The Top Ten Reasons The Government Shutdown Isn’t All Bad
October 15, 2013
10. Approximately 15,000 EPA employees are furloughed, making it less likely fake CIA agents at EPA will be ripping off the taxpayer
Last month, John C. Beale, a former EPA senior official in the Office of Air & Radiation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pled guilty to criminal charges for stealing nearly $900,000 from the Agency. For years, Beale claimed to work for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to shirk his EPA work responsibilities. U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), top Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), has also been actively working on an investigation of Beale and the Agency’s policies and processes that facilitated Mr. Beale’s fraud. Vitter wants EPA can take to reform its management policies and has called for an EPW committee hearing. Click here to read more.
9. EPA doesn’t have the manpower to raid Alaska mines with armed guards
In August, EPA agents conducted an armed raid against miners in Chicken, Alaska, following up on an alleged claim of violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA). One miner said of the raid, “Imagine coming up to your diggings, only to see agents swarming over it like ants, wearing full body armor….and all packing side arms. How would you have felt? You would be wondering, ‘My God, what have I done now?'” Click here to read more.
8. Fewer bureaucrats at the EPA makes it less likely that they’ll make up science on new regulations
Vitter and EPW Republicans have pointed out the flawed science behind a number of EPA rules and regulations on the social cost of carbon, methanol, power plants, hydraulic fracturing, and the list goes on and on. Click here to read more.
7. Former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is worried about oil production in the Gulf of Mexico
“The continued shutdown of the federal government will ultimately affect the government approval of activities in the Gulf of Mexico. [Given] the contribution the Gulf is making to the energy future of the United States . . . it’s not the kind of rollback we ought to have.” – Former Interior Secretary Salazar, October 1, 2013
Former Secretary of the Department of Interior (Interior) Ken Salazar was responsible for essentially shutting down all oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico when he implemented a moratorium on production in 2010. The Inspector General of the Interior Department during Salazar’s tenure is still under investigation for her role in turning a blind eye to the fudging of a National Academy of Engineers report related to the moratorium. The halt in production had a negative impact on energy production for several years. Salazar was also responsible for throwing out the previous 5-year plan for energy production and leasing on the outer continental shelf, which eliminated vast resources that should be available to the nation’s energy producers. Limiting Gulf of Mexico access, as well as access on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts perpetuated the Administration’s attempts to shut down offshore energy production.
Read more about Salazar’s incredibly ironic statement here.
6. World War II veterans have stormed the Normandy beaches again. (Sadly, they had to, in order to gain access to their own memorial)
President Obama ordered that all national parks, monuments, and museums be shut down, even national parks that are fully funded by non-profit organizations and receive zero federal dollars for their operations. He also had barricades placed around the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., keeping out the visiting US World War II veteran forces and other visitors who could not get access to the memorial that commemorates the veterans’ sacrifices and commitment. On October 8, 2013, the National Mall was opened for a rally to promote the Gang of 8 immigration legislation, which has been called an amnesty bill for illegal immigrants.
5. EPA doesn’t have the manpower to unilaterally expand its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act
EPA has perpetually taken steps to expand its own jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The now-withdrawn guidance document and new rule are symptoms of an agency unceasingly trying to broaden its reach and frustrate commerce. Vitter and EPW Republicans have been demanding a whole lot more transparency and to unequivocally withdraw the controversial draft guidance. Read more here.
4. U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) still finds time on the Senate floor to make inaccurate claims about green jobs. (This is a positive, right . . . NOT!)
“There are more jobs now in green energy than in the entire oil and gas industry.” – Senator Whitehouse, October 10, 2013
A recent study by the American Petroleum Institute found that as of 2011 the oil and gas industry supports 9.8 million full-time and part-time jobs, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011 there were only 3.4 million “green” industry supported jobs. Estimates from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory show that the federal government spent approximately $9 billion on green jobs, while only creating 910 new, long-term jobs. This means American taxpayers spent $9.8 million per job. A more thorough analysis of the dubious nature of such claims can be found here.
3. Far-left environmentalists prove themselves hypocrites again: They criticize continuing oil and gas production on federal lands during the shutdown but issue no call to halt wind turbines
“It’s disappointing that the public is shut out from national parks but oil companies get to drill in them.” – Alex Taurel, Deputy Legislative Director at the League of Conservation Voters
Vitter has repeatedly pointed out the hypocrisy of the Administration pursuing cases involving oil and gas producers, and not wind energy producers. The Administration has taken legal action against oil and gas producers whose operations have resulted in the death of birds. On the other hand, they have failed to pursue action against, and even offered waivers to, the companies who operate wind turbines that kill birds, including bald eagles, on leased federal lands. It was recently reported that “wind turbines kill over 600,000 birds annually.”
2. President Obama has a temporary excuse for his stonewalling on FOIA and other transparency demands of the Administration
Currently over 90% of EPA’s employees are furloughed. EPW Republicans have focused on the lack of transparency within the Obama Administration, particularly at the EPA, but also at the Treasury Department who have refused to release their involvement in developing a carbon tax.
And the number 1 reason the government shutdown isn’t all bad…
1. Richard Windsor has been furloughed-for good!
“Richard Windsor,” the now infamous email alias for former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, has been touted by the Administration as an example of standard procedure for high level employees. As it would turn out, from 2009 to 2012, EPA awarded ethics certificates to the employee “Richard Windsor” who was also described as a top student in the Agency’s ethical-behavior class. Click here to read more.