About those ‘devastating’ EPA budget reductions

Budget and personnel cuts reflect environmental progress and essential regulatory reforms

Guest opinion by Paul Driessen

The Trump White House wants significant reductions at the Environmental Protection Agency: two dozen or more programs, including a dozen dealing with President Obama’s climate initiatives; a 20% downsizing in EPA’s 15,000-person workforce; and a one-fourth reduction in its $8.1 billion budget.

The plan requires congressional approval, and thus is hardly a “done deal.” Not surprisingly, it is generating howls of outrage. Former U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the proposal would be “crippling,” and “devastating for the agency’s ability to protect public health.”

One employee resigned because the cuts would prevent him from serving “environmental justice” and “vulnerable communities.” A congressman claimed EPA is “already operating at 1989 staffing levels,” and the reductions could mean “cutting the meat and muscle with the fat.”

A deep breath and objective assessment are in order.

1) Since EPA was created in December 1970, America’s environmental progress has been amazing. Our cars now emit less than 2% of the pollutants that came out of tailpipes 47 years ago. Coal-fired power plant particulate, mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions are 10-20 % of their 1970 levels. The white plumes above factory and power plant “smoke stacks” are 90% steam (water vapor) and plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide (which Obama EPA officials disingenuously called “carbon pollution”).

Our lakes, rivers, streams and coastal areas are infinitely cleaner and far safer to drink from or swim in. The notorious lead contamination in Flint, Michigan water occurred under Gina McCarthy’s watch, because her agency didn’t do its job. It was her EPA officials who also triggered the infamous Gold King Mine blowout that contaminated hundreds of miles of river water with arsenic and other toxic metals.

So much for “protecting public health,” ensuring “environmental justice,” and safeguarding our most “vulnerable communities.” It’s as if we’ve come full circle, and now need to be protected from EPA. In truth, that goes all the way back to the agency’s first administrator, William Ruckelshaus, who ignored his own scientists, banned DDT, and sentenced tens of millions of Africans and Asians to death from malaria.

2) EPA became bloated, incompetent and derelict in its fundamental duties largely because it became ideological, politicized and determined to control what it was never intended to regulate. Through mission creep, sue-and-settle lawsuits, and an eight-year quest to help “fundamentally transform” America’s energy and economic system, it attempted to regulate every rivulet, puddle and other “Water of the US,” stuck its nose in numerous local affairs – like the road to a nickel mine in Michigan – and colluded with environmentalists to block Alaska’s Pebble Mine before a permit application had even been submitted.

Most egregious was the agency’s use of alleged “dangerous manmade climate change” to justify its “war on coal,” its “Clean Power Plan,” and its determination to slash fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions by regulating nearly every factory, farm, hospital, mall, drilling project and vehicle in America.

EPA’s other chief climate crusade target was methane, which it called “an extremely powerful climate pollutant” and absurdly claimed is responsible for “a fourth of all global warming to date.” Methane is a tiny 0.00017% of Earth’s atmosphere – equivalent to $1.70 out of $1 million (and compared to 0.04% for CO2) and U.S. energy operations account for less than a tenth of all annual natural and manmade methane emissions. To control that, EPA wanted industry to spend billions of dollars per year.

It also demanded that cars and light trucks get 54.5 mpg by 2025. To meet that standard, automakers would have to downsize and plasticize vehicles, making them less safe and causing thousands of serious injuries and deaths – a reality that EPA ignored in its cost/benefit and environmental justice analysis.

When states, industries or experts raised questions about EPA’s “CO2 endangerment” decision, its biased and dishonest “social cost of carbon” analysis, or its use of “secret science” and highly suspect computer models to justify “climate chaos” claims – the agency railed about “intimidation” and “interference” with its mandate to “protect public health and welfare.” It’s time to take those questions seriously.

3) EPA obviously has too many anti-energy, anti-development staff, programs and dollars looking for more activities to regulate and terminate, to justify their existence. As these programs are properly and necessarily cut back, EPA budgets and personnel should likewise be reduced.

4) Complying with EPA and other government regulations inflicts staggering costs that reverberate throughout our economy, as businesses and families struggle to read, comprehend and comply with them. The Competitive Enterprise Institute calculated that federal regulations alone cost $1.885 trillion per year – prior to the epic regulatory tsunami of 2016 – with the Obama era alone generating $800 billion to $890 billion in annual regulatory burdens, the American Action Forum estimated.

EPA alone is responsible for well over $353 billion of the cumulative annual federal regulatory bill, CEI’s Wayne Crews estimated, based on 2012 data from the first four years of the Obama presidency. Just as disturbing, the total federal regulatory bill is equal to all individual and corporate tax payments combined.

Even more frightening, embedded in those federal regulations are fines and jail terms for some 5,000 federal crimes and 300,000 less serious criminal offenses. An absence of intent to violate the law, even failure to know and understand millions of pages of laws and regulations, even the mistaken assumption that no agency could possibly implement such an absurd rule, is no excuse. You’re still guilty as charged.

These regulatory burdens crush innovation, job creation, economic growth, and business and family wellbeing. They kill jobs, raise the cost of energy, food, products and services, reduce living standards, harm health and shorten lives. They violate any honest concept of “environmental justice.” Poor, minority, working class and other vulnerable families are hardest hit.

5) In fact, environmental justice is little more than a meaningless, malleable, phony concoction whose primary purpose is promoting progressive programs. Whatever EPA seeks to do advances justice and protects the vulnerable. Whatever an industry does or wants is unjust. Whenever anyone criticizes an agency action, it reflects racism or callous disregard for public health.

Only the effects of government regulations, and the actions of government regulators, appear to be exempt from recrimination, intimidation and penalties imposed in the name of environmental justice.

6) Fully 98% of all counties in the United States voted for Donald Trump and his vision for a less regulated, more prosperous nation, with fewer diktats from a Washington, DC that exempts itself from rules it inflicts on others. They did not vote for rolling back real environmental progress – and know full well that President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt are doing no such thing.

They also know there is ample room – and abundant need – for the proposed EPA reductions. That’s why a CNN/ORC poll after Mr. Trump’s February 28 speech found that 70% of Americans who watched felt more optimistic about the nation’s future, and his policies and priorities were what the country needs now.

7) If President Trump’s program, budget and personnel proposals for EPA are approved, many highly paid agency employees will lose their jobs. That’s always painful, as thousands of coal miners, power plant operators and other employees in communities impacted by heavy-handed EPA regulations can attest – and as the powerful new documentary film “Collateral Damage” demonstrates.

However, downsizing is often essential to the survival of a company – or a country. As President Obama was fond of saying, elections have consequences. Let’s hope Congress and the Trump Administration move forward on EPA restructuring, stand firmly in the face of the predictable forces of professional outrage, and do a good job explaining why these changes are absolutely essential.


Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power – Black death and other books on the environment.

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238 thoughts on “About those ‘devastating’ EPA budget reductions

    • I think there is lots of valuable info there. The “Social Justice” impact through regulations and the penalties that could be leveled through rules that no-one even realizes have been put into place is an eye opener.

      • Today’s Sunday Mail, a newspaper in Queensland, has an article about the death of flying schools – they now have 1200 pages of legislation to operate eg teaching people to fly an aircraft. Most are closing up under the load of paperwork required, without any commensurate improvement in operation safety etc.

      • During the last government shutdown, over 93% of EPA employees were deemed to be nonessential.

        If they’re only cutting 20%, it’s a good start but there is plenty more fat to trim.

      • One employee resigned because the cuts would prevent him from serving “environmental justice”

        Good news. That’s just the kind of politicised infiltration which has corrupted the EPA away from its core function of ensuring clean water and clean air. ( ie we are NOT talking about “dirty CO2” here ).

        If they were more applied to their real job instead of promoting pseudo-science as a mask for a political agenda, then we may not have had events like Flint water poisoning.

        This political activist probably realised he/she/it would be the first out of the door anyway and that it would be an advantage to be the first ex-EPA employee looking for a new job that being the last one.

      • Old Woman of the North,

        what has changed?

        What is you didn’t see / didn’t wanna see /

        Best regards

      • I think it was EricPeters that I was reading that some VW exec is facing 100+ year prison penalty for the emission cheat. There is absolutely no victim here excepting said exec. You can get a lesser sentence committing murder. I would probably last about 30 seconds as a federal judge. Get your ass (mule) out of my court and the horse it rode in on.

      • We have
        “climate change”, aka “global warming”
        “biodiversity”
        “sustainability”
        “environmental justice” and
        “social justice”.

        None of these can be defined in any intelligent way regarding their application. They are all targets that are constantly moving, as they fit whatever goal the progressives have that day.

