Ugly Rears Its Head In The House Of Representatives

Sometimes dumb ideas come from Republicans as well as Democrats. I am about to illustrate that fact. Yesterday Representative Ted Deutch of Florida introduced H.R. 7173 into the House of Representatives. The bills description is, “To create a Carbon Dividend Trust Fund for the American people in order to encourage market-driven innovation of clean energy technologies and market efficiencies which will reduce harmful pollution and leave a healthier, more stable, and more prosperous nation for future generations.” Never trust the government to create a trust fund–remember the Social Security Trust Fund–it was robbed during the 1960’s (by the government that created it).

Let’s talk about this trust fund for a moment.

The bill states:

“A carbon dividend payment is one pro-rata share for each adult and half a pro-rata share for each child under 19 years old, with a limit of 2 children per household, of amounts available for the month in the Carbon Dividend Trust Fund.”

Do you really want the government commenting or being involved in any way with how many children you have in your family?

The Hill posted an article yesterday about the bill. The article included the following:

…the bill would charge companies when they produce or import fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas, based on their expected greenhouse gas emissions.

But instead of using the money to pay for health or community projects, the new bill would distribute it to the public. Its backers say those “dividends” would offset the increased costs from the carbon tax, like higher utility and gasoline bills, for about 70 percent of households.

Dividend funds would be handed out by the Treasury Department under the bill, based on the number of people in a household.

“It’s transparent and easily trackable. You know where the money is going. It protects the American family so that families are not adversely impacted. Dividends would protect most families from cost increases,” Ben Pendergrass, senior director of government affairs at Citizens’ Climate Lobby, told The Hill.

“The market signals should still be there to guide things like fuel efficient cars and dividends protect people who can’t make that transition immediately.”

The bill would also prohibit the federal government from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from the sectors that are taxed, unless the taxes aren’t effective after 10 years. That is an effort to attract support from Republicans, who are nearly united in opposition to Environmental Protection Agency climate regulations.

Rooney focused on the economic benefits of the bill, saying in a statement Wednesday that the revenue carbon neutral fee is good policy and a way “to support emerging alternate sources of energy.”

This bill is a really bad idea. It paves the way for more government intrusion into our private lives and takes more money from Americans. America has cut its greenhouse gas emissions without crippling our economy. We are quite capable of doing so in the future without stifling economic growth and creating even bigger bureaucracies.

 

The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

Hot Air posted an article today about the environmental impact of ethanol. Remember that using ethanol (and even increasing the percentage of ethanol in gasoline) was supposed to have a positive impact on the environment. Well, not so fast.

The article reports:

One of the chief claims of the corn lobby is that ethanol is a more “green” type of energy because it’s renewable. From there, the argument is extended to claim that it’s better for the environment all the way around. But the conclusions of a study underlying the latest EPA report on the environmental impact of ethanol (seven years in the making, dating back well into the Obama administration) concludes that the opposite is true. Ethanol produces significant negative impacts on the environment, in some cases worse than the gasoline it’s supposed to be replacing. (Public News Service)

The article explains:

A long-delayed report from the Environmental Protection Agency finds that requiring ethanol made from corn and soybeans to be part of the nation’s gas supply is causing serious environmental harm.

Federal law requires the EPA to assess the environmental impact of the fuel standard every three years, but the new report, issued in July, was four years overdue. According to David DeGennaro with the National Wildlife Federation, the report documents millions of acres of wildlife habitat lost to ethanol crop production, increased nutrient pollution in waterways and air emissions and side effects worse than the gasoline the ethanol is replacing.

“In finding that the Renewable Fuel Standard is having negative consequences to a whole suite of environmental indicators,” DeGennaro said, “the report is a red flag warning us that we need to reconsider the mandate’s scope and its focus on first-generation fuels made from food crops.”

…The bigger surprise is the fact that ethanol production and combustion significantly increases the production of nitrous oxides (Nox). This combines with oxygen in the atmosphere when exposed to sunlight, producing ozone.

The article concludes:

The Renewable Fuel Standard needs to be scaled back (preferably eliminated), not expanded. And if basic considerations of the damage it does to marine equipment and small engines, on top of burning too hot and producing less energy by volume than gas isn’t a good enough reason, perhaps the damage to the environment will convince you.

The corn lobby is not going to like this report. This is what happens when you jump on the environmental bandwagon before you completely understand the consequences of what you are doing.

