Senate aide: Phony amendments saved EPA from wobbly Obama in budget deal

Although EPA’s allies are trying to sell the message that last week’s failure to rein in the EPA (through the McConnell amendment and budget deal riders) is some sort of validation of what the agency is doing, the reality is much different. Continue reading Senate aide: Phony amendments saved EPA from wobbly Obama in budget deal

Tims of the day: House frosh oppose budget deal because EPA riders removed

Hats off to Reps. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) for voting against last Friday’s budget deal because the riders blocking EPA from regulating greenhouse gases were dropped. According to Climatewire, Scott, Huelskamp and probably others among the 28 House GOP who voted against the deal believed that restricting EPA was a “critical” component of the budget effort.

Junkman's fantasy: Budget impasse sends 90% of EPA apparatchiks home!

Greenwire reports,

About nine out of every 10 U.S. EPA employees will be furloughed if Congress and the president can’t reach an eleventh-hour budget deal, according to contingency plans released by the agency this morning.

But what about the children?

As I wrote in the Washington Times on February 9,

The EPA is coming for our jobs, electricity and economy. The Obama administration is preparing to make cap-and-trade look like a walk in the park compared to EPA regulation. Its regulatory apparatus is running amok.

Cut the EPA’s budget. Cut it in March. Close down the federal government if necessary. Save us now.

March may not have worked out, but cutting the EPA’s budget in April works, too.

64 Senators vote to delay/block EPA greenhouse gas regulation

Although today’s four efforts to rollback EPA’s greenhouse gas regulations failed, they nonetheless demonstrated that 64 Senators (17 Democrats and 47 Republicans) support some sort of delay/blockage of EPA greenhouse gas regulation.

Beyond bias: Trade press recasts Rockefeller as an 'EPA skeptic'

We’re all familiar with the so-called mainstream media’s so-called “liberal bias.” Putting aside that the MSM is not “mainstream” and their bias is way to the left of “liberal,” it’s no secret that this bias often-to-usually colors how the MSM reports news stories. But simple bias is not the entire extent of the MSM’s breech of journalistic ethics. Continue reading Beyond bias: Trade press recasts Rockefeller as an 'EPA skeptic'

Defund EPA's enablers: American Lung Association gets big paycheck for backing agency’s agenda

By Steve Milloy
April 1, 2011, Washington Times

NPR is not the only partisan political organization that ought to have its public funding cut. Congress should put the American Lung Association (ALA) on the chopping block, too. Continue reading Defund EPA's enablers: American Lung Association gets big paycheck for backing agency’s agenda

Sen. cRockefeller misleads public on McConnell amendment

While demagoguing the McConnell amendment to block EPA regulation of greenhouse gases this afternoon, Sen. Jay Rockefeller repeatedly lied to the public by claiming that the McConnell amendment would “permanently” block the EPA from acting on greenhouse gases — regardless of what happened in the future in terms of scientific knowledge about climate.

This, of course, is not true and Sen. Rockefeller knows better. That is, whatever law is passed today, can be amended or repealed in the future. The McConnell amendment simply blocks the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases until Congress gives the agency the legal authority.

Read more about Sen. cRockefeller’s game at Stop EPA Now!.

EPA pays American Lung Association to attack GOP?

“The American Lung Association has targeted House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton for his efforts to stop U.S. EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions by placing billboards within sight of his district offices linking climate change with increased childhood asthma,” reports E&E News PM.

But as we reported last week in “EPA owns the American Lung Association,” the EPA has paid the American Lung Association over $20 million in the last ten years, and has paid the ALA many more millions in a symbiotic relationship going back to at least 1990.

The EPA-ALA relationship works something like this: EPA pays the ALA and, in return, the ALA agitates for more stringent EPA air quality regulation, including by lawsuit. Now the ALA is attacking a politician who is aiming to rein in the out-of-control agency.

In addition to defunding National Public Radio, the House GOP should look at the EPA’s funding of American Lung Association. This abuse of taxpayer money is also a good subject for watchdog Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).

EPA owns the American Lung Association

At today’s House Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up of the Upton-Inhofe bill to strip EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) tried to defend the EPA by offering a recent American Lung Association poll that purports to show public opinion favoring the EPA.

What Congress needs to know, however, is that the American Lung Association is bought-and-paid-for by the EPA. In the last 10 years, the EPA has given the ALA $20,405,655, according to EPA records.

The master-servant relationship between the EPA and ALA extends back to at least the early 1990s. As John Merline reported in Investors Business Daily (Jan. 28, 1997), between 1990 and 1995, the EPA gave the American Lung Association $5 million — even though the ALA was suing the EPA at the time. Although not many grantors give grants to organizations that sue them, at least in the regular world, the EPA likes to be sued by its buddies because such lawsuits invariably expand the agency’s powers.

So it’s not really surprising (or meaningful) that the ALA issued a poll supporting the EPA.

