Filed under: Science/Technology, Environment, Law, Junk Science, The United States, Regulation, Bureaucracy | Tags: Clear Moutain Beauty, Crystal Clean Waters, Macaroni & Cheese
A million-gallon toxic-waste spill sent a huge plume of orange muck down the Animas River in southwest Colorado on Thursday was caused by the EPA’s very own cleanup crew which was working with heavy equipment to secure an entrance to the Gold King Mine.
Workers, instead managed to release an estimated one million gallons of mine waste into Cement reek, which runs into the Animas River, which in turn flows into the San Juan River in New Mexico and joins the Colorado River in Utah, which flows through the Grand Canyon, and eventually provides water for drought-stricken California. Why before you know it the muck would reach some of the “navigable waters” which the EPA is charged with protecting under the Clean Waters Act. For Shame!
The wastewater released contains heavy metals including lead, arsenic, cadmium, and aluminum. Newsweek reported that the orange color was reminiscent of cheap mac and cheese.
Were anyone else to so pollute the “navigable waters of the United States of America” the EPA would be fining them umpty-ump million dollars a day, and taking away all their toys.
Officials emphasized that there was no threat to drinking water from the spill. But downstream water agencies were warned to avoid Animas water until the plume passes, said David Ostrander, director of EPA’s emergency response program in Denver….The acidic sludge is made of heavy metal and soil, which could irritate the skin, he said….
The plume made its way to Durango on Thursday afternoon, prompting La Plata County health officials to warn rafters and others to avoid the water. The scenic waterway was the backdrop for parts of the movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and is popular with summer boaters.
Durango stopped pumping water out of the Animas River on Wednesday to make sure none of the waste could be sucked up into the city reservoir. It also suspended the transfers of raw water to a local golf course and Fort Lewis College. Pet owners were advised to keep dogs and livestock out of the Animas.
There’s a scenic railway out of Durango, with wonderful old steam trains with cinders flying. The tourists will be in for a surprise! Orange muck. Totally Gross!
Filed under: Politics, Science/Technology, Environment, Global Warming, Energy, Junk Science, Bureaucracy | Tags: Junk Science, Patrick Michaels, The Story of Climate
Patrick Moore, when he was young and radical, was a founder of Greenpeace. He found, long ago, that Greenpeace was more interested in being radical than in having a relationship with truth and simple facts. Here he explains why and how the climate is always changing, why we cannot predict the future, and why the label “denier” which the Left tries to stick onto the folks who are interested in the real science of climate change, but don’t believe it is an approaching catastrophe — because we can’t predict the future.
Filed under: Politics, Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science, Regulation | Tags: Arctic Sea Ice, Highest Extent Since 2005, Polar Bear Habitat
The Hill reports that the Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft proposal for a plan to conserve the polar bear, which (they say erroneously) was declared endangered in 2008. Well, no, they declared the polar bear “threatened” in 2008. There is a difference. And, according to the most noted authority on polar bears, the bears are just fine.
According to Dr. Susan Crockford, last year:
Survival of polar bears over a hundred thousand years (at least ) of highly variable sea ice coverage indicates that those biologists who portend a doomed future for the polar bear have grossly underestimated its ability to survive vastly different conditions than those that existed in the late 1970s when Ian Stirling began his polar bear research.
The agency was undoubtedly told to emphasize the horrors of carbon dioxide, with the big climate meeting coming up, and Obama’s push to get all nations to line up in his attempt to eliminate the dangers of CO². The article in The Hill is, naturally, accompanied by a picture of a baby polar bear. “It’s for the children” or in this case — the polar bear cubs.
The top threat to the survival of polar bears is the increase in carbon dioxide emissions, the federal government’s wildlife agency said.
That’s the main finding released Thursday in a draft proposal of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) first ever plan for conserving the polar bear, which was declared endangered in 2008.
“Polar bear conservation requires a global commitment to curb the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” Geoffrey Haskett, the Alaska regional director for the FWS, said in a statement about the draft plan. …
The agency identified several threats to the polar bear, but said that the loss of sea ice — caused by climate change — is the top threat. It predicts that three out of the four major “ecoregions” of polar bears will be decreased or greatly decreased by 2050, based on two separate greenhouse gas growth scenarios.
