Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Democrat who has served 38 years in Congress down 14 points in latest poll

Michael Barone reports on it in the Washington Examiner.

Excerpt:

Here’s an astonishing poll: David Freddoso at Conservative Intelligence Briefing links to a report by the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake that West Virginia 3rd district incumbent Rep. Nick Rahall trails Republican challenger state Sen. Evan Jenkins by a 54-percent to 40-percent margin. The poll was conducted by the Tarrance Group, a Republican firm which, like several Democratic and other Republican firms, has had a good record for reliability over the years.

This is astonishing for several reasons. Rahall, first elected in 1976, is now the seventh most senior member of the House, with three of the more senior members retiring (John Dingell, Henry Waxman, George Miller) and another with a serious primary challenge (Charlie Rangel). Moreover, his district in southern West Virginia has historically been very Democratic; in its previous boundaries it voted for Walter Mondale overRonald Reagan in 1984. Rahall won in 1976 by 46 percent to 37 percent over Ken Hechler, his predecessor in the seat, who after losing a Democratic primary for governor ran as a write-in candidate; the Republican nominee received only 18 percent of the vote. From 1978 to 2008, Rahall was re-elected with at least 64 percent of the vote, except in 1990 when he beat Republican Marianne Brewster by only 52 percent to 48 percent.

But this is coal country, and Rahall’s margins have gone down after President Obama was elected president. In 2010, Rahall won by a reduced margin of 56 percent to 44 percent, and in 2012, his margin was only 54 percent to 46 percent. Obama’s unpopularity surely cost him: John McCain carried the district within its then-boundaries by a 56-percent to 42-percent margin in 2008, and Mitt Romney carried the current district 65 percent to 33 percent in 2012. Rahall is ranking Democrat on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and was Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee when Democrats had a majority in the House; these are committee positions of importance to a mountainous coal district, but apparently they are not enough to help him now.

So, this time the culprit isn’t Obama’s terrible health care policy, it’s Obama’s terrible energy policy. Remember, the Environmental Protection Agency basically banned construction on all future coal plants which cost a lot of jobs. Not only that, but coal plants have been closing because of Democrat energy policies. Lastly, restrictions on coal production by Democrats have made energy prices go up, especially in the South. So people who are connected to the coal industry in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, etc. should really be thinking a second time about supporting the Democrats in 2014 – and 2016, too.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New PNAS study finds fracking emissions far lower than EPA estimates

From Investors Business Daily. Before you read the article, you should know that “fracking” is short for hydraulic fracturing. This is a technique for extracting shale oil by creating fractures in rocks.

Excerpt:

Whether naturally occurring or not, environmentalists claim that fracking would release huge amounts of what they consider the most potent heat-trapping greenhouse gas, far outweighing the value of producing huge quantities of clean-burning natural gas.

Now comes a study, conducted by scientists at the University of Texas and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — and co-financed by one of the highest-profile environmentalists in the country — that shows much smaller amounts of methane emissions associated with fracking, far less than environmentalists and the Environmental Protection Agency have contended.

[...]The study, billed as the first to measure the actual emissions of methane from natural gas wells, finds these emissions were, in some cases, only about 2% of the most recent national estimate by the EPA in 2011. An upcoming EPA rule, effective January 2015, requires all methane to be captured when liquids are removed after drilling.

Seen by many as an attempt to stop fracking, which has boosted the economy through its ability to tap previously inaccessible oil and gas riches, the rule might be redundant. Two-thirds of the wells studied already were capturing or controlling the methane to reduce emissions.

“For those wells with methane capture or control, 99% of the potential emissions were captured or controlled,” the study notes.

This proves once again there is no problem technology can’t solve and that when decisions are made based on technology, rather than ideology, good things happen.

An interesting aspect of the study is that it was funded in part by Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmentalist who has become highly active in national politics in the past year, backing environmentalist Democrats such as Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.

Steyer’s support for the University of Texas came by way of the Environmental Defense Fund, which helped finance the study. He and his wife Kat Taylor are listed among individuals who provided “major funding for the EDF’s 30-month methane research series, including their portion of the University of Texas study.”

