The Beginning of the End of EPA

Guest essay by Jay Lehr

At the Republican National Convention last summer, the GOP approved a platform that stated: “We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science.” It also says “We will likewise forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide, something never envisioned when Congress passed the Clean Air Act.”

The GOP followed the lead of President Donald Trump, who in a March debate said he would abolish EPA, and in a May speech in North Dakota condemned “the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of totalitarian tactics” that has “denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet. This is your treasure, and you – the American People – are entitled to share in the riches.”

Trump and the GOP are saying, finally, what millions of people have been thinking for a long time: EPA has become the cause of, not the solution to, the nation’s major environmental problems. It’s time to end EPA.

A Promising Beginning

In the late 1960s, the United States faced real problems regarding the quality of its air and water, waste disposal, and contamination from mining and agriculture. Pollution crossed borders – the borders between private property as well as between cities, states, and nations – and traditional remedies based on private property rights didn’t seem to be working. The public was overly complacent about the possible threat to their safety.

Many scientists, myself included, lobbied the federal government to form a cabinet-level agency to address these problems. [1] In 1971, EPA was born. During the agency’s first 10 years, Congress passed seven legislative acts to protect the environment, including the Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed the Clean Water Act), Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Air Act.

At first, these laws worked well, protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. Problems were identified, measured, exposed, and major investments were made to reduce dangerous emissions and protect the public from exposure to them. EPA and other government agencies regularly report the subsequent dramatic reduction in all the pollutants we originally targeted. By the 1980s, nothing more needed to be done beyond monitoring our continuing success in cleaning up the environment. It was time to declare victory and go home.

EPA Is Now an Obstacle

Beginning around 1981, however, radical Leftists realized they could advance their political agenda by taking over the environmental movement and use it to advocate for ever-more draconian regulations on businesses. Environmentalists allowed this take-over to occur because it brought massive funding from liberal foundations, political power, and prestige. [2]

Politicians realized they could win votes by pandering to the environmental movement, repeating their pseudo-scientific claims, and posing as protectors of nature and the public health. The wind, solar, and ethanol industries saw they could use regulations to handicap competitors or help themselves to public subsidies.

Today, EPA is a captive of activist and special-interest groups. Its regulations have nothing to do with protecting the environment. Its rules account for nearly half of the $2 trillion annual cost of complying with all national regulations in the United States.

In 2008, The Heritage Foundation estimated the costs of EPA’s first proposal to regulate greenhouse gases in the name of fighting global warming were “close to $7 trillion and three million manufacturing jobs lost.” According to Heritage, “the sweep of regulations … could severely affect nearly every major energy-using product from cars to lawnmowers, and a million or more businesses and buildings of all types. And all of this sacrifice is in order to make, at best, a minuscule contribution to an overstated environmental threat.”

President Barack Obama has routinely used EPA to circumvent Congress to impose severe regulations on farmers, ranchers, other private landowners, fisheries, and the energy sector. Just last week, the agency rushed through approval of new fuel efficiency standards for automobiles more than a year ahead of schedule to thwart any attempts by the Trump administration to stop it. Courts and Congress have objected to and tried to limit EPA’s abuses, but without noticeable success. Once a genuine success story, EPA has become the biggest obstacle to further environmental progress.

Replacing EPA

The solution is to return this authority to the states, replacing EPA with a Committee of the Whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies.

State EPAs already have primary responsibility for the implementation of the nation’s environmental laws and EPA regulations. With more than 30 years of experience, these state agencies are ready to take over management of the nation’s environment.

Accountable to 50 governors and state legislatures, state EPAs are more attuned to real-world needs and trade-offs. Located in 50 state capitols, they are less vulnerable to the Left’s massive beltway lobbying machine.

The Committee would be made up of representatives from each state. EPA could be phased out over five years, which could include a one-year preparation period followed by a four-year program in which 25 percent of the agency’s activities would be passed to the Committee each year.

Seventy-five percent of EPA’s budget could be eliminated and most of the remainder would pay for national research labs. A small administrative structure would allow the states to refine existing environmental laws in a manner more suitable to protecting our environment without thwarting the development of our natural resources and energy supplies.

Benefits of Replacing EPA

The federal budget for environmental protection could be reduced from $8.6 billion to $2 billion or less. Staffing could be reduced from more than 15,000 to 300. The real savings, of course, would be in reduction of the $1 trillion in annual regulatory costs EPA imposes each year.

This reform would produce a second huge benefit by ending the government’s war on affordable energy. EPA is the principal funder and advocate of global warming alarmism, the myth that man-made climate change is a crisis. That movement would end on the day EPA’s doors shut, allowing Congress to return to taxpayers and consumers a “peace dividend” amount to some of the $4 billion a day currently spent world-wide on climate change.

Dismantling EPA is one part of a comprehensive set of reforms, many of them discussed by Trump and referred to in the GOP platform, to lighten the massive weight of government regulations on the American people. The nation needs a pro-energy, pro-environment, and pro-jobs agenda that recognizes the tremendous value of the natural resources under our feet.

While the rest of the world stumbles blindly in the grip of an anti-energy and anti-freedom ideology, the U.S. can march ahead and regain its place as the world’s economic and technological leader.

The nation’s environment is in terrific shape, thanks to early efforts by EPA and more recent efforts by state governments and businesses. The nation’s economy and environment will be even better if the federal government gets out of the way.

The EPA has long outlived its usefulness. Let’s return its powers to the states, where they belong.


Jay H. Lehr, Ph.D., jlehr@heartland.org, is science director of The Heartland Institute and editor of The Alternative Energy and Shale Gas Encyclopedia. (Wiley, 2016).

[1] See, for example, references in various footnotes to my testimony in 1973 on behalf of the Clean Water Act before the Subcommittee on the Environment of the Senate Committee on Commerce, 93d Cong., 1st Sess., (1973), here: Thomas J. Douglas, Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 – History and Critique, 5 B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev. 501 (1976),http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/ealr/vol5/iss3/5  andhttp://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1892&context=ealr.

[2] This story is told in many books, including Green Rage: Radical Environmentalism and the Unmaking of Civilization by Christopher Manes (1990), Freezing in the Dark: Money, Power, Politics, and the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy by Ron Arnold, R. (2007), and In a Dark Wood: The Fight Over Forests and the Rising Tyranny of Ecology by Alston Chase (1995).

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241 thoughts on “The Beginning of the End of EPA

  1. Reforming the EPA into an effective science based Agency that actually helps with environmental concerns in a lawful manner is *saving* this troubled Agency. Right now the EPA is highly corrupt with special relationships to big green lobbyists who dictate policy. This is long overdue.

    • In the hopes that this NOTICE TO ALL HASTY READERS will prevent even more “no (sniff), you are not right to want to abolish the EPA, it should be reformed” non-sequitur comments…..):

      Reforming the EPA

      hunter

      From the posted article:

      transform the EPA … into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science. …

      #(:))

      • Sorry, the proposed “reform” would completely gut the EPA. Virtually every opinion poll taken on the subject in recent months as well as for decades shows extremely strong support for the EPA as a necessary governmental function for the Federal government. If the Republicans were to actually gut the EPA (via as subterfuge of creating a 50-state commission), the voters will revolt and send the GOP back to the back bench.

        This is massive over-reaction. The EPA needs stricter, more explicit lawmaking to carefully define what the Agency can do and must do, and not do. However, the real blame in all this is Congress, for failing to do its job. Congress continually writes vague laws and leaves it up to agencies to figure it all out. What that means is bad rulemaking, and everybody gets whipsawed every four to eight years with a change of administration, which we’ve seen repeatedly since the EPA was created back in 1970.

        But as they say, “don’t piss down my leg and tell me it’s the rain” … and now, don’t tell me that gutting the EPA is what the people want. The people want a watchdog environmental agency that is well equipped to do its job .. and it is the job of Congress to define specifically what that job is, and isn’t.

      • EPA should not be allowed to make ANY regulations.

        They should suggest them to congress , and let congress decide.

        Having a partisan, toxic, politically far-left body (or far right) being able to make regulations of any sort is bound to be used by radical activists such as Greenpiece, WWFraud etc.

      • DuaneT: Re: completely gut the EPA.

        Even taking as a given your unsupported assertion

        (which is contradicted by the posted article,

        The Committee would be made up of representatives from each state. EPA could be phased out over five years, which could include a one-year preparation period followed by a four-year program in which 25 percent of the agency’s activities would be passed to the Committee each year.

        ),

        your underlying point (about the overhaul of the EPA being anti-democracy) is wrong.

        1. Donald Trump made his plans re: the EPA abundantly clear.
        2. He won the election.
        and
        3. That “virtually every opinion poll” showed (again, you provide no evidence, so, giving you the benefit of the doubt, here) “strong support” for the EPA as an agency does not = “keep the EPA as it is now.”

        GO, DONALD TRUMP, you are doing a GREAT JOB!

        Janice the American Voter All for “Gutting” the EPA

      • Duane Truitt, would these be the same polls that had [Hillary] winning a 90% certainty. The polls, news papers and much of bureaucracy are left leaning, so the “polls” would automatically be suspect

        [edited for content -mod]

      • Duane Truitt January 25, 2017 at 10:43 am
        “the EPA as a necessary governmental function”

        Not just wrong, but grossly wrong if contrasted with, say, the FAA and its present air traffic control functions OR our manned border-crossings with their ICE staff …

      • Harry Heeringa January 25, 2017 at 1:41 pm
        Duane Truitt, would these be the same polls that had [Hillary] winning a 90% certainty.

        The polls that said thatHillary would get 2% more votes than Trump, guess what, they were right.

    • abolish the EPA.
      ‘protect the environment’ is a slogan.
      if there is damage, then one makes a claim and takes it to court.
      if there is no damage there is no claim.
      a protection racket is a racket.

      • Precisely! Exactly how does one “protect” the environment? Is there some sort of magic ‘shield’ we can conjure? Harry Potter would be proud!
        Other than that, who say how much, where and when our property and other rights can be violated? The courts are not a perfect venue for resolving these issues but they ARE better than anything else that has been tried – for many and various reasons.

  2. If those who have created the problems remain in the state organizations we will be singing the same tune just in a different key. More has to change, regulations removed and bogus restrictions lifted.

    • Exactly. Like a hydra. We have state-based EPAs here and they act in concert, and implement every hare-brained idea from around the world. Latest push is to adopt CARB compliant fuel cans, among other more damaging ideas.

