Part 2: Restricted drilling/Environmental and energy policies drive up price of oil

Read Part I: Oil in demand as a world commodity/U.S. in competition

President Obama’s environmental and energy policies are key reasons why gas prices are constantly heading higher, and not the result of corporate greed and not enough government intervention as environmentalists are want to say, dead set as they are against new refineries, the exploration of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and parts Alaska, and offshore drilling. 

For most presidents there is a direct relationship to the price of gasoline and their re-election. It remains to be seen whether the American people will blame Obama in November as voters have in the past elections  — Bush’s head was demanded on a platter — when and if gas prices do reach $4.60 and even $5.00 a gallon here in Chicagoland.

So far, President Obama has been able to skirt blame by telling the American people that outside forces beyond his control are causing gas prices to escalate. 

In a Tribune article on Feb. 24, “Obama fends off GOP on high gas prices,” Obama admits, “There is no silver bullet; there never has been.” Obama then goes on to inform the crowd at the University of Miami that his Republican opponents will likely renew proposals for more drilling with a three-step plan, each one of them involving more drilling. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-goes-on-offense-over-gas-prices-20120223,0,366639.story

If this nation would take advantage of its huge oil reserves, it could keep more of its domestic oil here at home to lessen its dependency on oil from unstable countries where unrest threatens a continuous supply of oil or where the amount of oil released on the world market can be manipulated to keep prices high at the whim of oil producing countries.  

There is no shortage of oil in the U.S. There are documented reserves of 1.79 trillion barrels available in North America. This is more than most likely will ever flow through the Strat of Hormuz and twice the oil of all OPEC nations combined.  That’s enough to fill the tank of every passenger car in the United States for the next 30 years! http://www.akdart.com/oil4.html 

An important oil fact to keep in mind is that oil is not a fossil fuel. Oil is abiotic, not the product of long decayed biological matter.  As such oil replenishes from sources within the mantle of the earth.  

Since the 1970’s there has been a political battle over drilling for oil. Those who opposed drilling were apt to say each time the issue was addressed that drilling would not solve the immediate problem and restricted drilling access continued. 

It does take time for oil drilling to reap its rewards, but it is now 2012 and President Obama is still poking fun at Republicans for proposals that call for more drilling. http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-goes-on-offense-over-gas-prices-20120223,0,366639.story

As a substitute for oil, President Obama suggested on Feb. 23 that this nation could use pond scum (algae) as a way of cutting dependence on oil by 17 percent. Obama did not say when he expected algae-based fuel to reach that level. 

Given the federal government’s dodgy track record in respect to developing alternative vehicle fuels, any bets as to the future of algae as an alternate fuel to replace oil? Remember Ethanol?  

Converting algae to gas is still in its early stages of development. Nevertheless, the Department of Energy (DOE) is currently spending about $85 million on 30 research projects to develop algae bio fuel as a substitute to oil. Furthermore, Obama has committed another $14 million to the cause.  http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/obama-use-algae-substitute-oil/391536 

Given that this nation is awash in oil (besides the opposition to drill, drill, drill) blame can also be placed on the Obama administration’s EPA as to why the  American people are grappling with escalating gasoline prices.   

Without a doubt the crown jewel of the Obama administration was realized on December 7, 2009 through a mandate issued by its EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). At that time CO2 was declared a dangerous pollutant (even though necessary for plant life) for the express purpose of being able to brand CO2 as a pollutant and the main agent of man-made Global Warming.  By Obama’s EPA standards, all human and animals are now walking toxic pollutants because CO2 is exhaled.   blog.heritage.org/…/epa-formally-declares-co2-a-dangerous-pollutan….

Following are thoughts about man-made Global Warming, which has no scientific basis, and which more and more Americans are finally waking to realize is a hoax perpetrated on a gullible public, starting with the hysterical rantings of Al Gore about the earth’s impending demise.   

Simply put, the global warming and climate change theory that everyone is talking is a great big lie which is damaging our economy, costing jobs, closing energy plants and which common sense and scientific facts can disprove. The “man-caused” Global warming theory revolves around the concept that modern man’s use of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) for energy and transportation create great emissions of carbon dioxide which accumulate in the atmosphere, causing the earth’s temperature to rise dramatically and thereby jeopardizing life on earth so that in 25, 50 or 100 years all mankind will be endangered.

These same “experts” claim that in the last 150 – 100 years the temperature of the earth has risen only about 1 degree Fahrenheit – and yes, that is what the panic is about. However, the fact is the planet has is always in a state of climate change. The earth has been going through natural cycles of warming and cooling since it began – remember the ICE AGE we were all taught about?  Mankind’s power to affect the climate is almost nothing compared to the immense power that the ocean, the Sun and planetary forces have upon the earth.  Simply put, mankind couldn’t’t change the climate if we wanted too — we simply don’t have that kind of power.  http://www.greatglobalwarming.com/  

Well worth a read is an article published Feb. 21 in the Wall Street Journal, “Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming,” in which the authors of a January 27 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “No Need to Panic about Global Warming,” are responding to their critics. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h 

Following the initial Jan. 17 Wall Street Journal letter “Fakegate” developed. Scientists ascribing to man-made Global Warming panicked, afraid as they were that the weight of damning evidence against man-made Global Warming would collapse Global Warming Alarmism. 

One scientist/activist, Peter Gleick, committed a despicable act in which he committed fraud and identity theft, lying and stealing his way into possession of Chicago’s The Heartland Institute internal documents, and then sending the media a forged document which contained fictitious, over-the-top accusations with the intent to embarrass The Heartland Institute and its president, Joe Bast. http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/02/24/climate-cha… 

In response to a surprising editorial published in the Chicago Tribune on February 25 about Fakegate, Heartland’s President Joe Bast wrote the following (Although not widely circulated, I did obtain permission from Joe Bast to quote his response.): www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-climate-20120225,0,3701177.story 

This may be the first and only positive editorial the Chicago Tribune has run about us in the past 20 years. It’s not entirely right — the writer leaves no question but that they believe global warming is “dangerous,” and doesn’t mention the conspirators such as Desmogblog, etc., who shamelessly continue to post and cite the stolen forged documents.  

Chicago-based Heartland has for years been at the forefront of the debate about man-made Global Warming as a skeptic, in conjunction and in agreement with renowned scientists world-wide, which proves, as the saying goes, that a prophet is seldom appreciated in his home territory. http://heartland.org/

It is apparent that Global Warming promoters will stop at nothing to discredit Global Warming skeptics for their livelihood depends on it.

How much time will pass before Global Warming is relegated to the dust bin of history where it rightly belongs.? It can’t arrive too soon!

Part three:  Wind and Solar lose favor world-wide/What about Nuclear Power?

 
 
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Woe to consumers if gas prices do escalate to $4.60 by May in Chicago as experts have predicted!

As to the escalating price of gas at the pump, some might regard the questions I am about to pose as inconsequential, insignificant, meaningless, silly, and totally worthless questions.

1.  Can readers think of another country whose politicians insist on having very expensive custom, low miles per gallon, bulletproof limousines and suburbans, the finest jets, the finest food and champagne and wine and drink, live in opulent homes and townhouses, etc…, while preaching to their citizens they need to cut back, live smaller, walk more, and will love driving teeny, weenie tin can-like cars?

2.  As demonstrated by physics, what happens to the energy when a full size vehicle hits a teeny, weenie vehicle and what happens to the occupants in a crash of a teeny, weenie vehicle with a full size vehicle?

3.  Do you think that by the EPA road-blocking off-shore petroleum drilling, coal mining, nuclear reactors, shale oil production, etc…, the price of all fuels might rise, and lowly citizens will be cutting back, living smaller, walking more, love driving teeny, weenie vehicles, as they waive to the politician limousines as they speed by?

