We wondered whether the mainstream media would start connecting the dots on Solyndra and Barack Obama’s failed “green jobs” stimulus. ABC News has done a great job reporting on the scandal itself, including its connection to an Obama campaign bundler and the remarkable manner in which taxpayer funds were subordinated to George Kaiser’s investment by the Department of Energy — in direct contravention of Congressional mandates protecting taxpayer-funded loan guarantees. The first major media outlet to view Solyndra in the larger context of stimulus failure turns out to be Newsweek — and Eleanor Clift, surprisingly (via Instapundit):
Washington's scandal du jour has been Solyndra. The California solar company received a rushed half-billion-dollar clean-energy stimulus loan from the Obama administration, only to go bankrupt and potentially leave taxpayers on the hook-despite warnings from career officials that both Solyndra and the larger solar industry were facing financial pressures.
But it is far from the only blemish on the administration's much-touted green agenda. In addition to weatherization problems, an internal Labor Department report disclosed this month that a multibillion-dollar program to retrain workers for green-energy jobs met only 10 percent of its goal of creating 80,000 jobs. A federal renewable-energy lab in Colorado that got nearly $300 million from another green-energy program began laying off 10 percent of its workforce last month.
Overall, as the $787 billion economic stimulus-the primary engine for the green-energy agenda-came to an end Sept. 30, it is clear that the program created far fewer jobs than promised. So-called green-collar jobs are notoriously hard to tally, but numerous estimates by gleeful Republicans put the taxpayer cost of each green-energy job created by the stimulus at more than $1 million.
The article is titled “Obama’s Big Green Mess,” but the URL indicates that it originally went by another title: “Obama’s Green Energy Agenda Flop.” That doesn’t mean that Newsweek allowed itself to focus on Obama’s role in the flop, however, or the role his crony capitalism played — at least not explicitly. Clift scolds Republicans and Democrats alike for turning both the solar and oil industries into pay-for-play arenas, but curiously doesn’t mention Kaiser or his role as both bundler for Obama and the highly favorable and questionable treatment he received from DoE.
Clift also tells an anecdote to push some of the blame off onto Energy Secretary Stephen Chu, but doesn’t realize that the report actually makes Obama look like a dilettante:
Internally, some have questioned Energy Secretary Steven Chu's role in overseeing the efforts, noting that the Nobel laureate with the keen grasp of physics at times seems to lack political skills. On one occasion, Chu prepared a dense PowerPoint presentation to brief Obama on the complexities of last summer's BP oil spill. After Chu narrated six slides, one senior adviser who attended the meeting recalled that Obama simply stood up and said, “Steve, I'm done.”
Really? We had a severe environmental disaster unfold in the Gulf, and Obama couldn’t bother to sit through more than six Power Point slides to cover the material? That actually provides a great insight into why Obama chose to push his “green jobs” stimulus, despite decades of failure of federal subsidies to produce a viable, mass-producing solar and wind industry in the US. Obama doesn’t bother to do his homework; he merely dusted off decades of liberal hobby horses and just figured they would work as advertised. When it comes to the hard work of analysis and creative thought, Obama’s limit is apparently six Power Point slides.
At least this moves the ball forward, if only incrementally.