        But, things they all have in common is the contention that
        1) we have to give up our rights and freedoms to comply, regulations rather than law,
        2) we have to reduce our stand of living to comply, getting ahead becomes a selfish goal,
        3) we have to believe unquestioningly what the “scientists/authorities” claim, who are we to question them,
        4) we have to allow our wealth to be stolen and given to others, keeping your own money is greed, and
        5) we are expected to believe that the poor will be helped by this redistribution, when, in fact, it just serves to keep them poor and helpless.

        “Justice” is apparently served when school systems drop the A–F grading system and go to Pass/Fail. It is evil and not fair for grade transcripts to allow schools and colleges to judge students, deciding that one is better than another. Anyone who applies to college should be accepted, right? Admissions Offices are simply not practicing “social justice.”

        The UK has free college and “students” spend all four to six years vacationing, demanding that courses be entertaining rather than challenging. They did have to limit the number of years that one could stretch their college career out to. One university, the University of Manchester, is not free and a tuition is required. It is telling that their graduates are the most employable graduates in all the UK. Having skin in the game in terms of a real investment by oneself, relatives, or lending institution makes a big difference in how well students focus in class.

      • Right On Higley, the EPA has been catering to the same crowd as Greenpeace for a while now. They push the micromanagement of landowners’ rights as a necessity of survival.

      • Shake that big old tree and see what rotten fruit falls out. Mix it in with the dog shit and rakings and uneaten leftovers and let it all decompose over a year or so. After a while, having been steamed and digested in it’s own juices, mix it in with the soil of the garden and it will produce beautiful, healthy produce again.

    • Weird, Tom–“rant”, by definition, means to talk loudly and in a way that shows anger. It can also mean to talk nonsense.

      I don’t see where Paul’s post was loud or nonsense–indeed, it was accurate and made 100% sense.

      Now, if you can point out where there’s any “nonsense”, please do so.

      Otherwise, I’d have to call your comment a rant.

      • To get into this discussion again, “rant” was not quite what I meant. It was over the top, pep-rally in style, and preaching to the choir. I try to overcome my tendency to ramble on, and overdid it in this case, and I was much to brief to be clear. I mostly agree with the sentiments of the post, but think the tone was a bit off.

      • I think this a splendid and long overdue description of what leftists have done to EPA. It also points out the level of support or eliminating deliberately false and harmful regulations. It also shines light on the horrible punishments EPA can impose outside the legal system, i.e. without due process.
        Thank you Paul Driessen for a great job.
        Hope you have time to address similar issues in other agencies.

    • Tom Halla,

      “Tom Halla on March 11, 2017 at 4:57 pm
      Nice rant.

      Not that I disagree with it, but a rant.”
      __________________________________________

      What’s on Your mind.

    • Tom, you are obviously naive on what a rant is. Check out the activist advocacy groups some time.

      • I would classify those as hissy fit spew sessions and nothing to do with what would be considered “a rant”. They don’t state facts, they don’t make you think, they don’t make you laugh (well sometimes just due to the total pathetic level they sink to).
        Not a single one of them are rants in a Carlin’esque way.

    • Pauk D is a professional BS artist. He writes for a living and fortunately for him regulations do not apply.

      “An absence of intent to violate the law, …., is no excuse.”

      The easiest part of producing something is following regulations. However, when regulations become political the purpose is to put people out of work.

      For example, Obama’s was on coal. Those regulations will not stand up to court challenges.

      • “…when regulations become political the purpose is to put people out of work.”
        Don’t forget Thatcher’s (nuclear) war on coal, that was a classic example, meant to crush the miners union.

      • “Don’t forget Thatcher’s (nuclear) war on coal, that was a classic example, meant to crush the miners union.”

        Actually, it was Crazy Arthur Scargill’s attempt to crush Thatcher’s Conservative Government. He commenced in the Spring after a mild winter when coal stocks at power stations were at an all time high and after Jim Callaghan aided and abetted by Comrade Viscount (call me “Tony”) Sir Anthony Wedgwood Benn Bart. had already closed two thirds of uneconomical British coal mines and put two thirds of British miners out of work, mostly with little or no compensation. During that strike, members of the the Miners’ Union – aided and abetted by at least one Labour Party official – was responsible for a number of atrocities including dropping paving stones off motorway bridges, causing at least one fatality.

        For obvious reasons he lost very spectacularly, and as a result of the Miners’ union preventing essential maintenance of the remaining efficient, productive pits, they were irreversibly damaged and the miners they had employed lost their jobs.

        That is the true story, the version promulgated by the Left Wing is radically different.

    • The best way to handle this EPA behemoth,is close it down.Every state,has their own “Version”of the EPA,quite capable of looking after their own patch.Wasn’t it one of Nixons EO’s?Just give all the”Leftards”the DCM (don’t come Monday)just like “THEY”did to everyone else.

    • Rants are great. Especially when they show facts and make you think about things. I would bet serious money that Paul Driessen was influenced by George Carlin (The all time king of rants that make you think).

    • So does the grifter just not work week-ends at all?
      Definite reduction in the comedy factor.
      If the grifter did not exist Anthony would have to invent him just to drive traffic.
      (Not that Anthony would ever stoop to such tricks).

    • Trump’s proposed budget was declared DOA by leading Republican members the day it was released. It has approximately zero chance of being enacted. Only the Congress can enact a budget, and only Congress can enact the actual agency appropriations bills, which though initiated in the GOP-controlled House must still gain 60 votes for approval in the Senate.

      Trump has laid down a marker, and I do expect that the GOP leadership in the Senate will at least attempt to cut the appropriations for EPA, but it is impossible to gain 60 votes … most likely not even 51 votes is attainable for major appropriations cut to EPA because few Republicans are running to destroy the EPA, or could survive re-election if they did, because the public overwhelmingly supports environmental protection over economic growth.

      Gallup has been polling this question for over three decades. The most recent polling in 2016 shows 56% of the public supports environmental protection over economic growth vs. 37% who say otherwise.

      In Gallup’s 2016 poll, respondents were asked: Do you think the US Government is spending too little, too much, or about the right amount on environmental protection?

      The response was 12% said too much, 57% said too little, 29% said about right, and only 2% had no opinion.

      Trump is playing to his base, but if the GOP leadership in Congress were to follow his lead, they know they will legislate themselves out of a job come next year’s mid-term elections. Precisely what the GOP did the last time they were in control with a GOP President … and precisely what the Democrats did the last time they controlled Congress and had a Dem President.

  1. Paul
    Thanks for giving me a great overview of what the EPA has accomplished, what they should keep their noses out of, and how they have failed.

    Mac

    • Speaking of keeping their noses out of…

      I didn’t see mentioned in the article (maybe I missed it) the growth over time of US State-level environmental agencies that duplicate many EPA functions involving local environmental issues. So, that’s another reason why cutting the EPA significantly will be good for all of us without the environment getting raped by the evil big bad corporations. Here’s a link:

      https://www.epa.gov/home/health-and-environmental-agencies-us-states-and-territories

      • the growth over time of US State-level environmental agencies that duplicate many EPA functions involving local environmental issues.

        Yup, extremely bloated state environmental agencies.

        The WV DEP currently lists 1,648 supervisory positions, and given the fact they are all “politically” appointed (hired) positions then there is probably an average of ten (10) subservient employees for every supervisor. To wit:

        WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
        EMPLOYEE DIRECTORY AND EMPLOYEE SCHEDULES
        http://www.dep.wv.gov/documents/employeeaddress.pdf

      • Thanks, Boulder. I have an example of just this thing:

        An industrial site that takes water from a river was forced to add a treatment plant to remove manganese from one of its discharges back to the river. This was because the national EPA forced the local state environmental department to put it in the discharge permit. The impact of manganese? It can stain porcelain (no health impact). Where is the nearest public water intake? Seventeen miles downriver. Where does the manganese comes from? The river. The permit requirement is much lower than what is in the river.

        Now to add insult to injury, the state is revising the standard and removing manganese from its list for future permits. Impact on the site? They still have to comply because of the “no backsliding” rule, which means you can’t stop treatment once it is begun. So a new industry can move right next door and not have comply with that standard.

        Please send duct tape.

      • Oeman- another example in Louisiana. Regs on toxic waste site restoration demands the soil to have a lower concentration of lead than levels found naturally in the state’s soil, so they had to import dirt from another area to meet the regs. Just absurd.

    • Yes, it is important to recognise the progress made since the 60s and 70s , no one wants or has the intention of backtracking on those achievements. A core EPA is needed to ensure we keep up with those achievements. That should probably be provided by state EPAs.

      Sadly, as often happens, what starts out good goes bad. Greenpeace is another fine example.

      Now the EPA has become subversive political movement within government which is seriously over-reaching its authority. The only effective solution at this point is probably to dissolve the federal EPA altogether.

