December 14, 2019

Interior Department Puts Hit Out on Barred Owls, Proving Folly of Endangered Species Regulations

Occupy Occupy D.C. Calls for Cease Fire in Obama’s War on Nature

Washington, D.C. – Members of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s “Occupy Occupy D.C.” street team will rally against the Obama Administration’s new policy to kill the barred owl in deference to the spotted owl in the Pacific Northwest on Thursday at noon in Washington D.C.’s Freedom Plaza (13th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW).

“After decades of sidelining the once-thriving American timber industry and taking the food out of the mouths of loggers’ children to allegedly protect the spotted owl, the green bureaucracy is still not happy and has declared war on the environment,” said David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research and director of the National Center’s “Occupy Occupy D.C.” project. “One owl is being sacrificed for another. Where is the respect for the laws of nature? The one thing we do know from this travesty is that the Endangered Species Act is out-of-control and desperately needs to be reformed.”

After more than two decades of setting aside millions of acres of woodland and dramatically scaling back the forestry industry in Washington, Oregon and California, the amount of spotted owls – which are designated as endangered under the Endangered Species Act – has declined by approximately 40 percent. A new plan has been announced by the U.S. Department of the Interior in which the genetically-similar barred owl is designated as a threat to the spotted owl and will be targeted for termination. Hundreds of barred owls may be executed by shotgun under the federal directive.”

National Center staff will rally at Freedom Plaza over the noon hour with (simulated) owls and loggers to protest the new animal vs. animal wildlife policy.

“Obama has picked winners and losers when it comes to bailouts, handouts and where we can get our energy. Now he’s playing God by favoring one animal over another. What arrogance,” added the National Center’s Almasi. “Virtually shutting down the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest didn’t work, so now the plan is to shut down the barred owl. This is unreasonable, and the answer is to rethink our government’s unsustainable endangered species regulations.”

The National Center has obtained a five-week permit for Freedom Plaza to share Freedom Plaza with left-wing “Occupy D.C.” protesters. Since February 13, it has sponsored noontime events every weekday.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank with over 100,000 recent supporters. Contributions to it are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.

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Occupy Occupy D.C. Activists Call on Congress to Conduct Oversight Hearings into EPA Grantmaking

Washington, D.C. – “Occupy Occupy D.C.” activists will gather just steps from the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency at noon on Friday, February 24 to demand that Congress hold oversight hearings about possibly politicized grants made by the federal agency, and related issues.

The need for hearings, first suggested two days ago by the National Center for Public Policy Research in light of EPA grants made to the Pacific Institute, currently embroiled in an ethics scandal, has been heightened by the EPA’s scrubbing of its public grants database on or around February 23.

“The EPA’s decision to remove information about grants made to the Pacific Institute from the public database, first revealed by the website JunkScience.com, immediately after the National Center for Public Policy Research filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information about those grants is suspicious,” said National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour.

The National Center is concerned that the EPA is making grants to organizations involved in policy advocacy, an inappropriate use of taxpayer monies.

“With our spiraling deficit, the last thing the American people need to pay for is someone else’s political mudslinging,” added David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research and director of the National Center’s “Occupy Occupy DC” project. “Not only is politicized grantmaking a waste of taxpayer money, it is illegal.”

Activists will gather on Friday at noontime at Freedom Plaza (13th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) to call for a series of oversight hearings over possibly-politicized grants made by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Occupy Occupy DC activists are asking Congress to review the grants made during the last two Administrations to make certain sufficient standards of objectivity are in place; to obtain the views of respected scientists as to whether the EPA grant program is focusing its resources in the most promising areas; and to examine the question of whether the grant program, at a time of massive deficits, is set at an appropriate spending level.

The National Center has obtained a five-week permit for Freedom Plaza to share Freedom Plaza with left-wing “Occupy D.C.” protesters. Since February 13, it has sponsored noontime events every weekday.

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Apple’s Climate Change Policy Benefits Gore’s Personal Investments and Not Shareholders, says National Center for Public Policy Research

Apple Board Member Al Gore Faces Conflict of Interest Shareholder Proposal

Washington, D.C. – Today policy experts from the National Center for Public Policy Research are attending Apple’s annual shareholder meeting in Cupertino, CA to challenge board member Al Gore over an apparent conflict of interest between his personal investments in clean energy technology and the company’s climate change policy.

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project will present a Conflict of Interest Report shareholder proposal (#4 in the proxy statement) submitted by the National Center, asking Apple to investigate if board member Al Gore violated the company’s Business Conduct Policy by encouraging the company to end its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as part of an effort to pressure the trade group to stop opposing greenhouse gas regulations.

Gore’s significant personal investments in renewable energy and related technologies would have benefited from greenhouse gas regulations. In contrast, Apple does not have a business interest in emissions regulations.

“Shareholders have a right to know if Gore used his board position to end Apple’s membership in the Chamber as a means to cash-in on his personal investments in clean energy technologies. The dirty little secret in clean energy is you need government action to make money on your investment,” said Tom Borelli.

“Gore had the financial incentive and access as a board member, the only question remains was he the catalyst that drove Apple’s policy decision. Board members should represent shareholders interests, not their personal interests” added Tom Borelli.

Several companies, including Apple, ended their relationship with the Chamber in 2009 over the trade group’s aggressive opposition to the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill and EPA regulation of carbon emissions. However, unlike utilities Exelon and PG&E, who also ended their membership in the Chamber, Apple will not profit from emissions regulations.

“Beyond holding board members accountable to following Apple’s Business Conduct Policy, shareholders should be concerned about the long-term consequences of ending the company’s membership in the Chamber. The trade group actively promotes intellectual property protection, an issue that represents a core business risk for Apple,” said Deneen Borelli, fellow of the National Center–sponsored African-American leadership group, Project 21.