Update: Count the Economist out of the subsidy-cheerleading business, too:
THE rush to subsidise solar power over the past decade has been massively wasteful and squalidly political. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the sorry saga of Solyndra, a Californian maker of novel tubular solar panels down the maw of which the Obama administration shovelled $535m in the hope of "green jobs" and photo ops. It got instead mismanagement, bankruptcy and scandal. The money wasted on Solyndra, though, is as nothing compared to the tens of billions of euros squandered on solar panels in Germany. So little electricity do these panels produce under its cloudy northern skies that the emissions from a single large coal-fired power station are enough to nullify all the benefits that their carbon-free contribution might bring. The green jobs they, too, were meant to bring are largely, though not entirely, in China. …
There is much that governments can do to encourage such progress in the future without repeating the mistakes of the past. They should limit the grounds on which people can object to neighbours' solar installations through the planning process. They should remove subsidies for technologies that compete with solar. In India, which has lots of sun and lots of back-up generators burning subsidised diesel, that could be a game changer in itself. Above all they must fix a price of carbon that gives innovators the confidence that competing with fossil fuels for the long term will be a rewarding, and perhaps hugely profitable, undertaking. If politics prevent them from setting a substantial carbon price, they might consider requiring utilities to have a carbon-free component to their generating portfolios, as happens in many American states. But that needs to be open to all carbon-free technologies, not just the ones that the politicians like, so that the most efficient can prosper.
You mean that having politicians pick winners and losers (really, just losers) doesn’t create efficiency and innovation? I’d be shocked … if I wasn’t paying attention to the decades of futility we have seen in green-tech subsidies in the US.
No Change in Storminess
As we enter the winter season, we all realize that if a large snow storm forms anywhere on the planet, someone will immediately appear and claim we are witnessing the effect of global warming. However, winter storms (aka extratropical cyclones) are tough to sell to the public given the images of cold, snow, wind, and misery at the low end of the temperature scale. So if winter storms are a hard sell, hurricanes (aka tropical cyclones) are nothing short of ideal - warm water, heavy rain, wind, and misery in already warm parts of the world.
But, it turns out that in either case, new research reported in the scientific literature finds little in the way of changes that are unusual in today's climate of "global warming."
The first article appeared in Tellus written by five scientists with Germany's Hamburg University who were investigating changes in the recent behavior of extratropical cyclones. Sienz et al. (who tend to get a bit technical) begin noting:
"Extratropical cyclones are the major source of intra-annual climate variability in mid-latitudes. Huge damage is caused by intense storms and heavy precipitation associated with extraordinary intense baroclinic vortices [i.e., extratropical storm systems -eds.]. The growth and intensity of these vortices are determined by sea surface temperatures, baroclinicity and large-scale teleconnections (for example the North Atlantic Oscillation, NAO) which might be altered in an anthropogenic climate change".
With respect to what we might expect to see with storm behavior, they note:
"For the northern hemispheric winter the majority of scenario simulations show a slight decrease of the total number of cyclones, while, on the other hand, there are hints that the number of intense cyclones increases. However, models do not agree with respect to these conclusions, in particular if individual regions are considered."
In other words, we have no clue what should be happening to cyclonic storms in the Northern Hemisphere as a whole and even less so for particular regions.
It help better understand what has been happening, the team gathered what are called "re-analysis" data from September, 1957 to August, 2002; these data are created by a model but the data are derived from a large collection of observations on a daily basis. Re-analysis data are quite popular now in climate change research, and despite some limitations, they are showing up everywhere in the literature. From the re-analysis data, the team computed four different measures of cyclone intensity including "geopotential height in the centre of a cyclone, mean horizontal gradient of the geopotential height in the neighbourhood, cyclone depth, all measured at 1000 hPa, and relative vorticity in the cyclone centre at 850 hPa." Let's not turn this into an advanced class in atmospheric science-so it will suffice to say that these are all very credible measures of the intensity of a storm event. Sienz et al. report "no significant trend could be found in [any] of the cyclones quantities". In their conclusions section, they note "The absence of a significant trend in the cyclone parameters for the whole North Atlantic is consistent with the findings of" other scientists who have explored the same issue.
You might argue that evaluating storm activity from 1957 to 2002 is hardly a long enough time period for conducting any meaningful, long-term climate analysis. Maybe you'd prefer something a bit longer? Well, then you are in luck. A recent article in Geology allows us to peer back over 5,000 years of storm activity-so let's have a look.
The research was conducted by a pair of earth scientists from Rice University who were funded by British Petroleum. We suspect that given this fact, their work was held to a higher standard of review compared to other submissions to Geology, and they apparently survived and the work is published in a highly respected outlet.