 

Another Step In The Right Direction

In October 2013, I posted an article about private property rights in America. The article dealt with something the Environmental Protection Agency was doing at the time:

...the “Water Body Connectivity Report” – that would remove the limiting word “navigable” from “navigable waters of the United States” and replace it with “connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters” as the test for Clean Water Act regulatory authority.

…If approved, the new rule would give EPA unprecedented power over private property across the nation, gobbling up everything near seasonal streams, isolated wetlands, prairie potholes, and almost anything that occasionally gets wet.

The new rule went into effect, and if you had a mud puddle on your property, you might have a problem exercising your rights as a land owner.

Well, the Trump Administration is changing that law.

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the Trump Administration will rescind the regulation that includes mud puddles in the Clean Water Act.

The article reports:

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Tuesday the agency would repeal the Clean Water Rule, or the “waters of the United States” rule (WOTUS), which was finalized by the Obama administration in 2015.

“We are taking significant action to return power to the states and provide regulatory certainty to our nation’s farmers and businesses,” Pruitt said in a statement.

In February, President Donald Trump ordered EPA to review WOTUS and, if necessary, replace it with a rule that interprets the term “navigable waters” in a “manner consistent with the opinion of Justice Antonin Scalia in Rapanos v. United States.”

This is a welcome move.

But They Didn’t Mean To Break The Law…

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its compliance with the laws concerning archiving federal documents.

The article reports:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials only archived 86 text messages out of 3.1 million agency employees sent and received in 2015, according to a federal watchdog’s report made public Wednesday by House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith.

The EPA Office of Inspector General (IG) released the report requested by the Texas Republican, which described enormous text message retention problems within the EPA. One unnamed senior official configured his phone to automatically delete texts after 30 days.

Obviously this sort of behavior makes transparency in government a joke.

The article further reports:

The IG claimed EPA officials never “intentionally” violated the Federal Records Act and did not include the low number of archived texts in the body of its report, relaying it instead to congressional staff.

Multiple federal laws and regulations require that officials preserve all documents — including email and text messages — created in the course of conducting official business of the U.S. government.

This is not acceptable behavior. This is one reason Donald Trump was elected–Americans expect him to drain the swamp that Washington, D.C. has become. President Obama promised a transparent administration. He has given us anything but.

I’m From The Government And I’m Here To Help

“I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” Those words should strike fear in the hearts of every American. As Milton Friedman one stated, “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.” Someone equally knowledgeable in the ways of government amended that statement slightly–“Yes, but if you put Congress in charge from the start, they would start a federal sand reserve to store up most of the sand from the very beginning. Then the sand shortage would start in one year, but when glassmakers needed more, they could dole out the stored sand to their political contributors and claim they did it to ‘keep prices down’.”

Obviously, either way there is a problem. Where am I going with this? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just declared war on most of the cars in America. On Tuesday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about the latest move by the EPA.

The editorial explains:

The EPA’s proposal to increase the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline is a trifecta of regulatory abuse. It will do nothing for the environment, it will do nothing for energy security, and it could wreck millions of car engines.

…The EPA’s proposal would require refineries to blend in almost 19 billion gallons of ethanol and other “biofuels” by 2017, which is 700,000 gallons more than they do now.

But there’s a problem. Americans aren’t consuming enough gasoline. In fact, consumption this year is well below the 2007 forecast, both because cars are more efficient and because people are driving less than expected.

So, if oil refiners are to pump 19 billion gallons of ethanol into their gasoline supplies, they won’t be able to keep ethanol ratio below 10%.

 Why does that matter? Because ethanol is corrosive and can degrade plastic, rubber and metal parts. And the more ethanol in gasoline, the most likely this damage will occur. So going above 10% can wreak havoc with car engines — as well as those in motorcycles, lawnmowers, power boats, you name it — that aren’t built to handle the higher ethanol levels.

The first thing to consider here is that the EPA is not legally entitled to make laws–only Congress can do that. The EPA is not elected and is therefore not accountable to the voters–therefore they do not have the right to enact laws.

The article also points out that increased use of ethanol drives up food prices, which actually hurts the poor. So why in the world isn’t Congress fighting back? If you were running for office in a farm state, would you want to tell the farmers in that state that the price of corn will be going down because ethanol has not been the wonderful thing you thought it was?

The editorial concludes:

So why is the EPA pushing ethanol? Does it help fight global warming? Does it help cities fight smog? Does it help the U.S. become more energy independent?