4.  Do you believe that escalating gas prices will convince the public that hybrid and electric vehicles are the way to go?

According to Automotive Digest, “Hybrid and electric vehicles still make up a very small slice of US new vehicle sales, with small fuel efficient cars and crossovers taking up some of the slack for now in hitting federal fuel economy.”

The 2011 plug-in electric vehicle sales in the US closed at 17,813 units; hybrid electric vehicles represented 268,807 units out of about 12.7 million new vehicles sold.

As of January of this year, 21,778 hybrids were sold in the US market and 1,427 plug-in electric vehicles.  To this must be added 112 units of the BMW Active E (a plug-in car) sold in the US during January. http://www.automotivedigest.com/GreenMachineDigest/index.php/2012/02/hybrid-and-ev-sales-numbers-slim

It will be interesting to see how escalating gas prices have affected February sales figures when another report is released at the end of this month and in the months to come.

Hybrid vehicle sales did shoot up during the gas spike of 2008, so it’s likely to happen again. The electric car market is more difficult to predict, as electric cars are newer to the market and their sale price is so much higher than gasoline engine vehicles.

Even so many Americans might be induced to invest in an electric car believing they will be saving money at the gas pump.

But what about the Chevy Volt?  It definitely was affected in 2011 when the Volt’s backup gas engine to run a generator for extended range was under the shadow of a government safety probe as to why its big lithium-ion battery pack could catch fire days or even weeks after suffering severe crash damage.

Now to the cost of operating a Chevy Volt:

Eric Bolling (Fox Business Channel’s Follow the Money) test drove the Chevy Volt at the invitation of General Motors.

For four days in a row, the fully charged battery lasted only 25 miles before the Volt switched to the reserve gasoline engine.

Eric calculated the car got 30 mpg including the 25 miles it ran on the battery.  So, the range including the 9 gallon gas tank and the 16 kwh battery is approximately 270 miles.

It will take you 4-1/2 hours to drive 270 miles at 60 mph.  Then add 10 hours to charge the battery and you have a total trip time of 14.5 hours.  In a typical road trip your average speed (including charging time) would be 20 mph.

According to General Motors, the Volt battery hold 16kwh of electricity.  It takes a full 10 hours to charge a drained battery.

The cost for the electricity to charge the Volt is never mentioned, so I looked up what I pay for electricityI pay approximately (it varies with amount used and the seasons) $1.16 per kwh.  16 kwh x $1.16 per kwh = $18.56 to charge the battery.  $18.56 per charge divided by 25 miles = $0.74 per mile to operate the Volt using the battery.

Compare this to a similar size car with a gasoline engine only that gets 32 mpg. $3.19 per gallon divided by 32 mpg = $0.10 per mile.

The gasoline powered car costs about $15,000 while the Volt costs $46,000.

So Obama wants us to pay 3 times as much for a car that costs more than 7 times as much to run and takes 3 times as long to drive across country!

Will you be buying a Volt?  Surely not after reading the facts presented about the Chevy Volt.

Many Americans do know that our nation is awash in oil and that environmental restrictions and EPA rules and regulations are thwarting the way toward energy independence.

But what about other Americans who believe, as told by President Obama, that he bears no responsibility for escalating gas prices?

There IS a way out.  See that Obama becomes a one-term president in November.  If not, soon we might all be forced to drive tin can-like cars, whether we like it or not, to fulfill the Obama administration’s dream to replace oil and gas with green energy sources in order to save the planet.

Are we going to allow the White House and Global Warming zealots to continue to brainwash citizens and countries world-wide with their unscientific claims that CO2 emissions cause man-made Global Warming?

Just an added thought?   Mustn’t electricity be produced somehow to charge the Volt battery?

 Part 1:  Oil in demand as a world commodity/U.S. in competition 

As a prelude to writing about escalating gas prices, might I ask Patch readers what might appear to some as a few inconsequential, insignificant, meaningless, silly, and totally worthless questions?

Can you think of a country whose politicians insist on having very expensive custom, low miles per gallon, bulletproof limousines and suburbans, the finest jets, the finest food and champagne and wine and drink, live in opulent homes and townhouses, etc…, while preaching to their citizens they need to cut back, live smaller, walk more, and will love driving teeny, weenie tin can-like cars. 

As illuminated by physics, what happens to the energy when a full size vehicle hits a teeny, weenie vehicle and what happens to the occupants in a crash of a teeny, weenie vehicle with a full size vehicle?

Do you think that by the EPA road-blocking off-shore petroleum drilling, coal mining, nuclear reactors, shale oil production, etc…, the price of all fuels might rise, and lowly citizens will be cutting back, living smaller, walking more, love driving teeny, weenie vehicles, as they waive to the politician limousines as they speed by? 

Woe to consumers and “Heaven Help Us!” if gas prices do hit $4.60 by May in Chicago as experts predict. Regular unleaded gas now averages $3.48 a gallon, vs. $3.12 a year ago and $2.67 in February of 2010. 

The trend in gasoline prices nationwide over the last three years has not been a friend to the consumer. Tracked during a three-year period, gas prices have jumped 102 percent.

January 2009   ($1.65)                  January 2010   ($2.57)                   

January 2011   ($3.04)                  January 2012   ($3.29)

It is good-bye to the days when gas was $1.40 a gallon, as it was when George W. Bush took office in 2001. By the time Bush left office in 2009, gas was up to $1.68 a gallon, a 20 percent increase (Gas was 18 cents a gallon back when I started driving in 1960.). 

It should be evident why gas prices have spiked up so dramatically from the time Obama took office in 2008 until now, with further predictions that gas prices will rise even higher by summer?  

Since taking office three years ago, President Obama has demonized the oil industry, dramatically slowed offshore drilling, blocked ANWR and killed the Keystone Pipeline. 

How much higher must a gallon of gasoline go before the American people start to fault President Obama! Already the American people are feeling a squeeze on their available incomes with many limiting unnecessary driving.

Unfortunately, when gas prices increase the cost of food and most other products to up.    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/14/business/la-fi-gas-prices-20120214

Those who compare the cost of gasoline here in the U.S. to the price in Europe are quick to say that the American people should consider gasoline a bargain at $4 a gallon, that this is the new norm, and that we must get used to it. 

Not widely reported is that the U.S. is awash in the gasoline it refines, even exporting a record amount of it. If this is so, why are gas prices so high and predicted to go even higher?

Oil companies have gotten a bad rap. Time after time, the American people are being told that oil companies are making astronomical profits. Bill O’Reiley of Fox TV News takes every possible opportunity to bash big oil companies, insisting that they are greedy and responsible for escalating gasoline prices.

Actually, profit margins of U.S. oil and gas companies average 6.7 cents per sales dollar. This is below the average profit margin of 9.2 cents per sales dollar for all other manufacturing industries. Pharmaceuticals and Medicines average over a 23-cent profit per dollar of sale. http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/about/energy/energyissues/pages/profits.aspx

Many Americans do not realize that oil is a commodity on the world stage, and that the U.S. is in competition with other countries for oil.

Accordingly, the growing world-wide demand for oil and gasoline to fuel the economic expansion of China and India must factor into the rise of gasoline prices, in addition to high gas taxes, civil unrest in Venezuela, continued unrest in the Middle East, political instability in Nigeria, and too few U.S. refineries.

To further destabilize the oil market, on Feb. 19, in retaliation for the sanctions placed on Iran by the EU, Iran cut off the supply of oil to England and France.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/19/iran-oil-ministry-exports_n_1287415.html 

As explained recently by Mark Levin, a weekday syndicated talk show host on WLS-AM, gas pricing is dependent on supply and demand. It should not be the role of government to intervene. 

