Showing posts with label EPA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EPA. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Thanks to Judge Erickson for curtailing the EPA

President Obama's latest case of executive overreach has hit a wall: Judge Erickson.
A federal judge in North Dakota acted late on Thursday to block the Obama administration’s controversial water pollution rule, hours before it was due to take effect. 
Judge Ralph Erickson of the District Court for the District of North Dakota found that the 13 states suing to block the rule met the conditions necessary for a preliminary injunction, including that they would likely be harmed if courts didn't act and that they are likely to succeed when their underlying lawsuit against the rule is decided. 
The decision is a major roadblock for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers, who were planning on Friday to begin enforcing the Waters of the United States rule, expanding federal jurisdiction over small waterways, like streams and wetlands.
The EPA has turned into President Obama's favorite agency.  The EPA is out of control, as many businessmen will tell you.

More important, the EPA is exhibit A of how President Obama goes around Congress or simply governs without Congress.

As with the immigration order halted by a Texas judge, President Obama is learning that it's tough to govern on a unilateral basis.  In other words, sooner or later you will run into a judge who understands the U.S. Constitution.

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.




Friday, August 28, 2015

Four Big Problems with the Obama Administration’s Climate Change Regulations

A few years ago, cap-and-trade legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions failed to reach President Barack Obama’s desk because constituents gave their Members an earful that cap and trade would amount to a massive energy tax. When the bill died in Congress, President Obama said that there was more than “one way of skinning a cat,” and here it is.[1]
The Obama Administration has finalized its climate regulations known as the Clean Power Plan. There are plenty of details to uncover in the 1,560-page regulation,[2] the 755-page federal implementation plan,[3] and the 343-page regulatory impact analysis.[4] To summarize, unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are poised to do what America’s elected representatives refused: impose higher energy costs on American families and businesses for meaningless climate benefits.
The following are four early observations that should cause Members of Congress, state politicians, and the general public concern.

1. Higher Energy Prices, Lost Jobs, Weaker Economy

When running for office in 2008, President Obama famously remarked, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”[5] Although that plan ultimately failed to become law, the White House tasked the EPA with creating the regulatory equivalent, placing strict greenhouse gas emissions limits on new power plants and drastic cuts on existing plants. The plan includes greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for each state except for Vermont, Alaska, and Hawaii in hopes of reducing overall power plant emissions to 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The regulations will drastically shift the energy economy away from coal, which provides approximately 40 percent of America’s electricity.[6] Restricting the use of that affordable, reliable energy supply will raise electricity rates, and those higher prices will reverberate through the economy. Businesses will pass higher costs onto consumers, but if a company must absorb the higher costs, it will invest less and expand less. The combination of reduced production and consumption will result in fewer jobs and a weaker economy.[7]
Despite candidate Barack Obama’s admission that cap and trade will raise prices, the Administration is attempting to spin the regulations as a win for the economy. Proponents of the Clean Power Plan argue that as energy prices increase, families and businesses will invest in more energy-efficient products and innovative technologies that will save them money in the long run. Arguing that increasing energy prices with regulations will save money by forcing energy-efficient product purchases is equivalent to cutting employees’ salaries and telling them that they will save money by shopping at Target. Just as the option to save money at Target existed before the pay cut, families and businesses already have an incentive to purchase energy-efficient products. When the government mandates efficiency, it removes that choice and makes consumers worse off.