The answer is: None of the above.

A 2011 study by the National Research Council found that ethanol use could boost overall CO2 emissions. An earlier study published in Science also found that, when you consider the impact of converting forests and grasslands to cornfields, ethanol sharply increases carbon emissions.

Meanwhile, a 2007 study by a Stanford University environmental engineer found that increasing ethanol levels in gasoline can lead to more smog.

The idea that we need ethanol to become energy independent might have made sense in 2007. But the fracking boom since then has unleashed massive new domestic supplies of oil and natural gas, rendering this argument entirely moot.

Here’s an idea. Rather than requiring oil refiners to pump more of this dirty and expensive fuel into gasoline supplies, the federal government should abandon the ethanol requirement altogether.

Big Corn might not like it, but millions of car owners will be grateful.

When the government gets involved in what should be the free market, bad things happen.

This Can’t Be A Good Thing

Yesterday The Washington Free Beacon reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is spending $300,000 to develop technology that they believe will save energy in office buildings.

The article reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency is spending nearly $300,000 to develop technology that will track the energy and water use of office buildings, with a colored light bulb system that will send “visual messages” to employees when they are using too much.

Lucid Design Group, a California-based software company, received the funding from the agency with the goal to “change the habits” of Americans at work.

First of all, note that the EPA is saying they are tracking the energy use of buildings–not people. That is supposed to make the idea more acceptable. The idea of paying the government to change my habits just does not sit well with me.

The article further reports:

The funding went towards the development of “Building Orbs” to “encourage behavior-based energy conservation in commercial buildings.”

“Building Orbs” are a system of light bulbs that change color when energy use is too high.

“The project team, which includes original members of the Oberlin College P3 (People, Prosperity and the Planet) team, will begin by completing development of and testing novel, low-cost software tools that allows off-the-shelf, multi-colored, internet-connect LEDs such as the Philips Hue and the LIFX to be transformed into ‘Building Orbs,’” according to the grant for the project.

The system will provide “ambient color-based feedback to building occupants,” and use “visual messaging.”

The “Building Orbs” will “tap the demand response potential of behavior-driven electric loads through visual messaging during demand response events,” and try to get office workers to reduce their electricity use through “visual messaging by enabling behavior-based peak demand management.”

The company has now received $395,091 for the technology including the latest $295,507 grant.

Let’s look at this for a minute. How much control does the average office worker have over his individual energy use? The company involved sets the heating or cooling to a temperature that is most acceptable for all employees. Is the machine going to complain about energy use during hot or cold spells? Computers and printers generally have sleep modes that shut down when not in use. Generally, a computer is not using much more energy than a light bulb. Speaking of light bulbs… Do energy saving policies encourage the use of Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL’s)? These bulbs have health risks while in use and when they break.

This expenditure is a colossal waste of taxpayer money. Most companies monitor their energy consumption in order to cut down on overhead. Government intrusion is neither necessary nor welcome in telling offices how to use energy.

 

Where Can I Get A Job Like This?

The Daily Caller posted an article today about how well new employees are treated at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The article reports:

A new hire at the Environmental Protection Agency hit the jackpot when the employee’s new bosses awarded her $9,000 in performance bonuses for less than three months of work.

The EPA’s inspector general said the newly hired director of the environmental agency’s RTP Finance Center in Raleigh was paid two separate performance bonuses of $4,500 shortly after beginning work.

“The total award amount of $9,000 represents approximately 25 percent of the Director’s salary for that 3-month time period.

The article mentions that management had decided that they had to treat new directors well. It’s really easy to do that when it’s not really your money and you don’t have to worry about making a profit.

They Must Be Using Common Core Math

On Thursday, The Daily Caller posted an article about the cost of the new stricter Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smog limits. According to EPA estimates, the new limits would cost Americans $1.4 billion a year (it’s bad enough that the government is taxing us to death, now they have a new way to take our money).

However, it doesn’t seem seem quite that simple. The article reports:

The right-leaning American Action Forum says EPA’s updated smog, or ground-level ozone, rule could cost $56.5 billion in lost wages based on economic losses from counties that couldn’t comply with the agency’s 2008 rule.

“Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013,” according to AAf policy experts.

The new regulations lower the ambient levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. That is not a drastic change, but counties that have heavy manufacturing centers have had a difficult time complying with the current standards, much less the new ones. These counties may be forced to limit either manufacturing or oil and gas extraction.

