EPA Has Insatiable Appetite for Power

By Rebekah Rast
Americans for Limited Government

The mission statement of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is to “protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment — air, water and land — upon which life depends.”

Today the EPA does indeed have its opinions on protecting Americans and the environment.  More recently it seems the EPA is more concerned with regulations, rules and power than it is about safeguarding our natural resources.

President Richard Nixon formed the EPA in 1970 with the intent that the organization would battle pollutants and research clean and effective ways to protect all components of the environment.  President Nixon felt having a separate agency handle these tasks independently, while still seeking the expertise of other government organizations, would provide a safer, more efficient America.

The EPA of today was never the intent of President Nixon.

Taking a glance at the oil-laden Gulf of Mexico proves the point that the EPA is more concerned about enforcing regulations than it is about cleaning up the oil.  If it cared anything about the Gulf and those states affected by the spill, it would encourage the Administration to lift the Jones Act and allow the world’s skimmer ships to enter and help clean up the Gulf.  President Bush lifted the Act after Hurricane Katrina.  Facing a disaster of this magnitude should warrant a similar reaction by Obama.  The State Department did finally accept 22 offers from 12 countries and international organization to help with the efforts in the Gulf, without lifting the Act.

However, regulations still persist as the EPA is not allowing these skimmer ships to do their job because they don’t filter out the required 15 parts per million of contaminants.

For not wavering on its regulations, restricting the full potential of skimmer ships, the EPA is in no way protecting our environment.  Instead of having a mostly oil-free Gulf, we have an ocean drenched in oil.  After 77 days, the oil leak is still spewing about 250,000 barrels per day.  Contrary to its initial claims of being able to skim 491,721 barrels of oil per day, BP has only been able to skim an average of less than 900 barrels per day.

An agency established to protect the environment is hurting the economies of the affected states and killing wildlife in the area, all by prolonging the necessary cleanup from this devastating crisis.

The EPA’s stonewalling of cleanup efforts doesn’t stop at skimmer ships.  In May, the EPA gave BP 24 hours to find a different chemical dispersant than the one it had already used on 600,000 gallons on the surface and 55,000 underwater to help clean up the oil spill.  The dispersants being used, Corexit 9500A and Corexit 9527A, were on the EPA-approved list.  As previously reported by Americans for Limited Government (ALG), apparently, these “green” regulators didn’t like BP using a dispersant, approved by their own agency, and demanded they cease and desist and submit an alternative plan.

The list could go on of ridiculous judgment calls by the EPA.  Earlier this year EPA officials met with film director James Cameron along with scientists and other experts to discuss the oil spill.  James Cameron was invited because of his expertise on underwater filming and remote vehicle technologies after his filming of “Titanic.”  The EPA described the meeting as “part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to hear from stakeholders, scientists and experts from academia, government and the private sector as we continue to respond to the BP oil spill.”

Unless the EPA plans to make a movie of the oil spill, Hollywood should not be consulted.  There are many legitimate experts who could have and should have been called upon to assist in the handling of this disaster.

The incompetence and radical environmentalism by the EPA continues outside the Gulf oil spill.  The EPA wants to use its endangerment findings, obtained earlier this year, to regulate carbon dioxide — its own version of cap-and-trade.  This is a complete breach of power by the EPA according to the language in the Clean Air Act.

As reported by the American Spectator, the EPA changed the way the Clean Air Act applies to carbon dioxide.  “The plain language of the Clean Air Act would apply the regulations to anyone who emits more than 250 tons of CO2 in a year.  That means fast food franchises, apartment buildings, and hospitals would be subject to regulations aimed at clamping down on pollution from large industrial facilities.  Even the EPA recognized the absurdity of this result.  It took it upon itself to rewrite the law, saying that what the Clean Air Act meant in this case was 25,000 tons, not 250, and issued what it called a ‘tailoring rule’ to this effect.  This represents a significant assault on the principle of separation of powers.”

ALG President Bill Wilson couldn’t agree more.  “This is not necessarily an environmental, energy or even a tax issue — it’s a constitutional separation of powers issue,” he says.  “Even if a senator believes in the highly controversial dogma that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are harmful, he or she should be gravely concerned at the blatant power grab the EPA has engaged in to declare that those gases are covered under the Clean Air Act.”

With the Senate voting 53 to 47, approving of the EPA’s findings, the agency will continue to work with the Administration to build the framework for cap-and-trade regulation, which will surely implement new and harmful taxes on American businesses.

While the EPA continues to feed its insatiable appetite for power and new regulations, it is killing American jobs in the process.  From its neglect in the cleanup efforts of the oil spill devastating the fishing industry in New Orleans, to its fight for a six-month moratorium to be placed on drilling in the Gulf, people are now without jobs and can no longer provide for their families.