The U.S. is benefiting financially from exporting much of the oil it refines up and above what it needs.

The problem: Despite a 10 percent drop in the use of heating oil due to a warmer winter, and less driving by many, not enough oil was left here at home for domestic use.

The result: The oil that is here has become pricier.  

The gasoline price spike can also be tied to the printing of billions of dollars by our government, a process that devalues the dollars so it takes more dollars to buy a gallon of gasoline.  

Part 2: Restricted drilling/Environmental and energy policies drive up price of oil.

Part II of a two-part article about the hiring of Michael Simick as the new shared superintendents at Lake Forest, IL Districts 67 and 115, who seems to be a clone of present superintendent, Dr. Harry Griffith.

One job position Michael Simeck did seek in 2010 was superintendent at Bloomfield Hills Schools in Michigan. The search narrowed down to two candidates, Robert Glass and Michael Simeck. 

In interviews over two days (one candidate each day) and arranged by the search firm, School Exec Connect, Glass was selected over Simeck by the Bloomfield Hills Schools.  

Unlike the selection of Michael Simeck for superintendent in Lake Forest, there was an opportunity for community members to meet the two finalist candidates and to ask questions of Glass and Simeck when both were being considered for the Bloomfield Hills superintendent position. www.bloomfield.org/download/category/22?download…2010…  CONNECTIONS – Bloomfield Hills Schools 

My concerns are many as to how Simeck was selected and the actual extent of promised community involvement over his selection, as well as the hurriedly arranged meeting to vote over and announce his selection.   

Why wasn’t this done at one of the regularly scheduled meetings in February?  Was there a reason to do it at a “special meeting” so the community would be caught unaware? Was it to avoid lumping it in with the Safer report at the Feb. 28 meeting?

Lack of community involvement was in full play at the Feb. 13 meeting, when the only comments permitted following the open session, and after the name of the superintendent and the terms of his contract were released, were those of Missy Burger, Spirit of 67 Foundation, and Elizabeth Nemickas.   

Their comments offered glowing accounts of Simeck and how he was heads and shoulders above the 99 other superintendent candidates.  All the while others present sat champing at the bit to express their concerns and opinions.  

It was refreshing that two of the District 67 board members did express their misgivings by voting “no” on approving Michael Simeck’s three-year contract, Laurie Rose and Bill Anderson.    

Rose noted how the NYC Chancellor of Schools oversees 1.1 million students and earns $213,000, while Michael Simeck will receive a base salary of $220,000, augmented by an additional $30,000 for managing two districts — with further perks and additional benefits forthcoming — to oversee  4,000 students with the aid of four assistant superintendents and six directors! http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/04/07/nyc-schools-chancelor-cathie…    

Why should taxpayers in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff be concerned that Simeck will receive almost $250,000 as his starting salary with additional perks that add up to measurably more? After all, don’t taxpayers footing the bill live in upscale communities where money is in abundance!   

On second thought, maybe taxpayers are not aware that Harry Griffith’s salary during the current 2011-2012 school year elevated him to the No. 1 spot as the highest paid superintendent in all of Illinois when adding up the equal compensation he receives from Districts 67 and 115 as a shared superintendent.  Griffith’s retirement pension is also out-of-the world! 

It is not unreasonable to conclude that by the time Simeck retires, his salary and retirement benefits will duplicate the lavish one that Griffth is now privy to through years of union bargaining.  

How is it that Simeck needs $500 per month in auto reimbursement?  It is appropriate to question whether Simeck will be given the car assigned and paid for by the Lake Forest School Districts, as will Griffith, upon his retirement?

Why don’t we just give Simeck the luxury automobile we gave Griffith to tool around town! How many luxury automobiles do we have to buy for our pampered Superintendents?

Simeck is sure to follow through with the 21st Century learning program, which is now being implemented in District 67 and which is not greeted enthusiastically by all parents in District 67. The Berkley School System under Simeck likewise has a technology intiative in place http://berkley.patch.com/articles/off-to-the-races-aims-to-pony-up-…

In observing a limited demonstration through a video presentation a few months ago of the 21st Learning Program at a District 67 board meeting, I perceived a disorganized and haphazard classroom learning situation which could possibly work well with brighter students, but which seemed destined to fail those students who required more hands on instruction by the teacher.  http://lf67.org/district/21st_century/technology_files/21st%20Centu…    

The on-going Mandarin Chinese program will also continue with Simeck’s blessing, although many question posed by citizens to board members still remain unanswered. 

The fact that District 67 board member, Laurie Rose, clearly identified the caveats of this proposal and the Board still pressed forward with a mandate, seems to indicate that the Board did not act on their own but under pressure from the superintendent. 

Isn’t the Board’s role to serve the taxpayer and the students, not the superintendent? 

Although opinions about the hiring of Simeck may vary, he certainly deserves watching and observing as he assumes his shared superintendent position at Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115 this summer.

Only then can it be determined  whether this choice is really what community input indicated, or whether the choice was determined more by the wishes of a small group that was involved in the final selection of Simeck to maintain the status quo in both districts.   

Just by chance, I heard about the Lake Forest School District 67 Board of Education Special Meeting the day of the meeting on Feb. 13.   

I was dismayed over the small turnout, which should have been a standing room only event, given that the special meeting was to announce the name of the new superintendent and his employment contract to replace retiring Superintendent Harry Griffith. 

Instead, the Feb. 13 meeting had all the appearance of a hurriedly arranged and basically unannounced West Campus meeting, which helped to fortify my pre-existing perception of the search process as lacking the openness and transparency promised initially to residents of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.  

Not even the presentation by District 67 board member Rich Schuler, in which he detailed the search process used from start to finish in the selection of Michael Simeck, could quell concerns which still linger on.   

My concerns are not with the Executive Search Firm, but with the community input and feed back which took place during the two-year search period. Was the community input and feedback really taken seriously in the selection of Simeck or was it just all for show?   

After reading numerous news accounts of Simeck’s hire on Feb. 14, curiosity got the best of me. All of the accounts contained little more than what was released to the press by the Lake Forest Schools. I wanted to know more about Simeck other than his glowing bio and statements presented at the Feb. 13 meeting. 

Research led me to an article by Jack Lessenberry published on March 11, 2011, “Education Cuts Based on a Hunch.”  In the Lessenberry’s article, Simeck expressed deep concerns that Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, with his proposed FY 2012 budget, would result in deep cuts to education and a sudden budget deficit of $4.9 million in his district. http://domemagazine.com/lessenberry/jl031111  

What Michael Simeck feared did happen. The 2012 budget signed by MSnyder on June 21, 2011, called for $1.5 billion in budget cuts in fiscal year 2012 with a 2 percent cut in education.  http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/gov_rick_snyder_signs_2012_bud.html Another

A 2010 incident likewise speaks of the satisfaction Simeck seemed to be experiencing in his Berkley shared superintendent position, and explains why Simeck was reported as being ecstatic when selected out of 99 other candidates for a similar position at Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115.

After all, the superintendent position in Lake Forest is a plum and extremely lucrative job. Lake Forest also had a high school building that Simeck could only have dreamed of in the past! Even so, as lavish and showy as the Lake Forest High School and its facilities are, a fancy building is no sign that the students are going to gain more knowledge. 

It was in 2010 that Simeck attempted to pass what may have been the largest bond ever during a time of recession.   

Citizens took advantage of the public comment period at a monthly meeting of the Berkley school board to vent their displeasure with a ballot proposal, which was ultimately voted down. 

The proposal would have authorized the board to issue bonds totaling approximately $167 million, to be paid for with the proceeds of an additional 4.27 mill tax levy.   

