Forget toxic waste dumps, the Environmental Protection Agency apparently has a more immediate cleanup problem in its own backyard: An employee defecating in the hallway.
GovernmentExecutive.com, the government’s business news daily and key website for federal managers and executives, reported Wednesday that the EPA management for Region 8 in Denver sent an e-mail earlier this month to staff pleading to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.
In the e-mail, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor noted “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom.
“Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute these individuals,” Cantor wrote.
According to the e-mail, a consultant was brought in to address the problems.
That email says “the consultant advised us that this is very dangerous behavior as it includes property destruction and a disregard for the health and safety of others.”
The email goes on to say behavior that includes the destruction of property and disregard for human health is classified as attack-related behavior.
EPA spokesman Richard Mylott told Government Executive in a statement that the agency could not comment on “ongoing personnel matters.”
On Thursday morning, the EPA released the following statement:
Mental illness and destructive behavior in the workplace are serious issues that all large organizations must periodically face. EPA’s actions in response to incidents that occurred months ago have been deliberate and have focused on our responsibility to ensure a safe work environment for our employees. Our brief consultation with Dr. Nicoletti on this matter, a resource who regularly provides our office with training and expertise on workplace issues, reflects that responsibility.
It’s unclear who defecated in the hallway at the EPA, but 9NEWS Psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel says whoever it is might suffer from some sort of mental illness.
“It can be. It can a symptom of cognitive problems. It can be a symptom of psychosis, and it can be a symptom of substance abuse. Sometimes it’s just an extremely immature person,” Wachtel said.
Since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued 2,827 new final regulations, equaling 24,915 pages in the Federal Register, totaling approximately 24,915,000 words.
The Gutenberg Bible is only 1,282 pages and 646,128 words. Thus, the new EPA regulations issued by the Obama Administration contain 19 times as many pages as the Bible and 38 times as many words.
The Obama EPA regulations have 22 times as many words as the entire Harry Potter series, which includes seven books with 1,084,170 words. They have 5,484 times as many words as the U.S. Constitution, which has 4,543 words, including the signatures; and 17,088 times as many words as the Declaration of Independence, which has 1,458 words including signatures.
Using the Regulations.gov website and the Federal Register itself, CNSNews.com found 2,827 distinct rules published by the EPA since January 2009 covering, among other things, greenhouse gases, air quality, emissions and hazardous substances.
The Federal Register publishes documents, including proposed rules, notices, interim rules, corrections, drafts of final rules and final rules. The CNSNews.com tabulation included only final rules from the EPA.
To get an approximate word count for each EPA rule in the Federal Register, CNSNews.com evaluated a few random rules from the 2,827 EPA regulations published since Obama took office, and calculated an approximate average of 1,000 words per page. From this, CNSNews.com calculated that the 2,827 final EPA rules that have been published in the Federal Register so far take up 24,915,000 words.
This is only an approximation because some pages in the Federal Register carry more words than others, and some regulations end in the beginning or middle of a page. For example, one of the regulations was five-pages long and totaled 5,586 words, an average of 1,117 words per page.
Another regulation was three-pages long and 3,150 words, which averaged to 1,050 words per page. another rule was four-pages long and 4,426 words, or an average 1,106 words per page.
“The broader question of whether the Obama Administration’s EPA is “overreaching” in its regulatory effects has not gone away. Critics both in Congress and outside of it regularly accuse the agency of overkill,” states a Congressional Research Service report, EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?
“EPA’s actions, both individually and in sum, have generated controversy,” the CRS report states. “Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have expressed concerns, through bipartisan letters commenting on proposed regulations and through introduced legislation that would delay, limit, or prevent certain EPA actions.”
Yet, EPA proponents are fighting for more rules. “Environmental groups and other supporters of the agency disagree that EPA has overreached. Many of them believe that the agency is, in fact, moving in the right direction, including taking action on significant issues that had been long delayed or ignored in the past. In several cases, environmental advocates would like the regulatory actions to be stronger,” said the CRS report.
We were warned…
In January 2008 Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that cost onto consumers.”
He promised that his plan would cause electricity rates to skyrocket.
He wasn’t kidding.
On Monday the Obama administration unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants.
FOX News reported:
The Obama administration on Monday unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants, a controversial regulation aimed at fulfilling a key plank of President Obama’s climate change agenda.
The Environmental Protection Agency wants existing plants to cut pollution by 30 percent by 2030, under the plan.
The draft regulation sidesteps Congress, where Obama’s Democratic allies have failed to pass a so-called “cap-and-trade” plan to limit such emissions. The EPA plan will go into effect in June 2016, following a one-year comment period. States will then be responsible for executing the rule with some flexibility.
They are expected to be allowed to require power plants to make changes such as switching from coal to natural gas or enact other programs to reduce demand for electricity and produce more energy from renewable sources.
They also can set up pollution-trading markets as some states already have done to offer more flexibility in how plants cut emissions.
If a state refuses to create a plan, the EPA can make its own.
Obama’s energy policies will disproportionately harm the poor, middle class and minorities.
Real Clear Energy reported:
A study by Eugene M. Trisko for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity reviewed the disproportionate impact of higher energy costs on differing income groups from 2001 to 2011.
The study found that the amount of money spent on energy for half of American households that make less than $50,000 almost doubled rising from 12 percent in 2001 to 20 percent in 2011.
Minorities with lower average incomes than white households are disproportionately harmed by rising energy prices.
For example, in 2009, 67 percent of black households and 62 percent of Hispanic households had average incomes below $50,000 in contrast with only 46 percent of white households.
Since minority households have lower incomes than white households, rising energy prices will take a larger share of their family’s disposable income leaving fewer dollars for housing, medicine and clothes.
Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, new greenhouse gas regulations from the EPA and discussions of a carbon tax provides more evidence that Obama’s anti-fossil fuel agenda will force energy prices higher.
Ari Natter, renewables and energy efficiency reporter for Bloomberg BNA, tweeted today that he was detained by Capitol Hill police. His crime? He was simply doing his job. Natter attended the American Council On Renewable Energy conference to cover the event. EPA chief Gina McCarthy was a speaker. After she made her remarks, Natter attempted to ask her a question. After all, that is what reporters do. The content of the question was not disclosed in Natter’s tweets, but he did tweet about his experience of being detained. These tweets were picked up and reported initially by the Daily Caller.
