The EPA is a Nation-Killer – Tea Party Nation

The EPA is a Nation-Killer – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

To the naïve and uninformed, the Environmental Protection Agency exists to ensure clean air and water in the nation. That was its initial mandate when it was created by an executive order by President Nixon in 1970. It has since become a nation killer.

In 2013 a flood of regulations will cost thousands of Americans their jobs and drive more industry overseas to avoid the cost of doing business in America. It will drive up the cost of energy from electricity, along with the cost of gas and diesel fuel. It will effectively kill much of the coal mining industry in a nation that is the Saudi Arabia of coal, an energy source that formerly provided fifty percent of all electricity in America.

The EPA is girding up to kill “fracking”, a technology that has safely been in use for decades and one that holds the promise of further provision of natural gas. The provision of oil is being thwarted as well; mostly famously by Obama’s derailment of the Keystone XL pipeline in a nation laced with energy-providing pipelines. Energy, the lifeblood of the nation, will be under attack as never before.

A new EPA ozone standard will occur, one that the EPA estimates would cost $90 billion a year while other studies put the figure at nearly a trillion dollars and destroy 7.4 million jobs. The EPA’s projections are that 650 additional communities would be deemed “non-compliant” and effectively ensure plant closings and that no new manufacturing and other businesses would set up shop.

The EPA has pushed to regulate—control—every body of water in America, no matter how small. A recent court decision derailed EPA storm-water regulations that would have established a first-time standard for post-construction storm-water runoff could include mandates on cities to change existing buildings, storm-water sewer systems, and streets. It would have been the most expensive rule in EPA history.

The EPA will release regulations on the manufacture of cement—the MACT rule—that would increase the cost of manufacturing this essential element of construction by 22% to 36%. Many such plants would have to close and the U.S. would have to import cement from nations like China.

Expect regulations on cooling towers to protect fish under the Clean Water Act. A proposed coal ash rule could cost between $79 to $110 billion over the next twenty years, ending between 183,900 and 316,000 jobs over 20 years, affecting states that include Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Missouri. The EPA has been regulating “farm dust” for decades and new rules would affect the nation’s food supplies as farmers and ranchers adjust by raising fewer livestock and the till fewer fields. Spill prevention rules would further impact farmers and ranchers.

If you were asked what is the most costly federal agency which would you suggest? Would it be the Department of Homeland Security? Department of Defense? Labor? Agriculture? Housing and Urban Development? Transportation?

In terms of the regulations it generates, the Environmental Protection Agency is the most expensive rulemaking agency. It costs $353 billion annually to comply with its regulations.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute recently published a report by Ryan Young, a Fellow in Regulatory Studies, regarding the EPA and it is further testimony to the way this predatory agency has gone from the first year of its operation in 1971, costing $701 million, to outlays in 2011 of $10.722 billion, employing 20,610 full-time workers.

The public is expected to believe that this army of environmental bureaucrats are all diligently saving Americans from particulates in the air, rain run-offs in the water, any pesticide that might actually protect them from pests, and the countless other life-threatening dangers that required, from 1999 to 2011, a total of 4,995 rules in the “Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.”

These regulations have little to do with clean air and water and everything to do with destroying the nation’s economy, putting thousands out of work at a time when economic growth is barely occurring, and new taxes will further reduce the spending and investment power of Americans.

After having put in motion the flood of regulations that will strangle the economy, EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, will step down after Obama’s inauguration. Her decision came after a law suit by the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Chris Horner will make known the thousands of emails Jackson sent under an alias, a practice forbidden to federal employees, presumably shedding light on policies and views she intended to be kept secret.

Reacting to the news of her forthcoming resignation, S.T. Kornick, Director of Research for The Heartland Institute, said, “Jackson played the environmental ‘bad cop’ to President Obama’s ‘good cop’, but the result of their tag-team effort has been a huge expansion of the EPA’s power. Appointing another bad cop to head the EPA could by itself push the nation into recession.”

The most powerful economy in the world is being destroyed from within by an agency that has declared war on America. It must be downsized and restrained if the nation is to survive.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

 

EDITORIAL: Getting burned by biofuels – Washington Times

OBAMAS  MARXIST ADMINISTRATION ON DISPLAY FOR ...