    • First, state agencies are closer to the people and easier for the people to influence.
      Secondly, one state going bonkers only impacts the residents of that state, not the whole US.

      • MarkW says: “one state going bonkers only impacts the residents of that state.”

        Except when one state dumps raw sewage into the river that runs into another state. Also air pollution does not respect state boundaries.

      • Rob Bradley, I’m sure that MarkW, by saying, one state going bonkers, meant such nonsense as regulating CO2 emissions. Also, he no doubt thought it would be understood by his readers that he realized that the federal EPA would still regulate genuine pollution of navigable waterways and of the air.

    • Yes… true… but then it will be on a state level where it can be dealt with more readily. The big change is the accountability and people’s access to the culprits. Besides, if Californians and New Yorkers want to keep regulating themselves into the stone age, that is their choice.

      Freedom of choice is important, and the ability to compare outcomes would be very educational don’t you think?

  3. EPA Is Now an Obstacle

    Patrick Moore says the same thing about Greenpeace.

    It was created to solve a problem.
    The problem was solved.
    During the process it got a lot of funding.
    Now it is an institution seeking a problem to solve so it can keep the money flowing.

    It works for both.

  4. And where the US leads, other western countries tend to follow, albeit reluctantly and slowly. This gives hope to many nations.

    • Indeed, starting with Canada.

      Here in Ontari-owe (with roughly double the debt per person of California), we have a provincial government that has been on a “green” energy binge for more than 10 years, encouraging intermittent, unmanageable energy production from wind turbines and solar panels through high guaranteed rates for 20 years (up to 17cents and 80 cents CDN per kWh, respectively).

      The provincial professional engineers association and the auditor general have reported on the actual results that include: amongst the highest electricity prices in North America, continuing to escalate indefinitely at rates far greater than inflation; virtually nothing in the way of the promised “green” jobs or an economy that has been “reinvented”; and very little or no CO2 reduction (whether this is necessary or desirable is a separate discussion).

      Federally, we have a new carbon tax coming down the pipe, but there has been little or no public discussion about costs to individuals and society as a whole, establishment of measurable objectives for the policy, or consideration of experience elsewhere.

      In my view, implementing new policies based on Faith and Hope is one thing. However, it is irresponsible to continue on this path in spite of evidence that the objectives cannot be achieved, or that the costs of achieving them are far greater than estimated or assumed.

      Even so, Faith and Hope continued to be determining factors for Canada’s energy and environmental policies – until the election of Mr. Trump.

      In my view, we in Canada have reason to be more than “hopeful” of change – I think the nature and extent of the economic and other ties between the US and Canada will actually FORCE our brainless politicians here to make the necessary changes, although it will clearly take some time.

      • Whether you realize it or not, the end goal behind “green policies,” i.e. “Sustainability,” is a world where energy production and usage is ZERO! U.N.Agenda21, Agenda2030,Agenda2050 is a fantasyland future in which we live in harmony with nature. In short it will be a world in which we are forced to live in the dark ages.

    • But where the clean-up is needed post haste is in the aisle marked with the sign “US Department of Education” …… simply because it is the per se, “breeder Agency” that is the driving source or root-cause of all the problems that are being attributed to the EPA, DoE and other Federal Government Agencies.

      It will have no lasting effect whatsoever to per se “clean house” in those government agencies (EPA, DoE, NASA, etc.) ……. if the same “house cleaning” is not instigated in/upon the US Public School System (including institutions of higher education) simply because the overwhelming majority of their “graduates” are neither competent or capable to replace those being outed from said Agencies.

      • The tyrants always target the kids. The Ottomans would grab kids from conquered lands and raise them in special indoctrination schools to be rabidly loyal soldiers for the Ottoman empire. The Soviets were careful to make certain schools raised proper little communists. Mao had the red scarf brigades for children. The Germans in the 1930’s did the same. In Peru the “shining path” communist/terrorist group was led through a network of corrupt educators seeking to indoctrinate children. Breaking down the soft – and not so soft= indoctrination our education system has devolved into is vital.

      • The growth in federal administrative power has resulted in massive influx of fiscal resources to virtually all players private and public. This is the wedge that can be used to change all of the policies and programs. The federal government should respect the autonomy of universities. It can, however, effect significant change by changing funding priorities. Many universities would be in deep doggie dew if federal support was withdrawn. Changes in federal priorities, however, could significantly impact which programs are emphasized, added or dropped.

        For example, funding for CO2 based models could be cut because they have been run thousands of time with the same results and no narrowing of 20 yo projections (3c +/- 1.5C). Climate research monies could be specified for ocean dynamics and the cloud/precipitation conundrum – two of the known gaping holes in the models. This would move climate science forward without continuation of the current dogma. We should be investigating the question marks (data inputs) to improve the models rather than drive the same-old same-old. It also would be wise to review the output of the many centres running the models and pick one or two private groups (University-based) and one federal group to be centres for model development. Most of the rest are redundant, and eating huge sums of limited resources that could be used elsewhere. If the wealthy NGOs wish to fund research centres rather than advocates and lawyers, it should be welcomed. The lawyers are used to enact the sue-and-settle practice, something which has to be stopped in order to return policy and regulation control to the government without special interest interference.

        If the coercive power of money to universities isn’t tied to ascribing to the “sustainability” agenda of the highly political UN, maybe the curriculum would broaden to again encompass diversity of thought, and our young people will again be taught how to think instead of what to think.

        .

      • hunter: “The tyrants always target the kids.”
        Don’t forget Obama’s “Dreamers” program for bringing in Central American children to swell the ranks of future Democrat voters.

  5. “The Committee would be made up of representatives from each state. EPA could be phased out over five years, which could include a one-year preparation period followed by a four-year program in which 25 percent of the agency’s activities would be passed to the Committee each year.”

    Five years? I don’t believe that President Trump and the new head of the EPA will either have the patience or desire to take five years. If you know anything about our President’s past, he will eliminate the EPA in much less time.

  6. This is surely a mistake…

    Weakening and removing the regulations will send the US back to the 1960s state the author of this piece describes.

    Large corporations have a track record of pollution and evading their responsibilities in the last few decades, even with a full on EPA.

    You’ll pay for this in poisoned children.

    • Now now, what Trump said during his campaign was about refocussing the EPA onto real pollution. Not plant food.

    • OMG, the “think of the children” future mythical hobgoblin again.

      “poisoned children”. Grow up Griff.

      • Poisoned children like those in Flint, for example, who were not protected by the EPA which was too busy staring at the sky going “OMG look at all that invisible non-toxic CO2 pollution. “

      • “I’m trying to think of something which actually might get through to you lot…”

        With your history of mendacity and slandering the likes of Willie Soon, Susan Cockcroft and Patrick Moore – to name but three of the individuals you have attempted to discredit professionally with your lies, plus your continuous lying about aspects of climate science, of which you are entirely ignorant, you’ve got no chance whatsoever.

        So you can tell your paymasters you’ve been blown, you pathetic little troll.

        Tough.

    • “You’ll pay for this in poisoned children.”

      Oh the emotive imagery of it.

      Are aborted children OK though?

      Just so we are clear as to which children have value.?

      • ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++and more +s.

      • “Only if they are not poisoned and can be disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.”

        Or recycled?

      • Thank you for pointing out the continuing hypocrisy of the left wing. They only pretend to care about children or similar groups when it serves a propaganda purpose.

    • Griff January 25, 2017 at 3:53 am
      This is surely a mistake…

      “You’ll pay for this in poisoned children.”
      ………………………………………………………

      You’re right Griff, yes you are, totally !! We are presently paying for it with purposely poisoned childrens minds.

    • Large corporations have a track record of pollution and evading their responsibilities in the last few decades, even with a full on EPA.

      There is also the possibility of disputes between states. Dumping the EPA’s responsibilities onto the states also leads to duplication of effort between the states. There are lots of good reasons why getting rid of the EPA is a bad idea. We don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water.

      The EPA is not the only agency that can pass regulations that make us poorer and less free. Did you know that there are secret regulations? Did you know that corporate lobbyists are allowed to come up with regulations to foist on the rest of us? link? Just getting rid of the EPA doesn’t really solve the larger problem that we are being regulated without our permission and sometimes without our knowledge.

      • I suggest that we create a new “Oversight Panel” of independent experts (plus assistants) to criticize the EPA’s outputs and decisions publicly.
        I think other agencies and departments could be better reined in by having such red teams assigned to oversee them too.

    • You’re as clueless on this topic as you are on everything else you mention, Griff.

      For example, are you suggesting that children would benefit from a drastic reduction in what you consider poisonous CO2?

      If so, you’re deranged.

    • Grif,
      You are surely wrong.
      Only in the adle headed world of a cliamte true believer is there a confusion between what the EPA/big green movement is doing and caring for the environment.
      Take a look at the history of those who have manipulated you since your youth into believing the hype you believe.

    • Right, Trump’s going to make it legal to poison children again.

      Do you not see how ludicrous your statement is?

    • Griff,
      It seems that fear and loathing is all you have left in your arsenal. Maybe it is all you ever had. How sad for you.

    • Notice how the troll operates.
      First off, it assumes that all regulations are needed.
      Secondly, when a recommendation is made to roll back regulations, it starts screaming about how bad no regulations would be.
      Thirdly, it assumes everyone who doesn’t work for the federal government is evil.

      • Well played by Griff. Got all kinds of responses…
        His activities here are a metaphor for the actions of the Climate fearosphere. He throws out meaningless “facts” and any number of logical fallacies, then never engages in debate, but reappears later, to repeat his senseless diatribes.

    • You threatening to poison the children ??? Typical green tactic .. saying it was climate change, oil, fracking when really it is you threatening the children. Shame on you.

    • Griff is right.
      The EPA performs a vital role in discouraging bad practise and enforcing the protection of the weak.
      That it has been politicised recently may be true. But that doesn’t mean it needs to be destroyed.
      It would need to be reformed.
      The EPA is necessary.

      • You are right that there needs to be some sort of environmental oversight, and I don’t think the author of this piece disagrees with that. However, how much of that needs to be done at the federal level is another question.

      • No, Griff isn’t right. Griff threw out a straw man argument. No one said that protection of the environment isn’t vital.

      • It was never the role of the EPA to protect the weak, and it shouldn’t be.

        But if one of the goals (or desires) is to create the means for a good communist or socialist state then entities like the EPA are indeed necessary.

      • I need not remind people of the Gold King Mine/Animas River incident. “I’m from the Government. I am here to help.”

