American Elephants


EPA’s At It Again. Mandated “Green” Fuel Will Damage Cars. by The Elephant's Child

AAA has urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt sales of gasoline with higher ethanol concentrations, on Friday, contending the fuel blend causes engine damage not covered under most  auto warranties.

The EPA has been hellbent to get E15 ethanol blend into the nation’s gas pumps, despite warning cries from all sides. Cars from model year 2001 and later are supposedly able to handle E15 the fuel blend made up of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent petroleum. Automakers say that the EPA is only considering the fuel’s impact on emissions control systems while disregarding the impact on the rest of the vehicle.

AAA conducted a survey and found that 95% of people had never heard of E15, which means many innocents may improperly fill up with this gasoline and permanently damage their vehicle. The agency said that many automakers refuse to honor warranties for wear and tear from the higher ethanol fuel blend.

AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet said “Bringing E15 to market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.”

The Renewable Fuels Association accused AAA of acting as a conduit for oil firms. Bob Dinneen, the association;s CEO, said petroleum groups want to defeat E15 because it cuts into oil’s market share.

Getting E15 widely available on the market is a chief concern for biofuels groups. The industry must hit accelerating ethanol blending targets established by the renewable fuel standard, and doing so with 10 percent ethanol blends will likely be untenable after 21013.

Dinneen claimed that E15 is “the most aggressively and comprehensively tested fuel in the history of the EPA.” Uh huh.

GM spokesperson Sharon Basel said the EPA was being “irresponsible” by permitting the use of E15 without evaluating the fuel’s effects on the entire car. AAA noted that BMW. Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen do not cover damage from E15 under their warranties.  Ford, Honda, Hyundai Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have said E15 damage might void warranties according to AAA.

The EPA under Director Lisa Jackson has shown a tendency to barrel ahead with whatever they want to do, and never mind the consequences. Which has meant an unusual number of court appearances and court  slap-downs. Cut their budget drastically to keep them out of trouble.



Dirty Secrets at the EPA by The Elephant's Child

What do you suppose President Obama’s initial instruction were to his agency heads: Lisa Jackson at the EPA, Dr. Steven Chu at Energy, Ken Salazar at Interior and Tom Vilsack at Agriculture? “Go forth and regulate. Wrap American business in enough red tape to hamstring their efforts to grow or prosper. Restrict energy wherever you can, favoring 21st Century green power, use lots of ethanol— fuel of the future, and try to get rid of dirty coal.”

One would hope that such orders were improbable, but the results would seem to indicate something along those lines. Thanks to the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, public grants of up to $30,000 are being made available to anyone able to claim to build “healthy, sustainable and green communities” or create “green collar jobs.”

I’m not sure what “environmental justice” is. We have a system of justice already, formulated by Legislature, supposedly expressing the will of the people, and administered by the judiciary. It is called the Judicial System. So what is this other thing? Environmental justice must be something outside the regular judicial system, perhaps emanating from the EPA which seems to have its own rules.

Oddly enough, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is already in deepwater with both a federal Court and Congress in a case alleging that it conducted illegal experiments on human beings over the past decade.  Based on Freedom of Information Act released documents, the EPA is being accused of exposing hundreds of people over the last decade to extraordinarily high levels of air pollutants, including diesel exhaust and particulate matter known as PM2.5. The experiments were run at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

Steve Milloy’s excellent Junk Science website has followed the story. “Many study subjects were health-impaired; suffering from asthma, metabolic syndrome, and old age (up to 75 years). Financially needy, they enrolled in these experiments for $12 per hour.” As laboratory rats.

The EPA began imposing restrictions on the use of PM2.5, a major component of diesel exhaust fumes in 1997, after it found that long-term exposure could be fatal. The EPA further tightened regulations in 2004, and said it believed PM2.5 could actually kill after short-term exposure.  EPA administrator Lisa Jackson even testified before Congress in September 2011 that “particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick.  It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.” The EPA, as a result, imposed stringent regulations regarding PM2.5, all predicated on their own determination that it’s a killer.

