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This is from Warrior Scout.

36 years ago today we lost a Great American and a Great Patriot Marion Robert Morrison aka John “The Duke” Wayne.

I can think of one more quote by The Duke, Life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid.


On this day in 1979, the world said goodbye to John Wayne. Here’s a list of 10 of the most memorable things the Duke ever said.

Born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa, in 1907, Wayne and his family moved to California when he was still a child. Rejected by the Naval Academy and eager to make his mark, Wayne eventually enrolled at USC where he played football.

Wayne soon landed a gig as a prop boy on Hollywood sets, where he impressed director John Ford. With his imposing frame (he stood six feet four), good looks, and lantern jaw, Wayne quickly established himself as a budding star. And box office gold.

The Duke would eventually star in more than 140 motion pictures in his Hollywood career, and he remains one of the most enduring icons of American ruggedness, individualism, and masculinity.

Wayne died of stomach cancer on June 11, 1979, in Los Angeles Calif.

A look back on ten of his greatest quotes.

  1. “Young fella, if you’re looking for trouble, I’ll accommodate ya.” – As Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 film True Grit, directed by Henry Hathaway

  1. “I won’t be wronged, I won’t be insulted, and I won’t be laid a hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.” – As J.B Books in the 1976 film The Shootist , directed by Don Siegel

  1. “I wouldn’t make it a habit of calling me that son.” – As Wil Anderson in 1972 film The Cowboys, 1972, directed by Mark Rydell

  1. “Well, there are some things a man just can’t run away from.” – As the Ringo Kid in the 1939 film Stagecoach, directed by John Ford

  1. “Out here a man settles his own problems.” – As Tom Doniphon in the 1962 film The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, directed by John Ford

  1. “Sorry don’t get it done, Dude.” – As Sheriff John T. Chance is the 1959 film Rio Bravo, directed by John Ford

  1. “I’ve made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it.” – Statement made by John Wayne while shooting the 1976 film The Shootist, directed by Don Siegel

  1. “Now you understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all…your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault…it don’t matter…I’m gonna blow your head off. It’s as simple as that.” – As Jacob McCandles in the 1971 film Big Jake, directed by George Sherman

  1. “If I had known that I would have put that patch on 35 years earlier.” Statement made by John Wayne while accepting the Oscar for his leading role in the 1969 film True Grit, directed by Henry Hathaway

  1. “All battles are fought by scared men who’d rather be some place else.”- As Capt. Rock Well Torrey in the 1965 film In Harm’s Way, directed by Otto Preminger


“Out here, due process is a bullet!”- As Col. Mike Kirby in the 1968 film The Green Berets, 1968, directed by Ray Kellogg



Environmentalists Now Wanting To Make Drinking Water Out Of This

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This is from Western Journalism.

These are Bible verses that America and especially California should take heed of.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14King James Version (KJV)

13 If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Some see it as the only solution to the state’s ongoing drought crisis.

As the years-long drought plaguing much of California drags on, experts are warning something extraordinary must be done to ensure residents have access to potable water. One technique many begrudgingly believe could work involves turning waste water into drinking water.

The controversial recycling program has already been used in especially arid locations around the world – including in Namibia and even in two Texas cities – with some success; however, Californians are bristling at the concept. For more than two decades, residents have voiced their opposition to what critics have dubbed “toilet-to-tap” water.

One activist who opposes the program nonetheless acknowledges that his state is in such a dire position, it may be the only remedy available.

“You know, toilet to tap might be the only answer at this point,” Donald Schultz told the Los Angeles Times. “I don’t support it, but we’re running out of options. In fact, we may have already run out of options.”

Others are more enthusiastic with their support of the program, including Association of California Water Agencies Executive Director Tim Quinn.

He called the water flushed down California’s toilets “probably the single largest source of water supply” for the state in coming decades, lamenting the fact that it is currently being “discharged into the ocean and lost forever.”

The three-step purification process turns waste water into a product proponents assert is safe for human consumption. While the Times reported that many advocates of the system say opposition is based in “the so-called yuck factor” associated with repurposing waste water, critics also point out the untested effects that trace levels of medication, hormones and other material might have on those who ingest them.

While some experts are proclaiming this procedure as California’s only hope in surviving the current drought, Western Journalism previously reported author James V. Lacy’s take on the crisis. He blamed environmentalists for opposing dam construction and other efforts to store water while advocating the misallocation of water that is available in projects such as one that he said used more than 5 billion gallons of water to transport 24 trout to another body of water.