In some coastal areas, lagoons form and in a few special locations, the topography is just right for capturing overwash sediments from extreme storm events. Given the study area in southern Texas (near spring break paradise South Padre Island), the Wallace and Anderson team could reconstruct extreme hurricane (i.e., tropical cyclone) events going back 5,300 years. The area subsided at about that time producing the right conditions for recording intense storms of the past, but prior to 5,300 years ago, the lagoon was not in a position to record large hurricane events.
Wallace and Anderson collected 37 different cores within the lagoon (Laguna Madre), and they used radiocarbon dating and grain size analysis to detect large events in the past (big storms produce big sediments). When looking at the period 5,300 to 900 BP [before present], they conclude:
"Although high-frequency oscillations between warm and dry and cool and wet climate conditions have occurred in Texas through the late Holocene, there has been no notable variation in intense storm impacts across the northwestern Gulf of Mexico coast during this time interval, implying no direct link between these changing climate conditions and annual hurricane impact probability. In addition, there have been no significant differences in the landfall probabilities of storms between the eastern and western Gulf of Mexico during the late Holocene, suggesting that storm steering mechanisms have not varied during this time."
In discussing any link between sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic and hurricane activity, the authors are dismissive of the link and suggest that "[r]ather, intervals of frequent intense hurricane impacts (i.e., ca. 4400-3600 yr B.P., 2500-1000 yr B.P., 250 yr B.P. to present) can be correlated with periods of fewer El Ni¤o events and increased precipitation in tropical Africa." They conclude
"Current rates of intense hurricane impacts for Western Lake, Florida, Lake Shelby, Alabama, and Laguna Madre, Texas, do not seem unprecedented when compared to intense strikes over the past 5000 yr."
We continue to feature evidence from throughout the scientific literature showing that storm activity around the planet is not increasing in activity, whether we feature extra-tropical or tropical storm events. While the global warming alarmists contend we are impacting these storms, the facts suggest otherwise.
Perry slashed environmental enforcement in Texas
Gov. Rick Perry likes to say the best way to promote economic growth is to reduce regulation. When it comes to the environment, Perry has made Texas one of the most industry-friendly states in the nation.
Perry has cut funding for clean air programs and sued the Environmental Protection Agency to avoid enforcing laws to make the air cleaner. As part of his Republican presidential campaign, he routinely blasts the White House for tightening environmental standards.
"As president, I would roll back the radical agenda of President Obama's job-killing Environmental Protection Agency," Perry wrote recently in an op-ed for the New Hampshire Union-Leader. "Our nation does not need costly new federal restrictions, especially during our present economic crisis."
Those positions get big applause at Republican debates and fundraisers, and also provide insight into how he would govern if elected, particularly when it comes to the EPA.
In Texas, Perry signed a state budget that slashes funding for the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality from $833.3 million to $565.5 million over the next two years. In his budget proposal, Perry had provided even less: $552.5 million. Texas boasts the second largest environmental agency in the world, behind only the EPA; the state agency had requested $882.6 million just to maintain current programs.
The cuts were part of the governor's plan to slash $15 billion in state spending to cope with revenue shortfalls in the sagging economy. Environmentalists complained that the cuts will hurt the most effective clean air programs in the state, including ones that were helping to reduce auto emissions.
Perry used the EPA as his punching bag during his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, and he is using the federal agency as a foil again in the presidential race
Executives in the state's oil and gas industry, the nation's largest, say they have enjoyed a cooperative relationship with the Texas' environmental agency, despite tougher federal rules.
"Texas always has been, and has continued to be under Governor Perry, one of the states where it's a more friendly regulatory environment," said David Blackmon, director of government relations for Houston-based El Paso Corp. The national natural gas company operates the nation's largest interstate pipeline system, which runs through 29 states.