OBAMAS MARXIST ADMINISTRATION ON DISPLAY FOR ALL TO SEE (Photo credit: SS&SS)

EDITORIAL: Getting burned by biofuels – Washington Times.

Energy firms are caught in green-credit crossfire

When individuals attempt to solve a problem and end up creating unforeseen troubles, it’s called the law of unintended consequences. When government does it, it’s called the law of the land. In its zeal for regulation, the federal leviathan has invented a market for something called renewable-fuel credits and, not surprisingly, it’s filled with fraud. Businesses are getting swindled and Uncle Sam’s unsympathetic response is “heads I win, tails you lose.”

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) implement a Renewable Fuel Standard forcing fuel refiners to dilute their petroleum products with vegetable oil, corn, algae and animal fat so companies that label themselves “green” would reap a financial windfall. Refiners who can’t make those substances on their own are allowed to buy renewable-fuel credits to meet their federal quota. Each credit carries a 38-digit renewable identification number (RIN) as proof of purchase. The credits can be traded.

As this is an entirely artificial market that serves no purpose other than to make politicians and their political donors happy, it’s rife with fraud. Since November, the EPA has claimed 140 million invalid RINs have been sold. The agency alleges 48 million bogus credits came from Absolute Fuels of Texas, netting about $62 million. Another 32 million were purportedly sold by Clean Green Fuel LLC in Maryland for $9 million, and 60 million were marketed by Green Diesel of Texas, worth $84 million.

House Republicans expect the scam to hit at least 300 million fake credits. “Unfortunately, the production of and trade in fraudulent or invalid RINs has developed into a large and growing problem,” wrote House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and three other committee members in a May 24 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “And EPA’s efforts to address the problem so far appear ineffective, and in some respects have harmed the renewable-fuels marketplace.”

Rather than taking responsibility for authenticating the RIN market, the EPA is putting refiners on the hook for unwittingly buying fake RINs. In March, the agency announced it would fine firms 10 cents for each invalid credit they use and 20 cents for each credit missing from their quotas. One credit trading company, OceanConnect, filed suit in federal court in April, charging the EPA’s “buyer beware” policy is undermining the biofuels industry.

That’s an industry that should be undermined if it’s unable to offer consumers an affordable product that they want. Instead, Washington insiders who view Big Oil as the root of evil have decided the nation must transition to energy products that aren’t anywhere near viable. It’s the essence of crony capitalism when lawmakers dictate that one product – corn fuel – the winner at the expense of another – affordable petroleum.

Ultimately, it’s the taxpayer and the environment that end up paying the price for this folly as the nation’s productive resources are diverted into the most wasteful endeavor of all: satisfying bureaucrats.

The Washington Times

KNIGHT: Taming the EPA monster – Washington Times

KNIGHT: Taming the EPA monster – Washington Times.

Supreme Court ruling strikes a blow in ongoing battle

By Robert Knight

Slowly, inexorably, the monster is being driven back to its lair. Its days of terrorizing villagers may soon be over. I wish I were talking about the federal government, but it’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), better known as the Environmental Protection-or-else Agency.

At one time, it was a harmless little back-alley operation that stumbled upon a secret growth formula, downed the whole vat and began wreaking havoc. You won’t find this account on the EPA’s official website, but you will find ample evidence of the monster’s ambitions to control the world, such as its quest for “environmental justice.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court slapped the monster right across the chops in Sackett v. EPA. An Idaho couple, Chantell and Mike Sackett, were building a home but fell victim to an EPA compliance order in 2005. Their building permit was revoked after the EPA charged that they had violated the Clean Water Act by filling in their lot with rocks and dirt.

The Sacketts were denied any hearing to contest the Compliance Order by the EPA,” American Civil Rights Union general counsel Peter Ferrara wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. “[T]he Sacketts can ignore the EPA’s Compliance Order … That course entails incurring EPA fines of as much as $750,000 per month, $9,000,000 for a year.”

The court’s unanimous decision, which overturns – yet again – a wacky 9th Circuit ruling, will allow the Sacketts to appeal the order in court instead of going through a lengthy, expensive wetlands-permit process. They might still lose, but at least they won’t be bankrupted fighting a tyrannical bureaucracy.

Created on Dec. 2, 1970, the EPA began with an executive order from President Nixon that combined several clean-water and other anti-pollution agencies into one basket. The full Congress never officially approved the monster’s creation, although the plan was vetted by Senate and House committees.

