Archive for the ‘EPA’ Category

No, Obama is Not Above the Law

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, June 8th, 2014

This is article 445 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption

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.

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The Regulatory Death of Energy in America

by Alan Caruba on Friday, May 30th, 2014

This is article 317 of 328 in the topic Global Warming

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.

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Time for the States to Take Back Their Land from the Feds

by Alan Caruba on Monday, May 19th, 2014

This is article 8 of 8 in the topic Federal Lands

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.

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More Obama Climate Lies

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

This is article 309 of 328 in the topic Global Warming

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.

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The Supreme Court Helps the EPA Shut Off Electricity in America

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, May 4th, 2014

This is article 58 of 59 in the topic US Supreme Court

April seems to be the month in which the Supreme Court devotes itself to decisions that have no basis in real science and can do maximum damage to the economy. Invariably, the cases are brought against the Environmental Protection Agency and are decided in its favor.

In April 2007, the Court decided that carbon dioxide, the second most essential gas for all life on the planet was “a pollutant”, the definition the EPA had applied to it in order to regulate it. Now comes word that the Court had concluded that the EPA may regulate power-plant emissions that blow across state lines as per a 2011 regulation, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. Not content having put nearly 150 or more coal-fired power plants out of commission, the Court’s rule now gives them the authority to do the same thing to about a thousand power plants in the eastern and western regions of the U.S. that will have to adopt new pollution controls or reduce operations.

In effect, the Court has just agreed to a regulation that represents a major increase in the cost of electricity in 28 states deemed to be polluting the air in those around them. The EPA’s claims that this will save lives they attribute to the alleged pollution is as bogus as all the rest of their claims, the purpose of which is to undermine the nation’s economy in every way it can.

James M. Taylor, the Heartland Institute’s Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy said of Tuesday’s decision that “It is a shame that the U.S. Supreme Court continues to empower EPA to issue nonsensical interpretations of statutes with the primary goal of amassing more money and power.”

Every day the press is filled with reports of environmental groups suing to ensure that no new providers of electricity can be built. The Environmental Protection Agency has instituted all manner of regulations intended to shut down coal-fired plants and they are based on the total lie that carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” are causing the Earth to warm. The science cited is entirely without merit and the Earth is cooling, not warming, and has been for the past seventeen years.

As winters grow colder, it is putting a tremendous demand on the nation’s electrical grid. In a recent commentary, Steve Gorham, the author of “The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania”, quoted Philip Moeller, Commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, “the experience of this past winter indicates that the power grid is now already at the limit.”

“EPA policies,” said Gorham, “such as the Mercury and Air Toxics rule and the Section 316 Cooling Water Rule, are forcing the closure of many coal-fired plants, which provided 39 percent of U.S. electricity last year. American Electric Power, a provider of about ten percent of the electricity to eastern states, will close almost one quarter of the firm’s coal-fired generating plants in the next fourteen months. Eighty-nine percent (89%) of the power scheduled for closure was needed to meet electricity demand in January. Not all of this capacity has replacement plans.”

Before Obama was elected, coal-fired plants provided fifty percent (50%) of the nation’s electricity.

What is the Obama administration’s response to this?

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Are Lying and Politics the Same Thing?

by Alan Caruba on Sunday, April 27th, 2014

This is article 431 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption

In a letter of advice to Peter Carr, dated August 19, 1785, Thomas Jefferson said “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions”

Considering that all but the most dense know that President Obama is now famous for lying repeatedly to secure public support for the Affordable Care Act –“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”—we are all at a point of history in which this contemptible behavior by the President is being replicated by Democratic Party politicians seeking to be elected or reelected.

It is so bad that Karl Rove devoted a column to it in a recent edition of The Wall Street Journal. “The lesson many Democrats seem to have taken away is that the benefits of misleading voters outweigh the downsides. At least that view seems to be guiding Democrats in the battle for the Senate, especially the work of Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Senate Majority PAC.” Rove cited a number of campaign ads, saying “Campaigns often make shaky claims, but these Democrat ads are flat-out falsehoods.”

