Paul Driessen


Paul Driessen is a senior fellow with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, nonprofit public policy institutes that focus on energy, the environment, economic development and international affairs. Paul Driessen is author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power, Black death

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Real Russian collusion the Dems and MSM ignore

May 20, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Real Russian collusion the Dems and MSM ignore
Robert Mueller’s politicized investigation into allegations that President Trump or the Trump campaign or some Trump associate somehow colluded with Russians continues unproven but unabated. Many think partisan politics ensure it will not be concluded or terminated before the fall 2018 elections.

Federal District Court Judge T. S. Ellis may have rebuked Mueller for attempting to wield “unfettered power” and actually being motivated primarily by a desire to hurt the President. But Mr. Mueller seems determined to find collusion somewhere—except where it seems blatantly obvious: in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s dealings with Putin oligarchs and the Clinton Family Foundation, her presidential campaign’s ties to Russia in funding and utilizing the Steele-Fusion GPS dossier that launched the Mueller probe, a host of top Obama Administration and Democratic National Committee officials who connived to spy on and disrupt the Trump campaign and transition, and multiple other activities.


“Evil” GE foods and “eco-friendly” organics

May 18, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Evil GE foods and eco-friendly organics
Across the globe, genetically engineered (GE) crops face opposition from environmental and organic food activists, who claim the crops harm the environment and endanger human health.

How factual are their claims? The evidence strongly supports GE over organic crops.

Not long ago, Vijay visited the Sprouts organic food store in San Jose, California. To his surprise, organic vegetables that had shorter shelf-life and higher risk of bacterial contamination and thus serious illness were priced two to ten times more than their GE and conventional food alternatives. The store is famous among millennial techies in the Silicon Valley and enjoys reasonable sales. One possible explanation would be the false notion that GE foods are risky or injurious to health; another is that buyers incorrectly believe organic produce have fewer pesticides, are more nutritious or better protect the environment.


The ethanol gravy train rolls on

May 14, 2018 — Paul Driessen

The ethanol gravy train rolls on
Like most people I’ve spoken with, I have no innate, inflexible antipathy to ethanol in gasoline. What upsets me are the deceptive claims used to justify adding mostly corn-based ethanol to this indispensable fuel; the way seriously harmful unintended consequences are brushed aside; and the insidious crony corporatist system the ethanol program has spawned between producers and members of Congress.

What angers me are the legislative and regulatory mandates that force us to buy gasoline that is 10% ethanol—even though it gets lower mileage than 100% gasoline, brings none of the proclaimed benefits (environmental or otherwise), drives up food prices, and damages small engines. In fact, in most areas, it’s almost impossible to find E-zero gasoline, and that problem will get worse as mandates increase.


Perverse, conflicted ethical systems

May 6, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Perverse, conflicted ethical systems
Third Reich Forest Minister Hermann Goering was an avid hiker and ecologist who once sent a man to a concentration camp for cutting up a frog for fish bait. In 1933 he and other Nazi Party leaders enacted anti-vivisection laws to stop what he called “unbearable torture and suffering in animal experiments.”

Intensely hostile to capitalism, the Nazis controlled all industries and envisioned large-scale wind turbine projects that would generate “huge amounts of cheap energy” and create millions of German jobs.


Ending secret science at EPA

Apr 29, 2018 — Paul Driessen

social cost of carbon
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has proposed to end the longstanding EPA practice of using secretive, often questionable, even deceptive science to support agency policy and regulatory initiatives. His proposed rules will ensure that any science underlying agency actions is transparent and publicly available for independent experts to examine and validate—or point out its flaws.

It also responds to growing concerns that extensive scientific research in environmental, medical and other arenas cannot be replicated by other scientists, or is compromised by cherry-picked data, poor research design, sloppy analysis or biased researchers. The situation has led to calls for increased sharing of data and methodologies, more independent peer review and other actions to weed out problems. There is no excuse for hiding data when studies are funded by taxpayers or used to justify regulations.


Climate adaptation, reparation and restoration

Apr 22, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Climate adaptation, reparation and restoration
This Earth Day (April 22) we need to ask whether environmentalism has gone completely bonkers.

Back in the 1970s, I skied Colorado’s cross-country and downhill slopes pretty regularly. Some years were incredible: many feet of snow as glorious to behold as to ski on. Other years, like 1977, I’d come around a bend on my XC skis, see nothing but rock in front of me, and just ditch.

Who knew the industry I worked for in the later 70s was causing these climate and weather mood swings—even then, long before carbon dioxide levels hit the cataclysmic 400 ppm mark? Who knew profit-hungry oil companies were already preventing the Centennial State from having endless seasons of perfect ski conditions, followed by ample spring meltwater for cities, agriculture and trout streams?


The double standards industry

Apr 16, 2018 — Paul Driessen

The double standards industry
It’s a good thing environmentalists have double standards—or they wouldn’t have any standards at all.