2. No Climate Benefit, Exaggerated Environmental Benefits

The climate impact of the Clean Power Plan will be meaningless. According to climatologist Paul Knappenberger, “Even if we implement the Clean Power Plan to perfection, the amount of climate change averted over the course of this century amounts to about 0.02 C. This is so small as to be scientifically undetectable and environmentally insignificant.”[8] Climatologist James Hansen, who wants the Administration to do much more to combat climate change, has stated that “the actions are practically worthless.”[9]
The monetized climate benefits the Administration is touting are equally worthless. The EPA says the rule will provide $34 billion to $54 billion in annual environmental benefits after 2030. Yet these numbers are misleading for two reasons.
Social Cost of Carbon. First, the Administration uses “the social cost of carbon” to calculate the climate benefit. The EPA is using three statistical models, known as integrated assessment models, to estimate the value of the social cost of carbon, which is defined as the economic damage that one ton of carbon dioxide emitted today will cause over the next 300 years. The EPA uses the average of the three models to estimate the social cost imposed by climate change—$40 in 2015 and $56 in 2030. However, the models arbitrarily derive a value for the social cost of carbon.[10] Subjecting the models to reasonable inputs for climate sensitivity and discount rates dramatically lowers the figure for the social cost of carbon.
People generally prefer benefits earlier instead of later and costs later instead of earlier. Hence, it is necessary to normalize costs and benefits to a common time. For example, if a 7 percent discount rate makes people indifferent to a benefit now versus a benefit later (e.g., $100 today versus $107 a year from now), then 7 percent is the appropriate discount rate to use. The Administration’s own analysis shows how sensitive the social cost of carbon is to the discount rate.[11] When changed from a 3 percent discount rate to a 5 percent discount rate, the EPA’s $20 billion in projected climate benefits decreases to $6.4 billion—less than the EPA’s egregiously low projection of $8.4 billion in compliance costs.
Co-benefits. The second problem is the EPA’s use of co-benefits in inflating the benefits. The EPA exaggerates the environmental benefits by including the estimated benefits from reducing particulates (co-benefits) that are already covered by existing regulations and federal health requirements. Of those benefits, $20 billion come from direct climate benefits, and $14 billion to $34 billion are air quality co-benefits. Co-benefits sound positive. Who would not want additional health and environmental benefits from regulations?
The problem is that these benefits are double-counted over and over again with each regulation the federal government imposes. In some instances the co-benefits have accounted for more than 99 percent of the EPA’s estimated environmental benefits. The agency even overestimates the co-benefits by using questionable assumptions about causality and simplistic methods to calculate the benefits.[12]

3. Overly Prescriptive EPA Picks Winners and Losers

The EPA has been arguing that the plan will provide the states with plenty of flexibility and options in meeting its goal. It proposed that states use a combination of “building blocks” to achieve emissions reductions, including improving the efficiency of existing coal-fired power plants, switching from coal-fired power plants to natural gas–fired power plants, and using less carbon-intensive generating power, such as renewable energy or nuclear power. The proposed plan contained a fourth building block, demand-side energy-efficiency measures, but the EPA excluded that building block in calculating the state emission reduction targets. However, states can still implement energy-efficiency measures as a compliance option. The EPA would also allow states to impose a carbon tax or participate in regional cap-and-trade programs.[13]
All of these options present a Sophie’s choice of economic pain, reduced choice, and regulatory engineering of America’s energy economy. Although the EPA does not explicitly direct the states which path to take, the federal government is clearly nudging them to choose expanded renewables and energy efficiency. If a state chooses to produce more renewable power or implement more stringent energy-efficient mandates for homes and businesses, it will receive extra credits toward meeting its emissions targets.
Coal is an obvious loser, but the final regulation also changed language that would have been beneficial for nuclear and natural gas. In the draft proposal, states would have received credit for prolonging the life of an existing nuclear reactor that was at risk of closing. In the final regulation, that is no longer the case. The White House also ignored the importance and increased use of natural gas, a reversal from highlighting the importance of natural gas in shifting away from coal.[14]
Rather than simply setting reduction targets, the Administration continues to favor its preferred energy sources while driving other sources out of production.

4. Federally Imposed Cap-and-Trade

States will have one year to develop and submit their compliance plans or to develop regional plans with other states, although the EPA will grant extension waivers as long as two years. If states choose not to submit a plan, as several state legislators, attorneys general, and governors have suggested, the EPA would impose its federal implementation plan. The 755-page proposed plan is cap and trade, and the EPA is considering two options.[15]
The EPA could set a cap on power plant emissions in a state and allow utilities to trade emissions permits with one another.[16] Alternatively, the EPA could implement a cap-and-trade plan that requires an average emissions rate for the state’s power sector. Environment & Energy Publishing explains,
A rate-based standard with trading could technically allow emissions to grow, as long as generators only emit a certain amount of carbon per megawatt-hour of power produced. A state with a rate around the same level as a natural gas plant could theoretically keep building more and more natural gas plants and stay in compliance.[17]
The EPA will decide on a final plan in the summer of 2016.

