EPA hides science behind draconian regs by Larry Bell

Not even the Supreme Court will stop this rogue agency from illegally seizing more power –

The EPA wildly exaggerates benefits of onerous regulations including its war on coal-fired power plants based upon data which even Congress can’t access. Such practices openly violate the Information Quality Act, Executive Order 12688, and related OMB guidelines requiring that agencies provide for full, independent peer review of all “influential scientific information” used as the basis for regulations.

Although a September Supreme Court decision — Utility Air Group v. EPA — referred to EPA’s rewriting of the Clean Air Act as “outrageous,” they are nevertheless allowing the agency to get away with it. On one hand, the ruling states, “When an agency claims to discover in a long-extant statute an unheralded power to regulate ‘a significant portion of the American economy,’ we typically greet its announcement with a measure of skepticism.”

Yet, as Justice Antonin Scalia commented, the agency “is getting almost everything it wanted in this case.”

Whereas the agency “sought to regulate sources it said were responsible for 86% of all greenhouse gases emitted from stationary sources nationwide,” he noted that under the court’s holdings, “EPA will be able to regulate sources responsible for 83% of those emissions.” This is despite the fact that virtually all of the EPA’s health claims regarding thousands of lives that will be saved by their latest power plant rules are founded upon unreleased studies and data. In addition, there has been no statistical global warming over the past 18 years while CO2 levels have steadily risen.

To justify this latest incidence of rampaging regulatory overreach, the EPA has devised a “social cost of carbon” which supposedly monetizes damage linked to CO2 based upon climate and other risks. In doing so it first arbitrarily pegged this cost at $22 per ton of emissions, and then raised it to $36 per ton.

As explained by my friend Paul Driessen, a senior policy analyst with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow driessen(CFACT), the agency “adjusts and averages raw data at will, cherry-picks, distorts, and exaggerates results — then hides its analyses from public inspection and correction.”

Driessen further notes that, “Even recognized experts and members of Congress are precluded from examining secretive and often questionable data, research, peer reviews, computer algorithms and analytical processes.”

Although taxpayers and consumers pay for this information, Administrator Gina McCarthy maintains that she will continue to “protect” it from those she deems “are not qualified to analyze it.”

This apparently excludes pretty much everyone other than EPA and its insider cronies.

Even the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accounting Office — GAO — has found that EPA reports were “not always clear” in providing information which “enable a third party to understand how the agency arrives at its conclusions.”

bigmcGAO criticized EPA’s failure to quantify financial effects.

They cite frequent exclusions pertaining to a regulation’s “primary purpose” or “key impacts” as particularly glaring problems given the far-reaching nature of the rules. Such omissions ultimately prevent decision makers in Congress and the public from understanding economic effects along with tradeoffs associated with alternatives.

Since EPA generally doesn’t use economic data as a primary basis for gauging a regulation’s usefulness, the agency obviously doesn’t think lost jobs or higher prices should prevent sweeping edicts. Tragically, the economic and social costs of their out-of-control bureaucratic rule-making are staggering. Paul Driessen reported in Investor’s Business Daily that Federal agencies currently impose $1.9 trillion in annual regulatory compliance costs.

EPA requirements mandate that every state cut its carbon dioxide emissions by a national average of 30% over 15 years from levels of 25 years earlier. This lends credence to President Obama’s prediction that his energy policies will make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates that new EPA rules on CO2 power plant emissions alone will shut down hundreds of generators, add $289 billion in consumer electricity costs, and lower household disposable incomes by $586 billion by 2030.

The Chamber also projects that the regulations will cost the U.S. economy 2.3 million jobs and half a trillion in lost GDP over the next 10 years.

The benefits? According to EPA’s own estimate the policies will prevent less than two hundredths of a degree Celsius [<0.02º C] of warming by the end of this century. Even this, of course, depends upon whether or not nearly two decades of flat global temperatures we have been experiencing are not a prelude to a many-decade-long protracted cold period that many prominent scientists now predict.

Added social costs of that chilling prospect deserve serious consideration as well — scientifically indefensible policy burdens that weigh heaviest upon those least able to bear them.

Source: Cfact

Voter Suppression via Obama: Democrats Flee Former Political Prodigy

Quote of the Day 10/31/14

“Gathering information about government officials in a form that can readily be disseminated to others serves a cardinal First Amendment interest in protecting and promoting ‘the free discussion of governmental affairs.’ ” — Judge Kermit Victor Lipez (1941-) Senior United States Circuit Judge

Obama’s War on U.S. Energy By Alan Caruba

Keytone in Perspective

September 19th was an anniversary you did not read or hear about in the nation’s news media. It marked six years—2008—since the first permit application for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline was submitted to the federal government. Can you imagine how many jobs its construction would have created during a period of recovery from the 2008 financial crisis? President Obama is universally credited with delaying it.

Thomas Pyle, the president of the American Energy Alliance, pointed out that World War II, the construction of the Hoover Dam, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition all took place in less time. In a September Forbes article, he noted that “Earlier this year a Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 65 percent of Americans support building the pipeline, while only 22 percent oppose it. In Washington three-to-one margins are usually referred to as mandates.”