    • Griff, it is clear you didn’t notice that Jay didn’t advocate a return back to 1960’s level of protection,in fact he touted the existence of the EPA in the early years:

      “A Promising Beginning

      In the late 1960s, the United States faced real problems regarding the quality of its air and water, waste disposal, and contamination from mining and agriculture. Pollution crossed borders – the borders between private property as well as between cities, states, and nations – and traditional remedies based on private property rights didn’t seem to be working. The public was overly complacent about the possible threat to their safety.

      Many scientists, myself included, lobbied the federal government to form a cabinet-level agency to address these problems. [1] In 1971, EPA was born. During the agency’s first 10 years, Congress passed seven legislative acts to protect the environment, including the Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed the Clean Water Act), Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Air Act.

      At first, these laws worked well, protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. Problems were identified, measured, exposed, and major investments were made to reduce dangerous emissions and protect the public from exposure to them. EPA and other government agencies regularly report the subsequent dramatic reduction in all the pollutants we originally targeted. By the 1980s, nothing more needed to be done beyond monitoring our continuing success in cleaning up the environment. It was time to declare victory and go home.”

      Many laws and acts were passed to remove most of the problems that were of real concern,that by the 1980’s were of great success. But after that it becomes a diminishing returns, to keep squeezing the last bit of toothpaste from the container.

      Drop your off note concern for the “children”,since that is a leftist propaganda tactic to promote more regulations that have little reason to exist. The laws of the 1970’s had already addressed the concern for children when lead was taken out of gasoline and paint among other things. That the air and water became much cleaner.

      There will be no drive to repeal the original Air, Water and drinking water acts of the 1970’s as they did what was needed,now enforcement is what should be maintained, That is being proposed,for the 50 states to maintain.

      Stop trying to support an obviously corrupt,politically motivated institution!

      • Tommy -and I’m saying that when you relax the regs and hamstring the EPA, you start the drift – sprint? – back to the good ole days.

        who wins here? Corporation owners cutting their costs and increasing their dividends.

      • Griff?

        What do you mean by “Corporation owners”? The stockholders?

        Corporations are not evil … intentional ignorance is evil. The City that you live in is a corporation. The entity that supplies you with with electricity is a corporation. Planned Parenthood is a corporation. Uber is a corporation. You are an idiot.

      • “Corporation owners cutting their costs and increasing their dividends.”

        Like the “Unreliables” industry owners with their bird mincers and solar bird burners that pay you to come on here to try to disrupt the debate and blacken the reputation of honest scientists like Soon, Cockcroft and Moore, you mean?

        How do you sleep at night, Grifter? How do you live with yourself?

        Remember when you denied to me that there were poor and elderly dying in winter in the UK because the subsidies for “Unreliables” meant they couldn’t afford to heat and eat Grifter, despite it having been reported in the Guardian?

        I’ve probably got a link to it somewhere, would you like me to dig it out?

      • As usual Griff ignores a lot,that others bring up,example:

        I wrote,

        “There will be no drive to repeal the original Air, Water and drinking water acts of the 1970’s as they did what was needed,now enforcement is what should be maintained, That is being proposed,for the 50 states to maintain.”

        Notice that I stated, that the laws will stay in place?

        Griff ignored this part,written by,Jay Lehr:

        ““A Promising Beginning

        In the late 1960s, the United States faced real problems regarding the quality of its air and water, waste disposal, and contamination from mining and agriculture. Pollution crossed borders – the borders between private property as well as between cities, states, and nations – and traditional remedies based on private property rights didn’t seem to be working. The public was overly complacent about the possible threat to their safety.

        Many scientists, myself included, lobbied the federal government to form a cabinet-level agency to address these problems. [1] In 1971, EPA was born. During the agency’s first 10 years, Congress passed seven legislative acts to protect the environment, including the Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed the Clean Water Act), Safe Drinking Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Clean Air Act.

        At first, these laws worked well, protecting the environment and the health of our citizens. Problems were identified, measured, exposed, and major investments were made to reduce dangerous emissions and protect the public from exposure to them. EPA and other government agencies regularly report the subsequent dramatic reduction in all the pollutants we originally targeted. By the 1980s, nothing more needed to be done beyond monitoring our continuing success in cleaning up the environment. It was time to declare victory and go home.”

        Notice that Griff fails to realize that the laws passed in the 1970’s,fixed the main problems, that only need to maintain enforcement afterwards.No mention of repealing the passed laws that worked so well.But that is typical Griff,who has the talent to miss the obvious every time he shows up here.

    • Griff:

      You wrote “This is surely a mistake……….You’ll pay for this in poisoned children”

      What is even worse is that Climate Change is actually being caused by the EPA,.due to their mistaken efforts to reduce SO2 emissions

      Google “Cllimate Change Deciphered” for the facts..

      • I think we all have Griff on the “brain” look at the number off replies to one comment. If he is a payed troll we have just earned his beer money for the week.

        just like feeding the birds ,, here birdy birdy.
        michael

    • EPA should look after REAL pollution, and be forced to get out of the AGW scam.

      Atmospheric CO2 is NOT a pollutant, and never will be.

    • Boo !!!!

      Griff, you probably believe the common narrative about Rachel Carson. Are you aware how many millions of children have died worldwide from malaria because of the bad science suggesting that DDT was killing off Bald Eagles to extinction?

  7. This is so true of all bureaucratic structures they will always find very good reasons to keep themselves employed way beyond completing the task they were taken on for.

    James Bull

    • Not just bureaucrats, but all organisations that do not have to justify what they are doing by persuading people to pay for it directly.

    • Chuck, I grew up in Sandusky, Ohio in the ’60’s. I ate the fish we would catch in Lake Erie, the fish pregnant women were warned not to eat for the mercury content. When we came out of the water at Chaska Beach, greeted by a permanent rug of decaying fish, the first the we were required to do was take a shower. And I still remember the Cuyahoga River catching fire.
      EPA was a very good idea.
      Now it needs to die.

      • I agree completely on all counts. What Griff and other critics of this proposal don’t understand is just how far every State has come in monitoring their environment. Voters don’t and won’t accept pollution of the kind that happened back in the old days (ie, my mother grew up in Milwaukee in the 1940’s, she remembers that her mother could never hang white clothes out on the clothesline since they would always turn black from the coal soot in the air)

        That anecdote is simply to illustrate is that people today have no idea as to how badly polluted most major cities used to be; China is dealing with that problem right now. And in those days, the States were unable to deal with it, for a variety of reasons. NOW the standard has been set, and all of the State EPA’s (or equivalents) are up to speed and fully staffed.

        Just as in all property and health issues, the States are the proper level of government that should address this threat, under the principle of Federalism which we operate under. However, progressives despise Federalism, because it is much easier to control the nation when you only have to capture a single institution in order to control the country. The beauty of a 50 state solution is that this allows some states, which may wish to have different standards, to do whatever they want inside their own borders, while other states do what makes sense to their citizens. I strongly believe that most Americans support that idea strongly, even though it is anathema to the progressives. (or at least it was until last November 9)

        and btw, watching a news feed. DJIA just crossed 20,000. heh.

      • This was due in large part to local governments usurping riparian rights.
        An ancient tenet of common law was that you owned the water that flowed through your land as well as the water the bordered your land (in the case of lakes and oceans).
        If anyone polluted this water, they had to either clean it up or pay you damages.
        Governments decreed that this right was no longer an individual right, but a societal one and that only government could sue for such damages.
        Then they proceeded to not sue in exchange for campaign contributions.
        A better solution would have been to devolve riparian rights back to the individuals, rather than create a massive government agency to solve a problem that was originally created by government action.

      • it needs to be reformed, not die. You are subscribing to a myth that local control is always better. If that was true, Afghanistan and Somalia would both be a paradise. Local corruption is often much worse than any federal corruption, as many competing interests have to be reconciled at the federal level.

        Talk like “just kill it (the EPA)” is a hallmark of a demagogue. Difficult problems are just that, difficult. They do not get resolved by one liners.

      • I love it when fascists try to prove that bigger government is better than small government by pointing out that no government is bad.

      • John, sounds like you and I are about the same age. I grew up about 2 miles from the front gate of U. S. Steel Fairfield Works. My father was a manager at US Steel. The sky was always orange in Fairfield. I remember well when the EPA was formed because the EPA and the Steel Workers Union were the two most discussed villains at our dinner table. Of all the hundreds of children with whom I went to school, I never knew one who had asthma, adhd, autism, cancer or anything. We were all just happy healthy children.

      • I love it when fascists try to prove that bigger government is better than small government by pointing out that no government is bad.

        Well, some people think more government = good, so naturally, all government = perfect! Obviously

    • Quite possibly something about emails that she thought were gone for good, suddenly resurfacing on some random website somewhere.
      Along with something about job relocation and cleaning up a mine and river with a sponge.

    • Gina, you mean “Butch” McCarthy? Gina just left the building, those are her footprints right there! (Thank you Frank Zappa.)

  8. A good first move in a potential return to sanity. Of course the forces of darkness are not going to quit because of a single presidency which is hysterically attacked by liberal elite regimes all around the world. Unfortunately we have allowed the voodoo cult ideology to become all but indistinguishable from fact in the minds of most – and particularly the young. Children are indoctrinated in pseudoscience from their earliest years and it’s happening right now in all of our schools.

    I’ve written several times to my own government representatives and to schools requesting that they stop abusing my children by teaching totally unsupported and evidently politically motivated wild-eyed hypotheses as matters of scientific fact – but obviously to no avail.

    I think it is incumbent upon us all now to massively up the ante and actively support this move to depoliticise science in whatever way, small or large, each of us can rather than cheering from the bleachers and thinking the war is won.

  9. Jay Lehr,


    A Promising Beginning

    In the late 1960s, the United States faced real problems regarding the quality of its air and water, waste disposal, and contamination from mining and agriculture. Pollution crossed borders – the borders between private property as well as between cities, states, and nations – and traditional remedies based on private property rights didn’t seem to be working.

    The public was overly complacent about the possible threat to their safety.”
    ____________________________________________

    In fact the public was overly

    fed up with openly threats to their safety.

  10. Reports in the media are claiming that (UK Indpendent) “Donald Trump orders Environmental Protection Agency to delete all climate change information from its website”.

    “The Trump administration is forcing the Environmental Protection Agency to delete all of its pages on climate change.”

    The story seems to be second- or third-hand hearsay. I wonder if this is the ‘fake news’ we’ve been hearing so much about.