The newborn EPA had a budget of just more than $1 billion and 4,084 employees. Not bad for a startup.

This past week, EPA Administrator Janet P. Jackson told two House Energy and Commerce subcommittees that the EPA’s 2013 budget request is $8.3 billion, a 1.2 percent decrease from 2012. The agency has 17,000 employees.

This is pocket change and a volleyball team compared to other federal agencies. But over the years, despite its relatively small size, the EPA has acquired vast powers.

Just after Earth Day came into being, Congress enacted a slew of environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act (1972), Coastal Zone Management Act (1972), Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act (1972) and Endangered Species Act (1973). “The Rules and Regulations issued under these laws numbered into many thousands,” an official EPA history states. “In its early years EPA alone placed about 1,500 rulemaking notices in the Federal Register annually.”

Some of them did a lot of good. Smokestack industries could no longer pour tons of pollutants into the air and water. The Hudson River, which was declared an open sewer in the 1960s, bounced back smartly.

Emboldened, the EPA kept growing. A big breakthrough came in 2007, when the Supreme Court, whose justices moonlight as scientists, found that carbon dioxide, which we breathe out, was a “greenhouse gas” the EPA could regulate.

In 2009, President Obama’s EPA announced a massive campaign to thwart “climate change.” I’m told that deep within the bowels of the EPA complex in Washington’s Federal Triangle is a diabolical plan to fit us all with muzzles, but this probably is just a rumor.

The good news is that the EPA’s greenhouse gas limits are being weighed this month by the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District.

Meanwhile, nine state attorneys general – Tom Horne of Arizona, Pam Bondi of Florida, Sam Olens of Georgia, Bill Schuette of Michigan, Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma, Marty J. Jackley of South Dakota, Alan Wilson of South Carolina, Greg Abbott of Texas and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli of Virginia – have announced a major push-back against unconstitutional overreaches by the Obama administration, including the EPA.

“In Florida, a state with one of the most aggressive and innovative water-quality-protection programs in the country, the EPA chose to impose its own costly, unprecedented and unscientific numeric nutrient criteria,” the attorneys general’s statement says. “The estimated impact the EPA’s rules would impose was dramatic, including billions of dollars in compliance costs, significant spikes in utility bills and the loss of thousands of jobs. The Florida Attorney General’s Office sued the EPA and two weeks ago prevailed when a federal judge in Tallahassee threw out the costliest of the EPA’s rules, the one governing Florida’s streams and rivers. In doing so, the judge found the EPA’s rules were not based on sound science.

“In Oklahoma, the EPA illegally usurped Oklahoma’s authority in the Clean Air Act to determine the state’s own plan for addressing sources of emissions by imposing a federal implementation plan. The federal plan goes beyond the authority granted to the EPA in the Clean Air Act and will result in a $2 billion cost to install technology needed to complete the EPA plan and a permanent increase of 15-20 percent in the cost of electricity. The Obama Administration is fighting Oklahoma’s appeal, which was filed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Texas has filed a lawsuit challenging the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The attorneys general note that the EPA’s order was “particularly dubious because the state was included in the regulation at the last minute and without an opportunity to respond to the proposed regulation” and “was based on a dubious claim that air pollution from Texas affected a single air-quality monitor in Granite City, Illinois, more than 500 miles and three states away from Texas.”

As Congress sharpens its budget knife, the EPA monster, which started out as a well-meaning bloke but grew into a bullying monster, may find that overstepping its power is hazardous to its own health.

Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.

EPA Endangers Human Health and Welfare – American Thinker

Environmental Protection Agency Seal

Environmental Protection Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

EPA Endangers Human Health and Welfare – American Thinker.

By S. Fred Singer

Last week, a three-judge panel of the federal District Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard two days of oral arguments in the lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gas emissions using the Clean Air Act.  The consolidated suit, Coalition for Responsible Regulation vs. EPA, challenges the EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding (EF) that greenhouse gas emissions “endanger human health and welfare,” the automobile tailpipe emissions rule, and the “tailoring rule” that exempts smaller stationary emissions sources from being regulated — in contradiction of the explicit language in the 1970 Clean Air Act.