Simeck was accused of handpicking members of a bond committee that would be willing to work as advocates, instead of finding community members, which he denied. At the time it was suggested that Simeck was seeking another position.

End of Part One


Nothing is more discombobulating to believers of Global Warming than when their unscientific bubble of belief is punctured with facts they fear might sound credible to other believers.

Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, was raked over the coals by a Global Warming-believing-media when making a statement at a Steubenville, Ohio rally on February 18th suggesting that Global Warming was a religion of sorts.  http://www.gopusa.com/news/2012/02/20/santorum-global-warming-is-politics-not-science/

But was Santorum’s statement untrue?  Believers of Global Warming do seem to put “Mother Earth” above all else in a fierce dedication that is akin to worship  But instead of accomplishing their mission of saving Mother Earth, they favor imposing rules and regulations on coal and oil which result in a crippled economy, while simultaneously they promote and foist inefficient, unreliable and more expensive wind and solar (and electric cars) upon the American people.  http://www.gopusa.com/news/2012/02/20/santorum-global-warming-is-politics-not-science/?subscriber=1

Without a doubt the crown jewel of Global Warming fanatics, i.e., Al Gore, and the Obama administration was realized on December 7, 2009, through a mandate issued by Obama’s EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). At that time CO2 was declared a dangerous pollutant (even though necessary for plant life) for the express purpose of being able to brand CO2 as a pollutant and the main agent of man-made Global Warming.  By Obama’s EPAs standards, all human and animals are now walking toxic pollutants because CO2 is exhaled!   blog.heritage.org/…/epa-formally-declares-co2-a-dangerous-pollutan….

As an unabashed skeptic of man-made Global Warming, the following thoughts are direct and to the point as they note the unscientific basis upon which man-man Global Warming is based:

Simply put, the global warming and climate change theory that everyone is talking is a great big lie which is damaging our economy, costing jobs, closing energy plants and which common sense and scientific facts can disprove. The “man-caused” Global warming theory revolves around the concept that modern man’s use of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) for energy and transportation create great emissions of carbon dioxide which accumulate in the atmosphere, causing the earth’s temperature to rise dramatically and thereby jeopardizing life on earth so that in 25, 50 or 100 years all mankind will be endangered.

These same “experts” claim that in the last 150 – 100 years the temperature of the earth has risen only about 1 degree Fahrenheit – and yes, that is what the panic is about. However, the fact is the planet has is always in a state of climate change. The earth has been going through natural cycles of warming and cooling since it began – remember the ICE AGE we were all taught about?  Mankind’s power to affect the climate is almost nothing compared to the immense power that the ocean, the Sun and planetary forces have upon the earth.  Simply put, mankind couldn’t’t change the climate if we wanted too — we simply don’t have that kind of power.    http://www.greatglobalwarming.com/  

More and more Americans are finally waking up to the realization that Global Warming is but a hoax perpetrated on a gullible public, starting with the hysterical rantings of Al Gore about the earth’s impending demise in his movie, “Inconvenient Truth.”      http://www.is.wayne.edu/mnissani/PAGEPUB/InconvenientTruthSummary.htm

Much to the horror of Global Warming proponents, well known scientists are beginning to penetrate the shield erected by die-hard believers to stamp down the scientific findings of the thousands of Global Warming critics world-wide.

A significant penetration of this shield was realized through an initial Wall Street Journal op-ed by renown Global Warming skeptics: “No Need to Panic about Global Warming,” which generated yet another letter by the same noted scientists in response to criticism of their initial Wall Street op-ed from Kevin Trenbert and 37 others in a letter published Feb. 1, and by Robert Byer of the American Physical Society in a letter published Feb. 6.   http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

Following are the names and positions of the scientists who dared to question man-made Global Warming in their Wall Street op-ed, “No Need to Panic about Global Warming”:

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris; J. Scott Armstrong, co-founder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting; Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University; Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society; Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences; William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.; William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT; James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University; Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences; Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne; Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator; Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service; Antoninio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.

In a show of how zealot proponents of man-made Global Warming are to prevent their unscientific theory to be punctured, one scientist and Global Warming fanatic and alarmist, Peter Gleick, committed a despicable act in which he committed fraud and identity theft, lying and stealing his way into possession of Chicago’s The Heartland Institute internal documents, and then sending the media a forged document which contained fictitious, over-the-top accusations with the intent to embarrass The Heartland Institute and its president, Joe Bast.

Peter Gleick’s actions produced a scandal known as “Fakegate.”  Read more about Fakegate in Heartland’s Climate Change Weekly:  “Fakegate Illustrates Collapsing Global Warming Alarmism.”   http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/02/24/climate-cha

In response to a surprising editorial published in the Chicago Tribune on February 25 about Fakegate, Heartland’s President Joe Bast wrote the following (Although not widely circulated, I did obtain permission from Joe Bast to quote his response.):   www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-climate-20120225,0,3701177.story (“Climate madness/Skulduggery undermines the case”)

This may be the first and only positive editorial the Chicago Tribune has run about us in the past 20 years.  It’s not entirely right — the writer leaves no question but that they believe global warming is “dangerous,” and doesn’t mention the conspirators such as Desmogblog, etc., who shamelessly continue to post and cite the stolen forged documents.  

Chicago-based Heartland has for years been at the forefront of the debate about man-made Global Warming as a skeptic, in conjunction and in agreement with renowned scientists world-wide, which proves, as the saying goes, that a prophet is seldom appreciated in his own home.   http://heartland.org/

It is apparent that Global Warming promoters will stop at nothing to discredit Global Warming skeptics for their livelihood depends on it.

How much time will pass before Global Warming is relegated to the dust bin of history where it rightly belongs.?   It can’t arrive too soon!

 

Woe to consumers and “Heaven Help Is!” if gas prices do hit, as experts in Chicago predict, $4.60 by May.  Regular unleaded gas now averages $3.48 a gallon, vs. $3.12 a year ago and $2.67 in February of 2010. 

The trend in gasoline prices nationwide over the last three years has not been a friend to the consumer.  Tracked during a three year period, gas has jumped 102% in just three years: 

January 2009   $1.65    ~   January 2010  $2.57    ~    January 2011 – $3.04    ~    January 2012 – $3.29

Gone are the days when gas was $1.40 a gallon, as was the cost in 2001 when George W. Bush took office.  By the time Bush left office in 2009 gas was up to $1.68, a 20% increase. 

There is little wonder why gas prices have spiked up so dramatically from the time Obama took office until now, with further predictions that gas prices will spike even higher by summer?   Consider that since taking office three years ago, President Obama has demonized the oil industry, dramatically slowed offshore drilling, blocked ANWR and killed the Keystone Pipeline. 

How much higher must a gallon of gasoline cost before the American people start to blame President Obama!  Already the American are feeling a squeeze on their available incomes and some have limited unnecessary driving.  Unfortunately when gas prices increase the cost of food and most other products to up.    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/14/business/la-fi-gas-prices-20120214

I have heard said that the American people should consider gasoline a bargain at $4.00 a gallon, that it is the new norm, and that we must get used to it. 

Not widely known is that this nation is awash in the gasoline that it refines, and even exports a record amount of it.  If this is so, why are gas prices so high and going even higher?

Oil companies have gotten a bad rap.  Time after time the American people have been told that oil companies make astronomical profits.  Profit margins of U.S. oil and gas companies averaged 6.7 cents per sales dollar, below the profit margin for all manufacturing industries with an average of 9.2 cents per sales dollars.  Pharmaceuticals & Medicines averaged over a 23 cent profit per dollar of sale. http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/about/energy/energyissues/pages/profits.aspx
Many Americans do not realize that oil is a commodity on the world stage and how the U.S. is in competition with other countries for oil.  As such a growing world-wide demand for oil and gasoline to fuel the economic expansion of China and India must factor into the rise of gasoline prices, in addition to high gas taxes, civil unrest in Venezuela, continued unrest in the Middle East, political instability in Nigeria, and too few refineries in the U.S. 

