CEI claims EPA suppressed internal study which contradicted administration policy

Posted on July 2nd, 2009 by bile
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Washington, D.C., June 26, 2009 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute is today making public an internal study on climate science which was suppressed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Internal EPA email messages, released by CEI earlier in the week, indicate that the report was kept under wraps and its author silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.

The report finds that EPA, by adopting the United Nations’ 2007 “Fourth Assessment” report, is relying on outdated research and is ignoring major new developments. Those developments include a continued decline in global temperatures, a new consensus that future hurricanes will not be more frequent or intense, and new findings that water vapor will moderate, rather than exacerbate, temperature.

New data also indicate that ocean cycles are probably the most important single factor in explaining temperature fluctuations, though solar cycles may play a role as well, and that reliable satellite data undercut the likelihood of endangerment from greenhouse gases. All of this demonstrates EPA should independently analyze the science, rather than just adopt the conclusions of outside organizations.

The released report is a draft version, prepared under EPA’s unusually short internal review schedule, and thus may contain inaccuracies which were corrected in the final report.

“While we hoped that EPA would release the final report, we’re tired of waiting for this agency to become transparent, even though its Administrator has been talking transparency since she took office. So we are releasing a draft version of the report ourselves, today,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman.

Waiting to exhale: E.P.A. Expected to Regulate Carbon Dioxide

Posted on February 19th, 2009 by bile
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The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to act for the first time to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists blame for the warming of the planet, according to top Obama administration officials.

The decision, which most likely would play out in stages over a period of months, would have a profound impact on transportation, manufacturing costs and how utilities generate power. It could accelerate the progress of energy and climate change legislation in Congress and form a basis for the United States’ negotiating position at United Nations climate talks set for December in Copenhagen.

If the environmental agency determines that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant to be regulated under the Clean Air Act, it would set off one of the most extensive regulatory rule makings in history. Ms. Jackson knows that she would be stepping into a minefield of Congressional and industry opposition and said that she was trying to devise a program that allayed these worries.

He said that under the clean air law any source emitting more than 250 tons of a declared pollutant would be subject to regulation, potentially including schools, hospitals, shopping centers, even bakeries, which has prompted some critics to call it the “Dunkin’ Donuts rule.”

But Mr. Bookbinder and other supporters say the regulations can be written to exempt these potential emitters. Ms. Jackson said that there was no timetable for issuing regulations governing carbon emissions and that her agency would not engage in “rash decision making.”

Either carbon dioxide is a “dangerous pollutant” there should be no exceptions. A 1 250 tons “polluter” is just as bad as 250 1 ton “polluters.” A law like this would incentivize businesses to build smaller emitters and more of them. At some point the limit would lower, covering more emitters and increasing the difficulty of enforcement. At 1kg / day and 305,837,000 individuals subject the this proposed regulation we get 337,127.584 short tons. Divided by 250 we get 1348.51 legally regulatable sources. The law should be consistantly applied. Proportional to output. That is assuming property rights are ignored and everything is treated as “commons.” When you account for private property rights pollution is a subjective designation. The only person or persons able to define what pollution is are those who OWN the property. If you are a farmer and believe the studies which show that increased CO2 percentages increase crop yield you may not care that the guy next door is allowing CO2 onto your property. If however he’s burning coal and covering the landscape in soot you have a clear, involuntary, property rights infringement which can be brought to arbitration and gives the infringed the legitimate use of force to prevent further infringement and cover damages.

This is of course ignoring any consideration that CO2 may in fact not be a significant contributor to global climate change. Given that H2O vapor and methane play far larger roles in being components of the earth green house gas composition either due to its increase heat retention per unit or due to shear quantity of the gas in the atmosphere.

Some pork gets cut, keeping out of the internet and science industry some

Posted on February 8th, 2009 by bile
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A coalition of Democrats and some Republicans reached a compromise that trimmed billions in spending from an earlier version of the Senate economic stimulus bill.