Natter was detained while covering the American Council On Renewable Energy conference, where McCarthy spoke. Also speaking at the conference was Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a staunch supporter of green energy who regularly takes the Senate floor to sound the alarm on global warming.
McCarthy spoke about renewable energy issues, including the EPA’s proposal to cut back the amount of ethanol refiners are required to blend into gasoline annually to avoid economic calamity. She also talked about the Obama administration’s view that energy and environmental policy go hand in hand.
While the question asked by Natter that led to his detainment is not known, here is what he tweeted just prior to his ‘arrest’.
4 Retweets 1 favorite
Natter was subsequently released after police checked with their superiors and ran a background check to determine if his press credentials were valid. They were, so they let him go.
Given the Obama administration’s scandals involving attacks on freedom of the press with the spying on of James Rosen; seizing the phone records of AP reporters; and his attempted plan to monitor news rooms, this latest incident will undoubtedly make one wonder about the future of a free press under an Obama presidency.
H/T Gateway Pundit
The Environmental Protection Agency has been conducting dangerous experiments on humans over the past few years in order to justify more onerous clean air regulations.
The agency conducted tests on people with health issues and the elderly, exposing them to high levels of potentially lethal pollutants, without disclosing the risks of cancer and death, according to a newly released government report.
These experiments exposed people, including those with asthma and heart problems, to dangerously high levels of toxic pollutants, including diesel fumes, reads a EPA inspector general report obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The EPA also exposed people with health issues to levels of pollutants up to 50 times greater than the agency says is safe for humans.
The EPA conducted five experiments in 2010 and 2011 to look at the health effects of particulate matter, or PM, and diesel exhaust on humans. The IG’s report found that the EPA did get consent forms from 81 people in five studies. But the IG also found that “exposure risks were not always consistently represented.”
“Further, the EPA did not include information on long-term cancer risks in its diesel exhaust studies’ consent forms,” the IG’s report noted. “An EPA manager considered these long-term risks minimal for short-term study exposures” but “human subjects were not informed of this risk in the consent form.”
According to the IG’s report, “only one of five studies’ consent forms provided the subject with information on the upper range of the pollutant” they would be exposed to, but even more alarming is that only “two of five alerted study subjects to the risk of death for older individuals with cardiovascular disease.”
Three of the studies exposed people to high levels of PM and two of the studies exposed people to high levels of diesel exhaust and ozone. Diesel exhaust contains 40 toxic air contaminants, including 19 that are known carcinogens and PM. The EPA has publicly warned of the dangers of PM, but seemed to downplay them in their scientific studies on humans.
“This lack of warning about PM,” the IG’s report notes, “is also different from the EPA’s public image about PM.”
The EPA has been operating under the assumption that PM is deadly for years now. The IG’s report points to a 2003 EPA document that says short-term exposure to PM can result in heart attacks and arrhythmias for people with heart disease – and long-term exposure can result in reduced lung function and even death. A 2006 review by the EPA presents even further links between short-term PM exposure and “mortality and morbidity.”
“Particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should,” former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson told Congress on Sept. 22, 2011.
“If we could reduce particulate matter to healthy levels it would have the same impact as finding a cure for cancer in our country,” Jackson added.
PM is a “mixture of harmful solid and liquid particles” that the EPA regulates. PM that is 2.5 microns or less is known as PM2.5, which is about “1/30th the thickness of a human hair.” These small particles can get into people’s respiratory system and can harm human health and even lead to death after just short-term exposure.
The EPA set PM2.5 primary standards at 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air on an annual average basis, but the agency exposed test subjects to PM levels of 600 micrograms per cubic meter – 40 times what the EPA sets as an acceptable outdoor air standard.
But in five of the studies, people were subject to levels higher than what they signed on for. The EPA IG found that one person was hit with “pollutant concentrations that reached 751 [micrograms per cubic meter], which exceeded the IRB-approved concentration target of 600 [micrograms per cubic meter].”
The EPA says that when PM2.5 levels are between about 250 and 500 micrograms per cubic meter “[e]veryone should avoid any outdoor exertion. People with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly and children should remain indoors.”
No one was killed during the test, but a source close to the issue says that one test subject – a 58-year-old obese woman with medical problems and a family history of heart disease – was ordered to go to the hospital by the EPA after being exposed to “ambient air pollution particles” in October 2010.
Other test subjects also experienced health problems during their testing. One subject developed a persistent cough after being exposed to ozone for 15 minutes in April 2011 and two other subjects suffered from “cardiac arrhythmias” during testing in 2010 after being exposed to “clean air.”
The EPA has been trying to justify setting stricter PM2.5 standards in its upcoming national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS). But the agency’s public statements on PM don’t square with its lax attitude about testing the air pollutant on humans.
“Maybe the biggest reason to slow down the new rule is that the EPA is talking out of both sides of their mouth,” Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter said last year. “On one side exposure to it is deadly, and on the other they say human exposure studies are not harmful.”
The EPA has said for many years now that PM is a deadly air pollutant that can cause death even after short-term exposure, but it did not disclose the mortality risks in some of its human tests, despite exposing people to high levels of PM.
One manager overseeing EPA human testing told the IG’s office that “the exposure risk for healthy individuals is minimal” and that a person breathing 420 micrograms per cubic meter for two hours “would inhale the same concentration as they would breathing 35 [micrograms per cubic meter]” which is the EPA’s 24-hour regulatory standard for outdoor PM2.5 levels.
The manager also said “that PM risk is focused on susceptible populations and that the risk is small for those with no overt disease.”
This alarmed Republicans who said that either the EPA was misrepresenting the science around PM2.5 to advance its own regulatory agenda or it was exposing people to deadly pollutants for little scientific gain.
“It’s alarming how the EPA is purposefully and blatantly ignoring an ongoing investigation of the legality and therefore scientific legitimacy of the use of human testing,” Vitter said. “This is another example of the EPA continuing to pick and choose scientific ‘facts’ to support their overreaching agenda.”
“It is a concern that EPA would assert in the rulemaking process that PM2.5 exposure is deadly while simultaneously asserting in the waivers signed by participants in EPA human exposure studies that these exposures are not harmful,” Republicans wrote to the EPA in February 2013. “Furthermore, there are valid questions about the quality or usefulness of the exposure studies actually relied upon by EPA.”
