Curbing EPA abuses

EPA_collusionAction needed now to end EPA deception, fraud, collusion, tyranny and destruction

Guest essay by Paul Driessen

Russian President Vladimir Putin is outraged that the United States has indicted 14 FIFA soccer officials, accusing them of corruption, racketeering, fraud and conspiracy, involving bribes totaling over $150 million in kickbacks for awarding tournament rights. He says the US is meddling in Russian affairs and plotting to steal the 2018 World Cup from his country. What chutzpah.

This is the same Mr. Putin who annexed Crimea and parts of Ukraine, and whose close cronies have been secretly channeling millions of dollars to US and EU environmentalist groups to oppose both American oil drilling in the Arctic and hydraulic fracturing – the game-changing process that is producing so much oil and gas that it’s slashed energy prices … and Russian revenues.

The Justice Department indictments generated global applause. Now the DOJ needs to conduct an equally zealous investigation into corruption, fraud and collusion in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. Of course, that will never happen – no matter how rampant or flagrant the abuses have been.

As Kimberly Strassel documents in May 14 and May 21 articles, EPA emails and other documents reveal that the agency had already decided in 2010 to veto the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska on ideological grounds, “well before it did any science” on the project’s potential environmental impacts. Meanwhile, an EPA biologist was working with eco-activists to recruit Native Americans to oppose the mine. “It’s not much of a leap,” Strassel writes, “to suggest that the EPA encouraged [petitions against the mine] so that it would have an excuse to intervene, run its science as cover, and block a project it already opposed.”

At the same time the biologist was aiding the petition drive, he was also helping to write EPA’s “options paper” for the mine – and lobbying his co-authors and report contributors to veto the mine, Strassel notes. Now, contrary to newly discovered agency emails, EPA bosses are pretending they never saw the options paper and trying to put the blame on low-level functionaries, when they were deep in cahoots all the way.

This represents incredible collusion, deception, fraud and abuse of power – to impose agency edicts and appease environmental ideologues in and out of EPA. Moreover, it is just the latest in a long line of abuses and usurpations by this Obama agency, under a culture of corruption and secretive, manipulated science used to justify regulatory overkill that imposes extensive damages for few or no benefits.

On climate, EPA relies on computer models and discredited IPCC reports to predict global catastrophes that it insists can be prevented if the United States slashes its fossil fuel use, carbon dioxide emissions and living standards, even if China, India and other developing countries do nothing. Meanwhile, real-world temperatures, hurricanes, tornadoes, polar ice and sea levels continue to defy the fear-mongering. So now the rhetoric has shifted yet again, to alleged national security and asthma threats from climate change.

Just this week, EPA announced that it will henceforth regulate any ponds, puddles, creeks, ditches and other waters that have a “significant nexus” to navigable waterways, even if that ill-defined connection enjoys six degrees of separation from streams in which you can actually paddle a kayak. EPA itself recognizes that “science” does not support its new regime, so now it says its “experience and expertise” justify regulating virtually all “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) – and thus of all lands, land uses, and family, farm and industrial activities not already covered by its climate and other rules.

Homeowners, farmers and businesses will now have to apply for permits to do almost anything that might theoretically pollute or affect waterways. Even taking a shower is now subject to EPA regulation.

On mercury, EPA is shutting down coal-fired power plants that emit barely 3% of all the mercury in US air and water. It claims this will prevent “0.00209 points” in American IQ losses and protect nonexistent “hypothetical female subsistence consumers” who every day for 70 years eat a pound of fish that they catch themselves in US navigable or “nexus” waterways.

For fine particulates, EPA wasn’t satisfied with regulations that prohibited more than one ounce of soot spread evenly in a volume of air a half-mile square by one story tall. When illegal experiments on humans failed to demonstrate that these levels were not actually “dangerous” or “lethal,” it imposed tougher standards anyway, as part of its war on coal.

Before he landed in jail for fraud, high level EPA bureaucrat John Beale concocted the sue-and-settle tactic, under which agency lawyers meet with environmentalist groups behind closed doors, agree to new regulatory standards, and then settle a friendly lawsuit whereby a court orders EPA to adopt the rules. Parties actually impacted by the new regulations never find out about them until it’s a “done deal.”

As presidential candidate Obama promised, under his policies electricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket.” But this means poor families, small businesses, factories, school districts, hospitals and churches must pay far more to keep their lights, heat, air conditioning and equipment running. That means people get laid off, fewer jobs are created, living standards decline, people’s health and wellbeing suffer, stress, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse increase, more people die during heat waves, and far more die during much deadlier winter cold snaps.

However, EPA ignores all these cold, hard realities – as it cherry-picks research and pseudo-science to support its agenda, ignores contradictory studies, and pays advisory boards and activist groups like the American Lung Association millions of dollars annually to rubberstamp and promote its decisions.

What can be done to curb these abuses and usurpations, and rein in this renegade agency?

Congress should cut EPA’s budget, to eliminate money that it routinely gives to activist and propaganda groups – and prevent the agency from spending any further taxpayer funds to regulate carbon dioxide, impose its new ozone, mercury and WOTUS rules, or participate in new sue-and-settle lawsuits.

Congress should also pass the Secret Science Reform Act, to ensure greater honesty and transparency in EPA rulemakings – and hold hearings on the Pebble Mine and other questionable agency actions, with EPA officials under oath and subject to penalties for perjury, malfeasance and criminality in office.

Presidential candidates must become well versed in these issues, discuss them during interviews and debates, and be prepared to amend, suspend and upend EPA decisions and regulations that were implemented in violation of transparency, integrity, and honest, robust science.

They should also examine how the federal EPA behemoth can be systematically dismantled and replaced with a “committee of the whole” of the 50 state environmental protection agencies – so as to balance and protect our needs for air and water quality, livelihoods, living standards, health and welfare.

