The EPA’s Dirty BIG Secrets
By Peter C Glover
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently being sued in the federal courts.
Continuing to act with OPEC-like hubris and despotic impunity, the EPA persists in tying up the US economic powerhouse – the energy sector – in bureaucratic red tape. What’s more, as of this month, it has announced that it is doling out yet more free government funds to anyone who can claim they can deliver “environmental justice” – whatever that is. For all OPEC’s hated tyrannies at least it produced something useful. The same cannot be said of the unelected quango (quasi-non-government agency) that is the EPA, however.
The EPA is already in deepwater with both a federal court and Congress in a case alleging that it conducted illegal experiments on human beings over the last decade. Based on Freedom of Information Act released documents, the EPA is being accused of exposing hundreds of people over the past decade to extraordinarily high levels of air pollutants, including diesel exhaust and particulate matter known as PM2.5. The experiments were run at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine. Not exactly what you’d expect from a ‘protect and serve’ agency.
Ignored by much of the mainstream media, Steve Milloy’s excellent Junk Science website has ‘ridden’ Point on the story. Milloy explains that, “Many study subjects were health-impaired: suffering from asthma, metabolic syndrome, and old age (up to 75 years). Financially needy, they enrolled in these experiments for $12 per hour”. As Milloy points out, the EPA began imposing restrictions on the use of PM2.5, a major component of diesel exhaust fumes in 1997, after it found that long-term exposure could prove fatal. But the EPA further tightened regulations in 2004 said it believed PM2.5 could actually kill after short-term exposure. EPA administrator Lisa Jackson even testified before Congress in September 2011 that “particulate matter causes premature death. It doesn’t make you sick. It’s directly causal to dying sooner than you should.” The EPA, as a result, imposed stringent regulations in respect of PM2.5, all predicated on their own determination that it’s a killer.
When Ronald Reagan’s administration took office and found similar types of experiments being conducted in the name of science, it took immediate action and banned them. No such action has so far been taken in the case of the EPA. But if the federal law suit finds the EPA culpable criminal proceedings could well follow. And the case per se throws up a further interesting ideological spectre: how it is that hard left social engineers – those who most vociferously claim to act in the best interests of ‘the people’ – are so easily drawn into treating ‘the people’ like rats in a laboratory? It’s a moral philosophy not a million miles away from that of Germany’s National Socialists who also claimed to be acting for the “greater good”.
While the outcome of the federal lawsuit is awaited, a new study is proving more bad news for the EPA. The report, Economic Implications of Recent and Anticipated EPA Regulations Affecting the Electricity Sector, claims EPA regulations affecting the US coal industry would cost 1.5 million jobs over the next presidential term. Even Democrats in West Virginia have expressed “outrage” with the agency over the serious threat potential to miners’ jobs in the state. Conducted by the National Economic Research Associate (NERA) on behalf of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, the report warns that EPA regulations affecting coal-fueled electricity power generation would cost the industry $200 to $220 billion from 2013 to 2034. Such spiralling costs would, according to the report, mean that EPA regulations would lead directly to the closure of coal-fired power capacity of between 54,000 MW to 69,000 MW. That in turn would mean the loss of 1.5 million jobs over the next four years alone. While the report does fail to acknowledge the impact of the switch from coal-fired to natural gas-fired electricity generation in the US, it nevertheless makes out a serious case.
EPA regulations are concerned with the environment and specifically with cutting carbon emissions. But the simple fact is that US emissions have fallen significantly in recent years due directly to the switch to natural gas because of cheaper domestic gas prices and without any help from EPA regulations. Moreover, the EPA views coals, and its emissions, as environmental Pubic Enemy No 1. But far from achieving their goal, the Law of Unintended Consequences has kicked in. More and more domestic US coal is now being exported to Europe. Given that the costly EPA regulations are intended to impose costly emission cutting on the US coal industry to help lower global emissions, it turns out that the emissions will simply end up being exported.
Next up, we come to the latest EPA scheme that sees the agency dispensing $1.5 million in government largesse to promote “environmental justice” and aid new jobs in the “green collar industry”.
Ah yes, you remember how “hope and change” would promote a future of millions of green jobs? Well like cold fusion and electric cars, it seems green jobs will always remain the ‘next big thing’. Even so, thanks to the EPA’s Office of Environmental Justice, public grants of up to $30,000 are being made available to anyone able to claim to build “healthy, sustainable and green communities” or create “green collar jobs”.
Who determines what does and what does not amount to “environmental justice” of course remains a matter of strong, often ideological, contention. But let’s face it, the unelected quango that is the EPA, responsible for dangerous experimentation on humans, imposing politically-motivated bureaucratic red tape on industry, and administering yet more unaccountable government slush funds, is hardly a government agency ‘fit for purpose’.
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