American Elephants


EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation Is Not What It Seems to Be by The Elephant's Child

CBS-on-EPA

Scott Pruitt has resigned as Administrator of the EPA, and President Trump has accepted his resignation while praising his accomplishments. Pruitt has cut back or rescinded 22 unnecessary regulations at a savings of $1 billion. But the scandals, the scandals? What about all the scandals?

The EPA was an agency turned by the Obama administration into a weapon to put land use and our natural resources under administration control. The EPA agency had its origins in Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, in 1962 she foresaw the death of wildlife in the use of pesticides, which she blamed for her cancer diagnosis. It was a passionate book and alarmed the world into the beginnings of an environmental movement. President Nixon proposed the establishment and it began in 1970, conducting environmental assessment, research and education and  has the responsibility of maintaining and enforcing a variety of national standards. It delegates some permitting, monitoring and enforcement.

An offshore oil rig in California fouled beaches with millions of gallons of spilled oil. The Cuyahoga River near Cleveland burst into flames (which it did regularly). There was, of course, vast agreement that we needed to care about our environment. That, again of course, turned into a huge invitation for all those folks whose familiarity with the environment was limited to the nearest city park, to believe that all was in danger. Governments at all levels found it necessary and politically rewarding to favor conservation, prevention of pollution, and doing something about clean air and water.

Activists soon found it useful to find an endangered species on the very site where a project, a factory, a bridge, a highway, might be built to bring it to a halt. Add in former NASA scientist James Hansen and his “climate event of cosmic significance,” some 30 years ago, when he singlehandedly elevated climate change into a worldwide panic.

Universities have established new departments, funded with vast grants to investigate global warming. The United Nations has vast organizations, Every country, county and city have environmental departments, and the problem of global warming has consumed many a passionate adherent (see Tom Steyer) in spite of admissions by Canadian Environment Minister Christine Stewart who said “No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral benefits…Climate change (provides) the greatest change to bring about justice and equality in the world.”  Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change admitted at a news conference in Brussels in early February of 2015 that the goal of environmental activists was not to save the world from ecological calamity—but to destroy capitalism,

This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.

That explains a good deal of the passion of climate activists, and there are true believers who call us “deniers” or worse. Obama’s EPA was an agency using environmentalism as a tool to bring the natural resources of the United States under more direct federal control. Congress, in its innocence, had long ago authorized the EPA to monitor the navigable waters of America to prevent them from becoming polluted. The Waters of America became a tool to control everything that flowed from the downspouts of your house to every ditch and stream into something that could actually be defined as a “navigable” water. Enormous fines were levied on ranchers with a small stock pond, people building a cabin on a lake view lot, $30,000 $50,000, ending in a Supreme Court case. Huge scandal of a massive EPA caused spill from the Gold King Mine desecrating pristine wilderness, turned the Colorado River into a yellow sludge.

Scott Pruitt was doing a terrific job of getting the agency back on its correct path. The Left, intent on getting rid of him, started digging, looking for anything that could be turned into a scandal. Democrats have noticed that Republicans in government who are involved in a scandal are quickly booted out. Democrats have no such compunctions about their own people. This is a open invitation. With a win in getting rid of Scott Pruitt, Democrats are already turning on his replacement, his former deputy, Andrew Wheeler, who is expected to carry on reforming the EPA. It also appears that they will be going for Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior. A New York State University professor has suggested that Zinke stands for white people, Christianity, and his corporate overlords, favoring Americans on their potential to increase fuel consumption?

In his resignation statement, Pruitt said the attacks on his family were too much, but what threats or attacks have not been reported. As far as I can tell, nothing he supposedly did in office is unforgivable or bad or even notable. He was a victim of a sustained well-funded leftist assault aimed specifically at removing him from office. Andrew Wheeler can expect more of the same, as can Ryan Zinke. This is not cutesy Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is something far darker and far more evil.



The Usual Suspects Are Back Again, Trying to “Save the Planet” by The Elephant's Child

Four Democrat senators are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt recuse himself from repealing a 2015 Obama-era regulation that places significant burdens on fossil fuel energy providers, according to the Washington Post.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan (CPP), an add-on to the Clean Air Act, was meant to curb carbon emissions from fossil fuel fired energy plants in order to conform to the emissions targets agreed to by the United States in the Paris climate accord. President Trump announced last June  that he was pulling the U.S. out of the accord, and Pruitt and the EPA proposed repealing the CPP about three months later. Repealing the regulation could save $33 billion in compliance costs by 2030.

