EPA to spend tax dollars to study *indoor* climate change

August 16, 2015
Victim of climate change

Victim of climate change

Oh, why not? Catastrophic man-caused climate change is a chimera, anyway, so why not act like Don Quixote and see it everywhere?

The Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday awarded $8 million in grants to nine universities to help better understand the impact of climate change on indoor air quality.

The agency said climate change’s impact on indoor air pollutants like mold, mildew and asthma triggers isn’t well understood.

And those effects –you can be sure they’ll find plenty using hedge-words such as “possible” and “maybe”– will be used to justify further economy-crippling regulations from EPA (and HHS?), all in the name of “public health.” Come on, you’re not against good quality air in America’s schools, are you? Or are you a denier?

“Learning how air quality, climate, and energy interact in an indoor environment will help us design buildings that better protect people’s health,” explained Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office

The money is nothing to sneeze at for the winning universities.

And, like I hinted at earlier, that money will guarantee that impecunious grad students and non-tenured faculty will find the right results to keep those contracts secure.

Me, cynical?

via Watt’s Up With That


Back to Square One: Unlawful Collusion with Green Pressure Groups Should Doom U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation

July 30, 2015

Oh, really? Why, oh why am I not shocked to find collusion between Green statists in the government and climate alarmist groups?

Watts Up With That?

EPA_collusion
Washington, D.C. — Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal), a 501 (c) (3) watchdog group, released an investigatory report, Back to Square One: Unlawful Collusion with Green Pressure Groups Should Doom U.S. EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Regulation  and an appendix of source documents.  The report, which is based on e-mails and other documents obtained under numerous Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests and litigation, details illegal activities by EPA staff, colluding with certain environmental lobbyists to draft EPA’s greenhouse gas (GHG) rules behind the scenes, outside of public view, and to the exclusion of other parties.  More importantly, it clearly shows that EPA must start anew if it wishes to regulate GHGs. (A two-minute companion video is available for use.)
With EPA’s GHG rules going final any day, it is critical to inform the public of the emails detailed in this report for what they show about how…

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Climate Craziness of the Week: Center for Biological Diversity petitions EPA to list CO2 as a ‘toxic substance’

July 1, 2015

Right. We’d better ban Humans now, since we all breathe out poison. And I wouldn’t be surprised if EPA got right on that one.

Watts Up With That?

thescream-co2From the “everybody breathes out poison” department. WUWT reader “Hell_Is_Like_Newark” writes:

The Center for Biological Diversity has issued a petition to get CO2 listed as a toxic substance.  CO2 will join the ranks of dioxin, cyanide, etc.

For Immediate Release, June 30, 2015

Contact: Miyoko Sakashita, (415) 632-5308, miyoko@biologicaldiversity.org

Legal Petition Urges EPA to Save Sea Life, Regulate CO2 as Toxic Substance

WASHINGTON— With the world’s oceans and sea life facing an unprecedented crisis from ocean acidification, the Center for Biological Diversity and former Environmental Protection Agency scientist Dr. Donn Viviani today formally petitioned the Obama administration to regulate carbon dioxide under the federal Toxic Substances Control Act. The first-of-its-kind petition under the toxics act seeks widespread reduction of CO2 because it contributes to ocean acidification, driving the destruction of coral reefs and threatening nearly every form of sea life, from tiny plankton to fish, whales and…

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Your tax dollars at work: EPA staffer paid $120k per year while watching porn at work

May 7, 2014
"New EPA logo?"

“New EPA logo?”

I have to ask: How do I get this job?

A congressional committee grilled leaders of the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday following reports that an agency employee confessed to spending between two and six hours per day viewing pornography on his government-issued computer during work hours.

Witnesses in the House Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing confirmed that the worker, whose name has not been disclosed, is still receiving his $120,000 salary and continues to have access to EPA computers.

When an investigator went to interview him, he was at his desk surfing sexually explicit websites.

‘How much pornography would it take for an EPA employee to lose their job?’ asked an incredulous Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the committee.

‘What does it take for you to take somebody off the computer when you discover they’re doing it? … when someone has done wrong, they’re still on the job,’ Issa fumed.

That’s a darned fine question and, if you read the rest of the article, you’ll find a rare moment of agreement between Issa and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Fool that I am, I always thought one had to work hard to earn good money. Now I know that all I need is a job at the EPA and an account at Boom-Chikka-Wow.com. I bet EPA will even pay for the subscription.

And remember, these are the same people who always say they need more of your money, and the same agency that claims ever-more power over our lives.

We’re in the best of hands.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama: “Drill there, drill now!”

April 27, 2011

This continuing self-inflicted wound on the American economy via the administration’s refusal to tap our own resources has to be deliberate, a matter of ideological choice. How else does one explain Obama’s demand that others pump more oil, but not us?

Amid a surge in the cost of gasoline, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he is calling on major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia to increase their oil supplies and lower prices, warning starkly that lack of relief would harm the global economy.

“We are in a lot of conversations with the major oil producers like Saudi Arabia to let them know that it’s not going to be good for them if our economy is hobbled because of high oil prices,” Obama said in an interview with a Detroit television station.

His remarks signaled a broad new appeal in the face of skyrocketing gasoline prices in the United States and they came on the same day that he reiterated a call for Congress to repeal oil industry tax breaks.