[...]Thanks in large part to fracking, energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in 2012 were the lowest in the U.S. since 1994, at 5.3 billion metric tons. With the exception of 2010, emissions have declined every year since 2007.

Back in May 2013, Associated Press reported that the EPA had already lowered their estimates before this study completed.

Excerpt:

The new EPA data is “kind of an earthquake” in the debate over drilling, said Michael Shellenberger, the president of the Breakthrough Institute, an environmental group based in Oakland, Calif. “This is great news for anybody concerned about the climate and strong proof that existing technologies can be deployed to reduce methane leaks.”

The scope of the EPA’s revision was vast. In a mid-April report on greenhouse emissions, the agency now says that tighter pollution controls instituted by the industry resulted in an average annual decrease of 41.6 million metric tons of methane emissions from 1990 through 2010, or more than 850 million metric tons overall. That’s about a 20 percent reduction from previous estimates. The agency converts the methane emissions into their equivalent in carbon dioxide, following standard scientific practice.

So there’s no harm to the environment, but about the economics benefits of fracking? Well, when states have embraced fracking, their economies have greatly benefited.

Here’s what happened when North Dakota lowered its regulatory barriers to energy development.

This:

North Dakota had the highest payroll-to-population rate (P2P) and the lowest underemployment rate in 2012, thanks mostly to the state’s booming oil & gas industry.

According to Gallup’s “State of the States” analysis released today, North Dakota ranked number one among the lower 48 states, with a payroll to population rate of 53.6 percent.

Gallup said it measured each state’s P2P rate by the percentage of the adult population aged 18 and older employed full-time by an employer for at least 30 hours per week.

The analysis noted that the numbers are not seasonably adjusted and variations across states reflect a number of factors, including the overall employment situation for each state as well as the demographic composition of that state’s population. P2P rates in Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia were not considered in the analysis.

Factoring in the most recent unemployment data is key to the Gallup analysis. North Dakota reported just a 3.2 percent unemployment rate, well below the national average unemployment rate of 7.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number one ranking should not come as much of a surprise given the Peace Garden state’s rise in oil and gas production and the subsequent rise in jobs over the past few years.

According to North Dakota Jobs Service data from 2011, the most recent available, the number of oil and gas jobs in North Dakota has risen 57.5 percent since 2010 – going from 10,660 jobs in 2010 to 16,786 jobs in 2011, with the oil and gas payroll nearly doubling — going from $852 million in 2010 up to $1.5 billion in 2011.

North Dakota now produces more oil than any other state, including Alaska, which ranked number one in 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

In New York, Chesapeake Energy just decided to pull up stakes and leave the state.

Excerpt:

After more than five years of a fracking moratorium, a leading energy company walks away from its leases, leaving New York, its natural gas riches — and the jobs and wealth they could generate — unrealized.

In 2000, people from Chesapeake Energy began arriving in Broome County, New York, a few miles north of the Pennsylvania border. Broome had seen better economic days but was lucky to be sitting right atop the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation, which stretches through much of the Northeast.

[...]Interestingly, New York’s very own Department of Environmental Conservation website on Marcellus drilling says, “No known instances of groundwater contamination have occurred from previous horizontal drilling or hydraulic fracturing projects in New York.”

A recent Department of Energy study has concluded that fracking chemicals do not taint drinking water.

After a year of monitoring wells in western Pennsylvania, researchers found these fluids stayed thousands of feet below the areas that supply drinking water.

A 2010 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection report concluded that “no groundwater pollution or disruption of underground sources of drinking water have been attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep gas formations.”

But Pennsylvania allows fracking, and they are seeing the same economic boom as North Dakota:

A recent study by the Manhattan Institute highlighted the economic impact of fracking in New York’s neighbor to the south, Pennsylvania, which has had 5,000 wells fracked since 2002.

The data are compelling, as counties with more than 200 wells, drilled between 2007 and 2011, saw a 19% increase in per-capita incomes, versus just 8% income growth for those with no wells fracked.

Further, the number of county jobs grew by 7% in those with more than 200 wells fracked, against a 3% contraction in counties with no wells drilled.

According to the Manhattan Institute’s Diana Furchtgott-Roth, “Income of residents in the 28 New York counties above the Marcellus Shale has the potential to expand by 15% or more over the next four years if the state’s moratorium is lifted.”