  2. I get ditching the carbon and social justice garbage.

    I don’t get the dramatic cuts to seemingly legitimate programs such as initiatives restoring the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay, etc.

    • I’ll bet if you look into it…there are probably dozens of other government agencies already doing them

      He’s cutting out some duplicity

      • I think you mean “duplication”. “Duplicity” means dishonesty. Fortunately, Pruitt is cutting that out at the EPA as well.

      • . . . probably dozens of other agencies already doing the same thing . . .

        Maybe hundreds, even.

        ***
        If a bureaucrat — talking about one ensconced in the bowls of Washington here — does a good job, mediocre job, poor job, or just sits at his/her desk all day and does nothing, to whom would it matter?

        Not the public.

        Bureaucrats live in a nether world and have no concept of what it’s like to work in a job where a supervisor down the hall can step into your office anytime and say “_____, can I see you for a minute?”

        Nor do they depend upon their product or service for their profit.

        So . . . who would who would stay up all night with a sick cow that the government owned?

        Answer: Nobody

        In the real world of course, it would be the cow’s owner.

        All about two systems of thinking here.

        What the bureaucrat depends on is the government’s pay check.

        Remember when the federal agencies began buying millions of rounds of ammunition and rifles with silencers? Why would government agencies and bureaucrats need those?

      • How many Federal employees does it take to change a light bulb?

        One to hold the bulb, and a dozen to turn the ladder.

      • Wrusssr: at the risk of offending others with different opinions of the Second Amendment, after extensive reading of the history of the time, in my opinion it resulted from this: there were voluntary militias formed of freemen who owned their own weapons for hunting and protection. They were well-regulated, in the old definition of the word, their guns were well-maintained, worked properly and accurately (like a “well-regulated” clock), the men knew how to use them, and they had fresh ammo. Then there were militias formed by those who lived in cities where arms were only allowed to be kept by the city government in armories. When removed from the armories, those weapons were broken, rusted, and badly maintained. The ammo was old, damp, and moldy. The people were not trained in their use or proper maintenance. All this is well documented, along with disparagement of such militias. Thus, the Second Amendment reads exactly as you would expect it to address this specific problem – don’t trust the government to maintain anything.

        The fewer responsibilities we devolve to government, the safer we will be.

      • In my 20+ years in environmental engineering…haven’t seen it. Army Corps has some responsibilities with the Great Lakes, but it has an almost entirely different focus. Otherwise it’s EPA-funded and managed programs with the work performed by universities and consultants. The Chesapeake Bay Program has been around for over 30 yrs, and the EPA is the only federal entity involved. Puget Sound, Gulf of Mexico, etc, are similar in my experience.

        You can “bet” all you want, but assuming or hoping that it is the case is not exactly appropriate.

        Climate change/resiliency has been squeezed into those programs and tainted them, but it’s a tiny amount.

      • “The Chesapeake Bay Program is a unique regional partnership that has led and directed the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay since 1983. The Chesapeake Bay Program partners include the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, West Virginia and Virginia; the District of Columbia; the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body; the Environmental Protection Agency, representing the federal government; and participating citizen advisory groups”

        http://www.chesapeakebay.net/about

      • The so-called “Chesapeake Bay Program” extorts money from Maryland citizens ($60 a yr & certainly soon to increase) who have septic systems anywhere in the drainage to the Bay, even tho there isn’t the slightest evidence that such systems affect the Bay.

      • How would MarkW know about SOP involving a job? Unless his job is commenting on WUWT, I detect no evidence of experience with anything.

      • Mark,
        That is standard business practice, but not for government agencies. What they do is redefine the “job” so that not only do they not have to scale back, they must expand. The founding fathers warned us of this tendency. Why don’t we (as a society) ever listen?

      • Retired,
        Comparing the total information content of all your comments here with Mark’s, I would have to conclude that he is far more knowledgeable on just about every subject than you. And by a significant margin.

      • Paul, Retired is much more knowledgeable than MarkW. The only time MarkW can out perform Kit is when it comes to reciting worn out right wing talking points.

      • I think MarkW had a job at Sandia Laboratories at one time. Something to do with the climate, if I recall correctly.

      • Poor old Kit, my personal troll is really sucking hind tit when it comes to intelligence.
        It really is sad the way you decide that anyone who threatens your families source of income must be stupid. Or at least they must be shut down.
        Why don’t you go back to playing with the grand kids, at least that way, you can spend your with people who don’t mind when you embarrass yourself.

  3. Crying about cuts…

    …and not one whimper when they grew this monster

    That’s the way government works….bigger and bigger and bigger

    Just like socialism and communism

    • Latitude:

      It seems that your post is intended to distract the discussion from its subject of EPA budget reductions.

      Your post says

      Crying about cuts…

      …and not one whimper when they grew this monster

      That’s the way government works….bigger and bigger and bigger

      Just like socialism and communism

      You could have stopped writing after you had written these observations,
      “Crying about cuts… …and not one whimper when they grew this monster”
      but you did not.

      You added two irrelevant and unsubstantiated assertions as a ‘red herring’.

      Assuming your first assertion is true when you say,
      That’s the way government works….bigger and bigger and bigger”
      then your other assertion is not true when you write,
      “Just like socialism and communism”.

      This is because your first assertion is true of all forms of government or it is not true.
      Therefore, “the way government works” cannot be “LIKE” socialism and communism because they ARE forms of government. In fact, for the same reason, it cannot be “like” capitalism, or fascism, or any other form of government which you could have chosen to mention.

      And if you want to say “socialism and communism” are philosophies and not forms of government then they are what they are so they can change but they cannot get “bigger and bigger and bigger”.

      Simply, your post consists of two unsubstantiated assertions and only one of them can be true.

      However, your post does provide a useful example that can be cited of a perfect ‘red herring’ intended to deflect a discussion from its subject.

      Richard

      • Gosh, Richard. Thank you for saving us from Latitude…or something.

        Your post reads like you got lost on your way to lecturing a third grade class on being pedantic.

        Latitude’s statement that EPA got bigger and bigger is accurate;
        Latitude’s statement that socialism gets bigger and bigger (ref Venezuela) is valid;
        I dom’t see what you’re getting so defensive about.

      • yep….a little bit of a rant
        …with a lot of truth in it

        Slowly growing a government agency…and giving them more and more power….like the EPA

        ..is exactly how governments go from being “for the people” to “for the government”

        You could call it socialist or communist….call it anything you want

        The end result is the same

      • Under normal speech, it is normal to give additional examples of the topic you are discussing.
        As such, it’s not a red herring.
        It may or may not be true, and you have admitted that it is true.

      • MarkW:

        I objected to a ‘red herring’ and gave a clear and factually accurate explanation of how and why it is a ‘red herring’.

        You have jumped in with another ‘red herring’ that – as is your usual practice – is a falsehood.

        Clearly, you really cannot control yourself when you have any opportunity to provide a falsehood .

        Richard

      • richardscourtney

        Your commentary is generally on-topic and worth reading (whether or not I agree with it). Your comments in this thread fail that test.

        I object to your ad hominems and mean spirit. It would be much appreciated if you behaved like an adult when communicating to other adults. WUWT commenters frequently disagree with each other (sometimes strongly) without appearing to throw a temper tantrum.

    • Latitude is one of the most concise WUWT commenters. His posts usually had less than five lines, more often one or two. You, on the other hand, write endless posts nobody have the patience to read. I read the first paragraph and I skip the rest, like in this case.

      Do not bother to reply.

      • urederra:

        I am replying to your specious post for the benefit of others.

        If you thought my posts to be of no consequence then you would not have bothered to write your post I am replying.

        Lucidity and accuracy matter. Incompleteness pretending to be conciseness also matters but for the opposite reason.

        Funny how you read my second and third paragraphs, isn’t it?

        Richard

      • richardscourtney

        You have som serious homework to do before accusing others of misbehaving.

        I doubt very many of us reading your stuff see it as “for the benefit of others” – it reads like an ego-rant.

      • Javert Chip:

        You say

        It would be much appreciated if you behaved like an adult when communicating to other adults.

        I would appreciate your saying which contributors to this thread you think to be human adults and not bots.

        For example, please provide some evidence that MarkW is not programed to distract almost every WUWT thread by spouting irrelevant nonsense.

        Richard

    • Latitude – March 11, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      That’s the way government works….bigger and bigger and bigger

      “YUP”, the total number of US federal government employees increases quite a bit every two (2) years …… and increases quite a lot every four (4) years …… simply because all of the newly-elected and re-elected politicians have to “make good” on their promises to “find a job for” the person or persons that their family, friends, political supporters and/or political donors demanded for supporting their “winning” candidacy.

