EPA

It’s time to dump the EPA “endangerment finding” which classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant

In 2009, the EPA ruled, under the Clean Air Act, that “the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases—carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” In essence, the EPA classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant even though Carbon dioxide is necessary for life on Earth.

For some perspective, note that current atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is about 400ppm (parts per million) while the air we exhale with every breathe contains 40,000ppm carbon dioxide. Is breathing causing air pollution?

This EPA ruling in effect allowed EPA to regulate everything from automobile exhaust to power plants to refrigerators. In order to overturn the finding, one would have to successfully show that the underlying scientific basis is wrong – and it is. Another tactic would be to have Congress amend the Clean Air Act, something that is very unlikely in the current contentious Congress.

The EPA’s scientific basis is derived from climate models, predictions of which diverge widely from reality. See my ADI articles:

Evidence that CO2 emissions do not intensify the greenhouse effect

Failure of climate models shows that carbon dioxide does not drive global temperature

Additional reading on the “Endangerment Finding” if you want to get into the details:

 

The EPA CO2 endangerment finding endangers the USA by Dennis Avery.

“In science, if your theory doesn’t take account of all the relevant data, you need a new theory.” Avery shows how the climate models fail to explain observations and notes that thousands of new coal-fired power plants are being built around the world – even in Europe. Avery is a former U.S. State Department senior analyst and co-author with astrophysicist Fred Singer of Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years.

 

Why Revoking the EPA GHG Endangerment Finding Is the Most Urgent Climate Action Needed

by Alan Carlin. Carlin is a scientist and economist who worked for the RAND Corp. and the EPA.

“Revoking the EF is the only way to bring the climate alarmism scam to the untimely end it so richly deserves in the US and hopefully indirectly elsewhere. Until that happens the CIC [climate industrial complex] will continue to pursue its bad science through reports such as the National Climate Assessment with the recommended disastrous policies that would seriously damage the environment, impoverish the less wealthy, and bring economic disaster for our Nation by raising the prices and decreasing the availability and reliability of fossil fuel energy which is so central to our way of life and economy.”

 

In a separate post, Carlin also said that “EPA never engaged in a robust, meaningful discussion. Rather, there was a pro forma review after a decision had already been made which met many but not all of the legal requirements.” He lists “six crucial scientific issues that EPA did not actively discuss despite my best efforts to bring a few of them to their attention in early 2009.”

 

Dr. Pat Michaels on the ‘voluminous science that the USGCRP either ignored or slanted’ for the EPA endangerment finding

Patrick J. Michaels is the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute. Michaels is a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists and was program chair for the Committee on Applied Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. He was a research professor of Environmental Sciences at University of Virginia for 30 years. Michaels recounts his testimony before the EPA. USGCRP is U.S. Global Change Research Program.

 

60 scientists call for EPA endangerment finding to be reversed

“We the undersigned are individuals who have technical skills and knowledge relevant to climate science and the GHG Endangerment Finding. We each are convinced that the 2009 GHG Endangerment Finding is fundamentally flawed and that an honest, unbiased reconsideration is in order.”

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Ozone, Asthma, and EPA Junk Science

On June 22, 2017, the Arizona Daily Star ran a story with the alarmist headline: “Tucson-area air quality the worst in five years.” The “worst in five years” thing is that on just five days during the past three months ground-level ozone measurements exceeded the EPA standard of 70ppb by a few parts per billion. “Ozone levels at Saguaro National Park-East that topped the 70 parts per billion federal standard: June 15 — 77 ppb, June 14 — 73 ppb, May 12 — 71 ppb, April 21 — 73 ppb, April 20 — 74 ppb.” The EPA claims that ozone causes asthma and other respiratory ailments, hence the strict standards. But, the EPA’s own data debunks the claim.