First some background: in April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that carbon dioxide, a non-toxic, natural component of the atmosphere — and essential for life on Earth — could be considered an atmospheric pollutant under the Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970 — and could therefore be regulated by EPA.  But there was an important proviso: the EPA first had to demonstrate that CO2 endangered human health and welfare.  Accordingly, in 2009, the EPA issued an Endangerment Finding (EF), backed up by a Technical Support Document (TSD).  A large number of petitioners then filed lawsuits against the EPA, including the states of Alabama, Texas, and Virginia, disputing the EF.  (My organization, the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), is one of the petitioners; we concentrate on the scientific validity of the TSD.)

The purpose of the original lawsuit, Commonwealth of Mass. vs EPA, was to force the EPA to regulate CO2 as a pollutant from motor-vehicle tailpipe emissions.  To overcome the problem of “standing,” Mass. presented an affidavit written by the chief scientist of the Environmental Defense Fund, claiming that putative future warming caused by the greenhouse gas CO2 would lead to extensive flooding of New England coastal regions.  There are three things wrong with this claim: one, there is no evidence that an increase in CO2 would lead to appreciable warming; two, there is no evidence that any warming, should it occur, would accelerate ongoing sea-level rise; and three, it would seem improper for the Supreme Court to accept an affidavit from an obviously biased source.  Unfortunately, the Department of Justice refused our technical help and did not adequately argue the case.  

As things stand now, the Appeals Court may render a decision in June 2012.  There’s a possibility that either party may ask the full Court to meet en banc.  But if the Court turns down the request, there is bound to be an appeal to bring the case before the Supreme Court.

There are many problems with the EPA’s Endangerment Finding.  Some are administrative and some are legal, but there are also very basic scientific problems.

Administratively, the EPA was required to submit its EF to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB); it failed to do that, and this may make the current EF invalid.  As reported by the EPA’s inspector general, the EPA also failed to carry out an independent analysis of the underlying science.  Instead, the EPA relied on three external reports that were all biased in the same direction: the flawed IPCC report of 2007, reports of the U.S. Climate Change Science Program, and a later report of the National Academy of Sciences.  The trouble is that these three reports are not independent evaluations of the available scientific evidence; they involved pretty much the same scientists, just wearing different hats.  The EPA made no attempt to obtain any contrary analysis of the science or to carry out its own, presumably unbiased analysis.

Under the terms of the CAA, the EPA is not required to consider the cost and other negative consequences of its proposed regulations.  Nevertheless, it is fairly obvious that these will drastically raise the cost of energy, including also the cost of heating and air-conditioning — with grave impacts upon the health and welfare of low-income groups in the population.

There are also many legal problems with the EF.  Once CO2 becomes a “criteria pollutant,” then under the terms of the Clean Air Act, the EPA must set a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) — as it did for each of the six current criteria pollutants.  After all, it is the NAAQS that is relevant to human health and welfare and defines a true pollutant; limitations on emissions are simply a means to achieve a critical legal NAAQS.  In the case of CO2, however, this is clearly impossible.  No amount of EPA regulation of U.S. emitting sources, whether cars, power stations, etc., can achieve a targeted NAAQS without the cooperation of the rest of the world, and principally China.  Nor can the EPA even define a target NAAQS for CO2.

A second legal problem has to do with the actual regulation of CO2 emitters.  Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to deal with every source that emits more than 100 or 250 tons of a pollutant a year.  In the case of CO2, this would involve millions of sources, including apartment buildings, hospitals, etc.  Realizing the impossibility of dealing with so many sources, the EPA has issued a “Tailoring Rule,” which arbitrarily limits attention only to sources of more than 100,000 tons per year.  But the TR is not established by law; Congress would have to amend the CAA to permit the EPA to carry out its plan.

To summarize, the core legal issues can be thought of as a series: 1) does the 2007 Supreme Court decision require an EF to regulate motor-vehicle emissions, 2) do such regulations then require also regulation of stationary sources (EPA’s goal), 3) is the EPA’s tailoring of the regulations to only large emitters permitted under the law, and 4) does strict application of the law lead to absurd results?

But the main objection to the EF — and the one that we have concentrated on — is the EPA’s so-called “evidence” that a rise in CO2 will have a noticeable impact on global climate.  In fact, since we filed the objection to the EF and TSD and agreed to become a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit, the scientific evidence has moved even farther in our favor.  We feel more sure now that the continuing increase in CO2 has caused no appreciable warming in the crucial interval 1978-1997 — contradicting all climate-model results.  There has been no observed warming trend of Earth’s atmosphere, either — which atmospheric theory predicts should have been about double that of the surface.  There has been no observed warming trend in the oceans, and most of the geological, non-thermometer (“proxy”) data we have studied show no warming in recent decades. 