State legislators, governors and attorneys general, companies and other aggrieved parties should continue to file lawsuits to block EPA excesses. However, they should stop relying on “abuse of discretion,” as courts almost always bow to government agencies. Instead, they need to demand that every agency decision is grounded in reliable, replicable, testable, peer-reviewed evidence, data and standards – as set forth in the Supreme Court’s Daubert, Joiner and Kumho decisions – and that the agencies demonstrate that they have fully accounted for the negative job, economic, health and welfare impacts of their rulings.

Meanwhile, as Charles Murray (author of By the People: Rebuilding liberty without permission) and others have suggested, states, communities, companies and individuals should engage in a new form of “systemic” civil disobedience: refusing to bow to harmful, nonsensical, tyrannical EPA regulations.

In short, we should take Dylan Thomas’s advice – and rage, rage against the dying of the light – due to regulations that are dimming the lights in our homes and the light of liberty and American exceptionalism.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-earth money machine.

© May 2015

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121 thoughts on “Curbing EPA abuses

  1. Guarding wetlands.
    The wetlands are a strong source of CH4. (methane for non-science libs)

    • Methane from wetlands. So? Methane is meaningless and does not alter anything in the atmosphere or the climate. It’s half-life in the atmosphere is about 5 years. Nice fact, but no concern of any kind.

      • Seems like methane is a fossil fuel. Only living organisms know how to make methane, they tell us. so that’s how we know its a fossil fuel.
        So I’m all for sequestering methane instead of CO2 which is not a fossil fuel, but is a plant food.
        So the EPA needs to start capturing atmospheric methane, and putting it on the national gas grid.

      • What you say is true, however, methane has the interesting properties of being anaerobically produced, and having negative d13C values measured as low as -100. The d13C values are passed on to the atmospheric CO2 it degrades to. When some commiserate that the -.02 d13C per year in atmospheric Carbon is sooo totally attributable to human emissions at like -24, methane assumes some importance.
        The anaerobic factor is important as well because Ferdinand argues cogently that the oxygen balance controls. Not for anaerobic metabolism. This takes place in soils and in the oceans. Check out the OCO-2:
        https://geosciencebigpicture.files.wordpress.com/2015/05/mainco2mappia18934.jpg
        Following the ITCZ where incident photons strike at 90 degrees, non human Carbon is fairly ripping out of the biosphere. Methanogenisis is by no means the only anaerobic metabolic pathway. These critters survived for billions of years because they adapted.
        We need to take a lesson.

      • I was under the impression that Titan had oceans of methane, it would seem to me that it is not just made in swamps but made by natural processes that have nothing to do with fossils. The fact that Titan exists would also make the idea that oil may not be a fossil fuel, hence renewable.

      • george e. smith: “Seems like methane is a fossil fuel. Only living organisms know how to make methane, they tell us. so that’s how we know its a fossil fuel.”
        There must be a lot of living organisms on Titan then!
        Titan has clouds, rain and lakes, like Earth, but these are composed of methane rather than water. However, methane lakes were seen only at Titan’s poles until now — its tropics around the equator were apparently home to dune fields instead.
        http://www.space.com/16127-titan-tropical-lake-saturn-moon.html

  2. It is absolutely critical to implement the recommendation about cutting budgets, etc, by everyone writing their congressman/woman and US citizens to do just that to EPA. It can be done online. Also submit via online means similar recommendations to Senator Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, and john Boehner, Speaker of the House.

    • Well every polling organization reports that people tell them, overwhelmingly, the US Congress sucks; they’re a bunch od incompetent deadbeats or worse.
      But those same pollees say that their member of Congress; House or Senate, is an absolute whizz kid.
      Well these are the same people who admit they voted for Obama.
      Well they even admit to voting for him twice.
      Even WUWT regulars (some) admit they voted for Obama ; twice !!
      So we are our own worst enemies, and perhaps we deserve what we get.
      One would think that Silicon Valley would have to be the Conservative Capital of the entire world. Full of “entrepeneurs” who just want to do their own thing, and create things.
      Instead, it is a liberal cess pool, with these “entrepeneurs all with their hands out for Government goodies, including H1B visas.
      And lots of people actually buy what these entrepeneurs make, even if it is essentially nothing, wrapped in silk.
      So once again, we deserve what we are getting.
      Meanwhile Manufacturing of real things keeps getting ceded to other countires, because USA environmentalists don’t want any business that disturbs the surface of the earth.
      Everything we have, comes out of the earth, from below the surface.
      So look in the mirror and you’ll see what the problem is.

      • Years of dumbing down American youth has finally paid off for the leftists. Keep them dumb. poor and weaponless.

      • “Years of dumbing down American youth has finally paid off for the leftists. Keep them dumb. poor and weaponless.” Tom in Florida
        The foundations of human intelligence do not come from institutions. According to Attachment theory, brain organization and development within securely, lovingly bonded families is optimal. Without the chaos and drugs at home, the brain is allowed to develop emotional self-regulation, self-control, and to have plenty of extra mental energy to engage in frontal lobe learning. This is what a loving home, older brothers and sisters, and legitimate parents can provide.
        It was a great disadvantage and a handicap to be raised by Boomers who were taking drugs and switching partners. I have come to accept that we children of Boomers were just children of concubines, temporarily taken. We had ridiculous names you would give to pets. We had chaotic changes at home. The Boomer destruction of marriage has been the greatest setback for the rest of us, and for brain development. It can be made up later by God’s healing and by a faithful, lifelong marriage bond. Through loving bonds, it is possible for a dismissively, dissociatively raised child to become loving, attuned, attentive parent. Far more GenXers have been willing to stay home and raise the kids and stay together. Marriage is a lifelong bond and it is possible. The Boomers have attempted to destroy marriage and replace it with Concubinage, which was done away with long ago by Protestants. So do not look to institutionalization to maintain intelligence. Literacy and a good loving home, though not perfect, are the real basis for human intelligence.
        It also helps if you are not malnourished by vegetarian parents when you are little. B12 deficiencies do cause nerve damage. Damage from childhood deficiencies caused by lack of animal products is permanent.