Is it time for Californians to resort to drinking toilet water?

Stutzman to Introduce GOA-Backed National Reciprocity Bill for Concealed Carry


This is from AmmoLand.

Sadly, this bill would not have a snowballs chance of being signed by Obama.

I do not see the votes to override Obama’s veto.


Washington, DC –-( It’s a problem as fresh as today’s headlines.

A Pennsylvania woman with a concealed carry license drives over the New Jersey line with a gun in her car.

In a routine traffic stop, she is arrested and charged for violating New Jersey’s unconstitutional gun laws. Only a national campaign saves her from a decade in prison.

And that’s just the point: In an era where states like New York, New Jersey and California use draconian and labyrinthine gun laws in order to try to outlaw guns by fiat, a legal gun owner shouldn’t risk a life behind bars because he or she drives across a state line into a socialist-leaning state.

A Floridian shouldn’t live in fear of a move that takes him through New York, or a Virginian, of a trip through Maryland.

So it is good news that, after a campaign that has lasted for over a decade, we are now within striking range of passing reciprocity legislation that is friendly to citizens living in constitutional carry states.

Congressman Marlin Stutzman (R-IN) has told Gun Owners of America that he will be introducing this reciprocity bill within the next few weeks. This bill will prohibit states like New York, New Jersey and California from cancelling the Second Amendment rights of Americans from other states.

Marlin Stutzman
Marlin Stutzman

If you have a concealed carry permit – or if you come from a freedom-loving state that doesn’t require one – you can carry anywhere in the country without fear of losing your constitutional rights because of where you are.

With six constitutional carry states –– and at least four other states which may pass those laws this year – the Stutzman bill is a particularly important contrast to competing bills which would require states like Vermont to change their pro-gun laws in order to benefit.

Now, we know that some of our members would argue: “Why shouldn’t principles of federalism allow states to spit on the Second Amendment if they want to?” We respect this view, but respectfully disagree. Gun grabbers have no problem creating national rules to take away our Second Amendment rights, irrespective of what we do. So it’s time they were hoisted on their own petard.

In addition, the Supreme Court (correctly) ruled in McDonald v. Chicago (2010) that the reach of the Second Amendment extends beyond just the federal government and applies to all 50 states.

In this landmark decision, the Court noted (approvingly) that anti-gun Justice Stephen Breyer was “correct that incorporation of the Second Amendment right will to some extent limit the legislative freedom of the States, but this is always true when a Bill of Rights provision is incorporated.”(p. 44)

Why are we so optimistic about Stutzman? The answer is that we now have a filibuster-proof majority to pass it in the Senate — if we can get the new GOP leadership to give us the opportunity to offer it as an amendment to a must-pass bill.

ACTION: Contact your Representative. Ask him or her to call Congressman Stutzman and sign up as an original cosponsor to the Stutzman “constitutional carry” friendly reciprocity bill.

About:Gun Owners of America (GOA) is a non-profit lobbying organization formed in 1975 to preserve and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. GOA sees firearms ownership as a freedom issue. `The only no comprise gun lobby in Washington’ – Ron Paul to Join.

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Gun deaths for U.S. officers rose by 56 percent in 2014: report

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This is from Yahoo News Canada.

In the current racial situation, how many more police officers will die?

R. I. P. Valiant Warriors.


A combination image shows mourning bands placed over different police badges at the funeral of slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of New York December 27, 2014. Targeted for their uniform, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were slain last Saturday afternoon while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn in what is only the seventh instance of police partners being killed together in the city in more than 40 years. Thousands of police officers from departments around the country, including those in St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., were expected to join U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other officials for the funeral service at the church on Saturday. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CRIME LAW OBITUARY)

Reuters/REUTERS – A combination image shows mourning bands placed over different police badges at the funeral of slain NYPD officer Rafael Ramos at Christ Tabernacle Church in the Queens borough of New York December 27, 2014. Targeted for their uniform, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were slain last Saturday afternoon while sitting in their patrol car in Brooklyn in what is only the seventh instance of police partners being killed together in the city in more than 40 years. Thousands of police officers from departments around the country, including those in St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, New Orleans and Washington, D.C., were expected to join U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other officials for the funeral service at the church on Saturday. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES – Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS CRIME LAW OBITUARY)

(Reuters) – Gun related deaths of U.S. law enforcement officers rose by 56 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, with about one-third of officers killed in an ambush, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund said on Tuesday.

