Tag: Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA Knew

You’re probably aware of the recent ecological disaster the EPA caused in the Gold King Mine. While cleaning up the heavily polluted site, they caused a blowout that put millions of gallons of toxic water into the Animas and San Juan Rivers, turning them yellow. I’ve been waiting for more details on the event. Accidents happen, particularly when you’re working at a poorly known site. The EPA wasn’t just screwing around with the mine; they were trying to clean up an ongoing environmental problem that had killed many of the fish in the upper Animas river. Acid mine drainage is a huge environmental problem and is one of the reasons we have the EPA in the first place (I was just reading an article about the Berkeley Pit mine, a potential time bomb tat the EPA is defusing).

Well, we’re finding out some things now. And it looks very bad:

U.S. officials knew of the potential for a catastrophic “blowout” of poisonous wastewater from an inactive gold mine, yet appeared to have only a cursory plan to deal with such an event when a government cleanup team triggered a 3-million-gallon spill, according to internal documents released by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA released the documents late Friday following weeks of prodding from The Associated Press and other media organizations. While shedding some light on the circumstances surrounding the accident, the newly disclosed information also raises more questions about whether enough was done to prevent it.

A May 2015 action plan produced by an EPA contractor, Environmental Restoration LLC, also noted the potential for a blowout.

The May plan also called for a pond that would be used to manage the mine water and prevent contaminants from entering waterways. That pond was not completed.

A 71-page safety plan for the site included only a few lines describing what to do if there was a spill: Locate the source and stop the flow, begin containment and recovery of the spilled materials, and alert downstream drinking water systems as needed.

Note that the EPA has actually redacted parts of the documents as if there are national security issues at stake. They have also not revealed what happened immediately before and after the blowout or why they waited for over a day to let local governments know that their water was turning to poison.

I expect, in the end, no one will be held accountable. “Stuff happens” is the way of the Obama Administration, at least when it comes to their own people. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s going to get a lot worse for the EPA.

Out the Door, Line on the Left, One Cross Each

Well, this resolved itself before I even had a chance to comment:

The Obama administration’s top environmental official in the oil-rich South Central region has resigned after Republicans targeted him over remarks made two years ago when he used the word “crucify” to describe how he would go after companies violating environmental laws.

Republicans in Congress had called for Armendariz’ firing after Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe highlighted the May 2010 speech last week as proof of what he refers to as EPA’s assault on energy, particularly the technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

I’m with Althouse on this one. The problem with Armendariz’ comments wasn’t that they were controversial or offensive to Christians. The problem was that they were true.

This is how the EPA operates. And to be fair, it’s kind of how it has to operate. There aren’t enough regulators to check on everyone and make sure they are compliant with the law. So they compensate by coming down on the miscreants they do catch like a ton of bricks. That’s the entire basis of preventative law enforcement.

The problem is that the EPA can be very arbitrary in exactly who they come down on. His analogy is dead on: they are crucifying the first five people they run into, making examples of them whether they’ve really broken the law or not. They frequently punish people who’ve done nothing wrong and are known to prefer targets that lack the resources to fight an unjust persecution.

I have no problem with “crucifying” companies that flagrantly break the law and pollute the environment (example: BP, still awaiting prosecution). But I do have a problem with crucifying random businesses to make a point. Armendariz was caught revealing the way the game is played. And that bought him an appointment with the undercarriage of the nearest bus.

Sackett Wins

I’m really liking SCOTUS these days:

The Supreme Court handed down a major win for both property rights and due process rights today in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue was the EPA’s use of so-called administrative compliance orders, which are government commands that allowed the agency to regulate the use of private property without also subjecting its actions to judicial review. In a 9-0 ruling, with the majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia and separate concurring opinions filed by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court declared that these EPA actions must be subject to judicial review.

Here is Reason’s documentary.



Basically, the EPA decided the Sacketts land was a wetland without presenting any evidence that it was. They decreed that the Sackett’s had to “return” their land to its “natural” state. But since no fines were actually issued right away, the Sacketts could not challenged this in court. They had to either comply with the EPA demands or refuse to comply, incur millions in fines and then challenge it. And, stunningly, lower courts were fine with this.

SCOTUS just struck a gigantic blow for property rights. EPA and other agencies will now be accountable.

Enjoy your property, Mike and Chantelle Sackett. You’ve challenged the EPA’s tyranny and won. That doesn’t just make you winners; it make you patriots.

(PS – Alito’s concurring opinion is very good. The more time passes, the more I think Roberts and Alito are going to be the best things that came out of the Bush II Administration.)

More “green” magic!

Check green this nonsense out:

Oil companies will pay $6.8 million in fines for not meeting federal quotas for blending in cellulosic biofuels – those produced from grasses, wood and plants – even though there weren’t enough of those biofuels available for use, the New York Times reported. Those fines are likely to rise in 2012 because the cellulosic biofuel quotas that refiners have to meet will rise more than 30 percent to 8.65 million gallons.

