Tag Archives: EPA

Incoming Kentucky Governor to EPA: we will not comply with your regulations

This is why I think that the real conservatism is always with the governors. When Republicans go to Washington, they often get so squishy that they are no use. If you’re looking for real conservative actions that produce real results, look to the governors. They get things done.

Video:

Here’s the article from The Blaze. (H/T ECM, who was suitably impressed)

Excerpt:

Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin said in an appearance on The Glenn Beck Radio Program Friday that he will push back against the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to regulate the coal industry, telling the EPA to “pound sand.”

Bevin’s comments came after Glenn Beck asked, “Now that you’re in, President Obama has said that he’s going to destroy the coal industry. Kentucky is a coal state. What are you going to be doing specifically to push back on that?”

In August, President Barack Obama unveiled his coal policy in partnership with the EPA, granting the agency authority over what is traditionally a state responsibility.

According to Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at American Action Forum, the policy will cost $2.5 trillion and 125,800 jobs, along with shuttering 66 power plants.

Bevin, a Tea Party favorite who became only the second Republican in four decades to win Kentucky’s governorship Tuesday, vowed to stand against the EPA when it comes to protecting his state’s large coal industry.

“Why it is that we in Kentucky — that sit on two extraordinary basins, the Illinois basin and the Central basin, an abundance of this — how are we not participating in something that the world wants more of than they ever have?” Bevin asked. “And so, from my way of thinking, we will tell the EPA and other unelected officials who have no legal authority over us as a state, to pound sand.”

Bevin, a self-described “staunch conservative,” told Beck he believes the 10th Amendment is “one of the most powerful tools” and that power not expressly given to the federal government is the responsibility of the states.

The incoming Kentucky governor said the EPA has “no authority” and that its only recourse would be to “take us to court.” Bevin said that, in the past, the agency has “bribed us with our own money,” but he insisted that will not happen anymore under his leadership.

“The EPA, for example, they don’t have an enforcement arm,” Bevin said. “They use federal dollars. They use our own money. They bribe us with our own money to stick it to ourselves. And we will not do that anymore in the state of Kentucky.”

Recall that coal is cheap to produce compared to more politically correct energy sources like wind and solar:

Cost of renewable wind and solar energy
Cost of renewable wind and solar energy

Now, if the people of America really want to do something to draw America off of coal, then we should focus on nuclear power, instead of wasting money on solar and wind. But of course, the Democrats oppose nuclear power, too – despite the facts that scientists are in favor of it.

The left-leaning Pew Research reports:

About half (51%) of Americans favor building more nuclear power plants to generate electricity, while 42% oppose this. Among the general public, a greater percentage of men (60%) than of women (43%) favor building additional nuclear power plants. More college graduates (59%) favor building nuclear power plants than do those with a high school education or less (46%). And larger shares of Republicans (62%) than independents (52%) or Democrats (45%) support expanding the use of nuclear power to generate electricity.

When it comes to nuclear power, the views of scientists are closer to those of Republicans than Democrats nationwide. Seven-in-ten scientists favor building more nuclear power plants to generate electricity, while 27% are opposed. Among scientists, majorities in every specialty favor building more nuclear power plants, but support is particularly widespread among physicists and astronomers (88% favor). As with the public, far more men (76%) than women (55%) support the expansion of nuclear power.

We are bankrupting the country wasting money on green energy production that is not cost effective, and Democrats are opposed to clean energy production that is cost effective: fracking and nuclear. Then they complain about coal and try to regulate it out of existence. Unless and until Democrats come around on fracking and nuclear power, then they should not be regulating coal out of existence. All that will do is raise energy prices for all of us, which is exactly what we see happening in Germany. They are further along the green energy road, and we must learn from their mistake.