Federal regulations have increased under Perry's tenure, but Texas has implemented fewer new rules than most other states. Blackmon said the real difference between states is the administrative costs of obtaining permits.
He said the Texas agency has "reached out to business and found solutions that not only cleaned up the air, but did it in a way that has a minimal impact on our ability to do business."
Until recently, emissions from Texas refineries were aggregated across an entire facility, rather than having each smokestack inspected and rated individually to see if it complied with federal law. The Obama administration determined that the aggregated calculation allowed refineries to violate the Clean Air Act and ordered an end to the practice. Perry condemned the decision and the state filed suit.
Businesses frequently complain about regulation, but there is little evidence that it is any worse now than in the past or that it is costing significant numbers of jobs. Most economists believe there is a simpler explanation: Companies aren't hiring because there isn't enough consumer demand.
Larry Soward, a Perry-appointed member of the Texas agency's three-member ruling commission from 2001 to 2007, said the environmental agency's stance reflects the state's political culture.
"The oil and gas industry is the biggest of those industries and has a stature that gives them a lot more respect and influence than the public or the environmentalists," said Soward, who is now a critic of the agency.
Soward said that even though air quality in Texas has improved during Perry's tenure, the credit goes to increasing federal regulations, not state initiatives.
With the budget cuts, the agency "simply won't have the resources, budgetary or staff-wise, to really provide a rigorous scrutiny over air quality permits or more rigorous inspections or enforcement," he said.
The final budget reduced the number of assessments and inspections from 146,534 to 130,140 authorized, or 11 percent less than the commission recommended.
Andrea Morrow, a spokeswoman for the Texas environmental agency, said the commission will try to meet its original goals on air pollution, but assessing waterways may be more difficult.
The commission will also have to cut back on programs that promote cleaner motor vehicles by reducing the emissions from diesel engines and older cars and trucks, she said.
The reduced funding, as well as other legislative changes made to the incentive programs will result in fewer grants and emissions reductions, Morrow wrote in an email.
Cyrus Reed, the Texas legislative director for the Sierra Club, said the state may lose the progress it's made toward cleaner air.
"We've had to come forward with citizen suits to get the law enforced," Reed said. "It's not our job to launch citizen suits, but we've had to do it in Texas."
Another new measure made tightening air quality permits on the oil and gas industry more difficult. That law, which Perry signed in June, requires the Texas environmental agency to analyze the effect of new regulation on the economy _ including how it might hurt a company _ before implementation. The economic impact could override the environmental benefit of the new regulation.
The new law reflects Perry's contention that global warming is a questionable theory and that regulation always creates an adverse business climate.
During an August campaign swing through New Hampshire, Perry said of climate change, "I don't think, from my perspective, that I want to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective, is more and more being put into question."
Texas releases more heat-trapping carbon dioxide _ the chief gas in the greenhouse effect _ than any other state, according to government data.
In February 2010, Texas became the first state to sue the EPA for declaring that greenhouse gases are dangerous and subject to federal regulation.
A few months later, the EPA became so frustrated with how Texas was enforcing air quality laws that it took away the commission's authority to grant air pollution permits to some refineries. The state has filed suit to go back to the old rules.
Federally owned lands help no one
The federal government owns almost 650 million acres of land in the U.S. That's about 30 percent of all the land area in the nation and includes national parks, forests and wildlife refuges.
That's 1 out of every 3 acres in the U.S.-1 out of every 2 acres in the West, says Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), a member on the Natural Resources Committee and ranking member on the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
Federal lands are managed differently based on their purpose. Some lands are managed by the National Parks Service, others lands are held as wildlife refuges and still others are labeled wilderness areas. How the federal government regulates these lands often impacts the economies of surrounding local communities.
About 109 million acres of these 650 million acres owned by the government are labeled wilderness areas. Richard Pombo, former Chairman on the House Committee on Natural Resources, explains that inside a wilderness area, no motorized activity is allowed. While some restricted federal lands might let you go four-wheeling or snowmobiling, wilderness areas do not.