When the Reagan administration took office and found similar types of experiments being conducted, it immediately banned them. No such action has so far been taken  in the case of the EPA. It was just let’s just experiment on real people — for the greater good. If federal law finds the EPA culpable, criminal proceedings could follow.

The EPA has been no stranger in federal courts, or state courts. Their enthusiasm for shutting down the coal industry is challenged by a new study is further bad news for the agency. The report Economic implications of Recent and Anticipated EPA Regulations Affecting the Electricity Sector claims EPA regulations affecting the U.S. Coal industry would cost 1.5 million jobs over the next presidential term. CO2 emissions have fallen sharply in the U.S., without regulation, due to increased use of natural gas. The NERA study warns that EPA regulations affecting coal-fired electricity power generation would cost in industry $200 to $220 billion from 2013 to 2034.

The EPA is set to regulate the largest “polluters” to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted to the air. Yet CO2,which we exhale, is a natural  fertilizer that makes plants grow. At the Congressional hearing in March dealing with this regulation, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) asked the EPA’s Chief of Air Programs and Greenhouse Gas Regulations if she knew what the level of CO2 is right now in the atmosphere. She said she didn’t have that figure. In greenhouses, growers raise the levels of CO2 to 1,000 parts per million  to increase growth. It is currently around 390 ppm. The levels of CO2 in the atmosphere have been both much higher and much lower in the past. It is not at all certain that so-called global warming is caused by CO2 in the atmosphere. We have not had any warming for the past 15 years, it has been both much warmer in the past and much cooler.  We are  presently in a cooling phase.

The EPA has spent much of the last four years in court, and their batting average is not good. And there is lots more to come. EPA administrators have been using a series of hidden or “alias” email accounts, which is against federal law. “Richard Windsor” is one of the alias names used by Ms. Jackson to keep her email from those who ask for it. So there will be more court appearances. Lisa Jackson is now said to be departing the agency and returning to her native New Jersey. Quite a flood of people departing the Obama administration.



Obama Promised to Bankrupt the Coal Industry: the EPA is Doing it For Him. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama was speaking in Ohio a couple of weeks ago on one of his many campaign swings, and he said quite specifically:

We also need to keep investing in clean energy like wind power and solar power.

And as long as I’m President, we are going to keep on making those investments.  I am not going to cede the wind and solar and advanced battery industries to countries like China and Germany that are making those investments.  I want those technologies developed and manufactured here in Ohio, here in the Midwest, here in America.  (Applause.)  By American workers.  That’s the future we want.

The president has picked three industries and is arguing for an industrial policy to subsidize them — in part, just because other countries are subsidizing them. This is the same president who argues that we must remove such subsidies from our tax code. If he wants to subsidize wind and solar power because he wants to accelerate the development of carbon-free alternatives, then he should make that argument. These edicts bypass the legislative process, but Obama has little interest in the legislative process unless it backs him on whatever he wants to do. Without their cooperation, he’ll just do it on his own. He’s president. Who’s going to stop him?

Germany, in the meantime, is cutting their subsidies for solar energy. Their solar cell manufacturing companies are going bankrupt, and Germany is turning to coal for energy. The Germans are paranoid about nuclear energy, though the French, next door, are committed to nuclear energy.  Obama, on the other hand, is not only not up on what other countries are doing, but he simply does not change his mind:

If someone wants to build a new coal-fired power plant they can, but it will bankrupt them because they will be charged a huge sum for all the greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.
Candidate Barack Obama, 2008

We were warned. This week the out-of-control bureaucrats at the EPA announced a set of proposed rules designed to target greenhouse gas emissions. If enacted, these rules will essentially destroy the coal industry. Under the proposed rules, new power plants will be required to emit no more than 1.000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity. Coal plants average 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt. Natural gas plants already meet this requirement, but if a utility wants to burn coal for electricity, it will need to install carbon capture technology— which is very expensive.