In Pennsylvania, according to the report, each well in the Marcellus Shale formation creates $5.5 million in direct economic benefits and 62 jobs, and the wells endanger no one. Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor and Industry estimates that fracking in its part of the Marcellus created 72,000 jobs from the fourth quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2011, as New York’s job- and growth-killing moratorium got underway.

Now tell me again why progressives are supposedly smarter than conservatives.

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Teen heroes rescue abducted child in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Here’s a great hero story from Lancaster Online.

Excerpt:

[Temar] Boggs, a McCaskey freshman who lives in Gable Park Woods, had been hanging out with a friend at nearby Lancaster Arms apartments and helping move a couch when a man came by asking if they’d seen a missing girl.

They hadn’t, Boggs said, so they went to watch TV.

A short time later, his friend went outside and saw lots of police officers and people from the neighborhood looking for the girl.

Police said that the girl had been taken that afternoon from the 100 block of Jennings Drive.

Boggs and about six friends joined the search.

[...][Boggs] and another friend, Chris Garcia, rode on area streets — Michelle Drive, St. Phillips Drive, Gable Park Road — looking for her.

That’s when a maroon car caught his eye. (He had gotten a bit ahead of Garcia.)

The car was on Gable Park and turned around when it got near the top of a hill toward Millersville Pike, where Boggs said several police officers were gathered with the kind of cart used to carry an injured football player off the field.

The driver, an older white man, then began quickly turning onto and out of side streets connecting to Gable Park, Boggs said.

The neighborhood is something of a maze; many of its streets are cul-de-sacs.

Boggs got close enough to the car to see a little girl inside. Garcia was nearby.

The driver looked at Boggs and Garcia, then stopped the car at Gable Park and Betz Farm Road and pushed the girl out of the car. The driver then drove off, Boggs said.

Boggs said he didn’t see where the car went.

“She runs to my arms and said, ‘I need to see my mommy,’ ” Boggs said.

Boggs scooped the girl onto his shoulders and began riding the bike toward home, but then decided that wasn’t safe, so he carried her and walked back while Garcia pedaled along, guiding the bike Boggs had been using.

Back at Lancaster Arms, when Boggs and Garcia arrived with the girl, someone summoned a firefighter or law enforcement officer.

Boggs said the girl was reluctant to leave him and go to the official.

“She didn’t want to leave me because she thought they were going to do something to her. I said, ‘No, it’s OK,’ ” he said.

[...]Boggs doesn’t see himself as a hero.

“I’m just a normal person who did a thing that anybody else would do,” he said.

That’s a good positive story of young men being heroic.

Filed under: News, , , , , ,

Public school suspends 5-year-old girl for making threat with soap bubble gun

Fox News reports.

Excerpt:

A 5-year-old Pennsylvania girl who told another girl she was going to shoot her with a pink Hello Kitty toy gun that blows soapy bubbles has been suspended from kindergarten.

Her family has hired an attorney to fight the punishment, which initially was 10 days for issuing a ‘terroristic threat.’ But her punishment was reduced to two days after her mother met with school officials and had the incident dropped to ‘threatening to harm another student,’ which apparently carries a lesser punishment.

“It’s laughable,” Robin Ficker, the girl’s attorney told FoxNews.com.

[...]Ficker says Mount Carmel Area School District officials said the girl made the threat on Jan. 10 as she waited for a school bus with friends. A school official overheard the remark and searched the girl’s backpack and did not find the Hello Kitty gun, he said.

The next day, the girls involved were ‘interrogated’ by school officials, Ficker said. By the time the girl was done speaking to administrators about the incident, she was crying, he said. A teacher called out the girl in front of her class and told her police may get involved, he said.

Ficker called the girl “the least terroristic person in Pennsylvania.”

“What parent that you know would want their 5-year-old questioned about making terroristic threats without them in the room?” Ficker asked.

A 5-year-old girl with a toy gun that shoots soap bubbles is a terrorist, according to these government-run public schools.

And this is not an isolated incident, here’s another one from last week.

Excerpt:

A lime-green Nerf toy gun caused an hours-long lock-down at a Long Island school on Tuesday.