Naturally, Republican candidates are fighting back, but they are not the only Americans fighting the lies that seem to flow ceaselessly from the government these days. In the recent confrontation with Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) put forth the absurd lie that it was about protecting some species of tortoise. The real issue was Bundy’s longtime refusal to pay grazing fees for lands his family had used for well over a hundred years.

As for the tortoise, the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that “The federal government has killed more tortoises than Mr. Bundy’s cattle ever could. For from threatened, the tortoise is so abundant that, as of a few years ago, more than 10,000 had been collected from the Las Vegas Valley, and tens of thousands of tortoises live as pets in Southern Nevada.”

If the BLM could make any claim to being good stewards of the land that belongs to the federal government one might be more sympathetic, but the BLM is small potatoes compared to the avalanche of lies that pours forth from an Environmental Protection Agency that feels free to reinterpret the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts any way they want. The EPA has recently requested jurisdiction over all public and private streams in the U.S. that are “intermittent, season and rain-dependent”; in short, every drop of water on every inch of land. Goodbye private property—the very essence of capitalism.

With Obama demonstrating how easy it is to alter elements of the Affordable Care Act to suit political purposes, particularly when it would affect the outcome of his own and the forthcoming midterm elections, is it any wonder that others throughout his administration feel the same way?

The Obama first and current terms are monuments of lies. The most blatant, prior to the 2012 elections, was to claim that the Sept.

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Tower of Pisa Policies

by Paul Driessen on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

This is article 74 of 79 in the topic EPA

Built on a foundation of sand, the Leaning Tower of Pisa would have toppled over long ago, if not for ingenious engineering projects that keep it from tilting any further. The same thing is true of ethanol, automobile mileage, power plant pollution and many other environmental policies.

Not only are they built on flimsy foundations of peak oil, sustainability and dangerous manmade climate change. They are perpetuated by garbage in-garbage out computer models and a system that rewards activists, politicians, bureaucrats and corporations that support the hypotheses and policies.

At the heart of this system is the increasingly secretive and deceptive U.S. Environmental Protection Administration. Among its perpetrators are two ideologically driven regulators who are responsible for many of today’s excessive environmental regulations. When the corruption is combined with the EPA’s history of regulatory overkill and empire building, it paints a portrait of an agency that’s out of control.

EPA’s culture of misconduct has already raised congressional hackles over the misuse of government credit cards (a recent EPA audit found that 93% of purchases were personal and contrary to agency guidelines); former regional EPA administrator (and now Sierra Club official) Al Amendariz wanting to “crucify” oil companies to make examples of them; and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, who masqueraded as “Richard Windsor,” to avoid revelation and oversight of her emails with activists.

However, these sorry tales pale in comparison to damaging EPA malfeasance detailed in a new U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority staff report about convicted felon and con artist John Beale. This guy was convicted of bilking taxpayers out of $900,000 – by convincing EPA bosses and colleagues that he was a CIA agent, failing to show up for work for months, but continuing to receive his six-figure salary. However, these were minor transgressions compared to what he was not prosecuted for.

Beale has admitted he had no legislative or environmental policy experience prior to being hired. Yet he became the lead official for the nation’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone and Particulate Matter. He and Robert Brenner, his friend and immediate supervisor at EPA, concocted a nefarious plan that used manipulated scientific studies, faulty or even bogus regulatory cost assessments, “heavy-handed management of interagency review processes,” and even illegal experiments on human test subjects, to impose increasingly tougher, job-killing regulations on US industries.

One of Beale & Brenner’s first actions was to work with the American Lung Association in 1997 in a sue-and-settle arrangement, which led to ozone and particulate matter standards. This underhanded practice enables EPA officials to meet with environmentalist groups behind closed doors and agree to new proposed regulations. Later, the group files a “friendly suit,” and a court orders the agency to adopt the pre-arranged rules. Meanwhile, EPA awarded the ALA $20 million between 2001 and 2010. (Had a business had such an arrangement, it would likely have been prosecuted as an illegal kickback.)

The EPW Committee’s report notes that Beale & Brenner fine-tuned the sue-and-settle idea – and then intentionally overstated the benefits and understated the costs of new regulations. As a result, Beale & Brenner successfully rammed the PM2.5 and ozone standards through the EPA’s approval process and set the stage for myriad additional regulations that likewise did not receive appropriate scientific scrutiny.

