American Elephants

Ideology, Illegal Power Grab, and the E.P.A. by The Elephant's Child

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is determined to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, which was not something the act was designed to do.  The act was meant to clean up air pollution.  Greenhouse gases are not air pollution.

The term “greenhouse gases’ creates mischief because it suggests a thick blanket of something-or-other holding in the climate, like the glass in a greenhouse holds in the warmer air that makes plants grow.  It’s not like that.

In a greenhouse, the nurserymen pipe in carbon dioxide (CO2) in far greater concentration than we find in the atmosphere, because CO2 is one of the building blocks of life,  a natural fertilizer that makes plants grow.  When we breathe in, our bodies take in oxygen, and we breathe out CO2.  Plants take in CO2.  Surely you remember a little about photosynthesis from high school biology.

The problem with using the Clean Air Act is that it would force churches, schools, warehouses, and other sources to obtain permits, both costly and time-consuming.  It would wreak havoc with the economy and create a huge backlash.

The EPA is attempting to rewrite the Clean Air Act “administratively” by a “tailoring rule,” which would reduce the number of regulated sources.  The problem with that approach is that is illegal.  The EPA has no authority to rewrite the law.  To make that work the EPA would need every state with a State Implementation Plan to rewrite all its statutory thresholds as well.

Well, Don’t mess with Texas! Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Chairman Bryan W. Shaw of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality saw the “tailoring rule” for what it is — a massive power grab and centralization of authority.  They wrote to the EPA:

In order to deter challenges to your plan for centralized control of industrial development through the issuance of permits for greenhouse gases, you have called upon each state to declare its allegiance to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently enacted greenhouse gas regulations – regulations that are plainly contrary to U.S. laws. … To encourage acquiescence with your unsupported findings you threaten to usurp state enforcement authority and to federalize the permitting program of any state that fails to pledge their fealty to the Environmental Protection Agency. On behalf of the State of Texas, we write to inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Obama administration could learn a lot from Texas.  It is the nation’s energy-production capital.  The air is cleaner today than it was in 2000 although the state’s population has increased by nearly 3.5 million people.  According to DOE and EPA data, since 2000, Texas’ CO2 emissions from fossil fuel usage have fallen more than those of almost any other state and any country except Germany.

Washington is attempting to “federalize the air-permitting process and force Texas to ignore their own state laws and the plain language of the Clean Air Act in order to allow an illegal rewriting of the federal statute.  But Texas has neither ‘the authority nor the intention’ of doing so.

Enormous mischief was caused by the Supreme Court ruling that allowed the EPA to regulate CO2 — if it was determined to be a harmful pollutant.  Which of course they decided it was, without any evidence that it was so.

Alan Carlin, a senior analyst at the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics and a colleague presented a 98-page analysis questioning the scientific foundation for the administration’s climate change policies.  They noted that the science behind man-made global warming is inconclusive at best.  It pointed out that global temperatures were on a downward trend and noted the problems with climate models. It highlighted new research that contradicts alarmist warming, and asked for a serious review of the science by the EPA.

The report earned Mr. Carlin an email from his boss, Al McGartland, forbidding him from “any direct communication” with anyone outside of  his office with regard to his analysis.  When Mr. Carlin again tried to disseminate his analysis, Mr. McGartland ordered: “The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. …Another email “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.  No papers, no research etc, at least until we see what EPA is going to do with Climate.”

Did someone say something about transparency?


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Republicans talk out of their ass just as much as Democrats do. Big government, DC politics, the DOE and the EPA, and how big government can not do anything right. That is a bunch of bullshit because Republicans are no different than Democrats, they do what benefits them not the country.

A perfect example is the Republicans lack of support for the Medical Device Safety Act which would give power back to the states, locally, where citizens can decide how they want to orient their own society. And Texans are the biggest talkers out of their ass.


Comment by Mark Baird

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