Empire State legislators worry that anything above the current 0.0001% methane in Earth’s atmosphere will cause catastrophic climate change, and that pipelines will disturb wildlife habitats. So they oppose fracking for natural gas in New York and pipelines that would import the clean fuel from Pennsylvania.


Politicians must consider unintended consequences

Apr 9, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Politicians must consider unintended consequences
It’s become a recurring, frustrating pattern, as legislators and regulators ignore the immutable laws of unintended consequences, to drive political agendas or aid favored constituencies, while harming others.

A good example is corporate average fuel economy (CAF√â) standards on vehicles. Originally enacted in 1975 to offset the impacts of the OPEC oil embargo and US oil price controls, and slow the rapid depletion of oil reserves, the mileage standards grew increasingly stringent. During the Obama years, the earlier justifications were replaced with claims that a vastly tougher 54.5 mpg standard would somehow help prevent “dangerous manmade climate change.”

However, EPA’s own analysis showed that the new mileage standard would have brought emission reductions of a barely perceptible 3 billion tons of CO2 over the lifetime of vehicles covered by the new standards—out of an estimated two trillion tons of CO2 emitted worldwide during the same period.


Climate chaos claims continue causing consternation

Apr 2, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Climate chaos claims continue causing consternation
Anyone who thought “manmade climate cataclysm” rhetoric couldn’t possibly exceed Obama era levels should read the complaint filed in the “public nuisance” lawsuit that’s being argued before Federal District Court Judge William Alsup in a California courtroom: Oakland v BP and other oil companies.

The allegations read at times like they were written by a Monty Python comedy team and a couple of first year law students. Defendant companies “conspired” to produce dangerous fuels, the complaint asserts, and “followed the Big Tobacco playbook” to promote their use, while paying “denialist front groups” to question “established” climate science, “downplay” the “unprecedented” risks of manmade global warming, and launch “unfounded attacks on the integrity” of leading “consensus” scientists.


Those fraudulent climate litigation shakedowns

Mar 8, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Those fraudulent climate litigation shakedowns
The ultra liberal enclaves of New York City and San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, and Imperial Beach, California all claim to be deeply worried about manmade climate cataclysms. They detest petroleum, oppose pipelines, fracking and onshore and offshore drilling, and strongly support renewable energy and expensive electricity: already 17-18¢ a kilowatt-hour for families, rich and poor.

They also have huge government pension fund shortfalls (NYC alone has a pension debt of some $65 billion), and are suing BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhilips and Royal Dutch Shell. They’re gunning for a collective litigation windfall of several hundred billion dollars, to help bail them out. (They’d probably sue coal companies, too, but the Obama era war on coal drove many into bankruptcy.)


Will Congress finally get tough on junk science?

Mar 5, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Will Congress finally get tough on junk science?
A growing problem for modern industrialized Western societies is the legion of government agencies and unelected bureaucrats and allied nongovernmental organizations that seem impervious to transparency, accountability or reform. Their expansive power often controls public perceptions and public policies.

Prominent among them are those involved in climate change research and energy policy. In recent years, they have adjusted data to fit the dangerous manmade climate chaos narrative, while doling out billions of taxpayer dollars for research that supports this perspective, and basing dire predictions and policy demands primarily on climate models that assume carbon dioxide now drives climate and weather (and the sun, water vapor, ocean currents and other powerful natural forces have been relegated to minor roles).


Our next energy and security crisis?

Feb 26, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Our next energy and security crisis?
Oil and natural gas aren’t just fuels. They supply building blocks for pharmaceuticals; plastics in vehicle bodies, athletic helmets and thousands of other products; and complex composites in solar panels and wind turbine blades and nacelles. The USA was importing 65% of its petroleum in 2005, creating serious national security concerns. But thanks to fracking, imports are now 40% and the US exports oil and gas.

Today’s vital raw materials foundation also includes exotic minerals like gallium, germanium, rare earth elements and platinum group metals. For the USA, they are “critical” because they are required in thousands of applications; most of them are “strategic” because they’re not produced in the United States.


Climate alarmism is still bizarre, dogmatic, intolerant

Feb 18, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Climate alarmism is still bizarre, dogmatic, intolerant
Climate alarmism dominated the Obama era and run-up to Paris. But it’s at least as bizarre, dogmatic and intolerant now that: President Trump pulled the United States out of the all pain/no gain Paris climate pact; the US EPA is reversing anti-fossil fuel programs rooted in doom-and-gloom climatology; America is producing and exporting more oil, gas and coal; developing nations are burning vastly more of these fuels; Poland is openly challenging EU climate diktats; and German, British Australian and other politicians are voicing increasing concerns about job-killing, eco-unfriendly “green” energy.

With trillions of dollars in research money, power, prestige, renewable energy subsidies, wealth redistribution schemes, and dreams of international governance on the line, the $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Industrial Complex is not taking the situation lightly. Climate fear-mongering is in full swing.


Dear Lord, what were you thinking?

