Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Has the EPA Become a Menace?

Regardless of the evidence, The Environmental Protection Agency continues with its scorched-earth policies; all without any vote from Congress, much less the approval of the American people. How will it affect you? In your wallet with higher electricity costs along with hikes in every area of energy. Somewhere, sometime, it must stop as the EPA’s rules and regulations plow through the lives of Americans with wild, and unencumbered, abandon.


One country cannot single-handedly curb global greenhouse gas emissions, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refuses to accept that idea.

The EPA is forging ahead with plans to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted from America’s largest power plants and industrial facilities. Never mind that no persuasive scientific case exists for the claim that man-made emissions are causing global warming, given that 99% of the atmospheric carbon dioxide is from natural sources – and whether carbon dioxide is even harmful remains open to question. Leave aside the fact that the recent email scandal involving some of the self-same scientists who are calling for curbs on greenhouse gases has cast much of their work in doubt.

The regulations, which will take effect in January, won’t do a thing to reduce global emissions but they will increase the cost of electricity in the United States, undermine the competitiveness of American industries, and wind up sending more jobs overseas.

The regulations are sweeping and shortsighted. They are being promulgated under the Clean Air Act, which the EPA has twisted to suit the administration’s policy of increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

The naiveté of trying to tackle a global issue like curbing greenhouse-gas emissions without international cooperation is staggering. The United States has little to gain and unfortunately much to lose.

President Obama has hammered home the need to put Americans back to work, to grow our industrial sector and create jobs of the sort that our middle class depends on. But despite his rhetoric, the EPA’s agenda will have precisely the opposite result.

Under the EPA’s new regulations, states that will suffer the most economically are those that rely heavily on the use of fossil fuels to provide electricity – the very ones that make up the core of the nation’s manufacturing and industrial sector. As older power plants are either shut down or retrofitted to comply with greenhouse-gas regulations, the price of electricity will inevitably rise and the cost will be passed directly onto businesses, workers and consumers. Simply put, the EPA’s policy amounts to a nationwide energy tax.

Financial analysts estimate that by the end of this decade it could cost as much as $150 billion in capital investment to comply with new regulations. And the key thing to bear in mind is that Congress had no say in establishing this policy. It was foisted on the American public by the EPA, with the support of President Obama.

Unless Congress takes action to block the EPA from issuing the regulations, U.S. energy companies and major industries will have to curtail greenhouse emissions at great cost, while developing nations blithely add new fossil-fuel power plants in record numbers.

China has already surpassed the United States as the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide. And India, with its massive population and rapidly growing economy, is not too far behind. We are reminded time and again that we live and work in an increasingly flat world. When energy prices rise for American companies, the cost of doing business goes up and it becomes more difficult for our companies to compete in international markets.

So the irony is that the supposed gain in emission reductions that would be achieved under the EPA’s plan will be quickly negated by ever-increasing emissions from China and other so-called developing nations – the very same economic adversaries that are competing directly with U.S. companies.

What the EPA has come up with is not really a strategy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions so much as a scheme to replace fossil fuels with greater use of renewable energy sources. As such, it is a poorly-conceived plan that will have little or no impact on reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions, while encumbering our own industries with higher costs, undermining their competitiveness and throwing thousands of additional people out of work at a time when our country is struggling to emerge from the deepest recession since the 1930s.

Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., is a retired nuclear scientist and university chemistry professor. He is the science and energy writer/reporter for the A resident of Kaneohe, Hawaii, he has nearly 40 years experience in the energy field. His interests and activities in the communications of science, energy, and the environment has led to several communications awards, hundreds of speeches, and many appearances on television and talk shows.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Bus Has a Blow-Out

Most of us have been held hostage by the environmentalist’s “green movement.” It has changed our lives in unimaginable ways, costing us hard-earned family dollars, increased the cost of energy immeasurably, and for many of us old enough to remember, there actually WAS a time when life, and the cost of energy, was reasonable. Now, after the environmentalists have permeated every aspect of our lives, we know things in the United States will never be the same. Shockingly, the Greenies are changing their tune. They now realize their ideology was not only ridiculous, but has been very damaging on a global scale. Here’s some quiet information that’s circulating under the radar and it may lift your spirits. It appears the wheels are coming off the intrusive green bus.


If the Big Green Bus hasn’t actually stalled, it’s at least got a couple of newly-flattened tires. And the suddenly-Republican U.S. Congress’s opposition to energy taxes is only part of it.

It started, of course, after the 1998 El Nino when global land temperatures refused to trend back upward. It became far more serious when world thermometers actually turned downward in 2007–08. The disparity between the computer model forecasts and real-world temperatures has now become massive.

