified. On January 6, James Comey briefed Trump on those contents, supposedly to protect him in case CNN and/or other outlets reported them.

Then, on January 10, CNN published a story on the dossier’s most salacious contents, on the pretext that, since Trump had now been briefed, it was legitimate news notwithstanding the unverified nature of these contents. That same day, Buzzfeed published the entire dossier.

In other words, CNN was waiting for a hook to publish unverified, damaging material about Trump. Comey provided that hook on the pretense of “protecting” Trump. CNN then published.

There’s more. As we discussed here, based on the reporting of Sean Davis, James Clapper appears to have helped choreograph this dance. It was Clapper who told Comey to brief Trump on the dossier. And it might well have been Clapper who passed the word to CNN that Trump had been briefed — and thus that CNN had the hook it needed to publish the unverified, salacious information from which the deep state supposedly was protecting Trump.

Clapper initially testified to Congress that he did not “discuss the dossier or any other intelligence related to Russia hacking of the 2016 election with journalists.” However, when confronted specifically about conversations with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Clapper acknowledged discussing the dossier with Tapper and admitted he might have spoken with other journalists about the same topic. These discussions took place in early January, right around the time CNN learned that Trump had been briefed, clearing the way for it to publish.

But Clapper wasn’t the only member of the deep state who was in this CNN loop. Andrew McCabe was also involved.

We know this from emails obtained and released by Sen. Ron Johnson. On January 8, two days after the Comey-Trump briefing and two days before the CNN story appeared, the then-FBI Deputy Director wrote the following to senior FBI leadership, under the subject “Flood is coming”:

CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story. . .The trigger for them [sic] is they know the material was discussed in the brief and presented in an attachment.

As Sean Davis explains, “sensitive story” is the term the FBI and others in the Obama administration had been using to refer to the salacious content in the Trump dossier.

McCabe wasn’t finished emailing about the coming “flood.” That same day, he emailed Sally Yates:

Just an FYI, and as expected, it seems CNN is close to running a story about the sensitive reporting.

I construe this as signaling “mission accomplished” to a fellow member of the mission team (Yates and McCabe were using the same code words to describe the salacious dossier material). Apparently, there was no need for a similar email to Clapper.

How did McCabe know what CNN was “close” to doing? Perhaps Clapper told him. More likely, he was communicating directly with CNN. Keep in mind that McCabe was fired because he indulged in unauthorized leaking to journalists and then lied about it.

Sen. Johnson has sent a letter to FBI Director Wray setting forth the timeline established by the McCabe’s emails and propounding five requests for information. Among the five are:

The date and circumstances by which the FBI first learned that media outlets, including CNN, may have possessed the Steele Dossier.

All documents and communications between or among James Comey and James Clapper or their staffs referring or relating to Director Comey’s briefing of President-elect Trump about the Steele Dossier.

All documents and communications between or among FBI employees and other Executive officials or employees referring or relating to the “sensitive matter” or to Director Comey’s communication to then-President-elect Trump about the existence of the Steele Dossier.

These are good requests. However, even if the FBI complies, it won’t eliminate the need to put Clapper, McCabe, Comey, and Yates under oath and to ask them the hard questions about this matter.


The Power Line Show, Ep. 71: A Hard Look at Hard Power

Posted: 22 May 2018 12:44 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Listeners of our podcast know that we can’t let go of making fun of Samantha Power’s famous election night whimsy of “milking the soft-power dividend” of Hillary’s expected victory, because it’s just such a perfect shorthand expression of everything wrong with liberalism today.  In any case, last week in Washington I recorded a conversation with Rebecca Heinrichs of the Hudson Institute, who doesn’t have much time for soft power.

Rebecca is a product of the Ashbrook Scholars honors program at Ashland University, where, as she explains here, she fell in love with the American Founding under the inspiration of our great friend, teacher, and mentor, the late Peter Schramm. In our conversation, we talk about Peter (and why we’re sure he’d have loved Trump), Trump, missile defense and defense spending in general, and we also break down a lot of the specific and potential conflicts on the horizon right now, including North Korea, Iran, China, and Russia.

As always, listen below, or download the show from our great hosts at Ricochet, (where indeed you should become a member—after you sign up to be a Power Line VIP). Subscribe to Power Line in iTunes (and leave a 5-star review, please!)

