Defund the EPA

February 9, 2011

By Steve Milloy
February 9, 2011, Washington Times

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has hit the ground running with its greenhouse-gas regulations. But congressional Republicans are just getting around to introducing well-intended, but futile legislation to stop the agency.

There is another way. The GOP could rescue us from the EPA as soon as March, but it won’t.

Does the GOP have a secret strategy? Has it forgotten the election? Or is it afraid of the EPA?

Senate and House Republicans just announced plans to introduce legislation stripping the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases (GHGs). That sounds encouraging, but the reality is that even if such a bill winds up on President Obama’s desk, he’ll veto it, and there aren’t enough Republicans to override a veto.

At best, these bills are political theater intended for impact in 2012. But the EPA isn’t waiting until then.

Its emissions-permitting program went into effect on Jan. 2 and by Jan. 7, the agency was already interfering with job creation and economic recovery. Its first target is the planned Nucor steel facility in St. James Parish, La.

When the permitting process being handled by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) strayed past Jan. 2, the EPA exercised its new authority and told the LDEQ that it didn’t like the proposed permit’s emissions provisions.

The permit that LDEQ proposed issuing to Nucor required the company to implement “good combustion practices” as a means of controlling GHG emissions.

This sort of energy-efficiency strategy is about all that can be reasonably expected to be done at this point to reduce emissions, short of not emitting them at all. Moreover, it is an approach the EPA said it would allow in a November guidance document.

But in a Jan. 7 letter to the LDEQ, the EPA took a hard line, calling for emissions limits or at least an explanation for why limits aren’t feasible. The agency also knocked LDEQ for not evaluating the possibility of carbon capture and storage – an odd criticism, since thetechnology is not commercially available.

Commendably, the LDEQ ignored the EPA and issued the permit on Jan. 27 and hopes the EPA doesn’t object further. But EPA’s enviro allies, including the Sierra Club, have squawked about the permit and will likely press the Obama administration for action.

There’s a lot at stake here – and everywhere.

After the permit was issued, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced that the Nucor facility will be “the first phase of a multiphase project that could create up to 1,250 direct jobs and $3.4 billion in capital investment, with an average salary for workers of $75,000, plus benefits.”

Though these and many more jobs around the country are threatened by the EPA and its new authority, the GOP seems to be doing everything but addressing the problem head-on.

Its best (and really only) shot at reeling in the arrogant Obama EPA is to cut the agency’s funding. Without House approval, the EPA has no budget. A great opportunity to choke off EPA funding arrives early next month when last December’s deal to fund the federal government until March 4 expires.

Congress will then need to approve a budget to keep the federal government – including the EPA – open. But the word from GOP leadership is that it just wants to pass a clean bill with no appropriations riders or other strings attached. This apparently is part of the leadership’s longer-term strategy to reduce federal spending.

While that is a noble endeavor, so is preventing the EPA from killing jobs and interfering with our fragile economy.

Having witnessed Republicans wilt from EPA reform in 1995, when then-EPA administrator Carol Browner outwitted a hapless Newt Gingrich, there should be concern that Republicans are easily intimidated by the EPA and activist bullies. It was easy for Republicans to oppose the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax turkey, but most know little about other environmental controversies and would just as soon talk about something else.

But the GOP needs to gird itself for battle. The EPA is coming for our jobs, electricity and economy. The Obama administration is preparing to make cap-and-trade look like a walk in the park compared to EPA regulation. Its regulatory apparatus is running amok.

Cut the EPA’s budget. Cut it in March. Close down the federal government if necessary. Save us now.

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

23 Responses to “Defund the EPA”

  1. adrianvance Says:

    SO2 is not an “essential gas.” It is poisonous. CO2 is not poisonous, but does not support life either, much like nitrogen, which is 78% of the atmosphere. The only “essential” gas to us is oxygen and perhaps water vapor for heating as it is responsible for 99.8% of all atmospheric heating. Too bad the Al Gore-heads can’t read absorption charts or understand E = (h X c)/w

    • Editor Says:

      Yes and no Adrian, photosynthesis as we know it is dependent on free CO2 and aerobic life on earth is dependent on the primary productivity of photosynthesis, thus I would submit free CO2 is essential to us, albeit indirectly.

  2. Ed Darrell Says:

    There are a lot of really silly statements around, but sometimes they appear not silly until they get cast against reality.

    Like this one:

    CO2 is not a pollutant. It is an essential gas.

    Why cannot an essential gas be a pollutant? Of course, it can.

    You could also say, “SO2 is not a pollutant. It is an essential gas.” The second sentence is correct, but that doesn’t stop SO2 from forming sulfuric acid in animal lungs, or in the stoma of plants, and burning to death cells that it touches.

    Same with NO2 and NOx.

    Especially the same with ozone. Ozone is a vitally important gas. In the upper atmosphere it stops ultraviolet radiation, enough to make life on earth possible for humans and many other living things. (Of course, Adrianvance will say that’s impossible, since ozone isn’t glass and everyone knows it takes glass to stop ultraviolet . . .)

