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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Problem: EPA Is Out of Control! Answer: Time to Abolish EPA!

By Rich Kozlovich

(Originally published August 24, 2013 updated May 10, 2016.)

This isn’t a new thought, but it is becoming more acceptable to far more people now than even just five years ago.  We recently saw an article titled, “Former EPA official charged with stealing nearly $900K”, published on August 23, 2013 stating that; “John C. Beale, a former deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation, is accused of stealing a total of $886,186 between 2000 and April of this year…” and he accomplished this “by collecting bonuses and extra salary.” And who was his boss?  Gina McCarthy!

McCarthy was the administrator of the office of Air and Radiation and Beale was the deputy assistant administrator in that office; one of her top aides.  He wasn’t just another one of EPA’s faceless myrmidons, he was a close associate of a woman that never noticed anything was wrong and was rewarded by being made EPA administrator.

An administrator that might be even more radical than Lisa Jackson or Carol Browner and now wants to take on “climate change”, believing she can bypass Congress via EPA’s rule making process regarding CO2 emissions based on a ruling by the Supreme Court regarding the Clear Air Act in “Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007 that gave the agency the authority to regulate greenhouse gases".  All this in spite of the fact that "it is obvious that when Congress amended the Clean Air Act in 1970, 1977 and 1990, it did not intend to provide the agency with authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

However, there hasn’t been any warming going on for over eighteen years, and CO2 emissions have skyrocketed, all of which is in direct opposition to predictions made by the computer models they've developed.  Computer modeling has its place in science, but not a place of determining policy.   That's supposed to be done by collecting real evidence through direct observations allowing scientists to understand the mechanisms of cause and effect.  Can we consider computer modeling anything more than Game Boy science?   It does what it’s told to do….garbage in, garbage out.

So, if CO2 emissions are sky rocketing, and no warming is taking place - clearly we must believe CO2 doesn’t cause warming!  This is clear cut unbiased scientific evidence - evidence that’s in harmony with history, and in harmony with what we see going on in reality.   That’s why the green left changed the terminology from “Global Warming” to “Climate Change”.  That allows them to make proclamations over every hurricane, tornado, freezing rain, blizzards, extended cold periods, etc.  In other words the green left will then be able to claim every unpleasant thing that occurs in the world is being caused by mankind via CO2 emissions.   If you doubt that just take a minute and read the views of a man who almost became President of the United States - Al Gore - who clearly must have become mentally unhinged by his loss.

McCarthy is now going after power plants with a massive unacceptable expansion of federal power over greenhouse gas regulations, and clean water regulations, thereby shutting down power plants, and mining operations of all kind, some even critical to their pet project - wind power!  We in the pest control industry know there will be even more regulations involving pesticides.  Not much science, but a lot of regulations. Are we really happy with that?

Senator Vitter stated, “The EPA will play a pivotal role in the implementation of the president’s recently announced climate action plan,” “With this edict from the president, EPA is further emboldened and will strengthen its grip on the country’s economy.”  Is that what the Congress really intended for what is supposed to be a mere agency, supposedly under the control of the Interior Department?  That may have been what Richard Nixon envisioned when he created EPA by Presidential decree, but is that what the writers of U.S. Constitution envisioned for the nation?

On Thursday, March 29, 2012 I posted an article titled, Holding the EPA to Account by John Dunn and Steve Milloy.  The article went on to say, “Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton asked for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's attention in his opening statement at a Feb. 28 House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, berated her and held her to account.”  The article went on to list EPA failures;