The EPA stresses that the new rules would apply only to new plants, but nobody believes that. David Doniger, climate program policy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council notes that the Clean Air Act will undoubtedly make it inevitable that the EPA will tackle existing coal-fired plants. Mr. Doniger promises “We look forward to reaching an agreement with EPA on a schedule for completing the standard for new sources and developing standards for existing sources. Excuse me, but who elected the Natural Resources Defense Council to have any voice in official policy? And the American people have no voice?

Isn’t this the very same Barack Obama who was out on the campaign trail bragging about his “all of the above” energy policy, because people are upset with high gas prices? The “all of the above” claim was clearly a lie. But there is an enormous problem here. Coal-fired power plants produce 45 percent of our electricity. These EPA standards effectively bans new coal-fired plants, and will lead to higher energy costs as the country is forced to switch to natural gas for base-lead supply. Coal is our cheapest energy source, and the United States is the “Saudi Arabia” of coal.

The big problem is that the EPA seems determined to shut down coal plants first, assuming that Obama’s new green energy will replace it. That will not happen. Both wind and solar require 24/7 backup from a regular power plant. Manufacturing states like Michigan are particularly dependent on coal, with 70 percent of the state’s electricity needs coming from coal. Carbon capture technology is still  ‘under development.’ Expensive and not available.  The natural gas industry is historically very volatile. The natural gas industry has discovered vast new resources in the U.S. but that exploration is coming under assault from the EPA.

This misguided ideological thrust is heading into unknown territory of brownouts and blackouts. Our need for energy in increasing at the same time that Obama is waging war on cheap available fossil fuels. The lack of any significant warming for over a decade makes it more difficult for the warmists to demonize CO2. CO2 is not, contrary to EPA claims, a pollutant. Life on earth has flourished for hundreds of millions of years at much higher CO2 levels than we see today. Increasing CO2 levels would be a net benefit, because plants grow better and are more resistant to drought at higher CO2 levels. Nations that have plentiful supplies of cheap, abundant fossil fuels are far more prosperous and healthy than those without.

The administration has decreed that by 2020 — in just eight years—we are to get 30% of our electricity from “renewable resources.” The current amount that we get in total pow from renewable resources is just 8.2%. So the nation that is the world powerhouse of cheap, abundant fossil fuels — oil, natural gas and coal — is supposed to dump those and depend on windmills and solar shingles that cannot exist without huge governmental subsidy and full time backup by—fossil fuel power plants.

That makes sense only if you are a failed president who  needs the backing of the big environmental organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Sierra Club and the others who are all awash in money.



Obama Said He Would Bankrupt the Coal Industry: The EPA is Doing It For Him. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama said on Friday that wilderness conservation provides an environmental and economic lift to the country.

We’re not just preserving our land and water for the next generation, we are also making more land available for hunting and fishing, and we are bolstering an outdoor economy that supports more than nine million jobs and brings in more than a trillion dollars a year.

Obama, in the speech, said that having to choose between environmental protection and growing the economy is a “false choice,” and also touted administration efforts to develop renewable energy on public lands.

But while it is important to use public lands to develop things like wind and solar energy and reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we have also got to focus on protecting our planet, and that is why Teddy Roosevelt made sure that as we build this country and harvest its bounty, we also protect its beauty. That is part of our national character, and historically it has been bipartisan,” he said at the conference.

Once again, Obama demonstrates that he does not understand that wind and solar energy do not reduce our dependence on foreign oil. They make a little electricity — approximately one tenth of one percent of our national electricity. No solar energy and no wind energy go into our gas tanks. These casual fallacies indicate that we shouldn’t depend much on his other statistics either.

Obama, in the speech, also touted recent Environmental Protection Agency rules to curb mercury and other air toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants, a regulation that many Republicans say will burden the economy and are seeking to scuttle.

“When we put in place new common-sense rules to reduce air pollution, like we did in December, it was to prevent our kids from breathing in dangerous chemicals,” Obama said. “That’s something we should all be able to agree on. But it will also create new jobs, building and installing all sorts of pollution control technology.”