    But on the ground, ozone is a pollutant. It burns lungs. It forms peroxyacetyl nitrate, the brown stuff known as “smog” in California. Smog can be deadly, too. Adrianvance will say that’s silly, since O3 is “an essential gas.”

    Oxygen is an essential gas. But if the concentrations get too high, it blinds newborns. If there’s too much oxygen in a room, humans can “forget” to breath. Too much oxygen can create a situation in humans known as hyperventilating — but of course, Adrianvance knows that’s impossible, because oxygen is an essential gas.

    Almost any substance can be a poison in great enough concentrations. When it is a poison, it is a pollutant.

    CO2 can take several forms as a pollutant, as ozone may. In super concentrations, such as from volcanoes, CO2 is deadly. Remember Cameroon, and the “lake of death?”

    So, CO2, although it is an “essential gas,” can be poisonous, too.

    And in the atmosphere, high from the ground where it readily mixes, it can do rather as ozone does when ozone stops UV, and CO2 can stop heat from escaping back into space. (Yes, of course I know the mechanism is different between ozone and CO2 — but the point is that a thin, non-film layer of gas can do a lot.)

    • Editor Says:

      You could get pedantic like that, if you were silly enough. However, in adult conversation people are expected to have at least a working knowledge of the topic such that they do not constantly require the conditionals “at ambient concentrations in the well-mixed free atmosphere… “. The reality you claim to seek is that CO2 is not an atmospheric pollutant and it is essential for photosynthesis and everything/one dependent on that primary production. Lots of non pollutants can be toxic in sufficient dosage (try pure H2O, for example) but that doesn’t make them pollutants of the free atmosphere, does it?

      • Ed Darrell Says:

        Water is an essential compound. But understanding that isn’t the same as saying that floods are natural and, therefore, shouldn’t be considered harmful.

        Pedantry is required where there are knowledge gaps, don’t you think?

        The reality is that CO2 at normal levels is not a problem. CO2 is a waste gas from humans, however, and too much of it does damage. A “pollutant” is a damage-causing substance.

        Check out ozone: Essential and life-giving in the upper atmosphere, deadly and industry-destroying at lower levels. How do we classify it? It’s a pollutant, controllable by EPA standards to prevent smog in American cities. The standard is no different from CO2. If you wish to argue that ozone shouldn’t be regulated and we should let smog run free as “natural,” you’d be consistent. Claiming CO2 is never a pollutant is hypocritical, and unrealistic. Did you read the story of the thousands killed by CO2? What was it in that case?

      • Editor Says:

        Dangerously close to “Not even wrong” Ed. “Normal levels” of atmospheric CO2, at least for the last 600 million years, means anything sub 7,000ppm and there is no foreseeable possibility of exceeding that level, thus all ambient levels are “normal” – “pollutant” does not and will not ever apply to atmospheric carbon dioxide in the real world.

        No, ozone is not essential, nor lifesaving (makes a good surface bactericide though) at any level of the atmosphere, you should see

        Finally suffocation of residents around lake Nyos does not make CO2 a pollutant any more than had they been exposed to an atmosphere of pure argon or nitrogen – absence of oxygen killed them and absence of one gas does not make every other a “pollutant”. Rather than get excited about the gas involved being carbon dioxide realize that any pocket of cold, dense atmosphere excluding oxygen imposes the same risk and result.

      • Ed Darrell Says:

        So, you think we could live without ozone?

        All right, at least we know you’re not bound by any connection to reality. But I’m still curious — if deadly gases are not pollutants, what in the world do you regard as a pollutant?

      • Editor Says:

        Actually Ed contriving a world without ozone is not possible for earth because even if all the stratospheric ozone magically disappeared incoming solar radiation would simply create more lower in the atmosphere, which would be inconvenient because O3 is an unstable and reactive molecule. That said there is no reason humans would be worse off in an ozone-free world because UVA (ultraviolet radiation in the 320-400 nanometer [nm] band) is not blocked by O3 anyway and UVA is the band associated with deep penetration, chromosomal damage and cancers while the National Cancer Institute indicates that only nonmalignant skin cancers (basal and squamous cell carcinoma) are strongly associated with exposure to UVB radiation. UVB (270-320nm), which causes sunburn, is both blocked by ozone (O3) and, if allowed to penetrate the atmosphere, creates ozone lower in the atmosphere where it can be an irritant in photochemical smog – thick clouds also block UVB. UVA (<270nm), which would cause severe burns does not penetrate to surface being blocked by oxygen (O2) inter alia. You’d have known this if you’d bothered to view the seasonal ozone page. The so-called “ozone shield” is theatrical hyperbole and not biological necessity.

        To get to your actual question ozone is a deadly gas and a pollutant, carbon dioxide is neither. The Lake Nyos fatalities you mention were due to the absence of oxygen, not the presence of carbon dioxide – nitrogen is not an atmospheric pollutant either but you would die in a 100% nitrogen atmosphere just the same. It is normal for you to exhale 5% CO2 (50,000ppm) but that level is not even close to toxic, in fact it is quite helpful since it acts as a messenger level to trigger exhalation (it keeps you breathing, in other words). Anthropogenic emission stands no chance of driving atmospheric carbon dioxide to even 1% of the concentration at which it will interfere with respiration, which you can consider achieving toxicity.