How can Presidential candidates talk about bringing manufacturing back to America when federal bureaucracies are creating regulations that will ultimately limit manufacturing? I would also like to mention that these regulations are perceived as law, yet are not actually put into force the way that laws are created. The people creating these laws are not elected officials–the voters are not able to hold them accountable. I don’t know exactly how we have gotten to this place, but it is not constitutional. Laws need to be passed by Congress and signed by Congress. It’s time to get back to that.

This Sounds Vaguely Familiar

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has lost text messages sent to and from the phone belonging to agency chief Gina McCarthy and former chief Lisa Jackson.

The article reports:

Justice Department lawyers said they will soon be telling a federal judge the EPA misplaced text messages sent to and from the phone belonging to agency chief Gina McCarthy and former chief Lisa Jackson.

“Defendant has decided to formally notify the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the potential loss of federal records relating to text messages,” DOJ lawyers admitted.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank, has been pursuing EPA text messages since last year, after McCarthy was confirmed by the Senate to head up the EPA. CEI filed a case in 2013 to prevent the EPA from destroying agency text messages, a practice the think tank says it discovered through other government records requests.

It seems as if the EPA is taking lessons on computer technology from the IRS.

If someone doesn’t rein in the Executive Branch of our government soon, our representative republic will not survive. We need to elect a Congress that has the maturity to hold the Obama Administration’s feet to the fire. The Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances for a reason–it is up to Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive Branches to maintain that balance. When one branch oversteps its boundaries, the other branches should step in and restore the balance. It is time to elect a Congress that will do that.

Another Fiction-Based Policy Brought To You By The Obama Administration

The Daily Caller today is reporting that the policies that are part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ‘s plan to fight global warming will cost the economy $2.23 trillion. The debate over global warming continues, but so does the runaway cost of fighting it–courtesy of the EPA.

The article reports:

“Higher energy prices as a result of the regulations will squeeze both production and consumption. Since energy is a critical input for most goods and services, Americans will be hit repeatedly with higher prices as businesses pass higher costs onto consumers,” writes Nick Loris, a Heritage Foundation economist and co-author of the report.

“However, if a company had to absorb the costs, high energy costs would shrink profit margins and prevent businesses from investing and expanding,” Loris adds. “The cutbacks result in less output, fewer new jobs, and less income.

Let’s wait until we are sure the problem actually exists before we throw tons of money at it.

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Out Of Control???

Yesterday the Western Center For Journalism posted an article about a recent decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The article reports:

In an outrageous decision recently announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, the West River Indian Reservation now has ownership of an entire Wyoming town. Along with the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice, the EPA decided to give the town of Riverton to the tribe, obviously upsetting those who call the community home.

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead responded to the brewing controversy with a resolute stance against the government intrusion.

…The 10,000 residents of Riverton are now technically under the control of the tribe, not the U.S. government. This not only makes residents responsible for any taxes or regulations tribal leaders decide to impose, it disqualifies them from state resources.

When did we become a banana republic? I hope that the State of Wyoming is successful in fighting this ruling. If it is not, there is no limit to what the government can arbitrarily do to its citizens.
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Coming To An Electric Company Near You

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about a change quietly made to energy efficient appliances that could eventually impact all of us.

The article reports:

In a seemingly innocuous revision of its Energy Star efficiency requirements announced June 27, the Environmental Protection Agency included an “optional” requirement for a “smart-grid” connection for customers to electronically connect their refrigerators or freezers with a utility provider.

The feature lets the utility provider regulate the appliances’ power consumption, “including curtailing operations during more expensive peak-demand times.”

So if you are endangering the planet by keeping your beer too cold, the Environmental Protection Agency can save you from yourself.

The article further reports:

So far, manufacturers are not required to include the feature, only “encouraged,” and consumers must still give permission to turn it on. But with the Obama administration’s renewed focus on fighting mythical climate change, we expect it to become mandatory to save the planet from the perils of keeping your beer too cold.

“Manufacturers that build in and certify optional ‘connected features’ will earn a credit towards meeting the Energy Star efficiency requirements,” according to an EPA email to CNSNews.com.

We are both intrigued and bothered by the notion that a utility company, the regulated energy sock-puppet of government, could and probably will have the power to regulate the power we use and how we use it, as long as we’re paying our electricity bills, even to the point of turning these devices and appliances off at will.