The agency actually proceeded in its PM2.5 rulemaking while the EPA IG’s office was conducting a review of its human testing procedures.
“EPA policy decisions must be based on sound science,” Lek Kadeli, acting administrator for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD), said in response to the EPA IG’s report. “While there is a critical need for studies involving human subjects, ORD also understands that the research must be conducted in an ethical and vigilant manner.”
“As documented in the OIG’s report, EPA has established guidelines for conducting this type of research that are far in excess of what is normally required by universities, industry, and other government agencies conducting human studies research,” Kadeli said.
Who is John Beale and why is he ruining your life? John Beale was a career employee in the Environmental Protection Agency. He was not qualified for the job he got. In fact, it is a bit of a mystery how he got the job. Beale defrauded the government, claiming to be an employee of the Central Intelligence Agency taking lengthy absences from his job in order to go to serve the CIA. Beale served thirty-two months in prison once he was found out.
An EPA spokeswoman is quoted by Fox News as saying “Beale went to great lengths to deceive and defraud the U.S. government over the span of more than a decade” But what Beale did at the EPA is far more damaging than the fraud he committed against the government in falsifying his resume. While an employee of the EPA, Beale created the EPA playbook, a guide to not only exaggerating the benefits of regulations versus their costs, it also created the insidious tactic of “sue and settle” or what is often called “friendly lawsuits.”
They work like this: An environmental group, often leaning pretty far left, sues the EPA over some agenda item they want. Instead of being truly antagonistic opponents, the EPA and these groups are in fact colluding. “Sue and settle agreements allow EPA to convert a state Regional Haze program into a major new set of federal mandates, with no recourse for those affected until it’s too late,” said Bill Kovacs, the Chamber’s senior vice president for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs. “The report outlines the potentially disastrous effects of this regulatory tool being used by the EPA to disregard states sovereignty and take over what Congress clearly determined to be a state environmental responsibility. These federal haze requirements offer only high costs for states, utilities and consumers, with no benefit.” (US Chamber of Commerce)
Eventually they would settle the lawsuit with what is known as a “consent decree.” The “consent decree” is forever binding. And it is a scam. A scam against the American public.
The 2011 GAO Report shows that millions of dollars were awarded to environmental groups that sued the EPA with the majority of those awards going to just three groups:
* Earthjustice $4,644,425
* The Sierra Club $966,687
* Natural Resources Defense Council $252,004
Forbes.com writer Larry Bell characterizes that “Most of this was paid to environmental attorneys in connection to lawsuits filed under the Clean Air Act, followed next by the Clean Water Act.” Bell also reports that the DOJ ran up bills in excess of “$43 million defending the EPA in court between 1998 and 2010,” not including legal costs and/or attorney’s fees. Reviewing the GAO report, just one of many legal groups, Earthjustice, received attorney fees in amounts of:
* $11,019.57 in Sierra Club v. EPA
* $198,700.00 in Resources Defense Council v. EPA
* $198,997.00 in Florida Wildlife Federation v. EPA
* $209,867.00 in American Farm Bureau Federation v. EPA
* $65,587.00 in Environmental Integrity Project v. EPA
* $163,500.00 in Natural Resources Defense Council v. EPA
Which are just a few of dozens of legal fees paid, many five to six figures, to Earthjustice from 2005 through 2010 for actions in regard to the Clean Air Act.
The GAO report also outlines eight state studies that have created ongoing and oppressive consent decrees that the stated must continue to pay to rogue environmental groups.
In the Chamber of Commerce document “EPA’s New Regulatory Front: Regional Haze and the Takeover of State Programs, one such decree, the EPA Regional Haze regulations requires states implement programs to meet “The “national goal” of EPA’s Regional Haze program, as defined by the statute, is the “remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility” at 156 federal National Parks and Wilderness Areas known as Class I Areas” The document explains that the State of North Dakota learned of new “regional haze” regulations after their implementation:
“…the implementation of North Dakota’s regional haze plan was the subject of a lawsuit brought in Oakland. Neither EPA, nor the environmental groups, nor the court provided North Dakota with notice of the lawsuit or the settlement. It was only after the settlement was announced that the state had a chance to provide input. Worst of all, the new requirements that EPA was insisting on, which came out of this mysterious settlement, were threatening to make power generation in North Dakota so expensive that several power and cement plants were in danger of shutting down. (Chamber of Commerce (“EPA’s New Regulatory Front: Regional Haze and the Takeover of State Programs)
The reported costs to states impacted by the Regional Haze regulations, of which the states had no stakeholder input into, include:
* Arizona: EPA’s Regional Haze regulation threatens to increase the cost of water [and] would force the state to spend an additional $90.2 million per year to implement the federal regulation.
* Montana: EPA’s proposed Regional Haze controls are almost 250% more expensive than what the agency’s standing rules presume to be “cost effective” for Regional Haze compliance.
* In 2011, the EPA disregarded New Mexico’s submitted Regional Haze plan and imposed a federal plan that requires nearly $840 million more in capital costs. According to the operators of the San Juan Generating Station, EPA’s plan would raise utility bills for each household in New Mexico by $120 annually.
* Although North Dakota is one of only 12 states that achieves all of EPA’s air quality standards for public health, it would not be able to achieve EPA’s Regional Haze goals for visibility improvement even if all industry in the state shut down. In addition, EPA’s proposed plan would cost North Dakota nearly $13 million per year.
* Refusing to approve Oklahoma’s Regional Haze plan, the EPA’s plan would cost the state $282 million per year.
* In Wyoming, the EPA proposed a federal implementation plan that would cost almost $96 million more per year than the state’s plan.
* Minnesota is subject to back-to-back Regional Haze regulations, where EPA is claiming authority to regulate regional haze twice in succession at the Sherburne County Generating Plant.
* EPA’s proposed plan would cost Nebraska almost $24 million per year to achieve “benefits” that are invisible.
Beale’s EPA playbook gets around the fact that Government agencies, like the EPA, do not have the inherent power to regulate. Congress gives that to them. With every major piece of agency legislation that passes, included is something that is known as “enabling language.” That language authorizes the Secretary of that department to promulgate regulations to achieve the goals of the legislation.
Obamacare is a class example of regulatory legislation. While the bill itself ran 906 pages, there are now over 20,000 pages of regulations. The legislation that created the EPA along with other laws, such as the Clean Air Act, also gives the EPA the power to create regulations.