Unfortunately the rules have nothing to do with common sense. The 1,117 pages of the EPA’s rules are designed to shut down the workhorse of the U.S. power system — coal-fired power plants — in the name of climate change. And they are succeeding. Two utilities  have announced the closure of ten aging power plants. GenOn will close plants  in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, 3,140 megawatts; and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the closure of two Midwest Generation plants in 2012 and 2014.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club called the closures “a giant leap in our work to move America beyond coal.” Uh huh. This is a massive power play by the EPA to shut down coal plants, in obedience to Obama’s promise to bankrupt coal. What will replace these plants that produce a total of 5,512 megawatts? Nobody knows. That is not, the EPA says, their concern. The cost of your electricity is sure to rise.
1 megawatt = 1 million watts = enough electricity for 1 hour of use for 1,000 homes.

The Sierra Club claims to have stopped more than 150 coal plants from breaking ground, and the Fisk and Crawford plants are the 98th and 99th plants to be retired since the “beyond Coal” Campaign began.

The EPA claims all sorts of mythical health benefits from removing mercury as the justification for the shutdown, though the U.S. power plant contribution of mercury is close to a 0.5% value. The other 99.5% of mercury in the air comes from other sources like forest fires , Chinese power plants, volcanoes and geysers. Completely consistent, as always, the EPA and their Green buddies are mandating mercury containing CFL light bulbs into every home in America. Steve Milloy points out that the EPA junk science is not “to prevent our kids from breathing in dangerous chemicals.”

The scientific and medical reality is that ambient air pollution – even as grimy, stinky, eye-watering and ugly as it is in China – does not kill or hasten death. Fine particulate matter was such a public health problem, in fact, that no one knew about it until EPA-funded researchers invented it in 1993 – 30 years after the Clean Air Act was enacted.

Since the Clinton administration, the agency has been using its invention to impose billions and billions of dollars of costs on our economy in return for the entirely imaginary benefit of tens of thousands of lives saved annually.

The EPA estimates the cost of all this to be around $9.6 billion. This a gross, deliberate underestimate. The EPA told FERC economists that the EPA does not directly answer anything associated with local reliability. They told Congress that they had very frequent and substantive contact and consultation with FERC (the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission). The cost of degrading the grid, potential blackouts or brownouts, economic harm are unbelievable. This reckless agency should be shut down.



The EPA: Rogue Agency, Out of Control. by The Elephant's Child

(h/t: Bill Whittle and Pajamas Media)



President Obama Defers the Ozone Rules. by The Elephant's Child

After last week’s dreadful jobs report (zero new jobs) came out, President Obama made the call to defer the Environmental Protection Agency’s new strict standards on ozone emissions. In the fall of 2009, Mr. Obama’s EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requested that the Bush Administration’s proposed reduction in permitted ozone rules, measured in parts per million, at 0 .075, be put on hold while her agency reconsidered the rule.

In January 2010, the EPA  said it wanted  to lower the standard even more, to between 0.060 and 0.070 ppm. But there is a problem.  This standard would have put 85% of monitored U.S. counties (628 out of 736) into formal ‘non attainment’ status. Under current law that would force utilities, businesses and agricultural operations to shelve any plans for expansion that they might have.

When doing what it does, the EPA, under current statute, is not supposed to consider the impact of its rules on jobs or costs. This allows the EPA’s rulemakers to operate in a world free of the economic realities that govern most of the rest of life.

Just in Indiana, 175 businesses appealed to Ms. Jackson to get rid of the ozone rule. The EPA estimated that compliance costs could come to $90 billion a year by 2020.  This is intended to advance by 2 years an EPA rule review that was scheduled to take place in 2013. With unemployment at 9.1%, someone worried about the president’s re-election problem must have noticed the consequences of Ms. Jackson’s rulemaking.  Most of the Midwest would be out of compliance, as well as Florida and California. Not good.

What was being shut down, was the prospects of the Obama administration.  Mr. Obama made the call to defer the rule until 2014. This decision won’t really help the economy, but it demonstrates the vast authority the president has to revise or repeal many of the job destroying rules and regulations. And there are so many job-killing regulations. Obama could make things a lot better if only he wanted to.