Congress and States Need to Take the Power Back

The threat of a federally imposed cap-and-trade plan should not scare states into concocting their own plans. Instead, Members of Congress and state governments should fight the regulation, rather than settling for a slightly more palatable version that will cause significant economic harm while producing no discernable climate or environmental benefits.
—Nicolas D. Loris is Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies, of the Institute for Economic Freedom and Opportunity, at The Heritage Foundation.


[VIDEO] Wyoming man files suit over massive EPA fines for building pond

A rancher is taking the Environmental Protection Agency to federal court, asking a judge to stop the agency from fining him more than $16 million because he built a small pond on his property. 
Andy Johnson of Fort Bridger, Wyoming says he made sure to get the proper permits from his state government before building the pond. After all, this is America in the 21st century, and nothing done on your own property -- certainly when it involves the use of water -- is beyond government concern. 
Johnson is facing millions in fines from the federal government after the EPA determined his small pond -- technically a "stock pond" to provide better access to water for animals on his ranch -- is somehow violating the federal Clean Water Act. 
"We went through all the hoops that the state of Wyoming required, and I'm proud of what we built," Johnson said. "The EPA ignored all that." 
In a compliance order, the EPA told Johnson he had to return his property -- under federal oversight -- to conditions before the stock pond was built. When he refused to comply, the EPA tagged Johnson with a fines of $37,000 per day. 
Dismantling the pond within the 30-day window the EPA originally gave him was "physically impossible," Johnson said. 
That was in 2012. Today, Johnson owes the federal government more than $16 million, and the amount is growing as he tries to fight back. 
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court on Thursday, lawyers representing Johnson argue the EPA overstepped its authority by fining the rancher. 

Judge blocks new federal rule on jurisdiction of waterways

A federal judge in North Dakota on Thursday blocked a new Obama administration rule that would give the federal government jurisdiction over some state waterways. 
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction against the rule, which gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule was scheduled to take effect Friday. 
"The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely," Erickson said in blocking the rule from taking effect. 
Thirteen states led by North Dakota asked Erickson to suspend guidelines that they say are unnecessary and infringe on state sovereignty. The federal government says the new rule clarifies ambiguity in the law and actually makes it easier for the states to manage some waterways. It wasn't immediately clear if the injunction applied to states other than the 13 led by North Dakota." 
The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming. 
State officials in North Dakota said the new rule will cost the state millions of dollars and take away from more important programs. State Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said there's "confusion and anxiety" among farmers and other landowners over the initiative. 
 North Dakota congressman Kevin Cramer called the judge’s ruling a “victory:”

Monday, August 24, 2015

FIRE EPA EMPLOYEES, SAYS GEOLOGIST: ‘WHERE IS DONALD TRUMP WHEN YOU NEED HIM?’

Dave Taylor, the retired geologist who predicted the EPA project that caused the massive 3 million toxic spill in Colorado on August 5 would fail, says the EPA employees who caused the spill should be fired as soon as possible.

In a second letter to the editor published in the Silverton Standard on Thursday, Taylorwrote:
When I wrote my Letter to the Editor, published July 30, 2015, I warned of potential problems with the EPA’s Red and Bonita mine plugging scheme. At the time, I had no idea that the EPA could be so incredibly incompetent as to cause the failure of the Gold King Mine plug. Breaching the plug, August 5, 2015, resulted in a catastrophic deluge of 3 million gallons of contaminated water and mine waste that flowed down Cement Creek to the Animas River.
“In my opinion,” Taylor continued, “the EPA employees responsible for the breach should be held accountable and fired ASAP.”
“But of course, that probably won’t happen. Following the VA investigation, which took many months, only one employee was fired,” Taylor noted.
“Where is Donald Trump when you need him?” Taylor asked rhetorically.
“You’re fired!” Taylor added, indicating the message he wanted Trump to send to the EPA employees responsible for the breach.
“In the mining business, one must have the attitude that all accidents are preventable and prepare accordingly,” Taylor wrote.
“Obviously, the EPA was over confident and didn’t take the time to stand back, evaluate and think about how much water was upstream of the plug, what the hydrostatic pressure might be and what could happen if the plug was disturbed,” the retired geologist added.
“Over the years, I have worked on similar delicate projects. I always thought out my most effective Plan ‘A’ and subsequent additional back-up Plans ‘B,’ ‘C’ and ‘D’ just in case ‘Murphy’s Law’ came into play,” he noted.
“I don’t think the EPA even thought about a back-up plan, afterall, they are geniuses and could never make a mistake!” Taylor commented.
“The EPA is going to be covered up with follow-up testing, lawsuits and clean-up efforts,” Taylor predicted.
Taylor just might see Trump follow his recommendation about the firing of EPA employees responsible for the August 5 spill.
On August 13, eight days after the spill, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump toldtalk radio host Hugh Hewitt, “[t]his is all the more example why EPA, we should do it locally. We shouldn’t be doing it from Washington.”
“Often times for a thing like this, you have to just get rid of them [the bureaucrats in charge],” Trump added. That would presumably include EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, who visited Colorado earlier this month but didn’t go to see the site of the spill.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Another EPA Disaster, This Time in Rural Georgia