For many years, the EPA has been conducting experiments on the effects of ozone exposure. They placed volunteers in a closed room and subjected them to 300ppb and 400ppb ozone for two hours while they performed mild exercise. The 6,000 volunteers included children, the elderly, and even asthmatics. The EPA reports that “not a single adverse event.. [was] observed.” (Source)

There is also independent data showing that EPA ozone standards are bunk. For instance, there was “No association between air quality (PM2.5, ozone) and hospital admissions for asthma in University of California-Davis Health System during 2010-2012 (19,000+ cases). (Source)

According to the Institute for Energy Research, “average ozone concentrations nationwide dropped by 33 percent from 1980 to 2014. Since the incorporation of the 2008 standards, average ozone levels have declined by more than 9 percent, nationally.”

IER also reports: “According to an August 2015 report by NERA Economic Consulting, which analyzed the impacts of a 65 ppb standard (EPA ultimately went with a slightly higher 70 ppb standard), the total compliance costs could total $1.13 trillion from 2017 to 2040. The rule could also lead to annualized GDP declines of $140 billion as well as $840 in consumption losses for households.” (Source)

The EPA’s rules were endorsed by a panel of scientists required by law to review them, called the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC). Both the Clean Air Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act required that CASAC panels be independent and unbiased. So was the panel independent and/or unbiased? A report shows that members of the board received a total of $192 million worth of EPA grants. (Source)

Some background:

“Ground-level ozone is formed through a chemical reaction when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) interact with sunlight. Emissions from power plants, industrial facilities, automobiles, gasoline vapors and solvents are all sources of NOx and VOCs. Natural sources, such as plant life and fires, also contribute to the formation of ozone; today, given how much ozone levels in the United States have already been reduced, a significant portion of a given area’s ozone concentration is made up of natural background ozone and ozone that has traveled from other states and, increasingly, from overseas.” (Source, study by National Association of Manufacturers)

A measurement problem:

“While the EPA has long known that ozone measurements are significantly biased upward by mercury vapor, the agency has required States to use ultraviolet ozone monitors subject to mercury interference. These ozone monitors blow air between an ultraviolet (UV) lamp and a UV detector. Ozone strongly absorbs UV, so reductions in UV arriving at the detector are proportional to the ozone in the air. But mercury vapor and other contaminants in air also absorb UV, thus, artificially inflating the amount of ‘ozone’ that is measured. The bias can range from a few parts per billion to many more.” (Source)

Mercury occurs in soil in and around Tucson. It is possible that readings recorded by local instruments may be “biased upward” by the mercury contained in blowing dust. A study in Avra Valley, west of Tucson, found soil mercury values up to 750ppb. (Arizona Geological Survey, Open-File Report 81-5, 1981).

The AZ Star article expresses much concern over the County exceeding EPA standards. These standards are the current law, so they may have economic consequences for non-attainment. There is, however, no proof that exceeding these standards have any effect on health.

See also: EPA experiments on humans debunk their ozone and particulate matter health claims

Will Trump rein in regulation?

Have we just witnessed a second American revolution; one that repudiates the policies of the political establishment of both Republicans and Democrats? We had a hint of this when Trump beat out establishment Republicans in the primary.

Trump will have much to deal with. In this article I will concentrate on the EPA, an agency whose regulations have trampled private property rights, and killed much inexpensive electricity generation.

What if, in his inaugural address, Trump were to issue an executive order that says something like “no federal agency shall regulate carbon dioxide emissions from burning of fossil fuels and all existing regulations to that effect are null and void?” Even the EPA admits that the possible effect on climate of its “Clean Power Plan” is prevention of just 0.03°C by the year 2100. That would be a great positive step in quelling the climate madness. It would also boost our economy. EPA regulations on particulate matter have no basis in science (see references below).

The EPA itself could be phased out and replaced by the environmental agencies of each state.

The EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule (WOTUS, see here and here) impacts private property rights because the rule has become so invasive that it regulates every puddle and rill that may occur on or pass through a property.

In addition to the above:

The U.S. should withdrawal from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, from the Paris climate agreement and from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC). These agencies and agreements suck money and provide no benefit. In the thousands of pages from reports by the IPCC, they have never produced any physical evidence that carbon dioxide emissions play a significant role in controlling global temperature.