That is the problem.
When governments change in the United States, administrators change. Policies also change and regulations sometimes change. The problem with consent decrees is that it is almost impossible to change those. In short, a succeeding administration is bound by the consent decree whether it likes the policy or not. Beale is least partially responsible for regulations that haunt Americans to this day.
And this is one of the greatest problems to face Congress today.
Senators David Vitter (R-La), ranking member Senate Committee on Environment and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala), ranking member on the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air & Public Works & Nuclear Safety wrote EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarty (April 2013) questioning:
First, this is the latest in a series of rulemakings initiated by this Administration in response to so-called “sue and settle” agreements with special interest groups. In November 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Sierra Club negotiated a settlement whereby EPA unilaterally agreed to respond to a petition filed by Sierra Club seeking the elimination of a longstanding Clean Air Act (CAA) exemption for excess emissions during periods of startup, shutdown, and malfunction (“SSM”).
The EPA went out of its way further to deny the participation of the States, and other affected parties. Oddly, it appears that, instead of defending EPA’s own regulations and the SSM provisions in the EPA-approved air programs of 39 states, EPA simply agreed to include an obligation to respond to the petition in the settlement of an entirely separate lawsuit. In other words, EPA went out of its way to resolve the SSM petition in a coordinated settlement with the Sierra Club.
Our concerns with the Agency’s sue and settle tactics are well documented – these settlement agreements are often accomplished in a closed door fashion that contravenes the Executive Branch’s solemn obligation to defend the law, avoids transparency and accountability, excludes impacted parties, and often results in the federal government paying the legal bills of these special interest groups at taxpayer expense. The circumstances under which EPA has agreed to initiate this new rulemaking reaffirms a pattern and practice of circumventing transparency.
If these regulations are good for America, why are the clocked in deceit and oppressive costs. Why doesn’t Congress pass them as laws? Because Congress would not, so the Playbook gets around that pesky requirement.
America is being slowly strangled by a byzantine myriad of regulations, created by unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats. What is truly scary is that some of these regulations can result in felony convictions to Americans who are often unaware these regulations even exist. It looks increasingly likely that the Republicans will take control of the Senate after the midterm elections.
If they are serious about changing Washington and fighting big government, the fastest way to do that is to stop regulations. All Congress has to do is remove the ability of government agencies to create new regulations. Republican politicians talk about smaller government and taking power from Washington. This is their great opportunity to do something. One of the first orders of business in 2015 for the Republicans should be to take the regulation making power away from the Obama Regime.
If it needs to be a law, let Congress pass it. Otherwise lets vote in a strong Republican congress able to remove regulatory power from bureaucratic agencies.
Several Environmental Protection Agency employees obstructed an investigation into the mismanagement that allowed a senior EPA official to bilk taxpayers for nearly $900,000, the EPA Inspector General said in a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) released Wednesday.
EPA employees threatened Inspector General investigators, refused to cooperate, and handed out non-disclosure agreements to other employees to keep them from being interviewed, EPA Inspector General Arthur Elkins Jr. wrote in response to a request for information by Vitter on the case.
“Over the past 12 months, there have been several EPA officials who have taken action to prevent [the Office of Investigations] OI from conducting investigations or have attempted to obstruct investigations through intimidation,” Elkins wrote.
John Beale pleaded guilty in September 2013 to time card and travel fraud spanning two decades and amounting to nearly $900,000 in taxpayer dollars. Beale also spent a total of two and a half years absent from work, claiming he was away on CIA business. He was sentenced to 32 months in prison in December 2013.
After closing its criminal investigation, the Inspector General began an audit of the lack of internal controls that allowed Beale to defraud the agency. That audit has implicated a growing number of EPA officials.
“We are starting to see proof of what we had already suspected: John Beale’s time and attendance fraud was the tip of the iceberg at the EPA,” Vitter said in a statement to the Free Beacon. “The whole agency seems to be in complete disarray, which is exactly why we need to have a full [Environment and Public Works] Committee hearing on the fraud surrounding this case and other prevalent problems.”
In the public version of Elkin’s letter released Wednesday, the names of the EPA employees in question were redacted. However, the Free Beacon has obtained an unredacted version of the letter.
The letter identified one of the alleged obstructionist employees as Steve Williams in the EPA’s Office of Homeland Security (OHS).
“During the course of an OI administrative investigation, Mr. Williams approached an OI special agent in a threatening manner, preventing the special agent from conducting her official duties in an ongoing investigation involving Mr. Williams and other members of OHS,” Elkins wrote. “Additionally, Mr. Williams issued non-disclosure agreements to EPA employees that prevented these employees from cooperating with [the Office of the Inspector General] OIG investigations.”
“The Federal Protective Service conducted a criminal investigation and referred its finding of facts to support an assault charge to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia (USAO),” Elkins continued. “The USAO declined prosecution and referred the matter back to the EPA OIG for administrative action as necessary.”
Williams’ office originally attempted to investigate Beale’s fraud, a move the Inspector General said set their own investigation back by months.
Elkins also identified Nancy Dunham in the EPA’s Office of General Counsel and John Martin at OHS as two other employees who impeded the Inspector General’s investigation.
OIG agents interviewed Dunham during its criminal investigation of Beale, but she refused to be interviewed for an audit of the management issues that failed to prevent Beale’s fraud.
“A potential gap in information exists due to Ms. Dunham’s noncompliance,” Elkins wrote.
Dunham told investigators that she learned about Beale’s pay issues in late 2012. However, Elkins wrote that his office “later developed information through other interviews which indicates that Ms. Dunham hay have been aware of Mr. Beale’s pay issues several months or even a year prior to what she told OI during her interview.”
According to Elkins, Martin left his interview early and later issued non-disclosure agreements to EPA employees.
The EPA and the EPA OIG originally credited EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy with bringing Beale’s fraud to the attention of investigators after first becoming suspicious of him in April 2012.
However, emails and reports released by the EPA in response to requests by Vitter revealed that McCarthy was aware of issues related to Beale’s pay as early as 2011.
One February 2011 email obtained by Vitter’s office said: “Gina is reluctant to finalize [the cancellation of Beale’s bonuses] unless OARM Craig gives her the okay that the White House is aware and there will not be any political fallout.”
Elkins said the Inspector General did not investigate White House involvement in the case.