    • I posted the following here on WUWT a few days ago, but significantly after the associated article was released. So I’m including it again here earlier in the comment cycle so that more of you will have a chance to consider it.
      *************
      Several posters here have essentially called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “out of control”. I agree. I believe the number one thing that would restore the power of the U.S. economic engine and put people in this country back to work, while still appropriately protecting our air and water, is to replace the EPA along the lines of what Jay Lehr proposed at the Heartland Institute’s International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC) 9, 2014, Las Vegas, NV.
      Jay Lehr is described on the ICCC9 Speakers page as follows:
      “…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. He has testified before Congress dozens of times, helped write the Clean Water Act, and written 14 books and more than 500 articles on environmental science. For 25 years he headed the Association of Ground Water Scientists and Engineers.”
      http://climateconferences.heartland.org/iccc9-speakers/
      If you haven’t heard this plan to replace the EPA, by one of the gentlemen who actually helped clean up our air and water (the original purpose of the Nixon-era EPA legislation), and who has subsequently seen the organization “jump the shark” under the control of environmental zealots, try the following link.
      http://climateconferences.heartland.org/jay-lehr-iccc9/
      I believe that the replacement of the EPA along the lines Jay Lehr describes is much more in line with the original intent of the US Constitution than what we have now (i.e. States have the power under Mr. Lehr’s proposal, which is much more resistant to hijacking by enviro-terrorists). I also believe that his proposal is the right balance of free-market vs. government regulation (which I believe should fall closer to free-market forces) to ensure that we continue to have close to the cleanest air and water on the planet for our approximately 310,000,000 citizens.
      I hope that all you U.S. citizens seeing this Jay Lehr proposal talk it up with your U.S Congresspersons.
      Bruce

    • good, saved me finding it.
      the people of Crimea asked russia to ally with them, in a legal vote.
      and chevronn exxon etc sure want the ukraines resourcesas does monmongrels and the rest..
      I see that bidens relative got to advisory position and then into one of the oil corps pdq too
      if the writer hadnt had to sledge Putin it would have been a decent enough article.

    • To disagree or give a different opinion is not to be a troll.
      The Ukranian Crisis was probably perpetrated by the US to try to destabilise an increasingly powerful Russia who were beginning to get on ever more friendly terms with the EU.
      But its difficult to know the truth as the media is no longer free, fair or unbiased (on both sides). If the US were given sanctions for every time they interfered in another country they’d be as isolated as North Korea is.
      The article gives a somewhat blinkered view as to why the CIA were in the Ukraine but you wonder why they were there in the first place particularly the director.
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/melikkaylan/2014/04/16/why-cia-director-brennan-visited-kiev-in-ukraine-the-covert-war-has-begun/
      But this is a climate site not politics………..and I’m not quite sure why the article started with bashing Putin in the first place.

      • Michael
        “to try to destabilise an increasingly powerful Russia who were beginning to get on ever more friendly terms with the EU”
        Well, until the collapse in oil prices [largely thanks to the fracking boom in the US, plus the Saudi decision to pump until the apples drop, to try to head off the said fracking boom, the friendliness was of the –
        Putin – I have you by the throat. Pay for my life-sustaining gas!
        EU – Friend – that I will right – Ahhh – not TOO tight – right willingly!
        | type
        [PS: 2018 World Cup. I am sure Putin never paid a cent in bribes: he might have indicated he knew where the voters lived, perhaps . . . .
        No analogy with the 2022 World Cup.]
        Such a shame how the EU’s right-on policies have led to the decimation of UK major power supplies. Some useful idiots, some tree-huggers, and perhaps some with too big a silver spoon in their mouths – and who, frankly, do not understand even the “Janet and John” versions of the science cooked up by – more-or-less – impartial civil servants.
        Such a shame – or planned. Surely not.
        Auto

    • Putin didn’t annex anything – that’s just western propaganda.
      They had a referendum and succeeded following the U.S./NATO coup.
      _______________________________
      Ah, this is how national politics works nowadays, eh? So if the US organised a poll in Mexico, and won a majority, the US could just walk in and take over most of Mexico. Is this how it works, eh?
      I suppose there is a precedent for this. Stalin agreed with HitIer that the Poles really wanted to be Russian and German, and so they strolled in and took over the whole country. It is called Ribbentrop Diplomacy, and Russia is a past-master at it.
      Russia strolled into Estonia, deported its people to the gulags, replaced them with Russians and declared the region to be Russian.
      Russia strolled into Latvia, deported its people to the gulags, replaced them with Russians and declared the region to be Russian.
      Russia strolled into North Ossetia, deported its people to the gulags, replaced them with Russians and declared the region to be Russian.
      This is why the Estonians and Latvians greeted the Waffen SS in the 1940s as liberating heros, because of the genocide of the Russians. In fact, the Latvians raised a memorial to the Waffen SS in 2002, but were told to take it down by the EU. Go to the Museum of the Occupation in Estonia and Latvia, to see what Russia does to its neighbours in the name of ‘liberation’.
      Ralph

      • P.S.
        The Museum of the Occupation refers to the Russians, not the Germans. For the 1940s German era in the Batltics, you need to visit the Museum of Liberation.
        The poitics of the East is more complex than Hollywod will admit. No black and white there, I can tell you.
        Ralph

      • Silver Ralph: Before someone cries ‘not true!’, my mother was from Latvia. Her husband was in the Latvian army, and executed on trumped-up charges as an ‘enemy of the state’ when the Russian communists poured into Latvia. She had nothing against the ordinary Russian people, but always said that the invading Germans treated the Latvians much better than the communists – indeed, the Germans were welcomed, as you point out.

    • I wish that’s how the world worked. I wouldn’t mind seeing CA being annexed by Mexico after such a referendum.
      BTW, how much are you getting paid to troll sites and defend Putin? No use denying it; that cat’s out of the bag.

      • A better idea is for CA to annex Mexico….better army, better economy, and after all, we already have several million of its citizens.

