2:15 PM, Aug 22, 2014 • By DAVE JUDAY
The dictionary defines a deadline as “the latest time or date by which something should be completed.” The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency obviously defines it another way, at least when it comes to renewable fuels.
On August 22, 2014, the EPA sent its proposed rule setting the 2014 volumes for the amount of renewable fuels (i.e. ethanol and biodiesel) to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply to the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Intergovernmental and Regulatory Affairs for a final interagency review. OIRA has between 30 and 90 days to review that rule before it is published in the Federal Register and made final and binding.
The deadline for this rule, however, as set in statute, was November 30, 2013—nearly nine full months ago. If OIRA takes the full 90 days allotted it under the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs the federal regulatory process, this regulation will be almost a year past its deadline. For reference, OIRA took 73 days to sign off on the original draft of the rule last fall.
At this point it is guaranteed that the 2014 standard will be later than the 2013 renewable fuels standard which was finalized on August 6, 2013—eight months past the deadline. According to the Government Accountability Office, EPA hasn’t set the renewable fuels mandate on time since 2009, but the problem is seemingly getting worse.
Indeed, the Government Accountability Office issued a report finding that these missed deadlines impact the energy industry because they “contribute to industry uncertainty, which can increase costs because industry cannot plan and budget effectively.” The same goes for the livestock and food manufacturing industries that compete with renewable fuel producers in the market for corn and soybean products, not to mention average consumers who spend a significant portion of their household income on food and energy.
So far this year, the EPA has extended the compliance period for petroleum companies to meet the 2013 volumes three times. The latest extension sets the dates to submit annual compliance reports and attested reports for 2013 at 30 days and 90 days, respectively, following publication of the 2014 final volumes in the Federal Register. If OMB takes its full time of 90 days to review the current regulations, the agency will be wrapping up the 2013 compliance year in 180 days, or February of 2015. And the EPA hasn’t even started the process of setting the 2015 levels.
Surely Congress, who set these deadlines, can see that this process is broken and that the EPA needs to be held accountable.
Dave Juday is an agricultural commodity market analyst.
Sep 1, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 47 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The riots in Ferguson, Missouri, have spawned a heated and, one hopes, productive debate about the “militarization” of the police. While one can argue about the tactics and weaponry used by police, however, there’s little debate about the necessity of cops being armed. The real problem is the thousands of agents in federal regulatory bodies who likely have no business being armed at all.
10:59 AM, Jun 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
EPA chief Gina McCarthy agreed with Bill Maher on Friday that the Obama administration is engaged in a war on coal:
"The clean power program," Maher said. "Some people called it a war on coal. I hope it is a war on coal. Is it?"
"Actually, EPA is all about fighting against polution and fighting for public health," McCarthy said before answering Maher's question. "That's exactly what this is."
"Oh, great," Maher said to applause.
Has the desperate global warming crusade reached its Waterloo? Jun 16, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 38 • By STEVEN F. HAYWARD
The climate change crusaders, who have been at it for a quarter-century, appear to be going clinically mad. Start with the rhetorical monotony and worship of authority (“97 percent of all scientists agree!”), add the Salem witch trial-style intimidation and persecution of dissenters, and the categorical demand that debate about science or policy is over because the matter is settled, and you have the profile of a cult-like sectarianism that has descended into paranoia and reflexive bullying.
2:38 PM, May 7, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The administration has made climate change its signature issue until something better comes along. This means that the the EPA will be walking point. After all, no new environmental legislation will be coming out of Congress. President Obama didn’t ever try for that when his party had majorities in both the House and the Senate.
Of course the weather was nicer back then, so Washington may not have felt the urgency.
7:01 AM, Mar 10, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Less than a month after the exposure of a widespread vulnerability on government "open data" websites, another perhaps even more insidious opening for abuse of government websites has come to light.
7:34 AM, Feb 25, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Elise Viebeck and Jason Riley, last night on Fox News:
8:01 AM, Jan 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
The EPA awarded $461,368 in grants this week for various environmental projects along the U.S.-Mexico border. About half of the funds went to projects in Calexico, CA and Phoenix, AZ, but the remaining $230,000 went to two cities on the Mexican side of the border, Nogales and Ensenada.
Dec 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 16 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
Truth to tell, The Scrapbook has gotten as good a laugh as anyone out of the saga of John C. Beale, the retired Environmental Protection Agency official—Princeton grad, onetime deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Air and Radiation, congressionally certified expert on global warming—who has been sentenced to 32 months in prison for stealing nearly a million dollars from the federal government.
Oct 7, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 05 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
On September 20, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed strict new limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants. Energy industry critics, along with a number of influential unions, were quick to decry them. The regulations would limit carbon emissions for new coal plants to 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour. The technology to meet this standard, which involves pumping carbon dioxide deep underground, is so expensive that the coal industry says it will effectively prevent new coal plants from being built.
Jun 24, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 39 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
It’s going to be a long summer in Washington. With so many scandals, news organizations that have spent years sweeping startling allegations about the Obama administration under the rug now find themselves overwhelmed. Woe betide the average citizen who just wants to know what the heck his government is up to.
3:52 PM, Jun 4, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama today nominated three liberals to fill longstanding judicial vacancies on the important Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Will the Senate rubber-stamp the president's nominees—even though the court's fine as it is, with the eight judges currently serving enjoying the lightest caseload in the country? In 2006, when the Senate refused to consider the nomination of Peter Keisler to that court, Senator Ted Kennedy stressed that “we should consider these caseload declines carefully before we fill the current vacancy. American taxpayers deserve no less.” Since then, the court has only added more judges and heard fewer cases.
12:20 PM, Jun 4, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
High officials in the Obama administration are using "secret e-mail accounts," according to the Associated Press, and stonewalling when asked about them, even by establishment media operations.
11:36 AM, Dec 27, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
The New York Times reports:
Lisa P. Jackson is stepping down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency after a four-year tenure that began with high hopes of sweeping action to address climate change and other environmental ills but ended with a series of rear-guard actions to defend the agency against challenges from industry, Republicans in Congress and, at times, the Obama White House.
9:22 AM, Dec 15, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
Two members of Congress sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson over her use of the alias "Richard Windsor." The congressmen, Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns, want Jackson to explain her actions.