The U.S. should also terminate all federal government subsidies for climate change research and for “renewable” energy. Let the solar and wind turbine companies test the demand for their product on the free market without any artificial markets produced by mandates and subsidies.

Endangered species listings based on projected climate change should be rescinded. In fact, the Endangered Species act should be amended or replaced with something that is more science-based and provides a positive incentive for conservation.

I hope Trump can “drain the swamp” and make the government serve the people once again.

 

See also:

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

EPA’s own human experiments debunk health claims

EPA claims on dangers of particulate matter are false

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

Replace the Environmental Protection Agency

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

The Flaws in the Endangered Species Act

 

 

EPA’s Clean Power Plan would disproportionally hurt the poor

According to a study commissioned by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, the EPA’s “Clean Power Plan” would have “serious economic, employment, and energy market impacts at the national level and for all states, and that the impacts on low income groups, Blacks, and Hispanics would be especially severe.”

The report is entitled “Potential Impact of Proposed EPA Regulations On Low Income Groups and Minorities.” You can read the full report here (127 pages).

The report abstract reads as follows:

“EPA is proposing new regulations, including guidelines to reduce CO2 emissions from existing fossil-fueled power plants. These regulations would have serious economic, employment, and energy impacts at the national level and for all states, and the impacts on low-income groups, Blacks, and Hispanics would be especially severe. The EPA rules would: 1) Significantly reduce U.S. GDP every year over the next two decades – over $2.3 trillion; 2) Destroy millions of jobs; 3) More than double the cost of power and natural gas to over $1 trillion; 4) Require the average family to pay over $1,225 more for power and gas in 2030 than in 2012.”

“The EPA regulations will increase Hispanic poverty by more than 26% and Black poverty by more than 23%. The energy burdens for Blacks and Hispanics will increase and large numbers of both groups will be forced into energy poverty and Black and Hispanic household incomes will decline by increasing amounts each year. There would be increasing job losses: By 2035, cumulative job losses for Blacks will total about 7 million and for Hispanics will total 12 million. Most job losses would occur in the states in which Blacks and Hispanics are most heavily concentrated.”

The report provides analysis of impact nationally and by state.

In concluding remarks (page 103) the report warns:

“The EPA regulations will significantly increase the energy burdens for Blacks and Hispanics and increase the numbers of Blacks and Hispanics suffering from “energy poverty.” The regulations will greatly increase energy prices and set off repercussions throughout the economy, but nowhere do high prices bring consequences as swiftly and harshly as in low-income and minority households. For the tens of millions of low income households, the higher energy prices will intensify the difficulty of meeting the costs of basic human needs, while increasing energy burdens that are already excessive. At the same time, the EPA regulations will threaten low-income access to vital energy and utility services, thereby endangering health and safety while creating additional barriers to meaningful low-income participation in the economy. While home energy costs average about four percent per year in middle class households, they can reach a staggering 70 percent of monthly income for low-income families.”

The government’s campaign to reduce carbon dioxide emissions has no basis in science or economics; it is essentially a method for obtaining power and making citizens more dependent on government. As Dr. Indur Goklany writes, “…it is a strange moral calculus that endorses policies that would reduce existing gains in human well-being, increase the cost of humanity’s basic necessities, increase poverty, and reduce the terrestrial biosphere’s future productivity and ability to support biomass, all in order to solve future problems that may not even exist or, if they do, are probably more easily solved by future generations who should be richer both economically and technologically. Moreover, because food, fibre, fuel and energy – basic necessities – consume a disproportionately large share of the income of the poorest, they would also pay the highest price for these policies.” Goklany is the author of a paper “The Pontifical Academies’ Broken Moral Compass.” Read full paper here.