The Democrat senators are Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Jeff Merkley of Oregon and Brian Schatz of Hawaii. They claimed that since Pruitt had sued the EPA four times at attorney general of Oklahoma he would not be able to make a fair judgment.

“The evidence for Pruitt’s inalterably [sic.] closed mind on CPP rulemaking is overwhelming,” the senators wrote, according to The Hill. “It falls into three categories: (1) his deep and wide financial ties to the fossil fuel industry which is ferociously opposed to the CPP; (2) his status as a previous petitioner suing the EPA to block the CPP; and (3) his numerous statements denouncing the CPP, questioning the ability to regulate carbon emissions under the [Clean Air Act] as the CPP proposes to do, and casting doubt on climate science.”

Environmentalists and Democrats have never been able to get it through their heads that our economy runs on electricity produced by fossil fuel fueled power plants, that is coal, natural gas, and petroleum products. All the solar arrays and wind turbines that we have installed manage to produce about 4% of our energy needs — when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining on a mostly cloudless day. That’s all.

Carbon dioxide is plant food. It makes plants (including food crops and trees) grow. The planet has been greening because of the very slight rise in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, and more of the world’s people are getting enough food. Greenies like to think that CO2 is poisonous, but it is what we exhale. Nurserymen pump extra CO2 into their greenhouses to help the growth of the plants therein. You haven’t seen any stories in the news about all the dead bodies in greenhouses have you?

The Paris accords were designed to transfer money from the western nations to the poor countries of the developing world, under the guise of the global warming theme. Would have done nothing for global warming, and very little for the countries it meant to benefit. All about globalism.

The Clean Power Plan is a dumb regulation that should be repealed. It accomplishes nothing, and harms fossil fuel fired power plants for no reason at all except for pleasing environmentalists, who illogically hate fossil fuels. Drop a note to EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and tell him he’s doing a great job. I’ll bet he isn’t getting a lot of fan letters just now, though he should.



Scott Pruitt Is Going to Straighten Out the EPA and Return it to its Basic Task. by The Elephant's Child

Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the EPA, plans to get the EPA back to it’s basic task. The statuary mandate for the EPA is clean air and clean water, and respect for states’ rights. Mr. Pruitt’s focus is neither expanding nor reducing regulation. “There is no reason why EPA’s role should ebb or flow based on a particular administrator. Agencies exist to administer the law” he says, “Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.” Kim Strassel, writing at the Wall Street Journal shortly after he was confirmed, said “You might call him an EPA originalist.”

That would seem like a perfect candidate for the job. But it was one of President Trump’s most contentious nominations. Opponents objected that as Oklahoma’s attorney general Mr. Pruitt has sued the EPA at least 14 times. He was called a “climate denier,” an “oil and gas shill,” ” intent on gutting the agency” and “destroying the planet. “There were six theatrical hours of questions in his confirmation hearing and he submitted more than  1,000 written responses. (I thought gutting the agency was a fine idea.)

He said “We have made extraordinary progress on the environment over the decades, and that’s something we should celebrate. But there is real work to be done. Hitting air-quality targets for one. Under current measurements, some 40% of the country is still in nonattainment. We’ve got 1,300 Superfund sites and some of them have been on the list for more than three decades.”

“This president is a fixer, he’s an action-oriented leader, and a refocused EPA is in a great position to get results.” That’s a change in direction from his predecessor. “This past administration didn’t bother with statutes. They displaced Congress, disregarded the law, and in general said they would act in their own way. That now ends.”

Now, it’s July. Scott Pruitt plans to undo, delay or block over 30 environmental regulations. More rollbacks than any other administrator in the agency’s 47 year history. Well. You can imagine the hissy fit from all of the environmental groups in particular and the Left in general. They are still having the vapors over Mr. Trump’s formal withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement—but the Paris Agreement would make no measurable difference whatsoever in the climate, even over the next hundred years.

The Gina McCarthy EPA was engaged in a great power-grab. Whatever they wanted to do involved protecting our children, usually from asthma, a condition that doctors don’t understand well. People like the Sacketts who bought a lot in a development at Priest Lake and were building their dream home, suddenly charged with destroying a wetland and fined $35,000 a day until they restored the wetland. The Supreme Court threw that one out, but it was typical of EPA overreach. Scott Pruitt is doing a fine job and is restoring a rogue agency to its assigned task. A very good idea.




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