Charles Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said the imposition of the fines “belies logic,” while Dennis McGinn, a retired vice admiral who serves on the American Council on Renewable Energy, said that the quota “is the right thing to do” even if the imposition of the fines “doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense,” the Times reported. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokeswoman Cathy Milbourn said the 2012 quota was “reasonably attainable.” Hence the fines.

First off, let me point out that this insane article gets something seriously wrong: oil companies are not paying that $8.6 million fine, those of us that buy products from them – anyone that owns or rides a vehicle or lives somewhere that needs heat or cooling – are paying it. This idiotic notion that companies pay for anything needs to die an ugly death. It is always those of us that own their stock or use their services and products that are the ones being punished by fines like this. I should point out how obvious it now is that Obama meant it when he told us we would have to pay through the nose for any fossil fuels that his green donor buddies don’t like.

Now let’s discuss some serious watermelon logic that should make everyonethat is not insane do a double take. That Dennis McGinn fellow sums up to me the whole dysfunction of the green movement with his comment that even though government mandated additive doesn’t exist yet, he sure as hell feels the fines are awesome, despite the admission that he is quite aware that it smacks of serious stupidity to impose a fine for not using something that doesn’t exist. He gets what is going on here fine. So do I. Dennis, like all these watermelon crooks, just thinks anything that hurts oil companies and jacks up prices on consumers is, to use his own words, is “the right thing to do”. Logic or sense both be damned, unless the logic here is to price fossil fuels through gimmicks and government manipulation into being so expensive that this green shit suddenly looks semi-competitive. Now for the bullshit.

The fines illustrate the emphasis the federal government is putting on production of biofuels in an effort to cut dependency on foreign oil. Last month, the EPA said it boosted its 2012 goals for production of non-corn-based biofuels by about 36 percent. Specifically, the EPA increased its production goal for advanced biofuels, whose feedstocks range from sugarcane ethanol to algae, by 48 percent, while increasing its goal for cellulosic biofuels by 34 percent. Production of biomass-based biodiesel is set to rise 25 percent this year, according to the EPA.

Can you pack more idiotic lies in a paragraph than this? I am sure Obama will do that in his speech tonight, but come on! Watch this bio fuels emphasis produce the same result as the emphasis on ethanol has: less corn to feed both farm animals and people, resulting in those at the lowest economic rungs being stung the hardest by the cost increases lower supply caused. And it gets better. The EPA is making decisions on its own about these things that while stupid should be coming from congress, and of all things precisely because a previous decision to push corn based biofuels has had catastrophic consequences. Of course, I expect the usual idiots to tell me this unconstitutional overreach of power by the EPA is all fine and dandy because of the idiotic Clean Air act. I am sure rounding up people that are not buying this green shit and exterminating them can be rationalized and justified under the Clean Air act. After all, it’s for our own good!

Oh, wait! They have an act passed by congress?

Annual increases in the EPA’s renewable-fuel production guidelines are a response to the Renewable Fuel Standard 2 (RFS2) and 2007’s Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which, in part, set a U.S. production goal of 36 billion annual gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.

This was right after Pelosi and her crew of pirates took over the House, wasn’t it? And this bill, a precursor to the “Cap and Tax” boondoggle that died a well deserved couple of years later, never gave the EPA any of the powers it now has abrogated to itself, despite what these communists greens pretend. The part that was most laughable came from the summary:

Taken together, these measures will save American consumers $400 billion, create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, and cut global warming pollution. The Energy Independence & Security Act represents a down-payment on Congress’ plan to move America forward, toward a more affordable, sustainable, and secure energy future.

What a crock of shit! Prices are going to go up, not down. That savings they promise was probably computed using the same idiotic math that they used to compute savings from Obamacare. And steps that would guarantee us definite energy independence – like getting our own oil & natural gas or making deals to procure oil and gas from friendly neighbors while building nukes –are no where mentioned in this boondoggle. No, this act was more of a precursor to give democrats a means to fuck over tax payers by giving billions of our dollars to questionable green industries that would not survive without both massive government subsidies and government imposed penalties against viable energy. The only thing guaranteed is that we will have less available energy and have to pay more for it. Where is my reach around, huh?

Unexpectedly – oh, I can’t even joke about this anymore..

Belated holidays to all. I sure as hell enjoyed mine. Was sad to know so many unfortunates that didn’t however and it is finally dawning on some of them that their golden “unicorn” is to blame. Hope you are all well. So back to some fun.