Across the country, 50 officers were killed by guns in 2014 compared to 32 in 2013, according to the website of the non-profit fund, which aims to increase safety for law enforcement officers.

The most deadly states were California, Texas, New York, Florida and Georgia, the group said.

“Fifteen officers were shot and killed in ambush, more than any other circumstance of fatal shootings in 2014,” the website said.

The deadly ambush of two New York City policemen as they sat in their squad car in New York on Dec. 20 was a flashpoint in a deepening rift between the city’s police department and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The mayor had expressed qualified support for protests sparked by the deaths of unarmed black men in confrontations with white officers, and said he warned his biracial son of the “dangers he may face” in encountering police officers.

The shooter who killed the two policemen and then himself had written online that he was avenging the deaths of two unarmed black men last summer in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York.

Altogether, 126 law enforcement officers died in the line of duty in 2014, a 24 percent increase from 2013, when 102 officers were killed, the fund said.

The number of firearms-related fatalities matches 2012 statistics, when 50 officers were killed by guns,” the fund said.

The second most common cause of death for officers in 2014 was traffic-related incidents.

Whooping Cough Back With a Vengeance in California

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This is from ABC News.

How are your sanctuary cities working out for you now California?

The illegals you are bent on keeping safe are killing you with all manner of diseases.

Then you’re stupid enough to believe that fraud Jenny McCarthy and not vaccinate your children so now they are becoming victims of your protecting disease ridden illegals.


Callie Van Tornhout was about a month old when her mother noticed that she’d developed a dry cough on a Sunday afternoon in January.

Soon the cough worsened, and Callie became pale and started throwing up, Callie’s mother, Katie Van Tornhout told ABC News. By the middle of the week, Callie stopped breathing in her mother’s arms in a pediatrician’s waiting room and was rushed to the hospital.

On Saturday, less than a week after the cough first appeared, Callie died at 37 days old on Jan. 30, 2010. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that tests confirmed the culprit: whooping cough.

That year, the country was in the midst of a major whooping cough outbreak, and all eyes were on California, which was experiencing its largest outbreak in 60 years. But the cough hit other states, too, including Minnesota and Callie’s state: Indiana.

“The CDC was like, ‘Didn’t you have the TDaP vaccine when you were pregnant?'” Van Tornhout recalled. “We didn’t know what that was.”

California is again the the grips of a whooping cough outbreak, and this time it’s even worse, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state is facing its worst outbreak in 70 years and has nearly 1,000 more cases than it did in 2010. As of Nov. 26, the state had 9,935 reported cases.

“The last time a series of outbreaks occurred across the country, California started the parade,” said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. “And so this is a harbinger we are fearful of.”

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is caused by bacteria and considered cyclical because cases peak every three to five years. It’s especially serious in infants, who are more likely to catch it. About 50 percent of all children under a year old who catch whooping cough need to be hospitalized, and up to 2 percent of them die, according to the CDC.

Since children aren’t due for their whooping cough vaccine — called TDaP — until they are 2 months old, the CDC recommends it for pregnant women so they can pass along the immunity to their unborn children. Van Tornhout said her doctor never told her about it, but now she works as an advocate for Every Child by Two, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about vaccine-preventable diseases.

“If it can happen to my child, it can happen to theirs,” Van Tornhout said, adding that neither she nor her husband were sick before Callie caught the cough. At first, she was afraid she gave the cough to Callie, but health officials told her that she and Callie likely picked up the bacteria at the same time.

Whooping cough vaccine was developed in the 1940s and is very effective, Schaffner said, but developed a sour reputation for side effects, including high fever, swelling of the lymph nodes and others. So scientists developed a new vaccine that was lumped in with the tetanus and diphtheria vaccines to make TDaP. The new vaccine effectively prevents whooping cough but its effectiveness weakens over about 5 years, making the population more vulnerable to the bacteria’s cyclical nature without regular boosters, Schaffner said.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, who also chairs the public health committee for the Infectious Disease Society of America, said the latest outbreak in California is a sign of what’s to come until a better vaccine can be developed. What’s most important is to make sure pregnant women get vaccinated, he said.

“This is a new reality for us in public health,” he said.