Another EPA Disaster, This Time in Rural Georgia
Still reeling from a disaster it created at a Colorado gold mine, the EPA has so far avoided criticism for a similar toxic waste spill in Georgia.
In Greensboro, EPA-funded contractors grading a toxic 19th-century cotton mill site struck a water main, sending the deadly sediment into a nearby creek. Though that accident took place five months ago, the hazard continues as heavy storms — one hit the area Tuesday — wash more soil into the creek.
The sediment flows carry dangerous mercury, lead, arsenic and chromium downstream to Lake Oconee and then to the Oconee River — home to many federally and state protected species.
Lead in the soil at the project site is 20,000 times higher than federal levels established for drinking water, said microbiologist Dave Lewis, who was a top-level scientist during 31 years at the Environmental Protection Agency.
He became a whistleblower critical of EPA practices and now works forFocus for Health, a nonprofit that researches disease triggers.
“Clearly, the site is a major hazardous chemical waste dump, which contains many of the most dangerous chemical pollutants regulated by the EPA,” Lewis wrote in a 2014 affidavit for a court case filed by local residents that failed to prevent the EPA project: creating a low-income housing development.
The mill site contains 34 hazardous chemicals, 30 of which are on the EPA’s list of priority pollutants because of “high toxicity, persistence, lack of degradability, and harmful effects on living organisms,” Lewis wrote.
But while the nation is transfixed by the bright orange waterways in otherwise pristine Colorado wilderness, little attention has been paid to the unfolding Greensboro disaster.
The four-acre site features the abandoned Mary Leila Cotton Mill, which produced sheeting until the early 2000s. Looking like a ghostly fortress, the 135,000-square-foot building with turrets and a water tower was covered in lead-based paint that flaked off and covered the grounds along with ash produced by its coal-burning generators. High levels of cancer-causing chemicals, such as benzo(a)pyrene, are also buried there. And neighboring farmers dumped pesticides on the vacant grounds back when arsenic was used to kill bugs.
The Environmental Protection Agency has denied — but now admits — that it funded the cleanup and development project the triggered the catastrophe.
The EPA issued a grant around 2005 to turn the mill and surrounding grounds into a housing complex for the mentally ill, homeless and indigent. Contractors working with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GEPD) have started digging and tearing down the buildings — despite objections by the city of Greensboro and the absence of a plan to deal with the hazardous waste.
EPA and GEPD documents reviewed by Watchdog show proposals to move the dirt elsewhere or to cover it with concrete. In the latter case, the government agencies promise to monitor and repair any potholes, cracks or foundation breaks.
But for Lewis, any excavation would send large amounts of toxic soil into the creek.
Despite the manmade pollutants, Mother Nature has managed to hold her own against further degradation. The toxic soil was mainly confined to densely packed lower levels held in check by a clay barrier near the creek. EPA/GEPD contractors destroyed that barrier with a backhoe.
Now groundwater and other contaminants can flow freely, Lewis said.
The EPA did not respond to a request for comment. The agency has offered conflicting statements about its involvement in the project, alternating between knowing nothing, providing only data and guidance, and acknowledging, finally, that it funded cleanup and development at the site through a grant to the state.
Lewis says his former employer, the EPA, never showed any concern in several responses to his ongoing pleas regarding hazards around the old mill.
In letters to Lewis and David Kopp, who represented the residents in their court case, the EPA downplayed toxicity in the land, pointing to low levels in a 2010 sampling. Lewis says he tested his own samples at the University of Georgia, where he worked for a time as a marine biologist. The results staggered him.
But the EPA told him it knew nothing about Mary Leila Cotton Mill.
“There is no federal agency involved with this project at the mill property,” EPA Regional Administrator Heather McTeer Toney wrote Lewis on Jan. 9. “This property does not warrant federal action at this time.”
Five months later, in a May 28 letter to Lewis, Toney admitted the program was an “EPA brownfields grant-funded project” and that “remediation must be conducted in a manner that is protective of human health and the environment.” The state directed the developer to “maintain the mill property in a manner that protects humans from exposure to hazardous constituents while the property is undergoing corrective action.”
The EPA’s website says brownfields projects are part of the agency’s mandate “to make environmental justice an integral part of every program, policy and activity by…. Applying EPA’s regulatory tools to protect vulnerable communities.”
And involving lead, it appears that the EPA is violating its own standards. The agency prohibits release of untreated lead-laden water into the waterways and cites the Clean Water Act, saying: “The CWA prohibits anyone from discharging pollutants, including lead, through a point source into a water of the United States unless they have a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System(NPDES) permit.”
Researcher Earl Glynn contributed to this report.
Contact Tori Richards at tori@watchdog.org or on twitter @newswriter2.