The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has released a transcript of former senior EPA official John Beale’s testimony. The Committee deposed Beale in connection with his recent fraud conviction. He was sentenced to prison for posing as a CIA agent, and defrauding the government of about $900,000.
Beale told the Committee that under President Barack Obama, the Environmental Protection Agency is being used for a purpose far beyond protecting the environment.
“There were several phases of this project as we had outlined it. There’s an enormous boy of literature on the subject. Sometimes it’s referred to sustainability literature, sometimes it’s referred to green economics. And so phase 1 of the project was for me to become very familiar and transversant with that literature. Phase 2 would have been out and interviewing academic experts, business experts, people in other countries that are doing things.
“And then phase 3 would have been coming up with specific proposals that could be – could have been proposed either legislatively or things which could have been done administratively to kind of modify the DNA of the capitalist system…”
That testimony comes on page 21 of Beale’s deposition. He testified to his belief that while environmental regulations in the United States have been successfull, “we’re reaching the limits of the traditional regulatory process… largely because the fundamental dynamic of the capitalistic system is for businesses and individuals to try to externalize all costs.” That, combined with the limits of technology to limit the movement of pollution around the globe, necessitated this project to “modify the DNA” of capitalism.
Beale testified that current EPA head Gina McCarthy was aware of and interested in the anti-capitalist project. He says that the project never got beyond the first phase, before he was outed for fraud.
The Institute for Energy Research’s Senior Vice President, Dan Kish, reacts:
“This is the smoking gun. For years, we have been saying the real agenda behind this administration’s energy and environmental policies is just what President Obama has said it is: to fundamentally transform America.
“In his testimony under oath, Beale, perhaps unwittingly, has laid bare the administration’s end goal. The President’s policies are not about carbon, they are not about coal, they are not even about energy and the environment. They are about fundamentally altering the DNA of the capitalist system. These policies are not about energy, but power.
“Beale was ordered by EPA administrator to head the agency’s climate change efforts. Today’s publicly released deposition means that McCarthy has many more questions to answer about her bad judgement regarding Beale and the true nature of the administration’s climate action plan.”
Just when you think that the EPA can’t get any more out of control, it decides to change the border of a state.
According to an article on Trib.com, the EPA overturned a 1905 Federal Law by expanding the Wind River Indian Reservation:
CHEYENNE – Gov. Matt Mead’s administration is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze implementation of its recent decision that more than 1 million acres around Riverton remains legally Indian Country.
Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael wrote Monday to national EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Regional Administrator Shawn McGrath in Denver asking them to reconsider the agency’s decision.
The EPA ruled last month that a 1905 federal law opening part of the Wind River Indian Reservation to settlement by non-Indians didn’t extinguish the land’s reservation status.
The EPA addressed the reservation boundary issue in its decision last month that granted an application from the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes. The tribes had applied to have the reservation treated as a separate state under the federal Clean Air Act.
Wyoming’s Governor, Matt Mead, says he will fight the decision and is concerned that a Federal Agency assumes it has the power to alter a state’s boundaries:
Mead has pledged to challenge the EPA decision in federal court. The state’s request to the EPA to halt implementation of its decision could help the state if it later asks the court to block the agency’s decision while the appeal plays out.
“My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law,” Mead said. “This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?”
If you agree with the decision or not, the EPA does not have the power to adjust the borders of a state. The proper places for such a decision are either in the legislative branch or the judicial branch. To me this is an obvious abuse of a power the EPA wrongly assumes it has…
Read more of the story at Trib.com.
It seems that the Trib.com has pulled their article since this story was published on the Gateway Pundit (The links are now dead).
Luckily I found an article on the Daily Caller with information on this story.
How’s your heating bill? If you feel like you’re not paying enough, you’re in luck.
President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing new regulations on power plants – regulations that will kill jobs, jack up your energy costs, and even end up reducing families’ income because of the impact on the prices of everything you buy.
As Heritage experts Nicolas Loris, Kevin Dayaratna, and David Kreutzer explain:
<blockquotThese regulations will act as a major energy tax that would negatively impact American households. Americans will suffer through higher energy bills, but also through higher prices for goods and services, slowing the economy and crippling the manufacturing sector.
…It will cost more to heat, cool, and light homes, and to cook meals. These higher energy prices will also have rippling effects throughout the economy. As energy prices increase, the cost of making products rises.
The EPA’s war is against coal, which is the main source of electricity for 21 states. In their research, Heritage experts analyzed a phase-out of coal (thanks to the EPA’s regulations) between 2015 and 2038.
Here are their dire warnings. By the end of 2023, they project:
* Employment falls by nearly 600,000 jobs (270,000 in manufacturing).
* Coal-mining jobs drop 30 percent.
* A family of four’s annual income drops more than $1,200 per year, and its total income drops by nearly $24,400 over the entire period of analysis.
And for what?
Certainly not helping the environment. The authors sum it up: “President Obama’s climate plan would have a chilling effect on the economy, not the climate.”
They explain that “regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions will have no meaningful effect on global climate change. The EPA admitted this in its own proposed rule.”
So – hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, thousands in lost income, higher prices across the board—and “no noticeable climate impact.” That’s what these regulations mean.
It’s important to remember that these rules are being developed by unelected bureaucrats at the whim of the Obama Administration. We’ve already learned that the Administration delayed a number of controversial regulations, including energy-related ones, conveniently until after the 2012 election. Why? Because they’re harmful to Americans.
The authority to make such sweeping changes doesn’t belong to these unelected bureaucrats, the Heritage experts say. Congress should take back its power and prevent these rules from inflicting harm on the economy – and our wallets.
Leave it to the Environmental Protection Agency to come up with regulatory standards so restrictive that the technology to meet them has yet to be commercially tested.
As expected, the EPA on Friday unveiled its revised proposal to cap greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants. And as expected, coal-fired power plants will fail to meet the limits without some very expensive technology to capture and store carbon emissions.
“There’s the rub. No commercial, coal-fired plant worldwide has yet to use this technology,” notes a story in USA Today.
As the piece points out, there are least two such carbon storage power plants under construction – one in Canada’s Saskatchewan Province, and the other in Mississippi’s Kemper County, scheduled to open in May.
But the coal-fired power industry need only look to Mississippi for a cautionary tale. The $4.7-billion project has been saddled with at least $1 billion in cost overruns, “a stew of legal battles, a revolt by ratepayers and a credit downgrade for the local utility,” according to Bloomberg News story published Thursday.