  11. I think the power accorded these organizations went to there heads.
    ” Absolute power corrupts absolutely ” .
    A rancher in Wyoming gets slapped with a huge fine for building a stock pond. Meanwhile state and federal EPA agencies engage in finger pointing in Flint, MI. Or polluting a river in Colorado, it wasn’t us. And forbid if you build a driveway over a wet spot.

  12. The oxymoron of government and politics. At its onset, the concept of the EPA was good. rivers were burning and smog was omnipresent. And they did a good job cleaning it up. But once done, having no further purpose, they morphed into a dictatorial tyranny trying to eliminate all freedoms.

    Liberals only see that they did good in the past. So they must be good now. They hate CHANGE (the oxymoron). Conservatives see the good of the past. And the evil of the present. They WANT change.

    If business was run the way government was, IBM would still have a group dedicated to creating a CPU for a computer. And probably not be in business. But business has to compete, so they have to change. Government does not, so they never change.

  13. Here’s what I suggest. Put in the full proposed carbon tax in the US for 60 days. Jack up the price of gas $2/gal, ban the sale of low mpg cars, double or triple the power bills and jack up the price of everything else it affects including food. Take all the coal based power plants off line.

    Let the “people” just see what the cost will be. I think attitudes would change pretty quickly.

    • and who the heck is proposing that?

      EU targets for renewable electricity are 80% by 2050… hardly overnight – but sufficient.

      • Thank the Good Lord we’re pulling out of the foul EUSSR then eh, Grifter?

        So you lose – again!

        Had you noticed that May was already talking about cutting subsidies for offshore wind to drop the price of power to both domestic and industry users?

        It’s over, little Watermelon, suck it up buttercup.

    • They are NOT 50 “new” EPA’s. They already exist, they already are fully staffed, they already have state level regulations that parallel in most instances existing federal air and water quality standards.

      The difference is that they are much closer to the voters of their states, and thus can be held accountable by the voters in their states. That’s the part that progressives truly hate.

    • That would only be true if each of those 50 new EPAs had the same power and scope as the existing EPA.
      If your complaint was valid, then having only one grocery store chain that covered the entire US would be much better than having dozens of chains.

    • “Your current EPA is no good, but 50x new EPAs is worse.” “EPA has become a problem.”
      *The EPA is always a problem for everyone, they’re either doing too much or not doing enough, all at the same time. How much is too much? Not enough? It depends on who you ask, how you ask, when you ask, and how informed or uninformed individuals and groups are on the issues.

      “50 EPA’s” If you hate the political influences at the federal level you really ought to hate the political influence at the local/state level. There are thousands of instances where EPA has held states and tribes accountable to protect public health and the environment when the states have turned their backs on the problem. This is done by holding up the federal $$ that go to each state for environment protection. Without this the states just thumb their noses at the regs and the regulators. Don’t think for one second that the public is going to have this kind of influence on state issues. You are dreaming if you think so.

      “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”
      The bath water has gotten pretty nasty and there have been huge abuses of power within the EPA. Additionally the Agency has become highly politicized over the past eight years, much more so than ever before, but must we conclude from these facts that the baby (aka the EPA), hated by so many*, should be thrown out too. I’d suggest that you take a more informed look at the consequences for such a decision.

      “50 EPA’s”
      Most importantly regarding environmental protection is the fact that the environment does NOT respect borders and neither does the pollution that effects it. Rivers, oceans, streams, lakes, groundwater, air, etc., all cross the artificial boundaries imposed upon the “landscape” by humans. The federal government has a limited, but critical role to play in making sure that states/tribe comply with minimum standards for environmental assessment. 50 state and 100’s of tribal EPA’s are incapable of overseeing the whole. In this mini/many-epa scenario the tribes/states would have little regard for, nor any incentive to care about, pollution down stream.

      Humans are fickle. If we know anything we ought to know how humans behave when there’s little or no accountability. (What happens when the cops stop policing neighborhoods?) None of us want to ever again see another Flint , or Times Beach or Love Canal, but most of us would like to see 70,000 factories and their associated jobs return to the US and see our economy flourish. But Flint happened because the local administrators decided it was too politically embarrassing to address the issue head on saying they “believed they were unable to do anything because the state was already taking action.” The state was already doing nothing but said they were on top of the issue and the Obama appointed feds wrongly capitulated. This doesn’t indicate the need for less support, less oversight, or more delegation to the state, but rather more oversight that is free from political consideration. Administrators, appointed by President Trump need to know that they’ll be held accountable for their actions as well as their inactions and should be assured by their boss that they should just do their job, not run from it nor make up a new job.

      “Yes, the EPA has been climate-jacked, just like DOE, NOAA and NASA.”
      But that doesn’t mean we need to dismantled the EPA nor does it mean we need to stop the ebb and flow of science based debate on any environmental topic. The Obama administration opened the flood-gates of funding for climate research. What were programs and scientist to do in order to stay relevant, and more importantly, employed? They jumped on the band wagon and chased after every kind of funding available like prospectors racing to California in 1849. The Gold Rush resulted in a diversion of vast amounts of intellectual capital in all of these organizations, towards climate funded projects and programs aplenty and away from the traditional and boring environment related work people had been doing for years. Intellectual capabilities that had supported programs that had taken 40 years to mature into showcases of sound environmental science and regulations were essentially car-jacked overnight as everyone raced to get in step and get on board the new climate gravy-train. The few bold enough to be skeptical have been ostracized or punished. Traditional, every-day work was left to fend for itself in the shadows as the limelight was cast toward the new champions of climate “science.”

      “Talk about influence peddling?”
      The POTUS and his administration and Congress need to clamp down, across the board, on outside groups secretly drafting regulations allowing agencies proffer these to Congress as agency derived products. This kind of influence has to stop, not just in the EPA, but in ALL government agencies. We need to crack down hard on and prevent the hidden influence from NGO’s and industry groups alike. They may have great ideas for effective environmental regs, but they MUST NOT ever again wield such secret influence as they have these past 8 years.

      • Your reply is a very good example of the vast difference between true small-government conservatives and Statists, whether on the left or right. Statists want a huge and powerful central government – left wing statists want it to do one thing, right wing statists want it do another, both say only that it needs to be “reformed” but not changed whenever the other side has been in power for a while.

        On the other hand, a classic American federalist view (what used to be called Classic Liberalism) is that necessary functions of government should be the province of the lowest level of government which can handle them. Statists hate this, because the goal of all Statists is to increase the power of the central State, which means diminishing and eliminating competing power centers. However, the classic federalist view is that the more concentrated power is, the more tempting it is to those who would corrupt it and use it against the people who should be served by it. Therefore, the best defense against political abuse, to federalists, is always to strive to keep power as unconcentrated and as diffuse as possible.

        There are many ways to resolve every issue you mentioned which do not involve the transfer of all power to Washington. It all depends on what fundamental principles you hold dear.

      • Important civics lesson. Thanks. I’m willing to consider the possibility of an animal never before seen in the wild, but have difficulty imagining where we might find such creatures as the ones you describe. There is also a point where power becomes so diffuse that ceases to exist at all. All the power isn’t now, nor should it ever be, transferred to Washington (e.g., regulators routinely issue permits which are often appealed for the cost of paper, envelope, and postage. Certainly, the process can get expensive after that.) Read A Civil Action to see how the EPA and a impacted community got their asses handed to them by a law firm well funded by several moderately large corporations. How can we provide checks and balances to avoid abuses of power inside and outside of government: power to regulate vs power to ignore/avoid regulations? There’s also a temptation every four or eight years in our Constitutional Republic to turn the swinging pendulum into and axe spawning a perpetually escalating cycle of revenge. To avoid this now, while correcting and addressing the horrific abuses of the last eight, or more, years will definitely require Solomonic wisdom. Let’s all pray for that in President Trump, his administration, and his legacy administrations over the next four to 16 years. “Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused.” ~Martin Luther.

    • AP January 25, 2017 at 5:26 am
      “Your current EPA is no good, but 50x new EPAs is worse.”

      To late, most if not all states have their own little clone (clown?) EPA. They will also need to be neutered.

      michael

  14. “We propose to shift responsibility for environmental regulation from the federal bureaucracy to the states and to transform the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science.”

    That’s a very good idea. It would protect the EPA against Trump et al.

    • …and when a state destroys its own economy from insane regulation and overreach, people have the freedom to move to a state with a sane EPA. Sounds like a good idea to me.

      • Yes, indeed, Rocky. This gives states with free-market-friendly environmental policies a competitive advantage. That is where the money will go (is already going). And the AGW Cult-run EPAs will quickly run out of OPM. Boo, hoo…… bwah, ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

        **************************
        The AGWers who run California (for one example), with their heads in the sand, haven’t figured out basic economics, yet. They will learn. Oh, yes, they will learn.

        1. Their software design industry is vast, but not big enough to support the whole state.

        2. Laborers are needed to make the bulk of the products which fuel the state economy.

        3. Those laborers will move (are moving!) to states where they not only have a job, but can afford to buy a house…. a second car…. live FREELY in many ways to which CA currently says, “No.”

        4. No, those software design co.’s cannot raise the wages of those laborers high enough to prevent this — it would bankrupt them.

        Conclusion: Texas wins! (and many other like-minded, SANELY-led, states).

        #(:))

      • Problem is, when one state destroys its own economy, or a part of it, it then expects the rest of us to bail it out. How do we remove ourselves from that (assumed) responsibility and convince them we won’t?

      • How do we remove ourselves from that (assumed) responsibility and convince them we won’t?

        convince them to secede – like California is threatening to do. ;-)

      • Janice Moore January 25, 2017 at 8:20 am
        No Janice, as pleasing as it sounds we don’t get to write off a state that elected a petty dictatorship.
        Our Federal Government is the guarantor of the rights of the people in the states, minorities in all forms (Political included) as well as future citizens.

        Oh and can President Trump intervene in places like Chicago. That is also covered in Section 4

        Section 4
        The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

        michael

      • Mike,

        Re: “write off a state”

        The citizens of that state, per the supremacy clause in the U. S. Constitution, have the right to ruin themselves. That is THEIR business.

        And that is why such a state’s citizens are leaving — in droves.

        CA is not my (or your) problem. It is CA’s problem.

        That the POTUS can intervene in federal issues does not make it an OBLIGATION.

        Texas, et. al., have no duty to come to CA’s rescue. Therefore, CA has no right to demand it.

        I’m probably misunderstanding your point, but, this is my attempt to address what I thought you meant.

