The End of Irish Speech; The End of Australian Coal; & (maybe) The End of Chevron
In his Editor’s Column this week, Michael Walsh takes aim at Ireland’s reprehensible anti-Free Speech bill.
Hate the New Irish 'Hate Speech' Law
Having removed the Catholic Church from its privileged position in public life, [Ireland’s] 1937 constitution has been considerably modified in the interim, with provisions allowing gay marriage and the deletion of prohibitions on abortion. Now the national legislature, called the Oireachtas, is about to pass a sweeping "hate speech" bill that, if ratified by the Irish senate, will have finally betrayed both the original Irish Constitution and the Irish people once and for all. The preamble to the constitution reads in part:
In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Éire, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial, Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation...
Well, our divine Lord Jesus Christ has been driven from the public square, the country seems to have no further obligations to him, and the sustained battle for independence through centuries of trial has been squandered for a mess of pottage and a couple of motorways from the E.U. The minute Ireland was forced to revote in 2009 on its prior rejection of the Lisbon Treaty and thus became "European" instead of "Irish," its goose was cooked. Today, Irish women are encouraged to abort their babies while at the same time the government is advocating a massive increase in immigration from Third World countries in order to address the coming labor shortages.
Meanwhile, the luckless unhoused natives get the back of the hand by a government who hates them, while at the same time Ukrainian "refugees" -- many of them able-bodied young men of military age -- are fed, housed, clothed, and financed at public expense and dispersed to towns and villages across the country, outnumbering the locals in many cases. And the anti-Irish government shrugs and says there's nothing it can do, because "it's the law."
As explained here before, the Irish electoral system is an international disgrace; its "ranked choice" structure not only encourages vote-rigging and -swapping, it demands it. Its multi-party system is in reality a parliamentary collusion between Tweedledee (Fine Gael) and Tweedledum (Fianna Fail), two ancient artifacts from the rebellion against the Brits and the Irish civil war. They're currently snuggled up together in a cozy power-sharing coalition racket that sees their titular heads taking turns as Taoiseach (the equivalent of a prime minister), while the important decisions are left to "ministers" like the hard-left Greens' vindictive, anti-energy watermelon Eamon Ryan (the "minister for Transport," of course). Ominously, there's now talk of a permanent fusion of the two major parties.
In a class by himself is simple Simon Harris, the face of the new "hate-speech" law. Harris is a college dropout of no discernible intellect, ability, or skills who wrecked the Irish national health-care system during his recent turn as "minister for health" and currently warms the seat of the "minister for Justice" while the real minister is on maternity leave. He's never made a living in anything but politics. That Harris was elected on the 15th round of vote-counting in his constituency really tells you everything you need to know about the state of democracy in Ireland, in which the minor parties don't stand a chance.
Under Harris' Incitement to Violence or Hatred and Hate Offences Bill (an expansion and "updating" of a 1989 law), which given the supine, protective, and collaborationist nature of the Irish media flew under the public radar until recently), there are now ten classes of "protected" species -- all of them liberal darlings of course, including race, color, nationality, religion, national or ethnic origin, descent, gender, sex characteristics, sexual orientation, disability, membership in the "Traveler community" (formerly known as "tinkers") and immigration status. In other words, just about every observable characteristic of a human being. It's a list Orwell would be proud of….
There appears to be little chance of stopping this Brussels-demanded monstrosity. Having been passed by the Dáil Éireann (the Irish House of Represenatives), it moves to the Seanad, where it can be amended but not rejected, and then goes to powerless President Michael Higgins, whose only recourse is to approve it or buck it along to the country's high court to request a test of its constitutionality. But the diminutive, elderly poet, 82, is a raging Leftist, so the chances of that happening are very low, which means it is up to the people of Ireland to bring the contest directly to the Court, and to rally world opinion behind them….
Indeed, the only chance of torpedoing it now is international pressure, something the Eurocrats running the Irish state absolutely hate. In their minds, they're no longer culchies or even Irishmen, but sophisticated Citizens of Europe who know how to use a fish fork and perhaps can tell the difference between Burgundy and Bordeaux just from the shape of the bottle. Musk's tweet in particular got their attention and shook them right down to their imported Italian shoes. Leo Varadar (a "Young Global Leader" in cahoots with Klaus Schwab's World Economic Forum), Micheál Martin, Ryan, Harris, and their dimwitted comrades make the confederacy of dunces currently in control of the U.S. look like Pericles of Athens and his ten best friends.