      • Hey Sam…

        People in this country take too much for granted..because we are the only country coming from a position of “for the people”…
        The countries we are told to emulate are coming from a position of Kings, rulers, etc.

        Socialism/communism etc “for the government” was a step up for them…
        …it is a major step down for us

      • The US was blessed in the past with government which didn’t grow and keep on growing. That changed in 1932, if not before.

        The federal government had expanded before, under the tyrant Lincoln during the Civil War, but both Republican and Democrat (Cleveland) administrations kept it limited thereafter. Liberal Republican Teddy Roosevelt enlarged it some, then Democrat Wilson was even more, by creating the Fed and passing amendments allowing income tax and direct election of senators. But Harding, Coolidge, and, at first Hoover, reined the rampaging monster in. After the Crash and onset of the Depression, however, Hoover adopted activist policies. Then FDR opened the socialist floodgates, causing the Depression to worsen.

      • Socialism/communism etc “for the government” was a step up for them…

        …it is a major step down for us

        Latitude, …. brilliantly defined.

    • Opening statement from your article:

      MANY Americans assume that the chemicals in their shampoos, detergents and other consumer products have been thoroughly tested and proved to be safe.

      This assumption is wrong.

      This opening statement is flat out wrong.
      The rest of the article is an anti-chemical screed, full of nonsense.
      This stuff is old, very, very old.
      A Blast From The Past:

      Hazardous chemicals have become so ubiquitous that scientists now talk about babies being born pre-polluted, sometimes with hundreds of synthetic chemicals showing up in their blood.

      This stuff is so old. It recalls my days as an undergraduate Chem. major, many decades ago. The education majors (of all people) would shriek at us, calling us Corporate Polluters, Poisoning Babies, Murdering Children! To the Education majors, the Chem majors were Corporate Baby Killers. The Biology and Physics majors were also held in great contempt, but their greatest hatred and fear was held for the Chem. majors.
      We used to wonder what on Earth is going on in the Education Dept. We were amused that students, of at least (presumably) nominal intelligence would fall for such anti-science nonsense. We were not amused with the realization that these students could vote. We were even less amused with the idea that most of them would end up reproducing.

      The New York Times is still at it.
      *sigh*

      • TonyL,

        It’s been known, unfortunately, for a long time that the dumbest people, the ones who barely managed to get into college, become education majors. And you (general you, not you personally) wonder what’s wrong with society today?

      • Even in my day, the saying was: “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.” Education was seen by many as a non-discipline no longer even searching for a subject. Methods courses taught by college profs who had never (since their own grade school days) set foot in an elementary or high-school classroom; curriculum-and-instruction courses taught for the sake of the theories (“enriched need arousal,” etc.); college graduates who could spout polysyllabic theoretical talk about “education” but whose grasp of the subject they were purportedly qualified to teach was insecure at best–all of these made the schools of education more or less a laughing-stock as long ago as the 1950s. I was in music. Some of the music ed majors were real musicians, gifted, talented, and dedicated to teaching children music; but many more were not, and there was no way to weed them out. As long as they passed their methods and theoretical courses, they were destined for the public schools. The wonder is that their students received any real education at all. During my years of college teaching (1964 to 2007) I witnessed a slow decline in the preparedness of the college freshmen I taught, and an increase in the amount of remedial work they required in order to reach even a minimum proficiency. There are plenty of ways to account for that decline, but deficiencies in the subject-matter areas of their learning was surely a major contributor. (I deeply honor those truly-qualified teachers who stuck it out for their whole careers in teaching increasingly unruly children; such teachers showed dedication that the general public will never truly know about.)

    • Stuartlarge,
      Please do not insult professional chemists who introduce chemical products in response to the needs expressed by normal people. Chemophobia is rampant, it is full of hate. The EPA is a harm to science when it singles out man-made chemicals for punishment, because the EPA should know that Nature has given us many more, much more toxic chemicals than chemists have created (warfare efforts excepted). Try anthrax, try eating the skins of unripe potatos, try a variety of mushrooms, try the elements arsenic, cadmium, mercury, thallium and their various natural compounds.
      The Toxic Substances Control Act was a child of a 1960s scare, a man made scare like global warming, that forecast an epidemic of cancers caused by man-made chemicals. The chemicals were real, the cancers were not. It was a large, mainly governmental scam. But the Acts and Regs stayed on the books, as bureaucrats work to ensure, to hinder yet more future progress. The plan by President Trump to revoke two old regs for each new one proposed is beautifully simple. We can but hope it is done properly.
      But please, work actively to combat the chemophobia that is now trendy, though false, and seemingly taught in schools in the form that synthetic chemicals are evil. Please consider that your professional chemist is just another ordinary citizen with no prior determination to harm society by evil deeds. I majored in Chemistry, many friends likewise and we certainly have no intent to use our skills to harm others. As might be expected, we work to help society and have pride in our successes.
      As an aside, ask yourself if people within the EPA who imagine and write and administer regulations are really able to be classed as ’employed’. When the EPA increases these numbers, is it really reducing national unemployment? Is it a benefit to the economy? I think not. Compare the output to a genuine worker such as a farm person driving a harvester gathering crop for the tangible benefit if many others. I feel that reduction in EPA employee numbers will inevitably lead to greater national productivity, quite a benefit.
      Geoff

      Geoff

      • Thank you Geoff!

        I am so sick of this chemophobia I could scream and I’m not a chemist, I’m a biologist.

        Anytime someone claims “all natural, plant based” is so MUCH healthier because its plants and not those dirty man made chemicals I remind them that cyanide is also all natural plant based.

        They normally stop talking after that.

      • I’m allergic to all things natural. Raw fruits and veggies? Can’t eat most of them. Fancy plant extracts in the shampoo? Can’t use it. When people try to tell me that natural is better, I tell them, “unless you’re allergic to it.”

        My personal motto is “pure chemicals, all the way.” And no, it’s not a joke.

      • Momma M,
        My sympathies, it must be terrible.
        Here in Oz we see many more new school children each year with allergies, especially to nuts. It is serious and I think as yet unexplained. Nature can make it hard to define ‘natural’.
        Geoff

      • Too many well-intentioned parents not letting their little ones play in the dirt, while slathering them with anti-bacterial this and SPF30 that. (The last one may not contribute to allergies, but it does contribute to Vitamin D deficiency.)

        Dirty doesn’t automatically mean bad. Baby mammoths (and probably baby elephants today) would eat their mothers’ dung to propagate the symbiotic bacteria needed to digest their food as adults.

      • Actually, Geoff, it sounds worse than it is. I manage my allergies fairly well. Moving to a semi-desert climate 13 years ago took care of my hay fever, even if it means I need to use gallons of lotion on my dry skin. Tradeoffs. And cortisone cream/ointment is a Godsend. I am soooo thankful for that!

        By the way – you misread my name. It’s Monna.

      • Wonderfully put Geoff. I owe my life to chemists and scientists who found ways to prevent infections and treat infections. Many people do – although they won’t admit it. While there will always be those who try to cut corners and dump untreated effluent into the lakes and rivers, onto the land, or into the air, most people today are more than willing to maintain a cleaner mode of manufacture, and don’t want to see rivers catching fire or lakes being unusable and unfishable. Some regulations and laws are needed to keep those who would take advantage in check, but the regs, as they stand now, are well beyond maintaining a fairly clean environment and, in a lot of cases, insist on standards far higher than exist in nature to begin with. I won’t start on the “all natural all the time” set of beliefs, just agree with you that much of what is deadly and incurable/untreatable is pure nature, purely natural.

      • Yes, rattlesnake venom is natural, so are mosquito and tick bites, bedbugs too as well many other things we have worked hard to overcome. Can you imagine what any major city smelled like during horse and buggy days?

      • Mary E – March 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

        I owe my life to chemists and scientists who found ways to prevent infections and treat infections.

        “HA”, on a similar note ……. I always tell people that I am extremely grateful to Adolph Hitler and the Nazi Party for their dastardly deeds during WWII because I would surely not be alive today if not for penicillin …… that I am sure has saved my life at least 3 or 4 times during the past 70 years.

        Before penicillin, …… your life expectancy was highly dependent upon sulfur or sulfa drugs and mercury compounds.

  4. Fully 98% of all counties in the United States voted for Donald Trump …

    The 98% figure is dubious. I think it was closer to 97%. link

    • Uh, Snopes seemingly turned every stone, but never did proclaim what percentage of counties Trump actually won. I once reckoned around 85% but don’t feel like running it down again. 98% is far too generous , that much I’m sure of.