    • The coup in Kiev was illegal and the ‘election’ was a fake since half of the country disputed the coup in the first place.

  3. There’s always air freshener (re the shower behaviour modification). Also, state broadcasters could endorse the medieval as a time of great cultural achievements and make a return to the sanitary standards of the day fashionable. Hope they look into shaving habits as well!

  4. The “;little o” is proving to be the worlds worst school-yard bully in his own kindergarten..Shame America wake up and dump this embarrassment and his sycophantic cronies!

  5. Someone doesn’t understand that it is the western dominated elitist global ‘mafia’ that rules the roost…and while agw is meant to be their biggest scam ever when implemented, in the meantime they go about their other business….they know FIFA has become a goldmine for the present leadership and they want to take it over….Putin said as much…he knows..

  6. Just this week, EPA announced that it will henceforth regulate any ponds, puddles, creeks, ditches and other waters that have a “significant nexus” to navigable waterways, even if that ill-defined connection enjoys six degrees of separation from streams in which you can actually paddle a kayak.
    I once asked the nice ranger lady just exactly what were “vernal ponds?” Seeing as this was late spring and New England her reply was classic; “wicked big puddles.”

  7. There is really only one solution to this problem and I think that everyone knows what it is.

  8. I am surprised that some enterprising lawyer hasn’t launched a class action lawsuit against the EPA for the damage it has caused to the public it is supposed to “Protect”. Maybe that is an indication of how deeply entrenched the EPA is in the system. No one dares argue.

    • “No one dares argue.”
      More accurately, no one can (financially) afford to argue. It’s kinda tough going up against an organization that effectively has unlimited legal resources at its disposal.

      • There are rumblings of beginning a well-funded (Koch Brothers?) organization that uses high-powered lawyers that will defend, free of charge, the small farmers and ranchers hauled into court by the EPA.

      • Perhaps a few red-state attorneys-general will join together and file multiple RICO charges against them (many states have their own RICO laws similar to the Feds). I would gladly pay more in state taxes to fund that.

    • Big oil commonly gives into ludicrous EPA requirements for several reasons. Lawsuits by third parties trying to reduce regulations can actually get thrown out due to lack of standing. This happened on the CO2 tailoring rule lawsuit, which actively said that no one could challenge the tailoring rule since it “reduced” regulation.
      1: Our funds are limited, theirs aren’t.
      2: We have more important things to do, such as run our business. Only a tiny fraction of our funds are available to press lawsuits, and getting into an ideological fight that costs tens of millions in legal fees isn’t fiduciarily responsible. Plus, we can’t get our money back like the non-profits do even if we win.
      3: The deck is stacked against us. The wording of regulations and permits is law, even when it makes no sense or acts to increase pollution. Plus, the courts don’t understand or care. You effectively have to prove that it was enacted criminally or creates an actual catch-22 and cannot be complied with (not effectively impossible, but actually impossible). This has actually begun with Flare steam regulations, as it forms an impossible compliance situation for many emitters, but it is, at best, slow to gain momentum.
      4: The public at large is against us due to ignorance. In “polluters versus regulators”, people side with the EPA without even thinking. It’s Captain Planet versus Sly Sludge. No one wants that bad publicity.
      5: Even if we win, we lose. In the small chance that we take them to court and prevail on some minor point, we have done nothing but paint a giant target on our backs. No one can survive a nightmare audit without hundreds of items being found. Every missed checkmark, every misdated or lost logsheet, every misentered variable on an emission inventory, every line of the federal regulations that the state actually doesn’t enforce because the requirement is unreasonable (you’d be shocked at how many of those there are), fully enforced. No one is willing to invite that hammer on themselves.
      So, there’s your answer.

      • And sadly enough that is how they operate, Has been going on for decades and it always fails although the destruction it leaves is beyond imagination, just look at every socialist country on this planet, and we are next. There is after the last 7 years no stopping it.

      • Can you explain “flare steam regulations”? Is this snuffing steam for flare columns?

  9. The Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. § 801-808), was enacted by the United States Congress as section 251 of the Contract with America Advancement Act of 1996 (Pub.L. 104–121), also known as the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA). The law empowers Congress to review, by means of an expedited legislative process, new federal regulations issued by government agencies and, by passage of a joint resolution, to overrule a regulation. Congress is given 60 days to disapprove, after which the rule will go into effect. (wikipedia)
    CRA is the first and quickest way for Congress to block this monstrous appropriation of private property. It will bring unwelcome publicity to the administration. It will put tremendous pressure on Democrats to overrule the regulation – and create voter backlash if they don’t. This is overreach almost everybody can understand because it effects the many (all of us).
    Did you know Nixon created the EPA with an executive order? Who needs congress?
    For more than forty years the ESA (endangered species act) has wrecked havoc on the property uses and values of Americans and Congress has done nothing to amend the Act. Congress needs to act. They must act.

    • Memory says that SCOTUS overthrew either that or a similar Congressional veto legislation about Executive regulations. Sadly, I can’t remember the name of the case; but you might want to look into it.

  10. Crimea was not annexed by Putin. They seperated from Ukraine by a unanimous referendum without a shot fired. The Maiden stormed the capital under the banner of a Nazi collaborator and was installed by the British empire through Obama.

      • Well, what is your version, Alexander? Lee tells the truth. Putin used the exact same playbook as Clinton used when he separated Kosovo from Serbia. Only that Putin did not shoot Kiev to rubble beforehand. There were even OSCE observers during the vote on Crimea. The Russians used tranparent ballot boxes, as recommended by the OSCE, which interestingly is NOT done in Germany, and when reporting about the ballot in Crimea, the excessively corrupt German state media produced their 2 minute hate of the day item raging about how Putin uses TRANSPARENT BALLOT BOXES! Which in their tiny bird brains was somehow bad.
        The West has lost all credibility there, and now has no more. It looks like they found, pushing the Warmunist pseudoscience down people’s throats worked so well, why bother with ANY rationality anymore.
        I think it is a positive feedback: Once you decide to push through your decisions based on obviously fraudulent conjecture, honest people become a danger to your organisation, and you must stop hiring them. It goes downhill from there, it amplifies itself, now you can only hire from the scoundrels, and they help themselves and hire bigger scoundrels… The beginning is slow, the end is very fast.