See also:

EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue

EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply

EPA fuel standards costly and ineffective

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

Electricity supply endangered by EPA regulations

Impact of new EPA ozone rule

EPA experiments on humans debunk their ozone and particulate matter health claims

EPA conducted illegal and potentially lethal experiments on children

The EPA is destroying America

Replace EPA

Permitting, Economic Value, and Mining in the United States

A new report commissioned by the National Mining Association finds that our current convoluted mine permitting process can cause a mine to lose a third of its value as it waits for the numerous permits needed to begin production. These delays, combined with other risks and costs, cut the expected value of a mine in half. This often makes minerals projects economically unviable and jeopardizes an important feedstock of the manufacturing industry while discouraging investment in the U.S.

The report, produced by SNL Metals & Mining of London, can be downloaded here.

The report begins:

“Of all the developed nations, unexpected and often unnecessary delays in obtaining mining permits afflict the U.S. most severely. Despite being blessed with a vast reserve of mineral resources, the U.S. accounts for only 7 percent of world-wide spending on mineral exploration

and production is currently reliant on a population of mature mining projects. The average remaining life of active mines in the U.S. and the share of projects in advance development have also fallen in recent years. Meanwhile, the demand for minerals to supply the defense, advanced energy, high-tech electronics, medical, and transportation industries is rising. The U.S., while leading on the manufacturing of these technologies, is lagging in the production of the minerals needed to make them.”

It also notes:

“In the U.S., the requirement for multiple permits and multiple agency involvement is the norm, as is the involvement of other stakeholders, including local indigenous groups, the general public and non-governmental organizations. As a consequence of the country’s inefficient permitting system, it takes on average seven to 10 years to secure the permits needed to commence operations in the U.S. To put that into perspective, in Canada and Australia, countries with similarly stringent environmental regulations, the average permitting period is two years.”

Three examples cited by the report are examined in detail:

The Rosemont Copper

project in Arizona continues in its attempts to secure permits, five years after the originally planned start date of 2010. Over this period, the value of the project has fallen from $18 billion to $15 billion despite much higher copper prices.

The Kensington gold mine

in Alaska was plagued by permitting issues during development. It commenced production in 2010, nearly 20 years after the originally planned start date of 1993. By the time the mine opened, the capital cost of building the mine had increased by 49 percent, and the company had reduced planned gold production by nearly a third, to focus mining operations on the most profitable part of the deposit only.

Twin Metals Minnesota

is still in a relatively early stage of the permitting process, completing a prefeasibility study in 2014. The developers have acknowledged that the delay in receiving permits, or the possibility of denial, could be a significant business risk to the project.

Another article from NMA, contains comments by Harry Moser, founder and president of the Reshoring Initiative, a program committed to bringing manufacturing back to American soil to accelerate job growth and support a stronger economy here at home.

Moser notes:

“Every manufacturing operation in the U.S. uses minerals—either as the material that they’re producing or the tools they use to produce the material.” As the U.S. manufacturing sector grows, so does the demand for more minerals, and to keep American manufacturing growing it’s important that the U.S. has a secure, stable and reliable mineral supply in place so manufacturers can obtain the minerals they need when they need them.

“My goal is to balance the trade deficit,” Moser adds, “To bring back $500 to $600 billion dollars a year worth of manufacturing. That will increase U.S. manufacturing by 30 percent, which will require about 30 percent more minerals.”

The House Committee on Natural Resources is holding hearings on the “National Strategic Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015.” This bill aims to modernize the current U.S. mine permitting process by improving access to the trillions of dollars worth of mineral reserves, which will boost domestic manufacturing and the American economy.

It’s about time.

Related articles:

How NEPA crushes productivity

Pima County versus Rosemont

Jaguars versus the Rosemont mine

Rosemont and the Cuckoo scam

And, by David Briggs:

Congressman Grijalva Attempts To Undermine Our Economy And National Security

Resolution Copper-Setting the Record Straight about Oak Flat

America’s mining industry is vital to our economic and national security

 

EPA emission standards for trucks: heavy cost, no benefit

At a cost of only $30 billion, new EPA regulations may save us from 0.0026°C of global warming by the year 2100.

