By Alan Caruba
Archive for the ‘EPA’ Category
By Alan Caruba
For years now I have been saying that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must be eliminated and its powers given to the fifty states, all of which, have their own departments of environmental protection. Until now, however, there has been no plan put forth to do so.
Dr. Jay Lehr has done just that and his plan no doubt will be sent to the members of Congress and the state governors. Titled “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency” it should be read by everyone who, like Dr. Lehr, has concluded that the EPA was a good idea when it was introduced in 1971, but has since evolved into a rogue agency threatening the U.S. economy, attacking the fundamental concept of private property, and the lives of all Americans in countless and costly ways.
|Dr. Jay Lehr|
Dr. Lehr is the Science Director and Senior Fellow of The Heartland Institute, for whom I am a policy advisor. He is a leading authority on groundwater hydrology and the author of more than 500 magazine and journal articles, and 30 books. He has testified before Congress on more than three dozen occasions on environmental issues and consulted with nearly every agency of the federal government and with many foreign countries. The Institute is a national nonprofit research and education organizations supported by voluntary contributions.
Ironically, he was among the scientists who called for the creation of the EPA and served on many of the then-new agency’s advisory councils. Over the course of its first ten years, he helped write a significant number of legislative bills to create a safety net for the environment.
As he notes in his plan, “Beginning around 1981, liberal activist groups recognized EPA could be used to advance their political agenda by regulating virtually all human activities regardless of their impact on the environment. Politicians recognized they could win votes by posing as protectors of the public health and wildlife. Industries saw a way to use regulations to handicap competitors or help themselves to public subsidies. Since that time, not a single environmental law or regulation has passed that benefited either the environment or society.”
“The takeover of EPA and all of its activities by liberal activists was slow and methodical over the past 30 years. Today, EPA is all but a wholly owned subsidiary of liberal activist groups. Its rules account for about half of the nearly $2 trillion a year cost of complying with all national regulations in the U.S. President Barack Obama is using it to circumvent Congress to impose regulations on the energy sector that will cause prices to ‘skyrocket.’ It is a rogue agency.”
Dr. Lehr says that “Incremental reform of EPA is simply not an option.” He’s right.
>“I have come to believe that the national EPA must be systematically dismantled and replaced by a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies. Those agencies in nearly all cases long ago took over primary responsibility for the implementation of environmental laws passed by Congress (or simply handed down by EPA as fiat rulings without congressional vote or oversight.”
Looking back over the years, Dr.
Is Apple where really controversial old Obama administration employees go after they leave government?
Among the certificates awarded to “Richard Windsor” was a Nov. 2, 2009 “Certificate of Completion” for “E-mail Records Management.” Jackson had only been appointed by President Obama as EPA’s top executive a few months prior to the certification. . . .
During the ensuing years, however, EPA IT department officials awarded additional certificates to “Richard Windsor,” including three for completion of the agency’s “Scholastica Decentia,” the Certificate for Ethical Behavior, in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
“Richard Windsor” was a top student of ethical behavior in 2010, compiling 100 percent scores for the “Risk” and “Cyber Threats” portions of the course, but a 50 percent score on the “EPA Information” portion dropped Windsor’s total score to 83 percent.
Jackson’s use of the fake name became known in 2012 with Horner’s book, The Liberal War Against Transparency, in which he made public a memo from EPA to the National Records Archives Administration describing the agency’s creation of the “Richard Windsor” moniker. . . .
Jackson resigned as EPA administrator in December 2012 shortly after her agency’s inspector-general announced an investigation of the “Richard Windsor” scandal.
Now it looks like they are about to hire Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney:
Carney would replace Katie Cotton, who stepped down from the position earlier this year. It has previously been reported that Apple is looking for an external candidate to lead its communications team in the hopes of finding someone “friendlier,” although several internal candidates were also being considered. . . .
Carney is reportedly being considered for such roles at several companies, including Uber.
How Carney gets identified as a ‘Friendlier” candidate isn’t exactly obvious to me. The other question is why anyone would trust what Carney had to say.
By Alan Caruba
The delay of the Keystone XL pipeline is a perfect example of the way President Obama and his administration has engaged in, not just a war on coal, but on all forms of energy the nation has and needs. Even his State Department admits there is no reason to refuse its construction and, as turmoil affects the Middle East, there is an increased need to tap our own oil and welcome Canada’s.
The latest news, however, is that Canada has just approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project, a major pipeline to ship Canadian oil—to Asia.
The pure evil of the delay is compounded by the loss of the many jobs the pipeline—that will not require taxpayer funding—represents to help reduce the nation’s obscene rate of unemployment and to generate new revenue for the nation. That’s what oil, coal, and natural gas does.