Unless you are one of those Cro-Magnon idiots that watches Fox News and avoids the leftard media, you would likely have no clue that John Corazine, a democrat, senator & governor, CEO of Sachs, and one of the richest people out there, recently “misplaced” $1.2 billion from his investor’s money. For some “inexplicable” reason, the LSM seems unconcerned that a democrat basically stole $1.2 billion dollars and feel he doesn’t deserve the same treatment they gave Madoff, for much less. Of course, Madoff helped them create that whole “he was in bed with republicans, so republicans are crooks” meme, and well, Corazine, doesn’t lend himself to that kind of propaganda, so that explains the lack of interest just as an election year in which their guy faces a damning 3+ year track record of destructive & insane collectivist nanny-state policies, pops up, I guess. And even when they are compelled to report it is fluff like this. But thanks to organizations that are not part of the LSM, some of us “uninformed conspiracists” can find out about things like this:

During two days of recent congressional hearings into how as much as $1.2 billion disappeared from MF Global customer accounts, the chief operating officer of the imploding investment firm responded again and again that he did not know.

Yet as the House and Senate interrogated Bradley I. Abelow and other top executives at MF Global Holdings Ltd., lawmakers did not mention Mr. Abelow’s role as a financial adviser for the Environmental Protection Agency, which as of Tuesday listed him as the chairman of its financial advisory board.

Even as he finds himself the public face of a bankruptcy and admitted to lawmakers that he had no idea how client funds disappeared, Congress and the administration have voiced no public concern about Mr. Abelow’s role advising the $8.6 billion government agency on its finances.

“EPA relying on Wall Street for financial guidance is like the blind leading the blind,” said Jeff Ruch, president of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group based in Washington.

NO WAY!

How unexpected! Another connected democrat that can say he has no clue where $1.2 billion of other people’s money went and still get a pass from the LSM, is one of the key advisors at one of our most rogue, nanny-state organizations? And by rogue I mean they ignore the real law and implement leftist bullshit they could not pass in congress while idiots defend this power grab by claiming there is a mandate for this kind of power usurpation. It is no wonder that Corazine’s team ran Global MF like the democrats run all those socialist programs that suck money and waste it? Things are in great hands, aren’t they?

Funny how the left wants “less democracy” when they are in power, huh?

Peter Orszag, one of those evil Wall Street types – he is Vice Chairman of Citigroup, one of the left’s biggest money bag operations -that once was the 37th director of the Office of Management and Budget, under President Barack Obama, has an article out in the New Republic where he is lamenting the evils of democracy, and all out pining for the bureaucratic aristocracy class to simply ignore the process and do what they feel is best. Here are his words:

So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.

Frankly, one of the things I like the most is gridlock. Whenever DC can’t agree on anything “We the people” are spared all sorts of horribly stupid, disastrously costly, massively freedom robbing, and oft time outright evil legislation – always cloaked with the mantle of that shafting being “well meaning”, “socially just”, or to protect some victimized group – from them. It is absolutely a rare occasion when these fools pass anything of real value for us the people.

I frankly wish we had had a lot more gridlock when these crooks rammed Obamacare down our throats, in a purely and partisan vote that had necessitated hundreds of billions in graft money, paid for by the US tax payer, to buy the necessary votes from members in their own party preceding it, followed by massive favoritism in the form of special exclusions for the big donors that then tried to avoid the disastrous government takeover of healthcare this bill was designed to bring forth. And let’s not forget the blatantly obvious bullshit that the OMB did when Orszag was there to pretend Obamacare would somehow actually reduce the cost of this massive entitlement. American tax payers are in dire straights already, but wait until this fisting rolls us over. I bet even democrats will wish they had failed to pass this shit sandwich.

And I remind you that it was gridlock that prevented the democrat controlled congress from doubling down on the stupid with “Cap & Tax”. Of course, people that feel like Orszag that democracy for the stupid little serfs is such a problem in getting things done and that our aristocratic political class should simply “do by committee what they feel is in the best interest of the country” – that’s in quotes to point out it is as a snark, because what they are really doing is what is in their best interests, first, second, third, anything in between, and even last – are now implementing what they found to politically unsound and costly to do in the legislature, to avoid the wrath of the US voter, by just such a committee at the EPA. And we all know how destructive it will be to our economy.

More important however is the way the left feels about this idea when the other side has power. If they really believed this whole “rule by committee instead of democracy” pap Orszag is now selling us, wouldn’t they be for it when the other side was in power too? History kind of shows us that’s absolutely and undoubtedly not the case. Remember the gyrations Bush went through to get anything? Yeah, I know the left now pretends these things never happened, but those of us that paid attention or do not suffer from the self induced amnesia the left suffers from when it comes to facts & truth, know better.

Beware these crooks. In the name of doing more for us they are yet again trying to fool us into giving up another set of freedoms and a key vehicle to prevent them from doing far greater harm than they have already inflicted on us, in a much faster timeframe, so they can rake us over the coals even harder. Do not worry much about Wall Street: fear the fucking government that tells you it wants to just steamroll its agenda even when it holds the majority of the engines of power but can not get its will done because the fucking peasants won’t shut up and let their betters do what will save the political class’ collective hide at the expense of the serfs. Fuck em all.