According to an EPA report (971 pages) [link]: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on behalf of the Department of Transportation, are each proposing changes to our comprehensive Heavy-Duty National Program that would further reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and increase fuel efficiency for on-road heavy-duty vehicles,…”

The National Center for Policy Analysis estimates that “The Environmental Protection Agency’s second round of heavy-duty truck efficiency standards could cost more than $30 billion.” – costs that will be passed on to consumers.

“Auto manufacturers and the freight and long-haul transportation industry already understand the importance of fuel efficiency. Nearly 3 million heavy-duty Class 8 trucks carry approximately 70 percent of America’s freight, consuming more than 50 billion gallons in fuel and spending more than $140 billion in diesel costs. The industry operates on razor-thin margins and plans its driving routes down to the tenth of a mile to save on fuel costs.” – Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal

The Obama administration says these new regulations are necessary to meet Obama’s carbon dioxide reduction goals.

The EPA claims “The proposed standards are expected to lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1 billion metric tons…”

So, what benefit will we get for $30 billion? EPA’s own figures show no benefit to the environment and no effect on global climate.

According to the EPA report linked above, the new regulations will accomplish the following (page 6-45): “As a result of the proposal’s emissions reductions from the proposed

alternative relative to the baseline case, by 2100 the concentration of atmospheric CO2 is

projected to be reduced by approximately 1.1 to 1.2 parts per million by volume (ppmv), the

global mean temperature is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.0026 to 0.0065°C, and

global mean sea level rise is projected to be reduced by approximately 0.023 to 0.057 cm.” Wow!

Among the first things the next President should do is to issue an executive order forbidding federal agencies from regulating carbon dioxide emissions and rescind all regulations that do so.

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled against the EPA on certain power plant emissions (see here). It remains to be seen whether the principles cited in that case will be extended to motor vehicles.

See more articles on EPA stupidity:

EPA versus Arizona on regional haze issue

EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply

EPA fuel standards costly and ineffective

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

Impact of new EPA ozone rule

EPA experiments on humans debunk their ozone and particulate matter health claims

EPA conducted illegal and potentially lethal experiments on children

The EPA is destroying America

EPA Clean Power Plan is Junk Science

Replace EPA

But the EPA did get one right: EPA says fracking does not harm drinking water supply

END

Revealed – EPA conducted illegal and potentially lethal experiments on children

Back in December I reported on EPA experiments that exposed senior citizens to potentially lethal doses of ozone and particulate matter from diesel exhaust, see EPA’s own human experiments debunk health claims.

JunkScience.com has been investigating these EPA experiments and found in late December, from documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, that the EPA was also experimenting on children 10 to 15 years old. These children were exposed to up to 300 micrograms of diesel exhaust particulate matter (PM2.5) which is 60 times the amount EPA claims is dangerous.

JunkScience says “the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency paid the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to conduct experiments testing whether exposure to diesel exhaust harms children. These experiments are illegal under the Nuremberg Code, California state law and federal regulations concerning the protection of human subjects in medical research.” The tests were conducted without adequate informed consent.

Read the full JunkScience report here.

Some excerpts:

“EPA’s characterization of the PM2.5 [particulate matter] component renders diesel exhaust essentially one of the most deadly substances known to man in that any exposure can kill within hours. While JunkScience.com disagrees with this characterization, EPA and CARB [California Air Resources Board] nonetheless regulate diesel exhaust and PM2.5 on this basis.”

“Given this context, the conduct of the EPA, USC, UCLA and researchers in intentionally exposing children as young as 10 years old without informed consent to a deadly substance is quite clearly illegal, not to mention heinous and barbaric.”

“That the EPA and USC apparently attempted to conceal these facts from the public once they were discovered underscores the criminality of the conduct.”

“The only defense the EPA has to these charges would be admissions that its and the CARB’s pronouncements on the lethality and toxicity of diesel exhaust and PM2.5 are not true.”

Do you think anybody will be prosecuted?