We cannot predict the future. Computer programs cannot predict the future either. Carbon dioxide is what we exhale every time we breathe. It is what polar bears exhale as well. Carbon dioxide is a natural plant fertilizer and essential to life on earth. There has been no warming whatsoever for 18 years. The extent of Arctic sea ice is at the highest level in a decade, since 2005, Melt is currently the slowest since at least 2004. Polar bears thrive in Hudson Bay, which is ice free three months a year.
A new paper from Dr, Susan Crockford explains that a fundamental problem with polar bear conservation is the fallacy that under natural conditions sea ice is a stable predictable habitat for polar bears and their prey. The essay in Watts Up With That? has a forward by Dr. Matthew Cronin discussing the problem of Lysenkoism in science, and if you scroll down, Dr. Crockford’s Summary, “The Arctic Fallacy: Sea Ice Stability and the Polar Bear,” and links to the paper and blog posts. Read the whole thing, and never fall for cute pictures of baby polar bears again. Don’t you get tired of being manipulated?
Filed under: Politics, Domestic Policy, Environment, Capitalism, Junk Science, Regulation | Tags: Power Grab, Rogue Agency, Green Zealots
Just reprimanded by the Supreme Court, the EPA is anxious to try their luck again. Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA was granted the authority to regulate the navigable waters of the United States to see that they remained clean.
Under the Clean Water Rule, all “tributaries” will be regulated by the federal government. Broadly defined, which they intend, this means anything moist that eventually flows into something that can be defined as a “navigable river,” including the roadside ditch above, and even smaller trickles.
Under the same rule, the word “adjacent” is stretched from the Supreme Court’s definition of actually “abutting” what most Americans regard as a real water of the United States to anything “neighboring,” “contiguous,” or “bordering” a real water, terms which are again stretched to include whole floodplains and riparian areas. Floodplains are typically based on a 100-year flood, but a separate regulation would stretch that to a 500-year flood.
And, finally, under the rule, the EPA cynically throws in a catch-all “significant nexus” test meant as a shout out to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Rapanos v. United States when, in fact, the EPA’s rule makes a mockery of Kennedy’s opinion and of no fewer than three Supreme Court rulings.
Under the three approaches, no land or “water” is beyond the reach of the federal government, never mind the traditional understanding of private property or state and local control of land use.
Farmers, ranchers, dairymen and everyone in rural America are in panic mode. Not only does this rule allow the EPA onto their land, but it throws wide open to environmental group-led citizen lawsuits that promise to go far beyond what the EPA envisioned. Citizen lawsuits are controlled only by the rule. The rule carries with it fines to the tune of $37,500 a day. The EPA has a habit of imposing fines big enough to scare the accused of whatever violation into immediate compliance.
I grew up very rural, and I’m sure city people cannot imagine the havoc this rule could cause. Although here in the Seattle area, a good portion of our lawns could be considered wetlands for a portion of the year. It rains a lot, and there is runoff. Farmers and ranchers spend a significant amount of time ditching, or controlling the flow of water where it is not wanted.
The goal of the Environmental Protection Agency has little to do with the environment, but only to do with how environmental regulation can be used to further their political goals of control, ending private property, and bringing on the utopia where everyone is, at last, truly equal. Well, except for those in charge, of course.
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Global Warming | Tags: Bird Deaths, Ideology, Oil Spills, Renewable Energy
Whenever there is an oil spill on the water, American media are filled with photos and videos of oil soaked birds. The coverage prompts the self-appointed environmental defenders of wildlife to erupt in righteous fury, wringing their hands and blaming the greedy oil companies and blaming careless people of the West for demanding more and more energy so they can fuel their enormous RVs and yachts in crimes against nature.
Fossil fuels are evil, and the alternative is “clean” renewable energy sources like wind and solar energy. Wind and solar energy are natural and sustainable. And solar energy produces less than 1% of our electricity needs, requires 24 hour 7days a week backup from a conventional power plant. If the subsidies vanished, so would solar energy. But the birds, those beautiful birds, dying from filthy fossil fuels!
In the most recent U.S. oil spill off the coast of California, 161 birds died, as of the latest count. Truly sad.
Estimates for bird deaths by wind turbine run from 100,000 a year (The National Research Council), to 300,000 (American Bird Conservancy). Bloomberg News put the toll at 573,000 birds in 2012. That’s for wind turbines. The estimate for birds roasted by the Ivanpah solar-thermal plant in the Mojave Desert are — one every two minutes — or roughly 28,000 birds killed in a year. Ivanpah focuses the heat from 170,000 mirrors on three 450-foot tall towers generating heat up to 800°. The songbird numbers are hard to estimate for they simply go up in a puff of smoke. The government chooses to look the other way, and ignore laws about raptor deaths because global warming. They gave their lives in a noble cause — renewable energy.