  3. Ed Darrell Says:

    I find it interesting that you hold no hope for making a scientific case against CO2 emission regulation.

    You call for a legislative solution because you know your science position can’t be evidenced? Maybe, if there’s no evidence to back it, your position isn’t the right one.

    • adrianvance Says:

      Ed: Pretty snarkey there: The fact of the matter is there is so much money and power driving the control and taxing of carbon that facts don’t matter.

      The facts are that CO2 is a trace gas in air and insignificant by definition. It is a poor absorber of IR; water vapor is seven times better and has 80 times as many molecules generating 560 times the heating effect of CO2 or 99.8% of it.

      The Physics Section of the IPCC’s 4th, and concluding report, includes one sentence saying CO2 rises follow temperature rises and the Vostock charts show that over 400,000 years. That one fact trashes the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis.

      Please see for a many papers, studies and articles on the truth of the matter.

      Conservative concepts, science and humor at The Two Minute Conservative, for radio/TV hosts, opinion page editors and you. Now on Kindle.

      • Ed Darrell Says:

        If you can make the case scientifically, legislation would not be necessary. By law, EPA can’t regulate something that is not a pollutant.

        So, why can’t you get anyone to make the case?

        I think part of the problem is the disinformation about what is a pollutant, and what is not. And part of the problem is the intense attempt to fuzzify science.

        For example, you say CO2 is a poor absorber of infrared? Why is that significant? Who claims that CO2 absorption of infrared is a problem?

        Does CO2 trap heat like the glass in a greenhouse? Yes. It doesn’t have to absorb any infrared to do that.

        So, I think I understand why you can’t make the case — I’m not sure you do — but I’m curious why you don’t make the case, if you think you’ve got one to make.

      • adrianvance Says:

        CO2 does not “trap” gas. Molecules do not have little saddles occupied by tiny cowboys. That or Divine or Satanic intervention would be required for what you and James Hansen claim to be the case. You are both dead wrong.

        If you cannot understand how money and power have corrupted government then you are a fool or an imbecile. CO2 is not a pollutant. It is an essential gas.

      • adrianvance Says:

        If you do not understand why CO2’s being a poor absorber of IR then we have nothing to discuss regarding the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis as you are too ignorant to participate. That just happens to be the basic physics of the matter.

  4. […] Here‘s a guy who thinks they should defund the EPA but, in the end, he realizes that isn’t going to happen. See here, we really need to keep these guys’ moral up so they can keep hitting these libs for the next two years. Until next time, screw environmentalists. […]

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  7. adrianvance Says:

    What would Mr. Obama do differently if he were out to destroy our economy? He has run a pretty consistent course outlined in Communist Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.”

    CO2 is a trace gas in air and insignificant by definition. It is a poor absorber of IR energy. Water vapor is seven times better and has 80 times as many molecules generating 560 times the heating effect or 99.8% of all atmospheric heating. CO2 is not a player, but…

    80% of all our energy comes from burning carbon. Control and taxing carbon gives the elected ruling class more power than anything since the Magna Carta of 1215 AD. It is just that simple. Follow the money.

    Conservative ideas, science and humor at The Two Minute Conservative, for radio/TV hosts, opinion page editors and you. Now on Kindle.

    • Ed Darrell Says:

      Alinsky was never a communist. Obama didn’t organize using Alinsky’s rules.

      And CO2 doesn’t have to absorb infrared in order to reflect it. A mirror doesn’t capture light — but reflects it. So, yes, it’s true that mirrors are lousy capturers of light, and they don’t glow on their own — that doesn’t make them useless as mirrors.

      • adrianvance Says:

        Saul Alinsky was a very well-known, card-carrying Communist Party member in Chicago. Read any of several bios of him. He was a proclaimed disciple of Leon Trotsky who believed in violence to achieve ends and said so in “Rules For Radicals” which is Barack Obama’s bible.

        CO2 is a trace gas in air and there is not enough of it to do anything. If you can read and analyze IR absorption charts in view of E = (h X c)/W where E is energy, h is Plancks Constant, c is the speed of light and w is wavelength then we’ll have something to discuss.

        A mirror requires a surface. Gases cannot form surfaces as their particles are too far apart and moving too radically. Especially is this true of a gas with only 0.038% of the atmosphere as is the case with CO2.

  8. […] Mr Junkscience appeared on Fox News talking about his call to defund the EPA. […]

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    But Steve, Lisa Lisa Lisa Jackson said the EPA is creating jobs and export.
    She said a lot of other jive too….

  11. Brian G Valentine Says:

    Sierra “club” etc = upper middle class suburbanites who respond to pictures of seemingly forlorn polar bears and who too dim witted to understand that they are shooting their own affluence in the head in the long run.

    EPA (wisely) advises such terrorist groups to lobby the Congress about the world’s immediate need to demolish civilization so we can all make a retreat to the more enjoyable Stone Age.

    Let Lisa Jackson and the Sierra Club live like Pithecanthropus erectus lived for a couple of months to find out how much fun it really is.

    Of course they won’t do that, but they want you to.

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