From Thomas Sowell: “It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.”

UPDATE: Documents contradict EPA claim that it stopped diesel fume tests on kids

See also:

Replace the Environmental Protection Agency

EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon

Economic consequences of EPA power plant regulations

Impact of new EPA ozone rule

EPA experiments on humans debunk their ozone and particulate matter health claims

The rogue EPA is proposing to lower the ground-level ozone standards from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 60 ppb. This comes on the heels of a report that in 2007, the EPA conducted experiments on the effect of ozone on human subjects and found no adverse effects even at 400 ppb.

In a previous article (Impact of new EPA ozone rule) I documented the potential economic impact of this rule, it would:

Reduce U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040;

Result in 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040;

Cost the average U.S. household $1,570 per year in the form of lost consumption.

The EPA claims that the lower standard would reduce deaths from asthma. Few people know, however, that back in 2007, the EPA conducted human experiments on the effect of ozone.

They recruited 6,000 elderly individuals with a history of asthma and exposed them to 400 ppb of ozone for two hours while the people performed mild exercise. The EPA reports that “not a single adverse event.. [was] observed.” (Source)

The EPA has been conducting experiments on humans for years. Back in 2011, then EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson testified before Congress: “Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It is directly causal to you dying sooner than you should.”

As reported by Steve Milloy in the Washington Times, the EPA has been “exposing unwary and genetically susceptible senior citizens to air pollutants the agency says can cause a variety of serious cardiac and respiratory problems, including sudden death.”

Milloy:

During that time at those university laboratories, EPA-employed or -funded researchers have intentionally exposed a variety of people to concentrated levels of different air pollutants, including particulate matter (soot and dust), diesel exhaust, ozone and chlorine gas — the latter substance more recognized as a World War I-era chemical weapon than as an outdoor air pollutant.

Over the same period that the experiments in question have been conducted, the EPA has become more and more alarmist in communications to Congress and the public about danger the air pollutants pose to individuals even at commonplace, non-concentrated levels. The EPA has determined, for example, that any exposure to fine particulate matter can cause death within hours or days of inhalation. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, moreover, has testified in Congress that particulate matter causes about 1 of every 4 deaths in America.

Not only is diesel exhaust largely made up of “deadly” particulate matter, but its components include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which the EPA considers to be cancer-causing. The agency generally says that any exposure to a carcinogen increases the risk of cancer. Diesel exhaust also includes lead. The EPA has determined that lead can be readily absorbed from inhalation into the blood and that there is no safe level of lead in blood.

The university laboratories referred to in the quote above include the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, University of Rochester, University of Southern California and University of Washington.

The EPA has conducted at least four separate experiments where people were subjected to 10 to 20 times the particulate matter concentration the EPA says is safe. (See details on Wryheat).

Investor’s Business Daily reports that the tests were also done on children. Here is how the tests were conducted according to IBD:

“EPA parked a truck’s exhaust pipe directly beneath an intake pipe on the side of a building. The exhaust was sucked into the pipe, mixed with some additional air and then piped directly into the lungs of the human subjects. EPA actually has pictures of this gas chamber, a clear plastic pipe stuck into the mouth of a subject, his lips sealing it to his face, diesel fumes inhaled straight into his lungs.”

Remember, these tests by the EPA were conducted while the EPA claimed “that any exposure to fine particulate matter can cause death within hours or days of inhalation.”

There is now a website devoted to exposing this EPA testing: http://epahumantesting.com/ See the “guided tour” on the left sidebar of the site. That website likens the EPA testing to NAZI experimentation of prisoners during World War II.

See also:

http://www.arizonadailyindependent.com/2013/12/10/economic-consequences-of-epa-power-plant-regulations/

The EPA is destroying America

Replace the Environmental Protection Agency

Dr. Jay Lehr, science director of the Heartland Institute, proposes replacing the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a “Committee of the Whole” whose members are made up of representatives from the 50 state environmental protection agencies. That Committee of the Whole will establish a new headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, well-away from Washington, D.C.

