Post-top-EPA-logo

By Nancy Thorner – 

On June 2nd of this year the Obama administration announced new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a goal of reducing carbon emissions over the next 15 years. These goals as outlined by the EPA in the Clean Power Plan impose significant restrictions on power plants already in existence, even natural gas plants. Power plants are cited by the EPA as the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly on-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

The reasons given by the EPA for its new regulations are in keeping with blaming man’s emission of CO2 as the cause for runaway global warming, yet the global temperature has remained flat over the past 17 years. History tells us that natural climate variability has happened over the centuries; i.e. the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today. In 2009 some prominent alarmists are on record saying that if temperatures remained flat for 15-20 years, the scientific community needs to re-evaluate the theory. Three years later in 2012 a report in the UK Daily Mail revealed the following from a quietly released Met Office report:   

 

  • The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures
  • This means that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996

It’s 2014 and we’re now near the twenty-year time frame to re-evaluate the theory of global warming, but will it be possible to stop the new EPA regulations with the powerful force of government behind them? 

According to the EPA, its Power Plan proposal will put Americans to work, make the U.S. electricity system less polluting and our homes and businesses more efficient, and shrink electricity bills by 8% in 2030.  If this sound too good to be true, it is!  According to an article by Katie Pavlich, “What you need to know about Obama’s new EPA regulations,” the regulations will negatively impact the economy in the following ways: 

-New regulations will kill 226,000 American jobs.

-New regulations will cost the U.S. economy $51 billion per year.

-Even with new regulations, carbon is only expected to decrease by 1.8 percent by 2030.

-Despite EPA claims new regulations will reduce the cost of power, electricity rates are expected to go up, as coal-fired plants, the dominant source of cheap power, shut down in response to environmental regulations, further making new coal power plants impossible to build.

Later this year the EPA will decide whether it should tighten the air-quality standard for ground level ozone. In 2008 the EPA set ozone standards for air quality at 75 parts per billion (ppb).  Even before states have fully implemented the 2008 standards, the EPA is expected to propose revising it to as low as 60 ppb.  A new study for the National Association of Manufacturers by NERA Economic Consulting, finds that “the new ozone standard could cost Americans $170 billion annually, put millions of jobs at risk, and drastically increase energy prices for consumers and manufacturers.” 

The Heartland Institute is circulating a “Citizen’s Petition to Rein in the Environmental Protection Agency.” You can read and sign the online petition below, download a hard copy of the petition, or contact The Heartland Institute at 312/377-4000 and ask that a petition be sent to sign, or for multiple copies to distribute to your family and friends. 

Thorner first learned about Heartland’s call to action petition to reign in the EPA when receiving it as a handout at the The Ninth International Conference on Climate Change  which took place from July 7-9, 2014 in Las Vegas.  Some 650 scientists, economists, policy experts, and guests attended the ICCC9 conference, all willing to question whether man-made global warming is a problem worth addressing.  The ICCC9 schedule can be viewed here.  Videos (and PowerPoint presentations, when available) from every presenter can be seen here.

The nine statements in The Heartland Institute’s petition are capsules of knowledge gained through hard scientific data and observations as documented through published reports by the NIPPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which counter the reports put forth by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change).  Given the devastating consequences of the proposed EPA regulation, an urgency exists for deep cuts in the size, power and cost of the EPA.  Below are the nine petition statement, each of which is proceeded by “Whereas”: 

1.  For decades an unprecedented campaign has been waged to scare the American people into believing their health, safety and even survival was at stake because of manmade global warming.

2.  We were told that CO2, which makes up less than one-half of one-tenth of one percent of our atmosphere, is acting like a blanket, keeping the heat in, and it was going to cause the baking of the Earth.

3.  The hard scientific data now show that the predicted rise in global temperatures just plainly did not happen. 

4.  Sea ice in the Arctic is rebounding and continues to expand in the Antarctic, despite predictions of the opposite, polar bears are thriving, and sea levels are not rising.

5.  Deaths due to extreme weather are radically declining and global tropical cyclone activity is at near record lows.

6.  It is now clear that the global warming alarmists are wrong and a large majority of Americans now understand it was a hoax.  It’s false that man reducing CO2 emissions — especially the U.S. virtually alone — will have any effect on the global temperature.

7.  Regulators at the EPA, having lost their war to scare America into giving them legislation that would allow them to seize control of virtually all energy production and use, are perverting the Clean Air law to give themselves unprecedented powers to regulate American society. 

8.  The toll the EPA is now taking on this country is staggering, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. 

9.  The only way a new president or a new Congress will undo the terrible damage being inflicted by the EPA after the election is if we make it a major issue NOW, BEFORE THE ELECTION, so that after the election even those who support the EPA’s reckless regulations will understand it is political suicide to support them.

First revealed at The Ninth International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas in July, was a plan by Jay Lehr, Ph.D, science director at The Heartland Institute to replace the EPA.  Dr. Lehr’s plan, “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency,” was posted on July 15 at Heartland as a policy document.  Click to read the full text of this document59.97 KB

In Congress Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) has called for legislation that would ban the EPA from issuing rules through the proposed EPA’s Waters of the United States program, which would wreak havoc on farmers and possibly drive up food prices.

The E.P.A. says the new rules are needed to clarify which bodies of water it must oversee under the federal Clean Water Act

The EPA has outlived its usefulness.  Don’t delay by downloading and signing The Heartland Institute petition as a citizen concerned about the overreach of the EPA and its proposals which point to economic disaster for this nation.

 
 
 
 

cco2President Obama has made 2014 his “year of action” and plans to use his executive authority to implement various actions of his agenda that are too divisive for Congress to consider. John Podesta, as White House adviser, was brought on board late last year to help Obama find ways to use executive orders to unilaterally push climate policies.

The EPA has already released emissions limits for existing coal-fired plant.  Early last month the EPA rolled out new proposed rules that would require power plants to slash carbon emissions by 30 percent over the next 15 years as part of the Obama administration efforts to curb air pollution and fight climate change.

Recently (July 23) a coalition of top business groups expressed rising concerns over the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants and demanded more time to respond.  The same business group coalition is also eying a legal battle against the Obama administration if called for.  According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), if power companies are further mandated to comply with the EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard (MATS) which limit mercury emissions and others pollutants, it is estimated that by 2040 this nation will have lost 15% of its coal-fired capacity.

Before drastic action is taken to curb CO2 emissions which would result in higher energy prices, the loss of jobs, certain electricity black outs, and an overall drag on this nation’s economy and productivity, shouldn’t both sides of the global warming argument be heard?  Given a fair and balanced approach, those Americans who accept Global Warming as settled science might not be so willing to go along with alarmists who are prepared to ruin the economy, sacrifice jobs, and our standard of living all for the sake of a crusade being promoted and conducted by politicians and world leaders seeking to tell everyone else how to live.

Undoubtedly Al Gore has done much to promote alarm and concern that catastrophic Global Warming is taking place through his 2006 Academy Award winning documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth.

UN as a Promoter of One World Government through social engineering

Understanding how the issue of Climate Change originated and why green energy vs. carbon-produced energy sources is now being pushed by nations all over the world (including the U.S.), requires some historical knowledge.  Social engineering has been the orchestrated role of the progressive-oriented United Nations since its founding in 1945, when 50 nations and several non-governmental organizations signed the U.N. Charter.  Today almost every fully recognized independent states are member states in the U.N.  If accepted for U.N. membership, member states must accept all obligations outlined in the Charter and be willing to carry out any action to satisfy those obligations.

An attempt at U.N. social engineering took place this week on Tuesday, July 22nd, when the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee began discussion of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities(CPRD).  Should the Senate approve the UN CPRD treaty, it could threaten U.S. sovereignty and parental rights, putting this nation under international law when it comes to parenting our special needs children by giving the U.N. discretion over healthcare and education decisions for special needs kids.   Our nation already has laws to protect Americans with disabilities!