Our problem is that he doesn’t want to.  Control is more important than jobs.



Choose: Economic Growth Or Turn Off America’s Light Switch? by The Elephant's Child

Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo) inquired of the Environmental Protection Agency of the economic impact and employment consequences of its initiatives. Assistant EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was very clear in her response:

Under the Clean air Act, decisions regarding the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) must be based solely on evaluation of the scientific evidence as it pertains to ;health and environmental effects.  Thus, the agency is prohibited from considering costs in setting the NAAQS.

Responding to a question by Representative Cory Gardner (R-Col) before the House Environment and Energy Committee regarding regulations that would govern industries that recycle coal ash and other fossil fuel byproducts for concrete, wallboard and roofing materials, EPA Administrator Mathy Stanislaus stated:

We have not directly taken a look at jobs in this proposal.

President Obama issued an Executive Order 12563 in January that specifically required that all new rules issued by federal agencies take job creation into account. Everybody has suggestions about what President Obama can do  to get the economy moving again. The EPA is currently pushing an extensive rewrite of air-pollution rules in an attempt to shut down a big chunk of America’s coal-fired power plants. I’m sure you remember Mr. Obama’s pledge to bankrupt the coal industry.

Coal-fired power plants provide 40% of U.S. baseload capacity in the United States, and almost half of net power generation.  The EPA has their agency eye on about 8% of all U.S. generating capacity.That doesn’t sound like much until you recognize that it the equivalent of wiping out all power generation for Florida and Mississippi.

In practice, this means blackouts and rolling brownouts, and rising electricity rates for consumers. As the Wall Street Journal says, if terrorists did that in  a cyber attack, it would be considered an act of war.

Later this year, the EPA will release regulations that require utilities to further limit mercury and other “hazardous pollutants.” Full compliance will be required by 2015, 36 months after the final rule is public and plants that can’t be upgraded in time will be required to shut down.  The industry says that the average lead time for retrofitting scrubbers was 52 months.

The Clean Air Act was revised in 1990, and the amendments added at that time contain a proviso that would allow Mr. Obama overrule EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, exempting all power plants from compliance with any standard  or limitation for two years. None of these regulations were demanded by  Congress, but are the result of bureaucratic discretion. The big question is whether the Administration’s green campaign is more important than the country’s economic growth.

The EPA’s own estimate is a cost of $11 billion annually., but that’s a lowball estimate.  Don’t expect Mr. Obama to rein in his regulators. He has already demonstrated that his green priorities are more important to him than American jobs.

Annual federal funding for policies purportedly directed at climate change has been increasing substantially.  According to the GAO, annual climate spending has increased from $4.6 billion in 2003 to $8.8 billion in 2010 — $106.7 billion over that period. That’s for technology for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, science to understand climate change, international assistance for developing countries, and wildlife adaption to changes. That doesn’t begin to count  all the regulation costs.

The Small Business Administration estimates that compliance with such regulation costs the economy more than $1.75 trillion per year, about 12 to 14% of GDP, and half of the $3.456 trillion Washington is currently spending.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute believes the annual cost is closer to $1.8 trillion.  CEI further notes that these regulation costs exceed 2008 corporate pretax profits of $1.436 trillion. That’s alarming.



The EPA Is Not Concerned With Jobs. by The Elephant's Child

In a hearing Thursday before the House Environment and Economy Subcommittee, U.S. Rep Cory Gardner (R-CO) questioned EPA Assistant Administrator Mathy Stanislaus on the Agency’s economic analyses related to legislation.  Rep Gardner asked whether the EPA considers the effect its regulations have on jobs.

As the Committee writes, the EPA’s failure to account for jobs is contrary to President Barack Obama’s own Executive Order:

Executive Order 13563  of January 18, 2011 – Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

Section 1. General Principles of Regulation.  Our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation.