      • “That’s 84.4% by county” I checked and agree with this figure. Still, Trump lost the popular vote since the lowest populated 2000 counties have about as many people as the most populated 100 counties. (Numbers not exact, terms and conditions apply)

      • Silly Democratic Party talking point. The election was contested on the basis of electoral votes, and the Democrats oppose any effort to clean up the voter rolls. Some of those three million may even be alive, and citizens, and voting in only one state.

      • “Silly Democratic Party talking point. The election was contested on the basis of electoral votes…” Do you mean electoral college votes? That is true, but to call the number raised here (number of counties won) a democratic talking point is wrong.

  5. I always like what Paul writes. Very much to the point, well informed and beautifully written. Let’s hope our politicians listen.

  6. I have a friend who is an electrical contractor. He kept a paint recycling barrel at the office for the company and any employees who wanted to use it. The EPA recently decided that training would be required to pour paint into the barrel. Twenty bucks to train, time lost, paper work to be filled out and so on. Not to mention the six figure a year EPA person who created the reg. My friend told them to pick up the barrel. Now they’ll just mix old paint with cat litter and throw it in the dumpster. Imagine the thousands of times this gets repeated across the country. Trump could probably cut the EPA by half with no bad consequences.

  7. Dividing the $8.1 billion annual budget by the 15,000 headcount gives $540,000 per employee. That’s over half a million dollars per bureaucrat. I managed a technology center of similar people in industry (we even sometimes challenged the EPA on technical grounds), at a fraction of that amount.

    • From working in a government department and many lrage private organizations, my estimate is that government departments are about 10% efficient, and large private organizations about 40%. That makes the private sector 4 times as effective.

    • Yea, Tom, but you probably don’t throw money away on third parties (e.g.: Energy dept to Solyndra). You have shareholders, so you probably actually have to do something useful.

      If EPA wanted, it could have stopped the Flint water disaster; they didn’t want to, or at least not bad enough.

      • Well, they at least had 8 years. I wonder if the ice is deep enough to take a core sample and measure the CO2. We can measure the date that way.

      • GWB was a warmist too. Before that,, 8 years of Slick Willie.
        So 24 years of “snowflake” accumulation at the EPA.
        EPA: not so much a juggernaut
        more like a glacier.

  8. I’ve seen oil companies reduce their budget and technical staff 25% more times than I care to think about. In spite of the devastating reductions, they still delivered the products, and put an end to “peak oil” hysteria.

    • Exactly. This is what leftists cannot grasp. When money is tight, you don’t hire more staff to balance the budget, you sack some!

      • +1. I’ve lost a couple of jobs because of change and the economy (and don’t work in the oil industry). Those bureaucrats have a mindset that they are owed jobs for life.

      • If that were true, no-one would ever borrow to invest . Like most things related to economics, your point is a simplistic approach which rarely reflects reality.

      • Gareth

        I can’t begin to understand your comment. Are you responding to Jer0me or Krudd?.

    • I’ve known peak oil was going to happen sometime in the future, but I stayed in the industry because it seemed to be very far off. In the late 1980’s I realized exploration for oil was starting to yield poor results, so I suggested to management they should cut oil exploration budgets (I felt a 50% cut was warranted) and shift to natural gas even if marketing would be delayed one or two decades. By the late 1990’s I felt we should strive to lock in as much heavy oil as possible, because developing conventional oil was getting a lot tougher. By the late 2000’s it was easy to see conventional oil had peaked, and that heavy oil required high prices. So I began to recommend capture of whatever molecules we could lease, even if we didn’t know exactly how they would be produced.

      Today, in 2017, it’s clear to me the oil industry is at the end of the road. Peak oil is definitely approaching, and there aren’t any new and wonderful technologies I can see which will allow the industry to increase crude oil and condensate production as forecasted by international agencies, the IPCC, etc. I’m not sure exactly when peak oil will happen, but it’s increasingly clear it will probably be soon, definitely before 2040.

      The truth is that even to increase crude oil and condensate production by 10%, to slightly less than 90 mmbopd, we would need to hire hundreds of thousands of new employees, return thousands of rigs back to work, use huge amounts of steel and other resources, and get paid over $100 per barrel, and then much more as time goes by. We could drill several tens of thousands of horizontal wells in the USA, and the same amount elsewhere, and yet we simply won’t be able to avoid peak oil. The price we demand will be so high the market won’t stand it. Poor countries will simply reduce demand and their economies will go to hell. And we will see efficiency and alternative technologies take over the market. This is pretty much set in stone, it’s the way nature and market forces work.

      • There is no way oil will be sustained above $100 a barrel until the coal runs out. Coal to liquid technology is profitable at half of that and it is a lot easier to get hold of coal. Queensland could become an exporter of oil products instead of coal well below $100/bbl.

        Sasol is building two plants in China and there is a rumour the Chinese are building a direct conversion plant in inner Mongolia. New tech.

        CTL technology produces sulphur-free products, if you want. There is no need to treat ‘natural oil’ as the only way to make hydrocarbon products.

      • Fernando

        With all due respect, sounds like you were wrong in the 1980’s, you’re wrong now and you’re probably wrong about “peak oil” before 2040. At least you’re consistent.

        You & Paul Ehrlich have a lot in common. Maybe you guys should do lunch.

  9. On the money Paul. This is the he time for clear thinking and sure follow through. Unlike the Bush era when we could have done better Trump seems inclined to deliver in a big way. I’ll do my little bit to help him.

  10. Any EPA budget that is higher than the Mayberry R.F.D. sherrif’s department budget needs to be dramatically cut.

    The EPA is what the Declaration of Independence was talking about when it wrote:

    “He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.”

  11. “EPA alone is responsible for well over $353 billion of the cumulative annual federal regulatory bill”

    This is confusingly worded. Is it cumulative or annual? Is cumulative a typo? Cumulative in some sense other than time? Annual in some sense other than for one year? The context suggests one of the first two, but stop making me think.

  12. An easy way to fire the “right” 20%:
    Make everyone take Environmental Re-education courses which debunk common Green lies and paranoia.
    Those who refuse, disrupt, or fail the exam can be dismissed, which improves moral for the rest also.

  13. If there is any justification for clipping the EPA ridiculous waste it is “Climate Justice.”

    Directly from the EPA.gov website

    “Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.

    EPA has this goal for all communities and persons across this nation. It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”
    https://www.epa.gov/environmentaljustice

    I challenge anyone/everyone to go to the link and try to figure out WTF is climate justice..

    $2Billion in cuts is just not enough when so much is waste.

    • joelobryan – “I challenge anyone/everyone to go to the link and try to figure out WTF is climate justice..”

      Ok. Climate Justice: unelected & unaccountable EPA bureaucrats make up rules/regulations and piss away mucho taxpayer money. All this is done in a manner that in no way improves the quality of Flint, MI drinking water.

      How’s that?

      • +10

        Would’ve been more, but You forgot the Climate Justice delivered to the Animas River compliments of the EPA.

  14. A long overdue downsizing, a desperately needed refocusing of the EPA. Thank you, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pruitt.

    Now, for Congress. We need legislation striking CO2 from the clean air act. We also need a withdrawal from the UNFCCC. Please act, and act soon.

  15. A long overdue downsizing, a desperately needed refocusing of the EPA. Thank you, Mr. Trump and Mr. Pruitt.

    Now, for Congress. We need legislation striking CO2 from the clean air act. We also need a withdrawal from the UNFCCC. Please act, and act soon.

  16. The G20 finance ministers meet Mar 17-18 with rumors of reduced governmental funding for global warming. This is the first big test of the new sheriff in town.

  17. EPA needs to work with infrastructure improvements regarding clean lead-free water, sewage handling, and garbage. These areas constitute the underlying foundation of a nation of states that works to stay clean and healthy. Any detriment to these areas and we will not withstand a world that covets our land. They are as important as our roadways, railways, river ways, and ports.

  18. Re: Socialism and Big:
    From memory, so probably way wrong but…
    When Britain had An Empire, seemingly 4,000 civil servants (bureaucrats) administered it.
    Said empire encompassed 25% of the World’s people and land.

    They’ve just built a new Ivory Tower in Brussels and some part of the hoo-ha & justification for it was that it would be hosting 6,000 meetings per day.
    Is it OK to ask wtf they’re all talking about in there?

    • Yea.

      1) How to run your life

      2) How to spend your money

      3) What “free” speech you’re allow to exercise

      • An EPA rep also conducts environmental orientations for new Brussels bureaucrats on how to:

        4. Bend a fish,

        5. Cross a road in the forest, and

        6. Not become a crispy critter during a wildfire.

  19. “Fully 98% of all counties in the United States voted for Donald Trump and his vision for a less regulated, more prosperous nation”

    Now I am the first to admit I’m not an expert on the Byzantine mechanisms of US elections, but if Trump had 98% of all counties voting for him, why did he lose the popular vote by millions?