Members of the Irish Diaspora, who number in our millions around the globe in places like the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, need to make our voices heard, especially those of us in the media who prize freedom of speech above all else. (Bill Maher, Andrew Sullivan -- are you with us?)
Joan Sammon contributed a piece on Jamie Dimon’s incessant ESG push, which asks who actually benefits from his net-zero vision. Certainly not his company’s investors.
'Net-Zero': Who Needs It?
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon finally said the quiet part out loud when he suggested in his Annual Letter to CEO’s that there must be a coordinated alignment by government, corporations, and non-government organizations (NGO’s) to implement what he describes as practical policies to expedite the move to a transitioned, net-zero world. For Dimon, this includes using eminent domain to confiscate private property for the construction of wind and solar projects. Perhaps unintentionally, Dimon also affirmed what many market watchers have been asserting for some time—that there is an fundamental lack of interest by the market for a net-zero, "transitioned" world.
Described as a power of federal, states, and municipalities government to seize private property for public use while compensating the owner at "fair market rates," Dimon’s interpretation doesn’t focus on public use. His interest pertains to returns, distributions, and control.
In his letter Dimon explains that he wants to direct capital flows toward "green," transition-centric businesses and industries, many of which do not currently exist, in order to expeditiously usher in a society that investors manifestly do not want. All while ignoring the reality that by moving toward such a world, America and other western democracies would necessarily become more dependent on China, America’s most sinister economic adversary.
Because of the quantity of rare-earth elements that China controls, a dependence on China to produce the energy and products of a net-zero world would bind American investors to an antithetical Communist regime that hates individual liberty and seeks to harm America. Forcing a move to technologies whose inputs America does not control, to create a society investors do not want, risks the economic sustainability that used to be a foundation of sound corporate investing. A transitioned, net-zero world therefore is not possible if liberty, economic stability, and democratic institutions are to remain pillars of American society.
But Dimon persists:
To expedite progress [of the green agenda], governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations need to align across a series of practical policy changes that comprehensively address fundamental issues [investors and democratic institutions] that are holding us back. Massive global investment in clean energy technologies must be done [through forced capital re-orientation] and must continue to grow year-over-year… We may even need to evoke eminent domain — we simply are not getting the adequate investments fast enough for grid, solar, wind and pipeline initiatives.
Note his liberal use of the word must, a typical Leftist trope/demand. Dimon, however, isn’t alone in his desire to bum-rush America onto the net-zero version of the Titanic. The prospect of large-scale compulsory seizure of land for wind projects was recently highlighted in future energy scenarios presented by oil giant Shell as a possible necessity for an accelerated push to net-zero.
As CEO of one of the largest financial conglomerates in the world, Dimon is supporting the vision and strategy of the World Economic Forum (WEF). If, as it appears, the WEF is using Dimon to promote its political and social agenda, it would place JP Morgan Chase in conflict with its legal obligations to investors as described by the sole interest rule and codified in U.S. law.
Peter Smith checked the Australian government’s math as they go ahead with the closure of coal-fired power plants, which they are replacing with wind turbines. Needless to say, it doesn’t add up.
The Lefties Doth Protest Too Much
To be clear about what we have here. One single coal power station occupying 0.6 square miles (total project area 3.6 square miles) bests 10,000 megawatts of wind and 4,000 megawatts of storage. That’s two thousand wind turbines, assuming each has capacity of, say, 5 megawatts (well above average), occupying in the order of 1,000 square miles plus batteries of over thirteen times the size of Australia’s biggest battery, the 300 megawatt battery in Victoria. And all costing, so they optimistically say, $20 billion to build. Including high-voltage transmission infrastructure to carry electricity from far-flung wind farms? Hardly. That’s the taxpayers’ job.
Clarice Feldman wrote about the possibility that the Supreme Court will reverse, or at least scale back, the Chevron Doctrine.
Will a Herring Fisherman Sink the Administrative State?
The vehicle for emasculating an out-of-control federal bureaucracy is an unlikely claimant, a herring boat captain (Loper Bright v. Raimondo) who brought a case which challenges the Administrative absolutism that the Court created in the Chevron decision (Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.), the most frequently cited authority in administrative law.