Mine owner tried to stop EPA from drilling, was threatened with fines

Hey, remember that time when the EPA blew a hole in the side of an abandoned mine and flooded the surrounding river basin with millions of gallons of toxic sludge? Ah… good times, my friends. At the time we wondered if they were going to fine themselves for all of the ecological damage they caused. Well, no such luck, natch. But there were some fines discussed. They came up in conversation when the mine owner tried to keep them from messing around with site. Todd Hennis had some experience with the EPA in the past and they had caused some similar leaks at another property of his. This time he told them he didn’t want them in there messing around, but they made their position clear. (Washington Examiner)
Mr. Hennis said he opposed having the EPA investigate leakage from the inactive mine near Silverton, Colorado, because he had tangled with the agency in previous years over its work at another mine he owns in Leadville, Colorado.
“I said, ‘No, I don’t want you on my land out of fear that you will create additional pollution like you did in Leadville,’” Mr. Hennis told Colorado Watchdog.org. “They said, ‘If you don’t give us access within four days, we will fine you $35,000 a day.’”
The EPA has admitted that its agents accidentally unleashed the acidic flood, which has since contaminated the San Juan River in New Mexico and seeped into Lake Powell in Utah, albeit in very low concentrations.
The Interior Department and the EPA’s Office of Inspector General are investigating the circumstances leading up to the accident, while at least two House committees are also expected to hold hearings on the spill.
It turns out that Watchdog Colorado was all over this earlier in the week and the story seems to check out. There was a dump of a significant amount of toxic chemicals back in 2005 and it was indeed another of Mr. Hennis’s properties.
But the EPA escaped public wrath in 2005 when it secretly dumped up to 15,000 tons of poisonous waste into another mine 124 miles away. That dump – containing arsenic, lead and other materials – materialized in runoff in the town of Leadville, said Todd Hennis, who owns both mines along with numerous others.
“If a private company had done this, they would’ve been fined out of existence,” Hennis said. “I have been battling the EPA for 10 years and they have done nothing but create pollution. About 20 percent (of Silverton residents) think it’s on purpose so they can declare the whole area a Superfund site.”
If Mr. Hennis is correct, the earlier incident was far more egregious. The EPA had collected large quantities of sludge and dumped it down a shaft in the New Mikado mine without telling Hennis that they were doing it. The chemicals later leached into the local water supply. So is somebody going to investigate precisely what these EPA characters have been up to out there in the mountains? Senator John McCain has called for an investigation, but even if they do find that some serious skulduggery has been going on, what do they do after that? I mean, who do we normally call to investigate an environmental disaster and determine what damages, if any, are due? We call the EPA. Are we going to have them investigate themselves?
What could possibly go wrong?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

15 States Finally Standing Up Against Obama’s Unconstitutional Regulations


Fifteen State Attorney Generals have filed suit against Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency for their sweeping and unconstitutional carbon regulations.