      • Paul,
        The Empire probably reached its peak in the mid 19th Century – I’m not going to debate a decade, let alone a year – and so was in comparative decline by the mid-20th century, and had been for – say – three generations.
        Still powerful enough to hold off the three Axis powers until Churchill’s genius brought ‘the New World to the rescue of the Old’ . .
        [Three, yes, for a few hours in early December 1941. Mostly two, I know].
        But David C’s comment is [I understand] fairly based on FDR’s war aims : –
        1 Defeat Nazi Germany
        2 Break up the British Empire
        3 Inhibit Stalin’s USSR
        [my numbering may be imperfect – it’s over 40 years since I did this at school . . . .]
        Auto

    • >>Crimea was not annexed by Putin.
      As I said above – if the US polled north Mexico, and got a majority, does that mean the US can just walk in a take over Mexico? Is that how international politics works, nowadays??
      R

      • Look, Crimea was part of Russia until 1954 and was signed over to the Ukraine Soviet Republic in 1954 without any referendum and to the angst of the Russians living there. However, this point should be noted well: Sevastopol in Crimea was designated by the Soviet Union as a city of strategic importance to the Union.
        When Russians overthrew the Soviet regime in 1991, Yeltsin was confronted with the Sevastopol question. As the continuer state to the Soviet Union’s responsibilities and obligations, Sevastopol (if not Crimea) should revert to Russian control. Since it was the Soviets that had signed it over in the first place there would not have been a legal issue with it being reunited had Yeltsin done so.
        The other point I would make is a more general one. Outside of the stable and mature democracies of western europe, much of the world’s geopolitcal borders have changed and will continue to change. Former Soviet republics, middle eastern states and former Yugoslavia to name a few, are the result of territories carved up by hegemonic powers and empires with scant regard to the nations of peoples who lived there. One of the greatest tragedies is the carve up of Kurdistan when European powers divided up the middle east after the first world war. I don’t suspect many would object if Kurdistan was reunited with itself – it is one of the few stable political regions in the area.
        Boundaries have been and will continue to be redrawn for generations until the mistakes and greed of the empires of the past have been put right and nations reform along whatever cultural or ethnic identities suites them. It is not for us to dictate this to them – we have already caused untold problems in the past.

  11. Once the takers have seized control of a formerly productive system, can it be saved?
    The bureaus are a classic example of deadly help.
    A little administrative order is required to impose the raw power of government force in our name and to our apparent benefit.
    As civilization is a richer lifestyle than tribalism.
    However the wealth and power of the means of government represents endless temptation to the lazy and power-hungry.
    Unwatched our bureaucracies become what we see today, out of control madhouses, the law is unknown and unknowable. Administered at whim with preferential favour to those on the inside.
    If you doubt this, just try having an openly incompetent arrogant fool, held accountable by either their bureaucratic masters or your political oversight elected creature.
    The magna carta is a symbol of a concept they do not understand.
    That petty tyrants can and do make up the rules as they feel like is only obvious to those of us on the sharp end of their insanity.
    I keep returning to the idea that our government apparatus now costs us more wealth than civilization provides.
    Tribalism may be a more cost effective social order .
    Seriously considering the cost of spitting on my hands.

  12. “State legislators, governors and attorneys general, companies and other aggrieved parties should continue to file lawsuits to block EPA excesses… states, communities, companies and individuals should engage in a new form of “systemic” civil disobedience: refusing to bow to harmful, nonsensical, tyrannical EPA regulations.”
    ————–
    Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin recently took another step in the right direction by ordering the state Department of Environmental Quality to not comply with EPA edicts to develop a state plan to reduce CO2 emissions.
    http://okenergytoday.com/2015/04/governor-fallin-defies-epa-and-president-obama/

  13. I think an off-shoot of EPA anichromaniacy is the power that has been granted to conservation agents (as compared to normal policemen). They need no warrant and it’s their story vs. yours, all in the name of protecting wild animals which more often are hit by vehicles than properly harvested.

  14. This is astonishing. CAGW has become a monster. There is no CAGW problem to solve, based on the science.
    The crisis is the uncontrolled destruction of our industrial base, to fight a war against the emission of a gas that is essential for life on this planet.
    The general voter has no idea what is going on.
    This is multi levels of madness.

    • YEP, but it is working for them, I have not enough time to fight, spending most of it trying to survive.

  15. The essential difficulty with the EPA is the idea that it should be based on science rather than engineering. Given that science is the intersection of philosophy (theory/metaphysics) and engineering (replicable experiment) it’s small wonder that the EPA would choose to focus solely on the philosophical side whenever it was necessary to scratch a pit itch.

      • What does philosophy or metaphysics have to do with either engineering or science.
        I think the prefix “meta” has a distinct meaning. Well it’s a good synonym for the French word “faux.”

      • george, metaphysics have nothing to do with engineering at all. But science is cross disciplinary; it embeds both philosophy and engineering. And while we might like otherwise, it freely discards either field whenever it feels like. That’s how things like Newton’s Gravity (“Hypothesis non fingo.”) and purely philosophical (Theroetical [anything]) frameworks are both considered science.

    • The EPA was never about science. It has always been about ideology, regardless of what the brochure states. I was around when it was formed, as a semi-radical biologist of the first green revolution. EPA science was the factoid that could be pointed to, not the science that could be verified.

  16. The GOP-run Congress simply needs to reduce EPA funding by 40% including salaries to pay civil services salaries.

    • Joelbryan. How will this happen? Our House and Senate leaders campaigned to stop Obamacare, stop radical EPA over-reaching, stop illegal executive actions, etc., etc. Then when elected, they have a press conference and say they oppose Obama and the radical leftists Democrats, blah, blah, blah.
      Then they roll over and give Obama everything he wants until the next election of press conference.
      The establishment Republicans are an appendage of the Democrat Party.