This is another really bad example of the nanny state thinking that one size fits all. Have you ever been in a nursing home? It’s generally pretty warm–the senior citizens don’t always have the body composition to stay warm in cooler temperatures. What about people who are sensitive to heat due to a health condition? Will the electric company allow their air conditioners to function at a capacity that will keep them safe?

The appliance manufacturers need to tell the government to go pound sand on this requirement.

The Environmental Protection Agency vs American Energy Independence

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is not limited by scientific facts–they have an agenda to limit American energy production and they refuse to let facts get in the way of that agenda. A recent article at Investor’s Business Daily clearly illustrates that fact.

The article reports on the EPA’s study that attempted to link fracking to contaminated water in Pavillion, Wyoming:

In 2011, the EPA released the non-peer reviewed report on Pavillion in which the agency publicly linked fracking and groundwater contamination for the first time. However, then-EPA administrator Lisa Jackson stated that there is “no proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water.”

The article further reports:

First, the contamination was found in two “monitoring wells” drilled by EPA outside of town, not in water wells that actually supply residents their water. EPA use of “dense soda ash” to drill its monitoring wells into a hydrocarbon-bearing layer probably skewed the results.

According to the industry research group Energy in Depth, “dense soda ash has a recorded pH (11.5), very similar to the level found in the deep wells, creating the possibility that the high pH recorded by EPA could have been caused by the very chemicals it used to drill its own wells.”

What the EPA report doesn’t say is that the U.S. Geological Survey has detected organic chemicals in the well water in Pavillion for at least five decades, long before fracking was done. The deepwater wells that EPA drilled are situated near a natural gas reservoir.

The scientific method used in this study wouldn’t pass the scrutiny of a high school science student.

Oddly enough, the EPA has decided not to subject their study of the negative impact of fracking to a review by the scientific community.

Yesterday Hot Air reported:

Erika and I have been covering the Environmental Protection Agency’s, shall we say, “complicated” relationship with the truth under the Obama administration for some time now. One of the many tales coming out of that department was being featured as recently as Thursday, dealing with the widely panned study in Wyoming which finally sought to tie fracking (hydraulic fracturing) to ground water contamination. The study was due for scientific peer review, attempting to determine if the chemicals found in well water were truly the result of fracking in the area, but somehow the process kept getting delayed, over and over for a year and a half.

At long last the wait is over. As Investors Business Daily reports, the EPA has found a solution which will surely satisfy everyone. They just won’t do it.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily goes on to mention the links between OPEC and the recent anti-fracking film “Promised Land.” We need to keep in mind the earthquake that American energy independence would be to the politics of international relations. American energy independence would also give us the freedom to refuse to support those Middle Eastern governments that are not democracies and have no intention of granting freedom to their citizens. Obviously, OPEC is very threatened by that possibility. The best thing America could do right now to promote our own economic growth and to promote freedom around the world would be to become energy independent and to stop funding oil-rich countries that hate us and deny freedom to their citizens.

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Imaginary Employees At The Environmental Protection Agency

I knew the federal government was out of control, but I didn’t realize that had taken to acquiring imaginary employees. The Washington Times reported yesterday that Richard Windsor, a fictional name used by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson on an email account in order to avoid Congressional scrutiny, was actually listed as an employee of the EPA. Mr. Windsor took the required agency computer training and was awarded the appropriate certificates stating that he had completed the training.

The article reports:

Windsor was also awarded the “scholar of ethical behavior” each year from 2010 through 2012. The only training Ms. Jackson appears to have done under her own name was for cybersecurity awareness in 2010.

“At least her alter ego was up on the law and ethics of federal record-keeping,” said Christopher Horner, the researcher and senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who made the open-records request that pushed EPA to release the certificates.

Mr. Horner first revealed the existence of the alternate addresses last year in his book “The Liberal War on Transparency,” and since then has pushed for more disclosure about the practice.

I have no comment.

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When Bureaucracies Act Like Squabbling Children

Yesterday the Washington Examiner reported that the Office of Inspector General (OIG) has charged that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) violated the Buy America Act that was part of the Recovery Act. This is bureaucracy at its worst.

The article reports:

In March 2011, the OIG inspected the wastewater plant in Ottawa, Ill., and determined several European and Korean-made parts didn’t satisfy the Buy America Act that requires parts to be purchased or “substantially transformed” in the U.S.

The EPA for the past two years has refused to either eliminate the rule or return the stimulus funds spent on the foreign equipment, saying the purchase didn’t violate its own rules.