The fifteen states who petitioned the court on Thursday are West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

If you are like me, you are wondering where your state is in the list.

The Blaze reports that under the unconstitutional regulations, the EPA will “regulate the electricity industry and require states and utility companies to meet goals, providing rewards and penalties.”
EPA spokeswoman Liz Purchia told Reuters, “To ensure that the Clean Power Plan’s significant health benefits and progress against climate change are delivered to all Americans, EPA and the Department of Justice will vigorously defend it in court.”

Fine, but you have no constitutional authority to do so.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said, “This rule is the most far-reaching energy regulation in the ... to transform itself from an environmental regulator to a central planning agency for states’ energy economies. The Clean Air Act was never intended to be used to create this type of regulatory regime, and it flies in the face of the powers granted to states under the U.S. Constitution.”
The attempt by the states could be more easily dismissed through nullification of EPApolicies, since they are not even law and since the EPA is an unconstitutional agency. However, something had to be done immediately.

“If we were to wait on the EPA to get this rule published, it could be well into 2016 before the States complete arguments and receive a ruling on a request to stay this rule,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “By that time, many states will already be in the middle of drafting their compliance plans ahead of the September 2016 deadline. We want to ensure that no more taxpayer money or resources are wastefully spent in an attempt to comply with this unlawful rule that we believe will ultimately be thrown out in court.”

“While this request is not typical, the EPA is playing games by putting the risk of a delay in publication entirely on the states,” Morrisey added. “We hope the court will spare our states any more unnecessary harm, and that the EPA will not needlessly delay the publication date.”

Of course, Barack Obama, being the Marxist that he is, called the unconstitutional measures “the single most important step the U.S. has ever taken to fight climate change.”

The problem is that there is no climate change. There is no global warming. All of this is false science in order to extort money from the American people, impose communism inAmerica, shutdown business and eventually control the people.

“This is one of those rare issues because of its magnitude, because of its scope, that if we don’t get it right, we may not be able to reverse it,” Obama said. “There is such a thing as being too late when it comes to climate change. That doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. We can take action.”

The problem is that men do no create the weather or change the climate. God does. He determines how far the seas go (Job 38:8-11) and how hard the winds blow (matt 4:39). Yes, even hurricanes, tempests and such are at His command. Climate change is nothing more than a ruse. It is a lie because it comes from those whose father is the father of lies (John 8:44), the devil.

It’s long past time that states began to start banding together to ignore, not go to court with, the federal government in matters like this. Furthermore, they should ignore the court’s ruling, which is just that (ie. A ruling), and begin nullifying and interposing themselves between citizens, businesses and other entities in the states and the federal government.

Better yet, why don’t we simply band together to eliminate the federal government altogether and go back to sovereign states and Articles of Confederation. That would eliminate much of the tyranny that is strangling us today.


Obama's Toxic Environmental Pollution Agency by Michelle Malkin

Obama's Toxic Environmental Pollution Agency
Here in my adopted home state of Colorado, orange is the new Animas River thanks to the blithering idiots working under President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency.

It's just the latest man-caused disaster from an out-of-control bureaucracy whose primary mission is not the Earth's preservation, but self-preservation.

As always, the government cover-up compounds the crime — which is why the agency's promise this week to investigate itself has residents across the Rocky Mountains in stitches. Or tears.

After the EPA and officials and their contract workers accidentally spilled three million gallons of pent-up toxic sludge on August 5 from a defunct mine in San Juan County that hadn't operated since 1923, EPA apparatchiks delayed notifying residents for more than 24 hours. They vastly underestimated the volume and spill rate of gunk. Then, while refusing to release data, EPA head Gina McCarthy flew to the glowing river to fecklessly declare that the water "seems to be restoring itself."

The cleanup costs for the Colorado spill alone are estimated at $30 billion. Small farmers, ranchers and tourist-related businesses will be reeling for years to come — yet the EPA is simultaneously pushing forward with Draconian ozone regulations (based on cherry-picked junk science) that will punish the state's residents with no discernible health benefits.