        I think you misunderstood mine…. (and that’s okay, Mike :) ) — I, however, don’t want to try to discuss this topic on this thread; so hard to communicate by writing in complex topics.

        Thanks for reading what I wrote.

        Take care,

        Janice

      • Domestic violence in this context refers to major rioting and or insurrection.
        It doesn’t cover run of the mill out of control crime.

  15. In the ’60 and 70′ I also believed that the rivers and air needed cleaning.

    I also believed, as Jay does, that the states now can manage, and being
    much closer to the voters, the state will be much more responsive to
    competition.

    Governors who allow restrictions which are unreasonable will lose jobs
    and revenue much quicker than their close competition, and voters can
    have a much greater effect on local politicians.

    I do not know anyone who was not indoctrinated by the educational
    system who believes that CO2 is poison.

    “We will likewise forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide, something never envisioned when Congress passed the Clean Air Act.”

    When Bush allowed CO2 to be regulated, it was the vehicle chosen by
    our “One world Government” “betters” to control us.

  16. The EPA has become way more than just an obstacle to “further environmental progress”. I’m not even sure what that means, but in any case, they’ve become an out-of-control, anti-Constitutional authority. They are the closest thing to Big Brother we’ve ever seen, and need to be dismantled, destroying their power once and for all.

  17. If the states already have the ability to implement current EPA rules and regs, then the EPA can be closed overnight.

    The new – oversite Federal EPA, could be setup with a limited number of people to go through the regs, deleting all but essential ones, and oversee inter-state disputes – such as shared river boundaries.

    • …and Trump would have another agency that would come in on time and under budget every fiscal year. In addition, they wouldn’t be misconstruing their original mission and be focusing on what amounts to criminal overreach.

      And they say the Russians hacked the election! HAH! The EPA’s actions are so anti-American they might as well be speaking Russian there.

  18. Jay – the thing that has to be said is that most folk have no real way of evaluating risk. We can all agree that the large pollutions of the early 20th century were a bad thing, and it’s great that they are gone. And as we knock down the big pollutions, smaller and smaller pollutions grab our attention, and righteous indignation is marshalled by the environmental movement against the perceived polluters (and perhaps increasingly, imaginary polluters).

    There is no dividing line which says ‘there is now no justification for the EPA’. Such doctrinaire stuff will just polarise the argument, and lose friends, whereas the correct approach is to take a balanced look at each proposal and to argue, gently but firmly, that some pollutions are not worth the expensive and restrictive remedies that are proposed, or are indeed illusory. You’ll never convince some people, who will not be comfortable until every single molecule of every suspected carcinogen is removed from the earth, but that’s life.

    The CO2 endangerment finding is, however, entirely a political stratagem, and shows what the EPA has become. So, the Trump camp’s hostility is to be very much welcomed.

    I do personally very much like the idea of devolving environmental issues to the states. I know that rivers run across boundaries, and air doesn’t recognise statelines, so there will be things to sort out. But, we could then judge better the actions of the various states’ environmental legislation, by actual results. I am reminded of a recent issue we had in Europe, where some work (not universally accepted) suggested that use of neonicotinoid insecticides, now the most widely used worldwide, were playing havoc with native bee populations. The European Union, which had assumed competence for enviro issues over the heads of individual governments, blanket banned the stuff throughout the union for a two-year period, which I think is now extended. UK resistance to this move was discounted. An opportunity missed for a great experiment. The UK – which is separated from the continent (thank god!) – by a big sea channel, could have continued with the neonics. The results would then have been clearly shown by the trajectory of bee populations in the banned and unbanned countries, and a better evaluation of the risks made.

    • mothcatcher January 25, 2017 at 6:10 am
      “and air doesn’t recognise statelines,”

      So right you are. However, there was a time (perhaps still in force) when Connecticut was fined for having unhealthy air but that air was blowing in from New Jersey and New York along southerly winds. Not much interstate regulation there, just picking on a smaller state with less political clout.

      • The original purpose of the interstate commerce clause was to give the federal government the authority to resolve trade disputes between states. (They actually had a couple of those during the Articles of Confederation days.)
        The idea that this clause could be used by the federal government to regulate every single aspect of our day to day lives would have been abhorrent to all of the founding fathers.
        Another clause that has been greatly abused is the General Welfare clause.
        It’s pretty obvious from reading the text, that this clause merely explains why the powers that are listed below it, were given to the federal government.
        Had the modern interpretation been in affect at the time the constitution was written, the rest of the constitution could have been skipped, since it is now interpreted as giving the federal government the authority to do anything that the federal government defines as good.

      • On subject of ” interstate commerce clause” – “federal government to regulate every single aspect of our day to day lives”.

        Remember that it was Democrat Party who (ab)used said enumerated power by claiming it gave them authority to enact Obamacare. The Democrat Party essentially claimed that your life was a Commodity that they had authority to Regulate. Authority to Control your Life from cradle to grave.** With Obamacare to be enforced by Annual fee (Premium or IRS Tax) for rest of your Life, and punishable by fines or imprisonment for failure to submit.

        **Sound familiar? It should – Democrats just can’t let go of Slavery!

  19. The sentence that stood out most for me was:

    Today, EPA is a captive of activist and special-interest groups.

    What are children of activists who aspire to be like their parents to do, then ?! Think of the children !

    • In answer to my own sarcastic question, here’s a thought for the children: How about encouraging them to reason for themselves using some disciplined analytical approach.

      DISCIPLINE ! … Can I still text my friends while I do that ? … Do I HAVE to use complete sentences, capital letters, and punctuation? — so many buttons to press, you know. … Do I have to focus for more than a few minutes, in order to …. “oh what a tasty looking sandwich”

  20. Conservationists have been hard at work since the late 1800s. Much of the early progress built on their efforts which had broad public support. What has happened since is not conservation. We know this and can muster the facts. Lets defund and debate.

  21. Department of Education should go likewise. Leave authority and monitoring of federal antidiscrimination laws to the states.

  22. They also need to amend the Wetlands Act before it shuts down farming, ranching, and single family housing development. They really should look at the rationale of managing public lands with three or more overlapping and politicized agencies and consider privatizing some BLM lands.

      • What and cut in to their Bloated budget and expansionism?
        Like practically every Federal agency, DOE continues to expand and grow in scope and nature – to insure more funding, more employees, more power, and more control.

  23. And like the NRC, the entire budget, payroll, operating expenses, research contracts, etc of the NEW EPA should be paid on a very, very, small fee on all manufacturing, energy, and use of products. chemicals, processes that cause pollution. However, their must be scientific PROOF of the pollution, both cause and effect. To this day there is still no PROOF that CO2 is causing global warming greater than the noise level of the naturally occurring, non human caused, warming.

    – Where is the Nobel Prize for the Scientific Proof. –
    In the same period that man has been discussing AGW, they have discussed, and are on the verge of proving Black Holes, as Einstein predicted, exist. The level of skepticism is minimal on this fact. Yet all we have for AGW is a consensus. Scientific proof is not a democracy. It is not established by a vote. Even the UN IPCC reports use fuzzier and fuzzier terms for their prediction that the possibility that the probability that a smaller and smaller percent of the measured warming appears to be caused by human influence [ as long as you weight the data to exaggerate the effect caused by the urban heating effect and the use of sensors in areas exacerbated by human use. ] (Long sentence used to exaggerate the stupidity of the AGW Cult belief.) I am 75 years old, I can still remember riding to the airport to drop off my dad and seeing the Weather station equipment about 100 yards away from the building (no bigger than the local 7-11) and the small twin engine planes on the tarmac. Today that sam NWS station is in the same place surrounded by 100 acres of concrete, a three story building, jetliners idling their engines, and massive HVAC coolers within 100 yards. Please AGW Believers, explain to me how this has no effect? Please tell me how the temperature is now 10 degrees cooler at home, 15 miles away than it is on the weather report from this station? Explain how they justify using that temperature for proving AGW when the airport is just a dot on the map surrounded by farmland, like where my home is? The AGW theory has serious problems. .

  24. Couldn’t agree more – the EPA was a good idea initially but has grown to become more of a problem than it was solving.

  25. This one is a classic:
    “with structural safeguards against politicized science.” It also says “We will likewise forbid the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide,”

    So politicians who wish to avoid politicised science, wish to politically impose what science agencies can do. Can anyone spot the inconsistency here?

    • I am not sure that there is an inconsistency. The analogy that immediately springs to mind of course is the Amendment 1 of the US Constitution in which the authors make a political decision to ban an established religion , having seen in the history of Europe the disorder and civil war resulting from religion drawn into politics .

    • Because the decision to regulate CO2 was purely political, this is entirely consistent. The EPA violated it’s own rules when it made the endangerment finding. The US Congress has oversight authority over the EPA, and (hopefully) it will now exercise that authority.

      Elections have consequences.

      • Of course they have consequences, and one of the consequences of this one is far more political interference with science. This was entirely predictable, but there is no point saying it is not happening.

      • Seaice,
        You use the word “science” as if it were a person, a group, or a club of some sort. It is not. Science is a way of thinking and understanding the natural world around us. As such it is an idea and can’t be “interfered with” or destroyed. If you practice this thing called science correctly, then you are a scientist. No fancy degrees are necessary. And this may be a shock to you, but there is a lot of science done that is not government funded.

      • I love it when trolls admit that what they did was wrong, in this case politicizing science. However since reversing what they have done would be a political act, which would increase the total amount of politicization. Therefore whatever it is they did, must be left as is.

    • Come on Seaice!

      The EPA was totally wrong to call CO2 a pollutant,a critical molecule that life needs more of than it it has now.

      The EPA did that to gain regulatory power over it to beat up on industries it doesn’t like,it is the POLITICAL behavior that eventually caught up with them,the bigotry,the propaganda,the smothering regulations with a clear intent to destroy what they don’t approve of. The war on Coal was absurd in their regulatory overreach.

      Don’t be this dumb anymore.

    • You need to look into exactly how the EPA “deemed” that CO2 was a “pollutant” and fit the definition of those pollutants that the laws passed by congress allowed them to control. The extent of their “Scientific” analysis was to simply declare that since the UN-IPCC says so, it must be so. The US EPA made no independent analysis as required by law. PERIOD. Yes, the courts agreed with the EPA, and that is why the courts need to be “reset” and also de-politicised.
      Congress determines what is a “pollutant” the EPA then controls those Pollutants. How does the UN decide what the USA decides to control and make rules for the USA?