1. Failure to comply with Obama Executive Order 13563 requiring regulations that promote economic growth, innovation, competitiveness and jobs with the least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends, taking "into account benefits and costs, both quantitative and qualitative" (quoting from the Executive order);
2. Promulgation of power plant regulations that have driven energy costs higher without reasonable justification;
3. Failure to Congressional criticism of regulatory actions, including requests for public health and economic research data and justifications of policy decisions;
4. Disregard of blatant conflicts of interest among its science advisers who receive tens of millions of dollars in research grants from the agency while also posturing as independent reviewers of agency science;
5. Failure to require that its sponsored researchers follow established rules of public health research with respect to toxicology and epidemiology;
6. Inappropriate reliance on the precautionary principle;
7. Circumvention of Congressional oversight; and
8. Grant-giving to advocacy groups that then enter into collusive lawsuits and aggressive regulatory requests that promote the agency's agenda and expand its regulatory and political power.
Dunn and Milloy then list what needs to be done to attempt to fix EPA.
1. Shrink EPA. Most environmental protection is done at the state-level. Most environmental regulatory work is done by the states. The Federal agency has too much time and money and that results in overreach and aggressive policy making.
2. End inherent conflict of interest. Research and regulation need to be separated into independent agencies. At a minimum, EPA science reviewers should not be grantee researchers or affiliated with grantee institutions.
3. Risk assessment (RA) and cost benefit analysis (CBA). All rules must be subject to the two. RA and CBA should be judicially reviewable. This could be done through a super mandate that modifies review criteria for all agency activities.
4. Judicial review. Aggrieved parties should have easier opportunities to challenge the agency in court. The "arbitrary and capricious" standard in the Administrative Procedures Act needs to be replaced with a standard that allows proper challenges, such as the standard of review for workplace rules administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This could be done with a "super mandate" that overrides all existing statutory law.
5. Impose stricter scientific standards. Obligate the Agency to research that is subject to objective, non conflicted peer review and appropriate evaluation of data and methods. Require that taxpayer funded research be reviewable for data and methods and that research comply with the scientific standards from authoritative resources such as the Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence,
written by truly independent experts to provide federal judges with guidance on what constitutes reliable scientific evidence in federal courts. If the Reference Manual is good enough for courts, it ought to be good enough for the EPA.

Dunn and Milloy correctly state; “Congressman Barton's dressing down of EPA and its administrator was a first step in the right direction. But now Congressman Barton and his colleagues need to follow through by implementing real solutions that will stop the EPA's regulatory excesses.” So has any of that been done?

Since it is clear that McCarthy is a radical environmentalist, and it is clear conservatives didn’t want her confirmed as the EPA Administrator; how did a person who, as Senator Sessions noted, “has refused to disavow the aggressive bureaucratic power grabs that have come to define this administration’s use of EPA”, who “serves at the pleasure of the president….and he has no intention of constricting the expansion of EPA power”, get this job?

Mitch McConnell didn’t have the guts to stand up to Harry Reid and his threat of using the “nuclear option” thereby agreeing to an up or down vote on Presidential appointments conservatives despised.  By throwing away their right to filibuster they were guaranteeing the confirmation of radical leftists in every position.

Of course they did receive something in return; a promise that McConnell and his brand of heroes might be allowed to filibuster appointments in the future.  Wow!  Now that’s tough negotiating!  How about this as a better analysis; no guts, no glory and maybe no more “Senator” Mitch McConnell after 2014.  Shocking isn't it - he's still there until 2018! 

On Thursday, August 15, 2013 I posted this article by my friend Dr. Jay Lehr titled, It’s time to restore EPA’s original purpose”, where-in he notes that; In 1968, when I was serving as the head of a groundwater professional society, it became obvious to some of my colleagues and me that the United States did not have any serious focus on potential problems with its air quality, drinking water quality, surface water quality, waste disposal problems, and contamination that could occur from mining and agriculture. I held the nation’s first Ph.D. in groundwater hydrology, which gave me unparalleled insight into many of these potential problems.”

Jay goes on to say;
We spoke before dozens of congressional committees, calling attention to mounting environmental pollution problems. We called for the establishment of a federal Environmental Protection Agency, and in 1971 we succeeded. I was appointed to a variety of the new agency’s advisory councils, and over the next 10 years we helped write a variety of legislative bills to make up a true safety net for our environment. These included, among others, the Water Pollution Control Act (later renamed the Clean Water Act); the Safe Drinking Water Act; the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act; the Clean Air Act; the Federal Insecticide, Rodenticide, and Fungicide Act; and the Comprehensive Environmental Reclamation, Compensation, and Liability Act.”
Most of us can agree that there were real environmental issues that needed to be addressed and something needed to be done, so what went wrong?
“A turning point occurred roughly a decade after the creation of EPA. Activist groups realized the agency could be used to alter our government by coming down heavily on all human activities regardless of their impact on the environment. From approximately 1981 onward, EPA rules and regulations became less about science-based environmental protection and more about advancing extraneous ideological agendas.”
Jay states that;
It is my very strong belief that most EPA jurisdiction and functions can and should be replaced by a committee of the whole of the 50 state environmental protection agencies. Each of the individual states have its own environmental protection department, and these are much better at assessing and crafting solutions to local and regional environmental issues than the federal EPA. At the national level, a committee of the whole would do a much better job directing environmental stewardship than the money-hungry and power-hungry federal EPA.?
He goes on to say;
“The 50 state agencies are ready to assume full management of our environmental issues. The state agencies already do so, with many states enacting and enforcing environmental rules more stringent than those crafted by EPA. Only the EPA research laboratories should be left in place to answer scientific questions, no longer under the heavy hand of Washington politics.”
In the article Jay outlined a rational phase out plan for EPA and says;
“We could eliminate 80 percent of EPA’s bloated $8 billion budget and return the money to the people. The remaining 20 percent could be used to fund EPA’s research labs and pull together a committee of the 50 state environmental protection departments to take over EPA’s other responsibilities.”
His final point is simple yet profound;
“The easy path is the path of least resistance. The easy path is to continue funding and granting increasing power to an out-of-control federal EPA. A wiser path is to recognize that the individual states are ready and willing to provide more commonsense environmental protection.”
Let’s face it.  The overall history of the EPA has been disastrous for humanity.  I keep hearing about all the good things they accomplished by cleaning up the air and water, and those actions cannot be denied or derided.  Yet, that doesn’t give EPA a pass of the rest of life.  Starting with the ban on DDT.   And yes….it was a ban. It's true there were exceptions written into the ban, and yes, it is true that this ban in the U.S. was not incumbent on other nations, and yes it is true that it was not a worldwide ban…..on paper. However, so much economic pressure was placed on countries that didn’t ban it outright, it became a de facto ban in all but a few nations.