    • Because large cities are located in the small fraction of counties, and urban populations have a large proportion of minorities and upscale middle class.

      That 98% is meaningless, as is the popular vote, because the system awards electoral college votes. Most states award those winner take all.

      Nowadays the candidates have polling data and focus groups, they can prepare a message focused on a specific set of voters to secure the electoral college win. For example, Texas votes republican, California democrat. This means trump didn’t have to do much to get the Texas vote. And there was nothing he could do to win California. He focused on issues important to states that would be in play, such as Ohio and Florida.

      Trump is a very flexible guy. The record shows he tends to be Republican lite, but he needed votes, so he went for the Tea Party anti inmigrant forgotten deplorables, and they responded. Hillary on the other hand sold herself as a female Obama. But she has no charisma, her political career was designed for her by the Deep State. And it showed.

      She was a lousy candidate, this is shown simply because Trump was also a poor candidate, the guy looks like he doesn’t know how to manage a grocery store chain, never mind a country, but won easily.

      I think the system is broken, so the USA is likely to suffer an eventual demise similar to what happened to imperial Rome, the Spanish empire, etc. it looks like it’ll be internal infighting coupled to lousy leaders until the end, which may come within decades unless the voters wake up and get a bit more sophisticated.

      • Unfortunately, enough voters to matter aren’t going to “wake up and get a bit more sophisticated” until the media and education industries are reclaimed from the left and that is likely generations away, if ever. As some comedian likes to say (Ron White, maybe?) “You can’t fix stupid.”

      • “…the guy looks like he doesn’t know how to manage a grocery store chain…”

        What do his looks have to do with his ability to conduct business?

      • “” looks like he doesn’t know how to manage a grocery store chain””..

        Fernando, you have to put the election in context..

        The other choice was Hillary and the democrats…
        ..who have proven they can not run a grocery store chain

      • the guy looks like he doesn’t know how to manage a grocery store chain, never mind a country

        And yet he somehow managed many orders of magnitude of that – he was building and operating bunch of skyscrapers, casinos, multi-billion dollar businesses, have tens of thousand people employed and earn billions of dollars of income. Among other things.
        And almost forgot – he also run a wildly successful TV show for over 10 years.

        The looks could be very, very deceiving.

      • “..who have proven they can not run a grocery store chain”

        Like the Left in the UK, it is doubtful they could run the proverbial whelk stall.

        Once they run out of “Other Peoples’ Money” to p1ss up the wall to finance their crackpot virtue signalling feelgood schemes like transgender toilets, they’re screwed.

    • Illegal voters.
      Ballot stuffing.

      i.e. He didn’t , just some people want to believe that so they can protest and feel righteous about the destruction they cause.

    • By “Byzantine mechanisms of US elections” I suppose your referring to the electoral college.
      The electoral college is not out dated nor complicated. It is an essential element of Federalism. In essence it is the states which elect the president and not the people. A strictly popular vote would allow the people of a few most populous states to dominate. That would be completely unacceptable to the populations in the other states and would inevitably lead to the fracturing of the nation in one way or another.

      A side benefit of the electoral college is that it makes it nearly impossible for electoral fraud to be successful in determining who is elected to be POTUS.

    • Gareth Phillips – March 12, 2017 at 1:24 am

      “Fully 98% of all counties in the United States voted for Donald Trump ……

      …… if Trump had 98% of all counties voting for him, why did he lose the popular vote by millions?

      Simple arithmetic, …… as an example, West Virginia has a total of 1,226,745 registered voters …. and a total of 55 counties that Donald Trump won, …………. whereas …… New York City alone has approximately 5,000,000 registered voters and encompasses 5 counties which Hillary Clinton won.

      55 counties for Trump, ……… 5 counties for Hillary.

      • The discussions of Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote vs Donald Trump winning the Electoral College vs counties ignores one fundamental fact. Presidential electoral politics are focused on winning the Electoral College because that is what matters. If the president was elected by popular vote we would have completely different campaigns that would be focused on a few populous states and ignoring the rest of the country. There is a certain wisdom to the electoral college. As RAH noted above, this would lead to the fracturing of our country.

  20. It may be true that Trump is trying to reduce spending on departments and initiatives he disagrees with. But it’s important to remember that when such financial governance is applied to himself and his family, the skies the limit. All Presidents and their families need security, but it appears that Trump sees the issue as a cash cow which he will mik for all it’s worth.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-costs-trips-security-taxpayer-barack-obama-month-year-a7586261.html

    • Funny how the socialists never complained when Barack sent Michelle to Hawaii on Air Force one, then a week later had AF1 make a second round trip to pick him up so that he could join the family on vacation.

    • It may be true that Trump is trying to reduce spending on departments and initiatives he disagrees with. But it’s important to remember that when such financial governance is applied to himself and his family, the skies the limit.

      Yeah, shur nuff, the above is a typical disingenuous comment that one expects from a highly partisan Democrat who has been publicly embarrassed in front of gawd and everyone for the dastardly dishonest deeds, lying commentary and/or extremely wasteful spending of taxpayer monies that only benefits themselves, the Democrat Party and/or the political donor$ to the Democrat Party and its active politicians.

      “YUP”, shur nuff, …… “the skies were the limit” ….. when Obama and the Hillary Democrats ordered that new $4 BILLION DOLLAR Air Force One luxury airliner for jet-setting around the country to various Democrat “fund-raisers” and vacations here, there and yonder …….. but President Trump said “HELL NO, …… I’m not flying around in a $4 BILLION dollar airplane”.

      Whenever the Democrat chicanery gets “outed” …….. they immediately begin blaming their dastardly deeds on the Republicans.

  21. Excellent article!

    Here are my Observations and Conclusions on the subject of Energy and Environment, written in 2015.

    We knew most of these conclusions decades ago; even the newer bits are now almost a decade old.

    Almost everything the EPA has done in the past eight years had been dysfunctional and counterproductive – harmful to the economy AND the environment.

    One wonders how they could get it so completely wrong.

    Regards to all, Allan

    EVIDENCE SUGGESTING TEMPERATURE DRIVES ATMOSPHERIC CO2 MORE THAN CO2 DRIVES TEMPERATURE
    September 4, 2015
    By Allan MacRae
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/13/presentation-of-evidence-suggesting-temperature-drives-atmospheric-co2-more-than-co2-drives-temperature/

    Observations and Conclusions:

    1. Temperature, among other factors, drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature. The rate of change dCO2/dt is closely correlated with temperature and thus atmospheric CO2 LAGS temperature by ~9 months in the modern data record

    2. CO2 also lags temperature by ~~800 years in the ice core record, on a longer time scale.

    3. Atmospheric CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales.

    4. CO2 is the feedstock for carbon-based life on Earth, and Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are clearly CO2-deficient. CO2 abatement and sequestration schemes are nonsense.

    5. Based on the evidence, Earth’s climate is insensitive to increased atmospheric CO2 – there is no global warming crisis.

    6. Recent global warming was natural and irregularly cyclical – the next climate phase following the ~20 year pause will probably be global cooling, starting by ~2020 or sooner.

    7. Adaptation is clearly the best approach to deal with the moderate global warming and cooling experienced in recent centuries.

    8. Cool and cold weather kills many more people than warm or hot weather, even in warm climates. There are about 100,000 Excess Winter Deaths every year in the USA and about 10,000 in Canada.

    9. Green energy schemes have needlessly driven up energy costs, reduced electrical grid reliability and contributed to increased winter mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.

    10. Cheap, abundant, reliable energy is the lifeblood of modern society. When politicians fool with energy systems, real people suffer and die. That is the tragic legacy of false global warming alarmism.

    Allan MacRae, Calgary

      • Hmmm my apology for implying you used my phrase – I didn’t follow your link until after I clicked on “Post Comment”

      • No worries Steve. I started writing about “CO2 Starvation” circa 2008 – the following post is from January 2009.

        I later changed 200ppm to ~150ppm and added comments about C3, C4 and CAM photosynthesis, but the problem remains much the same.

        I have corresponded about this subject with several parties, including Patrick Moore, who later wrote an important paper about it.

        Here is a question for you:
        Since “CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales”, as I proved in January 2008, how is it that the mainstream global warming debate between warmists and skeptics is STILL about “the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2”, in effect “By how much can the future cause the past?”

        I know it is a bit more complicated than I stated above, but not much. This seems to be a huge and voluntary “blind spot” for the climate science community. One is reminded of the controversies of “continental drift”, or the “bacterial origin of stomach ulcers”. Why is this subject not openly and rationally debated? It is controversial, but is it really that scary?

