DRIESSEN: Government eyes crippling climate-control measures – Washington Times

DRIESSEN: Government eyes crippling climate-control measures – Washington Times.

Raising energy costs will stifle economy, kill jobs

By Paul Driessen

carbontaxThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ready to unleash its first wave of carbon-dioxide regulations. Some members of Congress want to tax hydrocarbon use and carbon-dioxide emissions. Moreover, United Nations climate alarmists are trying to devise a new treaty to regulate energy use at the international level. Even one of these government actions would send shock waves through the economy. If all three are imposed (or worse, imposed in conjunction with Obamacare and other tax increases on job and wealth creators) the impacts will be devastating.

This climate crisis threatens our energy use, economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare. The actions are being justified by assertions that they will stabilize the Earth’s climate, prevent global-warming disasters and raise hundreds of billions of dollars to cover “essential” government spending.

Our planet’s climate has never been stable and never will be. Despite rising carbon-dioxide levels, average global temperatures have not risen for 16 years. There is no empirical evidence to support assertions and computer models that claim carbon dioxide drives climate change or to suggest that greenhouse gases have supplanted the complex natural forces that have produced big and little ice ages, floods and droughts, and stormy and quiescent periods throughout Earth’s history.

These inconvenient truths are irrelevant to anti-hydrocarbon campaigners, who are using “dangerous man-made climate change” as the best pretext yet devised to control energy use and economies. They simply hypothesize, model and assert that every observed weather phenomenon is due to human carbon-dioxide emissions. Whether it’s warmer or colder, wetter or drier, more ice or less, more storms or fewer storms, “It’s exactly what we predicted,” climate alarmists say.

This is not science. It is political science, rooted in an ideological loathing of fossil fuels, economic growth and humanity itself.

youlie2The consequences for average workers and families will be dire.

These actions are intended to increase the cost of the hydrocarbon energy that powers our economy. Yet raising the cost of transportation fuels, electricity, lighting, heating and air conditioning will raise the price of food, materials and equipment. This will severely impact the bottom line for factories, utilities, offices, farms, shops, airlines, shippers, hospitals, schools, churches, charities and government offices. The poorest families may get rebates for their increased energy costs, but institutions will not. They will be forced to reduce wages, hours and benefits, hire fewer full-time employees, lay off people, outsource operations to countries where energy costs are lower or even close their doors.

Taxes paid by companies and employees will dwindle. Instead of paying taxes, newly jobless workers will collect unemployment and welfare benefits from shrinking government coffers. Charities will have much less money, even if deductions for donations remain in the U.S. tax code.

Unemployment will bring reduced nutrition, increased stress and higher rates of heart attack and stroke, spousal and child abuse, alcohol and drug abuse, suicide and premature death. The social, economic and health care costs will further “fundamentally transform” America, as President Obama says he is determined to do.

Even if Congress legislates carbon taxes, nothing suggests that EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will refrain from imposing EPA’s anti-hydrocarbon rules on top of them or that the White House and Senate will reject any new U.N. treaty. There is no hint that the Interior Department will cease using the Endangered Species Act and other laws to shut down oil and gas drilling while ignoring the growing slaughter of eagles and whooping cranes by wind turbines. The Energy and Defense departments, the EPA and Congress are unlikely to stop spending more in borrowed funds to subsidize corn ethanol and Navy biofuel schemes.

These anti-hydrocarbon policies also mean the U.S. Treasury will be deprived of hundreds of billions of dollars in lease bonuses, royalties, taxes and other revenues that it would realize from the development of our nation’s vast oil, natural gas and coal deposits. Instead, the United States will be forced to pay billions more for imported oil, often from unethical, environmentally reckless countries.

New hydrocarbon energy restrictions and “green” energy demands will deprive developing-nation families and communities of abundant, reliable, affordable energy; obstruct economic and human rights progress; and keep entire nations impoverished. They will kill millions more from lung infections (from burning wood and dung), intestinal diseases (from contaminated water), malnutrition and diseases of poverty and eco-imperialism.

Those countries will receive far less foreign aid from increasingly cash-strapped Western nations. Little good will come of the Green Climate Fund cash the United Nation says industrialized nations should transfer to kleptocratic rulers in poor countries as reparations for supposedly causing climate change.

For every nation, this coerced energy and economic deprivation will make it increasingly difficult to adapt to future climate changes that nature inevitably will bring our way. So much for the modern era. Mankind ought to have the wealth and technology to adapt far more easily than our ancestors were able to do.