And don’t forget  . . . to milk the soft power dividend!



This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

University Suicide Watch, Chapter 5

Posted: 22 May 2018 11:26 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Today’s higher education implosion news comes from my graduate alma mater, Claremont Graduate University, which emailed everyone yesterday about the imminent closure of its graduate program in philosophy. I’ll update this if I get any better inside information, but I suspect declining enrollment is the main cause, though I hear many programs at CGU are running deeply in the red so this may be just the first program to go under.  Here’s some of the language from the dean of the school of arts and humanities:

You know from following higher education headlines that department and program closures at universities across our country are far more common now than they were even a decade ago. The fact that they have now become commonplace does not mean they are easy to understand or accept, especially when they happen at your own alma mater.

In recent weeks a substantial amount of misinformation about the process and its particulars has circulated. Interim President Adams’s note speaks to many of those details. I simply want to affirm a few fundamental facts.

First, this decision does not in any way represent a weakening of the university’s commitment to the humanities. Ongoing program review necessitates that the board and administration focus on areas that we believe have the best opportunities for current and future success.

Maybe the university is indeed committed to the humanities, but somehow we never hear of business or computer science programs being shrunk or discontinued.

Elsewhere, in an unrelated story (or is it?):

UNL faculty member guilty of vandalizing NRA lobbyist’s home with fake blood

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty member must pay a $500 fine for spraying fake blood on the Virginia residence of a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.

Patricia Hill, a research assistant professor in UNL’s sociology department, was found guilty of misdemeanor destruction of property Monday.

The incident took place on Jan. 11 in Alexandria, Virginia.

A prosecutor said Hill “can exercise her First Amendment right” by protesting Chris Cox’s role with the NRA. But the prosecutor said Hill took it too far by committing vandalism. The prosecutor said the incident also caused distress for the Cox family.

A sociology professor. What a surprise.

Hat tip: Power Line contributor Dave Begley.


The Obamas move upstream

Posted: 22 May 2018 08:51 AM PDT

(Paul Mirengoff)Barack Obama wasn’t much of a president. His signature accomplishment may turn out to be paving the way for Donald Trump.

Obama isn’t the genius his boosters (with his encouragement) made him out to be, either. I don’t consider him a first-rate or deep thinker. If you disagree, identify one of his deep thoughts. Claiming to be on “the right side of history” doesn’t count. Neither does “let’s funnel lots of money to Iran so the regime will improve its behavior.”

But Obama isn’t without genius. He is a genius at understanding how to use entertainment and pop culture to promote his agenda.

This genius is on display in the agreement Barack and Michelle Obama have reached with Netflix to produce content. According to the Washington Post:

Among the content the Obamas will produce as part of the multi-year agreement are films and series, with scripted series, docu-series, documentaries and feature films all possibilities, Netflix said. Unscripted series — Hollywood’s euphemism for reality TV — are also on the table. It is unclear whether the couple will appear in any of the movies or shows themselves.

The Obamas’ goal, they say, is to promote “empathy and understanding.” In other words, to produce left-liberal propaganda.

The name of the production company the Obama has formed — “Higher Ground” — says it all. The Obamas view themselves as our betters. They think their hack left-wing views put them on higher ground than those who don’t buy in (that’s a big reason why they helped pave the way for Trump). The Obamas might as well have called their company “Right Side of History.”

I’m told that Netflix is the single most significant and powerful driving force in entertainment today. Thus, the Netflix-Obama alliance is a very big deal.

Netflix went hard after the Obamas. It put Susan Rice (yes, her) on its board as part of the courtship.

Now that Netflix’s hard left stance is so evident, conservatives should think hard about whether to subscribe to it. I don’t know much about this market, but I’m told there are competitors. If so, conservatives should consider switching to them, assuming the competitors aren’t also aligned with the left.

Ideally, wealthy conservatives would invest in competitors to Netflix. Fox News found a great niche in the television news industry. Perhaps a corresponding niche exists in the streamed content industry (or whatever industry Netflix is in).

Andrew Breitbart famously said that politics is downstream from culture. Conservatives have always been slow to grasp this, but Barack Obama figured it out early.

Now, he and Michelle have moved upstream. The move will likely prove consequential.


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