It is estimated that there are up to one million deaths from malaria each year. But that is the tip of the iceberg. Each year approximately 500 million people (some believe this number is underestimated by WHO) are infected each year with up to “365 million cases of malaria in Africa alone in 2002”. As a result the cost in diminished lives has been far reaching.

Children, who are impacted by malaria the most, will have serious development problems that will affect them for the rest of their lives, the lives of their family members and their societies as a whole. This is an economic burden that is not easily overcome when the numbers are so high. In many areas of the world there isn’t a family that hasn’t lost loved ones to malaria. Let’s hope that the EPA stops doing things “for the children”, because much of what they have done hasn’t been so much “for the children” as it has been “to the children”, because it has been the children who have suffered the most.

History has shown the EPA is corrupt, irrational, misanthropic, and morally defective. It has become so infested with green/leftist radicals, along with the Wildlife Service and the Interior Department as a whole, there is only one fix.  Abolish it and start over again by implementing all the suggestions listed by Dunn, Milloy and Lehr. Then there won’t be prominent administrators stealing almost $900,000 from the taxpayers.   But what is to prevent the same kind of activists, and maybe even the same activists, taking over again?  What is needed is 'the big fix'!  An overhaul of the federal government!

The biggest fix of all would be implementation of Levine's Liberty Amendments - as outlined in his book, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic, because “the balance of power between the three branches of the federal government, the states, and the American people has been distorted beyond the ability of conventional politics to repair. After all, if the power of the legislature has been diminished relative to the executive, the executive has dispersed its disproportionate power into unelected bureaucracies”

“One of the Liberty Amendments “sunsets” all federal departments and agencies, unless Congress reauthorizes them every three years by majority vote. Every big-ticket Executive Branch regulation would be subjected to review by a joint congressional committee. This amendment would pull the plug on the unstoppable federal bureaucracy, forcing every department to perpetually justify its existence, and terminating President Obama’s beloved practice of circumventing Congress to legislate by decree.”

Why is it prominent members of industry fail to see the need for such actions?

"Another Liberty Amendment likewise reins in the judicial branch, setting term limits for Supreme Court justices”.  Clearly that is crucial. If one takes a hard look at the legislative authority granted to the EPA by Congress is becomes clear they had no intention of granting any agency this kind of power.  So how did they accumulate it?  It was granted to them by the judiciary via lawsuits.  Lawsuits the EPA was amenable to in order to gain the power they desired through a secret practice by the EPA known as 'Sue And Settle' Collusion With Environmental Organizations”.   What I have wanted to know for some time is why no on has gone to jail for this clearly corrupt practice.  I don't even think anyone has been fired over this.  Why? Because this is who they are and what they're all about.

There are two other amendments he proposes that I have touted for years. An amendment for term limits, “as Levin astutely points out..... Jurassic representatives-for-life distort the distribution of power in Congress”, and the repeal of the Seventeenth amendment, which is how senators are chosen. Originally Senators were chosen by their state to represent the views of state governments. These Senators were the states Ambassadors to the federal government, which maintained a balance of power between the states and the federal government. With that destroyed the accumulation of power by a central government and their bureaucratic myrmidons was inevitable.

Can any of this be done? Absolutely!  One prominent member of my industry laughed at me when I told him my goal was the elimination of the EPA saying "well, that's not going to happen!" Well, no one believed the USSR would disappear overnight either, and eliminating the EPA won't be nearly as difficult a task. All it takes is guts.

No guts, no glory!

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