Posts Tagged ‘epa’

With the continued Benghazi investigation, IRS political targeting and DOJ press surveillance, could a scandal at the EPA be the next shoe to droop for the Obama administration?

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) been closely following the EPA’s misuse of private communication to conduct public business, and fees the agency has placed on conservative groups seeking information that they usual waive for media and watchdog groups. After successfully gaining access to former EPA Chief Lisa Jackson’s emails, CEI is now suing to gain access to the text messages of Gina McCarthy, the senior EPA official the President has nominated to now run the agency.

CEI’s Chris Horner joined “Wilkow” Thursday to discuss his organization’s request to access text messages sent by Jackson and McCarthy, and what they’re looking for.

“Where are these text messages? Are they really engaging in serial, coordinated, systematic document destruction in violation of criminal law?” he asked. “Because I have an affidavit in one of my lawsuits from NASA admitting that they are. OK, so this is not far-fetched, this is rather near-fetched.”

Horner noted that McCarthy is being promoted to an “enormous budget” and “enormous responsibility” and there are questions that need to be answered.

Read more here.

Before we get into the meat of this story, let’s do a quick recap of the Obama administration’s most recent scandals:

Testimony provided last week by the Benghazi whistleblowers has raised serious questions about the Obama administration’s actions before, during, and after the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya
The Internal Revenue Service admitted last week to harassing conservative groups
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Friday asked companies in an industry she has an enormous amount of influence over to donate money to help implement Obamacare
The Department of Justice was caught Monday with at least two months worth of the Associated Press’ phone records

Needless to say, it’ll take an incredible amount of concentration and political savvy for the Obama administration to make it through the next few weeks (months maybe?).

Could things get any worse for the president and his cabinet? Maybe.

Read more here.

President Barack Obama’s administration deliberately held off implementing burdensome regulations that favored environmentalists, labor unions, and dealt with Obamacare in the month leading up to the election because they would be politically unpopular.

Before Obama won reelection, the backlog of regulations suggested to many industry experts that if Obama won reelection, his administration would be “publishing thousands of pages of regulations in the coming months.”

Now that Obama won, some in the business community expect a “tsunami” of regulations that will burst through the dam because about 70 percent of regulations under review have been held for more 90 days, which is 30 days more than the customary 60-day limit. And these are regulations that have made it out of the various agencies. There are many more still on hold.

Many of those regulations involve the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the National Journal:

Industry lobbyists and environmental lawyers estimate that the EPA is currently sitting on about a dozen new major regulations, completed, and ready to roll out the door, but on hold until after the election. Nearly all of them will have a significant impact on the coal and oil industry.

Read more here.

You’re the owner of a piece of commercial property, and local regulators are asking you to make sure the impact of work you’d like to do is mitigated: wetlands accommodated, the property fixed up and cleaned up.

So no problem.

Then regulators tell you they also are going to require that you – at an expense estimated up to $150,000 – fix up and clean up a piece of unrelated government property miles away from your project.

Or else.

What do you do?

That’s the question that will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in a dispute out of Florida that is being handled by the Pacific Legal Foundation.

In the case, the owner of a piece of commercial property in Orange County, Fla., the Koontz family, was told that to get the permits necessary to use their land, they would have to spend thousands of his dollars making improvements to government-owned land miles away – just because that’s what officials decided they wanted.

“Property owners large and small, from coast to coast, should be thankful that the U.S. Supreme Court has accepted this important property rights case,” said Paul Beard, principal attorney for the foundation.

“If the Koontz family can be hit with the government rip-off that happened in this case, then everybody’s property rights are put at risk. The Koontz family merely wanted to exercise their rights as property owners, to develop the family’s land in legal and responsible ways.

“But regulators saw a chance to pounce and make all kinds of costly, unrelated, outrageous demands,” he said. “Without any justification, the government demanded money, labor and resources as the price for allowing the Koontzes to use their own land.

“This was a flat-out shakedown, a form of extortion,” he said.

Read more here.