UN’s Rio+20 conference:  a blueprint for sustainable development worldwide, with emphasis on the environment

Operating within the U.N. is the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established in 1972, with its mandate “to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment.”  This agency has become the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, that promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimensions of sustainable development within the United Nations system, and that serves as the authoritative advocate for the global environment.

Twenty years after the establishment of the UNEP, the UN Climate Change crusade began in earnest.  Initiated at the UN Rio+20 Conference (also known as the “Earth Summit”) held from June 3-14, 1992, the Conference themes were that of a green economy in the context of an institutional framework for “sustainable development” to eradicate poverty.  The two-week 1992 UN Earth Summit produced Agenda 21, adopted as a climax to a process that had begun in 1989 through negotiations among all U.N Member States.  Its intent was to serve as a wide-ranging blueprint for action to achieve sustainable development worldwide.  As written, Agenda 21 was a  Declaration on Environment and Development, the Statement of Forest Principles, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

172 governments participated in the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, 108 as heads of State of Government.  George H. Bush represented the U.S.  The UN Rio+20 “Earth Summit” set the agenda for further UN conferences, at which time the emphasis continued on the need for “environmentally sustainable development” — that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Subsequent U.N. Conferences included those held Copenhagen (2009), Cancun (2010), and Durbin (2011).

Sustainable government in the here and now

An example of sustainable development presently being enacted throughout the world under the guise of saving the planet from global warming, was brought home in a recent article titled, “Agenda 21:  Home Sweet Home in Freight Shipping Containers,” written by senior columnist for Canada Free Press, Ileana Johnson, and best-selling author of UN Agenda 21:  Environmental Piracy.  Ileana Johnson relates how damaged shipping containers are now being tuned into housing units in this nation and throughout the world

Writes Ileana Johnson:  These tiny spaces are expensive but they give the occupants a false sense of saving money and the planet by not using a car, walking or biking everywhere, just like the zoning environmentalists have been pushing for a while now, high density, and high rise living, five minutes from work, school, shopping, and play while the metro is nearby. Absolute heaven if you want to live like a rat in an 8-by-40-foot box! Who would not enjoy living in “lovingly repurposed steel husks” that have been previously sloshing across oceans.

So it is that the progressive UN-inspired social engineering projects of Sustainable Urbanism, Sustainable Development, and Equitable Communities are now being implemented around the world.  Having been adopted  at the UN’s Rio+20, the UN’s social engineering projects are not just aimed at destroying national sovereignty, language, and cultural identity.  Social engineering, as being imposed on entire neighborhoods, is resulting in a massive replacement of rural areas and suburban sprawl with high density, high rise urban dwellings, all in the name of green environmentalism as a way of saving the planet from the destruction of manufactured man-made global warming/climate change.

UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

In tandem with the UN Conferences, which have colored the thinking of world leaders since 1992 and have led them to become advocates of Global Warming, is the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific intergovernmental body under the auspices of the United Nations, set up at the request of member governments.  So far there have been five reports.  All of the IPCC reports assess scientific information relevant to:

1.  Human-induced climate change.

2.  The impacts of human-induced climate change.’

3.  Options for adaptation and mitigation.

The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (WGII AR5) was the product of this year’s March 25-29 meeting in Yokohama, Japan. As with the other four assessment reports, the consequences of Global Warming were many and required the issuance of a thirty-two page report for policymakers!  The AR5 report reads like a bad novel with consequence after consequence stated unless human induced climate change is addressed without delay.

Evaluatng IPCC scientists

John Christy, Professor of Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama, describes the IPCC as a framework around which hundreds of scientists and other participants are organized to mine the panoply of climate change literature to produce a synthesis of the most important land relevant findings.  These finding are published every few years to help policymakers keep tabs on where the participants chosen for the IPCC believe the Earth’s climate has been, where it is going, and what might be done to adapt to and or even adjust the predicted outcome.

Although Christy refers to most IPCC participants as scientists who bring an aura of objectivity to the task, he does note two drawbacks which limit the objectivity of IPCC scientists: 

1. IPCC is a political process to the extent that governments are involved.  Lead Authors are nominated by their own governments.

2. Scientists are mere mortals looking at a system so complex that it’s impossible to predict the future state even five day ahead.  It doesn’t help that it’s tempting among scientists as a group to succumb to group-think and the herd-instinct (now formally called the “informational cascade.”  Scientists like to be the “ones who know” and not thought of as “ones who do not know.

As far as process is concerned, IPCC scientist trust computer simulations more than actual facts and actual measurements.  Many times there are not exact values for the coefficients in computer modes.  There are only ranges of potential values.  By moving a bunch of these parameters to one side or the other, a scientist of computer modeler can usually get very different results — ones that are favorable to the individual or institution doing the study which, in turn, insures a continuance of government funding.

Patrick Moore, Ph.D., once a Greenpeace Insider, lashes out at UN’s IPCC. 

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Patrick Moore, Ph. D. at the 9th International Conference on Global Warming  

Moore co-founded the environmental activist group Greenpeace as a PhD student in ecology in 1971, but left Greenpeace in 1986 after the group became more interested in “politics” than science.   Patrick Moore has angered environmentalist groups after saying climate change is “not caused by humans” and there is “no scientific proof” to back global warming alarmism.

On February 28, 2014, Moore told a US Senate Committee:  “There is no scientific proof that human emissions of carbon dioxide are the dominant cause of the minor warming of the Earth’s atmosphere over the past 100 years,”  “If there were such a proof, it would be written down for all to see.  No actual proof, as it is understood in science, exists.”

Patrick Moore is critical of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for claiming “it is extremely likely” that human activity is the “dominant cause” for global warning, noting that “extremely likely” is not a scientific term.

Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist is Moore’s firsthand account of his many year as an ultimate Greenpeace insider.

Dr. Patrick Moore was the winner of The Speaks Truth to Power Award in Las Vegas at the 9th International Conference of Climate Change.

Articles by Nancy Thorner based on Heartland’s 9th International Conference on Global Warming:

 

[Originally published at Illinois Review]

 

By Nancy Thorner – 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday, June 1, a power-plant proposal that seeks a 30% carbon dioxide emissions cut by 2030 from existing power plant, based on emission levels from 2005. With this proposal, the main piece of President Obama’s Climate Change Agenda has been set in motion. Although the rule is scheduled to be completed one year from now and will give flexibility to the states, it will regulate carbon emissions from hundreds of fossil-fuel power plants across the U.S. The 600 U.S. coal plants will be hardest hit by the standard.

As reported by the EPA (International Energy Agency), the cost of decarbonization since the last estimate of two year ago has increased by 22% due to the growth of coal power far outpacing renewables in carbon dioxide production. It would now cost $44 trillion to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the world’s power generation industry to levels that would curtail global warming to 3.6 degrees through 2050, a safe level agreed to by international leaders.

As most of the warming in the past century occurred before 1940, before CO2 emissions could have been a major factor. Common sense alone should be enough to alert the Obama administration, yet there is sound science, that spending $44 trillion to limit temperature rise by 3.6 degrees by 2050 wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans other than cause an economic disaster.

Between 1940 and 1970 temperatures fell even as CO2 levels increased.  According to Climate Scientist Dr. Judith Curry and other notable scientists, public debate is moving away from the 15-17 year pause in any Global Warming to a period of Global Cooling.  Why then would the temperature rise a few degrees by 2050?  Because the ‘Sun Sleeps’, according to Danish Solar Scientist Svensmark, who has declared that “global warming has stopped and cooling is beginning…enjoy global warming while it lasts.” 