Don’t be fooled by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s comments this past Earth Day when she stated, “Despite the overheated rhetoric we often hear today about runaway environmental regulations killing jobs, our history is one of healthier families, cleaner communities — and, yes, job-creating innovation and a stronger America.”

Based on EPA’s actions and inactions of recent time, Jackson is certainly not talking about the America of today.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to ALG News Bureau. Americans for Limited Government is dedicated to putting the principles of limited government into action. They work with local groups across the nation to promote freedom, limited government, and the principles of the U.S. Constitution. Their goal is to harness the power of American citizens and grassroots groups in order to put the people back in charge in states across the country.

One Response to “EPA Has Insatiable Appetite for Power”

  1. MR. RAST: Within your harangue about the evils of the EPA specifically, and regulations in general, you never once place any fault in the lap of Corporate America. They could probably set your house afire and you'd blame the government because its hoses weren't long enough. You accused the EPA of making a long series of “ridiculous judgment calls”, but of course you weren't specific. People with prejudiced views rarely are. That said, you should at least be aware of what the EPA has done in the last 1 1/2 years, namely…

    ? Air Pollution Standards Stiffened
    ? Legislation of Greenhouse Gases Requested
    ? Gray Wolves Put on the Endangered Species List
    ? Bush’s Environmental Practices Reversed
    ? 2M Acres of Wilderness Protected
    ? Legislation to Conserve Public Lands Was Signed
    ? End of Mountaintop Mining Requested
    ? $300M Provided for Fuel-Efficient Autos Provided
    ? Cleanup of Chesapeake Bay Ordered
    ? $6M Provided to Care for Those Sickened by Asbestos Mining
    ? Danger of Coal Ash Storage Identified in 10 States
    ? California Permitted to Restrict Greenhouse Gases
    ? Ship Pollution Regulations Proposed
    ? $25M Provided to Restore/Protect the California Coastline
    ? Grants for Clean Diesel Fuel Provided
    ? Tennessee Awarded $77M for Water Projects
    ? $475M Provided to Restore the Great Lakes
    ? Valuable Timber Land Withheld from Timber Industry
    ? Million Acres of Public Land Was Protected from Mining Companies
    ? Doe Run Co. Ordered to Improve Its Cleanup of Mine Tailings
    ? 15 Projects Were Funded to Reduce Hazardous Fuels
    ? Chesapeake Bay Was Protected from Nitrogen/Phosphorous Run-offs
    ? New Rule for Aircraft De-icing Was Proposed
    ? $485K Granted to Improve Kansas City Water Distribution
    ? A Delay in Ozone Cleanup Was Delayed in California
    ? New Fuel Standards Established for Vehicles
    ? Lead-Poisoning Tests Launched in Kansas
    ? Pesticides Restricted to Protect Salmon
    ? Eight Climate Change Centers Established
    ? Better Tracking of Greenhouse Gases Ordered
    ? Research into the Risk of Nanomaterials Began
    ? Cleanup of Coastline Chemicals Began
    ? Reserves for Wild Horses Proposed
    ? Lead Cleanup Launched in New Jersey
    ? Investigation into the Safety of Atrazine Began
    ? Polluting West Virginia Mine Shut Down
    ? End of Polar Bear Trading Sought
    ? Test Drilling for Alaska Oil Permitted
    ? Missouri Ordered to Improve Water Standards
    ? Fees Were Raised on Oil & Gas Drillers
    ? $10M Provided for Plasma Technology
    ? Rule to Reduce Construction Pollution Issued
    ? $979M Provided to Trap/Store Carbon Emissions
    ? Testing for Lead in Chicago Began
    ? Rules Issued to Reduce Ozone Pollutants
    ? High Levels of Manganese Discovered in Ohio
    ? $4.2M Provided to Restore Land & Water in Three States
    ? California’s Water Crisis Was Eased
    ? Tougher Standards for Tankers & Cargo Ships Established
    ? New Regulations for Shipping Hazardous Waste
    ? Sauder Woodworking Fined $328K for Air Pollution
    ? Murphy Products Ordered to Stop Polluting the Oklahoma River
    ? Southwire Company Fined $337K for Air Pollution Violations
    ? Frontier Aluminum Fined $36K for Poor Hazardous Waste Management
    ? Aleris International Fined $4.6M for Air Pollution
    ? General Petroleum Fined $74K for Operating without a Permit
    ? Wamego Sand Fined $95K for Violating Clean Water Laws
    ? Midwest Generation Faced a 36-count Lawsuit for Violating Clean Air Act
    ? Northrup Grumman Forced to Spend $21M to Clean Up Water Pollution
    ? Erie Coke Cited for Air Pollution
    ? Scranton Sewer Fined $32K Per Day for Illegal Sewage Discharge
    ? Mississippi Phosphates Charged with Several Environmental Violations
    ? Frontier Refining Fined $7M for Hazardous Waste Violations
    ? City of West Palm Beach Fined $144K for Waste Water Violations
    ? Big River Zinc Fined $24K for Hazardous Waste Violations
    ? Sunoco Fined $148K for Violating Hazardous Waste Regulations
    ? Wilber-Ellis Fined $100K for Violating Pesticide Laws
    ? John Wieland Homes Fined $350K for Violating Clean Water Act
    ? Verizon Wireless Fined $468K for Violating Environmental Regulations
    ? Duke Energy Ordered to Spend $85M to Reduce Pollution
    ? Univ. of Florida Paid a $175K fine for Illegally Disposing of Toxic Chemical