Then there was climate-gate, which gave us a peek into the unscientific maneuverings of the “real climate scientists” in the IPCC establishment. The revelations seem to have broken the spell the Greens had cast over First World journalists.

The latest problem is Green defections. Britain’s Channel 4 last week aired a documentary titled, “What the Greens Got Wrong.” In it, such former Green stalwarts as Patrick Moore, the Greenpeace co-founder and Stuart Brand, former editor of the Whole Earth Catalog, issued a mea culpa about nuclear power. They lamented that Green opposition to nuclear had led to “extra gigatons” of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Greens hotly deny they shut down nuclear power single-handedly, but they certainly constituted a powerful blocking force. Their positions dominated the nuclear headlines for decades.

British activist Mark Lynas, who used to uproot genetically-modified test plantings, now says that biotech could help feed the hungry. In fact, one of the segments of the Channel 4 program that has made Greens angriest was footage of starving Zambian kids during a drought—while the Greens were convincing the country’s president to padlock U.S. food aid corn in warehouses as “dangerous.”

For Greens, it was an ugly reminder of the millions of needless malaria deaths over the years since 1972, after Silent Spring and the Environmental Defense Fund got DDT banned in America. In African countries that can do without U.S. aid, DDT is sprayed inside the homes—both to kill mosquitoes and as the most powerful mosquito repellent. In fact, the Greens nearly got the manufacture of DDT banned worldwide under the Persistent Organic Pollutants treaty. Only the resistance of India, which uses the pesticide broadly and thus has a low malaria death rate, kept DDT available at all.

Lynas now says, “Being an environmentalist was part of my identity and most of my friends were environmentalists. We were involved in the whole movement together. It took me years to actually begin to question those core, cherished beliefs.”

“We have got to find a more pragmatic and realistic way of engaging with people,” said Brand. “I would like to see an environmental movement that says it turns out our fears about genetically engineered food crops were exaggerated, and we’re glad about that.”

“Environmentalists did harm by being ignorant and ideological and unwilling to change their mind based on actual evidence,” says Moore. But of course being Green has always meant singing another chorus of “Never Gonna Say I’m Sorry.”

The “turncoats” are all being vilified now by the unrepentant eco-faithful. But . . .

In America, last week the EPA’s Policy Director resigned. Lisa Heinzerling had been famous among activists for her role in persuading the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007 to permit EPA regulation of greenhouse gases. Within EPA, her position had been: “The law is on our side. Let’s go get them.” Now she’s resigned well before her leave-of-absence from Georgetown Law School expired.

Could EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson be worried about the Republican House Appropriations Committee—and her agency’s budget? If so, which lady is the Green defector?

DENNIS T. AVERY is an environmental economist and a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500Years, Readers may write him at PO Box 202, Churchville, VA 24421 or email to

Monday, November 1, 2010

No More Double Standard

Suddenly, and most alarmingly, some federal and state government agencies have the kind of power that should, at the very least, belong to Congress and State Legislatures. One would hope that our representatives would do the bidding of the American people. Unfortunately, under the Obama administration, we find agencies like the EPA are making policy; implementing rules and regulations, without having to answer to anyone.

By Paul Driessen

False, misleading or fraudulent claims have long brought the wrath of juries, judges and government agencies down on perpetrators. So have substandard manufacturing practices.

* GlaxoSmith Klein has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $750-million fine for manufacturing deficiencies at a former pharmaceuticals plant. Even though there was no indication of patient harm, said the US attorney, the fine was needed “to pressure companies to follow the rules.”
* Johnson & Johnson was recently slapped with a $258-million jury verdict for allegedly misleading claims about the safety and superiority of an antipsychotic drug. J&J’s actions “defrauded the Louisiana Medicaid system,” prosecutors argued. (The company intends to appeal.)

* The Feds have also prosecuted baseball players for lying to congressional investigators about using performance-enhancing steroids. Said a prosecutor: “Even when you’re just providing information to the Legislative Branch, you need to be truthful.”

Who could oppose following the rules, making quality products and being honest? But shouldn’t these values apply where far more is at stake than a few companies, pills, baseball records or bad role models? Shouldn’t we demand that these rules apply to people and actions that have unprecedented impact on lives, livelihoods, liberties and communities throughout the country?

Can we afford to continue having double standards that let government officials violate basic standards of honesty and accountability that they apply “vigorously” to citizens and companies?
Why should legislators, regulators and investigators be exempt from rules they devise and impose on everyone else? Shouldn’t we teach our kids that government officials mustn’t lie to us, either?