Nicolas Loris, an economist who focuses on energy, environmental land regulatory issues at The Heritage Foundation, compares the EPA to a misbehaved child who is recklessly doing what it wants at the expense of others without any supervision. He has proposed that Congress cut the EPA budget, just as parents might punish children by taking away their allowance.  Loris suggests ten areas for Congress to cut that would prevent the EPA from implementing regulations “that will drive up living costs for American families for little, if any, environmental benefit.” Loris further recommends that the EPA “eliminate programs that are either “wasteful, duplicative, or simply not the role of the federal government”, and then goes on to list program that Congress should cut immediately.

Cuts could be made to rein in the EPA, as outlined in the plan put forth by Nicolas Loris, but Jay Lehr, Ph.D., science director for the Heartland Institute, and one of the nation’s most respected and widely cited experts on air and water quality, climate change, and biotechnology, broke ground in revealing his comprehensive plan to reform the EPA in his remarks as a Keynote breakfast speaker at Heartland’s recent International Conference on Climate Change held in Las Vegas from July 7 – 9.   Jay Lehr, Ph.D. introduced a legislative plan to replace the United States Environmental Protection Agency with a Committee of the Whole of the State Environmental Protection Agencies, utilizing a phased five-year transition period.

Jay Lehr’s comprehensive EPA plan follows:

In 1968 when I was serving as the head of a ground water professional society it became obvious to me, and a handful of others, that the United States did not have any serious focus on potential problems with its air quality, drinking water quality, surface water quality, waste disposal problems as well as contamination that could occur from mining and agriculture. I held the nation’s first Ph.D. in ground water hydrology which gave me insight to understand the problems. I was asked by the Director of the Bureau of Water Hygiene in the U.S. Department of Health to serve on a panel to study the potential to expand their oversight into a full Environmental Protection organization.

 

We collectively spoke before dozens of congressional committees in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate calling attention to mounting environmental pollution problems.  We called for the establishment of an Environmental Protection Agency and in 1971 we succeeded.  I was appointed to a variety of the new agency’s advisory councils, and over the next 10 years we helped to write a significant number of legislative bills which were to make up a true safety net for our environment.  They included:  THE WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT (later to be renamed THE CLEAN WATER ACT); THE SAFE DRINKING WATER ACT; RESOURCE CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY ACT; THE SURFACE MINING AND RECLAMATION ACT (which surprisingly covered deep mines as well); THE CLEAN AIR ACT; THE FEDERAL INSECTICIDE, RODENTICIDE AND FUNGICIDE ACT; and finally THE COMPREHENSIVE ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE COMPENSATION AND LIABILITY ACT we now know as Superfund.

 

All of these acts worked extremely well for the protection of the environment and the health of our citizens, with the exception of the Superfund Law, which proved to be far too over reaching and wreaked havoc with American business, as after the fact companies operating within the law were fined countless dollars and required to pay huge sums for cleanup of waste disposal that had been within the law at the time of the activity.

 

From 1981 activists groups recognized that the EPA could be used to alter our government by coming down heavily on all human activities regardless of its impact on the environment.  It is my strong opinion that no single law or regulation has been passed since 1981 which benefited either the environment or society.

 

The power of environmental activists to take control of the EPA, and all of its activities, was slow and methodical over the past 30 years to the point where EPA is all but a wholly owned subsidiary of environmental activist groups controlling 10% of the U.S. budget.

 

For over 20 years I have worked tirelessly to expose this story to the public beginning with my 1991 book, ‘Rational Readings on Environmental Concerns’, where 50 other environmental scientists joined together to describe the manner in which their own fields had been hijacked and distorted to allow fear mongering of an unconscionable nature.

 

I believe that the current structure of the U.S. EPA can and should be replaced now by a Committee of the Whole of the outstanding 50 state Environmental Protection Agencies, which in nearly all cases have long ago taken over primary responsibility for the implementation of all environmental laws passed by Congress or simply handed down as fiat rulings without congressional vote or oversight of U.S EPA.

 

When the agency was established in 1971 the federal government had no choice but to oversee all regulations of the initial seven safety net laws. Rapidly, however, every state established an independent agency which filed for and were granted primary control of the implementation of all the existing laws.  With only rare exception, each state is now under full control of the regulatory program. They are continually harassed to be sure that no one evades the heavy hand of the dozens of new regulations passed yearly over the past three decades, which have strengthened the initial laws, but have not benefited either our environment or the health of our citizens. Instead, they deter our economy and the right of our citizens to make an honest living without endangering the environment.

 

With 30 years of experience, these 50 state environmental agencies are ready to collectively take over the entire management of the nation’s environment. Only the USEPA research laboratories should be left in place to answer continual scientific questions, which would no longer be under the heavy hand of Washington politics.

 

Eighty per cent of what is now USEPA’s budget could be eliminated, while 20% could be used to run the research labs and administer the Committee of the Whole 50 State Agencies.  A relatively small administrative structure will be needed to allow the collective states to refine all existing environmental laws in a manner more suitable to the primary requirement of protecting our environment, without thwarting national progress in all industry and the development of our natural resources and energy supplies.

 

USEPA could be phased out over five years with a one-year preparation period, followed by a four-year program in which 25% of the agencies activities would be passed to the Committee of the Whole each year beginning with those activities least critical to the nation.  The Committee of the Whole will be made up of representatives from each state from each significant area of concern.  The Committee of the Whole will be divided up into subcommittees reflecting exactly how USEPA is set up, although many programs and offices within USEPA may be eliminated at the will of the states.  Offices, for instance, whose primary purpose is oversight of the state agencies. 

 

The Committee of the Whole would quickly determine which regulations are actually mandated in law by the Congress and which were established independently by USEPA, believing that legislation allowed them such latitude. Rules written clearly into legislation would be recommended for continuance or considered for request that the Congress take another look at regulations that the Committee of the Whole deems unnecessary in their current form.

 

Regulations clearly not supported by writings within legislation would be considered by the applicable subcommittees and the whole committee for alteration by a two-thirds vote of the Committee of the Whole.

 

Until the Committee of the Whole acted upon each individual regulation, all regulations would remain in force.  Many regulations would give states latitude to act while others would be required of all states by a two-thirds vote of the Committee of the Whole.

 

Each state would be funded to increase their staff to include people whose primary jobs would be to serve on subcommittees of the Committee of the Whole overseeing the issues previously overseen by the current USEPA.

 

This phase out of USEPA could be done in an orderly manner within five years.  Oversight of the existing USEPA research labs would eventually be seeded to a subcommittee of the whole.

 

When one considers how the USEPA was initially set up, along with the growth of the state agencies, this is actually a logical endpoint that could have begun 30 years ago.

 

The specific details of the five-year transfer from the Washington D.C. based USEPA and its 10 regional offices would be carried out as follows.

 

The Federal Budget for environmental protection will be reduced from $8.2 billion to $2 billion. 

 

The manpower will be reduced from over 15,000 to 300, who will serve in the new headquarters to be located centrally in Topeka

 

Kansas to allow the closest contact with the individual states and reduce travel costs from the states to central headquarters of the Committee of the Whole. 

 

The 300 individuals working in Topeka, Kansas will come as six delegate/employees from each of the 50 states.  The personnel currently working at more than two dozen research centers will remain in place until the Committee of the Whole chooses to make changes.

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency is presently divided into 14 Offices which include the following:

 

OFFICE OF THE ADMINISTRATOR

OFFICE OF AMERICAN INDIAN ENVIRONMENTAL OFFICE

OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AND TRIBAL AFFAIRS

OFFICE OF POLICY

OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

OFFICE OF ENFORCEMENT AND COMPLIANCE ASSURANCE

OFFICE OF FAIR AND RADIATION

OFFICE OF CHEMICAL SAFETY AND POLLUTION PREVENTION

OFFICE OF SOLID WASTE AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE

OFFICE OF WATER

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

OFFICE OF GENERAL COUNCIL

OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 

Year One:

In the first year of transition all employees of USEPA will be informed of the five-year transition period allowing them ample time to seek other employment opportunities both from the Washington D.C. offices and the ten Regional offices that parallel to a large extent the activities in Washington. Additionally. during year one the two offices relating to Indian issues (American Indian Environmental Office and International and Tribal Affairs), will be transferred to THE UNITED STATES BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS which should welcome this responsibility, along with about half of the monies budgeted for them within USEPA. During this first year all 300 employees relocating from our 50 states (six each) will begin work in the new Topeka, Kansas offices to be established early in year one.