Currently, Apple is engaged in a trademark dispute with China over its iPad.

“Trademark protection and piracy are business risks to Apple and not climate change regulations. Addressing intellectual property matters through a trade association is an efficient way to address these issues in the international area,” added Deneen Borelli.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is an Apple shareholder.

The Apple shareholder meeting is being held today, February 23 at 10:00 am Pacific Time at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA.

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In Light of Latest Climate Scandal, Congress Asked to Review EPA Grants

Congress Asked to Hold Oversight Hearings to Review Possibly Politicized EPA Grants

Oversight Hearing Should Review Objectivity of Grant Recipients, Goals and Appropriate Funding Level

FOIA Requests Being Filed

Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Public Policy Research is today calling on Congress to hold a series of oversight hearings over possibly-politicized grants made by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The National Center’s general counsel, Justin Danhof, has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking additional details about several of those grants totaling nearly a half million dollars, made to the Pacific Institute in California.

The president of the Pacific Institute, Peter Gleick, has this week confessed to misappropriating the identity of another individual in order to obtain confidential documents from a rival think-tank, one that has reached different conclusions than has the Pacific Institute on the causes and significance of global warming.

Gleick said in a statement that he did so because of “frustration” over differences between persons and institutions within the global warming debate.

“The Pacific Institute receives federal grants related to science research while participating ardently in public advocacy on science-related issues,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “While it is possible to be objective during research while simultaneously conducting public advocacy, it is difficult. It most likely is especially difficult when a research institute’s CEO is so overcome with the passion of his convictions that he cannot restrain himself emotionally while in pursuit of his advocacy goals.”

Ridenour continued: “In 2006, in response to another controversy related to maintenance of high objective standards in climate science research, the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations conducted hearings about the so-called ‘hockey stick’ graph of Professor Michael Mann of Penn State University, which had been used by the United Nations’ IPCC for advocacy purposes. The hearing, predictably, did not settle the global warming issue but it did provide lawmakers and the public with the opportunity to hear from prominent climate scientists and statisticians with a variety of viewpoints. It was a form of peer-review, necessary in our view because the traditional peer-review process within science is insufficiently rigorous, particularly when it comes to the highly-controversial issue of global warming, over which very many billions of dollars are at stake.”

The 2006 hearing also reminded scientists and other professionals of the importance of maintaining the highest standards of objectivity.

The oversight hearings the National Center now recommends would have three purposes. 1) To review the grants made during the last two Administrations to make certain sufficient standards of objectivity are in place; to 2) obtain the views of respected scientists as to whether the EPA grant program is focusing its resources in the most promising areas of research with an eye toward maximizing public benefit; and 3) to examine the question of whether the grant program, at a time of 15 trillion-dollar federal government debts, is at an appropriate spending level.

“While Congress itself should not be deciding every EPA grant,” added Ridenour, “Given the amount of dollars involved and the potential for abuse, it makes sense for Congress to call eminent scientists before it every few years to obtain their views on whether these grants are sufficiently advancing the public interest.”

The National Center recommends that grants from the Obama and Bush Administrations be equally evaluated so as to eliminate any suspicion that Congress’s legitimate oversight function is being used for partisan purposes. The evaluation should not be limited to grants made on issues related to global warming.

The National Center has so far filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the EPA related only to grants to the Pacific Institute, it expects to file additional FOIA requests in the coming days.

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Ceding Away Rights in the Name of Public Safety

My good friends at the National Center for Public Policy Research put out a press release today about the state of Illinois’ seeming hypocrisy and double standards when applying law mandating the use and/or need of producing government identification.

As a whole, I support the policies and efforts of the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) but today I have to take issue with some of the argument used by the Center’s Project 21 representative, Stacey Swimp.

At issue is the fact that the state of Illinois now requires government endorsed identification when purchasing certain products, among them drain cleaner. Swimp’s beef comes from the fact that Illinois has rejected previous bills attempting to require some kind of photo identification in order to vote.

“If people must provide a government-issued ID to unclog their drains, they certainly should do the same for the very important task of selecting their elected leaders.”

The point is well taken and I might have left it at that and made some small remark wondering why it is even necessary to require anybody to produce a government-approved ID card to buy Drano?

To bolster the argument, Swimp later says the following:

“Having been certified as a pesticide applicator in the past and knowing the harm they can inflict if used maliciously, I understand why some might want to have a means of identifying who obtains them and for what reasons. The same would apply to guns, fertilizers, over-the-counter medications that can make illicit drugs and — in this case — acids and other dangerous chemicals. So it’s only logical that people who have these concerns would also want similar identification rules to prevent vote fraud.”

I might understand that “some” people might want to regulate breathing of humans but that is not a valid reason to require them to obtain a government permit to do so. It’s easy to spout off about those “reasonable” regulations because we “understand why some”, but how is any of this constitutional and what kind of trouble has this country gotten itself into because we cede away our rights in the name of public safety because “some people might want”?

I’m not suggesting that I think Swimp is advocating for tougher regulations on buying Drano, guns, fertilizers, etc. I have no idea of his position on these issues. It’s simply the fact that he is using defective logic to make a point.

Isn’t it about time that people in this country begin demanding back their rights? Please show me in the constitution where it is “reasonable” that I cede rights. And while your there show me where it is required that I obtain a government approved ID card to buy and sell.

What’s next? The mark of the beast in order that anyone can buy or sell? You keep giving away your freedom by swallowing the Kool-Aid about public safety and national security and we won’t even be having this conversation.

Tom Remington

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