        Regards, Allan

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/30/co2-temperatures-and-ice-ages/#comment-79524

        (Plant) Food for Thought (apologies – written too late at night)

        Background:

        http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/implementing-co2.html
        1. “As CO2 is a critical component of growth, plants in environments with inadequate CO2 levels – below 200 ppm – will cease to grow or produce.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_in_the_Earth's_atmosphere
        2. “The longest ice core record comes from East Antarctica, where ice has been sampled to an age of 800 kyr BP (Before Present). During this time, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration has varied by volume between 180 – 210 ppm during ice ages, increasing to 280 – 300 ppm during warmer interglacials…
        … On longer timescales, various proxy measurements have been used to attempt to determine atmospheric carbon dioxide levels millions of years in the past. These include boron and carbon isotope ratios in certain types of marine sediments, and the number of stomata observed on fossil plant leaves. While these measurements give much less precise estimates of carbon dioxide concentration than ice cores, there is evidence for very high CO2 volume concentrations between 200 and 150 myr BP of over 3,000 ppm and between 600 and 400 myr BP of over 6,000 ppm.”

        Questions and meanderings:

        According to para.1 above:

        During Ice ages, does almost all plant life die out as a result of some combination of lower temperatures and CO2 levels that fell below 200ppm (para. 2 above)? If not, why not?

        Does this (possible) loss of plant life have anything to do with rebounding of atmospheric CO2 levels as the world exits the Ice Age (in combination with other factors such as ocean exsolution)? Could this contribute to the observed asymmetry?

        When all life on Earth comes to an end, will it be because CO2 permanently falls below 200ppm as it is permanently sequestered in carbonate rocks, hydrocarbons, coals, etc.?

        Since life on Earth is likely to end due to a lack of CO2, should we be paying energy companies to burn fossil fuels to increase atmospheric CO2, instead of fining them due to the false belief that they cause global warming?

        Could T.S. Eliot have been thinking about CO2 starvation when he wrote:
        “This is the way the world ends
        Not with a bang but a whimper.”

        Regards, Allan :-)

    • Allan M.R. MacRae March 12, 2017 at 9:41 am
      Here is a question for you:
      Since “CO2 lags temperature at all measured time scales”, as I proved in January 2008, how is it that the mainstream global warming debate between warmists and skeptics is STILL about “the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2”, in effect “By how much can the future cause the past?”

      Or how much can predictions oops projections of the future change the present?

      Yes CO2 lags by something like 800 years or so.
      Well what happened 800 years ago?
      Can you say Medieval Warm Period?

      • Yes Steve, the MWP is one possible cause, among others – this has all been discussed before, but then swept back under the rug.

        Murry Salby stated writing about this hypothesis circa 2010 and got fired from Macquarie University for that. Murry takes the concept a bit further than I do, which tends to drag in the Mass Balance Argument, Ferdinand Engelbeen’s favorite story.

        I do not need to go that far to make my key point, which is that “Temperature drives atmospheric CO2 much more than CO2 drives temperature” and “There is NO real global warming crisis”.

        Humlum et al published a similar paper to mine in 2013, five years after my 2008 icecap.us paper:
        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0921818112001658
        Highlights of Humlum:
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 11–12 months behind changes in global sea surface temperature.
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging 9.5–10 months behind changes in global air surface temperature.
        – Changes in global atmospheric CO2 are lagging about 9 months behind changes in global lower troposphere temperature.
        – Changes in ocean temperatures explain a substantial part of the observed changes in atmospheric CO2 since January 1980.
        – Changes in atmospheric CO2 are not tracking changes in human emissions.

        ****************

    • Steve, re the phrase you cited: “CO2 is the feedstock for all carbon-based life on Earth.”

      This post of mine dates from 2013 – but I expect someone else said this over 100 years ago – it’s not really news. :-)

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/11/06/the-oldest-ice-core-finding-a-1-5-million-year-record-of-earths-climate/#comment-1469386

      [excerpt]

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.”
      Furthermore, CO2 concentrations are dangerously low in Earth’s atmosphere. Atmospheric CO2 is the feedstock for all carbon-based life on Earth. More atmospheric CO2 is better. Within reasonable limits, a lot more atmospheric CO2 is a lot better.

      See also my comment here from December 2014:
      http://icecap.us/index.php/go/new-and-cool/plant_food_for_thought2/

      As we clearly stated in our 2002 APEGA paper:

      “Climate science does not support the theory of catastrophic human-made global warming – the alleged warming crisis does not exist.” Baliunas, Patterson and MacRae

      Furthermore, increased atmospheric CO2 from whatever cause is clearly beneficial to humanity and the environment. Earth’s atmosphere is clearly CO2 deficient and continues to decline over geological time. In fact, atmospheric CO2 at this time is too low, dangerously low for the longer term survival of carbon-based life on Earth.

      More Ice Ages, which are inevitable unless geo-engineering can prevent them, will cause atmospheric CO2 concentrations on Earth to decline to the point where photosynthesis slows and ultimately ceases. This would devastate the descendants of most current life on Earth, which is carbon-based and to which, I suggest, we have a significant moral obligation.

      Atmospheric and dissolved oceanic CO2 is the feedstock for all carbon-based life on Earth. More CO2 is better. Within reasonable limits, a lot more CO2 is a lot better.

      As a devoted fan of carbon-based life on Earth, I feel it is my duty to advocate on our behalf. To be clear, I am not prejudiced against non-carbon-based life forms, but I really do not know any of them well enough to form an opinion. They could be very nice. :-)

      Best, Allan

  22. It’s unlikely the media and the Left will change how they report “climate change”. It’s anyones guess if the media (and the Greens) will enter negative believability. That, truly, would be an historic first. Call it the Trump Effect.

    • The media and greens have been in negative believability territory for some time now and they’re only going deeper into it.

  23. Overreach = EPA

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently found itself in hot water. The New York Times revealed the agency colluded with environmentalist groups in a campaign to manufacture public comments in favor of a new rule that expands its own power. The agency’s actions and the shenanigans of its environmentalist supporters shed light on how a bad rule can flow through the regulatory process. 

    The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule extends the reach of EPA to regulate ponds, ditches and even large puddles under the Clean Water Act (CWA). That’s bad news for farmers, ranchers, small businesses or anyone else who wants to use land under CWA jurisdiction: It costs an average of $270,000 to obtain the special permit required to do so, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/245201-drowning-by-epa-overreach

    Gina McCarthy, the agency’s administrator, told a Senate committee in March that the agency had received more than one million comments, and nearly 90 percent favored the agency’s proposal. Ms. McCarthy is expected to cite those comments to justify the final rule, which the agency plans to unveil this week.

    But critics say there is a reason for the overwhelming result: The E.P.A. had a hand in manufacturing it.

    In a campaign that tests the limits of federal lobbying law, the agency orchestrated a drive to counter political opposition from Republicans and enlist public support in concert with liberal environmental groups and a grass-roots organization aligned with President Obama.

    • Voice of the public? Virtually every positive comment that came into the government’s website singing WOTUS’s praise came off pre-written, EPA-approved form letters/scripts/talking points—IMO—that obviously were made available to EPA employees or surrogate plants who, if they weren’t in the hospital or on vacation, were probably told “ . . . to send them in”. Many came from USFWS offices. Little to no variation. Read like something from a mechanical regurgitation machine programmed to vary a word or line. Not possible from 900 different humans. I checked this website throughout the comment period to see what property owners nationwide were saying. To the person they saw through the EPA lies and lobbying.

      Which was, like WOTUS, illegal. Here are the Constraints Imposed by 18 U.S.C. § 1913 on Lobbying Efforts that were researched for the U.S. Attorney General’s office in 1989: (brief summary beneath link)

      https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/olc/opinions/1989/09/31/op-olc-v013-p0300.pdf

      THE ANTI-LOBBYING ACT PROHIBITS substantial “grass roots” lobbying campaigns of Telegrams, Letters, and other Private forms of communication DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO PRESSURE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION OR DEPARTMENT LEGISLATIVE OR APPROPRIATIONS PROPOSALS.

      This was the EPA’s third attempt to back-door Congress; this time using a lame duck president’s EO and EPA ‘rules and regulations’ as “law”. Neither are. Here’s what’s at stake for America

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/01/20/trump-posts-first-order-of-business-kill-the-climate-action-plan-and-waters-of-the-u-s-rule/

      These people are socialists/Marxists who’ve been working with other socialist/Marxists at the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bildebergers, Club of Rome, et. al., for more than a century to tear America’s pesky Constitution and Bill of Rights down. WOTUS is their third attempt to wrest control private property rights their using ‘their ‘ EPA Division.