And, as the story points out, consumers ultimately will foot the bill for the expensive technology in the 582-megawatt plant, the first of its kind to be built on a commercial scale.
“By some measures, it may be one of the most expensive power plants ever built for the watts of energy it will generate,” Bloomberg notes. “The utility got approval to recoup $2.88 billion in costs from ratepayers. In addition, the Department of Energy pledged $270 million, and the company qualified for a federal tax credit of $133 million. The costs of the new lignite mine and carbon dioxide pipelines are additional.”
Coal industry officials earlier this week told Watchdog.org the restrictive limits on CO2 could kill coal, and with it, many of the 800,000 good-paying jobs it supports.
“That is the area that is really going to put this conversation at the forefront,” said Nancy Gravatt, spokeswoman for the National Mining Association, which represents coal and mineral mining companies nationwide. “This puts thousands of middle-class jobs at risk, and it’s akin to an energy tax on consumers. The hardest hit would be those on fixed incomes, like retirees.”
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said Americans have a “moral obligation to the next generation” to protect the environment. She said the proposal is a “necessary step to address a public health challenge,” according to the USA Today story. McCarthy, in a speech Friday morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., said the proposed standards create a “path forward” for the coal industry, and that the CO2 limits are both achievable and flexible.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a statement basically said the EPA blew it.
“The EPA had the chance to craft a regulation that recognized the value of the ‘all of the above’ energy strategy endorsed by President Obama, and ensured that standards were achievable and based upon commercially and economically viable technology. Instead, they have released yet another major regulation that will hamper economic growth and job creation, and could lead to higher energy costs for American families and businesses,” said Bruce Josten, the chamber’s vice president for Government Affairs.
“It is clear that the EPA is continuing to move forward with a strategy that will write off our huge, secure, affordable coal resources by essentially outlawing the construction of new coal plants.”
Jo Ann Emerson, former Missouri Republican congresswoman and now CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, earlier this week said the administration is “gambling with the economic well-being of future generations and our nation’s economy.”
“As not-for-profit, consumer-owned utilities, electric co-ops are deeply concerned about maintaining affordable, reliable electricity. It’s worth noting that residents of rural communities already spend more per capita on energy than anywhere else,” Emerson said in a statement.
Environmentalists, of course, rejoiced.
“In the words of our Vice-President, this is a BFD,” celebrated the Sierra Club in a blog post.
“If finalized as written, the draft will make it impossible to build a new, conventional, climate-destroying coal plant in the U.S. With climate-related disasters already landing on the doorsteps of millions of Americans, from Western wildfires to Superstorm Sandy, this new protection comes as welcome news.
Jason Hayes, associate director of the American Coal Council, fully expects the proposal to be challenged in court.
“The same thing that happened with the CSAPR Rule… Everyone was going forward before it was remanded by the D.C. court,” Hayes told Watchdog.org Friday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in 2011 vacated the EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule, often pronounced Casper, and the associated implementation plans and remanded the rule back to the EPA following widespread criticism.
The coal industry and other critics of the EPA’s proposal predict the strict limits will batter a U.S. economy struggling to recover, and stall the strides the industry has made in cutting CO2 output.
“Regulators are setting the bar so high that, even the new plants with the most advanced technologies would not be allowed,” Hal Quinn, CEO and president of the National Mining Association, said in a video released Friday. “Without coal our utility bills will be higher, our industries less competitive, electricity reliability compromised, and of course tens of thousands of jobs lost.”
A warehouse maintained by contractors for the Environmental Protection Agency contained secret rooms full of exercise equipment, televisions and couches, according to an internal audit.
EPA’s inspector general found contractors used partitions, screens and piled up boxes to hide the rooms from security cameras in the 70,000 square-foot building located in Landover, Md. The warehouse – used for inventory storage – is owned by the General Services Administration and leased to the EPA for about $750,000 per year.
The EPA has issued a stop work order to Apex Logistics LLC, the responsible contractor, ensuring the company’s workers no longer have access to the site – EPA security officials escorted contractor personnel off the premises on May 17 – and ending all payments on the contract.
Since awarding the contract in May 2007, EPA has paid Apex Logistics about $5.3 million, most of which went to labor costs. Conditions at the facility “raise questions about time charges made by warehouse employees under the contract,” the report said.
“The warehouse contained multiple unauthorized and hidden personal spaces created by and for the workers that included televisions, refrigerators, radios, microwaves, chairs and couches,” the IG report said. “These spaces contained personal items, including photos, pin ups, calendars, clothing, books, magazines and videos.”
The agency has completed an inventory of the warehouse’s contents and segregated all surplus furniture. EPA has committed to conducting an agency-wide review of all warehouse and storage facility operations.
In addition to the secret rooms, the IG found an incomplete and inaccurate recordkeeping system; numerous potential security and safety hazards, including an open box of passports; and “deplorable conditions” – such as corrosion, vermin feces and “pervasive” mold.
EPA acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe said in a letter to the inspector general the agency has taken “immediate, aggressive actions” in response to the findings.
“The EPA is committed to addressing the previous conditions at the warehouse and implementing institutional protections to ensure those conditions do not recur at this facility or any other used by the agency,” Perciasepe wrote.
Richard Windsor may be the most famous Environmental Protection Agency employee. Oddly, he does not exist. “Windsor” is the e-mail alias that Lisa Jackson, former head of the EPA and now an environmental adviser to Apple, used to correspond with environmental activists and senior Obama-administration officials, among others.
Windsor, we have learned, was also an employee of significant achievement. Documents released by the agency in response to a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that, for three years, the EPA certified Windsor as a “scholar of ethical behavior.”
The agency also documented the nonexistent Windsor’s completion of training courses in the management of e-mail records, cyber-security awareness, and what appears to be a counter-terror initiative that urges federal employees to report suspicious activity.
The EPA made the certifications public in response to a FOIA request from Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute who was tipped off to Jackson’s use of the Windsor account by agency employees while he was researching his 2012 book, The Liberal War on Transparency. Horner says that the EPA probably issued agency-wide training requirements for anybody who wished to maintain an active e-mail address, “never contemplating a false identity or fake employee would be created.” What appears to have happened, then, is that Jackson signed in, using her alias e-mail, to take the online courses for which the certifications were issued. “I’m unclear how grown men and women could think that it’s acceptable to have a nonexistent employee sign in as the test-taker [or to have an] administrator take required certification training in the name of a false identity,” Horner says.