Indeed, the country’s all-time lowest total number of whooping cough cases occurred in 1976 with 1,010 cases, according to the CDC. Although the numbers have fluctuated per whooping cough’s cyclical nature and aren’t as high as they were in the 1930s, there were 48,277 cases in 2012, according to CDC data.

Since 2010, Van Tornhout has had three more children, and she’s had the TDaP vaccine while pregnant with all of them. Still, she said her pregnant friends and family members have told her they had to ask their doctors for the shot.

“I’m hoping that parents realize that it’s an issue,” she said. “It’s not just happening here and there. It’s all over.”

Bird-brained case? Feds go after California tree trimmer for hurting herons

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This is from Fox News Politics.

Would it be put of line to ask California to leave the union?

Kalifornia just keep getting weirder by the second.



In what’s being described as a bird-brained prosecution, federal authorities are going after a California tree trimmer for accidentally injuring five birds while trying to remove limbs from a tree earlier this month.

Ernesto Pulido was hired by the U.S. Postal Service to cut back the trees, specifically to prevent a group of herons from sitting and defecating on the mail trucks parked below.

But in the course of pruning the trees, his crew cut down limbs where the black-crowned night herons – one of 1,026 species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act — were nesting. Several baby birds fell and were injured.

Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reportedly is seeking he pay a $1,500 fine for a misdemeanor violation. The infraction can carry a penalty of up to $15,000 and six months in jail.

A spokesman at the hospital where the birds are being treated says the herons, which are not endangered, suffered “scrapes and bruises and one had a fractured beak, but that they are expected to recover and be released into the wild.”

Pulido, according to local reports, also is already paying for the birds’ medical expenses.

So why, then, are the feds going after Pulido?

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, calls it “nothing short of bureaucratic bullying.”

Issa, R-Calif., sent a letter to the head of the federal wildlife agency earlier this week questioning the decision to go after Pulido, noting that charges are expected next week.

In his May 28 letter, he also questioned why no action had been taken against the Postal Service.

According to the letter, made available to, Issa said he’s “concerned” that Pulido is “being subjected to an unfair and unnecessary prosecution because FWS is responding to public pressure to act but does not want to seek redress from a fellow federal agency.”

While the agency is going after this individual tree trimmer, the Fish and Wildlife Service’s own estimates show wind turbines cause 33,000 bird deaths per year. Issa complained that last December, FWS began issuing 30-year permits to wind energy developers that would “allow for the unintentional killing or taking of Bald Eagles or taking of Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles, birds protected not only by the MBTA but also by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.”

The MBTA was created in 1918 to protect migratory birds. The law makes it illegal for anyone to take, hunt, kill, sell, or barter any migratory bird, or the parts — such as nests or eggs.

The allegedly lopsided application of the law under the Obama administration is nothing new. While wind energy developers get a pass, in North Dakota, seven oil and gas companies were hauled into federal court for killing 28 migratory birds in 2011.

Calls to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as the U.S. Postal Service for comment were not returned.

After the initial incident, Pulido expressed regret for the injuries to the birds. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, he said he “screwed up.” Though neighbors apparently tried to stop his crew from cutting through the trees, Pulido called himself an animal lover and reportedly said he didn’t initially think birds were being hurt.

Ohio measles outbreak largest in USA since 1996

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This is from USA Today.

Just when you think you do not need one another thing to be worried about.


YL Measles virus

(Photo: CDC handout)


A measles outbreak in Ohio has reached 68 cases, giving the state the dubious distinction of having the most cases reported in any state since 1996, health officials say.

The Ohio outbreak is part of a larger worrisome picture: As of Friday, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had logged 187 cases nationwide in 2014, closing in on last year’s total of 189. CDC warned several weeks ago that the country could end up having the worst year for measles since home-grown outbreaks were eradicated in 2000.

The last time a state had more measles cases than Ohio has now was 1996, when Utah had 119, according to CDC.

The Ohio outbreak, like ongoing outbreaks in California and elsewhere, has been linked to unvaccinated travelers bringing the measles virus back from countries where the disease remains common. In Ohio, all of the cases have been among the Amish, health officials say. The outbreak began after Amish missionaries returned from the Philippines. The Philippines is experiencing a large, ongoing measles outbreak with more than 26,000 cases reported, according to CDC.