      • usurbrain – I’m fully tracking with you on this statement. As I have posted before, this is the crux of the Clean Power Plan or the war on coal – the ‘Endangerment Finding’. Lay this finding bare for the false science it represents, and the whole thing collapses – there is no basis for controlling CO2 in industry. It is the reason of how and why – let’s leave the who’s aside for now, those come with the answers to the other questions – this was allowed to happen, and accepted as fact – it is these methods that have been used, to the detriment of the entire USA as well as the industrialized world, that need to be addressed. Bringing sound, scientific assessment studies to proposed and final rulemaking in the future, only when and where needed with competent and open oversight during the evaluation process. The way it used to be done, without partisanship.

        If you’ll allow my opinion on the future state of the EPA – Basic, Federal level rules appear to be a sound baseline for the entire nation. These would be clean air, water, and soils – cleanliness requirements either based upon existing vetted science and at established Threshold Limit Values or Parts Per , or if and when additional study scientifically proves additional constituent pollutants need be regulated, or quantities of releases reduced, all must be based upon replicable scientific studies, coupled with full cost-benefit analyses (with sound and accurate emphasis on both sides of the coast-to-benefit equations in the studies, unlike what happened with the one-sided Social Cost of Carbon equations). Such basic rules then apply to all States in the Union. This is how it is done now. Also, currently each state must comply with the baseline Federal standard, but is free to institute steps more stringent than the Federal standard, when compiling and promulgating local rules, and inspecting the regulated industries for compliance to those rules.

        I am of the opinion, it is the Federal rulemaking process is where it has spun out of whack. Reining in the purpose of EPA, back to it’s original , minimal, baseline rulemaking to be applied across the states needs to be accomplished. Chasing ever smaller bits of perceived pollutants, such as for current example PFOA’s (perfluorooctanoic acid, associated with Teflon, fire-resistant fabric treatments, also Fire Fighting Foam use, see: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/teflon-and-perfluorooctanoic-acid-pfoa.html) has not been conclusively found to be a harm at levels found in the environment, but rulemaking and restrictions in water and other areas are being developed (see: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/drinking-water-health-advisories-pfoa-and-pfos). Sound science? Overreach? Rulemaking prior to properly coming to a conclusion? Precautionary principle? The real questions they are now trying to answer are: we found this stuff in the environment – the harms are currently inconclusive – man’s activities caused the presence in the environment – let’s start rules to monitor and/or reduce releases before we conclude the studies – all that matters is that we have covered our a**es if it is found to be harmful – no big deal if it found to be relatively benign at levels currently found – at least we are doing our jobs by finding new stuff to regulate – the ‘no harm no foul’ approach.

        This is an issue for now, for our times. Balance must be found. Somewhere in there is correct approach. The way it has been going is not the correct choice of direction, though.

        But I rant…

        Regards,

        MCR

      • Michael C. Roberts January 25, 2017 at 1:18 pm
        Your response reminded me of the idiocy of the limits for Radon. Another EPA pet project. From http://www.radon.com/radon_levels/
        “What is a Safe level of Radon Gas? — This is the simpler of the two questions. A safe level of radon gas is no radon gas. Radon gas is a carcinogen which causes lung cancer. The US EPA has put it plainly, stating, “Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. The lower the radon level in your home, the lower your family’s risk of lung cancer.” The average person receives a higher dose of radiation from the radon levels in their home than from their combined exposure to all other radiation sources, natural or man-made. Radon gas is a naturally-occurring byproduct of the radioactive decay of Uranium in the soil. Depending on your geographic location, the radon levels of the air you breathe outside of your home may be as high as 0.75 pCi/L. The national average of outside radon levels is 0.4 pCi/L and it is estimated by the National Academy of Sciences that outdoor radon levels cause approximately 800 of the 21,000 radon induced lung cancer deaths in the US each year. Your risk of lung cancer increases substantially with exposure to higher radon levels. Lung cancer risk rises 16% per 2.7 pCi/L increase in radon exposure. World Health Organization, 2009 studies show that radon is the primary cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked. However, the absolute numbers of radon-induced lung cancers are much larger in people who smoke, or who have smoked in the past, due to a strong combined effect of smoking and radon.”
        “Radon Act 51 passed by Congress set the natural outdoor level of radon gas (0.4 pCi/L) as the target radon level for indoor radon levels.”
        Now some truth. 75% of the population of the USA lives in areas where the outside air radon level is ABOVE 0.4 pCi/L
        Now visit the American Lung Association.
        http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/resource-library/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
        Note that all their numbers of deaths, causes, etc. are “Estimates.”
        Now look at this web site. (I do not endorse his opinion or analysis that is your decision. There are two good maps though.} It is rather glaring that northern California Northern Michigan and the Mississippi river basin are both low areas of radon yet have very high cancer deaths.
        My opinion is that the analysis and proof has not been established.
        Worse yet, read the first paragraph above by radon,com a few times so that you understand it. Now think of your next-door neighbors or parents. Assume they become concerned about Radon. There have been quite a few lately on TV here. They call a local Radon testing facility. Do you have any doubt that the “inspector” will leave that house without selling them a Radon Abetment System? A system that will simply blow the air in the basement to the outside, and do absolutely nothing for their health. Reminds me of the CAGW program.

  26. Repeal the renewable energy ITC. The strong players will do fine without all the fake business models competing with them and agency waste anyway. That includes the companies set up by former politicos for the purpose of mining grants, loans, and tax credits.

  27. And all of this sacrifice is in order to make, at best, a minuscule contribution to an overstated environmental threat.”

    B I N G O !

  28. and those that advocated for the cabinet position were told this would happen and chose not to believe it.
    thanks

  29. 2015 Report EPA Criminal Enforcement Program spent $715 million since 2006 – including an EPA disclosed $6.5 million on military-style weapons – detailed in a recent oversight report by our organization, OpenTheBooks.com

    • Why does the EPA need it’s own army? Aren’t there other resources available, like the US Marshals, that can handle those rare situations where an armed response is required? I was once told by someone about the EPA – “Those are some scary dudes. They can ruin you on a whim, and you can’t touch them.”

      • EPA, Dept of Education, IRS, etc. need to be stripped of all Weapons. If those agencies need to enforce Laws, then they can go through Dept. of Justice, filing proper charges, seeking required arrest warrants or asset freezes, and let Federal Marshals** handle enforcement and arrests.

        ** I would say F.B.I., but that agency has become politically corrupt, and needs to be replaced, and then shutdown. Same goes for BATF. That agency has needlessly started and caused several tragic events in U.S., and tends to act in arrogant (and to frequently an ignorant) manner.

  30. EPA needs to only have interstate responsibilities. Ie., Drilling and mining are intrastate, rivers are interstate. Only proven science should be allowed for adopting regulations. Of course corrupt government will always be capable of corrupting the system but we must take care not to let the pendulum swing too far like we always do. Perhaps the EPA should be a very limited body for resolving interstate squabbles on environmental issues. Kind of like a supreme court of environmental regulation. Of course we see what politics has done to the Supreme Court. So, never mind.

    • This is basic human nature; people are easily corruptible. One of the many reasons that collectivist type governments don’t work. But even in the face of that, we can’t give up. We just need to remain vigilant. Voting in people like Trump is one way to combat government corruption. And if he becomes corrupt over time? Then we replace him too. It never ends, just like any other chore; you just have to keep up with it or you get a huge mess.

      • The best way is to make sure that there are no concentrations of powers.
        That’s why the constitution set up this country as a federation of states. Each state was to take care of it’s own business, and the federal government only dealt with those things that were beyond the scope of individual states. Foreign policy, national defense, etc.
        They set up the senate as the body that represented the interests of the states, and would fight against federal encroachment on the rights of the states.
        When we made senators elected positions instead of being appointed by the state legislatures, we signed the death notice for the states as separate political entities.

  31. EPA-like problems will remain in some of the states unless the Congress intervenes. The California Air Resources Board and its regional spawn that are every bit as radicalized as the EPA if not more so are examples. I am sure that New York’s and Massachusetts’s equivalents rank right up there as well. Prying their dead hands from the wheel will not be an easy task.

  32. There has been substantial progress and success in clean and safe water, clean air and polluted soil remediation. Success means less work for bureaucrats and their masters and they have to find other dragons to hunt and kill….even if the dragons don’t exist. Career protection and taking $$ home are prime motivators.

  33. Rather than a committee of the whole, you could also get from here to there via a series of interstate compacts between groups of states. This would allow states in separate regions to negotiate their own arrangements rather than getting back into the one size fits all routine that would fall out of a committee of the whole. Non-contiguous states like AK and HI could go their own way. Interstate compacts also need to be approved by congress. Cheers –

  34. TTL is Solution

    Every Agency enacted by Congress should have a Set maximum Time to Live, that cannot be extended. Power and control overreach is eliminated by extinction of agency. Along with political corruption inside agency.

    EPA worked as design for first decade, towards end of its next decade EPA became politically corrupt, bloated, over-reaching, and out-of-control. Where do we see similar problems? IRS, NASA, CDC, NOAA, FBI, CIA, BLM, NSA, BATF, IRS (worth repeating).

    For every Agency – Absolute max TTL = 20-years.

    If soon to be TTL’d agency is truly necessary, a new one can be created as its replacement. Legislative mistakes of first version can be corrected. Regulations enacted by first one are nullified for its replacement, forcing a clean slate.

    New blood is ensured as part of open hiring for replacement agency. Replacement for brief period does cause double budget hit. But it also means a lowered starting budget, and elimination of previous agency’s 20-years of bloated budget.

    • Better to have a law that sets an automatic sunset clause for all legislation that can be ammended within each piece of legislation.
      That way if they “forget” to include the provision, it still gets sunset.

  35. Cool place to visit for far-right/alt-right drivel.

    Yes, we need to shift more decision making to states that benefit monied white men only.

    • Hey Quest, does the Raytheon company in Dracut, MA (which is highly dependent on govt. contracts) support you using their Internet connection to spew personal opinions of hatred?

      Might want to check that before you bloviate further. See their acceptable use policy. Have a nice day.

    • Quest,

      why post the drivel you made,when it is obvious that you didn’t read the post?

      The EPA created a bogeyman for the singular purpose of regulating industries it doesn’t like. You must not be bothered by the obvious leftist political bigotry running bogus arguments against a trace Molecule that is critical for life.

      CO2 is NOT a pollutant and you know it!

    • By the way,Quest. It was a WHITE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT,who pushed for the EPA into existence and run by a REPUBLICAN White man, who became it’s first director.