Windsor’s certificate showing that “he” received training in how to manage e-mail records carries the signature stamp of John Ellis, the agency’s Records Officer, responsible for ensuring it preserves documents that accurately reflect its activities. Attesting to an employee’s training while knowing that the employee did not exist would be a serious infraction. Why Ellis would issue certification in Windsor’s name, if indeed he knew that Jackson and Ellis were the same person, remains a mystery. According to Horner, the alternative – “Tossing attestations that employees completed required training out like Mardi Gras beads” – would not be much better. The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.
The correspondence that came from Jackson’s e-mail alias did not indicate that the e-mails came from “Lisa Jackson,” and we don’t know how many people knew that Jackson and Windsor were the same person. Jackson’s use of the alias is the subject of an investigation by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Lawmakers have called her use of the Windsor account “baffling” and expressed concern that responses to records requests will be incomplete because officials are incapable of connecting the alias account to the real individual.
If agency employees were confused by Jackson’s use of the Windsor alias, they were not alone. E-mails released in May by the Committee on Environment and Public Works show that the CEO of an environmental marketing and consulting firm believed he was corresponding with Jackson’s assistant, Richard Windsor, when he received e-mails from the alias account. On March 4, 2010, Michael Martin, the CEO of Effect Partners, wrote Windsor: “Hi Richard, Thanks for your help in getting this information to Lisa this last week… If you are still there, could you please call me at [redacted]?” Jackson, using the Windsor e-mail account, replied: “Michael, Robert Goulding will call you tomorrow.” Martin responded: “Thanks Richard!” Pointing to the correspondence, ranking committee member David Vitter criticized the agency’s “disregard for transparency” and called the exchange “pretty bizarre.”
Jackson also used the Windsor alias to correspond with Cass Sunstein, the former head of the Obama administration’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. On February 12, 2009, Sunstein wrote Jackson at the Windsor account: “Any chance for lunch one of these days?” adding, “(PS I have your special email from my friend Lisa H. – hope that’s ok!).” The “special e-mail” to which Sunstein refers is Jackson’s Windsor account. She replied, “Of course it’s OK.”
The EPA has said that the practice of assigning a secondary e-mail account to the administrator of the EPA is common, intended to allow the administrator to manage e-mail traffic, because the primary e-mail address is publicly available. In testimony before Congress, however, the EPA said that the private account was used for “internal” agency communication between Jackson, her top deputies, and other administration officials. Her correspondence with individuals outside the federal government, including Martin, indicates that she used the account more widely.
Jackson defended her use of the Windsor alias in an April speech at Princeton University. She said the name Richard Windsor was a combination of her dog Ricky and a township in New Jersey, and she rejected allegations that she used the account to shield her work from disclosure laws. “I get very angry at the way politics is done,” she said, telling the crowd that she wanted to use an account under the name “email@example.com,” but that career EPA employees advised her against it because it was too easily identifiable. “I wish that I had stuck with my original inclination and just left it ‘admjackson,’ although I’m sure somebody would have decided that that was too obscure as well, but you take that and then you assign a motive to it.”
Horner, who has showered the EPA with FOIA requests in an attempt to get to the bottom of the Windsor mystery, does not buy it. He argues that the latest batch of documents suggests the corruption goes beyond Jackson “to the core of the agency” because they illustrate that other agency officials deliberately helped her perpetrate the Windsor “hoax” by “certifying and re-certifying him as sufficiently schooled in ethics and e-mail records management training.” Certainly, the certification that she is trained in the management of e-mail records adds a large dose of irony to the puzzle.
Republican lawmakers are launching an investigation into claims that the Environmental Protection Agency, while giving preferential treatment to environmental groups, made it harder for conservative groups to obtain government records.
“According to documents obtained by the Committees, EPA readily granted FOIA fee waivers for environmental allies, effectively subsidizing them, while denying fee waivers and making the FOIA process more difficult for states and conservative groups,” wrote Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Darrell Issa and Sens. David Vitter, Chuck Grassley and Jim Inhofe in a letter to the EPA.
Citing a report by The Daily Caller News Foundation, Republicans are asking the EPA to hand over all Freedom of Information Act fee waiver requests, responses to requests, and FOIA officer training materials since the beginning of the Obama administration.
Lawmakers are also asking for all communications regarding FOIA fee waiver requests or appeals under the Obama administration.
The free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute obtained documents showing that since January 2012, the EPA granted fee waivers for 75 out of 82 FOIA requests from major environmental groups and only denied seven of them, giving green groups a 92 percent success rate.
At the same time, the EPA rejected or ignored 21 out of 26 fee waiver requests from conservative groups.
“The startling disparity in treatment strongly suggests EPA’s actions are possibly part of a broader effort to collude with groups that share the agency’s political agenda and discriminate against states and conservative organizations,” the lawmakers wrote. “This is a clear abuse of discretion.”
Republicans are tying the EPA to the broader controversy over the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups.
“We know the Obama EPA has completely mismanaged FOIA, but granting fee waivers for their friends in the far-left environmental community, while simultaneously blocking conservative leaning groups from gaining access to information is really no different than the IRS disaster,” said Vitter.
Acting EPA administrator Bob Perciasepe announced Thursday that he was asking the inspector general to look into the matter.
“I am going to get an independent look at all that information so I can get a determination,” said Perciasepe, adding that the agency’s shift to an online system often means that groups are not charged any fees even if they are not formally waived.
Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Conservative Enterprise Institute.
CEI reviewed Freedom of Information Act requests sent between January 2012 and this spring from several environmental groups friendly to the EPA’s mission, and several conservative groups, to see how equally the agency applies its fee waiver policy for media and watchdog groups. Government agencies are supposed to waive fees for groups disseminating information for public benefit.
“This is as clear an example of disparate treatment as the IRS’ hurdles selectively imposed upon groups with names ominously reflecting an interest in, say, a less intrusive or biased federal government,” said CEI fellow Chris Horner.
For 92 percent of requests from green groups, the EPA cooperated by waiving fees for the information. Those requests came from the Natural Resources Defense Council, EarthJustice, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, The Waterkeeper Alliance, Greenpeace, Southern Environmental Law Center and the Center for Biological Diversity.