The California outbreak, also linked to the Philippines, had reached 59 cases as of Friday, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The center of the Ohio outbreak is Knox County, where 40 cases have been reported. Thousands of Amish in Knox and surrounding areas have lined up to be vaccinated, says Pam Palm, spokeswoman for the county health department. Though the Amish traditionally have low vaccination rates, “they have been very receptive to coming in and getting immunized,” to stem the outbreak, Palm says.

Some of the unvaccinated missionaries told local health officials they would have been vaccinated for measles before going to the Philippines if they had been told there was an outbreak there, Palm says: “One guy we spoke to feels just terrible that he brought the measles back and exposed his family.”

Ohio also is in the midst of a mumps outbreak of more than 300 cases. Given the outbreaks, state health officials are urging families to check vaccination records and get up to date before summer camps and gatherings begin. “Activities that bring large groups of people together can accelerate the spread of these diseases,” state epidemiologist Mary DiOrio said in a news release.

Before the measles vaccine became available in 1963, the virus infected about 500,000 Americans a year, causing 500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations. Case counts since 2000 have ranged from 37 in 2004 to a high of 220 in 2011, CDC says.

While most people recover from the fever, rash and other symptoms associated with measles after a few days, complications can occur, especially in children. Those complications can include ear infections and pneumonia or, more rarely, brain infection. One or two out of 1,000 children with measles will die, says CDC.


Photo Series Depicts The Absurdity Of The Weirdest Laws In America

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This is from Elite Daily.

Here in Indiana it is against the law to eat onions on Sunday.

It is legal to have a duel in Indiana as long as the following conditions are met.

1- you notify and get approval from the Sheriff in the county of where the duel is to be fought.

2-You have to hold the duel 15 minutes before day break.

3- Have a medical doctor in attendance.

3- You and the other party have to chose seconds.

4-You must use single shots pistol or a swords.



Believe it or not, it’s against the law to walk around with an ice cream cone in your back pocket when you’re in Alabama.

It makes complete sense, though. Why would you want to do that to yourself? In addition, there are a bunch of other obscure laws that are currently being enforced around the United States.

In a recent photo series conducted by Olivia Locher, a handful of outrageous laws from Maine to California are visualized.

If you plan on traveling any time soon and engaging in strange activities, you’re going to want to know your rights first. Or the rights you don’t have, rather.

Check them out below!

It’s against the law to tickle a woman under her chin with a feather duster in Maine.

You can’t carry a violin in a paper bag while in public in Utah.

It’s unlawful to sell hollow logs in Tennessee.

You can’t wear transparent clothing in Rhode Island. I’m guessing they’ve had horrific experiences with that kind of stuff.

Serving wine in teacups while in Kansas is highly illegal. Mugs are fine, though.

In California, it’s against the law to ride a bike in a swimming pool.

Don’t walk around with an ice cream cone in your back pocket while in Alabama. That’d also be illegal.

If pickles don’t bounce in Connecticut, they’re not considered pickles.

In Wisconsin, it’s against the law to serve apple pie without cheese.

While you’re in Oregon, you can’t test your physical endurance or exercise while driving. Kiss your spring workout routine goodbye!

Don’t put coins in your ears while in Hawaii. That’s illegal, too.

In Texas, it’s unlawful for children to have absurd, obscure haircuts.

Wearing jeans that are form-fitting around the waist is considered unlawful in Delaware.

H/T: UFunk, Photos Courtesy: Olivia Locher



U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good

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This is from the Los Angeles Times.

The video below is in Obama’s own words on causing U.S.electric rates to skyrocket.

Experts warn of a growing fragility as coal-fired plants are shut down, nuclear power is reduced and consumers switch to renewable energy.


As temperatures plunged to 16 below zero in Chicago in early January and set record lows across the eastern U.S., electrical system managers implored the public to turn off stoves, dryers and even lights or risk blackouts.

A fifth of all power-generating capacity in a grid serving 60 million people went suddenly offline, as coal piles froze, sensitive electrical equipment went haywire and utility operators had trouble finding enough natural gas to keep power plants running. The wholesale price of electricity skyrocketed to nearly $2 per kilowatt hour, more than 40 times the normal rate. The price hikes cascaded quickly down to consumers. Robert Thompson, who lives in the suburbs of Allentown, Pa., got a $1,250 bill for January.

“I thought, how am I going to pay this?” he recalled. “This was going to put us in the poorhouse.”

The bill was reduced to about $750 after Thompson complained, but Susan Martucci, a part-time administrative assistant in Allentown, got no relief on her $654 charge. “It was ridiculous,” she said.