“In the event that the region decides to retain foreign-manufactured goods in the Ottawa project… the region should either ‘reduce the amount of the award by the cost of the steel, iron, or manufactured goods that are used in the project or . . . take enforcement or  termination action in accordance with the agency’s grants management regulations,’ the OIG said. “Neither the region nor the city agreed with our conclusion that the documentation was not sufficient to support Buy American compliance for some items.”

How many man hours did it take to reach this conclusion, how many more man hours will be spent on this before it is resolved, and what difference does it make? How about a law that says you buy the best quality for the lowest price? Wouldn’t that save taxpayers money which would put more money in taxpayers’ pockets that the taxpayers could spend to stimulate the economy?

The article further reports:

The EPA instead blamed its Office of Water for establishing a flimsy test for whether products met the Buy America act. The agency admitted the rule isn’t a good test, but described it as “inartful” rather than wrong.

To me that sounds like a teenager explaining why it was okay to stay out past curfew!

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A Wise Decision By A Court

The Daily Caller is reporting today that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot force refiners to use cellulosic biofuels, which aren’t commercially available.

The article reports:

The court sided with the country’s chief oil and gas lobby, the American Petroleum Institute, in striking down the 2012 EPA mandate that would have forced refineries to purchase more than $8 million in credits for 8.65 million of gallons of the cellulosic biofuel. However, none of the biofuel is commercially available.

The decision applies to the cellulosic biofuel which is currently not commercially available–it does not apply to  EPA regulations regarding other renewable fuels, like ethanol and biodiesel.

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Stopping Overreach By The Environmental Protection Agency

Many of the programs President Obama couldn’t get through Congress are quietly being implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),  Many coal fired electric plants have closed down this year because new emission standards set by the EPA. Now the EPA has declared that water can be a source of pollution.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has joined a lawsuit against the EPA by the Democratic-controlled Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to protest the EPA’s plans for Fairfax County.

The article reports:

The EPA, citing an abundance of stormwater runoff, has proposed a plan that Virginia officials say would cost them nearly half a billion dollars — and could cost homeowners and businesses their private property.

The EPA contends that water itself can be regulated as a pollutant if there’s too much of it. The agency says heavy runoff is having a negative impact on Accotink Creek and that it has the regulatory authority to remedy the situation.

 

Are they planning to fine God for excessive rainfall?

 

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When Government Needs Money It Abandons Common Sense

On Friday Hot Air  reported that in 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fined auto fuel producers $6.8 million in penalties for not blending gasoline with cellulosic ethanol, an environment-friendly distillate of wood chips, corn cobs, and switch grass. Why are the oil companies not blending the gasoline with cellulosic ethanol–because it is not yet commercially available! The oil companies are being fined for not using a fuel that does not yet commercially exist. Obviously these fines add to their costs. The oil companies then pass those extra costs on to the consumer. Simply amazing! 

Please follow the link above to Hot Air and read the story. It is another examply of why we need less government and more common sense. The problem is not the oil companies–it’s the government.

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Don’t Mess With Texas

In June 2011 I posted an article (rightwinggranny.com) about the Environmental Protection Agency’s war of Texas.

The article reported:

In January 2010, the EPA decided that the Texas air-permit program was invalid and every facility in the state operating under that permit would have to be re-permitted.  The argument was that Texas was measuring the pollution from the entire facility–the EPA wanted separate measurements from every area of the facility.  Obviously this will be more expensive with very questionable results.  The second aspect of the attack on Texas is the war on coal.  The Texas Public Policy Foundation submitted a report to Congress in March saying that the new EPA regulations will shut down 5700 MW of electrical generating capacity–about one-twelfth of peak demand.  The new regulations also make no allowance for increased energy demands in the State of Texas in the coming years.  The third attack on Texas energy is in the area of natural gas.

That article links to an article at Hot Air that details the entire attack.

Well, the attack has been turned back. Fox News is reporting today that “the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the agency to reconsider the Texas regulations and “limit its review” to ensuring that they meet the “minimal” Clean Air Act requirements that govern state implementation plans.”

 Fox News reports:
 
“If Texas’s regulations satisfy those basic requirements, the EPA must approve them,” the court said in its 22-page ruling this week.

The EPA rejected Texas’ rules on minor new-source review permits in September 2010, saying they didn’t meet Clean Air Act requirements. The Texas attorney general, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and businesses sued the EPA, challenging the ruling.

