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From the Cooler Heads Digest, a summary of climate change-related news:
The House-passed Waxman-Markey energy-rationing bill, H.R. 2454, sets specific federal housing standards $4,000 to $10,000 and price more than 1,000,000 people out of the market, according to Bill Killmer, a vice president of the National Association of Home Builders. In 2014 for new residential buildings and 2015 for new commercial buildings, a 50 percent increase in energy efficiency is required (relative to the baseline code), increasing each year thereafter. Waxman-Markey also adopts California’s portable lighting fixture standard as the national standard. And it mandates efficiency improvements for many new appliances, including spas, water dispensers, and dishwashers.
But the Senate’s Kerry-Boxer energy-rationing bill, S. 1733, goes much further; it gives an unelected federal official a regulatory blank check:
“The (EPA) Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall promulgate regulations establishing building code energy efficiency targets for the national average percentage improvement of buildings energy performance.” And, “The Administrator, or such other agency head or heads as may be designated by the President, shall promulgate regulations establishing national energy efficiency building codes for residential and commercial buildings.” Pp. 173-174
Federal building codes would be in the hands of the EPA.
In Congress, not in the hands of the unelected bureaucrats of the EPA. Blackburn, Conaway Move To Stop Egregious Regulation
Discharge Petition Would Preserve Congressional Authority
Washington, Jul 24 – Representatives Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) and Michael Conaway (TX-11) today filed a discharge petition for HR 391, a bill that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating “greenhouse gases” under the Clean Air Act.
…A discharge petition requires the Speaker to bring a bill to the floor for a vote when a majority of Representatives have signed the petition. “If you share our view that Congress should be the sole authority deciding if greenhouse gasses should be regulated, we urge you to sign the discharge petition,” Blackburn and Conaway said in a letter to their colleagues.
More at the link.
The EPA’s version of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: ‘Put nothing in writing,’ Browner told auto execs on secret White House CAFE talks; Sensenbrenner wants investigation
Carol Browner, former Clinton administration EPA head and current Obama White House climate czar, instructed auto industry execs “to put nothing in writing, ever” regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated regarding a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-WI, is demanding a congressional investigation of Browner’s conduct in the CAFE talks, saying in a letter to Rep. Henry Waxman, D-CA, that Browner “intended to leave little or no documentation of the deliberations that lead to stringent new CAFE standards.”
Federal law requires officials to preserve documents concerning significant policy decisions, so instructing participants in a policy negotation concerning a major federal policy change could be viewed as a criminal act.
This comes on the heels of the EPA’s attempt to silence the author of a report that didn’t fit their global warming template:
…Except, that is, when it comes to Mr. Carlin, a senior analyst in the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics and a 35-year veteran of the agency. In March, the Obama EPA prepared to engage the global-warming debate in an astounding new way, by issuing an “endangerment” finding on carbon. It establishes that carbon is a pollutant, and thereby gives the EPA the authority to regulate it — even if Congress doesn’t act.
Around this time, Mr. Carlin and a colleague presented a 98-page analysis arguing the agency should take another look, as the science behind man-made global warming is inconclusive at best. The analysis noted that global temperatures were on a downward trend. It pointed out problems with climate models. It highlighted new research that contradicts apocalyptic scenarios. “We believe our concerns and reservations are sufficiently important to warrant a serious review of the science by EPA,” the report read.
The response to Mr. Carlin was an email from his boss, Al McGartland, forbidding him from “any direct communication” with anyone outside of his office with regard to his analysis. When Mr. Carlin tried again to disseminate his analysis, Mr. McGartland decreed: “The administrator and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. . . . I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” (Emphasis added.)
Mr. McGartland blasted yet another email: “With the endangerment finding nearly final, you need to move on to other issues and subjects. I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change. No papers, no research etc, at least until we see what EPA is going to do with Climate.” Ideology? Nope, not here. Just us science folk. Honest.