Climate alarmists are doing everything in their power to avoid discussing these issues and to vilify anyone who brings them up. However, we need to have this debate, and we need to have it now — especially in Congress and our state legislatures — before destructive decisions are imposed on us and our children.

Paul Driessen is senior policy adviser for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow and author of “Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death” (Merril Press, 2012).

 

MURDOCK: High cost of fantasy fuel – Washington Times

MURDOCK: High cost of fantasy fuel – Washington Times.

Team Obama fines companies for not buying fuel that doesn’t exist

By Deroy Murdock

Why does America’s economy feel like an SUV running on fumes? The Obama administration’s laughably rigid enforcement of a Bush-era ethanol mandate typifies today’s regulatory climate. When Uncle Sam governs with a tire iron in his hand, U.S. companies wisely pull off the road and pray for new management.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has slapped a $6.8 million penalty on oil refiners for not blending cellulosic ethanol into gasoline, jet fuel and other products. Those dastardly petroleum mongers are being so intransigent because cellulosic ethanol does not exist. It remains a fantasy fuel. The EPA might as well mandate that Exxon hire leprechauns. So far this year — just as in 2011 — the supply of cellulosic biofuel in gallons totals zero.

EPA’s decision is arbitrary and capricious. We fail to understand how EPA can maintain a requirement to purchase a type of fuel that simply doesn’t exist,” said Charles Drevna, president of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the Washington-based association for the oil-refining industry.

President George W. Bush idiotically signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. Beyond prohibiting Thomas Edison’s groundbreaking incandescent light bulb by 2014, EISA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandated cellulosic ethanol. Under the RFS, refiners had to blend 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2011. Although this substance is not extant, EPA then demanded to see 31 percent more of it. This year’s quota is 8.65 million gallons. Somehow, EPA expects cellulosic ethanol to leap magically from test tubes into storage tanks.

Presidents Bush and Obama have pumped about $1.5 billion in grants and guarantees into converting cellulosic ethanol from dream into reality. As Thomas J. Pyle of the Institute for Energy Research reports, Team Obama handed a $105 million loan guarantee to POET LLC, “the world’s largest ethanol producer,” to create cellulosic fuel. Last September, Abengoa Energy scored a $134 million loan to build a Kansas cellulosic factory. Last August, Mr. Obama gave the Navy $510 million to develop biofuels for the U.S. armed forces.

Way back in 2010, about 70 percent of fantasy fuel was supposed to spring from Cello Energy in Alabama. Unfortunately, in 2009, a jury determined that Cello had falsified its production capacity. Cello went silent in October 2010 when it filed for bankruptcy.

The National Academy of Sciences predicted last year that by 2022, EPA’s mandated cellulosic supplies will not materialize “unless innovative technologies are developed that unexpectedly improve the cellulosic biofuels production process.” In other words, if you don’t build it, they will not come.

The oil refiners absorbed all of this and chose, at first, to play nice. AFPM and the American Petroleum Institute petitioned EPA in February 2011 and again on Jan. 20 — that time joined by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA). As the administration gave labor unions and entire states waivers from Obamacare, the refiners asked for waivers from the RFS mandate.

Fully 15 months after the first petition and four months beyond the second, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson finally rejected the refiners’ appeals, reaffirming that they must obey this regulation — never mind that they more easily could defy gravity. “We thank you for your interest in these issues,” Ms. Jackson’s May 22 letter cheerily said.

Thus, on June 11, the AFPM and WSPA sued EPA in D.C. Circuit Court. The plaintiffs hope a federal judge will blend some sanity into a scenario that resembles the work of Salvador Dali.

Rather than focus on expanding operations and creating jobs, lawful American companies must spend money to sue the federal government for relief from unobservable rules. This fact demonstrates how boneheaded and bullheaded Washington has become. Even worse, businessmen beyond the oil industry watch this charade and wonder when the regulatory tumbrels will roll by for them.

Washington’s unyielding, heavy-handed and nonsensical behavior nonetheless may obscure a sliver of silver lining. The Bush-Obama administration indeed has invented a hybrid fuel: Cellulosic ethanol is one-half industrial policy and one-half comedy routine.

Deroy Murdock is a columnist with the Scripps Howard News Service and a media fellow with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.

MILLOY: Did Obama’s EPA relaunch Tuskegee experiments? – Washington Times

The EPA was directed to set standards for radi...

The EPA was directed to set standards for radioactive materials under Reorganization Plan No. 3 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MILLOY: Did Obama’s EPA relaunch Tuskegee experiments? – Washington Times.