The EPA’s admission is disconcerting, but no more so than the regulatory path it would like to head down. Heritage’s Nicolas Loris writes:

[U]nelected bureaucrats at the EPA are attempting to bypass the legislative process through regulatory dictate by using The Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide. The problem is that Congress never intended The Clean Air Act to cover CO2 and the result of doing so would extract trillions of dollars from our economy and destroy over one million jobs. Worse yet, there would be no demonstrable benefit to the environment.



How The EPA Destroys Jobs. They’re Good At It. by The Elephant's Child

One of the hottest political debates in Washington concerns the effect the Environmental Protection Agency is having on business.  Businesses and trade associations single out the EPA as their number one target when they complain about the source of job-destroying regulations and mandates.

A new study from the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) claims that the EPA’s new regulations will be — good for the economy— because it will create hundreds of thousands of jobs.  How does this work?

PERI claims that in spite of the fact that the EPA is destroying jobs at a time of already high unemployment, two new sets of air pollution rules for power plants would create hundreds of thousands of jobs over the next five years. And we remember all the previous claims of hundreds and thousands of “green jobs.” That worked out well.

New rules including the proposed Clean Air Transport Rule (CATR), a program aimed at smog and soot forming pollution that travels across state lines.  The EPA must also propose new limits on mercury and other types of toxic air pollution to replace an earlier program that was thrown out by a federal court. Sounds good, right?

The job-growth estimates were based on projection that the  two rules will force the power sector to invest nearly $200 billion to design, build and install equipment between 2010 and 2015.  The projects would directly create about 640,000 years of work through 2015, or 128,000 full-time jobs.  Another 820,000 years of work would be created indirectly, as other companies provide goods and services to the projects. Uh huh.

And where does the $200 billion come from?  Oh, consumers will just have to pay a little more for energy.  And businesses will have to pay more for their energy.  And some businesses will find the costs of energy too high and go out of business or lay off more people.  The government does not make the economy more prosperous by imposing new constraints on economic growth. This is typical government math.  Costs are always underestimated, and nobody has a clue about unintended consequences. Spain got all excited about wind and solar and green jobs, and it has driven them into bankruptcy.

Our air is clean.  Our water is clean.  The Clean Air Act did its job, and major pollutants were removed.  Smokestacks got scrubbers, cars got catalytic converters, pollutants were monitored.  They did a good job. There is an aphorism in science and medicine — “the dose makes the poison.” Many effective medicines contain tiny amounts of what if consumed in quantity would be a deadly poison.  Most of the things we eat or use contain ingredients that in large quantity would be toxic.

This is not enough for ideological environmental activists.  They want to regulate, sequester, bury and eliminate all carbon dioxide because they hate carbon-based fuels and want them all replaced with clean free wind.  Wind may be free, but the attempts to use it as a power source are very expensive indeed. (And CO2 is not the cause of global warming, and the globe hasn’t been warming for 15 years.)

The EIA has projected the cost for sources of electricity per megawatt hour in 2015 in 2008 dollars.  Conventional coal power–$78.10; Onshore wind power–$149.30; Offshore wind power–$191.10; Thermal solar power–$256.60; Photo-voltaic solar power–$396.10.  Do we really want clean “free” offshore wind power? How would it affect your life to have your power bill double or triple?

Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are going to SPEND another $50.5 million over the next five years to try to make offshore wind farms viable.

How much are we going to have to pay in ruined lives and destroyed jobs to satisfy the fantasies of this crowd?



A House Spending Bill Prohibits Funding for EPA’s Damaging Climate Regulations. by The Elephant's Child

A government spending bill written by House Republicans was unveiled on Friday night.  It would prohibit funding for Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations through September, the end of the fiscal year.

The continuing resolution, which is this year’s funding for the government, since Democrats couldn’t get around to passing a budget bill — their primary task — so they passed a temporary “continuing resolution”.  This is Republican’s latest attempt to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions — the EPA’s attempt to accomplish by regulation the cap-and-trade bill that Congress refused to pass.