To further destabilize the oil market, on Feb. 19, in retaliation for the sanctions placed on Iran by the EU, Iran cut off the supply of oil to England and France.

As explained recently by Mark Levin, a weekday syndicated talk show host on WSL-AM, gas pricing is dependent on supply and demand.  It should not be the role of government to intervene.  The U.S. is benefiting financially from exporting much of the oil it refines up and above what this nation needs.  The problem is, that despite a 10% drop in the use of heating oil in this nation due to a warmer winter, and less driving by many, not enough oil was left here at home.  What oil is here has become more pricey.   

President Obama’s environmental and energy policies are also a key reason why gas prices are constantly heading higher, and not the result of corporate greed and not enough government intervention as radical environmentalists are want to say, dead set as they are against new refineries, the exploration of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and parts Alaska, and offshore drilling. 

With most presidents there is a direct relationship to the price of gas and their re-election.  It remains to be seen whether the American people will blame Obama accordingly in November — Bush’s head was demanded on a platter — when and if gas prices do reach $4.60 and even $5.00 a gallon here in Chicagoland.

So far President Obama has been able to skirt blame by telling the American people that outside forces beyond his control is causing gas prices to escalate.

If this nation would take advantage of its huge oil reserves. it could keep more of its domestic oil at home, so as not to be dependent on oil from unstable countries where unrest exists to threaten the supply of oil or where the amount of oil released on the world market can be lowered at whim by oil producing countries to keep profits high.  

There is no shortage of oil in the U.S. There are proven reserves of 1.79 trillion barrels available in North America.  This is more than likely will ever flow through the Strat of Hormuz and twice that of all the OPEC nations combined.  That’s enough to fill the tank of every passenger car in the United States for the next 30 years. 

Meanwhile Obama’s EPA is doing its part (and Obama’s bidding) to demonize coal-burning power plants by claiming that the emissions are toxic and cause bladder, kidney, liver, lung, prostate, and skin cancer. 

An important fact to keep in mind is that oil is not a fossil fuel.  Oil is abiotic and not the product of long decayed biological matter.  And for better or worse, depending on a person’s viewpoint, oil replenishes from sources within the mantle of the earth.   http://www.akdart.com/oil4.html

With most presidents there is a direct relationship to the price of gas and whether they are elected for a second term.  It remains to be seen whether the American people will blame Obama — Bush’s head was demanded on a platter — when and if gas prices do reach $4.60 and even $5.00 a gallon here in Chicagoland.

So far President Obama has been able to skirt blame by telling the American people that outside forces beyond his control is causing gas prices to escalate.

What about the Obama administration’s EPA which is attempting to regulate coal ash which is has branded as toxic and the cause of bladder, kidney, lung, prostate, and skin cancer?

The crown jewel of Obama’s EPA regulations was the false stigma placed on CO2 when on Dec. 7, 2009, the EPA formally declared CO2 a dangerous pollutant — even though necessary for plant life — as a way to establish that CO2 was the cause of Global Warming. the cause of Global Warming.  By the EPAs standards all human and animals are now walking toxic pollutants CO2 is exhaled.   blog.heritage.org/…/epa-formally-declares-co2-a-dangerous-pollutan….

Simply put, the global warming and climate change theory that everyone is talking is a great big lie which is damaging our economy, costing jobs, closing energy plants and which common sense and scientific facts can disprove. The “man-caused” Global warming theory revolves around the concept that modern man’s use of fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) for energy and transportation create great emissions of carbon dioxide which accumulate in the atmosphere, causing the earth’s temperature to rise dramatically and thereby jeopardizing life on earth so that in 25, 50 or 100 years all mankind will be endangered.

These same “experts” claim that in the last 150 – 100 years the temperature of the earth has risen only about 1 degree Fahrenheit – and yes, that is what the panic is about. However, the fact is the planet has is always in a state of climate change. The earth has been going through natural cycles of warming and cooling since it began – remember the ICE AGE we were all taught about?  Mankind’s power to affect the climate is almost nothing compared to the immense power that the ocean, the Sun and planetary forces have upon the earth.  Simply put, mankind couldn’t change the climate if we wanted too — we simply don’t have that kind of power.    http://www.greatglobalwarming.com/  

More about Global Warming, and well worth reading, is a Wall Street Journal article published on Tuesday, February 21, “Concerned Scientists Reply on Global Warming,” in which the authors of the January 27 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “No Need to Panic about Global Warming,” respond to their critics.    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html?mod=djemEditorialPage_h

Even if coal and oil were to blame for climate change, what about Nuclear power as a safe, GREEN, and cheap energy source to supply future energy needs.  Although two nuclear plants have recently been approved in the state of George, this nation has not been “Johnny on the Spot” in joining the world-wide Nuclear Renaissance.  http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/us-begs-for-more-nuclear/173

Looking worldwide, and with very few exceptions, countries are continuing their commitments to nuclear energy and realizing that it must be an integral part of their energy mix. Currently 60 reactors are being built worldwide.  None has been canceled as a result of Fukushima. China has more than 25 reactors under construction; India has 200 reactors and wants to double the number in the next two decades.
  
India, likewise, is not allowing itself to fall behind in selecting nuclear as a very important and necessary energy source.  India currently has 200 reactors but wants to double the number in the next two decades.  http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/nuclear-industry-lives/1668
 
Unfortunately many of the 20 plants now in various stages of planning here in the U.S. will not pan out because of lengthy court tie-ups from environmental extremists, etc., who oppose Nuclear power.

Although Rick Santorum is being raked over the coals by the media because of a statement made at a rally in Steubenville, Ohio, Santorum’s remark, “Global warming is politics, not science.” spoke truth.  

Santorum likewise alluded to Global Warming as being a religion of sorts.  Also true because believers of Global Warming worship Mother Earth.  But instead of saving Mother Earth, they impose rules and regulations on the use of coal and oil as energy sources, while at the same time they promote and foist inefficient, unreliable and more expensive wind and solar (and electric cars) upon the American people.  http://www.gopusa.com/news/2012/02/20/santorum-global-warming-is-politics-not-science/?subscriber=1

Wind and solar power will never be able to take the place of coal, oil, gas or nuclear power.  Both will ultimately fail when government subsidies no longer are available to prop them up.  Even when the Obama administration propped Solyndra up with a $500 million loan, it failed.     

Would Obama even mind if gas prices went up to $8.00 a gallon as long as he didn’t reap the blame.  Probably not, because the high price of gasoline would accomplish what Obama is aiming for.  He wants to wean this nation from dependence on oil as a toxic pollutant and instead foist upon them inefficient, unreliable and more expensive wind and solar, which, in turn, will convince consumers — out of necessity — to  purchase  electric cars which up to now they have rejected. 

The Obama administration is moving forward with little resistance and little by little is succeeding in its goal too exert more and more power and influence over the American people so government can impose its will upon them.   

Is change possible?  Certainly, but not the change that 2008 brought to the American people with the election of Barack Hussein Obama. 

But will the American people swollow what Obama has planned for them in his re-election bid as he presents a more down-to earth message and modest American dream in the promotion of what he perceives as the basic building blocks of middle-class economic security?http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/obama-peddles-modest-american-dream-5755251   

If so not only will the middle class, but all Americans will be privy to higher taxes and increased unemployment which will result in a less productive and prosperous America and, yes, continued high gas prices!

 
Just by chance I heard about the Lake Forest School District 67 Board of Education Special Meeting on Monday, February 13.  
 