Human trials vainly tried to prove air pollution is deadly

By Steve Milloy

Which do you find more shocking: that the Environmental Protection Agency conducts experiments on humans that its own risk assessments would deem potentially lethal, or that it hides the results of those experiments from Congress and the public because they debunk those very same risk assessments?

JunkScience.com recently obtained through the Freedom of Information Act the results of tests conducted on 41 people who were exposed by EPA researchers to high levels of airborne fine particulate matter – soot and dust known as PM2.5.

If we are to believe the congressional testimony of EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, these experiments risked the lives of these 41 people, at least one of whom was already suffering from heart problems.

Ms. Jackson testified in September before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.” Just to clarify what Ms. Jackson meant by “sooner than you should,” deaths allegedly caused by PM2.5 are supposed to occur within a day or so of exposure.

Got that? Airborne dust and soot don’t make you sick, they just kill you – virtually upon exposure.

Underscoring this notion are the EPA’s two most recent rules affecting coal-fired power plants, the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, which the EPA claims will prevent tens of thousands of premature deaths per year by reducing PM2.5 emissions.

Further underscoring the EPA’s view that PM2.5 kills is more of Ms. Jackson’s congressional testimony. At the September hearing, Rep. Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, asked Ms. Jackson, “How would you compare [the benefits of reducing airborne PM2.5] to the fight against cancer?” Ms. Jackson said, “Yeah, I was briefed not long ago. If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels, it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country.” Mr. Markey asked her to repeat what she had said. Ms. Jackson responded, “Yes, sir. If we could reduce particulate matter to levels that are healthy, we would have an identical impact to finding a cure for cancer.”

Given that cancer kills about 570,000 Americans per year, according to the American Cancer Society, the EPA’s claim amounts to PM2.5 being responsible for roughly 25 percent of all deaths in the U.S. annually.

In support of this belief, the EPA has been issuing rules since 1997 to reduce PM2.5 in ambient air, including the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, which will cost coal-fired electric utilities and their consumers more than $10 billion per year to implement.

The EPA takes the position that PM2.5 is so dangerous that it needs to set exceedingly stringent regulatory standards. The EPA’s PM2.5 air-quality standards are violated when PM2.5 levels exceed 35 micrograms per cubic meter in ambient air during a 24-hour period, or when they exceed 15 micrograms per cubic meter on average over the course of a year – and the EPA is looking to further tighten these standards in 2013.

Returning to the agency’s human experimentation, how much PM2.5 did the study subjects inhale in the name of EPA science? One subject was exposed to 750 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic meter, or more than 21 times the EPA’s 24-hour standard. Seven subjects were exposed to levels 10 times greater than the 24-hour standard. No study subject was exposed to less than 35 micrograms per cubic meter. Remember, Ms. Jackson said PM2.5 doesn’t make you sick. It just kills you – quickly.

Although PM2.5 is allegedly so deadly, the experiments were stopped in only two cases. One was a 58-year old woman, who EPA experimented on despite her personal medical history of Stage 1 hypertension, premature atrial contractions, osteoarthritis, gall bladder removal and a family history of heart disease (her father had a fatal heart attack at age 57). Her experiment was stopped when she experienced atrial fibrillation. In the other case, the woman experienced no clinical effects, but the EPA nevertheless stopped her experiment after researchers detected a momentary increase in heart rate.

EPA particulate matter assertions notwithstanding, PM2.5 killed none of the study subjects, and the two experiments that were stopped can likely be explained by causes other than PM2.5.

You might think that the EPA would have shared these “surprising” results with the public and Congress, particularly as they seem to contradict the agency’s claims about the lethality of PM2.5. But you would be wrong.

The EPA human experiments were conducted from January 2010 to June 2011, ending more than three months before Ms. Jackson’s congressional testimony, which contained no mention of these results – just dramatic claims of PM2.5’s lethality.

EPA researchers who conducted the experiments published the case study of the 58-year woman in the government journal Environmental Health Perspectives in which they casually disregard the woman’s pre-existing health conditions and blame her atrial fibrillation on PM2.5. They also failed to disclose the existence – let alone the results – of the other 40 experiments.

The researchers’ conduct is also unethical given that the results of the other experiments – two-thirds of which involved higher PM2.5 levels – contradict their conclusions about the 58-year old woman.

What about the agency’s conduct? The EPA’s long-established view is that PM2.5 is ultrahazardous, yet it exposed humans to very high and potentially near-instantly lethal levels of a deadly pollutant. In light of the EPA’s own safety standard, how far is the agency’s conduct from the horrific experiments conducted by the Nazi concentration camp doctor Josef Mengele and the Tuskegee syphilis experiments? What should we make of the agency hiding its results from the public and Congress?