      • “The establishment Republicans are an appendage of the Democrat Party.” Leonard Lane
        Of course it is awfully sweet of the NRCC to offer to provide Jeb Bush for Hillary Clinton to run against.

  17. Dr. Driessen, your anti-Putin obsession is getting boring. the US indicting FIFA is pure politics. clean up your own sports yards:
    30 May: Daily Caller: John Steigerwald: FIFA? What About The NFL, MLB, NBA And NHL?
    How is the continued confiscation of billions of taxpayer dollars to give to NFL owners any less corrupt than what’s been going on with FIFA for the last 20 or 30 years?…
    Spare me the outrage and shock over the corruption in soccer’s governing body.
    The money being used to grease the palms of the slimy bureaucrats who control soccer worldwide is peanuts compared to what’s been given, and will continue to be given, to the owners of NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL owners in America.
    http://dailycaller.com/2015/05/30/fifa-what-about-the-nfl-mlb-nba-and-nhl/
    former Communist, Lord Triesman, has no conflict of interest in his call for a boycott!
    30 May: UK Mirror: Anthony Clavane: Lord Triesman calls on England to boycott World Cup 2018 even if Sepp Blatter resigns as FIFA president
    Lord Triesman has called on Roy Hodgson’s team to join a boycott of the 2018 World Cup – and insists England would be the ideal country to replace Russia as hosts…
    Triesman, who spearheaded England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup, said…
    Triesman, who was forced to resign as FA chairman after being taped making derogatory remarks about rival bids, added: “I’m not surprised Blatter was re-elected as prersident…
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/lord-triesman-calls-england-boycott-5793189

    • The ability of various sports franchises to provoke politicians at all levels into bidding wars paid for with tax payer money to get and keep teams is as obscene as it is legal. While the US investigation into FIFA may well have been politically motivated, the evidence uncovered is of conduct that is illegal.

    • Please, note that not one of the characters defending Putin in this thread has ever shown up before. They are paid to search for “Putin” on western forums, and to pretend being various personalities. Their pay is low; nothing compared with the hefty 30 pieces of silver. But again, Judas was alone, and they are many.

      • I show up from time to time, in this case I don’t defend Putin(see my comments at 2.11am) but the stance of the Russian federation.

      • I have been here a while but tell us Alexander, what do you think Mr Driessden had to gain from including Putin bashing with this story?
        Russia and the entire block of BRICK nations are firmly against the genecidal agenda being thrust upon us and have committed to a policy of global development. It is time to realize who our friends really are.

    • It was not a coincidence that the FIFA raids happened just before the election. Like Ukraine it seems FIFA is due for a regime change. I suspect gay rights in Russia will smear the headlines now just like in Sochi.
      It seems Mr Driesson has decided to mix some political propaganda with his climate news.

  18. “This is the same Mr. Putin… whose close cronies have been secretly channeling millions of dollars to US and EU environmentalist groups to oppose both American oil drilling in the Arctic and hydraulic fracturing – the game-changing process that is producing so much oil and gas that it’s slashed energy prices … and Russian revenues.”
    Perhaps there is a song in the offing.
    Imagine no blast furnaces in America
    It’s easy if you try
    No cattle for beef and dairy
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people
    With no coal or gas
    You may say I;m a dreamer
    But we can grow so much less food
    And the world will live as one

  19. “They should also examine how the federal EPA can be systematically dismantled and replaced with a “committee of the whole” of the 50 state environmental protection agencies”
    No, no, no, no, no – let the states do it individually. Otherwise you’re going to just create another bureaucratic nightmare. It’s bad enough that every agency, whether state or federal, already has their own little mini-EPA departments. Take a look at the federal and state parks – they have their environmental divisions. And the duplication of services doesn’t stop there. Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop! Dismantle the entire nightmare of federal government and make the states have individual departments with no duplication of services in any department.

  20. It’s a bit rich for an American to accuse a Russian of attempting to take control of other countries.
    It would be better if such dubious politics were kept out of WUWT.
    It’s supposed to be about science, not prejudice.
    And just to make it clear, as a Brit, I am somewhat ashamed of the track record of my country in respect of world politics too.

    • It would be better if such dubious politics were kept out of WUWT.
      It’s supposed to be about science, not prejudice.

      And then you go and spoil it all by saying somethin’ stupid =

  21. The introduction is somewhat controversial to say.
    Even our Dutch lawyers agreed that Putin has a point concerning muddling in other countries. Putin din’t talk about bribing because that happens everywhere.
    Crimea was Russian federation tertitory until it was annexed by Ykraine as a “gift”, no one understood at the breakup of the Soviet Union that it didn’t return to the Russian Federation. The policy of te West was to reduce the Russian Federation as much as possible. Even people in Ykraine were surprised, except the Bandera fascists of West Ykraine. So it’s understandable Russia saw the opportunity to take it back after the West supported coup in Kiev(Maidan). Maybe not elegant but justifiable.
    How dirty the issue is handled by the West is demonstrated by the downing of MH17. 3days before the Kiev administration told the western representatives about the risks of flying over the area, the dutch authorities don’t want to reveal what was disscussed because of political and liable reason.
    And what to think about the appointment of the former president of Georgia as governor of Odessa!?The etnic clinsing of the DonBass region!?
    I drove by car over 10000 km to see it with my own eyes.

    • Crimea has always been Russian, but, it wasn’t ‘annexed’ by Ukraine. It was given to it by the Supreme Soviet in 1954. The ‘Presidium of the Supreme Soviet’ ruled all of the various ‘federations’ of the Union of Soviet Federated Socialist Republics, which included the Russian Federated Socialist Republic. While you can debate the ‘legality’ of the Presidium’s action (and that the prime mover was Khrushchev).
      The ‘real’ purpose of the move was to ‘bind Ukraine eternally to Russia’ and help erase the ‘national’ identity of the various SSRs into one overall Soviet Socialist Republic. Didn’t turn out to well tho.