Given the limited number of parents and citizens present at this very important meeting, which should have had standing room only, was the announcement of the new superintendent to replace retiring Superintendent Harry Griffith, fifty-year old Michael Simeck who holds the same position at Berkley School District in southeastern Oakland County in Michigan
 
Instead the February 13 meeting had the appearance of a hurriedly arranged and  previously unannounced meeting, which helped to fortify my perception of the search process even before entering the meeting room at West Campus, that it lacked the openness and transparency promised initially to residents of Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. 
 
Not even the presentation by District 67 board member Rich Schuler of the process used from start to finish in selecting Michael Simeck as the new superintendent (Schuler spoke of using an Executive Search Firm and polling the community for feedback.), could quell my concerns at the meeting and after leaving that community input was not taken seriously and was just for show.
 
Being curious, I wanted to know more about Michael Simeck than the glowing bio and statement presented at the February 13 meeting.
 
In an article written by Jack Lessenberry on March 11, 2011, Education Cuts Based on a Hunch, Michael Simeck was described as superintendent of the smallish but highly diverse Berkley School District in southeastern Oakland County, with a school enrollment of 4,800 students. 
 
In the article Simeck expressed deep concern that the governor’s proposed FY 2012 budget (Gov. Rick Snyder), with its deep cuts to education, will do his district and his students serious harm by resulting in a sudden budget deficit of $4.9 million.  It was speculated that Simeck, like other superintendents, had little wiggle room since most of the budget goes for negotiated salaries and fixed costs.  
 
What Michael Simeck feared did happen.  The 2012 budget signed by Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, called for $1.5 billion in budget cuts in fiscal year 2012 with a 2% cut in education.  http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/gov_rick_snyder_signs_2012_bud.html
 
Another telling Michael Simeck situation while at Berkley seemed to offer further reason why Simeck, as reported at the meeting, was so ecstatic over being selected out of 99 other candidates for the shared superintendency position of Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115.  After all the superintendent position is a plum job.  Simeck will have even less students and schools to oversee than he did in the Berkley School System.
 
While superintendent of the Berkley School System, a shared position arrangement, in 2010 Simeck attempted to pass what may have been the largest bond ever during a time of recession. 
 
Citizens took advantage of the public comment period at the monthly meeting of the Berkley school board to vent their displeasure with a ballot proposal that failed on Feb. 23.  It would have authorized the board to issue bonds totaling approximately $167 million, to be paid with the proceeds of an additional 4.27 mill tax levy.  Simeck was accused of handpicking members of a bond committee who would be willing to work as advocates, instead of finding community members. 
 
The bond issue was also described as one that had nothing to do with educating students; it was all about buildings and learning environments, which tied right in with Simeck’s constant drumbeat of giving the schools more money, instead of the need to buck-up and make cuts. 
 
As reported in a post to “Tempers flare over failed Berkley bond,” after the bond issue failed on Feb. 23, Simeck immediately interviewed for a job at another school district.   http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2010/03/15/news/local_news/doc4b9d80e5ac3a2902773124.prt
 
One job position Simeck did seek while superintendent at Berkley was the superintendent position at Bloomfield Hills Schools in Michigan.  A report updated on Wednesday, March 31, 2010, relates:  “The BHS Board of Education tonight selected Robert Glass and Michael Simeck following interviews of four candidates during this week’s first round.  School Exec Connect, the search firm, will arrange interviews on Monday, April 12 and Tuesday, April 13.”  Robert Glass was ultimately chosen over Simeck for the position. http://www.bloomfield.org/component/content/article/598-bhs-board-to-interview-two-candidates-for-superintendent-in-second-round 
 
Unlike the proceedure followed at the Bloomfield Hills Schools in selecting Glass over Simeck in 2010, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff residents were not given a chance to meet the final two candidates to ask questions.  As reported:  “The BHS Board selected Mr. Glass after second interviews of he and Michael Simeck, the current Berkley superintendent, which included an opportunity for community members to meet the two finalist candidates and to ask questions. Four candidates presented by search firm School Exec Connect were interviewed in the first round.”

http://www.bloomfield.org/download/category/22?download…2010… CONNECTIONS – Bloomfield Hills Schools
   
Contrary to what happened with the Berkley bond issue in which Michael Simeck was involved, the bond referendum requested by the Board of Education of Lake Forest School District 115 in 2006 ($54,000,000) did pass overwhelmingly, most likely because the recession had not yet hit the pocketbooks of taxpayers in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff.
 
Following is the referendum voted upon by  Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents in the 2006 General Election of Nov. 7:
 
Lake Forest CU School
District 115
LAKE Bond Build/Construct Pass
Shall the Board of Education of Lake Forest CUSD 115, Lake County, build, equip, improve, and
repair Lake Forest CUSD’s school buildings and issue bonds up to the amount of $54,000,000 for
paying the costs thereof?      http://www.isbe.net/research/pdfs/referenda_2006.pdf
 
The outcome was the construction of a high school facility whose purpose, as admitted to me when touring the unbelievable and science fiction-like facility, was to be the best high school in the area, as if the spending lavishly on a building will elevate student achievement.
 
As such, Michael Simeck is now superintendent of a Lake Forest School District, as of July 1st, that has a high school building that he could only have dreamed of in the past!
 
My concerns are many as to how Michael Simeck was selected and the actual extent of promised community involvement over his selection, as well as the hurriedly arranged meeting to vote over and announce his selection.  Why wasn’t this done at one of the regularly scheduled meetings in February?  Was there a reason to do it at a “special meeting” so the community would be caught unaware?  Was it to avoid lumping it in with the Safer report at the February 28th meeting?
 
Lack of community involvement was in full play at the Feb. 13 meeting, when the only comments permitted following the open session, and after the name of the superintendent and the terms of his contract were released, were those of Missy Burger, Spirit of 67 Foundation and Elizabeth Nemickas.  Their comments offered glowing accounts of Simeck and how he was heads and shoulders above the 99 other superintendent candidates.  All the while others present, sat champing at the bit to express their concerns and opinions. 
 
It was refreshing that two of the District 67 board members did express their misgivings by voting “no” on approving Michael Simeck’s three-year contract, Laurie Rose and Bill Anderson. 
 
Laurie Rose, who participated by phone because of a family emergency, read a long letter when asked for her vote on the “Approval of the Performance Based Superintendent’s Contract.”  Much of her letter could not be understood, but one of her misgivings regarded the compensation package of Michael Simeck. 
 
Rose noted how the NYC Chancellor of Schools oversees 1.1 million students and earns $213,000, while Michael Simeck will receive a base salary of $220,000 augmented by an additional $30,000 for managing two districts — with further perks and additional benefits forthcoming — to oversees 4,000 students with the aid of four Assistant Superintendents and six directors. 
 
When Superintendent Harry Griffith retires in June he will be the highest paid superintendent in all of Illinois when combining his shared services compensations — entered into in July of 2004 — as superintendent of Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115.  Michael Simeck likewise received more in compensation as superintendent of the Berkley School District than the governor of Michigan.
 
Although Michael Simeck will experience a pay-cut in his acceptance of the shared superintendent position in Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115,
his three-year contract, if extended, is certain to give Simeck raises and bonuses as were likewise granted to Harry Griffith through bargaining during Griffith’s years as superintendent and which now add up to his extreme compensation package upon retirement.
 
Speaking in financial terms, Simeck will bring with him to his new Lake Forest superintendency position monthly pension benefits he accrued during his time in Michigan, while at the same time he is being compensated for his shared superintendent position in Districts 67 and 115.
 