Of the requests that were denied, the EPA said the group either didn’t respond to requests for justification of a waiver, or didn’t express intent to disseminate the information to the general public, according to documents obtained by The Washington Examiner. CEI, on the other hand, had its requests denied 93 percent of the time. One request was denied because CEI failed to express its intent to disseminate the information to the general public. The rest were denied because the agency said CEI “failed to demonstrate that the release of the information requested significantly increases the public understanding of government operations or activities.”
Similarly, requests from conservative groups Judicial Watch and National Center for Public Policy Research were approved half the time, and all requests from Franklin Center and the Institute for Energy Research were denied. “Their practice is to take care of their friends and impose ridiculous obstacles to deny problematic parties’ requests for information,” said Horner. Freedom of Information Act requests from CEI forced the EPA to release emails under the the “Richard Windsor” alias former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson used to conduct government business.
CEI has also filed FOIA requests for emails, text messages and instant messages from Jackson and EPA nominee Gina McCarthy. Horner said he believes the EPA has denied CEI’s requests because his think tank is the most active group seeking to hold the agency accountable. “This is a clear pattern of favoritism for allied groups and a concerted campaign to make life more difficult for those deemed unfriendly,” he said. “The left hand of big government reaches out to give a boost to its far-left hand at every turn. Argue against more of the same, however, and prepare to be treated as if you have fewer rights.” Update: An earlier version incorrectly called the Natural Resources Defense Council the “National Resources Defense Council.”
When the Obama EPA is not spying on cattle and pork ranches with drones, they’re illegally releasing information on livestock producers to far left extremist groups.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the National Pork Producers are furious after the Obama Environmental Protection Agency illegally gave information on livestock farmers to extremist animal rights groups.
Farm Futures reported:
NCBA and the National Pork Producers Council are both furious with EPA for handing extremist groups illegally gathered data on farmers who operate confined animal feeding operations.
NCBA said early this week it was notified by the EPA that the agency had been collecting information from states on CAFOs. The information was requested by extremist groups, including Earth Justice, the Pew Charitable Trust and the Natural Resources Defense Council through a Freedom of Information Act request and was given to them.
The information released by EPA covers livestock operations in more than 30 states, including many family farmers who feed less than 1,000 head and are not subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.
“When we reviewed the information submitted by the states and released by EPA, we were alarmed at the detail of the information provided on hard working family farmers and ranchers, family operations including my own,” said NCBA past president J.D. Alexander, a cattle feeder from Pilger, Nebraska.
“It is beyond comprehension to me that with threats to my family from harassment atop bio-security concerns, that EPA would gather this information only to release it to these groups. This information details my family’s home address and geographic coordinates. The only thing it doesn’t do is chauffeur these extremists to my house. For some operations, even telephone numbers and deceased relatives are listed.”
The problem had recent roots in January 2012 when EPA proposed the Clean Water Act Section 308 CAFO Reporting rule to collect information from CAFOs and make it publicly available and readily searchable through their website.
Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) released a statement and video condemning the EPA for their illegal acts.
Here’s the transcript:
In Arkansas, farming is a way of life. Agriculture is the number one industry in our First Congressional District and for many families it’s a rich tradition. As Arkansas’s only representative on the House Agriculture Committee, I fight each day to ensure farm families in our state can continue producing the safest, most abundant and reliable source of nutrition food on the planet.
Recently, I was informed the Environmental Protection Agency had released the personal information of livestock and poultry producers to extremist environmental groups. The information was released after the groups filed a request through the Freedom of Information Act.
The EPA turned over personal information like phone numbers, addresses and even geographic coordinates to environmentalists. An overwhelming majority of the information released appears to be from farms owned by families who may now face threats to their homes and businesses.
I have serious concerns over the EPA’s release of this information, particularly regarding individual privacy rights and possible bio-security threats to the nation’s food supply. Releasing this type of information makes producers potential targets of harassment, or even bio-terrorism. Unfortunately, this release of information is yet another example of the EPA’s overreach into the lives of hardworking individuals in rural America.
As Chairman of the Agriculture Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, I am leading a group of 40 House members in writing a letter to the acting director of the EPA expressing our concerns and asking the acting director to ensure the released information is not improperly used. In the letter, we demand answers on why the EPA obtained producers’ private information and, most important, what steps the agency will take to protect the affected producers while ensuring these actions will never happen again.
It is unacceptable for the EPA to do anything that could jeopardize our nation’s food security or threaten American farm operatins. The EPA must be held accountable for their actions and bureaucrats in Washington must consider the livelihoods of farm families and our nation’s food-security before they cower to extreme environmental groups.
Democrats like to accuse the Right of waging war on many things including women, Blacks, unions, working families, immigrants, the environment, and Homosexuals among others. But, it is really the Left, not the Right that is waging war on all of those groups listed above, and now, Chris Wysocki tells us that they are hating on your car!
Obama’s Green Goons are determined to put Karo Syrup into every gas tank in America, and they don’t really care how many car engines they destroy while doing it. Their latest ethanol concoction — E15 — is toxic to your engine. Which matters not one whit to the EPA; their regulations say we have to use it, and so use it we will.
We already know that E10, the current ethanol blend, gums up the works in small engines like snowblowers and lawn mowers. Now a new study proves that E15 is like Kryptonite to your car.
The fuel industry’s American Petroleum Institute tested the 15 percent ethanol gas approved in 2010 and found it gums up fuel systems, prompts “check engine” lights to come on, and messes with fuel gauge readings.
“Failure of these components could result in breakdowns that leave consumers stranded on busy roads and highways,” said the industry report. Worse: API said the fuel problems–not found in E5 or E10 blends–aren’t always covered by auto warranties.
The industry prefers pure fuel to an ethanol mix, but the report isn’t likely to slow the administration’s green push, according to a Washington auto lobbyist.
It is difficult to precisely calculate how many vehicles E15 could harm. That depends on how widely it is used and other factors. But, given the kinds of vehicles tested, it is safe to say that millions could be impacted.
Remember too that every ear of corn which ends up in your gas tank is one less box of cereal for a hungry child. The EPA hates children! And cars.
I would say that this is another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, but, if the EPA knows what this stuff can do ahead of time, maybe this is more about abuse of power, another thing the Left loves to partake in. If the Founders were around today, their heads would likely explode.