 

A Chairman of the Committee of the Whole will be elected by the 300 delegate employees to a three-year term early in the transition after which the 300 employee/ delegates will be assigned to sub committees simulating the offices which exist in Washington, D.C.

 

Year Two:

During year two all activities of the Offices of Policy, Administration and Resource Management, as well as Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, will be transferred to Topeka from Washington, D.C. and the Regional Offices.

 

Years Three, Four, and Five:

In year three all activities of the Offices of Air and Radiation, as well as Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, will be transferred to Topeka.  In year four the responsibilities of the Office of Water and the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response will move to Topeka.  In the final year the remaining Offices of Chief Financial Officer, General Council, Environmental Information, and the Office of the Administrator will have their responsibilities moved to Topeka.

During each year of transition members of the Topeka staff will be assigned for periods of time to both the Washington D.C. Offices and the Regional Offices to study the activities of the existing units. It is quite likely that as the office responsibilities are transferred to Topeka, the Committee of the Whole of the 50 state agencies will choose to totally eliminate some of them.

 

It is also anticipated that if some D.C. offices experience an early excessive attrition of employees relocating before the phase out of their office, an earlier transfer of responsibility to Topeka may be required.

As monies are freed up in the transition from 15,000 federal employees to 300, each state will be allocated $20 million to enhance their new independent responsibilities and replace the six employees transferred to Topeka.  In addition to that use of one billion dollars (50 x $20 million), it is anticipated that the management of the Topeka offices and the continuation of the research and development program will require a second billion dollars allowing the permanent reduction of a $8.2 billion federal outlay for environmental protection down to a total of $2 billion.

 

Not only will large sums of money be saved by this transition, but the efficiency and quality of environmental protection will be enhanced by placing power and responsibility in the hands of the individual states.  It is well known that government closest to the location of the governed is the best for all.  Most states will embrace this plan, as it gives them the authority they have always sought and the funding to carry it out.

 

At this point in time, it should be recognized that it is absurd to think that 50 outstanding state environmental protection agencies with over 30 years of experience require the over sight of 15,000 federal employees.  It made sense in the agencies first decade of the 70’s’, it has made no sense since then.  Today the EPA is an agency whose value has long since disappeared. The new oversight by the collective Committee of the Whole of the 50 state agencies will carry out the needs of the nation more effectively and more efficiently with dramatically reduced costs in line with how our republic was established to operate.

Jay Lehr, Ph.D. was a Keynote speaker on Wednesday, July 9, at 8:00 AM PDT  Listen to Lehr’s remarks here

Article 1: Thorner: A Climate Change Holocaust  –  Sunday, July, 13, 2014. 

 

 

 

BarackObamaWavingBillPuglianoBy Nancy Thorner – 

One of many examples of government’s profound incompetence can be observed in the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency with its attempts to be the nation’s super-regulator of the nation’s carbon economy.  Several days ago the White House announced what might jokingly be called the EPA’s “Christmas Gift” to this nation, 134 more regulations!

Noteworthy among the proposals are the agency’s move toward unprecedented control over private property under a massive expansion of its Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act authority and new rules for power plant regulations to curb CO2 emissions.

Perhaps the EPA should first try to regulate its own employees, at least James C. Beale, who was found masquerading as a James Bond?  The ‘Spy’ Who Fooled the EPA (Under deep CIA cover at the Office of Air and Radiation) appeared as a commentary in The Wall Street Journal on Friday,November 22.

The Environmental Protection Agency allowed Beale to be absent for 2.5 years in less than 23 years of service, take expensive trips to see relatives, all the while claiming to be a CIA spy. Then Beale retires with a big sendoff and the agency forgets to take him off the payroll.  Beale further received retention incentive bonuses on top of this scam.  What was his punishment?  In late September the Department of Justice announced a pleas agreement with John C Beale who admitted devoting most of his 23-year career to bilking taxpayers of some $900,000 in pay and expenses.

At long last the bloom seems to be coming off the rose for President Obama.  The American people are catching on to how Obama lies about his lies, only to lie that he didn’t lie about his lies.  Also contributing to Obama’s downfall is how he has surrounded himself with sycophants who do the same for him.

Unlike President Obama, why might Abraham Lincoln be revered and considered a competent leader?  Lincoln was president during the Civil War — the worst crisis in American history —  but unlike President Obama, Lincoln fired incompetent leaders when he encountered them.   Half a dozen generals were fired before Lincoln found Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, who won the war after Lincoln’s fired generals had been losing it.

Yet in a recent display of utter arrogance at a private Democratic fundraiser in Beverly Hills, CA, Obama touted himself and Democratic leaders for surpassing the likes of Abraham Lincoln.  And this is not the first time Obama has compared himself to Lincoln.  According to Obama, his administration has been the most productive in history, going on as he did to list his many accomplishments among them being:  Saving the economy from a Great Depression; revitalizing an auto industry; doubling our exports; reducing our dependence of foreign oil; doubling our production of clean energy; reducing the pace of our carbon emissions; etc.

Not willing to deal with incompetency dove tails with Obama’s inherent feeling of superiority, in that Obama fathoms to  know what is best for the American people.  For hasn’t Obama indicated time and time again that the American people are in need of government guidance as they are incapable of making decisions on their own?

Such arrogance, President Obama, will only guarantee continued incompetency and will continue to drive your poll numbers downward.

Maybe, as Alan West suggested, this is what Obama wants?   Maybe Obama feels little loyalty to this nation to care what happens to it on the world stage or to its people, or even about his poll numbers, as long as his progressive policies are set firmly in place when he leaves office in 2016, and that progressive judges are in place to see that Obama’s policies are carried out.

Those knowing the background of Barack Obama before his 2008 election should not be surprised, as Obama did promise change with a dose of hope.

What is surprising is how fast Obama’s change is happening right before our eyes with the purposeful shredding of our Constitution as Obama moves this nation rapidly down the pathway toward socialism.

What is alarming is the lack of objection or push back coming from those Americans who do understand what is happening, as Obama continues to mandate policies that Congress is unwilling to approve to achieve his goal, that of his puppet-master, George Soros.

Incompetence is not relegated to one party.  Where is the Republican leadership as Obama continue to shred the Constitution?  If the Republican Party continues to function as a go-along-to-get-along political party, blame and failure will also befall the Party of Lincoln.  Amnesty without border security would spell the death knell for the Republican Party.

Pretending to stand for smaller government and less taxes, Republican Party leaders and pundits display incompetence, if when push comes to shove, they allow government to keeps growing and adding more debt to this nation’s already unattainable and incomprehensible debt.   A billion here and a billion there means nothing any more to legislators, and speaking about a trillion no longer sounds foreign to the American people.

Throw the “bums” out is easier said than done, but these are times that demand citizen action.  This nation cannot possibly survive as a viable nation under another arrogant and incompetent president with an equally incompetent administration.

One thing certain is that for the first time in the history of this nation, founded with such promise and hope and as a nation under God, what we pass along to future generations will be less than what we inherited.