    ? Stricter Limits on Smog Established
    ? Homeowners Encouraged to Test for Radon
    ? Limits for Urban and Farm Runoff Pollution Proposed
    ? Companies Forbidden to Hide Pollutants by Using Confidentiality Claims
    ? Use of Biofuels Accelerated
    ? Regulation of Nitrogen Dioxide Began
    ? Neiphin Trading Ordered to Prevent Further Pollution
    ? Clean Up the Gowanus Canal Began
    ? Major Polluters Faced Permit Requirements
    ? Ban on Bluefin Tuna Trading Supported
    ? Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Site Shut Down
    ? Study of How Hydraulic Fracturing Affected Water Began
    ? Rules on Chemicals Were Tightened to Improve Drinking Water,
    ? Guidelines Issued for Mountaintop Mining
    ? Texas Companies Prevented from Bypassing the Clean Air Act
    ? Use of a Fumigant Stopped After Two Girls Died
    ? Rockford Awarded $750K to Rehabilitate Rail Yards
    ? Use of Lead Paint Disallowed in Pre-1978 Houses
    ? Reduction of Mercury Emissions from 200,000 Industrial Sites Began
    ? Investigation into the BP Oil Spill Began
    ? $2.6M Provided to Clean Up Chicago’s Brownfield Waste Sites
    ? DuPont’s New Corn Protection Product Approved
    ? Crackdown on Fly Ash Proposed
    ? $100K Grant to Manage Water Quality in Colorado
    ? Emission-cutting Rules for Large Companies Established
    ? Sewage Disposal Banned from Boats in New York Canal System
    ? Sulfur Dioxide Emissions Standards Tightened
    ? New Permit Requirements Proposed to Decrease Water Pollution
    ? Use of the Pesticide Endosulfan Ended
    ? Idaho Company Ordered to Stop Polluting the Snake River
    ? $35M Granted to Protect Wildlife Refuges
    ? 250-barrel Oil Leak Near Arcadia Lake Cleaned Up
    ? Seafood Company Fined $35K for Not Reporting Ammonia Leak
    ? BP Fined $5M for Filing False Reports
    ? Accepted Help From 12 Countries to Help with Gulf Oil Spill
    ? $30M Provided to Restore Puget Sound
    ? ZKW Trading Fined for Violating Environmental Laws
    ? Pacific Pipeline Systems Fined $1.3M for Pipeline Break
    ? Seven Idaho Companies Fined for Violating the Clean Water Act
    ? Dow Chemical Ordered to Clean Up Dioxins in Michigan Rivers
    ? Tesoro Corp. Fined $32K Per day For Breaking Anti-Dumping Laws
    ? Cummins Engine Fined $2.1M for Violating the Clean Air Act
    ? NuStar Fined $450K for Oil Spills
    ? Exxon Mobil Fined $2.4M for Violating Pollution Laws
    ? Magellan Pipeline Fined $418KK for Pipeline Leak
    ? River Shannon Recycling Fined $743K for Poor Mercury Storage
    ? Pep Boys Fined $5M for Violating the Clean Air Act
    ? City of Battle Creek Fined $85K for Water Treatment Violations
    ? Kansas City, Mo., Ordered to Make Sewer System Improvements
    ? Magellan Pipeline Fined $46K for Oil Spill
    ? East Penn LLC Fined $53K for Violating Clean Water Act
    ? Frontier Oil Fined $900K for Dumping Toxic Waste
    ? BP Ordered to Set Aside $20B for Oil Spill
    ? JBS Souderon Fined $2M for Violating Clean Water Act
    ? Hansons Window Fined $785K for Lead Exposure

    Now, based upon your comments, you probably see these entries as the EPA's unnecessary intrusion into America's hallowed free enterprise system. But someone's got to look out for the average American, because it certainly won't be Corporate America.