How is it that Simeck needs $500 per month in auto reimbursement and 22 days of vacation time.  Only the superintendent is awarded this much vacation time.  It is appropriate to question whether Michael Simeck will be given the car assigned and paid for by the Lake Forest School Distrcts upon his retirement, as will Superintendent Griffith?  Why don’t we just give Mr. Simeck the luxury automobile we gave Mr. Griffith to tool around town!  How many luxury automobiles do we have to buy for our pampered Superintendents?
 
Michael Simeck is sure to follow through with the 21st century learning program which is now being implemented in District 67, which is not greeted enthusiastically by all parents in District 67  In January of this year Berkley Education Foundation held a fundraiser, “Off to the Races,” to support Berkley’s technology initiative with a goal of raising enough money to buy I-Pads for every classroom in the district.
In Lake Forest, although all parents pay a $250 technology fee each year, more than enough to cover the cost of I-Pads, only staff and administrators get I-Pads while students get much cheaper and less advanced Net-books which are paid for by the Spirit Foundation.
 
The 21st Century learning program uses I-pads for the learning process in which subjects to be taught are merged together instead of being taught separately.  In observing the limited implementation of the 21st learning program in District 67 through a video presentation shown at a board meeting a few months ago, the program seemed to point to a disorganized and haphazard classroom learning situation which could possibly work well with brighter students, but which seemed destined to fail those students who required more hands on instruction by the teacher.  http://lf67.org/district/21st_century/technology_files/21st%20Century%20Cassroomsrevised.pdf  
 
Simeck is likewise a supporter of the on-going Mandarin Chinese program in Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115.  Many question have as of yet been unanswered that were posed by citizens who presented their concerns to the boards of both Lake Forest School Districts.  
 
Other concerns which merit followup reports:
 
1.  Age of the selected superintendent (50) as to his service commitment in years to Lake Forest School Districts 67 and 115?
  
2.  Simeck is just now completing his doctorate degree in education.  Not that diplomas mean all that much in the long run, but most likely most of the candidates applying already had received their doctorate degrees. In addition, his Baccalaureate and Master’s degree’s are both from Eastern Michigan University, a school not known for its rigorous educational standards.
 
3.  Is it true that the shared services policy entered into eight year ago in 2004, and which now includes 17 other individuals from finance, building/ground, and communication, has saved District 67 $600,000 per year, or a total of $6.8 million, as was expressed at the Feb.13th meeting.
 
4.  The main thrust of the argument for the BOE to have declined the proposal was pointed out by board member Laurie Rose, when she strongly advised that the BOE should have gone back to the drawing board to create a true binding agreement, i.e. one with ‘teeth’ that holds the Supt. to performance based measures and is also fiscally sound, especially in this recession.
 
The fact that Ms. Rose clearly identified the caveats of this proposal and the Board still pressed forward with a mandate, indicates that the Board does not act on their own but under pressure from the Superintendent.  Isn’t the Board’s role to serve the taxpayer and the students, not the Superintendent?
 
Although opinions about the hiring of Michael Simeck will vary, Mr. Simeck certainly deserves watching and observing as he assumes the superintendent’s position at Lake Forest Districts 67 and 115 this summer.  Only then can it be determined  whether this choice is really what community input indicated, or whether the choice was determined more by the wishes of a small group that was involved in the final selection of Simeck to maintain the status quo in both districts.  

 

I was pleased to read in the Chicago Tribune on Friday, Feb.10, a report about the day before approval by the government to construct two new reactors at an estimate cost of $14 billion at Southern Company’s “Plant Vogtle” in the state of Georgia. The  Tribune’s article, U.S. approved first new nuclear plant in a generation, rightly called the reactor approvals the strongest signal yet that the three decade hiatus of nuclear plant construction is ending.    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-usa-nuclear-nrctre818209-20120209,0,6637411.story

This positive story was a good sign and a long awaited one.  Construction of nuclear power plants in the U.S. was frozen after the partial core meltdown of the Three Mile Island reactor at Middletown, Pa. in 1979.   The result:  The current 104 operating nuclear plants in the U.S. all date back to model designs of the 1960’s and 1970’s. 
 
Illinois has eleven of the 104 operating nuclear plants in this nation, with dual reactors located at several of the sites.  All eleven of Illinois’s reactors are equipped with the 1970’s Westinghouse designed PWR model (Pressurized Water Reactor), which is still in operation worldwide.  this is in contrast to the flawed GE turbine model of the same era.  
 
Accordingly to David Hollein of Barrington Hills, IL, a retired Westinghouse engineer who at the time was involved intimately in the construction of many more than just the eleven Illinois Nuclear Plants still in operation, “The Westinghouse PWR model could operate nicely for many decades if properly maintained like a car.”
 
As has been done here in Illinois, almost all of the 104 operating U.S. reactors are either undergoing re-licensing and upgrading or have already done so, thus adding another 20 years of operational life. 
 
One exception is the sad tale of the Dual Nuclear Reactor at Zion, Illinois, which is now being decommissioned after it was prematurely and unnecessarily closed by Exelon in 1998.  Its closure happened even before its initial licenses were due to expire in 2012. 
 
The Zion Nuclear Power Station was the third dual-reactor nuclear power plant constructed in this nation.  Built in 1973, the first unit started 
producing power in 1974; the second unit came on-line the year after.  Licensed originally in 1974, the dual Zion plant was expected to operate until at least 2012.  After that time ComEd had the right to apply for extensions of the operating licenses for several decades beyond 2012.
 
When in operation the Dual Zion facility supplied 2,100 MW of cheap, clean, and reliable power.  What a waste of a power source here in Illinois, and for citizens in northern Illinois who, like me as an electric rate payers, paid to construct the two Zion Plants through increased electricity rate payments and likewise established a decommissioning fund of close to a billion dollars.
 
Considering that it takes ten years to construct a new nuclear plant, the Zion Plant was located on an already seismically approved location.  David Hollein, as the Nuclear Project Engineer of the Dual Zion Nuclear Plant, insists without a doubt that upgrading the Zion Dual Plant was both possible and feasible at far less a cost than the price of building a new reactor. 
 
In a surprise move two years ago President Obama awarded $8.3 billion in loan guarantees to help build the dual Vogtle Reactor Plant.  It was way past time to do so!
 
Together the two reactors in Georgia will cost $14 billion and will generate 2,200 MW, enough to power one million homes.  One of the reactors is scheduled to come on-line in 2016, the other a year later in 2017.  http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/the-first-us-nuke-since-three-mile-island/2056
 
Given the intense coverage of the nuclear reactor natural disaster at Fukushima, Japan, it is noteworthy that the devastating event didn’t deliver a death knell to Nuclear power.  Nor should it have, for the Japan reactor incident was caused by an intense earthquake that shut down the electricity needed for back-up generators to continue to pump water to cool the reactor, subsequently overheating and subsequent damage occurred.
 
The two Georgia reactors — the first approved in over three decades by the Nuclear Regulation Commission by a 4 – 1 vote — will incorporate the third generation of the Westinghouse A1000 model into their construction, with safety features that give people days instead of hours to restore electric power.  No human action is required to shut down the reactors, nor are pumps needed to cool the plant in the case of an emergency.  Instead, the use of physics and natural circulation along the containment walls will cool the reactors instead of relying on mechanical systems.     
 
Even so a “no” vote was cast by the chairman of the NRC.  He argued that the commission should delay approval until it requires all nuclear plant operators to include safety and operational lessons learned from the natural disaster and meltdown at Fukushima, Japan. 
 
Such a delay would have been pointless.   Wouldn’t all reactors have to abide by any safety regulation and standards the NRC decided to put into effect?  
 
It just so happens that the chairman of the NRC who voted against granting the approval for the two Georgia reactors, Gregory B. Jacko, was the  the former science adviser to Senator Harry Reid who stopped the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository.  Gregory Jacko was appointed head of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Barack Obama on May 13, 2009.
 