Future generation might question as they look back to the “now”  times:  “How did our ancestors allow this to happen?”  Was it laziness, indifference, too busy to care, etc.?  What would be your excuse if you could have your say?
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Sunday, December 01, 2013 at 06:39 AM | Permalink

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Th-7By Nancy Thorner – 

Things continue to happen under the radar while this nation and its people are immersed in headlines about Obamacare and the tussle in Congress over the delays fostered by the disastrous October 1st roll out of the Obamacare Government Exchange. But juggling lots of balls in the air at any one time is part and parcel of the Obama administration, so confusion reigns and measures that greatly affect this nation and its people get lost in the tumult and confusion of other events. Check out #8 of Saul Alinsky’s 12 Rules for Radicals used by Barack Obama’s as his guide when a community organizer in Chicago.

Such is the under-the-radar situation as the Obama administration is moving stealthily toward unprecedented control over private property under a massive expansion of its Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Water Act authority.

Since 1972, the Clean Water Act has protected our health and environment by reducing the pollution in streams, lakes, rivers, wetlands, and other waterways.  According to the EPA website, a court ruling since the 1974 passage of the Clean Water Act has caused confusion about which waters and wetlands remain protected, making improvements to the Clean Water Act essential to clarify the jurisdiction necessary to reduce costs and minimize delays in the permit process.  The achieved result will be to protect water that is so vital to public health, the environment, and the economy.

In other words, the parameters of the CWA are currently quite muddled.  The proposed rule to expand the EPA’s authority under the Clean Water Act was prompted by a decision reached in March of 2013, Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center.  The nearly unanimous decision re-affirmed that federal agencies are granted a wide berth in interpretations of their own rules.

Last month Lou Dobbs and Andrew Napolitano of Fox Business and Fox News respectively, along with  Republican lawmakers, accused the EPA of a “Power Grab.”  Lou Dobbs on Fox Business claimed that the clarified parameters represented “unprecedented control over private property”  — “maybe” extending to “mud puddles.”  Legal analyst Andrew Napolitano branded the EPA’s Science Board study as “bogus” – merely a rationalization to “regulate all bodies of waste” and “control more behavior.”

The EPA’s Science Board study referred to above by Judge Andrew Napolitano — based on the extent to which small streams and wetlands connect to larger bodies of water downstream — claims that small streams, even those that only flow at certain times, “are connected to and have important effects on downstream waters.  The wetlands are likewise similarly integrate, making them also subject to CWA protection.

The study, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters, contains more than 1,000 pieces of relevant peer reviewed Scientific literature.  Regarding this draft study of the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, procedure calls for public comments to be submitted and public peer review meetings held before the end of this year.

Procedure, however, is being thrown overboard according to Chair of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Representative Larmar Smith (R-Texas).  For on the same day (November 12) the EPA submitted the proposed water rule to the White House for approval, the EPA provided Smith with the draft scientific assessment for peer review.   This was but two day before November 14 when EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified before Rep. Smith’s House Science Committee.

As noted by Rep. Smith, an open peer review of the scientific basis for the new Water Rule should have happened  before sending the EPA’s water rule to the White House for approval.  After all, the proposed water rule would have a potential impact of more that $500 million in any one year on either the public or private sector.

A letter sent the first week of November by Rep. Smith, and his colleague, Subcommittee Chairman Chris Steward (R-Utah), to the Office of Management and Budget, expressed concerns that the EPA was “rushing forward, regardless of whether the science actually supports the rules.”

As expressed in the letter by Smith and Steward:

This rule could represent a dramatic expansion of EPA’s authority to include isolated wetlands, streams and ditches.  Such unrestrained federal intrusion poses a serious threat to private property rights, state sovereignty and economic growth.

Just what can be done to stop this and other power grabs by the President and his administration?   Not being a constitutional scholar the remedy must be left to others.

Notwithstanding, if the out-of-control EPA is allowed to get its way unchecked in rule-making by rubber stamping their predetermined regulatory agenda, its flouting of power will continue and will further violate this nation’s Constitution by ignoring its commitment to Congress and the American people.

Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

 

 

Daily Herald:  Fence Post letter, July 29, 2013:

As the Earth cools, President Obama is distracted by a fraudulent warming narrative.

The centerpiece of Obama’s climate change plan, which includes a timeline for setting new environmental regulations limiting how much carbon pollution can be emitted from both new and existent power plants, is causing great angst in coal-producing states like Illinois.

Reaction to the Obama’s call for the EPA to regulate coal plant emissions was swift from the Midwest Generation coal-fired plant located in Waukegan, recently a subject of a heated emissions debate. Midwest Generation officials claim that the Waukegan plant has been a model of transitioning its energy supply to cleaner sources in a balanced manner, without federal mandates.

Predictably, the Sierra Club with its “Beyond Coal” campaign has claimed otherwise. As of May 6, Illinois ranked as the fifth-largest coal-producing state, producing 47.2 millions tons of coal last year and exporting 13 million.

This important question must be asked of both Sens. Durbin and Kirk:   Do you agree with this comment made by Daniel P. Schrag, a counselor of the White House on climate issues: “A war of coal is exactly what’s needed”?

The emission of CO2 is what the “war” is all about, with CO2 having been declared a pollutant and the cause of global warming, even though it is essential to all life on earth.

Certainly jobs would be lost, energy prices would increase, and just about everything we buy, eat, and wear would be more expensive under Obama’s climate change plan, which is yet another ploy to seize regulatory control of the production and use of energy so as to further concentrate power in Washington.

Contact Sens. Durban and Kirk and your federal and state legislators about the economic harm it would impose upon Illinoisans.
Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

Thorner

The centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change plan — a timeline for setting new environmental regulation limiting how much carbon pollution can be emitted from both new and existent power plants — is causing great angst in coal producing states where the regulations would kills jobs at a time when the coal industry is working to improve it own clean-coal technology.

A recent report in the Lake County New-Sun cites reactions to Obama’s call for the EPA to regulate coal plant emissions of a Midwest Generation coal-fired plant located in Waukegan, Illinois. This spring the Waukegan plant was the subject of of a heated emissions debate. According to Midwest Generation officials, since taking over the lakefront plant in 1999, the Waukegan plant has been a model of transitioning its energy supply to cleaner sources in a balanced manner, without federal mandates.  Predictably the Sierra Club with its “Beyond Coal” campaign has claimed otherwise.

According to a report issued on May 6th, 2013, by the Illinois Office of Coal Development, Illinois has risen four spots in two years to become the nation’s fifth largest coal-producing state, producing 47.2 million tons of coal last year and exporting 13 million tons. http://www.dailyegyptian.com/illinois-coal-exports-increase/

As a coal producing and exporting state, do Senators Durbin and Kirk agree with the following comment made to the New York Times by Daniel P. Schrag, a geochemist and member of the President Obama’s presidential science who has counseled the White House on climate issues?  http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/307571-white-house-adviser-war-on-coal-is-exactly-whats-needed

 

Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal.  On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what is needed.

Certainly jobs would be lost and energy prices would increase here in Illinois and across the nation if the Obama administration’s war on coal should succeed.  The Heritage Foundation “Morning Bell” blog of June 16 cites a hike of natural gas prices by 42%.  Obama’s anti-coal policies would also cause a family of four to lose more than $1,000 in annual income. http://blog.heritage.org/2013/06/26/morning-bell-things-that-will-cost-more-under-obamas-climate-change-plan/

What’s more, just about everything we buy, eat, and wear — as all is produced by energy — would be more expensive under Obama’s climate change plan.  That also includes heating and cooling your home; buying a car and driving — from your work commute to soccer practice and everywhere in between; turning on the lights, and washing and drying clothes.  Irregardless, President Obama is telling the  American people that fixing global warming will fix the economy.

But didn’t President Obama likewise tell the American people that under Obamacare the American people, while paying less for insurance, would receive better healthcare?

The same spiel is issuing forth in Obama’s push for immigration reform, how the illegal immigrants when added to this nation’s work force would contribute billions to this nation’s economy, when in truth many of them wouldn’t earn enough money to pay income taxes in the first place and would even qualify for a tax credit refund.  Rubio, in defending amnesty before security, greatly damaged himself when suggesting that the income taxes paid by illegal aliens were needed to fund building the wall!

