Archive for April 15th, 2009

Lawsuit won’t succeed against EPA on CO2

April 15, 2009

In advance of Thursday’s expected announcement from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that carbon dioxide from automobiles is a threat to public health and welfare and, therefore, is subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act — the so-called “endangerment” finding — rumors are flyign around town that businesses may sue the agency.

This is a loser strategy that will accomplish nothing other than to make Beltway lawyers richer.

The Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA that EPA can regulate CO2 if it finds that it is a hazard to public health and welfare.

As long as the EPA is not “arbitrary and capricious” in deciding that CO2 is such a threat, the agency will win in federal court.

The “arbitrary and capricious” standard of the Administrative Procedures Act is a notoriously lax (i.e., pro-agency) standard. It’s really a non-standard that essentially allows federal agencies to get away with regulatory murder. As long as the EPA can point to some (any) rationale for CO2 being a threat — however ludicrous in the real world, even the UN reports — the agency will win.

An appeal to the current (and likely future) Supremes won’t succeed as the tie-breaking vote between the four conservative justices (Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, and Alito) and the four liberal justices (Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer) is Anthony Kennedy — a pseudo-conservative who, enjoying swing-vote status, voted for Massachusetts (and against the Bush administration) in the earlier case.

Industry should instead fight back on a political level — the 2010 elections. A bill to block the EPA from acting on its finding should be introduced immediately. It should be made clear to any politician opposing such a bill that his job is at stake. The bill effort should be backed-up by CO2 TEA parties.

Politico: Labor, greens team up

April 15, 2009

Are union workers really this stupid?

Our hero: Anadarko CEO attacks green policies

April 15, 2009

Anadarko CEO James Hackett displayed this week the courage that more U.S. CEOs need to muster against the greens. According to Reuters:

Washington’s energy and environmental policy risks plunging the United States into an economic tailspin that could make it “the world’s cleanest third world country,” a top U.S. oil executive was reported as saying by the Financial Times newspaper.

The histrionic and maniacal focus on carbon dioxide is intellectually repugnant to me,” FT reported James Hackett, chairman and chief executive of independent oil and gas company Anadarko (APC.N), as saying in an interview.

Our Hero:

James Hackett, CEO, Anadarko Petroleum

James Hackett, CEO, Anadarko Petroleum

Obama: Tax scare wrong; Climate scare OK

April 15, 2009

Speaking about taxes today, President Obama said,

“For too long, we’ve seen taxes used as a wedge to scare people into supporting policies that increased the burden on working people instead of helping them live their dreams. That has to change.’’ [Emphasis added]

But speaking about American use of oil two months ago, President Obama said,

America’s dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced. It bankrolls dictators, pays for nuclear proliferation and funds both sides of our struggle against terrorism. It puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices, stifles innovation, and sets back our ability to compete.

These urgent dangers to our national and economic security are compounded by the long-term threat of climate change, which, if left unchecked, could result in violent conflict, terrible storms, shrinking coastlines, and irreversible catastrophe.

So why is scaring people about taxes not OK, but scaring them about global warming is perfectly fine with President Obama? Is there any hypocrisy here? Actually, no.

President Obama’s plans for ever-expanding government control of our lives depends on a higher taxes and public fears of catastrophic manmade climate change.

Russian green: Environment ‘must be politicized’

April 15, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reported today that,

A prominent Russian environmental regulator known for his fierce campaign against Royal Dutch Shell PLC resigned to lead a political opposition movement, complaining that his bosses had lost their appetite for his high-profile attacks on environmental violators.

Oleg Mitvol, who was appointed deputy director of Russia’s Environmental Protection Agency by the government in 2004, said he was resigning to lead a new “green” movement that would challenge Kremlin candidates in local elections. He said he could focus on the same issues just as well from outside government, harnessing public concern about environmental issues.

The ecological sphere must be politicized,” Mr. Mitvol said. His new movement, Green Alternative, plans to field at least 100 candidates in municipal elections in October, he said. One Green Alternative candidate has already won the job of mayor of a town outside Moscow after thrashing the ruling United Russia party last month.

I guess there’s no red-green deficiency in Russia.

Entomologist: ‘War’ on bedbugs needed

April 15, 2009

About the recent surge in bedbug infestation, Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank writes today that:

University of Kentucky entomologist Mike Potter called the bedbug nothing less than “the most difficult, challenging pest problem of our generation.” Tossing out phrases such as “doomsday scenario” and “perfect storm,” he ventured: “In my opinion, we are not going to get out of this thing” — the bedbug thing — until we “allow the pest-control industry to go to war.”

Bedbugs had been all but eradicated decades ago, panelist Potter explained, but thanks to increased travel, pesticide bans and resistance, we’ve “let bedbugs get back in the game”…

Potter, who boasted that he’s spent “the last three years of my life digging deep into the history of bedbug management,” offered a challenge: “I’d like to take anybody who thinks bedbugs is not a big deal, and we’ll sprinkle a few in their house and see what they think.”

But will the greens permit the pest control industry to “go to war” against the bedbug?