      • If that was the intention they should have returned the ‘gift’ when Soviet breakup was taking place in 1991, by the way Krutchev was of Ukrain origin and party leader at that time, he decided and if you didn’t agree a oneway ticket to Magadan was the alternative.

  22. Mr Putin needs the US to be his Oceania. He can’t use the other ‘budding’ Superpower, China because they share a very long border and the Chinese, unlike the US, might actually take action over some of the stuff he does to keep his people’s focus on a faux threat outward.

  23. I think you left out a few of Mr Putin’s activities, such as heavily funding groups opposed to American fracking, as a way of limiting competition and keeping the price of oil artificially high to support his military buildup. After all oil is the primary monetary resource for Russia, without high ($100bbl+) oil prices the Russian economy goes into the tank.

  24. The better solution is an Article V convention to put limits on Federal powers. Today there are no limits except what the Federal system decides. Consider the Federals write the laws an/or Executive Orders, Federal agencies implement and Federal courts decide how much power they (the Federals) want to deploy at a given point in time.
    Simple put, the fatal flaw in the Constitution was discovered very early in Marbury and simply expanded over the intervening 200+ years. There should have been, for example, a super-court composed of Chief Justices of each State that could be empanelled at the request of 10 or more State Attorney Generals to review the SCOTUS decisions. Today, all you need are five totalitarian minded people to implement totalitarian rule regardless of “The People”. And they can do it based on PR, propaganda or even the junk science of CO2 as “pollution”.
    Otherwise, at best, you’re just delaying the final act in a system driving toward the rise of the American version of Putin.

  25. It happens on both sides of the aisle; take an idea which has merit (but only to a point), and hold that idea above all others, and you take one step away from democratic principles towards a police-state. This applies to ideas such as protecting the environment, national security, and even things like handicap accessibility. Government overreach happens gradually, bit by bit, until we wake up someday and ask ourselves, “how did this happen?” Simple. We allowed it to. Once the structures are put in place in the form of laws, it becomes near-impossible to get rid of them.

    • I’m often misunderstood when I say that Handicap Parking spaces are un-American. We are supposed to be one people with equal protection under the law. Not anymore.
      Now we have “Hate Crimes”. As un-American as handicapped parking because this also divides US citizens into special groups.

      • Weepy Bill McGibbon of 350.org is given to hate speech all the time – their videos are documentary evidence of it. I think hate speech laws are great. It is just that hate speech is tolerated against groups ‘we don’t like’. As long as hate speech is directed against people we all hate, it is considered OK, right?.
        Tom Lehrer said, “There are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!”
        ++++++++
        Incidentally, my use of the term ‘Weepy Bill’ is considered under varsity Equity and Diversity Office rules to be a ‘micro-aggression’ and worthy of sanction because it may cause Weepy Bill discomfort or unease. I won’t apologise for this indiscretion because of Weepy Bill’s illegal yet unprosecuted call for the murder of people who he disagrees with and his promotion in a video of the mock execution of students at schools who bothered to investigate the lies he promotes supporting the erroneous notion of anthropogenic CO2-caused climate change catastrophe. His hate-crime calls to murder are ‘terrorism’ when issued by the likes of ISIS.
        350.org is now supporting campaigns to extend their intolerant views through varsity campuses focussed on causing as much economic damage as possible.
        http://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/divestment/qbacc.pdf
        I feel 350.org should be investigated by CSIS as a foreign terrorist organisation and funding of them blocked with no-fly bans imposed on the chief architects and principal supporters of their violent creed.

      • My correction and apology for misattribution:
        Bill McKibben reports here that the 10:10 video had nothing to do with him and he didn’t like it.
        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/10/01/206816/bill-mckibben-days-that-suck/
        I read on…tt was painful to read that list. Truly, the warmist community is a hateful breed. All the usual garbage about skeptics plus this extraordinary quote from Jim Hansen:
        +++++++++
        NASA’s Hansen: Would recent extreme “events have occurred if atmospheric carbon dioxide had remained at its pre-industrial level of 280 ppm?” The “appropriate answer” is “almost certainly not.”
        +++++++++
        So the world was not plagued by extreme weather before human industrialisation? Let’s check the facts:
        http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/chronological_listing.pdf
        1412 A.D. In England beginning on October 12, there were three floods in the River Thames, one upon another and no ebbing between. The likes of this event was never known before.
        In 1684, the River Thames at London, England froze 11 inches thick. …On the shores of England, France, Flanders and Holland, the sea was frozen a few miles wide in such a way that for more than 14 days, boot packages could not enter the ports on or off. Most birds were killed; in the next summer we saw none. In the woods, many oak trees burst. The frost destroyed almost all the plants and the hopes of the peasants…
        1699 A.D. Charleston, South Carolina in the United States was nearly depopulated by an awful tempest
        and inundation.

        On 25 August 1775, at eight o’clock in the evening, a hurricane from the west, struck Montpellier,
        France. It levelled walls and uprooted trees. The gales lashed for an hour with frightening speeds. But
        only 0.1 inches (3 millimeters) of rain fell during this period. The barometer went down to 736
        millimeters.

        Sandy’s max pressure drop, but over land. Were it not for climate craziness one could say we live in a benign time.

  26. …The Justice Department indictments generated global applause. Now the DOJ needs to conduct an equally zealous investigation into corruption, fraud and collusion in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. Of course, that will never happen – no matter how rampant or flagrant the abuses have been…
    Er…with heavily embedded corruption, a government can investigate foreign affairs reasonably fairly, but cannot investigate itself.
    Which suggests that we should be calling for the Russians, the Indians and the Chinese to investigate the EPA…

  27. Here’s a thought. Replace the EPA with a new organization whose sole task is to facilitate communication among states. Let states and groups of states in the various regions decide how THEY want to proceed with environmental policies that affect them the most.
    Nobody could possibly have a greater stake in preserving and managing each local environment properly than the people living in them. Senators and lobbyists in DC certainly don’t have a clue what to do across the nation. Their only interests are self interests.
    If we gave the new paper tiger agency a name that sounds like a giant bureaucracy, like the Federal Regional Environmental Exchange (FREE), but we didn’t let anyone know anything about it until the legislation replacing the EPA was passed into law (which is how our Republic now operates), big government types are sure to support it.

