EPA Goes Big with Air and Water Proposals

Toward the waning hours of every administration the pace of regulating at EPA picks up – you can set your watch to it.

Last week was no exception, with two big announcements by EPA’s leadership affecting water and air resources.  As part of POTUS’ climate change priority, EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, announced on Friday EPA’s intention to move forward with a regulation to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants.  The current best hope for meeting the aggressive limits being sought by EPA is the use of new technologies that will promote the practice of carbon capture and storage, where carbon is removed from coal emissions and injected deep under the earth’s surface.  After Friday’s hearing before the House Energy Committee, skeptical Republican senior leadership, who are concerned about the impacts on the nation’s energy costs, have vowed to block EPA’s efforts. Continue reading

To EPA’s New Administrator – Don’t Forget About the Water

As many of you who read this blog know, I talk a lot about the water problems that still plague our Nation.  The remaining sources of water pollution remain many and diffuse and are particularly local in nature (defined as nonpoint sources under the Clean Water Act), which the Act does not authorize EPA to directly regulate.  Rather, the solutions to reducing and eliminating nonpoint source pollution is the primary responsibility of the States as stated in Section 101

It is the national policy that programs for the control of nonpoint sources of pollution be developed and implemented in an expeditious manner so as to enable the goals of [the Act] to be met through the control of both point and nonpoint sources of pollution.  Section 101(a)(7) Continue reading

EPA’s Assault on State Sovereignty

Is the title of a stinging new report by the American Legislative Exchange Council.  For those who are unfamiliar with ALEC, it’s a non-profit composed of legislators, businesses, and foundations, and is strongly supportive of state rights, free-markets, and limited government.  It’s a good organization and on balance promotes thoughtful ideas and policies on more effective government.  The report itself was authored by William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), whose tagline is “Free Markets and Limited Government” and leans notably libertarian.  So, right out of the start-gate, one can appreciate the underlying anti-EPA biases that may emanate from its pages. The raging battle is particularly acute with respect to national energy policies and air regulations (think climate change regulations), as reflected in a July 10 CEI report titled EPA’s Woeful Deadline Performance Raises Questions About Agency Competence, Climate Change Regulations, and “Sue and Settle”.  Even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently weighed in with a report challenging EPA’s long-standing claim that more regulations yield more jobs.  Make no mistake, this reflects an all out insurrection against a powerful and oft tone-deft Agency by freedom-loving, large-government hating groups. Continue reading

EPA’s Jackson Joins Apple

Outgoing EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, will be joining Apple as an Environmental Advisor, according to Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook.  Jackson reportedly will have responsibility for advising the company on the effects of its products and production practices onlisa_jackson the environment.  Apple has been highly criticized by some environmental groups for its sustainability efforts, but particularly its supply chain performance in China and elsewhere.  Jackson’s arrival should, at a minimum, help to improve the IT titan’s green image.  No doubt, her presence will also be felt by Apple’s suppliers, listed here, many of whom have been criticized for their poor safety and worker’s rights records.  In the meantime, the U.S. Congress continues to investigate the practice of EPA leadership’s use of fictitious email accounts to conduct business and avoid the reach of Freedom of Information Act disclosure requirements.  Jackson’s replacement, Gina McCarthy, who was recently voted out of committee, is expected to take the Agency’s helm soon.

An Intriguing But Not-So-Bizarre Tale Involving EPA

A couple of months back I posted about a promising geoengineering development here, Save the Planet – plant a tree or feed a krill, that in my view represents a major imagesCAAUKO6Qmilestone in our efforts at climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies. (Just so happens it’s among the top read posts on this blog)  The actual story reads much like a Grisham novel filled with mystery and intrigue and shadowy characters operating on society’s fringes.  The main character in the plot, Russ George, a very smart, enterprising entrepreneur, with an obvious respect and love for the environment and penchant for solving big problems, has been much maligned by the establishment and liberal media for his futuristic experiment involving ocean fertilizing.  Over on his blog, Mr. George recounts a “bizarre” story of recently being contacted by someone at the U.S. EPA, at the request of the Canadian Government, to find out what the heck he is up to. Continue reading

Gina McCarthy – A Serious Contender

POTUS’ nominee for EPA, Gina McCarthy, is a rare breed in DC – no doubt she’s a hard charger, but she’s also thoughtful, engaging, smart, and, refreshingly, an honest gina-mccarthy-new-epa-headbroker.  WaPo and National Journal articles here and here.  It’s that latter quality, honesty, that makes her an endangered species here in DC, and a particularly dangerous one for those opposed to any EPA action on climate change.  I predict she will be confirmed, but if not, it won’t be because she isn’t qualified; rather, it will be because members of Congress took great umbrage to POTUS putting a gun to their legislative cortex to force action.   Continue reading