Lehr has recently written a Policy Brief for Heartland, detailing his reasons for replacing EPA. You can read the entire brief at:
http://heartland.org/sites/default/files/lehr_-_replacing_epa_0.pdf

Below, are excerpts and paraphrases from that Brief:

The EPA has been taken over by environmental activists so that now “EPA is all but
a wholly owned subsidiary of liberal activist groups. Its rules account for about half of
the nearly $2 trillion a year cost of complying with all national regulations in the U.S.”

“It is tempting to imagine EPA can be ‘fixed,’ that its abuse of power and pursuit of political
agendas without regard to their effect on the environment could be stopped if only the right
people were appointed to run it, or perhaps if Congress passed laws requiring better science or
more cost-benefit analysis.”

But:
“The serious failures of environmental regulation … do not occur randomly or, for that matter, as a result of bad management (although this may occasionally be the case). Rather, they stem from deep-rooted institutional and political incentives that systematically bias the EPA’s decisions. Better science and risk assessment procedures, public participation, and civic education, in and of themselves, do little to counteract these biases, and may exacerbate them.”

Lehr notes that state environmental agencies have 30 years of experience in managing the environment and proposes a 5-year phase-out of the Federal EPA. If states took over, Lehr says we could eliminate 80 percent of the EPA budget and staffing could be reduced from “15,000 to 300, and those 300 would serve in the new national EPA headquarters to be located centrally in Topeka, Kansas.”

Lehr writes that, “Not only would this transition save large sums of money, but the efficiency and quality of environmental protection would be enhanced by placing power and responsibility in the hands of the individual states.”

This will place the regulators much closer to those regulated and, hopefully, be more responsive to those regulated.

Ironically, Lehr served on several advisory councils of the EPA during its first ten years and helped write a significant number of legislative bills that were to make up a true safety net for our environment. Now however, he says that the agency has gone rogue and must be replaced.

Dr. Lehr has a degree in geological engineering from Princeton University and received the nation’s first Ph.D. in groundwater hydrology from the University of Arizona.

Impact of new EPA ozone rule

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a more stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ground-level ozone. The EPA is considering lowering the standard from the current 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 60 ppb.

“Ground-level ozone is formed through a chemical reaction when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) interact with sunlight. Emissions from power plants, industrial facilities, automobiles, gasoline vapors and solvents are all sources of NOx and VOCs. Natural sources, such as plant life and fires, also contribute to the formation of ozone; today, given how much ozone levels in the United States have already been reduced, a significant portion of a given area’s ozone concentration is made up of natural background ozone and ozone that has traveled from other states and, increasingly, from overseas.”

The National Association of Manufacturers has commissioned a study to determine the impact of such a move. The quote above is from that study. The study found that the proposed rules would:

Reduce U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040;

Result in 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040;

Cost the average U.S. household $1,570 per year in the form of lost consumption;

Increase natural gas and electricity costs for manufacturers and households across the country.

In addition to the costs cited above, the study found that restrictions to new natural gas production from tighter ozone regulations, in combination with the costs to reduce emissions, could reduce the present value of GDP by nearly $4.5 trillion through 2040, result in a loss of 4.3 million job equivalents per year and cost households $2,040 annually.

Read the executive summary of the study here.
The study also found that the technology to achieve the proposed standards does not yet exist.

The map below shows that most of the U.S. (and most of Arizona) would not be in compliance with the proposed regulations.

Ozone compliance

 

The EPA has still not even fully implemented the existing 75 ppb standards, yet is proposing even stricter standards. The EPA has presented no credible science to show that even the existing standard has any discernable benefit. EPA is clearly a rogue agency out of touch with reality.

END

See also at the Arizona Daily Independent:
Economic consequences of EPA power plant regulations
EPA targets wrong cause of haze in Grand Canyon
Global warming may be an unintended consequence of the EPA rule on sulfur

See also on Wryheat:
EPA war on coal threatens Tucson water supply
The EPA is destroying America