Republicans state that pending EPA climate rules will significantly damage the economy and result in major job losses.  The bill would block funding for all current and pending EPA climate regulations for stationary sources. Every shop and building could fall under the EPA purview  for emitting CO2 — a beneficent gas that is one of the basic building blocks of life. The notion that CO2 is harmful or a pollutant in any way has been soundly debunked, but the media has not caught up with the science.

The bill cuts EPA funding by $2 billion, 29% below fiscal year 2010.  The legislation cuts funding for the Bureau of Land Managements “wild lands” policy which would allow the Obama administration to protect lands that have not been formally designated as wilderness land. It has been an administration attempt to restrict oil and gas drilling.  The bill also prevents the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from terminating a license review for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository.

All in all a splendid bill, accomplishing important things.  Cutting the EPA’s funding is a major step in reining in an out-of-control agency playing politics with the American economy and American jobs.



The Ministry of Truth Wants Your Help!! by The Elephant's Child

Do you have any doubt that Washington bureaucrats were completely out of touch with ordinary Americans?  If you do, the Environmental Protection Agency is standing right up to reassure you — they are!.

With Americans across the country suffering from unemployment, worried about their jobs, government spending, the national debt and reeling under a wave of new taxes, fees and regulations, the EPA has offered — a contest.  And not just any old contest.  The EPA wants YOU to make a short video — just 60-90 seconds — explaining just how useful and important government regulations are.  Yes, they are completely out of touch.

The introductory video from the EPA  explains the contest, and to explain the sheer wonderfulness of regulations offers, as an example — “cash for clunkers.” Really!  Better known as the Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS).  (A good acronym is important).  Don’t get too excited, the contest ends Monday, so if you haven’t submitted your video, you’re probably too late.

The video above was submitted by the Heritage Foundation, in the interest of providing a slightly different perspective.  They thought it was worthwhile to point out Washington’s habit of promoting job-killing expansive and useless regulation.  The first comment on the EPA announcement video was clear and simple:

November 2010.  Vote the bums out.

The second comment was more detailed:

Disgusting.
From the site: “When Congress writes a statute and the President signs it, it usually doesn’t have enough detail for it to be put into effect. So, federal agencies fill in the details by issuing regulations.”
Doesn’t the U.S. Constitution entrust the Legislative Branch for writing, ahem, legislation? Why is the executive branch writing rules that have the force of law, including fines and imprisonment?
The system is totally corrupt. And they’re asking us to say how nice it is.



Texas is Suing the Federal Government. by The Elephant's Child

More on the Environmental front.   Texas Republican governor Rick Perry is suing the federal government, challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s CO2 endangerment finding. From the governor’s press release:

The state’s legal action indicates EPA’s Endangerment Finding is legally unsupported because the agency outsourced its scientific assessment to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has been discredited by evidence of key scientists’ lack of objectivity, coordinated efforts to hide flaws in their research, attempts to keep contravening evidence out of IPCC reports and violation of freedom of information laws. . . .

“With billions of dollars at stake, EPA outsourced the scientific basis for its greenhouse gas regulation to a scandal-plagued international organization that cannot be considered objective or trustworthy,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Prominent climate scientists associated with the IPCC were engaged in an ongoing, orchestrated effort to violate freedom of information laws, exclude scientific research, and manipulate temperature data. In light of the parade of controversies and improper conduct that has been uncovered, we know that the IPCC cannot be relied upon for objective, unbiased science – so EPA should not rely upon it to reach a decision that will hurt small businesses, farmers, ranchers, and the larger Texas economy.” (emphasis added)

The press release goes on to point out that Texas’ $106 billion agriculture industry, which represents 9.5 % of Texas’ total gross state product, would be disproportionately damaged by the proposed regulations, as well as the effects on business and the energy sector.  Ordinary Texas families would face an estimated $1,200 in increased annual living costs during a depressed economy.

In a sane world, the lawsuit should succeed. “Regulation” of CO2 would accomplish nothing except to destroy more jobs and deepen the recession. Carbon dioxide is not the cause of global warming, but one of the building blocks of life. The globe is not warming, but cooling, as finally even CRU’s Phil Jones has admitted.




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