Few examples are as immediate, costly and far-reaching as the new ozone, dust, mercury and carbon dioxide rules that EPA regulators are trying to impose, under the guise of protecting air quality, planetary climate and human health.
Few corporate executives or citizens are as exempt from basic legal standards as the energy and climate czars, czarinas, bureaucrats, and government-funded scientists and activists who seek to inflict their anti-hydrocarbon agenda on us, regardless of the science – or the impacts on jobs, prosperity, families and civil rights progress.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new mercury, ozone and soot rules alone would eliminate up to 76,000 megawatts of generating capacity by 2015, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation calculates. That’s 7% of total US electric generating capacity – enough to power 38,000,000 homes under normal conditions. It’s 1.2 times the all-time peak electricity demand record for the entire state of Texas.

Credit Suisse estimates that compliance with these new standards will cost the power generation industry (ie, electricity consumers) $150 billion by 2020, to retrofit coal plants or replace them with natural gas-fired units. NERA Economic Consulting calculates that meeting EPA’s proposed new 60 ppb ozone standard alone would impose an annual cost of $1-trillion per year and cumulative losses of 7.3 million jobs; create hundreds of new air quality non-attainment areas; require millions more car inspections and repairs; and block numerous highway, residential and commercial construction projects.

The costs are monstrous – the benefits negligible, illusory or fabricated. The ozone rules would send power plant emissions almost to natural background levels in many areas. That’s just for starters.

EPA claims coal-fired power plants release “40% of all domestic human-caused mercury emissions.” But only a quarter of this is deposited in the contiguous United States. The National Center for Atmospheric Research says total mercury emissions from U.S. power plants are roughly equivalent to what comes from trees burned in forest fires. (Natural mercury in soils is taken up by trees through their roots.)

Some 30% of mercury that lands in the US comes from other countries. And according to data collected by the Science and Public Policy Institute, when emissions from volcanoes, oceanic geothermal vents and other natural sources are also factored in, US power plants may account for as little as 0.5% of total annual US mercury emissions and 0.002% of global emissions.

Worse, these huge energy, employment and economic impacts do not include the far more massive costs and intrusions associated with EPA’s scheme to slash carbon dioxide emissions, supposedly to safeguard “human health and welfare” from “dangerous” plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide and the manmade global warming that CO2 allegedly causes.

The Brookings Institute, Congressional Budget Office, Charles River Associates, Heritage Foundation and other analysts have documented the economic impacts. Delaware Senate candidate Chris Coons may “earn” millions if cap-tax-and-trade passes or the EPA rules are implemented. The rest of America will pay big-time. America’s #1 priority is fixing the economy and jobs. EPA’s seems to be killing them.

As to the “science” behind what the White House now calls “global climate disruption,” the ClimateGate emails underscored how deceptive, manipulated and even fraudulent the supposed evidence actually was. The IPCC’s headline-grabbing climate “disasters” turned out to be based on environmentalist press releases, casual email comments, anecdotal stories, student theses, studies that had absolutely nothing to do with climate change, and almost anything except honest peer-reviewed science.

On October 6, highly respected physicist Harold Lewis resigned from the American Physical Society. He had believed the climate chaos claims – but kept studying the science, pro and con, for years. He still saw a small human element in climate-forcing mechanisms, but no longer believed the alarmist hysteria. Finally, he’d had it, and said so bluntly in his resignation letter to APS
President Curtis Gallan:

“[T]he global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. I don’t believe any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion.”

As for EPA, instead of conducting its own analysis of competing climate change claims, the agency simply adopted the bogus IPCC conclusions. Even in the face of the unfolding ClimateGate and IPCC scandals, Administrator Lisa Jackson proudly and pointedly refused to alter her position or plans. While the Glaxo whistleblower stands to get $96 million for turning in his company, EPA research analyst Alan Carlin got sent to bureaucratic Siberia for issuing an independent analysis that disagreed with his agency.

Now we face another monumental federal power grab, this time of the hydrocarbon energy that powers 85% of the American economy. The looming seizure of our money, jobs and liberties is based on shoddily manufactured “evidence,” fraudulent data and science, good-old-boy peer reviews, and false or misleading reports and testimony that would earn any citizen or company exec major fines and jail time.

When Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, their first order of business should be investigating the “manmade climate disaster” industry. They should subpoena federal employees and grant recipients, question them under oath regarding their funding and activities, and hold robust, public, expert debates on the science, economics, costs and supposed benefits of cap-tax-and-trade, carbon dioxide “endangerment,” ozone, and other punitive government policies that are strangling our nation’s energy and economic future.

They need to ensure that basic rules of honesty, transparency and accountability are finally applied as forcefully to regulators and taxpayer-funded scientists and activists, as to the rest of us.

Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow and Congress of Racial Equality, and author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death.