      Go take you stupid,ignorant bigotry elsewhere!

    • If the country is as racist as you want to believe, how did we manage to elect an incompetent black man to the presidency, twice.

  36. Excellent essay.

    “I grew up in Sandusky, Ohio in the ’60’s. … And I still remember the Cuyahoga River catching fire.”

    My roots go back to that area. My father would tell stories of about swimming in the Cuyahoga River visiting grandfather Hardy’s farm. I remember swimming in Lake Erie as a child before it was too polluted.

    We moved to the Seattle area and then to the Santa Clara Valley. Many years later when my children could again swim in Lake Erie, my father was all excited because the places of his boyhood memories had been turned into a national recreation area.

    I would point out to my father that my places of of boyhood memories had been turned into concrete cesspools. More freeways and stripmalls. The 60s were not good for Seattle area or the Santa Clara Valley (aka silicon valley).

    Who knew that dumping carbon tetrachloride out the back door would contaminate the groundwater?

  37. The BBC appear to be labeling this as a “war on knowledge”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38746608
    Are the recent actions taken by the Trump team on the issues of climate and energy the opening shots in a war on knowledge?

    So are all these moves evidence of a malevolent mindset, determined to crush all this snowflake climate change chatter?
    Definitely, according to Alden Meyer, a veteran climate campaigner with the Union of Concerned Scientists.
    “President Trump and his team are pursuing what I call a ‘control-alt-delete’ strategy: control the scientists in the federal agencies, alter science-based policies to fit their narrow ideological agenda, and delete scientific information from government websites,” told BBC News.
    “This is an across-the-board strategy that we are seeing at multiple federal agencies on a range of issues, though climate denialism is clearly the point of the spear.”

  38. There were real issues with regards to pollution in the 60’s and 70’s. The EPA was formed and resolved those problems by the 80’s. That was a huge undertaking starting from ‘ground zero’ and was a success. Reduce the size of the EPA to something smaller than that of 1980. Maybe considerably smaller as we now have state agencies in all states now and nowhere near the issues that existed in the 60’s.

    Hey, if you had a broken leg and it is now healed it’s time to remove the cast and stop the payments to the doctor. Of course the doctor may continue to claim that you need the cast for the rest of your life so you don’t break that same leg again. But then stumbling around with the cast may cause a fall that would cause a broken arm. Rinse and repeat and soon you would be ‘armor plated’ with casts on all your limbs. That would be crippling, but not to the doctor.

    We could call it “cash for/from clunkers” by the elimination of most of the EPA and would be good for the environment, both economically and physically.

    • eyesonu January 25, 2017 at 9:54 am
      There were real issues with regards to pollution in the 60’s and 70’s. The EPA was formed and resolved those problems by the 80’s. That was a huge undertaking starting from ‘ground zero’ and was a success. Reduce the size of the EPA to something smaller than that of 1980. Maybe considerably smaller as we now have state agencies in all states now and nowhere near the issues that existed in the 60’s.

      You’re dreaming if you think that the pollution problems were resolved by the 80s. Many contamination problems caused by private companies who later went bankrupt leaving a problem for someone else to fix. I recently collaborated with an EPA team working with the State DEP to clear up a polluted site, it took about 2 years and the State was very happy to have the assistance of the EPA.

      • Those problems are covered and for the most part already resolved by the superfund law.
        It really is amazing the number of things you don’t know.

      • MarkW January 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm
        Those problems are covered and for the most part already resolved by the superfund law.

        The Superfund is seriously underfunded, the number of superfund cleanups carried out dropped to 8 in 2014. Most cleanups are now funded by negotiating consent orders with the polluter. There are currently over 1,000 Superfund sites but no money in the fund!

        eyesonu January 25, 2017 at 4:05 pm
        What state and what site did you consult with regards to? Maybe I can help you.

        Not necessary thanks, everything was dealt with satisfactorily by last summer, many tons of contaminated soil transported to an out of state facility and replaced with clean soil.

      • Phil,

        I will assume that you would agree that the EPA should get out of the business of regulations and focus on cleaning up Superfund sites. If so, then we are in agreement.

      • Phil,

        Actually the EPA should leave the clean-ups to someone else. Their track record is not so good these days. Maybe better if they sweep the walks and parking areas and pick up trash in a park somewhere. They could do less harm with that than flippin’ burgers.

  39. There are multiple fundamental problems when US government policy is based on fake science and when there is obvious evidence of manipulation of the temperature record to push CAGW. The Trump administration is trying to get control of the CAGW mania.

    CAGW was and is fake news/science.

    There are more than a dozen independent observations and analysis results that support the assertion that the majority of the warming in the last 150 years was due to solar cycle changes rather than the increase in atmospheric CO2.

    For example (a subset of the observations and analysis results that indicate there is no CAGW, not even AGW), an EPA suppressed report that notes based on observations and analysis “the global temperature change cannot be attributed to increasing CO2 concentrations” in the atmosphere.

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/06/endangermentcommentsv7b1.pdf

    “Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air Act”

    “I have become increasingly concerned that EPA has itself paid too little attention to the science of global warming. EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups, particularly the IPCC and the CCSP, as being correct without a careful and critical examination of their conclusions and documentation. If they should be found to be incorrect at a later date, however, and EPA is found not to have made a really careful independent review of them before reaching its decisions on endangerment, it appears likely that it is EPA rather than these other groups that may be blamed for any errors. Restricting the source of inputs into the process to these two sources may make EPA’s current task easier but it may come with enormous costs later if they should result in policies that may not be scientifically supportable.

    The failings are listed below in decreasing order of importance in my view: (See attached for details.)

    1. Lack of observed upper tropospheric heating in the tropics (see Section 2.9 for a detailed discussion).
    2. Lack of observed constant humidity levels, a very important assumption of all the IPCC models, as CO2levels have risen (see Section 1.7).
    3. The most reliable sets of global temperature data we have, using satellite microwave sounding units, show no appreciable temperature increases during the critical period 1978-1997, just when the surface station data show a pronounced rise (see Section 2.4). Satellite data after 1998 is also inconsistent with the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis 2009 v
    4. The models used by the IPCC do not take into account or show the most important ocean oscillations which clearly do affect global temperatures, namely, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and the ENSO (Section 2.4). Leaving out any major potential causes for global warming from the analysis results in the likely misattribution of the effects of these oscillations to the GHGs/CO2 and hence is likely to overstate their importance as a cause for climate change.
    5. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility of indirect solar variability (Section 2.5), which if important would again be likely to have the effect of overstating the importance of GHGs/CO2.
    6. The models and the IPCC ignored the possibility that there may be other significant natural effects on global temperatures that we do not yet understand (Section 2.4). This possibility invalidates their statements that one must assume anthropogenic sources in order to duplicate the temperature record. The 1998 spike in global temperatures is very difficult to explain in any other way (see Section 2.4).
    7. Surface global temperature data may have been hopelessly corrupted by the urban heat island effect and other problems which may explain some portion of the warming that would otherwise be attributed to GHGs/CO2. In fact, the Draft TSD refers almost exclusively in Section 5 to surface rather than satellite data.”

    “2.9 The Missing Heating in the Tropical Troposphere
    Computer models based on the theory of GHG/CO2 warming predict that the troposphere in the tropics should warm faster than the surface in response to increasing CO2 concentrations, because that is where the CO2 greenhouse effect operates. Sun-Cosmic ray warming will warm the troposphere more uniformly.

    The UN’s IPCC AR4 report includes a set of plots of computer model predicted rate of temperature change from the surface to 30 km altitude and over all latitudes for 5 types of climate forcings as shown below.

    The Hadley Centre’s real-world plot of radiosonde temperature observations shown below, however, does not show the projected CO2 induced global warming hot-spot at all. The predicted hot-spot is entirely absent from the observational record. This shows that most of the global temperature change cannot be attributed to increasing CO2 concentrations.”

    It is a fact that the planet warms and then cools cyclically correlating with solar cycle changes.

    https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/davis-and-taylor-wuwt-submission.pdf

    Davis and Taylor: “Does the current global warming signal reflect a natural cycle”

    …We found 342 natural warming events (NWEs) corresponding to this definition, distributed over the past 250,000 years …. …. The 342 NWEs contained in the Vostok ice core record are divided into low-rate warming events (LRWEs; < 0.74oC/century) and high rate warming events (HRWEs; ≥ 0.74oC /century) (Figure). … …. "Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice – shelf history" and authored by Robert Mulvaney and colleagues of the British Antarctic Survey ( Nature , 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11391),reports two recent natural warming cycles, one around 1500 AD and another around 400 AD, measured from isotope (deuterium) concentrations in ice cores bored adjacent to recent breaks in the ice shelf in northeast Antarctica. ….

    The mean warming rate of these recurrent HRWEs (William: high rate warming events0 is approximately 1.2C per century, the mean amplitude is 1.62C, and the mean duration of the warming phase is 143.8 years. For comparison, the current warming rate estimated by the IPCC is about 0.74 C/century, the current amplitude so far is about 1C, and the current duration to date is 197 years.

    The current global warming signal is therefore the slowest and among the smallest in comparison with all HRWEs in the Vostok record, although the current warming signal could in the coming decades yet reach the level of past HRWEs for some parameters.

  40. “Who knew that dumping carbon tetrachloride out the back door would contaminate the groundwater?”

    To answer my own question, the nuclear industry! From the beginning, even for the Manhattan Project; protecting the public, protecting workers, and protecting the environment was a systematic process. Thirty years later our best practices were codies and the regulations enforced by the NRC based on science not politics.

    Furthermore, we did have to kill tens of thousands before implementing process safety regulations. It was not until 1996 that EPA issued a rule.

    At commercial nuke plants, the NRC enforces these EPA and OSHA regulations.

      • Thanks Paul, I jst hate it when I leave ‘not’ our of a sentance.One the problems with proff reading your own stuff, is you know what you wanbt ti say.

        When I was working tried to get done a few days early, so I could let her proff read. Laughter is good in the work place, if it at others.

  41. Ok now we see where all the leftist rhetoric is converging to.

    Apparently, WUWT is now a white supremacist gathering place and Anthony is the Grand Wizard.

    How low can the leftists go in their rhetoric?

    I hope they keep going, lower, lower, and more incredulously closer to Lewandowsky.

      • Lots of Liberal s’plodely heads going off all over the place. And Trump hasn’t even been in office a week!

    • And the way to handle it, for the most part, is: ignore them.

      What WUWT really is is self-evident.