Less visible has been the out-of-control Environmental Protection Agency that has, since Obama took office on January 20, 2009, issued 2,827 new final regulations totally 24,915,000 words to fill 24,915 pages of the Federal Register. As a CNSnews article reported, “The Obama EPA regulations have 22 times as many words as the entire Harry Potter series which includes seven books with 1,084,170 words.” Every one of the EPA regulations affects some aspect of life in America, crushing economic development in every conceivable way.
The worst part of the EPA regulation orgy is the fact that virtually all of it is based on a hoax. As reported by James Delingpole, a British journalist, “19 million jobs lost plus $4,335 trillion spent equals a global mean temperature of 0.018 degrees Celsius. Yes, horrible but true. These are the costs to the U.S. economy, by 2100, of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on carbon dioxide, whereby all states must reduce emissions from coal-fired electricity generating plants by 30% before 2005 levels.”
Citing a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Delingpole reported that the new regulations will cost the economy another $51 billion annually, result in the 224,000 more lost jobs every year, and cost every American household $3,400 per year in higher prices for energy, food, and other necessities.”
This is an all-out attack on industry, business, and the use of electricity by all Americans.
There is absolutely no reason, nor need to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), a gas on which all life on Earth depends because it is to vegetation what oxygen is to all living creatures. It is the “food” on which every blade of grass depends. More CO2 means more crops and healthier forests.
Disastrously, even the Supreme Court—the same one that signed off on Obamacare as a tax—has not ruled against the EPA’s false assertions about CO2. In late June, however, it did place limits on the EPA’s effort to limit power plant and factory emissions blamed for a global warming that does not exist. The Earth has been cooling for seventeen years, but the Court ruled that the EPA lacked authority in some cases to force companies to evaluate ways to reduce CO2 emissions.
While our attention is focused on events in the Middle East, a domestic enemy of the nation is doing everything in its power to kill the provision of electricity to the nation and, at the same time, to control every drop of water in the United States, an attack on its agricultural sector. That enemy is the Environmental Protection Agency.
Like the rest of the Obama administration, it has no regard for real science and continues to reinterpret the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. It has an agenda that threatens every aspect of life in the nation.
As Craig Rucker, the Executive Director of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) recently warned, “True to her word,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “is busily grabbing powers for EPA that Congress specifically chose not to grant, and that the Supreme Court has denied on multiple occasions.”
“The federal bureaucracy under the Obama presidency has a voracious appetite for more power. It despises individual liberty and drags down the economy every change it gets,” Rucker warns.
In addition to implementing President Obama’s “war on coal” that is depriving the nation of coal-fired plants that provide electricity, the EPA has announced a proposed rule titled “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act”, redefining, as Ron Arnold of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise reported in the Washington Examiner “nearly everything wet as ‘waters of the United States or WOTUS—and potentially subject us all to permits and fines.”
The President has made it clear that the rule of law has no importance to him and his administration and this is manifestly demonstrated by the actions of the EPA. “This abomination,” says Arnold, “is equivalent to invasion by hostile troops out to seize the jurisdictions of all 50 states. WOTUS gives untrustworthy federal bureaucrats custody of every watershed, creates crushing new power to coerce all who keep America going and offers no benefit to the victimized and demoralized tax-paying public.”
In response to the EPA’s new power grab, more than 200 House members called on the Obama administration in May to drop its plans to expand the EPA’s jurisdiction over smaller bodies of water around the nation. A letter was sent to EPA Administrator McCarthy and Department of Army Secretary John M. McHugh (re: Army Corps of Engineers) asking that the proposal be withdrawn.
“Under this plan, there’d be no body of water in America—including mud puddles and canals—that wouldn’t be at risk from job-destroying federal regulation,” said Rep, Doc Hastings (R-Wash), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. “This dramatic expansion of federal government control will directly impact the livelihoods and viability of farmers and small businesses in rural America.”
Nearly thirty major trade associations have joined together to create the Waters Advocacy Coalition. They represent the nation’s construction, manufacturing, housing, real estate, mining, agricultural and energy sectors. The coalition supports S. 2245, “Preserve the Waters of the U.S.
It was hard enough trying to keep up with the revelations of various scandals that have been the product of the Obama administration, but now into the second year of his second term, the news of its actions—some of which are illegal, some of which ignore Congress’s authority, and some of which seemed determined to destroy our economy and attack our constitutional freedoms–all keep assaulting our comprehension.
Like many Americans I have fears of losing our freedoms as set forth in the Bill of Rights. I have doubts about an almost invisible “recovery” of the economy when 92,009,000 are still not in the labor force. I look at the Obama presidency and see one that seems increasingly lawless and witless in so many ways.