The electrical system’s duress was a direct result of the polar vortex, the cold air mass that settled over the nation. But it exposed a more fundamental problem. There is a growing fragility in the U.S. electricity system, experts warn, the result of the shutdown of coal-fired plants, reductions in nuclear power, a shift to more expensive renewable energy and natural gas pipeline constraints. The result is likely to be future price shocks. And they may not be temporary.

One recent study predicts the cost of electricity in California alone could jump 47% over the next 16 years, in part because of the state’s shift toward more expensive renewable energy.

“We are now in an era of rising electricity prices,” said Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, who said the steady reduction in generating capacity across the nation means that prices are headed up. “If you take enough supply out of the system, the price is going to increase.”

In fact, the price of electricity has already been rising over the last decade, jumping by double digits in many states, even after accounting for inflation. In California, residential electricity prices shot up 30% between 2006 and 2012, adjusted for inflation, according to Energy Department figures. Experts in the state’s energy markets project the price could jump an additional 47% over the next 15 years.

The problems confronting the electricity system are the result of a wide range of forces: new federal regulations on toxic emissions, rules on greenhouse gases, state mandates for renewable power, technical problems at nuclear power plants and unpredictable price trends for natural gas. Even cheap hydro power is declining in some areas, particularly California, owing to the long-lasting drought.

“Everywhere you turn, there are proposals and regulations to make prices go higher,” said Daniel Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research. “The trend line is up, up, up. We are going into uncharted territory.”

New emissions rules on mercury, acid gases and other toxics by the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to result in significant losses of the nation’s coal-generated power, historically the largest and cheapest source of electricity. Already, two dozen coal generating units across the country are scheduled for decommissioning. When the regulations go into effect next year, 60 gigawatts of capacity — equivalent to the output of 60 nuclear reactors — will be taken out of the system, according to Energy Department estimates.

Moeller, the federal energy commissioner, warns that these rapid changes are eroding the system’s ability to handle unexpected upsets, such as the polar vortex, and could result in brownouts or even blackouts in some regions as early as next year. He doesn’t argue against the changes, but believes they are being phased in too quickly.

The federal government appears to have underestimated the impact as well. An Environmental Protection Agency analysis in 2011 had asserted that new regulations would cause few coal plant retirements. The forecast on coal plants turned out wrong almost immediately, as utilities decided it wasn’t economical to upgrade their plants and scheduled them for decommissioning.

The lost coal-generating capacity is being replaced largely with cleaner natural gas, but the result is that electricity prices are linked to a fuel that has been far more volatile in price than coal. The price of natural gas now stands at about $4.50 per million BTUs, more expensive than coal. Plans to export massive amounts of liquefied natural gas, the rapid construction of gas-fired power plants and the growing trend to convert the U.S. heavy truck fleet to natural gas could exert even more upward pressure on prices. Malcolm Johnson, a former Shell Oil gas executive who now teaches the Oxford Princeton Program, a private energy training company, said prices could move toward European price levels of $10.

“When those natural gas prices start going up again, we will feel it in the way of higher electricity prices,” warns James Sweeney, a Stanford University energy expert.

The loss of coal is being exacerbated by problems at the nation’s nuclear plants. Five reactors have been taken out of operation in the last few years, mainly due to technical problems. Additional shutdowns are under consideration.

At the same time, 30 states have mandates for renewable energy that will require the use of more expensive wind and solar energy. Since those sources depend on the weather, they require backup generation — a hidden factor that can add significantly to the overall cost to consumers.

Nowhere are the forces more in play than in California, which has the nation’s most aggressive mandate for renewable power. Major utilities must obtain 33% of their power from renewable sources by 2020, not counting low-cost hydropower from giant dams in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

In some cases, the renewable power costs as much as twice the price of electricity from new gas-fired power plants. Newer facilities are more competitive and improved technology should hold down future electricity prices, said former FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, now a San Francisco attorney.

But San Francisco-based Energy + Environmental Economics, a respected consultant, has projected that the cost of California’s electricity is likely to increase 47% over the next 16 years, adjusted for inflation, in part because of the renewable power mandate and heavy investments in transmission lines.

The mandate is just one market force. California has all but phased out coal-generated electricity. The state lost the output of San Onofre’s two nuclear reactors and is facing the shutdown of 19 gas-fired power plants along the coast because of new state-imposed ocean water rules by 2020.