      Anyone genuinely interested in knowing what WUWT is about will see the truth. The others do — not — matter.

      Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,
      an undeserved curse does not come to rest.

      Proverbs 26:2

  42. CAGW is the poster child for why Kelly Ann Conway’s “altrrnative facts” are needed in today’s world. When the MSM facts are bogus alternative facts are necessary. When consensus science facts are bogus alternative facts become necessary.

  43. Under the heading of state versus US EPA, I have an example of local cooperation.

    While working on my masters in Environmental Engineering, I picked up a few tidbits. Recycling waste is preferred over disposal or just releasing it. However, if the waste is classified a hazardous waste it can not be recycled according to the feds.

    Community right to know regulation require that information about pollution be made public. The two largest ‘polluters’ in the county were close to the house. Number two had waste streams that included ammonia, nitrous oxide, and hydrofluoric acid in concentrations that would stop polar bears in their tracks.

    A few years later I was leading a team implementing process safety at that facility. I learned that the facility was now processing the waste streams into products for sale and now had zero releases. According to the facility manager, it took some creative interpretation of state and federal regulations for the state regulators and the engineers to achieve what both agreed was a very good solution to pollution.

    The facility was also doing ‘remediation’ a 30 year old waste lagoon. The young engineer who came up with the process was the company’s engineer of the year. The technical description in the application for a permit did not call it what we called it. Mining for valuable stuff. Turning a big loss into a profit makes the CEO happy. Not losing jobs made everyone happy.

  44. State EPAs already have primary responsibility for the implementation of the nation’s environmental laws and EPA regulations. With more than 30 years of experience, these state agencies are ready to take over management of the nation’s environment.

    I fear things will be much worse for everyone in California if the EPA devolution does take place.

      • Then you could do us a favor and move here to help us make our politicians behave in a sane manner.

        I’ve certainly tried hard enough over the years to no avail. Vastly outnumbered.

    • I have worked at power plants in different states. If you contaminate soil by spilling diesel or lube oil you must clean it up so that it does not surface or ground water.

      I am ok with that.

      However, in some states the immediate reporting requirement might be 25 gallons while in California it is any or zero. This adds to the cost of making power.

      Of course there is no such requirement for cars dripping oil in the city that the power plant serves.

  45. A little allegory (one guy is true America, the other guy is the bloated, good-for-nearly-nothing, EPA…. oh, I just wonder….. :) )

    Heh.

    (youtube)

    Just a little reformation, long overdue.

  46. The same can apply to the National Science Foundation and the Science Advisor to the President.

    Fraudulent.

    Ideological.

    Obstructionist.

    And a large part of the cause of the problem, anthropogenic climate change … “The Hell I Won’t”.

  47. The biggest problem is removing political agendas from regulation. Like paedophiles round a nursery the green will be hunting for way to get in whether through the state legislature or committee management.

  48. Whilst I have no difficulty with the EPA being defunded or reconstituted or whatever, I don’t find this article very persuasive. By all means defund any CO2 alarmist activities within the EPA, but I cannot imagine that continuing federal regulatory activity is as unimportant as the author appears to believe.

    Fix the big problems first, like the CO2 scam. Then hasten slowly to avoid metaphorical babies from being thrown out with the bathwater (or perhaps swamp water).

    Some comments which caught my eye however suggest that the EPA has effectively been able to write its own regulations. That is contrary to any reasonable concept of separation of powers necessary for good government. If that is the case then that power most certainly needs to be removed immediately. A government entity beyond legislative control is the biggest possible problem of all.

  49. It is axiomatic that many states and many industries provided and continue to provide the gold standard for safety and efficiency.

    I cannot bring myself to thank or congratulate any one for the creation of the EPA, or to say that it has presided over environmental improvements. The states who made responsible decisions and industries already using good practices are likely, upon examination, to be the source of any real success in cleaning up the environment.

    And saying that the EPA has succeeded is not asking the right question. What policies did the EPA and the DoAg pursue which have had absolutely disastrous results? And because of the harmonization at a national level, were these disastrous results forced on the entire country?

    I am sorry but this is not a real analysis of the agency failures, which would give pause to the decision to matastasise the EPA into the states by relocating the same employees. There must be a more honest appraisal of this situation.

    • Dear Zeke,

      It appears that you may have missed a few of the comments above yours. This one, and those replying to it, might prove helpful to you.

      Janice

      • True! I usually read all of the comments but tonight I was heading out the door. And thank you for the link.

        But I did make a much more substantive point than to say that “50x the EPA is not an improvement on one EPA.”

        I challenged the success of the EPA, and I challenged the failure to analyze the enormity of the failures of the EPA and the DofAG. This is not how to write history.

        I would like to add that President DJT promised to freeze federal hiring. That does not mean send these same federal employees to the states and tell the states to hire them. This would import a ready-made federal culture and this is counterproductive to the shift to genuine state management of state natural resources.

        And with state diversity, rather than a federal monoculture (which many here seem to unconscioulsy assume is best), the advantage to citizens is that if a state fails economically and ecologically, people and businesses can leave and go to 30 or 40 others that have not failed.

      • Zeke! ZEKE! (smiling) — You are welcome. I wasn’t trying to address your entire comment with that link, though. I thought you’d go back and read the entire article and all the comments and, I hoped, would discover the answers to your questions (several links and sources are cited as evidence in the article, you’d need to look at those, too). That is, the failure of the EPA is covered pretty thoroughly by the article, if you look at all the underlying cites.

        Anyway, assuming your does not mean send these same federal employees to the states and tell the states to hire them addressed the EPA phase-out committee plan proposed in the article, I think you misread the article there. The states already HAVE employees (state employees). There is no proposed sending of federal employees to the states to be hired by them.

        Bye for now!

        I’m up later than usual and 0530 comes (ugh, ugh, UGH!!!) early.

        Janice

  50. I will now quote the passage that I have always interpreted as meaning taking the same federal EPA employees and placing them in the state agencies:

    “Staffing could be reduced from more than 15,000 to 300.”

    Now this is obviously not what the sentence says, but in past articles this same author has suggested that former EPA agents would still run a national EPA for the states. And I have objected to this, because it gives a patina of federalism and an appearance of state run environmental regulation to what really is the relocation of a previous national power structure.

    This is from one of Jay Lehr’s articles:

    The federal budget for environmental protection would be reduced from $8.2 billion to $2 billion. Staffing would be reduced from more than 15,000 to 300, and those 300 would serve in the new national EPA headquarters to be located centrally in Topeka, Kansas, to allow the closest contact with the individual states and reduce travel costs from the states to the central headquarters of the Committee of the Whole.

    He also says that, “The personnel currently working at EPA’s more-than-two-dozen research centers would remain in place until the Committee of the Whole chooses to make changes.”

    Nevertheless, in this article Dr. Jay Lehr of Heartland Institute says, “The 300 individuals working there would consist of six delegate-employees from each of the 50 states.”

    This clears up my previous misunderstandings about the retention and relocation of the national staff. Instead what appears to be retention of federal EPA workers is actually a detailed plan to phase them out over 4 years, and use six delegate-employees from each of the fifty states. You can see that the wording regarding a Topeka KS headquarters using EPA employees was not easily understood and if I am correct, the WUWT article did not say that these would be replaced by state-appointed delegates.

    Now we all know more — at least I do — about what is being proposed and can agree that this is a genuine shift to state control of their own lands. It’s brilliant.

  51. I will now quote the passage that I have always interpreted as meaning taking the same federal EPA employees and placing them in the state agencies:

    “Staffing could be reduced from more than 15,000 to 300.”

    Now this is obviously not what the sentence says, but in past articles this same author has suggested that former EPA agents would still run a national EPA for the states. And I have objected to this, because it gives a patina of federalism and an appearance of state run environmental regulation to what really is the relocation of a previous national power structure.

    This is from one of Jay Lehr’s articles:

    The federal budget for environmental protection would be reduced from $8.2 billion to $2 billion. Staffing would be reduced from more than 15,000 to 300, and those 300 would serve in the new national EPA headquarters to be located centrally in Topeka, Kansas, to allow the closest contact with the individual states and reduce travel costs from the states to the central headquarters of the Committee of the Whole.

    He also says that, “The personnel currently working at EPA’s more-than-two-dozen research centers would remain in place until the Committee of the Whole chooses to make changes.”

  52. Moderators I have clarified the problem with the 300 employees from the EPA. I think it is worth pulling out of the sin bin. Thank you.

  53. The key problem with the EPA is the command-and-control attitude of the political activists to whom the Agency is in thrall. That said, there is a lot that the Agency does in research and support that States cannot do and these missions should not be thrown out. Fortunately, the EPA has been built with a very compartmentalized attitude that deeply influenced organization design. Put another way, each office is like a brick separate from the others, so, if we want to rebuild this thing properly without the command-and-control culture, we can effectively just toss bricks away with little effect on the others.

    The EPA divided the country into 10 regions and has built regional offices to perform monitoring and regulatory enforcement, but the attitudes in these 10 offices is very territorial and they act like mini-me versions of the Agency, often trespassing into the business of the research and program offices. The recent massive failures with our rivers all emerged from regional offices that were stepping outside of their mandates. If we focus on State authority for enforcement (and, under the current law, the State is first stop for enforcement anyway, not EPA), all of the regional offices can just go away, replace by the committee the author suggests. And I do mean a complete reduction in force (RIF), directed exclusively at the regional offices.

    The EPA also has program offices that can be sliced off with little impact on the Federal environmental mission – the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (in 1990, pollution prevention was a temporary office – lessons were learned and the program is internalized in industry today), the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (because we propose this being done at the State level), the Office of Environmental Information (see below), Office of International and Tribal Affairs (international mission can go to the committee, Tribal could be better addressed by the States).

    I would propose keeping the following offices: Office of Water, Office of Research and Development, Office of Land and Emergency Management, Office of Air and Radiation and the support offices they require, albeit much reduced in size – administration, general counsel and inspector general. All of these offices have internal information generation and distribution offices, as well as quality assurance programs, so OEI is superfluous. There remains a lot we do not know about environments and how pollutants move through them and many of these questions are big enough to require Federal resources. Also, some of these offices, specifically OLEM, ORD and OW, have homeland security research and response responsibilities that other departments cannot address, so it’s either keep them up and running, or move their staff to, say, DHS, which defeats the purpose of the RIF.

    These changes would reduce EPA drastically, eliminate it’s corrosive effect on the economy and maintain those programs that it does well and are still needed.

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