Nevertheless, in spite of the many objections to the EF, it is still possible that the courts will defer to the EPA and permit regulation of CO2 to proceed.  It would be a great economic calamity if this were to happen.  It would also be a severe blow to the rational use of science in public policy-making.

S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project.  His specialty is atmospheric and space physics.  An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere.  He is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute.  In 2007, he founded and chaired NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change).  For recent writings see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar.

EDITORIAL: Clean green fraud – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Clean green fraud – Washington Times.

The spectacular failure of Solyndra opened a lot of eyes. Yet the bankrupt solar panel manufacturer is far from the only fly-by-night outfit to take advantage of the current “green energy” fad. No program is more ripe for abuse than the renewable fuel standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Last week, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Michigan Republican, and Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield, Kentucky Republican, opened their own investigation into the fraudulent outfits that sell tradeable biodiesel fuel credits to legitimate companies that need to meet the arbitrary mandates established by the EPA and Congress.

In 2007, President George W. Bush signed a law declaring 36 billion gallons of ethanol would be used in gasoline by the year 2022. Though the move purportedly would help the environment, it’s no secret that the corn fuel mandate has more to do with politicians seeking Midwestern votes. There wasn’t a lot of thought put into the consequences of this unrealistic and pointless command handed down from above.

As a result, each fuel refiner and importer has to meet a quota of “renewable” fuel that must be blended into proper petroleum products. For 2012, EPA decided the total amount needs to add up to 15.2 billion gallons. Companies that can’t meet the target on their own can purchase credits from renewable fuel producers. These credits are available on the EPA Moderated Transaction System, a trading scheme that lets companies that claim an abundance of “green” fuel to rake in the cash. It’s basically a government-run equivalent of the Chicago Climate Exchange that would have sold “carbon credits” had Congress enacted cap-and-trade legislation.

Beginning in 2009, the Maryland-based firm Clean Green Fuel sold credits representing 21 million gallons of biodiesel on the EPA trading system. This company was a model of political correctness, claiming it dispatched employees to collect waste vegetable oil from 2,700 nearby restaurants so that it could be converted into fuel. According to EPA, however, Clean Green had no facilities to collect or convert anything. Court documents assert that Clean Green’s owner pocketed $9.1 million in cash, which he then used to collect quite a carbon footprint from more than two-dozen luxury and sports cars, including several Ferraris, a Lamborghini and a Bentley purchased with a check for $377,210. Court documents also show the owner’s wife enjoyed $81,950 worth of diamond jewelry.

While the U.S. attorney is going after Clean Green, EPA is passing the blame to the 24 oil companies and brokers that purchased credits from the apparently fraudulent firm. In November, EPA sent notices of violation, insisting it is up to credit purchasers to verify that they are not buying flim-flam credits. Failure to do so exposes legitimate oil producers to penalties of up to $32,500 per day.

Such absurdity naturally follows when the government creates an artificial market. The best way for Congress to address the fraud problem is to pull the plug on the renewable mandate entirely.

Stuck On “Stupid Liberal” Mode – Mark Baisley – Townhall Finance

 

Stuck On “Stupid Liberal” Mode – Mark Baisley – Townhall Finance.