“Our rates are increasing because of all of these changes that are occurring and will continue to occur as far out as we can see,” said Phil Leiber, chief financial officer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. “Renewable power has merit, but unfortunately it is more costly and is one of the drivers of our rates.”

“While renewables are coming down in cost, they are still more expensive,” said Russell Garwacki, manager of pricing design and research at Southern California Edison. The company is imposing a 10% price hike this year to catch up with increased costs in the past.

Officials at the California Public Utilities Commission, responsible for setting utility rates, dispute predictions of large-scale electricity price hikes in the near future. Edward Randolph, head of the PUC’s energy division, said price increases were not likely to exceed the rate of inflation, though the commission has refused to spell out the data on which it bases its projections. In any case, while California already has some of the highest hourly rates for electricity in the nation, the average consumer in the state pays bills that are below the national average because overall electricity use is so low.

The push to wean California off fossil fuels for electricity could cause a consumer backlash as the price for doing so becomes increasingly apparent, warns Alex Leupp, an executive with the Northern California Power Agency, a nonprofit that generates low-cost power for 15 agencies across the state. The nonprofit was formed decades ago during a rebellion against the PUC and the high prices that resulted from its regulations.

“If power gets too expensive, there will be a revolt,” Leupp said. “If the state pushes too fast on renewables before the technology is viable, it could set back the environmental goals we all believe in at the end of the day.”,0,6329274.story#ixzz307bilpKs

The High Cost of Liberalism

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This is by Thomas Sowell in Town Hall.

We all are paying for liberalism and will do so for decades.


Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives.

Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.

One of those costs appeared in an announcement of a house for sale in Palo Alto, the community adjacent to Stanford University, an institution that is as politically correct as they come.

The house is for sale at $1,498,000. It is a 1,010 square foot bungalow with two bedrooms, one bath and a garage. Although the announcement does not mention it, this bungalow is located near a commuter railroad line, with trains passing regularly throughout the day.

Lest you think this house must be some kind of designer’s dream, loaded with high-tech stuff, it was built in 1942 and, even if it was larger, no one would mistake it for the Taj Mahal or San Simeon.

This house is not an aberration, and its price is not out of line with other housing prices in Palo Alto. One couple who had lived in their 1,200 square foot home in Palo Alto for 20 years decided to sell it, and posted an asking price just under $1.3 million.

Competition for that house forced the selling price up to $1.7 million.

Another Palo Alto house, this one with 1,292 square feet of space, is on the market for $2,285,000. It was built in 1895.

Even a vacant lot in Palo Alto costs more than a spacious middle-class home costs in most of the rest of the country.

How does this tie in with liberalism?

In this part of California, liberalism reigns supreme and “open space” is virtually a religion. What that lovely phrase means is that there are vast amounts of empty land where the law forbids anybody from building anything.

Anyone who has taken Economics 1 knows that preventing the supply from rising to meet the demand means that prices are going to rise. Housing is no exception.

Yet when my wife wrote in a local Palo Alto newspaper, many years ago, that preventing the building of housing would cause existing housing to become far too expensive for most people to afford it, she was deluged with more outraged letters than I get from readers of a nationally syndicated column.

What she said was treated as blasphemy against the religion of “open space” — and open space is just one of the wonderful things about the world envisioned by liberals that is ruinously expensive in the mundane world where the rest of us live.

Much as many liberals like to put guilt trips on other people, they seldom seek out, much less acknowledge and take responsibility for, the bad consequences of their own actions.

There are people who claim that astronomical housing prices in places like Palo Alto and San Francisco are due to a scarcity of land. But there is enough vacant land (“open space”) on the other side of the 280 Freeway that goes past Palo Alto to build another Palo Alto or two — except for laws and policies that make that impossible.

As in San Francisco and other parts of the country where housing prices skyrocketed after building homes was prohibited or severely restricted, this began in Palo Alto in the 1970s.

Housing prices in Palo Alto nearly quadrupled during that decade. This was not due to expensive new houses being built, because not a single new house was built in Palo Alto in the 1970s. The same old houses simply shot up in price.

It was very much the same story in San Francisco, which was a bastion of liberalism then as now. There too, incredibly high prices are charged for small houses, often jammed close together. A local newspaper described a graduate student looking for a place to rent who was “visiting one exorbitantly priced hovel after another.”

That is part of the unacknowledged cost of “open space,” and just part of the high cost of liberalism.

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