In contrast, in March 2013 the then-Interior Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, boasted “In just over four years, we have advanced 17 wind, solar, and geothermal projects on our public lands.” It is not these projects that Americans depend upon for energy. The opposite is a stark explanation why coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy remain the heart blood of the economy.

The Daily Caller reported in July that the “U.S. Bureau of Land Management is currently sitting on a backlog of 3,500 applications that need approval to move forward on drilling for oil and natural gas on federal land,” just part of Obama’s war on U.S. energy.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, fossil fuels met 82% of U.S. energy demand in 2013.

Petroleum, primarily used for transportation, supplied 36% of the energy demand in 2013. Natural gas represented 27%. Coal represented 20% and generated almost 40% of all electricity. In the six years since Obama took office that is a loss of 10%!

The much ballyhooed “renewable sources” of energy, justified by the false claim that carbon dioxide emissions are causing global warming or climate change, are a very small part of the nation’s power providers. Wind power represented 1.6% and solar power represented three-tenths of 1%! Hydropower supplied 2.6% making it the largest source of so-called renewable energy.

Politically, it has been Democrats advocating renewable sources and siding with the President’s delay of the oil pipeline and the Environmental Protection Agency’s assault on coal-fired plants to produce electricity. By contrast, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives has been busy putting forth legislation to fix aspects of our energy problems and needs.

Some of the bills that were introduced included H.R. 2728: The Protecting State’s Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act; H.R. 3: The Northern Route Approval Act (regarding the keystone XL Pipeline; H.R. 1900: The Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act; H.R. 2201: The North American Energy Infrastructure Act; and H.R. 6: The Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act, intended to expedite the export of liquefied natural gas to our allies around the world. The global market is growing at a colossal pace.

These bills will likely all die in the U.S. Senate, controlled by the Democratic Party. The Nov 4 midterm elections can change that if enough Republicans are elected to gain control.

It’s not just natural gas that is helping the economy improve. The Financial Times reported in late September that “The U.S. is overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid petroleum, in a sign of how its booming oil production has reshaped the energy sector.” Why? “The U.S. industry has been transformed by the shale revolution, with advances in the techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling enabling the exploitation of oilfields, particularly in Texas and North Dakota.”

The only places you won’t find oil drilling are on federally controlled lands. The same holds for coal and natural gas.

This is in keeping with a virtual war on U.S. energy waged from the White House. Consider what we have witnessed:

# Obama has refused to let the Keystone XL pipeline be built.

# Billions wasted on loans to renewable energy companies, many of which like Solyndra and Solar Trust of America went bankrupt.

# Obama made electric cars like the Chevy Volt part of his energy policy, providing subsidies but their high cost and low mileage capacity has resulted in few sales.

# Obama and the EPA advocated a cap-and-trade tax on greenhouse gas emissions when there has been no global warming for 19 years and carbon dioxide plays no role whatever in the Earth’s climate.

# The Obama administration terminating the construction of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada despite nearly $15 billion already spent on this necessary repository.

These are just a few examples, but in the meantime, the U.S. still requires that a valuable food commodity, corn, be turned into ethanol, an automotive fuel additive, that (a) reduces the millage in every gallon and (b) increases its cost at the pump. As Seldon B. Graham, Jr., a longtime energy industry consultant and observer, notes that “Ethanol production peaked in 2011 at 6% of total oil demand.” Favoring replacing imported foreign oil with American oil, Graham says “Americans would have saved $64.7 billion on the oil price since 2009.”

Americans are afflicted by a President and his administration that for political and environmental reasons are costing them trillions in needless, senseless energy costs, loans and subsidies, and efforts to impose laws that have no basis whatever in science.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Where do jobs come from?

Someone might have to sit down with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and have the conversation with her — the one about where jobs come from.

At a recent political event in Massachusetts — a state represented by the populist liberal and potential 2016 Democratic presidential rival Sen. Elizabeth Warren — the former first lady made a puzzling utterance about how the economy works. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” she said. “You know, that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried. That has failed. It has failed rather spectacularly.”

Clinton could be forgiven for believing such a thing — or for thinking that jobs really come from colleges and other institutions that can pay her six-figure speaking fees.

But she has since claimed that she simply misspoke — she meant to say the lowering of taxes on businesses and corporations does not create jobs. That proposition is more respectable, if debatable. But the fact that her original comment seemed like a plausible but clumsy attempt to move leftward for the 2016 presidential primary is a slightly jarring sign of the state of Democratic Party politics.

Moments before her comment quoted above, Clinton asserted that a government-mandated hike to the minimum wage is a completely victimless exercise that causes no job losses. And that comment does indeed imply that there is some separate source of wealth — the promise of which generates jobs and wages for workers — other than the private sector.

It almost seems trivial to note that this is false — that businesses are ultimately responsible for the creation of all jobs, including government jobs — but it has also become such a staple of Democratic campaign rhetoric this year. For example, a rise in the minimum wage is not just a “raise for working families” — it is a burden that one group of people places upon another, and it comes with trade-offs — in this case, the loss of up to one million jobs, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Read more at Washington Examiner

SideBear: And she wants to be the next President…God Help Us.!