Archive for the 'Big Green Brother' Category

Is Obama With Eye On ’12 Mulling An EPA Rollback?

February 28, 2011

By Steve Milloy
March 1, 2011, Investor’s Business Daily

It looks as though President Obama may have decided that getting re-elected in 2012 is more important than saving the planet from the much-dreaded global warming. Read the rest of this entry »

Egregious Polluting Agency

July 2, 2010

By Steve Milloy
July 3, 2010, Washington Times

Ronald Reagan’s 10 most dangerous words were, “Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” The Gulf oil spill is only the latest validation of that sentiment when it comes to environmental protection.

Just last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the government computer models built to plan for Gulf oil spills and relied on by drillers, including BP, erroneously assumed that much of the oil would evaporate rapidly or be dispersed by waves and weather. While evaporation, physical breakup and degradation will be how most of the oil disperses eventually, these overly optimistic models perhaps explain why the feds were unprepared to implement the Clinton-era policy of having adequate oil-containment booms and skimmers easily available to protect the coast.

But faulty modeling was only the first government screw-up. The Jones Act has prevented foreign companies from bringing in skimmers to help clean up the oil and the Coast Guard has kept 80 percent of the U.S. skimmer fleet out of the Gulf in the unlikely event of a simultaneous spill elsewhere.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) blocked skimmer systems offered by the Dutch because water discharged back into the Gulf after processing wouldn’t be sufficiently oil-free. It doesn’t matter that the water put back into the ocean would have been much cleaner than what was taken out of the ocean. EPA regulations nonsensically only allow pure water to be discharged back into the ocean, even in the process of cleaning up an oil spill.

Early on, the EPA tried to block BP from using the only effective oil dispersant available because of purported toxicity concerns, ignoring the reality that nothing survives in an oil slick in the first place. The Hoover Institution’s Henry Miller recently observed that EPA’s long-standing anti-biotechnology leanings have delayed the development and commercialization of genetically modified microorganisms that could feed on spilled oil.

Then there’s the Army Corps of Engineers’ delay of the construction of oil-blocking sand berms pending completion of an entirely bureaucratic environmental impact statement.

If there’s any time in history when the feds have well earned the epithet “gooberment,” that time is now. That said, federal ineptitude is nothing new when it comes to environmental protection.

The EPA’s dogged determination to force unrealistic cleanup levels on toxic waste sites under the infamous Superfund program delayed the removal of pollution for 15 years. The agency’s junk-science-based stubbornness ensured that far more money was spent on litigation and lobbyists than cleanup. But the EPA has wasted more than just time and money with Superfund – it has ruined lives and polluted the environment.

In 1982, the EPA infamously purchased and evacuated the town of Times Beach, Miss., amid the era’s unwarranted hysteria over dioxin. More than 2,000 people were involuntarily displaced from their homes, and the community was permanently bulldozed at a total cost of about $150 million.

The EPA is overseeing the “cleanup” of PCBs in Hudson River sediments – contaminants that had been safely entombed there for more than 30 years. As predicted by many, the cleanup stirred up PCBs last summer, causing water contamination at unsafe levels.

As a result of the EPA’s campaign to scare the public about the safety of chlorinated drinking water, Peruvian officials once discontinued the use of chlorine, exacerbating a deadly 1991 cholera epidemic. Closer to home, the same scare campaign led to increased levels of lead in Washington, D.C., drinking water when local officials substituted a more corrosive ammonia-based disinfectant for chlorine. Then there’s EPA’s infamous 1972 ban of the pesticide DDT, a decision that has had effects of genocidal proportions on sub-Saharan Africa.

Perhaps the next Congress will consider reforming an agency from which the environment and human health may actually need protection.

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).

Bird lives worth more than military lives?

August 17, 2009

ExxonMobil pled guilty to killing about 85 protected waterfowl, hawks and owls in five states over the past five years. The birds died from exposure to  the company’s natural gas well reserve pits and waste water storage facilities.

Exxon has already spent $2.5 million safeguarding its facilities and is being fined an additional $600,000 — a total of $3.1 million for 85 bird deaths. That works out to about $36,470 per bird death.

Let’s put this in some perspective.

The “death gratuity,” as the U.S. military calls it, is only $12,420 for active duty personnel, jumping up to $100,000 for combat-related deaths.

Poultry give their lives to feed us for about $2 per pound — chickens and turkey existing at a level far below their “protected” bretheren.

There’s something very wrong about a society that values some dead birds on a par with dead soldiers — not to mention a Department of Justice that actually spends time and taxpayer money prosecuting the deaths of 85 birds.

Greens: No escape from Clean Air Act on CO2

July 27, 2009

Carbon Control News reports:

A key Sierra Club attorney says the group’s support for final passage of a climate bill is conditioned on the preservation of EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act [CAA] to require reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs) from existing facilities, an assertion that appears to be a reversal from the group’s prior support for a House-passed cap-and-trade bill that would strip the agency of most of its air act authorities in dealing with GHG emissions.

One reason many industries have been willing to go along with cap-and-trade is to escape tortuous and unpredictable EPA regulation of CO2 under the CAA. In addition to the many onerous provisions of the CAA, the law has aggressive “citizen suit” provisions that enable the greens to enforce the law by legal action.

So the greens are either:

  • Using the threat of EPA regulation as a way to coerce any industry hold-outs into signing a climate deal now; or they are
  • Maneuvering to pull the rug out from industry at the last moment and have EPA regulation somehow inserted into any final bill.