BLACK MARKET TOILETS
My dad builds custom homes in California and the regulators at all levels routinely give him new, maddening impediments to practicality.  The example that I remember most had to do with toilets. 
In response to the apparent public outcry about excessive tank capacity, sales of toilets that exceed 1.6 gallons per flush have been banned throughout America.  United States Senator Rand Paul recently told a senior bureaucrat at a Senate hearing, “Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you.” 
If you are like Senator Rand and don’t think that it makes sense to have to flush twice to make up for a deliberately insufficient vortex, you can buy a Canadian-made 3.5 gallon toilet on the black market.  Can you imagine having that crime on your rap sheet?
POISONOUS LIGHTBULBS
The government’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the Energy Department also thought it would be really swell if Americans would use less electricity to match their new toilets.  So, they made some suggestions, through nationwide mandates, that we replace our bright, warm, inexpensive light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL). 
CFLs don’t lend as much ambience, they are vastly more expensive, and they take a while to warm up before they can perform their singular purpose in our lives.  But, they do provide an element of mercury for you to deal with when they burn out or break. 
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that, if your CFL light bulb breaks, first get all people and pets out of the room, shut down your air conditioner for several hours (another excellent suggestion for saving energy), and thoroughly collect every bit of glass and powder into a sealed container. 
The government’s Energy Star program argues that this mandate actually reduces mercury emissions in American households because CFLs demand less electricity from mercury-generating coal plants that poison the fish we eat.
FUNNY THING ABOUT PHOSPHATES 
About a year ago, I called the manufacturer of our dishwasher with a performance complaint.  The 10-month-old appliance was simply no longer getting the dishes clean.  The repair guy approached the situation like the main character on the TV show House
His assessment was that all three name-brand detergents we had on hand were too low on phosphates to get the job done.  It turns out that ours is one of millions of households victimized by the latest regulation – low detergent phosphates.  We now dump in twice the normal amount of detergent and set the cycle to “stupid liberal mode” which runs the dishwasher for nearly three hours, using 50% more water and electricity.
BOGUS BUREAUCRATS
It is hard to believe that these busybody bureaucrats are simply trying to improve the environment.  Evidence to the contrary includes the results of an investigation by the Government Accountability Office.  They received an Energy Star label for their application of a gas-powered clock radio (really).  
With a full staff of uniformed gropers at every airport, Obamacare and government controlled thermostats on the horizon — I mean, if one were to undertake the goal of listing the most personally intrusive acts that a government could commit against its people, I think this list would just about be it. 
With their hands in my pants, my physical health, my home, and even my toilet, I have never felt so uncomfortably close to my government.

MILLOY: EPA chief’s toxic emissions – Washington Times

MILLOY: EPA chief’s toxic emissions – Washington Times.

Extremist hyperbole undermines her credibility and ability to serve

By Steve MilloyThe Washington Times

It is time for Lisa P. Jackson to resign. Last Friday at Howard University, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) railed against the coal industry, saying, “In [the coal industry’s] entire history – 50, 60, 70 years or even 30 – they never found the time or the reason to clean up their act. They’re literally on life support. And the people keeping them on life support are all of us.”

This is patently false, of course, as emissions from U.S. coal-fired power plants are quite heavily regulated. Those emissions controls are the reason U.S. air is clean and safe and why, say, the air in regulation-free China is not.

As West Virginia’s Republican Rep. David B. McKinley pointed out, to the extent that the coal industry is “on life support,” it is Ms. Jackson’s EPA and the rest of the Obama administration that has put it there with a slew of proposed and finalized anti-coal regulations.

A week before, Ms. Jackson appeared on “Real Time With Bill Maher,” where she said, “We’re actually at the point in many areas of this country where, on a hot summer day, the best advice we can give you is don’t go outside. Don’t breathe the air, it might kill you.”

But there is no scientific or medical evidence to support this statement – not now or even when the EPA was organized and the Clean Air Act was amended to its current form in 1970.

Akin to shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater, her inflammatory rhetoric actually serves to undermine all the efforts put forth and money spent by government and industry to clean the air the past 40 years.

In an Oct. 21 Los Angeles Times op-ed, Ms. Jackson essentially accused congressional Republicans of attempting to kill Americans.

“Since the beginning of this year, Republicans in the House have averaged roughly a vote every day the chamber has been in session to undermine the Environmental Protection Agency and our nation’s environmental laws. … How we respond to this assault on our environmental and public health protections will mean the difference between sickness and health – in some cases, life and death – for hundreds of thousands of citizens.”

But the bills the House GOP has passed would do nothing more than delay a few proposed and recently issued EPA regulations pending a cost-benefit analysis, including input from other federal agencies. Long-standing, pre-Obama administration emissions standards would remain in effect without any changes.

An Oct. 16 USA Today op-ed co-signed with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated, “There shouldn’t be a single neighborhood where parents have to worry about letting their kids play outside for fear they might get sick. Yet today, one in every 12 Americans – and one in 10 children – suffers from asthma, which is worsened by air pollution.”