  28. The first restraint upon government is by a limited budget, and thus by limited funds. But when government gives itself power to create near-infinite money out of thin air, then it has near-infinite funding of near-infinite bureaucracy by which to create and enforce near-infinite regulations each having the weight of law.
    The first order of business of an Article V convention of the States must be to restrain government’s ability to create more money than the citizens want to send in the form of taxes upon themselves. We must stop near-infinite money so we stop near-infinite government.

  29. Ideally, the EPA should be disbanded and all their employees sent to the unemployment line to see how things work in the real world, but that’s unlikely. Realistically, the next best thing would be to drastically cut their funding (at least 80%) and mandate that anything they say is only a suggestion with no power to enforce or coerce anyone.
    Kick the legs out from underneath them and move on.

  30. Remember: demonize Russia and China and we can easily get WWIII.
    WWIII will be super hot, super bad, super polluting and super deadly. Most humanity will die in WWIII. Japan and much of Europe will be rendered uninhabitable as well as huge hunks of the East and West Coasts of North America and half of China and a small segment of Russia.
    The main survivors will be in South America and Africa. If they are lucky.
    And all issues come to this: Humans CAN wreck this planet pretty badly and the tools lie near at hand on a hair trigger setting. Some stupid dispute over very little can, like WWI, launch the annihilation of civilization.

    • Naw, humans can destroy themselves, but won’t have much effect on the planet. There were some 2100-2200 nuclear tests done underground, on the ground, in the air, and underwater, worldwide during the 1950s and 1960s. If targeted, those devices would have eliminate a large part of civilization, yet they had essentially no effect on the earth. As George Carlin was remarked (quote is from memory, may not be exact), “The Earth will be just fine. It’s Man who’s f**ked.”

      • Not one of those test bombs fell on nuclear power plants near major cities. Everyone planning WWIII knows very well now that these are now high target hit points since it renders the places uninhabitable for generations. Imagine Indian Point being nuked.

    • I agree fully. It shows us how propaganda works. Demonize the ‘other’ and aim our ire at it. Russia is very dangerous for this purpose unlike, say, poor little Saddam who was disarmed before we attacked.

    • Really though, the article is on the EPA. The Putin stuff is inconsequential. Putin is KGB, Leopards don’t change their spots. Remember the Cold War?. US vs Russia vs US demonization is old hat. Nothing new. When was it not prevalent? (During the fall of the Soviet Union, perhaps)

      • Is it an article about EPA? What’s the anti Russian rant has to do with it? Moreover, Driessen should know that for many years before Putin was supposedly financing anti fracking groups, we all know reading Bishop Hills blog that the worst anti fracking crowd for a long time were the very British and EU politicians, that included France’s Sarkozy’s Minister NKM… So stop reinventing history here. Europeans did all they could to kill shale gas exploration way before the Ukrainian crisis came to the forefront.

  31. “…that every agency decision is grounded in reliable, replicable, testable, peer-reviewed evidence, data and standards …”
    This does not go far enough. Because of the flagrant abuse of, and the systematic failure of, ‘the peer review process’ it is necessary at least for a while to introduce a public comment period so that objections to the ‘science’ presented by or on behalf of the EPA can be countered with alternative, factual evidence. This is necessary because the one-sided manner in which things have been going for a while.
    EPA regulatory enthusiasm is mostly evidence of empire building. Careers are built in government (including the EPA) for the heck of it, not because they are needed. Bringing the entire physical society under the control of a group that is not answerable to Congress is amazing. In a way it is like the military – if you can drum up enough viable enemies you keep your budget. If there are none, create them, If they are weak, strengthen them until you have justification for ‘action’. Action requires a budget.
    If the Western countries stopped their devotion to warfare and CO2 spending, they could easily develop the rest of the planet to a high standard of sustainable living. Surely there are personal empires to build in there too? Why not try peace for a while? If it doesn’t work, it will be easy to go back to fighting. On climate, why not try scientific sanity for a while? If it doesn’t work, it will be easy to go back to CAGW on the next ENSO uptick. In the meantime, people are cold and hungry.

  32. Well,,,, I don’t want to rant,,,, but,,,,, I was the head operator of a small public water supply for 30 years. 400 connections. I’ve dealt with the epa for a long time. Now that I’m retired, I don’t miss that contact. Every couple years the epa would come out for an inspection. The guy would always be friendly, and positive about the system,,,,to my face. Later, my bosses would get a scathing report that was total bs. Luckily, my bosses, a very big publicly traded company knew the report was bs. We were always in strict compliance, with some of the best water in the state, and the best service record. But the jerks at the epa had to justify their jobs! Things like “Add 6 inches of dirt around the #4 wellhead.” Total two-faced tree huggers. For some reason, they wanted us to sell out to a big company. No complaints mind you! Happy customers. Just the epa frame of mind. I despise them!

  33. Out of all these environments http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environment I would say the knowledge environment has the biggest effect on our everyday lives. You protect and control knowledge or knowing and you control everything the future has to bring . Propaganda Is part of our everyday lives ,definition. Official government communications to the public that are designed to influence opinion. The information may be true or false, but it is always carefully selected for its political effect.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda

  34. Henry chance on May 30, 2015 at 4:47 pm
    Guarding wetlands.
    The wetlands are a strong
    source of CH4. (methane for non-science libs)
    ____
    Yes, your gastro enterities wetlands. Your non-science methane.
    Vegetarian, I suppose.
    Do cope with.

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