Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Following is the newest opinion editorial from Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy.
On February 16 of this year, three corporate giants suddenly pulled out of a leading alliance of businesses and environmental groups known as the U.S. Climate Action Partnership. Their participation was heralded by some as proof of their belief in manmade global warming-when it could have merely been acquiescence to the inevitable and a chance to participate in the potential profits. This past Tuesday's announcement by ConocoPhillips, BP America and Caterpillar that that the bills now in Congress are unfair to American industry shows that the motive was more profit than protection. They knew all along that cap and trade was a scheme not a solution, but the way the rules are set, they'd come out ahead by playing along.
Using an existing government program--Medicaid--as a parallel, Marita's newest opinion editorial shows how given the direction government was heading, cap and trade was their better option. We can hope, now, that other companies will follow suit by speaking up regarding the damage these polices will do to the American economy.
We hope you distribute/publish this material as soon as possible!
Eric McInteer -Research Fellow, CARE (Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy)
February 24, 2010
The Intersection of Healthcare and Cap and Trade
By Marita Noon

"I can't wait until we get government healthcare. I hate working with these insurance companies," said a healthcare worker tasked with getting his hospital reimbursed for the services they provide to Medicaid patients.
What he didn't realize is that the United Behavioral Health subsidiary with whom he is dealing is "government healthcare."
Privatizing the delivery of services to Medicaid recipients has been a trend long before healthcare "overhaul" became a priority. Companies such as United Behavioral Health-the specific company being vilified in the aforementioned conversation-simply respond when the government puts out a Request for Proposal (RFP). Basically the lowest bidder gets the contract. The ability to offer such services for the price quoted is not taken into consideration, just how cheaply can the obligations be met. The contractor does what the government outlines for them. And, ideally, they make money from the services they provide-allowing them to stay in business and offer job security.
Those responsible for getting the hospitals paid for the services acknowledge that getting money from the private insurance companies is much easier than from the companies getting funded through government.
How does this connect to cap and trade?
First, understand that cap and trade is a government plan to deal with so-called man-made global warming. While the entire climate change issue is challenged due to the acknowledged data forgeries, and plummeting public concern over climate, governments are still moving forward with cap and trade plans. President Obama's appointee as Administrator of EPA, Lisa Jackson, is ready to regulate CO2 as a pollutant in case Congress does the right thing and doesn't pass cap and trade legislation. Here, in New Mexico, Governor Richardson is pushing for a statewide cap and trade program using an Environmental Improvement Board stacked with conflicts of interest.
Cap and trade supporters have touted the fact that many energy companies signed on to a cap and trade plan as proof that climate change is a real issue. Here is where healthcare and cap and trade intersect.
I am in the camp that believes that climate change is not a crisis, and if it is, there is nothing humans can do to change what has been going on for millions of years-long before human emissions were an issue. From this mindset, I have been speaking out against cap and trade. However, if we are going to have some type of climate change legislation, a carbon tax is a much more honest approach.
Like the privatization of Medicaid services, the unwary consumer will not realize that the energy price increases are as a result of a government program. Like an insurance company being blamed for the difficulty, the energy company will bear the brunt of the consumers' wrath. Like an insurance company's bid to get the government contract hoping to make a profit, the energy companies have signed on to what they (prior to climategate and the collapse of the theory) once viewed as inevitable. They expected to profit from cap and trade, while, the citizens are burdened with the higher energy costs.
Instead of cap and trade, a climate tax is more transparent. Citizens know that a "tax" is a government action. We know that the government collects the tax. It, too, will up our energy costs, but like the taxes on our phone bills, it will have a line on the bill stating exactly how many dollars of the bill are due to the carbon tax. Instead of being mad at the energy provider, the anger gets directed toward the government-and the energy companies have no chance to profit from the action.
When you hear conversations about cap and trade-especially those who support it as a way to stop so-called manmade global warming, suggest transparency; support the idea of a carbon tax. It is more honest. And, no one wants more taxes.
Better yet, now that the forged data has been exposed and more revelations are taking place on an almost daily basis, encourage your elected officials to block any climate change legislation. Support companies like ConocoPhillips, BP American and Caterpillar who have jumped ship before it sinks America. With public outcry, maybe more companies will see the light and pull out of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership.
CARE (Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy) is the nonprofit, member-based organization advocating for citizens' right to energy that is affordable, abundant and available. Based in Albuquerque, CARE addresses energy issues statewide, region-wide and nationwide. For more information visit

Sunday, February 21, 2010


by Korry D. Lewis

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.” That is a quote I live by. My mom always told me that in everything I do, to give it all I have and to not hold back. That way, if it is a success I can be honestly proud of my accomplishment, but if it fails I will still walk away knowing I gave it my best effort. Performing at the best of my abilities has helped me achieve high honors and accomplishments in academics and athletics throughout high school and college. It has also helped me to be a leader in numerous organizations and within my community. Most importantly, it gives me the confidence to move forward in my life and career, and continually pushes me to be a better person. Hence, I am pursuing a legal education to fulfill my ambitions of being an agricultural law and water rights attorney. I am confident that I will achieve this aspiration and will perform well in law school because I am extremely dedicated, self-motivated, and I have strong work ethic and leadership skills.
Growing up on my family’s working cattle ranch in southeastern Colorado, I learned the value and meaning of hard work at a young age. The life lessons I have learned and the wisdom I have gained from my rural background has instilled in me the cowgirl virtues of independence, endurance and grit. My work ethic combined with these virtues has been the cornerstone of my success personally, athletically, and academically in my collegiate career and will continue to benefit me in law school and throughout life. Nine years ago my dad passed away from leukemia and left a huge void in our family. My mom continued to get up every day and work hard in order to make debt payments so that she would not lose the ranch, and I admire her for that. Being that I am the youngest of six children and knowing that mom would not be able to help me pay for college, I stayed very dedicated to my education, sports, and community service so that I could receive scholarships. In order to cover the rest of my college expenses, I have kept many jobs; all the while actively volunteering in numerous organizations. I have gained many leadership skills from being the captain of my volleyball and basketball teams and running meetings, to representing my college at the state capitol. Amidst my busy schedule, I was determined to maintain a 4.0 GPA while in college and have achieved that thus far.
My work ethic, dedication, and leadership skills will prove to be valuable in the future, and I look forward to law school as an opportunity to develop and maintain these characteristics among many others. In my legal career, I wish to represent and defend the rights and interests of the American rural landowner and private property rights organizations. Increasingly, water rights and private property rights are becoming more important and sacred. I want to help the American rancher and farmer in their fight to keep land that has been in their families for many generations, as well as the grazing and water rights to these properties. They are the true stewards of the land, and their success is due to their proven ability to care for and sustain the land they live off of. Rural America is where my heart is and I have a true passion for the land. I feel it is my duty to give back to my community and fellow rural Americans as they have given so much to me. I hope to be able to use my legal education to help ranchers and farmers keep such a blessed way of life.
I wish to acquire my legal education at the U________of ______ because of your natural resource law curriculum and since I recognize the value of small classes. At______ I will feel at home and what better place to champion the rights of agriculturists than with a degree from a rural university. I am ready to take on the challenges that I will face during law school, and I am confident in the qualities that I bring to the table. Notably, I will bring my drive, my passion for agriculture, and my determination to be the best I can be.
Editors note: GNL shares Korry's personal essay so you, the reader, can see what a Good Neighbor looks like.