The Environmental Protection Agency misused tax dollars in the service of public propaganda, according to a legal opinion just handed down by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). The misdeeds came during the agency's public-relations blitz to drum up support for its new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulation.
First proposed in April 2014, the rule provoked immediate backlash. It expands the reach of the Clean Water Act's restrictions and the EPA's domain of authority, a source of concern for dairy farmers, home-builders, timber companies, energy producers and dozens of organizations and companies.
To date, the White House and EPA both have been dismissive of the concerns.Read more
‘It was $5, right?” I was at a convenience store in northern Missouri, filling up with gas, and the guy next to me was checking his gas budget with the lady in the passenger seat of his car. He was driving what might be the last K-car on the road. He noticed that I had overheard their conversation and turned to me and said: “I hate dollar and diming it, but if five bucks is all you have, that’s all you can spend.”Read more
Over the years, “agency capture” has been a staple of the economic analysis of regulation—the phenomenon whereby regulatory agencies would come to be largely controlled by the industries they purported to regulate, or at the very least would protect those industries as a cartel in a tradeoff for regulatory control. Railroads dominated the Interstate Commerce Commission during much of its early life, and for decades airlines used the Civil Aeronautics Board to stifle competition and innovation.Read more
These days, it's hard to feel sorry for the EPA, but a public hearing that aired on CSPAN Tuesday morning may spur some sympathy.
The hearing was on carbon emissions standards for commercial airplanes. The hearing had many witnesses, including one Kate DeAngelis from Friends of the Earth. She was there to urge the EPA to regulate not just those big bad airplanes of the future, but the airplanes of now.Read more
Rural Alaska is well known for its wolves, bears, and moose, but the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set its sights on a considerably smaller creature: the bed bug.Read more
The Environmental Protection Agency has increasingly seen its mission as the regulation of … just about everything. And as its sense of mission expands the confidence of the people in its ability to do so fairly and effectively has declined.Read more
The Obama administration’s recently announced Clean Air Act power-plant rules, advertised as helping to control the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, have almost nothing to recommend them. Complex, clunky, and burdensome, they’re likely to spike energy bills while doing almost nothing to control pollution or stop global warming.Read more
Under the nation’s biofuels policy known as the Renewable Fuel Standard, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is supposed to set an amount of biofuels—ethanol, biodiesel, and low carbon advanced biofuels—which are to be blended into the nation’s fuel supply. That amount is to be finalized by the EPA on November 30 of the previous year so as to give energy markets a clear signal of what to expect.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Steve Hayes, with Elise Viebeck and Jason Riley, last night on Fox News:
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
Type in your email
address to get started:
Thank you for signing up for the Jonathan V. last newsletter! You should receive your first newsletter very soon.
We're sorry, there was an error processing your newsletter signup.