It seems that the only way out for the EPA is to acknowledge the reality that, in fact, PM2.5 is not so bad for you after all.

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

EDITORIAL: Abrupt climate-change reversal – Washington Times

Environmental Protection Agency Seal

Environmental Protection Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

EDITORIAL: Abrupt climate-change reversal – Washington Times.

The injection of politics into the global-warming hypothesis has made it difficult to know where facts end and falsehoods begin. While alarmists have been blaming their fellow man for every hurricane, tornado and other ill wind whipped up by Mother Nature, science is now concluding that the cause of these damaging storms has nothing to do with human activity.

The surprise absolution of human beings from the crime of triggering severe weather phenomena was handed down by none other than the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), leader of the campaign to sell the world on anthropogenic climate change. The IPCC’s Special Report on Extremes, released March 28, reads, “There is medium evidence and high agreement that long-term trends in normalized [property] losses have not been attributed to natural or anthropogenic climate change.” The breathtaking admission is a sign that objective science is reclaiming a leading role in the discussion.

This is not to say that localized weather extremes are not occurring. In recent years, Americans living in the Midwest have faced outbreaks of deadly tornadoes unusually early in the twister season. About three dozen people were killed last month, and more than 300 perished in April 2011. News reports often recite conventional wisdom that such catastrophes are becoming more frequent and severe because of industry-emitted carbon dioxide – the same gas that makes all animal and plant life possible. The same substance is vilified as a “greenhouse gas” that purportedly traps heat, warms the planet and provokes killer tempests.

However, climatologists who stick to facts say otherwise. Roger A. Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, notes that globally, hurricane wind speed – an indicator for the amount of energy in the atmosphere – has remained steady for the past 15 years. Accordingly, there is no evidence that weather extremes are on the rise globally, much less that they’re increasing because of human activity.

That damaging squalls are not anthropogenic surely will be unwelcome news to President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which imposes drastic restrictions on the nation in the hopes of changing the weather. The EPA’s website features an Extreme Events page, which reads: “Human-induced climate change has the potential to alter the prevalence and severity of extremes such as heat waves, cold waves, storms, floods and droughts.”

On the basis of that premise, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson last week announced plans to place crushing restrictions on the nation’s coal-burning power plants, on which Americans depend to produce 45 percent of the nation’s electricity.

The agency attributes its assertion that human activity can cause severe global warming to the IPCC’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report. Now that the U.N. organization has backed off from that claim, the EPA is obligated to do so as well. Without the facts to back it up, the anthropogenic global-warming theory has proved to be unsustainable. Governmental policies based on this obsolete fiction likewise should be rescinded.

The Washington Times

PATTERSON: Obama kills coal – as promised – Washington Times

PATTERSON: Obama kills coal – as promised – Washington Times.

Higher electricity prices will most affect those who can least afford them

By Matt Patterson – The Washington Times

“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.

Well, we can’t say we weren’t warned. This week, the unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency released a set of proposed rules designed to target greenhouse gas emissions. If enacted, these rules would virtually destroy the coal industry – just as President Obama once promised he would do.

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. As Jordan Weissmann writes for theAtlantic, “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 – and that’s really expensive.”

Carbon capture and storage technology allows carbon-dioxide emissions to be stored in the ground instead of being released into the atmosphere. But the technology is, for many coal-energy producers, prohibitively pricey. Even assuming new coal plants are actually built under this regulatory regime, to whom do you think those new expenses will be passed on to? That’s right – energy consumers.

Rich people will be able to pay those extra costs, though they may gripe about it. But middle-class households will see a rise in their energy bills that will put them in even greater financial distress than they already are under in this abysmal “recovery.” Poor and working-class people will be especially hurt, of course, as is almost always the case when wealthy pencil-pushers hatch a brilliant plan to “save the planet.” Among the pencil-pushers is EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, who crowed: “Today we’re taking a common-sense step to reduce pollution in our air, protect the planet for our children, and move us into a new era of American energy.”

Will coal-power producers try to forge ahead with new facilities under these proposed regulations? Doubtful. Remember, this is an industry already groaning under the weight of a slew of new regulations imposed by the Obama EPA, including emission limits on mercury and sulfur dioxide, “which would require utilities to eventually upgrade old plants or build entirely new ones,” Mr. Weissmann notes.