EPA Goes Man-Hunting

By Steven Milloy
December 18, 2008,

It’s little wonder why the FBI’s “Most Wanted” list doesn’t include anyone accused of breaking federal environmental laws. It’s hard to argue that a father-son team accused of illegally importing Alfa Romeo sports cars that don’t meet U.S. tailpipe emissions standards is the criminal equivalent of the likes of Usama bin Laden or the other hardened sociopaths for whom the FBI warns the public to remain on the lookout.

But the Environmental Protection Agency has now cured its apparent case of outlaw-envy with the launch of its own “Wanted” list last week. Hoping to “track down environmental fugitives,” the agency wants to “increase the number of ‘eyes’ looking for environmental fugitives.”

In addition to the Alfa Romeo Gang believed to be hiding out in Italy (so remain alert on your next visit to Tuscany), the EPA wants us to keep an eye out for Mauro Valenzuela, an airplane mechanic criminally charged for improperly loading oxygen canisters thought to have caused the tragic 1996 crash of ValuJet flight 592.

But converting the crash into an environmental crime seems a stretch. The EPA apparently views the canister loading as “illegal transportation of hazardous material.” In any event, Valenzuela’s boss and co-worker were eventually acquitted of the same criminal counts. The only reason Valenzuela also wasn’t acquitted was because he panicked and fled to parts unknown before trial. He is, in effect, a fugitive from his own innocence — but he is wanted by the EPA nonetheless.

The rest of the EPA’s fugitives appear to be mostly hapless immigrants now believed to be “hiding” oversees in places like Syria, Mexico, India, Greece, Poland and China. They’re wanted for a variety of alleged infractions, including smuggling banned refrigerants, discharging waste into sewers, lying to the Coast Guard about a ship’s waste oil management system, transporting hazardous waste without a manifest, and creating false official documents.

While the EPA’s fugitives certainly appear to be a motley lot who may have broken a variety of environmental regulations, often unwittingly, one can’t help but wonder whether the EPA’s Wanted list is not only over-the-top, but where the agency is headed.

We, of course, don’t want people breaking environmental laws, however technical or trivial, but there’s hardly a moral equivalence between a food delivery man who, in a panic, drained 32 gallons of gasoline into a storm sewer and Islamic terrorists who have declared war on America.

The list’s creation seems a furtherance of the Greens’ larger campaign to plant the idea within the public’s mind that all environmental “transgressions” fall along a criminal continuum.

Unlike the FBI’s Wanted list, which spotlights a number of truly dangerous characters accused of causing actual harm to real people — murder, kidnapping, rape, child molestation, armed robbery and the like — the EPA’s fugitives are wanted for violations that seem to have caused little, if any, harm to anyone or the environment.

It’s too bad, however, that you can’t say the same thing about the EPA’s Enforcement Division.

In September 1988, the EPA had John Pozsgai indicted for removing more than 5,000 old tires from his property and spreading dirt where the tires had been. Although Pozsgai’s land was bordered by two major highways, a tire dealership and an automobile salvage yard, the EPA considered his land a federally protected “wetland” because of a drainage ditch running along the edge of his property. Though the ditch was mostly dry, it flooded during heavy rain, and the EPA considered it a stream. When Pozsgai filled the ditch without a permit, EPA undercover agents secretly filmed the dump trucks that delivered the topsoil. Though his actions didn’t create any pollution, endanger any species or water quality, Pozsgai was sentenced to three years in prison and fined more than $200,000.

In 1997, nearly two dozen federal agents, armed with semiautomatic pistols, showed up at James Knott’s wire-mesh manufacturing plant in Massachusetts. Knott was indicted on two counts of violating the Clean Water Act for allegedly pumping acidic water into the town sewer system. The EPA publicly condemned Knott and warned that his conviction could result in up to six years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. The case was subsequently dropped when it was discovered that the EPA had omitted vital information from the search warrant information indicating that Knott wasn’t violating the law.

What is the future of eco-crime? A man in the U.K. was fined $215 for leaving the lid of his trash can ajar by more than three inches. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom proposed last July to deputize garbage men to fine people as much as $1,000 for mixing trash with recyclables. Garbage cops, however, pale in comparison to the call earlier this year by NASA’s global warming alarmist, James Hansen, to put the CEOs of oil and coal companies on trial for “high crimes against humanity and nature” — a sentiment first broached in 2006 by a blogger for Grist magazine who called for a “climate Nuremburg” for those who have questioned the need for global warming regulation. Is this really the direction in which we want to go?

It could just be that the real threat to society comes not from a couple of guys selling a few European sports cars that don’t meet stringent U.S. tailpipe standards, but those who use the environment as an excuse to commit crime like, say, the elusive Earth Liberation Front (ELF) terrorists whose arson and vandalism targets have included homes, university buildings, a ski lodge, SUVs, SUV dealerships and more. What’s the EPA doing about ELF?

If the EPA needs a Wanted list, how about making it a “Help Wanted” list in search of Enforcement Division employees with some perspective?

Steven Milloy publishes and manages the Free Enterprise Action Fund. He is a junk science expert and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.