  24. The EPA has a major headwind…the law of diminishing returns.

    While they have been successful in the clean air and water departments, to get the last 5-10% of an effluent out of the waste stream, the cost curve swings nearly vertical. Does that mean they should be shut down? Scott Pruitt says no. New technologies can change the curve, and particularly in the waste water area, much more needs to be done to address replacement of old infrastructure.

    CO2 control represents a new field of growth for the agency, and they and their agents will continue the campaign to keep the great lie alive.

  25. We will miss Gina McCarthy if she actually ever goes away. A perfect manifestation of an ideologically driven bureaucrat run amok. Scott Pruitt is fortunate to follow such a feckless incompetent. btw the Justice Department pulled something similar to the LA Times EPA story in New Orleans. Several police officers were on trial for Katrina related events when the DOJ lawyers were caught using fake identities to generate opinion against them in NO media. Strange but true.

  26. The epa has become an extra-Constitutional, power-mad, quasi-fascist arm of the government and needs to be scrapped.

  27. The dishonest and overtly-political biases foisted on the American public by the EPA make it all but impossible for good decisions to be made when it comes to energy supply, industrial activity or utilization of natural resources. They live in a dream world thinking their work is righteous with the ends justifying the means. They are wrong. And dangerous. And irredeemable. Buh-bye.

  28. Anything short of a 100 percent cut in the climate programs at EPA will be a disappointment.The same goes for the mine spill group that pollutes rivers as a public service without informing local communities while pretending to be engineers.

  29. There is a key component missing in these fixes…litigation control. Good, let’s cut back on unnecessary bureaucracy, but let’s also do what is done everywhere else in the US criminal justice system. When a person is charged with a felony then they get Mirandized. They are told they have a right to an attorney and that if they cannot afford an attorney then one will be provided to them at no cost. Let’s pass a law extending these rights to the possible 5000 felony counts that could be leveled against you under environmental law.

    If we do this, and the EPA is made to pay for defense, these lawsuits will stop pretty quickly.

    The right to an attorney is to protect people from governmental abuse of the legal system…a government with unlimited resources going after a citizen with none.

      • Make it be the EPA’s money. I don’t think people understand how powerful this would be.

    • A good idea and I’ll add one more thing: Any fines or other monetary punishments go directly to the Treasury and NOT to the EPA.

      • Also, might be a good idea to have legislation which bars the EPA ‘sue and settle” strategy to circumvent Congress and the courts. Another would to prohibit EPA contracts going to non-profits (this would end many conflicts of interest and help keep socialism out of EPA)

    • The EPA is not the big problem with litigation. It is the likes of GreenPeace, FOE, NRDC, UCS, ect.

      The only winners are the lawyers. In one million dollar settlement, $900,000 went for court costs and attorney fees; and $100,000 for an environmental project that the dairy farmer was already doing.

      The reason this dairy farm was targeted was money.

      In Washington State, US EPA regulations are enforced by the state. Concentrated Animal feeding operations (CAFO) are required to have a water permit and account for all the nutrients in manure. Basically manure is recycled.

      Next time you see a free range cow standing in a stream, think about where the manure is going. In the US, even the poor can afford quality protein like milk, cheese, eggs, and meat thanks to CAFOs.

      Free range does not equate with better for the environment.

  30. That agency needs to be checked for political bias in selective enforcement along with other investigations of working with activist groups underhandedly (unlawfully).

  31. Very nice summary, Paul. Well done.

    I’ll offer these observations:
    1. The first priority of every government bureaucracy is to stay in existence, regardless whether its
    original purpose still exists or has been satisfied. (Consider the US Tea Tasting Board.)
    2. The second priority is to push unrelentingly to expand the scope of its authority and the size of its
    budget. The corollary of this priority is that any attempt to shrink either scope or budget is to be
    implacably and theatrically resisted. (In pursuing this priority, bureaucracies are very ably and reliably
    aided and abetted by members of Congress buying votes.)

  32. Off subject, but I have to start somewhere:

    “Mister Gorbachev; tear down this wall.”
    –Ronald Reagan.

    “President Trump; end clock change.”
    –Bob Hoye

  33. The EPA is a welfare program run for the benefit of Environmental Studies majors and lawyers. Even back in the 1990’s only a small percentage of the SuperFund budget was spent on actual site rehab. (clean up) 90% of the budget went to pay lawyers. Just disgusting and some good companies were ruined for zero public benefit.

  34. I think it’s more like 84.3% of all counties went for Trump: 489 counties out of 3112. However, some states don’t have by-county results available, so a higher number could be possible.

    Still, pretty much a wipeout, except by the popular vote. Of course, if one takes all of California’s votes out of the election, Trump wins the popular vote by about 2M — that’s how skewed that state was.

    • Have to laugh at how Moonbeam was harping on secession until the dam broke…
      ….then he was begging Trump for money

    • In many precincts, CA officials let illegal aliens vote, just as they give them driver licenses. The motor voter law makes it easy for illegal immigrants both to drive and vote.

      Trump won the popular vote by live, eligible citizens voting just once. Clinton won when including the dead, ineligible, multiple voters and illegals.

      • The difference between Clinton’s phony total and Trump’s depressed count in just two of the most crooked counties in the country, ie Los Angeles, CA and Cook, IL (Chicago), adds up to the nearly three million “popular” vote gap.

  35. Several years ago I had a conversation with a California landfill manager about some regulations. He said to me, “You need to understand that 10% of the regulations relate to science and 90% relate to politics.” I believe him to be right.

  36. One EPA practice that Mr. Driessen did not mention is the EPA awarding grants to NGOs for the purpose of taking the EPA to court to force the EPA to take an action that is often dubious at best and not within the EPA’s jurisdiction at worst. The EPA would enter into a consent decree that the court would accept settling the lawsuit and arming the EPA with the authority of the Courts mandating that the EPA take the action that the EPA lacked authority to take in the first place. If that is not a perversion then perhaps a new definition of perversion is needed.

    Government contracts and many if not most grants have a “Termination for the Convenience of the Government” provision. I propose that Mr. Pruitt apply these provisions loberally.

    • Unfortunately, , the EPA, just as every other governmental alphabet agency, suffers from the malignancy of bureaucracy–the unfettered growth of un-necessary, and un-needed functions and functionaries. Every new creation of government should be governed by sunset law–ie subject to periodic review of purpose and effect, and all existing agencies need to be reviewed immediately by non governmental (read citizen) groups.

      20 trillion dollars of debt can only be generated by an entity (government) that produces nothing of value, but lives solely of of the production of others. Biologists call this parasitism, and if left unchecked will eventually (as in soon with this case) kill the sustaining host.

  37. About those ‘devastating’ EPA budget reductions

    About time the squeeze was put on the python.

  38. Here is something that Mr. Driessen did not address: why does the EPA have it’s own police force, and armed to the teeth? Surely if they have need to occasionally deliver warrants and make arrests, they can use the US Marshal service. Just another example of how this agency is out of control.

    • “Here is something that Mr. Driessen did not address: why does the EPA have it’s own police force, and armed to the teeth?”

      Good question, Paul.

      • It is because of their overwhelming popularity. Under the previous administration there was serious concern for the number of citizens camping out on the street waiting for the opportunity to run up and kiss the Director because of her fine work.

  39. On the Ides of March the Boehner/Obama debt ceiling “holiday” will expire. This will automatically trigger debt ceiling law at 20T.

    US spends about 75B a month. Considering that both party establishments are not supportive of DJT we can count on USG shutdowns by Summer.

    While its easy to support a smaller government its also easy to see the baby bathwater approach will have far reaching unintended consequences.

    Strap on your seat belts.

  40. Hey Pres? Find the tentacles EPA stretched out into the depart of education and cut em. Pretty please. And while you are at it, call for an investigation of the development of the next gen science standards. Propaganda has no place in public education. My left coast depart of ed adopted the standards but I doubt that would be for long if the voting public were to FIA emails sent back and forth as the standards were being developed. The standards reek of the possibility of juicy revealing emails between the DOE, EPA, and the standards committee. Just sayin.

    Now for the CCSS haters, apples and oranges. Just focusing on science standards.

    • Pamela, I read an article the other day that said the EPA had generated something like three million electronic communications over the last couple of years, but only 86 of those were archived, according to an Inspector General’s report. I put the link on the “Tips and Notes” page, but everything was deleted off that page a couple of days ago.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if other Obama agencies did the same kind of thing.

      The Obama administration onion needs to be peeled.

  41. A 20% reduction?? OMG. Anything less than an 80% reduction is just tinkering around the edges.

  42. You are presenting a one sided view. Have you worked at EPA? You beat them up for the gold mine, yet the Pentagon with its bloated budget and waste botched the Yemen raid, so tell me, why do you not call out that?

  43. “…the reductions could mean “cutting the meat and muscle with the fat.”
    Isn’t that what we voted for???

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