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Perils of Commercial Beekeeping

by Paul Driessen on Monday, April 7th, 2014

This is article 65 of 71 in the topic Food/Natural Remedies

One of America’s earliest food crops – almonds – is also one of the most important for commercial beekeepers. Almonds depend on bees for pollination, but the explosive growth of this bumper crop taxes the very honeybees the industry needs to thrive.

California’s Central Valley produces over 80% of the world’s almonds, valued at over $4 billion in 2012. The boom is poised to continue, with new food products and expanding overseas markets increasing demand to the point that no young almond trees are available for purchase until 2016.

Demand for almonds translates into demand for pollination. So every year commercial beekeepers transport some 60% of all US honeybees to California’s almond groves in February and March, when it’s still winter in most other states. It’s one of their biggest challenges.

For one thing, bee colonies, especially those from northern states, lack sufficient time to emerge from their heat-conserving winter clusters. Some beekeepers thus maintain 20,000 to 30,000 hives. Each one requires careful inspection for diseases and parasites – a meticulous, Herculean task on such a scale.

Complicating the situation, beekeepers are trying to work within a large-scale agricultural system, using an insect whose husbandry practices have changed little since the nineteenth century. The larger the commercial beekeeper’s stock, the harder it can be to tend them and recover from financial setbacks in the form of lost bees.

Almond growers will need 1.5 million hives this year, estimates Colorado beekeeper Lyle Johnston. “It takes almost all the commercial bees in the United States,” to pollinate the almond crop, he says. The payoff can amount to half an individual keeper’s yearly profit.

However, bees can come back from California “loaded with mites and every other disease you can think of,” beekeeper Ed Colby explains. That can often mean bee colony deaths. Last year, US beekeepers experienced an average 30% overwinter bee loss; some lost 10% to 15% of their hives, while others lost much more. It’s a normal cost of doing business, but it can be painful.

Last year’s rate was higher than normal, and higher than any keeper would want. But it was not the “bee-pocalypse” that some news stories claimed. The real story is that efforts to identify a single unifying cause for higher-than-usual losses have failed. Scientists are discovering that multiple issues affect bee health.

Urban, suburban and agricultural “development has reduced natural habitats, clearing out thousands of acres of clover and natural flowers,” a 60 Minutes investigative report observed. “Instead, bees are spending week after week on the road, feeding on a single crop, undernourished and overworked.”

The migration itself is stressful, notes Glenwood Springs, Colorado Post-Independent reporter Marilyn Gleason. “First, there’s the road trip, which isn’t exactly natural for bees, and may include freezing cold or scorching heat. Bees ship out of Colorado before the coldest weather, and drivers may drench hot, thirsty bees with water at the truck wash.”

The convergence in almond groves of so many commercial bees from all over the country creates a hotbed of viruses and pathogens that can spread to many hives. The varroa destructor mite carries at least 19 different bee viruses and diseases, causing major impacts on bee colonies. Parasitic phorid flies are another problem, and highly contagious infections also pose significant threats.

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Who Will Keep Us Safe? Certainly Not Government

by Bob Livingston on Monday, April 7th, 2014

This is article 427 of 453 in the topic Government Corruption
Who Will Keep Us Safe? Certainly Not Government

THINKSTOCK

Any time I write that unConstitutional alphabet soup Federal agencies should be eliminated — whether on Constitutional grounds or to reduce the size and cost of Federal government — there follows a deluge of comments to the effect of, “But then who will reign in those evil corporations, enforce regulations and keep them from harming citizens?” and “Who will keep us safe?”

Thanks to years of propaganda combined with 12 years of indoctrination at the hands of the public (non)education system, most Americans are under the false belief that the U.S. government is an agent of good in the world and Federal agencies want to protect citizens from harm. Americans by and large have become statists: They believe that every transaction, every contract, every aspect of human behavior must be regulated for “fairness” and that only the state is capable of regulating “fairly.”

They have abandoned republicanism in favor of the sweet sound of democracy. In doing so, they have embraced fascism and tyranny.