Will enough Americans be duped the third time around with the Obama-created crisis of  global warming to allow Obama to go forward through Executive Orders and the EPA’s unchecked regulatory power to fulfill his politically motivated climate plan?

Read what the Heritage Foundation “Foundry” blog of June 26 has to say about President Obama’s plan and its chilling effect on this nation’s economy.  Noted are eleven problems with the climate plan Obama outlined on June 25.  All are worth reading, but  problems nine and ten seemed worthwhile to bring to your immediate attention:  #9.  Pretending China and the developing world will cut emissions.   #10.  Hides Obama’s anti-nuclear policy behind pro-nuclear rhetoric.
http://blog.heritage.org/2013/06/26/11

Dubbed as the “high priest of climate skepticism,” former Margaret Thatcher adviser Christopher Monckton could keep quite no longer.  Obama’s rhetoric became too much for Lord Monckton.  With Obama’s plan to bypass Congress using his executive power to fight climate change, Monckton launched into a point-by-point demolition of Obama’s claims.  It’s great reading of how President Obama cherry-picked his facts with the same relentless care as Al Gore!  http://www.wnd.com/2013/06/obamas-global-warming-claims-demolished/

Bonner Cohen, Ph.D, in his article, Obama’s Climate Initiative:  A  Green Elitist Assault on Ordinary Citizens, has these choice words to say about Obama’s climate change plan: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/06/obamas-climate-initiative-green-elitist.html

 

By circumventing Congress and unleashing the vast powers of the administrative regulatory state in the name of combating “climate change,” President Obama has– yet again — revealed his determination to subject the American people to the unchecked whims of the federal bureaucracy.

 

Obama’s “Climate Action Plan” has nothing to do with the climate.  Instead, the climate, in all of its complexity, serves as a convenient pretext for the administration — working hand in glove with environmental groups and non-competitive, rent-seeking industries — to seize regulatory control of the  production and use of energy so as to further concentrate power in Washington.  His weapons are executive orders and the regulatory power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), both of which do not require the approval of elected officials in congress nor those at the state and local level.

We are told that the only solution is for us to take Obama’s hand and allow him to lead us through socialist programs, taxes and crushing regulations  But Obama is right about one thing, America really is in a crisis mode on a daily basis because of his agenda.

Related articles

Tuesday, July 02, 2013 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

President Barack Obama’s administration currently has 15 Cabinet Departments (State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security) and 7 additional positions which have Cabinet-level rank (White House Chief of Staff, EPA, Office of Management & Budget, US Trade Representative, US Ambassador to United Nations, Council of Economic Advisers, Small Business Administration) plus the National Security Administration, NSA, which is really a part of the Department of Defense.

Out of the 15 Cabinet Departments, there are currently 7 which have on-going scandals of which the American people may, or may not, be aware.   In addition, there are 2 actions going on within the Cabinet-level ranks, which are of questionable nature.  While some of these activities were begun under the Bush administration, they have exploded exponentially under Obama’s direction.  Bush has unfortunately been blamed for everything bad that has happened during Obama’s administration.  Isn’t it ironic that suddenly because Bush did it (NSA scandal), it’s acceptable for the current administration to do likewise?  (The same excuse is claimed with the drone program which has also grown enormously with extended range under Obama.)

With multiple scandals filling the news, and accusations, denials and investigations flying from all directions on a daily basis, it seemed necessary to take a step backwards to enable a broader view and better understanding of this scandal-ridden administration to prevent issue fatigue from setting in.  With the existence of so many scandals, there could be a tendency to disengage from the gross infractions of the Obama administration, throwing up our hands in despair, which would indicate passivity and disinterest, both dangerous in a democracy.

Realizing that scandals have legs of their own makes it difficult to ascertain their duration and  lasting impact, delay was considered in releasing our expose but speedily rejected on the premise that sharing what was known at this point made more sense than delaying the report.  Nevertheless, our comments still provide a fairly wide scope of the still percolating scandals, enough to realize how corrupt the Obama administration truly is, with future updates a definite possibility.

Now the question remains, will the scandal information outlined in this easy-to-understand format be heeded, or will individuals willingly blind themselves to the disturbing facts and simply dismiss them as not relative to their lives?  The act of burying heads in the sand creates a government which, having no opposition from its citizens, can run rough-shod over the populous.  Even elected Republican legislators seem to lack the fortitude to deal with the multiple scandals where justice is demanded and begs to be served.

It would be a blow to the rule of law, which forms the basis of our Democracy,  if the many scandals in the Obama administration become relics of a forgotten past, allowing the administration to skirt the justice that it so deserves.  It is often said that success begets success.  It can also be said that corruption allowed to flourish will only breed more corruption when those guilty of misdeeds and worse determine that the arm of justice has no hold over them.

The Department of State

All US embassies and consulates are under the control and responsibility of the Department of State.  Under then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the true story behind the attacks and deaths at the Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is still unanswered.  We have still not had answers to many questions by Secretary Clinton, and we have still never heard a word from any of the 20-30 Consular staff who were rescued from Benghazi, the night of September 11, 2012.

In recent weeks, another scandal has been exposed by the news media which relates to security personnel traveling with Secretary Clinton overseas who have been caught hiring and/or soliciting prostitutes.  In addition, the Belgian Ambassador has been accused of soliciting prostitutes and minors for sexual activity.  The Department of State has been accused of white-washing or quashing investigations into these activities.

The Department of the Treasury

The current and ever-expanding scandal of the IRS singling out and deliberately delaying applications of Conservative, religious and Tea Party groups on a political basis seems to grow worse by the day.  It’s also been suggested that, not only did the IRS deliberately limit the free speech and political rights of these groups, but the IRS may have passed group and personal information from these applications to liberal political groups to be used against the Republicans during the 2012 elections.  It has now been discovered that enormous amounts of money have been wasted on parties, hotels, travel and utter nonsense up to $50 million – so far.

On 6/13/13, the Treasury Inspector General has indicated there is evidence that up to 1,000 IRS employees were misusing their government-issued travel and credit cards in 2010-2011.

This last week, it has also come out that the IRS sent more than $46 million in tax refunds to 23,994 “unauthorized” alien workers who all listed the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to an audit report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

They also sent:

  • 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,l64,976 at a second Atlanta address;
  • 3,608 refunds worth $2,691,448 to a third;
  • 2,386 refunds worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.

Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list included:

  • an address in Oxnard, Calif., where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,847;
  • an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212;
  • an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608;
  • an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302;
  • an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027;
  • and address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,87

In May, 2013, it was announced that the IRS allegedly stole medical records from more than 10,000,000 Americans during a raid on a Southern California health care facility.  More than 60 million medical records were ‘lifted’ from this facility.  This was as a result of one warrant for one person’s records, but the IRS took the other records, too.

Remember, the IRS is going to be in charge of administering the insurance side of Obamacare.  Your medical records will now be accessible to them.

The Department of Defense

Under Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, there have still been no clear answers as to why no aid was sent to Benghazi on September 11, 2012, when four Americans died in Islamic Jihadist attacks.  No one has been made to say who gave the order to ‘stand down’ or to send no support to these Americans.  Nor, do we have any good explanation why the consulate wasn’t better protected before the attacks, especially during the September 11 anniversary time.

The additional scandal of sexual assaults throughout the military has recently been brought to the forefront of the news because military authorities have not been responsive to this issue.

The Department of Justice

Attorney General, Eric Holder, has failed in major responsibilities going all the way back to refusing to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in Philadelphia in the national elections of 2008.  He has also slipped through the loopholes of responsibility for the Fast and Furious gunrunning program to Mexico, even though an American border guard and many dozens of Mexican citizens were killed using those very guns.  And, currently, Holder has admitted to monitoring 20 phones lines of over 100 reporters of the Associated Press and had signed a subpoena that accused reporter James Rosen of Fox News as a possible co-conspirator for leaking classified information about North Korea.  The DOJ had to go to three federal judges before they found one who would sign this subpoena.