If only Mother Nature could help wash away the institutionalized corruption that has been leaching from Obama's EPA headquarters since Day One:


—BP oil spill data doctoring. Former White House Director of the Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner and the EPA suffered no consequences after they repeatedly lied and cooked the books in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. Browner, who pulled the puppet strings of then-EPA head Lisa Jackson, misled the public about the scope of the disaster by falsely claiming that 75 percent of the spill was "completely gone from the system." Then she falsely claimed that the administration's initial report on the disaster was "peer-reviewed."

The Interior Department inspector general also singled out Browner for misrepresenting the White House's blue-ribbon science panel, which opposed a six-month drilling moratorium, and exposed how she butchered their conclusions to justify the administration's preordained policy agenda.

Browner, an inveterate left-wing crony lobbyist/activist, left office without so much as a wrist slap. Brazen data doctoring and destruction are her fortes. As EPA head during the Clinton administration in the 1990s, she was held in contempt by a federal judge after ordering a staffer to purge and delete her computer files. Browner had sought to evade a public disclosure lawsuit by conservative lawyer and author Mark Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation.

—Email evasion and transparency trouncing. While Browner was doing her dirty work as Obama's unaccountable eco-czar, Jackson busied herself creating sock-puppet email personalities to circumvent public disclosure rules as the agency crafted radical climate-change policies in secret. She learned the tricks of the trade from Browner. Jackson admitted to using the pseudonym "Richard Windsor" on one of at least two separate secret government accounts. Competitive Enterprise Institute fellow Christopher Horner discovered the elaborate ruses in 2012. The agency had stonewalled Horner's FOIA requests on the use of alias accounts at the agency; CEI sued to force the administration to comply.

In December 2012, Jackson resigned amid multiple investigations. Not a wrist slap. Not a scratch. In March of this year, a federal judge blasted the agency for avoiding a separate FOIA request by Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation related to sock-puppet email accounts created by Jackson and others "who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election."

Apple Computer hired Jackson in 2013 (and all of her multiple personalities). Two months ago, the company proudly announced that it was promoting Jackson to "vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives" and head of the company's "global government affairs and public policy teams."



—Enabling sex predators and porn addicts. Last month, the EPA inspector general finally testified on Capitol Hill about the agency's chronic mismanagement of alleged sexual perverts on the payroll. One employee "engaged in offensive and inappropriate behavior toward at least 16 women, most of whom were EPA co-workers," the IG reported. Supervisors "were made aware of many of these actions and yet did nothing."

Well, not exactly "nothing." The employee was actually promoted to assistant administrator for the EPA's Office of Homeland Security — a position he used to harass six more women.

Two other EPA workers were caught binging on porn during work hours; one was observed getting his X-rated fix by a minor who was at the office during Bring Your Child To Work Day. EPA allowed one perv to retire with full benefits; the other is still on leave collecting a $120,000 yearly salary.

Double standards. Data destruction. Imposition of radical job-killing regulations. Law-breaking with impunity. Only in Washington does a rogue government agency with an $8 billion budget get away with such serial incompetence and criminality in the name of the "public good." Protecting the environment has become a full employment racket for green crooks and cronies.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

EPA HIDING DATA FROM TOXIC SPILL IT CAUSED IN COLORADO

A settling pond is used at Cement Creek, which was flooded with millions of gallons of mining wastewater, on August 11, 2015 in Silverton, Colorado. The Environmental Protection Agency uses settling ponds to reduce the acidity of mining wastewater so that it carries fewer heavy metals. (Photo by

The Environmental Protection Agency insists it needed to take over a gold mine in Colorado. But — now that it’s caused a massive pollution spill — the agency refuses to furnish proof that it ever needed control of the mine.