Feb 16, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Dear Lord, what were you thinking?
What a marvelous evening it was. World-class drummer Tommy Igoe and his Birdland All-Stars treated the George Mason University Center for the Arts audience to a joyous evening of jazz, funk, Brazilian and original music that featured new renditions of classics by David Bowie, The Police, Steely Dan, Charlie Parker and other famed artists. Every high-energy number captivated these jazz aficionados.

It was the band’s third stop on a month-long, 20-city “Art of Jazz” tour. Ten brilliant musicians on brass, guitar, percussion and keyboard, from US coasts and beyond, revved up the tempo for 90 solid minutes. As they played, eleventh artist Jeremy Sutton captured the action on canvas, paper and iPad. With bold, splashy strokes, he brought the players and instruments to life in colorful montages. It was mesmerizing.


Lease the OCS—to benefit all Americans

Feb 9, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Lease the OCS--to benefit all Americans
Under the current offshore energy program developed during the Obama years, 94% of the nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is off limits to leasing and drilling. Under the Draft Proposed Program (DPP) announced January 4 by Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, over 90% of OCS acreage and 98% of “undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources” in these federal offshore areas (beyond the 3-mile limit of state waters) will be considered for possible future leasing, exploration and development.

The Trump-Zinke plan proposes the largest number of lease sales in US history: 19 off Alaska, 7 in the Pacific, 9 in the Atlantic, and 12 in the Gulf of Mexico (where the vast majority of leasing, drilling and production have taken place over the past 65 years). Government experts estimate that these areas could hold 90 billion barrels of oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, worth over $6.5 trillion.


The fake ‘Trump is racist’ issue

Jan 21, 2018 — Paul Driessen

The fake 'Trump is racist' issue
By now, nearly the entire world has heard reports that President Trump referred to the origins of some immigrants as “sh**hole countries.”

Democrats and their media allies spent an entire week castigating the president, calling him racist for using the salty language of Truman, Kennedy, Johnson and Hillary Clinton. Their faux outrage served to distract people from the ways Mr. Trump’s energy, deregulation and tax reform policies have rocketed the stock market to record highs a record number of times, created over two million jobs, slashed black and Hispanic unemployment, and increased US wealth by some $8 trillion since his inauguration.


Blatant Blue State hypocrisy

Jan 14, 2018 — Paul Driessen

Blatant Blue State hypocrisy
You’ve got to admire the full frontal audacity of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, and their union and pressure group comrades in arms. Their hypocrisy, fraud and tyranny are boundless, especially on fiscal, energy and climate change issues.

Amid the seventh year of a “New York is open for business” advertising campaign that has spent $354 million thus far, they are presiding over tax and regulatory regimes, mountains of debt, intransigent public sector unions, anti-nuclear, anti-fossil fuel energy policies that are anything but business friendly—and press conferences that promise more of the same for state businesses, taxpayers and pensioners.


The biofuel crony capitalist revolving door

Jan 7, 2018 — Paul Driessen

The biofuel crony capitalist revolving door
Yet another congressional aide is about to pass through Washington’s infamous revolving door to a lucrative private sector position. Kurt Kovarik, legislative director for Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), will become vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board.

To grow and prosper, this industry relies on subsidies and mandates that require steadily increasing volumes of diesel fuel from crops and other sources. As the NBB said in a press release, Kovarik’s “decades of experience in the Senate will serve us well, as we navigate federal policy issues that most affect our industry.” His work on energy and tax legislation, familiarity with the key players in Washington and knowledge of biofuels “are all reasons we are so happy to have him on our team.”


A little slice of Alaskan tundra is finally open for drilling

Dec 31, 2017 — Paul Driessen

A little slice of Alaskan tundra is finally open for drilling

Way back in 1980, Congress passed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, establishing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and making numerous other land use decisions for our 49th state. Section 1002 of the act postponed a decision on managing ANWR’s 1.5-million-acre coastal plain, which has enormous oil and gas potential and is important summertime wildlife habitat.

For four decades, environmentalists blocked legislation that would have opened the coastal plain to leasing and drilling. In 1995 President Clinton vetoed a pro-drilling bill that had passed both houses.


Reducing Antiquities Act land grabs

Dec 17, 2017 — Paul Driessen

Reducing Antiquities Act land grabs
Acting on recommendations by Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, on December 4 President Trump significantly reduced the size of two enormous areas in Utah that Presidents Clinton and Obama had set aside as limited-access, no-development zones under the 1906 Antiquities Act.

Mr. Trump’s action reduced the Grand Staircase Escalante and Bears Ears National Monuments from a combined 3.2 million acres (the size of Connecticut) to 1.2 million acres (slightly smaller than Delaware).

Utah residents and elected officials applauded the move as long overdue. The Patagonia and North Face outdoor apparel companies, environmentalist groups, and various liberal politicians and news outlets branded the action a desecration, claimed President Trump “stole” the lands from the American people, and launched coordinated and hyperventilated disinformation campaigns.