Of course, statist politicians (which is to say the overwhelming majority of them) always couch their liberty-stealing ideas and laws in altruism and code words in order to get the people to support policies against their own interests. You’ve heard the terms they use: “It’s for the children;” and “To keep everyone safe;” and “It’s good for the environment;” and “We must act now to prevent another tragedy.”

The truth is that government agencies and laws are only as good as the people staffing them and enforcing the laws and, unfortunately, government attracts parasites and psychopaths like honey attracts ants and bears. And they are just as annoying and more dangerous.

History is rife with examples of government action ostensibly to “help the people” resulting in privation, destruction, death and turmoil. Anyone who has truly studied the history of governments around the world has seen that the elected class — with very few exceptions — is populated by a psychopathic mix of destroyers and seekers of wealth and power. They pay little mind to the consequences of their actions. What is relevant to them is their glorification, gratification and security at the seat of power.

So it is with little surprise that I saw reports that the Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting experiments on people — children included — to determine how they were affected by pollution. The EPA has been doing these experiments “for about 40 years” and it has authority to continue to do so under the Clean Air Act, which was passed by a “beneficent” Congress looking out for our welfare.

The newly released government report shows that the EPA was exposing people to dangerously high levels of toxins and pollutants without informing them of their risk for cancer and death. Those exposed included the elderly; those with asthma, heart and other health problems; and children. The exposure was to levels of pollutants up to 50 times greater than levels the EPA has deemed safe for human exposure.

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The Methane Hoax Cranks Up

by Alan Caruba on Monday, April 7th, 2014

This is article 304 of 328 in the topic Global Warming

Having spent decades trying to convince everyone that carbon dioxide (CO2) was a “greenhouse gas” that was going to cause the Earth to heat up, the same environmental charlatans are now embarking on a campaign to do the same with methane. In the U.S. the first move was announced by the White House in late March.

The carbon dioxide hoax fell apart in the wake of a cooling cycle affecting the Earth that began around 1997 and continues to this day. Warming and cooling cycles are natural events and both are tied to the activity or lack of it of the Sun. Humans have nothing to do with the climate other to enjoy or endure it.

Why methane? It has a lot to do with the development of hydraulic fracturing, commonly called “fracking”, and the way it unlocks natural gas, aka methane, all of which portends an America that is energy independent, along with its huge reserves of coal and oil. If, of course, the government permits this to occur.

As we know, the Obama administration does not want that. It would mean more jobs, greater prosperity, and the ability to pay down the national debt, not to mention drive down the cost of electricity, gasoline, and everything else that depends on energy.

Despite the cooling cycle that is likely to last for many more years, Steve Hamburg, chief scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund, was quoted by the Washington Post saying that “ounce for ounce, methane is 84 times as potent as a greenhouse gas over 20 years” compared to carbon dioxide. “More than a third of the warming that we’ll see as a result of today’s emissions over the next couple of decades comes from, essentially, methane. We need to remain focused on carbon dioxide emissions, but doing so is not enough.”

Excuse me, but the Environmental Defense Fund and countless other Green advocacy groups have been focused on carbon dioxide for decades and the Earth is cooling, not warming. What part of this does Hamburg not understand?

James M. Taylor, the managing editor of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly published by The Heartland Institute, reported in January that “Natural gas fracking is not causing a spike in the U.S. methane emissions”, citing Environmental Protection Agency data. “Methane emissions specific to natural gas are in a long-term decline, down ten percent since 1990 and down seven percent since 2007 when the fracking boom began.”

The Washington Post, however, asserted that emission levels “are set to rise by 2030 as shale oil and shale gas production expands in the United States.” Do you remember all those predictions about the increase of carbon dioxide emissions and how, in ten, twenty, fifty or a hundred years, the Earth would heat up?

This is not about methane, it is about finding a way to shut down fracking and the extraction of natural gas and oil in the same way the Obama administration’s “war on coal” has caused the loss of over 150 coal-fired plants that until it began, were providing electricity. Reducing sources of electricity drives up its cost to everyone. As more natural gas came on line by 2013 it had become the second greatest source of U.S.

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