The latest assault was the exchange of five Taliban detainees, top field commanders, for an American soldier who administration spokeswoman, Susan Rice, said had served with “honor and distinction.” Like her lies about the Benghazi attack, this too was a lie. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl had, we swiftly learned, walked away from his post in Afghanistan. That makes him a deserter, something the administration must surely have known. Giving up the Taliban leaders, done without the required thirty days’ notice to Congress, looks more like Obama’s intention to empty Guantanamo then the claim of retrieving an alleged POW. Negotiations to achieve this had been ongoing for months.
This comes at a time when a report by the think tank, the Rand Corporation, spells out a 58% increase from 2010 to 2013 of jihadist groups worldwide, from 31 to 49, and a doubling of the number of jihadist fighters to an estimated 100,000. In addition, the report notes the number of attacks by al Qaeda affiliates had increased to roughly 1,000 from 392. As Seth G. Jones, the author of the report, says, “The current trends suggest that the struggle against extremism is likely to be a generational one, much like the Cold War.”
Not exactly the “end of a war” that Obama keeps talking about.
At the same time Obama turned five Taliban commanders loose, his Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced the creation of a special task force within the Justice Department to combat what he characterized as “escalating danger” from “homegrown” terrorists within the U.S. Given the fact that we have a huge Department of Homeland Security, created after 9/11, one wonders why such a task force is necessary, but we are told it will be composed of members of the FBI and the Department’s National Security Division.
The Obama administration is the same one in which the Internal Revenue Service targeted Tea Party and patriot groups seeking non-profit status. A pattern of using the government against them reflects an agenda to target any American who disagrees and speaks up against the abuse or neglect of constitutional rights.
One of those is the right to own and bear guns, but this is also an administration that has made many efforts to curb the Second Amendment and gun ownership. At the same time, we have read reports of massive purchases of ammunition and weapons by various elements of the federal government.
Before President Obama took office in 2009, the amount of electricity being produced by coal-fired utilities was approximately fifty percent of the total. Today it is approximately forty percent and, when the Environmental Protection Agency regulations take effect as of June 2, more such utilities are likely to close their doors. The basis for the regulations is utterly devoid of any scientific facts.
Environmentalism, as expressed by many of the organizations that advocate it is, in fact, an attack on America, its economic system of capitalism, and its need for energy to maintain and grow its business and industrial base. Electricity, of course, is also the energy we all use daily for a multitude of tasks ranging from heating or cooling our homes to the use of our computers and every other appliance.
The EPA regulations are said to be necessary to reduce “greenhouse gas” emissions, primarily carbon dioxide (CO2) which the Greens deem to be a “pollutant” in our atmosphere. It is not a pollutant, despite a Supreme Court decision that identifies it as such, but rather a gas vital to all life on Earth, used by all vegetation for its growth. CO2 is to vegetation what oxygen is to all animal life. Humans, all seven billion of us, exhale CO2!
Viv Forbes, the Chairman of the Carbon Sense Coalition and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, notes that the Earth’s atmosphere “is not a greenhouse” and “does not have a glass roof. It uses convection to redistribute heat very quickly.” The claim for several decades has been that CO2 has an effect on the Earth’s surface temperature, but Forbes points out that “water vapor is a far more effective agent for insulating the Earth and preserving its warmth than carbon dioxide,” adding that “there is no evidence that man-made carbon dioxide is a significant cause of global warming.”
Indeed, even though the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased, Forbes points out that “Close examination of past records shows that temperature tends to rise before carbon dioxide content rises, sometimes centuries earlier.” Significantly, at the same time Greens have been crying out against emissions of CO2 from coal-fired utilities and other sources, the Earth has been in a cooling cycle now verging on eighteen years!
The EPA is lying to Americans regarding carbon dioxide and, worse, its proposed regulations will reduce the number of coal-fired utilities and drive up the cost of electricity for Americans.
One of the many Green organizations, Earthjustice, claims that “Climate change threatens the world as we know it—and the chief culprit is fossil fuel burning. To avert ecological disaster, Earthjustice is pushing for a shift from dirty to clean energy to stabilize our climate and build a thriving sustainable world.”
There is literally nothing that mankind can do to “stabilize” the Earth’s climate. While the Earth has been going through climate change for 4.5 billion years, there is no evidence that anything mankind does has any effect on it. The change the Earth has encountered, as mentioned, is a cooling, a far different scenario than the “global warming” claims of the past three decades or more.
Tom Richard, the editor of ClimageChangeDispatch.com, notes that “Arctic sea ice has rebounded to higher and higher levels each year.
According to a 2012 report by the Federal Research Service, “The federal government owns roughly 635-640 million acres, 28% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in the United States.
