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John Stewart

Solar power plants burden the counties that host them

The "gift horse" of economic income to counties from siting of solar energy projects appears to be a tired horse ready for retirement.  The below article from the LA Times notes "Eager for jobs and tax money, Mojave Desert counties welcomed big solar projects. But they may have been too optimistic. And expanding emergency services and infrastructure isn't cheap."

While companies will reap profits, taxpayers and rate payers will be footing the bill for many years to come...

By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times,  November 25, 2012 - Solar power plants burden the counties that host them Eager for jobs and tax money, Mojave Desert counties welcomed big solar projects. But they may have been too optimistic. And expanding emergency services and infrastructure isn't cheap. When it comes to attracting business to California's eastern deserts, Inyo County is none too choosy.

Since the 19th century the sparsely populated county has worked to attract industries shunned by others, including gold, tungsten and salt mining. The message: Your business may be messy, but if you plan to hire our residents, the welcome mat is out.

So the county grew giddy last year as it began to consider hosting a huge, clean industry. BrightSource Energy, developer of the proposed $2.7-billion Hidden Hills solar power plant 230 miles northeast of Los Angeles, promised a bounty of jobs and a windfall in tax receipts. In a county that issued just six building permits in 2011, Inyo officials first estimated that property taxes from the facility would boost the general fund 17%.

But upon closer inspection, the picture didn't seem so rosy.

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John Stewart

Carbon Credit Auction Comes Up Short

The EPA has identified carbon as a pollutant and a "carbon credit" market has been designed to fund efforts to reduce carbon pollution. California, known for chronic budget shortfalls, was the first state to jump into the carbon market.  Lawmakers and environmentalists envisioned billions of income to plug chronic budget gaps and fund special programs fighting climate change.

As noted in the article from the Sacramento Bee, initial projections of income are falling short.

Like the "derivatives market", the "carbon credit market" is fiction.  The implosion of derivatives resulted in economic chaos.  With auction income falling short of projections, is this another economic calamity in the making?

--Sacramento Bee article--

State environmental leaders this week hailed California's first auction of carbon emissions credits a huge success.

But budget writers are hardly thrilled.

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John Stewart

Lack of Leadership in D.C. Impacts Hunters and Anglers

Hunters and anglers have something new to worry about in Washington, D.C.:   “sequestration.”  This technical term refers to looming automatic budget cuts—scheduled to go into effect in January – as a means of reducing the federal deficit.  We’re facing these cuts because the Obama Administration, Senate, and House of Representatives have not been able to agree on a federal budget and pass specific bills to fund the government, while reducing the annual deficit.  Without Congressional action to pass a budget and particular spending bills after the election, large automatic across the board funding cuts will be triggered in 2013.

Of particular concern to sportsmen are reductions of Pittman-Robertson (PR) and Dingell-Johnson (DJ) funds to state fish and game agencies.  Sequestration of these funds, which provide for hunting and fishing programs all across the country, could be an unintended and disastrous consequence of the process.

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John Stewart

Every Trail is a Special Trail

With just a dozen days left until November 6, TPAC believes that "excessive regulation" has joined the "gun issue" as a deciding factor in this election. Many political experts believe that Al Gore's harsh anti-gun stance cost him the election in the 2000 presidential race against George Bush.

Over-regulation at the EPA, Department of Interior, and other agencies has been a major topic throughout the primary and presidential debates. Those regulations are impacting energy development - including the reduction of permits issued - on public lands. It's not just energy permits that have been reduced or made complex over the last 4 years... the Department of Interior is threatening the issuance of OHV permits due to a myriad of baseless concerns about potential impacts that motorized events might have on the Sage Grouse and other species.

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John Stewart

Just a Click (LIKE) to Save Our Trails, and it's FREE

Dear Trail Voter:

The mainstream media is working overtime to bias the news to discourage pro-trail voters in blue and battleground states in the hope that you will give up and stay home. The Trail PAC is going to counter that with the 1st ever pro-trail and OHV social media week. This national counter offensive is called OPERATION SOARING EAGLE.

Some congressional races are won or lost by less than 50 votes or just one vote per precinct. With the election just a few weeks away, it is important for trail voters to inform their Facebook friends about our targeted races and encourage them to go to the polls on November 6 and VOTE!

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