To be fair, the 2010 BP oil spill did substantial damage to wildlife in the region. The Fish and Wildlife Service reported 2,202 “visibly oiled” dead birds were collected within the Deepwater Horizon/ BP incident impact area. Big oil spills, however, are fairly rare, and birds chopped by turbines or roasted by solar mirrors are continuous.
The article in Investors claimed the biggest cause of bird deaths was cats. They said “one study claims that cats are responsible for killing about 2.4 billion birds a year.” I’m suspicious of that statistic. I’ve always had cats (and dogs, bunnies and horses) and I can’t remember but one time I found a bird carcase around the house. One cat was death on garden snakes, and had a bad habit of bringing them into the house and turning them loose. She loosed one on the stairs and I nearly broke a leg when I almost stepped on it.
Filed under: Energy, Environment | Tags: Hydraulic Fracturing, Oil Patch Revolution, Huge Benefit
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a 1,000 page report briskly titled “Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources.” The Executive Summary is only 28 pages.
The EPA report says that there is no systemic danger to drinking water supplies from fracking. There have been a few instances of improper drilling techniques, and a very few identified cases where one or more mechanisms led to contamination of drinking water wells, but the number of cases was small compared to the number of hydraulically fractured wells.
The New York Times reported:
The report identified 151 cases from 2006 to 2012 in which fracking fluids or chemicals spilled on or near a drilling well. The spills ranged from 5 gallons to more than 19,000 gallons, with equipment failure the most common cause. Fluids reached surface water in 13 cases and soil in 97 cases, the report said. None of the spills were reported to have reached groundwater.
The environmental movement was outraged. They have their approved story line, and certainly are not going to accept any correction. One group, Earthworks, insisted that the report says the opposite of what it actually says. Expect comments that “the government is trying to cover up…”
Horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing ,”fracking,” has increased domestic crude oil production of 3.6 million barrels a day in less than four years. reversing almost four decades of decline. In response to sharply lower prices, domestic oil producers have shed jobs and cut operating rigs by more than half.
The smartest competitors have worked relentlessly to increase their productivity. Leading operators report that they can produce more profitable oil today at a price of $65 a barrel than they could three years ago at $95 a barrel.
Wells in light tight-oil formations can be drilled and completed for millions—not billions—of dollars, and the majority of the estimated recovery will occur within a year or two of bringing it on line. Capacity across a diversified portfolio of wells can be turned on when future prices justify it, and off when they don’t. That turns upside-down the traditional model of oil megaprojects that require billions in upfront capital, years of lead time, and always-on production irrespective of price.
All this means that, for the first time in history, oil production is becoming a modern manufacturing process. The frackers are engaged in “just-in-time” production, analogous to the methods pioneered by Japanese manufacturers in the 1970s and 1980s, which led directly to hyper-efficient global supply-chain management perfected by Wal-Mart in the 1990s. (emphasis added)
Filed under: Environment, Democrat Corruption, Regulation | Tags: EPA, Overreach, Power Grab, The Water Rule
The Environmental Protection Agency, fresh off declaring it can regulate all industrial activity to get rid of CO² in our atmosphere, has announced their intent to save the nation’s rivers, streams, rivulets and wetlands from “pollution and degradation.”
The intent, as the Obama administration announced, is to save the nation’s streams, headwaters, creeks and wetlands from “pollution and degradation.”
“Protecting our water sources is a critical component of adapting to climate change impacts,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said, adding that the new rule would help “strengthen our economy and provide certainty to American businesses.”
The EPA claims authority to do what it’s doing under the 1972 Clean Water Act, which is supposed to cover only “navigable waterways.”
The rule would extend EPA authority over dry creeks that carry water in the rainy season, potholes and puddles. Here in the Northwest, every backyard turns into a “wetland” during a good portion of the year. Any private individual or business that wants to do anything connected to water will have to ask the government’s permission.
The House has voted to send the rule back to the EPA for reconsideration. The Senate has a bill to do the same.
Every rule promulgated by the federal government reflects a new restriction on Americans to do what they wish with their own lives, talents and property. Meanwhile, few, if any, tangible benefits exist. That’s what the administrative state represents.