Four agencies administer 609 million acres of this land: the Forest Service (USFS) in the Department of Agriculture, and the National Park Service (NPS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), all in the Department of the Interior (DOI). Most of these lands are in the West and Alaska. In addition, the Department of Defense administers 19 million acres in military bases, training ranges, and more. Numerousother agencies administer the remaining federal acreage.”
I suspect it may come as a surprise to many people that the federal government owns just over a quarter of the nation’s landmass and, other than land set aside for military bases and naval ports that may seem excessive. It is.
The drama that ensured when the Bureau of Land Management lay siege to the Nevada Bundy ranch over unpaid grazing fees called into attention the fact that the BLM oversees, according to a recent article in the National Review, “the largest piece of leasable real estate in the American West—245 million acres, an area bigger than the mid-Atlantic states and New England combined. The BLM is its landlord.”
In theory one can apply for a license or lease “to make productive use of this land” noted Travis Kavulla in his article, “Public-Land Colonialism.” In practice “The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 requires an excruciatingly complex process before even mundane land-use decisions can be made.” It is a regulatory nightmare for anyone who might want to create a mine to access coal or valuable minerals or extract oil or natural gas.
The process is subject to government policies, spoken or unspoken, to restrict access. A current case involves actions by the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the creation of the Pebble Mine project in Alaska even before a permit is requested. A May 12 Wall Street Journal editorial noted that “The EPA’s inspector general’s office last week announced it will investigate the agency’s February decision to commence a preemptive veto of the Pebble Mine project, a job-rich proposal to develop America’s largest U.S. copper and gold mine in southwest Alaska.”
The Obama administration has been devoted to stopping all kinds of projects that might generate jobs and revenue from projects like the Pebble Mine. Its opposition to the building of the Keystone XL pipeline is the best known example, but the EPA’s “war on coal” has closed many mines in addition to coal-fired plants needed to provide electricity.
The EPA is requesting jurisdiction over all public and private streams in the nation and this has been called “the largest land grab in the history of the world.” So it is not just public lands that are affected, but private lands as well.
The continuing drama of a President willing to lie about the climate continues with the release of a report, the National Climate Assessment. It is a repeat of all the lies that have been generated by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“The climate report,” said Dan Kish, a Senior Vice President of the Institute for Energy Research, “bears a strong resemblance to the IPCC report, only with less science and more rhetoric.” It is “just another attempt to justify more government intervention in American’s lives and more attacks on affordable energy and economic growth.”
Like Obamacare, the new report is, said Kish, “intentionally confusing and misleading.”
“Throughout his entire presidency,” said Kish, “Obama has promoted policies that have discouraged the use of our vast energy resources, including blocking the Keystone XL pipeline, slowing energy development on government lands and water, and forcing new restrictions on all forms of energy that Americans have used to become the number one economy in the world. Under this administration, even cows are not spared as emission sources that must be controlled in Washington.”
Marlo Lewis, a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writing on Fox News, identified the political agenda of the climate report “designed to scare people and build political support for unpopular policies such as carbon taxes, cap-and-trade, and EPA regulatory mandates.” Item by item, he noted the lies put forth by the report.
The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity responded to the latest climate report in a comparable, direct manner. Laura Sheehan, a Senior Vice President of the ACCCE, said, “Instead of flying his cabinet members around the world, President Obama and his deputies should take time to visit communities impacted by a much more dangerous threat; this administration’s costly regulatory crusade.”
“The Obama Administration,” said Sheehen, “consistently fails to acknowledge the enormous industry investments and advancements in clean coal technologies, place a wholly unmerited target on our back to achieve political gains; when in reality, America’s coal fleet is responsible for nearly 40 percent of our nation’s electricity and just a tiny fraction of the world’s carbon emissions.”
“Thanks to the industry’s investment of $188 billion, major emissions from coal-fueled power plants have been reduced by nearly 90 percent,” said Sheehan. “The industry plans to invest another $100 billion over the next decade to develop and deploy clean coal technology further reducing emissions.”
Left unsaid is that carbon emissions, as far as the climate is concerned, play a very minor role. Moreover, all those investments have been forced on the coal power industry by ever increasing levels of regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency. The cost is passed along to electricity consumers—all of us—as a necessary increase.
An outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s energy and climate policies, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said, “This report is part of the game the president is playing to distract Americans from his unchecked regulatory agenda that is costing our nation middle class jobs, new economic opportunities, and our ability to be energy independent.”
The report comes at a time when numerous polls demonstrate that climate change is a very low priority for most Americans. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll in January found that “climate change” ranked last on a list of l5 issues when people were asked which ones the administration should make its priorities.