This comes on the heels of Shell’s decision to abandon drilling in Alaska because of the EPA’s refusal to grant needed permits:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

If the EPA and the Obama administration are so concerned about polluting our own shores, what kind of rank hypocrisy is it to demand more oil from places where environmental standards are far lower? And how mean a con to pull on the American people, to say with one breath that we have to do something about higher gasoline prices out of one side of the mouth and then block any attempts to develop America’s own resources?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a president or administration more hostile toward its own nation’s interests, nor more sanctimonious in the surety of its own superior wisdom.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Getting it backwards: the legislative veto

December 1, 2010

At Hot Air, Ed Morrissey writes about the efforts of the Republican minority in the Senate to defeat the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to gain via regulation what the environmental left couldn’t achieve via legislation: a cap-and-trade system and other onerous, economy killing “environmental” regulations. Their strategy involves the use of a little known procedure created in the 90s, called the Congressional Review Act. Ed quotes from a Politico article; see if you can spot the problem:

The law lets sponsors skip Senate filibusters, meaning Republicans don’t have to negotiate with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for a floor vote or secure the tricky 60 votes typically needed to do anything in the Senate.

The House doesn’t have the same expedited procedures, but it’s assumed the GOP majority would have little trouble mustering the votes needed to pass disapproval resolutions.

A spate of contentious EPA rules that are soon to be finalized could be prime targets, including the national air quality standard for ozone, toxic emission limits for industrial boilers and a pending decision about whether to regulate coal ash as hazardous waste.

We’re not going to let EPA regulate what they’ve been unable to legislate. And if I’m chairman, we’re going to have a very aggressive, proactive schedule,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the likely incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, told POLITICO.

Note the highlighted portions. What’s being described is a legislative veto, a controversial procedure that was never envisioned in the Constitution by the Framers. Let’s back up a minute for some groundwork. Article 1, section 1 of the US Constitution reads:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

The power to disapprove laws, the veto, is not part of the powers assigned to Congress: it is assigned to the President (oddly, via Article 1) and is considered an Executive power. Several court cases (such as INS v Chadha), have held that the legislative veto is unconstitutional because it violates separation of powers by encroaching on the Executive’s turf. At the same time, Congress, the lawmaking body, has ceded to the EPA, a part of the Executive Branch, the authority to write regulations (effectively laws; you can be punished for violating them) subject to Congress’ disapproval.

This is a role reversal that violates the Constitution both by ceding too much legislative power* to an unelected body (the EPA) and by blurring the separation of powers by claiming a veto** for the legislature. It upends the intent behind the Constitution and does violence to democratic governance by giving an unelected bureaucracy the upper hand over the elected representatives of the People.

I’m certainly not saying that all regulations are unconstitutional; it’s perfectly reasonable that, within the bounds of  enabling legislation that does not cede too much congressional authority, an administrative agency should write regulations needed to implement Congress’ will. Nor am I saying Congress shouldn’t, at this time, take advantage of the Review Act to rein in an EPA that threatens to go on a regulatory rampage.  But, if a Executive bureaucratic agency has claimed so much power that it has crossed into the realm of legislative usurpation and, because of that, the legislature feels it needs veto authority, then something constitutional is way out of whack.

This resort to the questionably constitutional legislative veto reveals a serious problem in our democracy: unelected, bureaucratic, and largely unaccountable agencies have claimed too much power from the elected representatives of the people. Once this mess with the EPA is sorted out, the next Congress (as if it doesn’t already have enough to do) should look at either amending the enabling legislation for agencies to limit their power or, if need be, eliminating altogether those that no longer serve a useful purpose. It is Congress’ job to make the laws, not to veto a bureaucrat’s diktats.

*The War Powers Act of 1973 has a similar constitutional problem.

**Here, too.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The regulatory dictatorship

November 20, 2010

Back when I took Civics (and back when they still taught it), I was told that the role of making laws was assigned to the legislatures, as their members were democratically elected by the people. In fact, Article I, Section 1 of the US Constitution states:

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

Near as I can recall, “all” means “every darned bit of it,” including the authority to rewrite laws.

So where does the Environmental Protection Agency get off rewriting the Clean Air Act to include things never intended, such as carbon dioxide emissions from stationary sources?

This video from Energy Tomorrow talks about this and other examples of EPA’s regulatory power grab. Did you know EPA is proposing ozone standards so stringent that even Yellowstone National Park can’t meet them? Watch, there’s more:

Be sure to read my Twitter-buddy Jazz Shaw’s post on this for other examples of how our EPA is turning into Leviathan, and a link to a paper by Energy Tomorrow that provides an extensive list of EPA’s questionable activities.

You might recall the Left screaming about how the Bush Administration was “politicizing science.” Perhaps, but I suspect it is much worse under the Obama administration. The Progressive Left sees the environmental laws as a way to take control of the economy via regulation, well-beyond the laudable goal of protecting the environment. And we shouldn’t be surprised that this new regulatory imperialism has taken place after Obama came to office; his “Climate Czar,” Carole Browner, is a former EPA chief and was at least closely affiliated with, if not a member of, the Socialist International.

What an odd coincidence.

In any event, EPA’s “reimagining” of its authorizing laws are clearly unconstitutional and the agency needs to be reined in. The new Republican majority will have a lot on its plate when the 112th Congress convenes next year, but, given the damage these new initiatives can do both to the economy and our constitutional order, they should make holding the agency accountable a priority.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)