Sen. Jeanne Shaheen targets group that exposed green group coordination
by Lachlan Markay • Washington Free Beacon
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D., N.H.) is scheduled to attack the Energy and Environment Legal Institute on the Senate floor on Tuesday as part of a coordinated PR offensive against conservative and libertarian nonprofit groups.
Nineteen Senate Democrats involved in the effort were tasked with using floor speeches to attack specific groups, which they are branding as parts of a “web of denial” seeking to impede Democratic energy and environmental policies. Continue reading
Dear Speaker Ryan and Leader McCarthy:
Frontiers of Freedom and its hundreds of thousands of supporters all across the nation want to thank you for your commitment to returning to Regular Order. During the past decade, the practice of setting the Regular Order process aside has weakened the concept of the co- equal branches of government and has sacrificed Congress’ power of the purse. As that has happened, fiscal responsibility has been sacrificed and the Administration has seen its power increased because the constitutional checks and balances have effectively been overridden or bypassed. So we cannot possibly state strongly enough our appreciation and approval of your commitment to Regular Order. It is not merely a process issue — it is a return to our Constitutional roots. Thank you! Continue reading
Average cost of regulation is rising more than twice as fast as ability of Americans to pay for it
by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon
According to the report, regulations implemented during the lot’s development are responsible for 14.6 percent of the total, while 9.7 percent is due to costs that accrue after the builder has purchased a finished lot.
“Regulations come in many forms and can be imposed by different levels of government,” explains the report. “At the local level, jurisdictions may charge permit, hook-up, and impact fees and establish development and construction standards that either directly increase costs to builders and developers, or cause delays that translate to higher costs.” Continue reading
Fraud in pursuit of politics undermines trust in government everywhere
Pure science undertaken for science’s own sake is as rare as a rainbow. It’s certainly scarce in Washington, where the quest for knowledge is vulnerable to the bias of politics. Skeptics of President Obama’s climate change agenda say they see new evidence of fraud. If administration officials are colluding with scientists to cook the evidence, such as it might be, to demonstrate that the planet is warming, the skeptics deserve everyone’s thanks.
Whistleblowers within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) complained last year that a major study by agency researcher Thomas Karl, refuting evidence of a pause in global warming, had been rushed to publication. The implication was that the study was coordinated with Obama administration officials to add to the urgency of the president’s climate change agenda in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology issued a subpoena of records of NOAA communications dealing with the study.
The inquiry began afresh last month when Rep. Lamar Smith, wrote to NOAA expressing disappointment “with the slow pace and limited scope of the agency’s production [of such records],” which had yielded only 301 pages. Mr. Smith directed officials to broaden their search for relevant documents. He said the committee had received a letter signed by 325 scientists, engineers, economists and other scholars questioning whether the agency had properly peer-reviewed the “quality, objectivity, utility and integrity” of the data used in the Karl study. Continue reading
Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, proudly announced this year that 90 percent of the nearly 1 million comments on the agency’s new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule were in favor.
“The input helped us understand the genuine concerns and interests of a wide range of stakeholders and think through options to address them,” McCarthy wrote at the time.
What she did not mention, naturally, is that agency staff had worked with environmental activists to manipulate the comments process to skew the result.
Using the Thunderclap social media app, EPA officials worked with activist leaders to spread the word to 1.8 million of their fellow travelers. The resulting social media bomb encouraged them to click through and write comments on the rule. As a result, the comment box was overwhelmed with support for the EPA’s position. Continue reading
Lowering ozone—from cars, trucks, factories and power plants—in the name of an imaginary health benefit.
by Tony Cox • Wall Street Journal
This fall the Environmental Protection Agency plans to take its next grand regulatory step, following the announcement of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan over the summer. The agency is likely to introduce stringent new standards for ground-level ozone, arguing that a lower allowable level of ozone—an important component of smog—will reduce asthma in the U.S., among other claimed health benefits. Yet the EPA ignores decades of data and studies, some under the agency’s auspices, that reveal no detectable causal relation between past reductions in ozone and better public health, including reductions in asthma cases.
The new regulation may be the most expensive ever for the U.S. economy—even worse than the Clean Power Plan’s effect on coal-fired power plants. Some studies, such as one published in August by National Economic Research Associates, estimate implementation costs of hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the short run, and trillions of dollars over the next two decades, as well as millions of lost jobs. Why would it be so costly? Because attacking ozone involves almost every facet of the economy—as the EPA notes, “automobiles, trucks, buses, factories, power plants” and “consumer products” all contribute to ground-level ozone. Continue reading
Another government employee, another private account, another crashed hard drive.
by Kimberley A. Strassel • Wall Street Journal
When a government official (think Hillary Clinton) uses a private email account for government work (think Hillary Clinton) and then doesn’t turn over records (think Hillary Clinton), the public has to wonder why. For an example of that why, consider Thursday’s federal-court subpoena of Phillip North.
The North story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention, but it is a useful tale for clarifying exactly why we have federal records and sunshine laws. You see, government workers don’t use private email because it is “convenient.” They use private email to engage in practices that may be unsavory, or embarrassing, or even illegal. Let’s be clear about that.
Mr. North was, until a few years ago, a biologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, based in Alaska. Around 2005 he became enmeshed in reviewing the Pebble Partnership’s proposal to develop a mine there. Mr. North has openly admitted that he was opposed to this idea early on, and he is entitled to his opinion. Still, as a government employee his first duty is to follow the law. Continue reading
By Michael Biesecker • My Way News
Internal documents released late Friday show managers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were aware of the potential for a catastrophic “blowout” at an abandoned mine that could release “large volumes” of wastewater laced with toxic heavy metals.