The Department of Health and Human Services

Throughout this current series of scandals, and little mentioned by the media, is the question of whether or not Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of HHS, has been arm-twisting insurance companies and other health related industries for money to support and pay for the implementation of Obamacare.  Congress has withheld much of the funding for the health care program and it appears Sebelius is finding other ways to raise money.  The problem is that these agencies which she is reportedly strong-arming will be under her direction and administration as Obamacare is installed by 2014, a blatant conflict of interest, or more commonly known as extortion.

The Department of Veterans Affairs

Under former General Erik Shenseki, now Director of the VA, there is a current backlog of 600,000 disability claims filed by our veterans.  The average wait for attention to these claims has been running up to 300 days.  Depending on the city and office locations, some veterans may wait 800-900 days to receive determinations on their claims.

And, just recently, Secretary Shinseki has gutted the independent board which researched Gulf War illnesses and has cut its budget.  The Research Advisory Committee, which used to oversee the VA staff in this area has now been replaced by VA people it used to review.  In 2012, a no-confidence vote against the VA and a whistle-blower testified that the VA misled the public about research that would lead to expensive benefits for veterans.  Good timing, Secretary Shinseki.

The Department of Homeland Security

The massive problems produced by illegal immigrants in the country and what to do about them has been aggravated by Secretary Janet Napolitano, who chooses whom to deport and whom to put on hold, regardless of what the federal law on immigration says.  She also declares the southern border with Mexico under control and the safest in years, even though it has been shown again and again, it is not secure.  A vast swath of the procedural vote on the so-called “border surge” deal brokered by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) paving the ways for passage of the entire comprehensive immigration reform bill, comes down to nothing more than giving the unelected current DHS Secretary, Janet Napolitano, the kind of discretionary power that one would expect to be granted to the officials of a banana republic.  She has the discretion to ignore the border fencing and any other of the so-called border triggers.

Now, let us look at the Cabinet-level agencies which are having questionable activities and scandals of their own.

The National Security Administration (NSA) (technically a part of the Department of Defense)

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  (Italics are added.)

Recently exposed by The Guardian newspaper in England, the NSA, under the Patriot Act, has for approximately 7 years been trolling billions and billions of phone calls made by American citizens in an effort to relate any suspicious calls to terrorist links.  It appears that FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) courts just can’t say “No” to requests to pursue potential terrorist connections and have approved thousands of warrants submitted to them.  What billions and billions of phone calls made by everyday Americans have to do with foreign agents is highly questionable.   In addition, reports have been out recently that the NSA has also been requesting information from the internet, e-mails, pictures and other computer-related sources in a program called Prism.  The major internet companies (Google, AOL, Yahoo, etc.) claim the government has no ‘direct’ access to their internet customers’ information.  If the Feds don’t have ‘direct’ access, do they have some other kind of access?  All of this has been done under great secrecy with the support of certain Congressional members and committees who claim they are doing this to keep us ‘safe’ and that we should ‘trust them’.

In addition, it has also been exposed that the NSA is building a Data Center in Utah where they will store these billions of accumulated records for an indefinite period of time.  They can then go back years later and search them if they think there is a questionable person or action they want to check.

The Environmental Protection Agency

Under former EPA Director, Lisa Jackson, it was discovered that she kept and maintained a secret e-mail account under the name of a Richard Windsor, so that she could communicate with others in the government without having her messages known.  Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, also admitted that she had a separate e-mail address beyond the agency account so she could deal with her daily work.  Supposedly, these accounts are all available under a Freedom of Information Account (FOIA) request– if – you happen to know about the account and the e-mail address and request it in the FOIA.  From additional information in the news reports, it appears there are many, many secret e-mail accounts throughout departments in the Obama administration.

It has also recently been reported that in April 2013, the EPA illegally released the names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mails of approximately 80,000 farmers across the US to environmental groups.  The apparent intent was to allow these groups to protest, picket or otherwise attack the farmers.  Further details are being developed about this issue.

As Benjamin Franklin said in 1775, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

There are those of you who will exclaim that we must do everything to fight the terrorists.  We see no good reason to pull billions and billions of records of millions and millions of American citizens for whom there have been no suspicions or warrants or probable cause and keeping them for years to be checked later.  Security programs were supposedly set up to monitor for foreign or suspicious terror connections.  Let them run the program that way.

As for the political Washington class who say, “Trust us to do the right thing,” may we suggest you read the above commentary over again.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 01:45 PM | Permalink

 

With the cacophony issuing from the many supercharged political events that took place during the latter part of January and now into February (more will follow tonight after President Obama’s 5th State of the Union Address), not wishing to enter into the heated fray at the moment, I chose a topic that seemed to cry out for attention because it was not widely reported. The event took place on Wednesday, January 30th: “EPA Moves to Ban 12D-Con Mouse and Rat Control Products/Action will Prevent Thousands of Accidental Exposures Among Children Each Year”

The announcement of the EPA rat and mouse ban also caught my attention because I had recently finished reading Silent Spring at 50, edited by Roger Meiners, Pierre Desrochers, and Andrew Morriss, which was all about the false crisis of Rachel Carson.

Fifty years ago Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had a profound impact on our society. Carson was not the first to write about the dangers of pesticides or to sound environmental alarms, but her writing captured the attention of the public. In her book Carson vilified the use of DDT and other pest-control chemicals in agriculture, but ignored their role in saving millions of lives worldwide from malaria, typhus, and dysentery, among other diseases.

Caron also warned that the American bird population was on the verge of collapse when it was actually increasing at the time Silent Spring was published. What so alarmed the public about Carson’s book was her exaggerated claim that cancer rates were increasing because of DDT. Once statistical adjustment were made for population age and tobacco use, the apparent rise in cancer rates disappeared.

In Silent Spring at 50 an account can be read of how DDT was effectively used from the 2nd World War up until the time it was banned from use by the EPA in 1972. DDT was first created back in1874, but was essentially forgotten until 1942. It was during the second World War when Allies discovered that DDT was toxic to lice at doses safe for humans.

An EPA press release of December 31, 1972 issued this directive:

“The general use of the pesticide DDT will no longer be legal in the United States after today, ending nearly three decades of application during which time the once-popular chemical was used to control insect pests on crop and forest lands around homes and gardens, and for industrial and commercial purposes.” http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.html

Now the EPA is targeting Recktt Benckiser, Inc., maker of D-Con products, because D-Con refused to adopt the agency’s safety standards to prevent the poisonings of children and the deaths of non-targeted animals. All other rodenticide producers have already adopted the EPA’s safety standards for all of its consumer use products.

James Jones, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, had this to say about the target he has placed on the manufacturer of D Con products: “Moving forward to ban these products will prevent completely avoidable risks to children. With this action, EPA is ensuring that the products on the market are both safe and effective for consumers.”

Jones further admitted that for companies who have complied with the new standards in 2011, EPA has received no reports of children being exposed to bait contained in bait stations, but neither were complaints from users of D-Con products.

The parallel between the banning of rat poison and DDT seems obvious to me. Evidently D-Con products were effective in killing rats and mice; DDT saved millions people worldwide wide from malaria. Nothing better has been found to replace it.

Two years ago when the EPA first proposed a ban on rat and mouse poisons, Kenneth Artz , a freelance reporter for Chicago’s Heartland Institute had this to say:

The ban could force people to rely on products from an alternate class of rodenticides which, unlike the d-CON products targeted by EPA have no antidote.

The ban could force consumers to avoid treating their homes for rodents. Without timely treatment, rodent problems can cause serious health problem, especially people living in poverty.