Obama vetoes bill that “authorizes pay, benefits and training for U.S. troops”

He's better at golf than foreign policy
He’s better at golf than foreign policy, and he sucks at golf

Here’s the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

President Obama is playing politics with national defense, and in the process he is taking down the military’s welfare. In an act of partisan gamesmanship, the president on Thursday vetoed the National Defense Authorization Act, a bill that a bipartisan majority of Congress passed and that delivers the resources needed by troops to defend the nation.

[…]He has become the first commander in chief willing to sacrifice national security by vetoing a bill that authorizes pay, benefits and training for U.S. troops, simply because he seeks leverage to pursue his domestic political agenda.

[…]President Obama’s veto was about broader spending issues that have absolutely nothing to do with defense. By vowing recently that he “will not fix defense without fixing nondefense spending,” the president is holding the military hostage to increase funding for Washington bureaucracies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Internal Revenue Service.

The Environmental Protection Agency is more important?:

EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river
EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river

The Internal Revenue Service is more important?:

IRS Chief Fascist Lois Lerner
IRS Chief Fascist Lois Lerner

More Wall Street Journal:

In vetoing this bill, the president imposes more harm and uncertainty on the military at a time when America faces dangerous and complex threats from around the world. He has prevented critical policies from taking effect that would immediately improve the lives of service members and military families while addressing needs of wounded, ill or injured service members. For example, President Obama has rejected measures that open service members’ access to medical care; enhance protections for military sexual-assault victims; extend retirement benefits to more than 80% of service members; make significant, long-overdue reforms to the defense acquisition system; and authorize hundreds of other measures that are critical to national security.

Perhaps most disturbingly, the president’s veto has sent a message to America’s enemies and allies alike that he is more concerned about funding broken Washington bureaucracies than he is about maintaining the nation’s distinction for being defended by the world’s greatest fighting force.

That is the wrong message to send when America faces an array of crises that demand a strong national defense, including war in Afghanistan, China’s illegal activities in the South China Sea, Islamic State’s terrorist reign across Iraq and Syria, Bashar Assad’s bombing campaign—now backed by Russia and Iran—against his own people in Syria,Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea and dismemberment of Ukraine, and Iran’s malign activities propping up terrorist proxies destabilizing the Middle East.

These and other threats make it clear that the U.S. faces more national-security threats than at any time since the end of World War II. It is reckless, cynical and downright dangerous for the president to veto the NDAA, denying the American military the authorizations it desperately needs.

We have to fund the EPA and the IRS, but we can’t fund our armed forces. At a time where Russia, China and Iran are arming up and getting more aggressive, we can’t fund our armed forces. Democrat Party priorities.

UPDATE: Reader tells me that it affects things like hazard pay, enlistment bonuses, not the annual pay increase:

The Thursday veto will jeopardize a host of other specialty pays and bonuses, and has inflamed an already bitter budget standoff between Obama and congressional Republicans.

But it does not alter plans for a 1.3 percent raise for troops effective Jan. 1, which is ensured regardless of how the veto fight shakes out.

[…]The defense authorization bill still affects things like enlistment bonuses, hazard pays, and other specialty compensation for which authorization must be renewed each year. If lawmakers has substituted their own pay raise or tried to supercede the presidential order in the bill, Obama’s veto would have affected that, too.

New study: fracking does not contaminate drinking water

Hydraulic fracturing also known as "fracking"
Hydraulic fracturing also known as “fracking”

The study comes out of Yale University, and was published in PNAS. Pretty good school, pretty good peer-reviewed journal.

Here’s the introduction:

Organic compounds found in drinking water aquifers above the Marcellus Shale and other shale plays could reflect natural geologic transport processes or contamination from anthropogenic activities, including enhanced natural gas production. Using analyses of organic compounds coupled with inorganic geochemical fingerprinting, estimates of groundwater residence time, and geospatial analyses of shale gas wells and disclosed safety violations, we determined that the dominant source of organic compounds to shallow aquifers was consistent with surface spills of disclosed chemical additives. There was no evidence of association with deeper brines or long-range migration of these compounds to the shallow aquifers. Encouragingly, drinking water sources affected by disclosed surface spills could be targeted for treatment and monitoring to protect public health.