The emails were unearthed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Republican officials are calling for an investigation; House Energy Committee ranking member Joe Barton sent a letter with pointed questions to Mrs. Jackson, which she’s yet to answer. The EPA has issued defensive statements, claiming Mr. Carlin wasn’t ignored. But there is no getting around that the Obama administration has flouted its own promises of transparency.
Much more at the links.
So this is how you take the politics out of science. EPA Suppresses Internal Global Warming Study
The Competitive Enterprise Institute today charged that a senior official of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency actively suppressed a scientific analysis of climate change because of political pressure to support the Administration’s policy agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.
As part of a just-ended public comment period, CEI submitted a set of four EPA emails, dated March 12-17, 2009, which indicate that a significant internal critique of the agency’s global warming position was put under wraps and concealed.
The study the emails refer to, which ran counter to the administration’s views on carbon dioxide and climate change, was kept from circulating within the agency, was never disclosed to the public, and was not added to the body of materials relevant to EPA’s current “endangerment” proceeding. The emails further show that the study was treated in this manner not because of any problem with its quality, but for political reasons.
More at the link.
From OpenMarket.org comes the latest attempt to stamp “Property Of U.S. Govt” on everything in sight. Clean Water Hoax
With the Democrats having nationalized the financial, banking and automobile industries–bringing a strong layer of socialism to the key portions of the US economy, they are now moving to nationalize the American land and water. Under the Clean Water Act (CWA) the Federal government only had the authority to regulate “navigable waters” and control the discharge of pollutants and dredge and fill activities within those navigable waters.
The so-called Clean Water Restoration Act restores nothing. That is a hoax. Instead it removes the restrictive and limiting terms “navigable” waters and unconstitutionally extends the Federal regulatory authority over ALL waters of the United States. This includes the driest desert areas that may only hold water for a few weeks a year during summer monsoon rains. And it includes completely isolated prairie potholes (small ponds and marshes) with no connection whatsoever to any other waters.
Furthermore, the bill will now prohibit ALL activities affecting all waters of the United States. This means that anything a landowner, a business, a county roads department, a waterfowl conservation program undertakes that could conceivably affect anything that is wet–will be subject to the discretionary jurisdiction of Army Corps or EPA bureaucrats. They will then be able to make the lives of family farmers, ranchers, tree farmers, home builders–almost anyone and everyone–literally impossible. They will have the total power to force every farmer or rancher or ordinary business owner to run a gauntlet of permits, red tape, delays–that will delay projects long enough and cost so much as to essentially shut down or bankrupt even the most necessary and innocuous projects.
The EPA is becoming a kingdom in itself, isn’t it? It regulates the air we breathe, now it will regulate the ground we walk on. How is it possible that an unelected bunch of bureaucrats has such power? And there ought to be a law that requires the names of Federal laws to accurately reflect their content.
Before the EPA can start regulating CO2 emissions, the law says they have to solicit public input. Tell them what you think here.
The Obama Administration knows that the EPA’s regulation of business’s CO2 emissions will have dire effects on the economy. How does it know? His own staff prepared the documentation. From The Foundry, a post by Senator John Barrasso:
Today I exposed a “smoking gun” White House memo to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The memo warns that regulation of small CO2 emitters will have “serious economic consequences” for businesses and the overall economy. I was questioning EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson during the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee budget hearing.
I received the memo this morning, that’s marked ‘Deliberative: Attorney-Client Privilege’. In this memo Counsel for the White House repeatedly, repeatedly suggests a lack of scientific support for this proposed finding. This is a smoking gun, saying that the EPA findings were political and not scientific.
The EPA has failed to release the memo and has ignored the advice.
The nine-page White House memo undermines the EPA’s reasoning for a proposed finding that greenhouse gases are a danger to public health.
…To quote from the memo to the EPA, “making the decision to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act for the first time is likely to have serious economic consequences for regulated entities throughout the US economy, including small businesses and small communities.”