CNN obtained, from a Democratic leadership aide, a list of some programs that have been cut, either entirely or partially:

Partially cut:

• $3.5 billion for energy-efficient federal buildings (original bill $7 billion)

• $75 million from Smithsonian (original bill $150 million)

• $200 million from Environmental Protection Agency Superfund (original bill $800 million)

• $100 million from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (original bill $427 million)

• $100 million from law enforcement wireless (original bill $200 million)

• $300 million from federal fleet of hybrid vehicles (original bill $600 million)

• $100 million from FBI construction (original bill $400 million)

Fully eliminated

• $55 million for historic preservation

• $122 million for Coast Guard polar icebreaker/cutters

• $100 million for Farm Service Agency modernization

• $50 million for Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service

• $65 million for watershed rehabilitation

• $100 million for distance learning

• $98 million for school nutrition

• $50 million for aquaculture

• $2 billion for broadband

• $100 million for National Institute of Standards and Technology

• $50 million for detention trustee

• $25 million for Marshalls Construction

• $300 million for federal prisons

• $300 million for BYRNE Formula grant program

• $140 million for BYRNE Competitive grant program

• $10 million state and local law enforcement

• $50 million for NASA

• $50 million for aeronautics

• $50 million for exploration

• $50 million for Cross Agency Support

• $200 million for National Science Foundation

• $100 million for science

• $1 billion for Energy Loan Guarantees

• $4.5 billion for General Services Administration

• $89 million General Services Administration operations

• $50 million from Department of Homeland Security

• $200 million Transportation Security Administration

• $122 million for Coast Guard Cutters, modifies use

• $25 million for Fish and Wildlife

• $55 million for historic preservation

• $20 million for working capital fund

• $165 million for Forest Service capital improvement

• $90 million for State and Private Wildlife Fire Management

• $1 billion for Head Start/Early Start

• $5.8 billion for Health Prevention Activity

• $2 billion for Health Information Technology Grants

• $600 million for Title I (No Child Left Behind)

• $16 billion for school construction

• $3.5 billion for higher education construction

• $1.25 billion for project based rental

• $2.25 billion for Neighborhood Stabilization

• $1.2 billion for retrofitting Project 8 housing

• $40 billion for state fiscal stabilization (includes $7.5 billion of state incentive grants)

I’m mainly happy about the broadband stuff being cut. As far as I know the government isn’t destroying that industry yet with subsidies. I’d like to keep it that way. Unfortunately that belief is not shared by much of the tech site authors.

Rather scary propositions

Posted on January 12th, 2009 by bile
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Grabbed from Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis blog:

Things are looking pretty bleak. There is bad news in housing, the stock market, commercial real estate, jobs, and wages . Unfortunately, no matter how bad things are, someone always comes along to propose a “solution” that is guaranteed to make the situation much worse. Please consider the following ideas.

Punish savers and make them spend money: Near-zero interest rates and even a tax on bank deposits are necessary to force those with cash to use it productively

Assuming interest rates are reduced to about 1 per cent today, it will make little difference to savers if they fall all the way to zero. To all intents and purposes, income from bank accounts will be reduced to nil.

The next logical step, although it may be politically controversial, would be to do the opposite of what the Tories suggest. Instead of reducing taxes on interest payments, the Government could tax all bank deposits and other risk-free savings. This would create a negative risk-free interest rate, encouraging savers either to invest in property, shares and other productive assets – or simply to save less and consume more. In either case, the result would be more consumption and physical investment, less unemployment and faster recovery from the slump.

The Case for Bigger Government

Thirty years ago, Americans were told that government was part of the problem, not the solution. We bet on the magic of the marketplace, but the magic proved illusory. Every major part of the economy – health care, energy, transportation, food and finance – is deeply troubled. Now we are ready to invite government back in to help solve our problems, if the price is right and the strategies are convincing. By spending more through government and treating government as a partner rather than an enemy of the private sector, we can potentially save vast sums in the long run through a more efficient health-care system, safer climate, more competitive economy and more secure country.

A big difference between the U.S. and the rest of the rich world is that for the past 30 years or so, Americans consistently rejected “government solutions” to the problems of health, poverty, education and the environment.

What Hath Big Government Wrought?