EPA released the documents following weeks of prodding from The Associated Press and other media organizations. EPA and contract workers accidentally unleashed 3 million gallons of contaminated wastewater on Aug. 5 as they inspected the idled Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado.
Among the documents is a June 2014 work order for a planned cleanup that noted that the old mine had not been accessible since 1995, when the entrance partially collapsed. The plan appears to have been produced by Environmental Restoration, a private contractor working for EPA.
“This condition has likely caused impounding of water behind the collapse,” the report says. “ln addition, other collapses within the workings may have occurred creating additional water impounding conditions. Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of the blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine, which contain concentrated heavy metals.” Continue reading
By Alex Cabrero • Deseret News
It was a dream come true several years ago when Andy Johnson built a pond on his property to stock fish, let his kids play and provide a spot where his horses could have a drink.
But now that dream has turned into a nightmare. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency accused him of violating the Clean Water Act by damming the middle of Six Mile Creek and polluting the water to build the pond.
The agency is threatening Johnson with a $75,000 per day fine — a penalty often reserved for companies that emit toxic hazards — until he tears it all down.
“I think they’re trying to gain jurisdiction,” Johnson said. “They’re trying to see if they can run over me, and then they will get into everyone’s irrigation ditch and stock ponds throughout not only Wyoming, but the United States.” Continue reading
By John Siciliano • Washington Examiner
The methane restrictions for oil and gas companies proposed by the Obama administration Tuesday are just the beginning of a regulatory “tidal wave” that the industry is bracing for this fall.
The new rules for oil and gas wells proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency would limit methane from fracking sites, creating new costs that the industry says are “unnecessary.” The industry says it has reduced methane voluntarily, so why bother with regulations that would only be duplicative.
The EPA estimates the cost of the proposed rule to be $170 to $180 million in 2020 and $280 to $330 million in 2025.
Those costs are expected to amplify considerably given that some of the rules coming down the pike are considered the most expensive in history. Continue reading
by Alex B. Berezow & Todd Myers • RealClearScience
The accidental spill of toxic wastewater into Colorado’s Animas River is an ironic case study: The very organization meant to protect Americans from environmental catastrophes was responsible for perpetrating it. How should the Environmental Protection Agency be held accountable?
Colorado, and the states downstream of the spill, should sue the EPA. But, instead of merely recovering the cost of environmental damage, the lawsuit should focus on taming the leviathan the EPA has become.
Created in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, the EPA, at its best, has been an important part of improving air and water quality. Clear standards, enforced in a straightforward way have been successful. The fact that the American environment is cleaner and safer than it has been in a century is partially due to EPA action. Continue reading
by IBD Staff Editorial • Investor’s Business Daily
On Sunday night, EPA regional director Shaun McGrath told a town hall meeting in Colorado that the EPA would “hold ourselves to the same standards that we would anyone that would have created this situation.” Right.
This is an agency that will aggressively fine businesses, municipalities and anyone or anything else for even the slightest violation of its ridiculously strict standards, but that will face zero fines for its own environmental catastrophe.
It’s an agency that claims that even the tiniest levels of pollutants are extremely hazardous, yet has been busy downplaying the damage after its own incompetence caused the release of millions of gallons of toxic waste. Continue reading
By John Kinkaid • Fox News
Grace: (noun) An act or instance of kindness, courtesy or clemency. Mercy, pardon.
Here in northwest Colorado we feel like we’re at the epicenter of federal policy actions with regard to land and the environment. When you think of the war on coal, we are the bullseye. The irony is that we are the true stewards of the air, water and land. On a sunny day the sky is deep blue and we love it.
As a retired Control Room Operator at one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the U.S., I know firsthand how much time, effort and money go into keeping things clean. We hunt. We fish. We ski. We have a vested interest in maintaining the environment.
And yet we can never do enough to satisfy the EPA. EPA has been on mission creep since its inception in 1970. And somewhere in the intervening years between then and now, a line was crossed. The line between good common sense solutions and heavy-handed job crushing regulations. Somewhere along the line, EPA quit being the “good guys” and became the enemy of average citizens and the U.S. economy. Continue reading
Committee requests McCarthy correct the record and be ‘truthful’ with American public
by Ali Meyer • Washington Free Beacon
Republican members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology wrote to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy and called her testimony at a hearing in July “false and misleading.”
On July 9, McCarthy testified to the House Committee on the transparency of the EPA’s regulatory agenda. Members of the committee asked McCarthy about the “secret science” that goes in to justifying EPA regulations because they want to ensure the data is available to the American people.
Rep. Frank Lucas (R., Okla.) asked McCarthy whether the agency had made data that was used to craft the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule public. While McCarthy said that the information was “available,” the Committee maintains that EPA did not provide any scientific or legal justification for the figures Lucas asked for. Continue reading
by Herald Staff • Boston Herald
Sure accidents happen — it’s why we call them accidents. But you can bet if some oil company had been responsible for filling a Colorado river with toxic sludge — rather than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — the Obama White House would be all over it. The Justice Department would likely have already launched an investigation and company officials marched into federal court.
But the EPA — which in its zealotry to rid our air of pollutants wants to ride herd over every coal- and oil-fired plant in the nation — took 24 hours just to notify the residents of nearby Durango of their major-league screw up.
An EPA crew assigned to clean up the Gold King mine high in the San Juan mountains of southern Colorado accidentally opened up a passage from an old tunnel in the mine, allowing millions of gallons of yellow toxic sludge to spill into a creek, and from there into the Animas River. As of Monday it had already traveled 100 miles south into New Mexico. And from there who the hell knows because it’s still flowing, heading toward Utah, including Lake Powell — an area along with Durango itself jammed with tourists this time of year. Continue reading