The memo is an amalgamation of findings from government agencies’ sent from the Office of Management and Budget to the EPA.
So, no scientific basis for the regulations, which will adversely affect an already-contracting economy. But they’re going ahead with it anyway because Obama and the Democrats want it. They used to call George Bush stubborn when he wouldn’t change his mind about the strategy and tactics of the Iraq War. So what do you call a Democrat President who knowingly tanks the economy by pushing a program his own staff says is based on lies? Stubborn doesn’t begin to describe it.
From The Endive, EPA Outlaws Greenhouses
In an effort to stop the spread of deadly greenhouse gases, the EPA announced an effort to crack down on the source – by eliminating greenhouses.
“For too long, greenhouses have been emitting dangerous greenhouse gases,” said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, “Today, demolition crews across the country will take the first giant leap towards saving our planet as we put an end to the very greenhouses that started this mess in the first place.”
Environmentalists hailed the announcement as great progress towards a greener America.
“This is great progress towards a greener America,” said Professor Tim Greene, “While environmentalists like me have enjoyed watching the EPA emasculate cars, obfuscate efforts towards alternative energy and utterly destroy aerosol deodorants, its fun to watch them actually tackle a problem at its source. If you’ll excuse me now, I must go fart in one of my special carbon filter bags.”
Greenhouses across the country have been preparing for the EPA’s new policy to dramatically change their business.
“Basically, we grow plants here,” said Chad Pennington, a manager at Gene’s Greenhouse in Wichita, “They do give off a lot of oxygen, I guess. Since the EPA’s new regulations require that we be thoroughly destroyed, we’ll have to try to diversify a little bit. We’ll definitely be eliminating the part of our business that requires us to grow plants in a greenhouse. That’ll have to stop.”
President Obama praised the EPA for saving our planet and creating new jobs.
“It’s already come to my attention that our greenhouse destruction plan has created 42 new jobs,” said the President, “That’s good, solid, temporary, benefit-free work for 42 Americans who know how to operate a front-loader in a demolition situation. That’s what I call stimulus.”
“I support the President in his effort to put an end to greenhouse gases,” said Pennington, “He’s also creating jobs, which is cool, because I need one. So do the 3,000 other people that Gene’s Greenhouse has been forced to lay off across the country. None of us can drive a front loader, but we can grow plants. Maybe he has a spot for us at GM?”
Our new EPA overlords are making their presence felt in New Mexico. EPA pulls the plug on Desert Rock coal-fired power plant
In a dramatic move yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) withdrew the air quality permit it issued last summer for the Desert Rock coal-fired power plant, which is slated to be built on the Navajo Nation in the Four Corners region just southwest of Farmington, New Mexico.
Proponents of the cancellation are delighted:
“The EPA was supposed to file their final brief today in opposition to our arguments, but had asked for an extension, so we were hopeful,” Cohen told NMI. “Today, in effect, they agreed with us that EPA had cut corners in issuing the permit last summer. It’s a huge victory for public health and the environment in New Mexico.”
Critics of the cancellation are not:
“I don’t think anyone ever imagined that the new team at EPA would seem to have such little regard for due process or basic notions of fairness,” Holmstead said. “Everyone understands that a new Administration has discretion to change rules and policies prospectively. But I’ve never seen any Administration try to change policies and rules retroactively.”
The people most affected by it:
Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley said in a statement the decision was further proof that the U.S. government isn’t “honest and truthful in its dealings with Native America.” Shirley said that the EPA withdrawal of the permit will harm the Navajo people.
“I have people dying every day because of poverty, alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, gangs, and the U.S. Government is not there to adequately fund the direct service programs that cater to these needs,” he said.
Shirley concluded by saying that the message from the EPA is that it will hold projects “on Navajo land to standards that may well be impossible to meet — and that wouldn’t be applicable elsewhere.”
I think he’s wrong about that last statement. Obama has said he wants to price coal-fired energy out of existence. New Mexico just happened to offer the first opportunity.