  • It was big government that brought us Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • It was big government that sponsored the war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq.
  • It was big government that gave us nightmare problems we face with Medicaid and Medicare.
  • It was big government that gave us overlapping hundred billion dollar systems in the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
  • It is big government that sponsored 10′s of thousands of pork barrel projects and bridges to nowhere.
  • It is big government that gave us the Davis Bacon Act and the insanity pf prevailing wages.
  • It was big government sponsorship of the rating agencies that created the “AAA” rated securities that went to zero.
  • It was big government that took us off the gold standard and illegally confiscated citizen’s money.
  • It was big government that allowed fractional reserve lending and theft by inflation this is the root cause of a shrinking middle class today.
  • It was big government that created the Fed, and it was the Greenspan Fed that blew serial bubble after bubble culminating in the housing crash we are in today.

Big government either created or made worse every problem we have today. Yet Time Magazine and free lunch proponents like Krugman propose an even bigger government is necessary to fix the enormous problems of an already too big government.

I’d like to add that the idea that “Americans consistently rejected “government solutions” to the problems of health, poverty, education and the environment” is completely fallacious and ridiculous. Medicare, medicaid, the war on poverty, from little or no federal involvement to No Child Left Behind, huge federal college subsidies, the increase of scope and power of the EPA, etc. Just because Americans didn’t jump on board as quickly as other socialist / fascist States doesn’t mean such ideas were rejected.

The EPA: Keeping us safe from small gasoline equipment

Posted on September 6th, 2008 by bile
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September 4, 2008, Final Rule: Control of Emissions of Air Pollution from New Nonroad Spark-Ignition Engines, Equipment, and Vessels

EPA has finalized a new emission control program to reduce hydrocarbon emissions from small spark-ignition engines by about 35 percent. The new exhaust emissions standards will take effect in 2011 or 2012, depending on the size of the engine. The final rule also includes new standards to reduce evaporative emissions from these fuel systems. These standards will reduce the harmful health effects of ozone and carbon monoxide from these engines.

This page provides consumer information, regulations, guidance, and compliance fee and certification data for ten categories of nonroad spark-ignition engines, ranging from lawn and garden equipment through airport service equipment. For the homeowner, there is information about maintaining a yard and lawn, while minimizing air pollution from spark-ignition engines. For additional information about our emission standards, see our Fact Sheet: Final Emission Standards for New Nonroad Spark-ignition Engines, Equipment, and Vessels | PDF Version (xx pp, xxK, EPA420-F-08-013).

I’m sure lawnmowers are a significant contributer to global warming cooling climate change. Thank baby Jesus the EPA is there to save us.

Corn prices too high? EPA says too bad.

Posted on August 7th, 2008 by bile
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The Environmental Protection Agency today denied Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s request to reduce federal ethanol requirements this year.

The decision dealt a blow to Perry and a broad consortium of industry groups that claim rising U.S. ethanol output is inflating corn prices, hurting livestock and food producers and boosting grocery bills.

But in a noon conference call, EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said the federal Renewable Fuel Standard that sets the ethanol requirement isn’t causing “severe economic harm,” which would be required to justify a waiver, and is improving national security and benefiting farmers.

In a statement, Perry said he was “greatly disappointed with the EPA’s inability to look past the good intentions of this policy to see the significant harm it is doing to farmers, ranchers and American households.”

“For the EPA to assert that this federal mandate is not affecting food prices not only goes against common sense, but every American’s grocery bill,” he said.

  • National security claim: bullshit
  • Helping farmer claim: obviously true, the government is subsidizing the manufacturing of the ethanol and forcing gas companies to include it into their fuel.
  • Helping the environment claim: From Wikipedia “Combustion of ethanol in an internal combustion engine yields many of the products of incomplete combustion that are produced by gasoline and significantly larger amounts of formaldehyde and related species such as formalin, acetaldehyde, etc..[40] This leads to a significantly larger photochemical reactivity that generates much more ground level ozone.[41]” At an 34% energy yield it’s far less efficient too when compared to sugar cane ethanol with an 800% yield.