Furthermore Artz decries the EPA’s decision on a single statistic received between the years 1992 and 2008 of 12,000 to 15,000 reports of rat and mouse poison exposures each year regarding children under 6 years old, believing it improper to use an inadequate reason to ban an extremely useful product from the market.  http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2011/11/23/epa-proposes…

Shouldn’t there be a certain level of risk in society? Parents make choices every day such as weighing the risks and benefits of using a product.

This is the same EPA who allows mercury to be tossed into the environment via CFC light bulbs, but is suing coal fired plants who make electricity out of business because a small portion of mercury is released when being burned.

And may we not forget about the primitive 3.5-gallon toilet, which did work. It was outlawed by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992 in favor of the politically correct 1.6-gallon toilet, which doesn’t work.

Published at Illinois Review on Tuesday, February 12.

This year’s election carries big implications for economic policy well beyond the budget and taxes.

In his first term President Obama presided over a big increase in the number of major new regulations (as measured by their economic impact), from air-cargo screening to fuel efficiency in trucks. On top of these come thousands of pages of new rules implementing financial-regulations and health-care reforms.

The White House has been quick to claim that the benefits of the new regulations will easily exceed the cost, even though economists have contested the way benefits are measured.

In that President Obama’s recent budget proposal called for at least $3.8 trillion in spending while failing to seriously address the national debt and the escalating costs of entitlement programs, much uncertainty exists over the increased cost and burden of regulations.

As columnist Charles Kadlec wrote in Forbes in regard to regulations and job creation, “the rapid growth in the regulatory burden under President Obama, and the Administration’s weak dollar/high oil price monetary policy are on-going impediments to full employment.”

Kadlec likewise argued that “the massive increase in federal spending under Obamanomics appears to have sucked the job-creating strength out of the rest of the economy.”

During Obama’s first three years in office, his administration unleashed 106 new major regulations that increased regulatory burdens by more than $46 billion annually, five times the amount imposed by by the George W. Bush Administration during its first three years.

In recent months, however, there has been a noticeable slowing of the Obama Administration rule making, where a number of major rules have remained under prolonged review by the White House. This is despite a Congressional mandate under the 1980 Regulatory Flexibility Act calling for a release every April and October of a description of all rules likely to have a significant economic impact.

Both the April 2012 and October 2012 agenda deadlines were ignored by President Obama. The last agenda released was in the fall of 2011, which then included a total of 2,676 regulations. By issuing a series of subsequent executive orders, Obama was able to extend agenda requirements of all regulations under development or review by some 60 departments, agencies, and commissions.

According to OIRA data 78% of the 151 regulations awaiting review have been pending at the office for more than 90 days, which exceeds the maximum time allotted under Executive Order 12866.

Obama’s disregard of the Regularity Flexibility Act stands in sharp contrast to his promise of an “unprecedented level of openness in government transparency.” For without adherence to the regulatory mandate, business planning becomes difficult and Congress is not able to engage in oversight.

The stakes are especially high because of the hundreds of rules related to Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation statute that has yet to be finalized.

It is no surprise that the EPA is the largest single source (a total of 29) of the regulations currently pending at OIRA. Twenty-seven are designated as “economically significant, meaning that their costs will exceed $100 million or more annually. The Department of Labor has eleven pending, the Departments of Energy and Transportation ten.

One EPA regulation that the independent, non-partisan Manhattan Institute estimates will cost the U.S. economy $700 billion has to do with greenhouse gas emission standards that would essentially ban all construction of new coal-fired power plants.

Never have so many EPA resources been devoted to a single regulation. If Obama wins, the EPA would have another four full years to implement their anti-fossil fuel agenda. If Romney wins, regulators would have a very narrow window to enact a select few costly regulations that would then be very difficult for a President Romney to undo. Woe to voters of Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania to whom Obama is not telling the truth about his plans to shut down the coal industry!

Might a regulatory tsunami be coming if Obama wins re-election? Might we be experiencing a calm before the storm hits? You be the judge.

Among the most costly pending at OIRA are:

1. “A Department of Transportation (DOT) rule to require a rear-view camera and video display for all new cars and trucks at an estimated cost of up to $2.7 billion. The regulation was submitted to OIRA on November 16, 2011.

2. A DOT proposal to require “a means of alerting” blind and other pedestrians of approaching hybrid and electric vehicles. The agency has not developed a cost estimate but has concluded that “only beneficial outcomes will occur.” The proposal was submitted to OIRA on May 10, 2012.

3. Final revisions to the so-called Boiler MACT rules that impose stricter limits on industrial and commercial boilers and incinerators. The cost of the original rules was pegged at $9.5 billion by the EPA and $20 billion by the economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insight (for the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners). The stringency and cost of the original rules provoked an outpouring of protest and some 5,800 comments citing technical and statutory errors. Ultimately, EPA officials were forced to undertake revisions, which were submitted to OIRA on May 17.

4. Proposed limits from the EPA on formaldehyde emissions from hardwood plywood, particleboard, and medium-density fiberboard (replicating standards established by California in 2007). The regulation would also set standards for testing and certification of compliance. Estimates of the regulatory cost exceed $100 million. The proposal was submitted to OIRA on May 5.

5. Proposed energy conservation standards for walk-in coolers and freezers (pending since October 2011) and commercial refrigeration equipment (February 2012), which apply to virtually all refrigerated equipment used in retail food stores—and estimated by the Department of Energy to increase manufacturing costs by $500 million over four years. Likewise, stricter energy standards for manufactured housing (December 2011) would add $1,269 to the cost of a multi-section unit and $889 for a single-section home—increases that would reduce sales of manufactured homes by an estimated 4.8 percent.

6. Proposed regulations from the Food and Drug Administration on the production, harvesting, and packaging of fruits and vegetables, pending since December 9, 2011. The rules would affect more than 300,000 domestic and foreign farmers and packers of fresh produce.

7. Department of Labor restrictions on worker exposure to crystalline silica (fine particles of sand common to mining, manufacturing, and construction). The stricter rules, pending since February 14, 2011, cover methods of compliance, exposure monitoring, training, and medical surveillance. One analysis submitted to OIRA by engineering and economic consultants estimated $5.5 billion in annual compliance costs and the loss of 17,000 “person-years” of employment and $3.1 billion of economic output each year.”

Following is an overview of Obama vs. Romney on Government Regulations by Michael Hirsh of National Review, updated on August 23, wherein the General philosophy of each presidential candidate is defined:

“Obama approaches regulation as a pragmatist. He wants “basic rules of the road” to make the economy more fair, based on the painstakingly thought-out views of Cass Sunstein, the University of Chicago scholar who headed his Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs for more than three years. Sunstein propounds a somewhat oxymoronic philosophy he calls “libertarian paternalism,” which seeks to “nudge” people in the direction of rational behavior through rules and regulations that carefully balance costs and benefits. It attempts to reduce regulators’ roles by requiring businesses to disclose, on their own, more information—say, about fees—in an easily accessible way. But it assumes that many people need government help to make informed decisions on such key issues as choosing a health care plan.” . . .

“Romney takes a classic conservative approach to regulation, a critique of big government that has been turbocharged by tea party fervor. His criticism of Obama focuses in large part on what he condemns as “excessive regulation” and taxes that he says have made U.S. businesses uncertain about hiring and expanding. According to “Believe in America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Growth,” Obama’s “major initiatives,” including health care, “represent a quantum increase in the scale of the regulatory burden” on the U.S. economy. Romney plans to impose a “regulatory cap” on agencies that would force them to find offsetting cost reductions for any new regulations they want to impose. Even so, as Massachusetts governor, he imposed new regulations for health care and, for a time, the environment.”

Unlike Democrats who support their fellow Democrats through thick and thin, when Mitt Romney wins the presidency his fellow Republicans will not be hesitant to hold his feet to the fire if President Romney tries to fudge on his pre-election promises!

Published initially at Illinois Review on Monday, November 25, 2012