An oil refinery in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, will shut down by mid-February. It is owned by Hovensa, a joint venture of U.S.-based Hess Corp. and Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).

Losses at Hovensa . . . have totaled $1.3 billion over the past three years and were projected to continue due to reduced demand caused by the global economic slowdown and increased refining capacity in emerging markets, said Brian K. Lever, president and chief operating officer of Hovensa LLC.

There are various other causes for the shutdown and this may be among them:

In January, Hovensa entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department in which the company agreed to invest $700 million on pollution controls after a series of chemical releases affected people living downwind from the refinery. Hovensa also agreed to pay a $5.4 million penalty for violating the Clean Air Act.

Under current market conditions and having experienced substantial losses during the past three years, investing an amount equal to 53.85 percent of those losses as required by the EPA could be quite burdensome.

Closure of the St. Croix refinery may well effect U.S. domestic gasoline prices adversely, particularly on the East Coast:

[T]he coming loss of gasoline supply shocked markets for gasoline futures, which are likely to be soon reflected at the pump. Gasoline for February delivery rose 5.41 cents to $2.8254 a gallon on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday, settling at the highest point since Sept. 8.

In St. Croix, the refinery employs about 1,200 people in addition to about 900 contractors. In 2010, the population of the island was 50,601, so the loss of about 2,100 jobs will have a substantial direct economic impact plus a significant multiplier effect. Food stamps and other welfare benefits are available there and the U.S. federal government contributes. There will also be significant long-term impacts on the tax revenues of the U.S. Virgin Islands, reducing them by at least $60 million per year through diminished real property taxes and employee income taxes.

Read more here.

Companies supplying motor fuel will have to pay approximately $6.8 million in fines to the Treasury because they failed to “mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel,” writes Matthew L. Wald of the New York Times.

However, the fine isn’t the worst part. The worst part is the fact that the refiners could have tried everything in their power to remain in compliance with standards set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, and it might not have mattered.

Why? Because there is not enough of this “special type of biofuel” to go around. In fact, with the exception of some scattered workshops and laboratories, “the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist,” according to the Times report.

And by 2012, these companies are expected to pay even higher penalties for failing to include cellulosic biofuel in their product. Refiners were required to blend 6.6 million gallons into gasoline and diesel in 2011 and face a quota of 8.65 million gallons this year, according to the Times.

That seems like an awfully difficult task considering cellulosic biofuel doesn’t exist in the amounts required.

“It belies logic,” Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said of the 2011 quota, according to the Times. And raising the quota for 2012 when there is no production makes even less sense, he said.

The reasoning behind the Energy Independence and Security Act? Rules like the one ordering refiners to blend cellulosic biofuel with their product would help reduce greenhouse gas emission. However, even supporters of “green energy” are starting to admit that, yeah, the penalties are a little unreasonable.

Read more here.

EPA will Ban Rat and Mouse Toxic Poisons: For professional use only.

Remember when they banned DDT almost 40 year prior because it claimed responsibility for the degeneration of eagles and other birds? Rachel Carson,  made it known through her book called “Silent Spring, a falsification of the effects of DDT.  Thus, the creation of the EPA.   DDT had earlier been hailed as a “miracle” chemical that repelled and killed mosquitoes that carry malaria, a disease that can be fatal to humans. The results from the ban were disastrous: at least 1-2 million people continue to die from malaria each year.  The USA is still plagued by Bed Bugs epidemic because of this ban today.  

Now, present the EPA as of Tuesday creating better and healthier living, for children, pets and wildlife will ban the rat and mouse poisons, as well as most loose bait and pellet products  in residential form. 

Only a licensed pest control professional will be able to use those poisons that are available for use in residential setting.  In other words, not obtainable to the public any longer.

The pest control lobbyists in Washington made a comeback.

But the EPA has issued a media release with other tips how to stop the invasion of rat and mice.

Now, the inner city children can get bit by rats and mice that plague their dwellings. Let us see what diseases will occur from a new infestation of these rodents.