Not only did the EPA coerce the mine owner to grant it access on threat of a $35,000 per day fine and then fail to take common sense precautions to check the water pressure behind the Gold King mine when it began removing debris from the portal, now the agency is hiding the data related to the before and after effects of the spill.
On Friday Breitbart News posed eight specific questions to the EPA regarding the pollutant levels and exfiltration rates at the Gold King mine and the Red and Bonita mine during the period before and after the August 5 spill into the Cement Creek and Animas River in Colorado. The agency failed to offer any response by our Monday evening story deadline.
Those questions are:
1. What was the rate of exfiltration in GPM (gallons per minute) from the Gold King portal before the spill?
2. What is it now?
3. What was the rate of exfiltration in GPM from the Red-Bonita portal before the spill ?
4. What is it now?
5. What was the PPM (parts per million) for arsenic, cadmium, lead and copper in the exfiltrating water from the Gold King portal before the spill?
6. What is it now?
7. What was the PPM for arsenic, cadmium, lead and copper in the exfiltrating water from the Red-Bonita portal before the spill?
8. What is it now?
Dave Taylor, the retired geologist who predicted the EPA project that caused the toxic spill would “fail in 7 to 120 days” tells Breitbart News EPA’s failure to provide this information is troublesome.
“These are simple questions with simple answers that they undoubtedly have at their fingertips. If not, then there is something they don’t want us to know,” Taylor tells Breitbart News in an exclusive interview.
“Forget about what happened during the spill. Comparing this before and after information will tell us EXACTLY what has occurred and what changes the spill may have caused,” Taylor says.
Dr. David Lewis, a former EPA scientist and currently the director of research for theFocus for Health Foundation, tells Breitbart News that he is finalizing plans for his independent analysis of current Animas River pollution levels available for public review by as early as next month.
Republican Presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson is scheduled to visit Durango, Coloradoon Tuesday to find out more details about the toxic spill into the Animas River caused by EPA incompetence.

Punish and Reform the EPA

The accidental spill of toxic wastewater into Colorado’s Animas River is an ironic case study: The very organization meant to protect Americans from environmental catastrophes was responsible for perpetrating it. How should the Environmental Protection Agency be held accountable?

Colorado, and the states downstream of the spill, should sue the EPA. But, instead of merely recovering the cost of environmental damage, the lawsuit should focus on taming the leviathan the EPA has become.
Created in 1970 by President Richard Nixon, the EPA, at its best, has been an important part of improving air and water quality. Clear standards, enforced in a straightforward way have been successful. The fact that the American environment is cleaner and safer than it has been in a century is partially due to EPA action.
In recent years, however, the EPA has moved away from those clear standards, preferring to exercise vague discretion in a way that is costly and often ineffective.
Punish and Reform the EPA | RealClearScience
After the Gulf oil spill, the agency was vindictive in its treatment of BP. It banned the oil company, as well as 21 subsidiaries unconnected to the spill, from obtaining new federal contracts due to a “lack of business integrity.” The ban was lifted only after BP sued the EPA. In total, BP paid $54 billion in settlements, including $5.5 billion to the EPA for violating the Clean Water Act.
To be clear, it is not vindictive to hold BP – or anyone else – accountable for environmental damage. But, it is not responsible for the EPA to strain its authority to engage in a self-serving money grab.
The situation with the Animas provides more evidence that EPA’s desire to expand or protect its power can too often trump environmental stewardship.
For example, EPA Director Gina McCarthy told reporters, “The good news is [the Animas River] seems to be restoring itself.” Imagine the (justifiable) outrage from the EPA had BP made such a claim only a few days after the Gulf spill was capped when much of the damage had yet to be assessed.
And it’s not just British oil companies the EPA targets. The EPA threatened a Wyoming man with a $75,000-per-day fine for building a pond on his own property. Such behavior led a Washington Post editorial to observe, “The EPA is earning a reputation for abuse.”
The EPA often argues that money should be no object when protecting the environment. The same agency, however, has been circumspect about paying the significant costs for the damage it caused.
The wide gap between the cavalier attitude toward businesses and personal property rights and their own squeamishness to hold themselves accountable demonstrates that institutional – rather than environmental – protection is playing a decisive factor in EPA decision-making.
If EPA chooses to protect is own, rather than holding employees accountable, can we accuse Director McCarthy of a “lack of integrity”? To what standard will she be held?
The contrasting way the EPA dealt with BP and its own damage at the Animas River demonstrates that agency motives are not always entirely pure. They are quick to demand others pay and give them power, using the environment as a lever. But when their own funding and power is questioned, they minimize the environmental damage and cost. Director McCarthy even had the lack of awareness to tell the people of Colorado not to worry because the “EPA is here.”
The bottom line is that while the EPA has done much good, it has come to associate environmental protection with its own aggrandizement. Now is the time to make it clear that environmental protection, not a self-serving power grab, is what the public wants.

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