So, the fracking – which happens deep below the earth – didn’t introduce any new chemical additives into the water. Basically, fracking involves fracturing rocks using high pressure water, sand and chemicals. The question is whether chemicals and/or the fracking fluid contaminate the water supply used by humans. The answer, according to this study, is no. The distance between the water supply and the shale is simple far, far, far too great for the cracks to traverse. The minor contamination from surface spills is easy to detect and cleanup. This is not what you see on far left web sites and Hollywood movies, but it is what you see in studies down by Yale University scientists published in prestigious peer-reviewed science journals.

Anyway, this study is consistent with a report from the far-left radically environmentalist Environmental Protection Agency.

This is reported in the radically leftist National Public Radio, of all places.

Excerpt:

The Environmental Protection Agency says it finds no evidence that hydraulic fracturing — better known as fracking — has led to widespread pollution of drinking water. The oil industry and its backers welcome the long-awaited study while environmental groups criticize it.

“We found the hydraulic fracturing activities in the United States are carried out in a way that has not led to widespread systemic impacts on drinking water resources,” says Tom Burke, Science Advisor and Deputy Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “In fact, the number of documented impacts to drinking water resources is relatively low when compared to the number of fractured wells,” he adds.

The EPA’s draft assessment was conducted at the request of Congress. “It is the most complete compilation of scientific data to date,” says Burke, “including over 950 sources of information, published papers, numerous technical reports, information from stakeholders and peer-reviewed EPA scientific reports.”

Fracking has allowed drillers to tap oil and natural gas reserves once thought off-limits deep underground. That has led to drilling booms across the country and boosted the country’s oil and natural gas production significantly. But environmental groups have long argued fracking comes with a cost to the environment, especially to water. Those groups have called for stronger regulations and even bans on fracking altogether.

[…]The American Petroleum Institute says the conclusions echo what the oil industry has argued all along. “Hydraulic fracturing is being done safely under the strong environmental stewardship of state regulators and industry best practices,” says Erik Milito, API upstream group director.

Acknowledging the potential vulnerabilities outlined in the EPA report, Milito says, “Continuous safety improvements have been an ongoing part of hydraulic fracturing for 65 years.”

Indeed. This is not the first time that the radically leftist EPA has cleared the fracking industry, either. I blogged about the last one for Dimock, Pennsylvania.

Here’s an excerpt from the EPA press release that exonerates fracking:

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has completed its sampling of private drinking water wells in Dimock, Pa. Data previously supplied to the agency by residents, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and Cabot Oil and Gas Exploration had indicated the potential for elevated levels of water contaminants in wells, and following requests by residents EPA took steps to sample water in the area to ensure there were not elevated levels of contaminants. Based on the outcome of that sampling, EPA has determined that there are not levels of contaminants present that would require additional action by the Agency.

[…]Overall during the sampling in Dimock, EPA found hazardous substances, specifically arsenic, barium or manganese, all of which are also naturally occurring substances, in well water at five homes at levels that could present a health concern. In all cases the residents have now or will have their own treatment systems that can reduce concentrations of those hazardous substances to acceptable levels at the tap. EPA has provided the residents with all of their sampling results and has no further plans to conduct additional drinking water sampling in Dimock.

So, if you want to worry about fracking, it will have to be because of something other than facts. We have facts piled on facts piled on facts, and they all say that fracking is a great way for us to get cheap, clean energy that doesn’t pollute the environment or contaminate our water supply. You have to be anti-science to doubt this data. Democrats do oppose fracking. They don’t know about the science, they just oppose it because that’s what’s in the popular culture, in Hollywood movies, etc. We have to fight them with the science. Democrats are the anti-science party, so don’t expect this to alter their rhetoric.