A 911 caller told Nassau County Police she saw a suspicious teen at about 7:38 a.m. Tuesday wearing a black jacket and carrying a black backpack at Elmont Memorial high School in Elmont.

The caller said he was also carrying a lime green gun.

A SWAT team searched the school room by room.  Parents were allowed to pick up their children early Tuesday afternoon.

They eventually found the toy lime green and yellow lever action Nerf gun in a student locker.  Police did not make any arrests and the lockdown was lifted.

School officials confiscated the toy gun and say it will be returned to the parents.

Inspector Kenneth Lack says the heightened response was due to “an abundance of precaution.”

That’s another public school, run by the government.

If you have a job, some of the money you earn is taken by the government to pay for this worthless public school monopoly. There is no opt-out from this stupidity.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gallup poll: Romney leads Obama 52-45 among early voters

Final 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Map

Final 2008 U.S. Presidential Election Map

From the latest Gallup poll:

Romney currently leads Obama 52% to 45% among voters who say they have already cast their ballots. However, that is comparable to Romney’s 51% to 46% lead among all likely voters in Gallup’s Oct. 22-28 tracking polling. At the same time, the race is tied at 49% among those who have not yet voted but still intend to vote early, suggesting these voters could cause the race to tighten. However, Romney leads 51% to 45% among the much larger group of voters who plan to vote on Election Day, Nov. 6.

The Ohio Republicans have been busy purging dead voters and duplicate registrations:

[American Majority Action President Ned] Ryun, whose group has opened voter registration efforts in Ohio and other swing states, said that the Buckeye State’s efforts to clean up voter rolls has also played a part in tightening the gap. He said that 450,000 dead voters and duplicate registrations have been nixed, and the majority were Democrats.

“Considering Obama won the state by 263,000 votes, Ohio’s cleaner rolls could make a big impact,” Ryun said. He added, “The five largest counties in Ohio have all shifted at least 6 percent and as much as 27 percent to the Republicans since 2008. While the polls show an Obama lead, these real votes–assuming registered voters vote for their candidate–demonstrate a Republican shift since 2008.”

Ryun sent this to Secrets from his analysis of Ohio early voting:

In 2008, there were 1,158,301 total absentee ballots requested, 33 percent registered Democrat and 19 percent registered Republican–a 14 point gap. So far in 2012, 638,997 ballots have been requested, 29 percent Democrat and 24 percent Republican–only a five point gap.

Romney is confident enough about Ohio and Florida to be heading into deep blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.

Excerpt:

Clinton’s Minnesota visit came just days after Romney and his allies started airing TV ads in the state. GOP-leaning groups including Americans for Job Security and American Future Fund were spending $615,000 this week. Romney spent a much lighter $29,000 last week, and it was unclear how much his campaign was spending this week. All together, the efforts led Obama to follow suit to prevent the state from slipping out of his grasp. His campaign was spending $210,000 on ads in Minnesota this week.

Polls show Romney having gained ground in Minnesota though still trailing Obama. And Obama has a much larger campaign footprint of paid staff and volunteers, including more than 30 full-time workers and 12 offices. Romney never has established much of campaign organization in Minnesota.

In Pennsylvania, Romney’s campaign started pouring money into TV ads Monday for the first time, though Republican-leaning groups have been on the air in recent days trying to narrow the Obama advantage indicated by surveys. Republican groups – American Crossroads, Restore Our Future and Americans for Job Security – are spending at least $3.9 million this week. That does not include spending by Romney’s campaign. Obama aides said the president’s campaign is spending $625,000.

Romney has sent most of his Pennsylvania team to other states in recent weeks, and he has had no plan to visit, raising questions about whether he is actually playing to win the state that offers 20 electoral votes and last went Republican in the 1988 presidential election.

GOP allies also were running TV ads in Democratic-tilting Michigan in hopes of softening the ground for Romney in the final days, but there was no indication yet that the Republican himself would make a strong 11th-hour play for the state where he was born and raised.

Romney is leading by 2 in Ohio, according to the latest Rasmussen poll, and trails Obama by single digits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. Obama has to win all 3 of those blue states to have a chance. Romney can win without Ohio.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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