True, the EPA is taking pains to stress that the new regulations would apply only to new plants. Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation, assured lawmakers at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the agency has “no plans” to curb greenhouse gas emissions for existing plants. But no one believes that, not Republicans who grilled EPA officials at Wednesday’s hearing, nor environmental groups who have long sought the death of King Coal.

David Doniger, climate program policy director at the Natural Resources Defense Council notes that the Clean Air Act likely will make it inevitable that the EPA will train its anti-carbon guns on existing coal-fired power plants. Just so we know where the council stands, 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.” Doubtless, Mr. Obama’s EPA won’t need much of a nudge from Mr. Doniger’s group.

Unlike his promises to close the terrorist detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay, keep lobbyists out of the White House, and oppose an individual mandate for health insurance, at least we know that Mr. Obama was true to his word when he promised to bankrupt an entire industry that employs tens of thousands of Americans.

Well done.

Matt Patterson is the Warren T. Brookes Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and senior editor at the Capital Research Center.

MILLOY: Showdown at the EPA corral – Washington Times

MILLOY: Showdown at the EPA corral – Washington Times.

GOP needs to call out Jackson on agency’s flimsy science

By Steve Milloy – The Washington Times

March 2 should be a date that lives in infamy for the Obama Environmental Protection Agency.

That day will most likely be the last opportunity for congressional Republicans to apply meaningful pressure on EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson as she testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the agency’s 2013 budget.

Over the past three years, the Obama EPA has conducted a scorched earth campaign against fossil fuel producers and users, especially the coal-fired power industry, with multibillion-dollar rules that provide no meaningful environmental or public-health benefits, like the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule and the Mercury Air Toxics Standard (MATS).

The EPA will soon propose its greenhouse gas emission standards for power plants – rules that will attempt to make it financially impossible to construct new coal-fired power plants in the United States.

It seems that President Obama was deadly serious when he told the San Francisco Chronicle in January 2008, “So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”

And while nothing short of a change of administration will change the fate of coal-fired power in the United States, Senate Republicans should use the March 2 Senate hearing as an opportunity to put Ms. Jackson on the hot seat.

To stoke their blood pressure, Republican committee members should remember that Ms. Jackson has delivered numerous speeches and written newspaper Op-Eds over the past year denouncing Republicans as trying to sicken and kill hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Last October, for example, Ms. Jackson wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “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 EPA 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.”

Ms. Jackson has taken the gloves off, and it’s time for Sen. Jim Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, the ranking minority member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to whip his team into shape and to do the same for this final showdown before the election.

GOP committee members will first need to inoculate themselves against Ms. Jackson’s charms. They may like her personally, but her agency’s junk science-fueled regulatory war against American jobs, families, businesses and the economy as a whole ought to transcend any warm and cuddly feelings. There is nothing to be gained from the one-way respect and collegiality that allows her to lie, temporize and filibuster her way out of answering tough questions.

Next, GOP committee members need to internalize the reality that American air is already clean and safe, and was so before the Frankenstein that is the Obama EPA came to life. There is no one being harmed by ambient air quality in America and the EPA cannot produce anyone that has been harmed.

JunkScience.com, for example, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act emergency hospital admissions data for 2010-11 from the large Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in West Los Angeles. The data show no correlation between hospital admissions for asthma and air quality measurements for ground-level ozone (smog) and fine particulate matter (soot) in Los Angeles, which supposedly has some of the “worst” air quality in America.

Finally, committee members need to be aware of the massive scientific conflict-of-interest going on in the EPA air office. The EPA not only commissions research that fits its agenda, it then pays the reviewers who rubber-stamp the quality of that research. The EPA also allows its researchers to deny outside scientists access to key data that would allow confirmation of claimed results.

The dubiousness of this process and EPA air quality science in general is best exposed and debunked by a recent study published in the U.S. government journal Environmental Health Perspectives. That study shockingly reported that air quality in the Chinese city of Xi’an, one of the dirtiest cities in the world, is safer than the air in U.S. cities. Either air pollution is not as harmful as the EPA asserts or the agency’s self-funded multitude of statistical analyses on air quality are suspect – or both.

No doubt Ms. Jackson will try to deflect questions about the probity of EPA science by saying that scores of “independent” researchers can’t possibly be wrong, or worse, part of a conspiracy. But bought-and-paid-for statistics based on secret data really ought to raise a Republican eyebrow.

At a recent House hearing on the EPA MATS rule, Rep. Joe Barton, Texas Republican, successfully interrogated EPA air chief Lisa McCarthy into stunned silence about the absence of health effects from power plant mercury emissions – a dramatic first. Coach Inhofe should get the video for his team.

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).

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).

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