EPA dumped a million gallons of mine waste into Animas River in Colorado

EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river
EPA dumps 1 million gallons of mining waste into river

Yes, the Environmental Protection Agency is polluting rivers. They are not admitting responsibility, and the mainstream news media is covering for them.

Let’s get the story from Investors Business Daily.

Excerpt:

Imagine if a business dumped a million gallons of mine waste into Animas River in Colorado, turning it into what looked like Tang, forcing the sheriff’s office to close the river to recreational users, and prompting the EPA to warn farmers to shut off water intakes along the river.

Oh, and imagine that the business also failed to warn officials in downstream New Mexico about the spill.

Such a calamity would probably lead the nightly news, with calls from environmentalists and the EPA for investigations, fines, lawsuits, and tougher pollution controls.

Except in this case it’s the EPA itself that is to blame.

Newsbusters notes that the mainstream media is mum – because they are all for big government, and big government never makes mistakes:

Yet here we are four days later, and the story has gotten very little visibility outside of center-right blogs and outlets. That’s largely explained by how the wire services have handled the story. After the jump, readers will see headlines and descriptions of the stories which have appeared thus far at the web site of the New York Times:

No headline acknowledges the EPA’s admitted responsibility for the spill. Only one headline mentions the EPA at all.

[…]Although the first AP report parroted the EPA’s claim that “that there was no threat to drinking water from the spill,”a story at the Denver Post yesterday indicated that “Tests show (Animas River) water (is) acidic as coffee,” and that“EPA officials on Saturday morning also said they are bracing for another surge of acid discharge from mines above Silverton.” In other words, the ordeal is far from being over.

But look on the bright side – at least the EPA is hard at work banning coal production so that we all have to pay more for electricity, including heating and cooling our homes.

If I could close four departments out at the federal level, I would choose the EPA, the Department of Energy, the IRS and the Department of Education. Get rid of failure.

Supreme Court rules against EPA’s job-killing tax on electricity

Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015
Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015

If you have to pay your own electricity bill out of your own earnings, then I have some good news for you.

The Daily Signal has the story.

Excerpt:

Today, the Supreme Court in Michigan v. EPA held that the Environmental Protection Agency improperly ignored costs when it decided to regulate hazardous air pollutants from power plants. The court, in this 5-4 opinion, struck down this extremely costly rule, known as Utility MACT or Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS).

Under Section 112 of the Clean Air Act, which applies to power plants, the EPA administrator shall regulate if the regulation is found to be “appropriate and necessary.” According to the EPA, they didn’t have to consider cost when deciding to regulate, even though the statute specifically says that the regulation has to be “appropriate.”

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the majority, explained, “[a]gainst the backdrop of this established administrative practice [consideration of cost], it is unreasonable to read an instruction to an administrative agency to determine whether ‘regulation is appropriate and necessary’ as an invitation to ignore costs.”

The EPA was going to ignore an astonishing amount of costs. The EPA estimated the costs to be $9.6 billion annually. This compared to benefits of $4 million to $6 million annually. As pointed out by Scalia, “[t]he costs to power plants were thus between 1,600 and 2,400 times as great as the quantifiable benefits from reduced emissions of hazardous air pollutants.” As the court succinctly explained, “[n]o regulation is ‘appropriate’ if it does significantly more harm than good.”

Unfortunately, energy prices are still going to go up, and jobs are still going to be lost as a result of previous EPA regulations.

The Stream says:

While this is a major legal win for the coal industry, it may have come too late. Power plant operators have already slated to retire 13 gigawatts of coal-fired power by the end of this year. Coal plant owners also must ready themselves to comply with upcoming ozone and greenhouse gas regulations.

Well, it’s been a rough week, but we have to take our victories where we can. A win’s a win. Hopefully, the next President will abolish the EPA and the Department of Energy entirely, so that those clowns have to get real jobs doing something useful for a change.