The U.S. as a nation is begging for more nuclear power as nuclear power is still the best for producing large amounts of round-the clock, reliable electricity that is affordable, safe and clean.  
 
Twenty four new reactor application have been filed in addition to the two approved Georgia plants. Some of the newly filed U.S. reactor applications are slated to use the Westinghouse AP1000 turbine design.  http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/us-begs-for-more-nuclear/173
 
By-passing nuclear power to rely more on wind, solar, gas and other energy efficiency measures would be foolish and paramount to economic suicide for the U.S.   None of the before mentioned can produce sufficiently large volumes of base-load electricity as consistently and affordability as can nuclear power. 
 
Looking worldwide, with very few exceptions, countries are continuing their commitments to nuclear energy and realizing that it must be an integral part of their energy mix. Currently 60 reactors are being built worldwide, none of which has been canceled as a result of Fukushima. 
 
Present China has the biggest nuclear construction program.  With 14 operating nuclear plants, China has more than 25 reactors under construction.  Four of the reactors being built are using the modified Westinghouse AP1000 design (Westinghouse is now a unit of Toshiba.).  China’s additional 25 reactors will increase the amount of energy generated by Nuclear power by 65%
 
India, likewise, is not allowing itself to fall behind in selecting nuclear as a very important and necessary energy source.  India currently has 200 reactors but wants to double the number in the next two decades.  http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/nuclear-industry-lives/1668
 
Unfortunately for the U.S., not all of the 20 plants now in various stages of planning will pan out because of lengthy court tie-ups from environmental extremists, etc., who oppose Nuclear power.
 
For those who do raise fierce objection to nuclear power, it behoove you to consider these facts:
 
1.  The U.S. Navy has been using nuclear power for its submarines and now ships since the 1950’s without incident.  “Hyman George Rickover was a four-star admiral of the United States Navy who directed the original development of naval nuclear propulsion and controlled its operations for three decades as director of Naval Reactors.  Rickover’s substantial legacy of technical achievements includes the United States Navy’s continuing record of zero reactor accidents, as defined by the uncontrolled release of fission products subsequent to reactor core damage.”    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyman_G._Rickover

2.  Compared to other mainline fuels, nuclear offers a pretty safe track record.  The human brain has evolved to latch on to big events like in Japan and the Ukraine and not the mundane.  More than 500,000 people die each year in China whose deaths are attributed to coal pollution.  In a study, nuclear came out safer than coal, oil, hydro, wind, and rooftop solar.   http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/nuclear-industry-lives/1668

 
Our own state of Illinois has fallen asleep at the wheel.  It will take a severe jolt to awaken legislators in the Democratically controlled House and Senate to come to their senses.  Based on their belief in Global Warming, Illinois Democratic legislators have mandated that 18% of Illinois’s energy should come from wind and solar power by 2025.  Illinois has not even reached its mandated 2011 goal of one half of one percent!
 
It doesn’t help that Chicago-based Exelon Corporation is investing in wind farms and solar panel projects eager to cash in on the very lucrative government subsidies provided by its wind and solar investments, even though Exelon is the largest nuclear operator in the United States.  
 
Exelon’s CEO, John Rowe, has ties with the Obama administration through invited visitations to the White House and through his close connections with the Chicago political gang, including Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  
 
Rowe, as a ardent supporter of “Cap and Trade” and green energy, has spent millions of dollars in lobbing Congress to pass Cap and Trade legislation.  http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2010/0118/americas-best-company-10-exelon-utility-tax-carbon-windfall_print.html
 
Is it an wonder that Illinois has fallen asleep at the wheel with its energy policy that allowed the shut down and now the decommissioning of the 2,100 MW Dual Zion Nuclear Plant without justification, and when Exelon’s CEO John Rowe is gleefully accommodating Illinois in its green energy pipe dream that can only lead to further economic decline of IL, already a failed state fiscally, and a continuation in 2012 of Illinois’s 2011 last-in-the-nation job creation status.
 
 

RALC Straw Poll Results

 
On Thursday February 9th, the Republican Assembly of Lake County held its monthly meeting and bi-annual Straw Poll in Mundelein at the Comfort Inn, Ray True, Chairman.
 
Enthusiastic members and friends were rewarded by the presence of twelve candidates, each of whom were given three to five minutes to introduce themselves, after which two questions could be asked of each candidate from the assembled.    
 
All contested offices in Lake County were included in the Straw Poll.  Absent were candidates for State Rep. 52nd District; State Rep. 58th District; and Lake Co. Bd. Districts #12, #13, #15, #16, #17. 
 
As a bonus a Presidential “Beauty Contest” was also held.  The results reflected the recent rise in the polls for Rick Santorum:  Newt Gingrich (21%), Ron Paul (6%), Mitt Romney (14%) and Rick Santorum (59%). 
 
Candidates achieving 80% of the votes cast were all RALC members.  Five candidates achieved this status and were rated “Highly Qualified.”  Dan Donahue was the only non-RALCer to achieve the Highly Qualified rating; however, all RALC candidates — due to member status — are rated and considered highly qualified.
 
It is interesting to note that several of the RALC member candidates receiving 50% or more of the straw poll vote have likewise been endorsed by the Republican Establishment of Lake County, despite facing a challenger(s) who seems better qualified and suited for the position than does the establishment-endorsed candidate. 
 
As such the results of the RALC straw poll were more indicative of a popularity contest. 
 
For all practical purposes, at least in this election year, the conservative RALC, of which I am a member, has strong connections to the Lake County Republican Establishment.  It’s difficult to find much daylight between them.   
 
Results of the RALC straw poll follow: 
 
Minor variance due from rounding errors of 100% total.  Races where candidates were no shows have a star after the name of the race.  Names of members of RALC are underlined. 
 
STATE SENATE – DISTRICT # 31
 
Lennie Jarratt  (60%)
Larry Leafblad  (13%)
Joel Neal (20%)
Michael White (6%)
 
STATE SENATE – DISTRICT # 52  *
 
Kent Gaffney (23%)
David McSweeney (58%)
Danielle Rowe (19%)
 
STATE REP DISTRICT #58  *

 
Mark G. Neerhof  (50%)
Lauren G. Turelli (50%)
 
LAKE CO. STATES ATTORNEY            
 
Louise Hayes (10%)
Mike Nerheim (10%)
Bryan R. Winter (80%)
 
LAKE COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT CLERK   
 
Keith Brin (60%)
Gerald T. Dietz (40%)
 
LAKE COUNTY CORONER 
 
Howard Cooper (26%)
Steve Newton (74%) 
 
LAKE COUNTY RECORDER              
 
Bob Bednar (61%)
Marty Blumenthal (39%)
 
LAKE COUNTY BD – DISTRICT # 3    
 
Jim Mitchell (12%)
Tom Newton (8%)
Tom Weber (80%)
 
LAKE COUNTY BOARD – DISTRICT #12  *  
 
Scott J. Helton (62%)
Mike Rummel (38%)
 
LAKE COUNTY BOARD – DISTRICT # 13  * 
 
David N. Barkhausen (30%)
Rick Lesser (70%)
 
LAKE COUNTY BOARD – DISTRICT # 15  * 
 
Carol Calabresa (18%)
Dan Donahue (82%)
 
LAKE COUNTY BOARD – DISTRICT # 16  *   


Michael Carbone (96)
Rene Hernandez, Jr. (4%)
 
LAKE COUNTY BOARD – DISTRICT #17 * 
Dan Quick (11%)
Nick Sauer (86%)
Mary Schorr (4%)
 
LAKE COUNTY BOARD – DISTRICT # 21   
 
Douglas R. Bennett (8%)
Robert E. Haraden (63%)
Ann B. Maine (29%)