Any CEO who signs on to a climate bill in order to create so-called “regulatory certainty” is too stupid to live has reached his level of incompetence. :)

794 years down the drain…

July 6, 2009

… as the the UK moves from Magna Carta (circa. 1215) to Magna Carba. Here’s the sad report in today’s Times:

The boys in green are coming as the Environment Agency sets up a squad to police companies generating excessive CO2 emissions.

The agency is creating a unit of about 50 auditors and inspectors, complete with warrant cards and the power to search company premises to enforce the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), which comes into effect next year.

Decked out in green jackets, the enforcers will be able to demand access to company property, view power meters, call up electricity and gas bills and examine carbon-trading records for an estimated 6,000 British businesses. Ed Mitchell, head of business performance and regulation at the Environment Agency, said the squad would help to bring emissions under control. “Climate change and CO2 are the world’s biggest issues right now. The Carbon Reduction Commitment is one of the ways in which Britain is responding.”

San Francisco: The recycling police state

June 11, 2009

San Franciscans will soon be fined unless they dispose of trash and recycle precisely according to the scheme below:

SFTRASH

San Francisco’s idea has some merit — but we recommend the following improvements to the scheme:

SFTRASH1

Click here for the San Francisco Chronicle report.

Waxman-Markey federalizes local building codes

June 8, 2009

… even the Washington Post is worried about this one:

In fact, the [Waxman-Markey] bill also contains regulations on everything from light bulb standards to the specs on hot tubs, and it will reshape America’s economy in dozens of ways that many don’t realize.

Here is just one: The bill would give the federal government power over local building codes. It requires that by 2012 codes must require that new buildings be 30 percent more efficient than they would have been under current regulations. By 2016, that figure rises to 50 percent, with increases scheduled for years after that. With those targets in mind, the bill expects organizations that develop model codes for states and localities to fill in the details, creating a national code. If they don’t, the bill commands the Energy Department to draft a national code itself.

The Post concludes:

Is the best way to achieve that, though, to federalize what has long been a matter of local concern? And if the point of cap-and-trade is to change market incentives, why does Congress, and not the market, need to dictate these changes? Those are a few questions that emerge when you begin to read through the 900 pages.

One dream. One world. Obamaland für alle.

Al Gore 1984

May 15, 2009

The latest from CEI:

Can Big Brother be green? Absolutely. If carbon dioxide were the planetary poison that global warming alarmists claim, then every aspect of our lives would be fair game for government control: the homes we build, the cars we drive, the light bulbs we use. Even the number of children we have—because lets face it; any reduction in CO2 that we achieve will be more than offset by the households our kids will create when they grow up.

There are already proposals in Congress and federal agencies to vastly increase taxes and regulations in order to address the so-called global warming crisis. But as a growing number of scientists are openly declaring, there is no crisis.

To take action, and to learn more, see http://cei.org/1984

South Park fans—this clip has a special treat for you.

Irony aficionados—In its original 1984 ad, Apple Computer warned of a totalitarian threat in computing. Today Al Gore sits on Apples Board of Directors. The company that warned of 1984 25 years ago now has, as one of its directors, the man most likely to lead us into a new 1984.

History students—Apple Computer ran its ad, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYecfV…, only once, during the 1984 Super Bowl, to introduce its new Macintosh computer. In 2006, during the primary battles, a pro-Obama YouTube take-off of the Apple ad was created by an independent solo video artist,.casting Hillary Clinton in the role of Big Brother. The ad was titled Vote Different—apparently parodying Apples Think Different slogan. It can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6h3G-l…

Poof: A 2-inch fish makes 80,000 jobs vanish

May 11, 2009

Check out this Fox News story about the Endangered Species Act being used to “save” a two-inch fish at a cost of as many as 80,000 jobs — oh yeah, and who needs the food that would have been produced?

Ideological child abuse: EPA climate campaign

April 16, 2009

The EPA announced today that,

With Earth Day only a few days away, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is kicking off the 2009 “Change the World, Start with Energy Star” campaign to educate kids and their families about how to save money and fight climate change through energy efficiency.

“People of every age have a part to play in confronting climate change,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Using Energy Star to cut electricity usage and costs, and educating young people and their families to make a difference — big or small — is how we make real progress.”

But even Consumer Reports says Energy Star is a dubious program. In September 2008, the consumer watchdog spotlighted flaws in the program including that product qualifying standards are lax ─ for example, until recently, 92 percent of dishwashers qualified. If all virtually all dishwashers are “efficient,” is anyone really saving any money on energy use?

Consumer Reports also reported that the product testing programs are out-of-date and companies are responsible for testing their own products ─ without any independent verification. When testing an LG-brand French-door refrigerator that was labeled as using an Energy Star compliant 547 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, Consumer Reports found that the actual energy use was twice what was advertised. Apparently the government testing procedures call for refrigerators to be tested with their icemakers turn off. That, of course, is probably not how most people use their refrigerator.

Energy efficiency advocates routinely overpromise and under-deliver, according a report from the Congressional Research Service. While numerous private and government sources have claimed that 25- to 30-percent gains in efficiency are possible over a 5- to 15-year time horizon, according to the CRS, “the diffuse nature of efficiency opportunity and the economic complexity of decision making” has historically made moving beyond the 5 percent to 7 percent electricity savings range “a persistent challenge to conservation proponents.” Although more aggressive policies could be attempted, the CRS says, there is “little track record upon which to base projections of future effectiveness.”

Government brainwashing kids with dubious politically-based ideas isn’t education; it’s a form of child abuse.

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