More Cheap Shots

By Beacon Staff

I planned to discuss the wolf circus, but with so many moving parts, and Judge Donald W. Molloy holding a hearing the day after my deadline, I’ll just tease you with a quote from pro-hunting lawyer Jim Brown:

Brown feels the “settlement” Judge Molloy is being asked to accept is a “trick designed to deceive, defraud and interfere in the state and legislative processes to de-list wolves.” I think the next few days will prove him right. For now, here’s some other tidbits:

First, we hear claims that “green energy” will create zillions of jobs, and since the government subsidizes just about everything, we should subsidize green energy, too.

Well, I fell across a 2008 report from the Energy Information Administration, 274 pages of untold suffering not only for the hapless bureaucrats who wrote it, but anyone crazy enough to read it.

The juicy bit is Section 5, Subsidies Per Unit of Production, unit being megawatt-hours (MWH). On page 106 in all its glory, is our federal energy-subsidy bottom line. Not counting $3.6 billion not chargeable to a specific power form (over half of which was low-income energy bill assistance), $6.7 billion was paid out in energy subsidies for 4 million million (trillion) megawatt hours at an average of $1.63 per MWH.

The champion is municipal waste incinerators at $0.13 per MWH. The lowest “conventional” subsidy is for oil/gas, $0.25 per MWH. Coal racks in at $0.44/MWH. Hydro: $0.67. Nukes: $1.59.

As for the politically correct stuff, biomass/biofuels starts the party at 89 cents/MWH, landfill gas, $1.37/MWH. Wind: $23.37. Solar: $24.34. The worst of all is so-called “refined coal” – the $2 billion “clean coal” pork-o-rama project in Illinois, $29.81.

In 2007, about half our juice came from coal. Another quarter came from natural gas, a fifth from nukes and a fifteenth from hydro. Wind and solar combined was good for 3/4 of 1 percent. So much for economies of scale, eh?

Second, I get spam from Earthjustice (the charmers who keep Judge Molloy so busy) and was “forwarded” a spam from “The Wolves via Earthjustice” claiming: “We wolves are howwwwling mad” about delisting “but we can’t exactly trot up to Capitol Hill to argue for our protections” blah blah.

My eyes stopped rolling at “Your gift will be matched [… up to $50,000] through the generosity of the Sandler Foundation.” Since enviro groups don’t report their donors, one needs a donor name to follow the money.

Adam the actor? Naw, Herbert and Marion Sandler, who established the Sandler Foundation in 1991. They cashed out their $2.4 billion share of Golden West Savings and Loan in 2007, and put $1.4 billion into their foundation.

Here’s some of the Sandler’s “philanthropy:” $500,000 in 2008 to Earthjustice, $700,000 to the Natural Resources Defense Council, and $760,000 to the hyperlitigous Center for Biological Diversity – all wolf plaintiffs last I checked.

Most striking, however, was $6.32 million to the Center for American Progress, which the New York Times calls “government in exile for liberal policy experts.” While the “rightmedia” likes to rip on global currency speculator George Soros, he was good for only $1 million to CAP that same year.

Political “nonprofits” are a significant, tax-exempt political money conduit for politically motivated donors. Perhaps donors like the Sandlers deserve a heck of a lot more scrutiny, and a bunch less praise, from news organizations.

Finally, the big dope busts by federal agents (26 warrants in 13 cities according to the Feds). Pot is still illegal at the federal level. Further, Montana’s Legislature seems to be feeling justifiably frisky regarding federal hegemony. So, my first presumption was that Uncle Sugar was big-footing hick Montana.

On second thought – while I voted against the dope initiative, passage offered hempers a chance to act like grownups. Guess not … first came the prescription fairs, with “doctors” handing out pot cards like candy. Next, it seemed like every dreadlocked stoner and his (or her) dog opened a “caregiver” or “gardening” shop. The official total, according to various news stories, is about 29,000 smokers and 4,800 dealers, an average of around six customers per provider. I can’t see how that business model pencils out, even at $190 an ounce – or 56 half-gram joints? Could you toke 56 joints in a week?

Now, with federal law enforcement saying they grabbed $3.5 million from one outfit alone, folks should ask what really stinks.

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