The appellant is a herring fishing company. A National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulation requires it to have an additional person on boat at the company’s expense to monitor compliance with federal regulations. This would substantially decrease the company’s already slim profit margins and it contends the agency exceeded its authority in demanding it pay the monitor’s salary. The NMFS left the ruling in place after hearing Loper’s challenge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit also deferred to the NMFS after finding the law at issue was ambiguous on the question of who was responsible for paying the agency monitors.
This week the Supreme Court granted certiorari to hear one question in the case: "Whether the Court should overrule Chevron or at least clarify that statutory silence concerning controversial powers expressly but narrowly granted elsewhere in the statute does not constitute an ambiguity requiring deference to the agency.” Prior to Chevron it was general law that Administrative fact rulings after hearings were to be accorded the same deference given to lower court findings of fact. Higher courts rarely disturb fact resolutions by lower courts and administrative agencies. That’s not their job in the absence of clear error. Their job is to see that the law was followed.
Increasingly Congress has passed legislation which provides no more than general guidance on significant issues, leaving vast areas of national life — environment, labor, securities, and much more — to unelected administrators to fill in the blanks as they choose. The Chevron case required the Court to determine how much deference to give to the interpretation of a statute under its administration. The Court chose to give great deference to the agencies’ interpretations of an ambiguous statute if they constituted “a permissible [that is “rational” or “reasonable”] construction of the statute” where Congress had not addressed the issue. (The Court has also limited application of Chevron deference to cases where there has been formal adjudications or notice and comment rulemaking—it was held not to apply to such things as opinion letters or policy statements.)
The Chevron case has upended the Constitution, granting to the regulatory agencies the power vested in Congress. As John Fund explained in the New York Post,
The job of Congress is to pass laws that are detailed and limiting to the executive. The executive’s job is to execute laws, not write them. And there was a time when some liberals worried the Chevron doctrine encouraged unchecked executive authority. In 1986, Stephen Breyer, a future Supreme Court justice then serving on a federal appeals court, called Chevron an “abdication of judicial responsibility” because the Constitution gives judges, not agency bureaucrats, the power to interpret federal law.
[Clarence Thomas] not alone among the justices signaling an intent to claw back Chevron and thus rein in the administrative state. All three Trump appointees to the Court appear in accord with Thomas and Alito on this issue. And, further dashing the Liberals hope in this case, the newest member of the Court, Biden appointee Ketanji Brown Jackson, has recused herself from participating because she had heard arguments on it while a member of the D.C. Circuit.
Tom Finnerty contributed two blog posts, the first about a recent CBS News report which touched on an issue that isn’t widely acknowledged in the world of mainstream media.
Recycling Renewables: 'A Black Eye for Green Energy'
CBS News recently aired a surprisingly informative segment on the huge amount of waste produced by the so-called "renewable" energy industry every year. What do you want to bet that few mainstream news viewers have ever heard of this before? Chances are the in-studio host isn't alone when he says, towards the end of the clip that he "had no idea, or even thought about what happens when [solar panels and wind turbines] age out."
The segment ran under the heading "Renewable energy growth brings mounting waste challenge," and quickly made clear that "challenge" is an understatement:
Driven primarily by wind and solar power, renewable energy sources surpassed coal for electricity generation in the United States last year, marking a significant milestone. However, as the industry expands, a new problem emerges: what to do with the mounting waste generated by worn-out solar panels and wind turbine blades. More than 90 percent of discarded solar panels end up in landfills. By 2030, the retired panels are estimated to cover an area equivalent to about 3,000 football fields.
They spoke to the CEO of a company called We Recycle Solar about what he calls "a 'tsunami' of impending solar waste," driven in part by the first few waves of solar panels coming to the end of their 25-30 year lifespan, but also by people replacing their solar panels far too early in response to "advancements in solar panel technology and new government incentives." Some of the panels he's trying to recycle are only three of four years old, which suggests that installing them in the first place was more about keeping up with the latest fashion than about the environment.
Finnerty also blogged about Senator John Kennedy’s tendency to humiliate — in his polite southern way — dogmatic Leftists who come before his committees. The most recent example: Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, who can’t even begin to speculate about the costs of his own net-zero agenda.
Kennedy Exposes Biden Hack's Ignorance On 'Net-Zero'
Thanks for reading, and keep a look out for upcoming pieces by David Cavena, Tom Finnerty, and Elizabeth Nickson. All this and more this week at The Pipeline!