This is good news. The EPA under President Obama has consistently attacked America’s domestic sources of energy. They are not an elected body and have assumed too much power. It is good to see the court temper that power.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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American, Your Property Rights Are Being Taken Away

On Friday, CNS News reported the story of Michael and Chantell Sackett, an Idaho couple who bought a piece of land in Idaho in order to build their dream house. Unfortunately, their plans to build their dream house have become a nightmare.

The article reports:

The Sacketts, small business owners in Idaho, located a lot in the northern part of the state in a town called Priest Lake. According to court documents, the lot is less than an acre and is just 500 feet from Priest Lake on its west side. It is separated from the lake by a house and a road and has no standing water or any hydrologic connection to Lake Priest or any other body of water.

However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared their lot a wetland, and the nightmare began.

The article further reports:

Following the EPA “compliance” order, the Sacketts hired a private engineer who, following an inspection of the property, provided a report stating that the property is not wetlands.The EPA did not relent.

On Monday (today) the case will go before the Supreme Court. This is a case to watch. The property was not listed on the EPA’s online wetland inventory, but the EPA declared it a wetland anyway. This sets a dangerous precedent. You can imagine local politicians getting involved in this sort of struggle and all sorts of money required to get the necessary permits. There is a very large chance for abuse if this arbitrary ruling is allowed to stand. I realize that we have an obligation to protect the environment, but we also have an obligation under our Constitution to protect private property rights.

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When Politics Is More Important The The Welfare Of Americans

Steven Hayward at Power Line posted an article today about the decision by the Obama administration to delay the leasing of shale gas fields in Ohio. This is an attempt by the administration to win back the environmentalists who are not happy after President Obama decided not to change the current ozone rules. Evidently when Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, was appointed she expected to rewrite those rules quickly–now she is being told that she will have to wait until 2013 if President Obama is reelected. That is something to keep in mind–rewriting the rules in the manner that Ms. Jackson would rewrite them would cripple America’s economy and greatly decrease our domestic energy supply.

The article at Power Line reports:

If you want to get a little more of an idea of the federal permitting problem, have a look at the embedded video on this Energy Information Administration squib about the Bakken field in North Dakota and Montana.  As you will see from the animation, the bulk of activity in the early years occurred in Montana, on some old federal leases, but in recent years those fields have started to tail off while North Dakota has boomed into the fourth largest oil-producing state in the country.  Most of the activity in North Dakota is occurring on private or state land (ditto for gas production in Pennsylvania), while new exploration and production in Montana has atrophied because of the fields there are mostly on federal land, and new areas are not being opened up.

America has the ability to meet its own domestic energy needs in an environmentally safe way. Right now government interference is preventing America from doing that. However, the tide may be changing.

The article at Power Line also reports:

Mr. Brune [the current executive director]  (of the Sierra Club) acknowledged that paid membership had declined by about 100,000 in recent years, to just more than 600,000, but attributed it to financial hardship caused by the recession.

It is important to protect the environment. It is also important to understand that civilization as we know it and a clean environment can co-exist. The next presidential election will determine whether civilization as we know it will continue to exist.

 

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Killing The American Power Industry

Yesterday Big Government posted a story stating that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is going to put new rules regarding pollution requirements for power plants into effect before a November 29th hearing which is supposed to evaluate the concerns regarding those regulations. In plain English, the EPA is going to implement regulations seriously limiting the ability of coal-fired plants to generate electricity before the hearing to investigate the consequences of those regulations can occur. These regulations will result in the loss of 1.4 million jobs and higher electricity costs for everyone. Where is Congress? Why are they not crying foul? This is the Cap and Trade Bill the Obama administration could not get through Congress. It is being implemented through the EPA–not through the democratic process.

Vice President Joe Biden L'68

Image via Wikipedia

The article reminds us:

Some called it a gaffe when current Vice President Joe Biden was caught on video saying, “No Coal Plants Here in America,” during the 2008 campaign. Now, thanks to a bit of curious timing, the Obama administration may be a step closer to achieving that very thing, destroying up to 1.4 million jobs in the progress. The move will also lead to a significant increase in energy prices; however, it may be too late to do anything about all that by the time the information comes to light. And yet some think Wall Street, not Washington, is the problem.

Over-regulation that hurts Americans and American businesses needs to be stopped. If this Congress cannot do that, we need to elect a Congress that will. These regulations will make life more difficult for all Americans.

 

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