The good news is that there aren’t such neighborhoods. In fact, there is no American adult or child whose health is compromised by ambient air quality. Yet reality doesn’t temper Ms. Jackson’s vitriol.

At a September House hearing, Ms. Jackson told Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, “[Airborne] particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.”

And how many people does Ms. Jackson claim suffer avoidable deaths from particulate matter? She told Mr. Markey, “If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.”

But last year, about 570,000 people died from cancer amid a death toll of about 2.2 million. So Ms. Jackson is misleading Congress into thinking that 25 percent of deaths in America are caused by air pollution. The real toll from ambient air, however, is zero – and there is no scientific or medical evidence to the contrary.

All this shrillness is a sign that Ms. Jackson is feeling tremendous political pressure from her efforts to use junk science to shut down the American economy.

She has overreacted by borrowing from the playbook of Clinton EPA administrator and former Obama environment and energy czar Carol M. Browner, who ran roughshod not only over congressional Republicans but also over Al Gore in ramming through costly air-pollution regulations in 1997.

Whatever the reason, however, Ms. Jackson’s nonsensical Earth First!-like scaremongering is hardly befitting of a responsible senior government official who is in charge of a supposedly independent agency that regulates much of the nation’s economy.

Ms. Jackson wants to be unaccountable for her actions and is trying to intimidate her critics into silence and resignation with flagrant falsehoods.

An EPA administrator whose rhetoric is as apocalyptic as that of the most strident environmental extremists – and whose agenda matches – isn’t serving the public. At a time when it is more important than ever to avoid damaging the economy, Ms. Jackson’s actions prove she isn’t fit to serve.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery, 2009).

Yeah, When Monkeys Fly Out of Your Tailpipe – Mark Baisley – Townhall Finance

Yeah, When Monkeys Fly Out of Your Tailpipe – Mark Baisley – Townhall Finance.

Imagine wind powered houses and solar powered automobiles.  Now imagine monkeys flying out of your tailpipe, Wayne Campbell.

The greenies’ dream of forcing the American culture into an undernourished energy consumer is alchemy pure and simple.  But reality eventually wins every contest and even a Soros-funded campaign cannot turn environmentalist idealism into gold.

One of the greatest blessings of living in the 21st Century is that we can rapidly transport ourselves and our groceries in affordable vehicles at speeds up to 75mph.  There are very good reasons why gasoline and diesel have supplied the power for our cars and delivery trucks for over 120 years.

The worthy exploration of fuel source options for transportation has pretty much narrowed to gasoline, diesel, and electricity.  In spite of conspiracy theories to the contrary, gasoline engines squeeze just about every bit of power that can possibly come from a gallon of petrol.  Passenger cars enjoy the power of acceleration called for in the frequent start and stops of city driving.  Diesel supplies a slower ignition for efficient piston-pushing torque and long engine life.  Both of these liquid fuels can be safely loaded by the consumer.

Natural gas is wonderfully abundant in the United States and can be used for powering a vehicle.  However, it must be carried in pressurized tanks that can only be loaded by trained personnel.  The natural gas delivered into homes via gas pipes is under a very low level of pressure that could not be used to fill a car’s tank.

Hydrogen does not look like it will be the answer to fueling cars anytime soon.  The challenge is in producing the hydrogen onboard just before being ingested into the special engine.  Storing hydrogen in a fuel tank would be akin to driving a bomb through the neighborhood.  This would also put auto body repair shops out of business ;-)

There is a promising place in our society for electric cars.  While they may not work well for the occasional vacation road trip, recharging nightly for daily commutes does seem workable.  The best news is that domestic fuel for powering our homes with the needed electricity is very abundant.

Natural gas is downright cheap these days and coal remains plentiful.  Recent experiments with boron is also showing promise as a way to develop nuclear power with less radiation leftovers.

I would personally love to see more electric vehicles on the road, improving our air quality even more than the impressive accomplishments of the past thirty years.  This would require more electric plants powered by America’s smart people and their natural resources.  A lot more jobs, too.

America is absolutely rich with fuel and ingenuity.  Along with our neighbor nations both to the north and the south, we could fuel life around the world effectively and cleanly.  The greatest obstacle to environmental responsibility are the environmentalist radicals.

Two steps could get us to green living; the defunding of controlling bureaucrats, like the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, and new software that doesn’t make us sit at red lights like lemmings when there is no oncoming traffic.

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