The Wilderness Act of 1964 describes wilderness lands as: "an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of . undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or human habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions."
With 109 million acres marked off as this kind of restricted land, local communities are bound to be affected economically. The question is, do local communities surrounding these wilderness areas suffer or prosper economically?
A study by Environmental Trends in June 2011 looked at the relationship between wilderness areas and local communities by comparing county total payroll, county tax receipts and county average household income. The findings concluded that when, "controlling for other types of federally held land and additional factors impacting economic conditions, federally designated Wilderness negatively impacts local economic conditions."
That isn't too surprising considering that wilderness areas don't just take away revenues from surrounding local communities due to the lack of infrastructure and construction allowed but also may turn away tourists with the land's long list of restrictions.
More specifically, the study, completed by students at Utah State University, found average household income within wilderness counties to be $1,446.06 less than non-wilderness counties. Likewise, total payroll in wilderness counties is about $37,500 less than in non-wilderness counties and county tax receipts in wilderness counties is about $92,910 dollars less than in non-wilderness counties.
Despite the cries from environmental communities that wilderness areas benefit local counties, the data simply isn't there to support those claims.
In fact, some states in the western part of the United States visibly prove the negative side of these federally owned lands, whether they are labeled wilderness, national parks, forests or wildlife refuges. Washington State, for example, used to have a thriving logging industry.
Now that industry is virtually gone. Because of protected forestry laws, small towns that survived off of the logging industry were choked out. Sawmills were shutdown, and timber men were left unemployed. Formerly thriving areas have essentially become ghost towns.
"The forest service holds life or death over the timber industry," says Don Todd, head of research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation (ALG). "They have leases that decide where to sell timber or whether or not a road can be built to get the timber out."
As America struggles economically, as well as its states and local counties, is it really in the best interest of these local communities for the government to continue to cordon off lands as wilderness or other forms of federally owned land?
Todd says the best answer to this question was given by former Senator Malcolm Wallop of Wyoming who he summarizes as saying:
"If government ownership of land is the answer than the Soviet Union should have been the Garden of Eden. But after the Wall came down we discovered it was hell."
Tax breaks for British firms being hit by 'absurd' green targets driving business abroad
George Osborne is preparing to offer tax breaks to firms hit by Britain's `absurd' climate change policies after being warned they threaten to drive business abroad. In a major U-turn, the Chancellor will try to help companies that use large amounts of energy.
His move comes amid growing concern that companies and households are being hit heavily by Britain's commitment to cut carbon emissions faster than other countries.
Yesterday one of the world's leading industrialists said manufacturing was being `ruinously penalised' by green taxes and said the levies could put his firm's £1.2billion investment programme in this country at risk.
Karl-Ulrich Kohler, head of Tata Steel Europe - which employs 20,000 staff in Britain - told the Daily Mail: `Why the UK government wants to go further and be the leader in Europe in this field is difficult for me to understand. It's a race for the leadership that is simply over the top.
`The UK is one of the weaker industrial players in Europe. Why are we trying to be a leader on the green front when the economy is in such a hard place?' He added: `If the UK becomes less attractive due to regulation and tax, then there are other places in the world to invest. The Government must see that.'
Mr Osborne's plans are sure to set him on collision course with his Liberal Democrat coalition colleagues.
Last night Whitehall sources told the Mail the Chancellor is working on radical proposals to mitigate the effects on companies that use large amounts of energy, such as cement, aluminium and steel makers.
Tax breaks and exemptions from new carbon levies are expected to be included in a mini-Budget due next month. A source close to Mr Osborne said: `We recognise that a decade of environmental laws and regulations have piled costs on the energy bills of energy intensive business.
`As well as increasing the climate change levy discount on electricity and reducing corporation tax, he will be announcing a package of measures to help energy intensive industries remain competitive in due course. `There's no point forcing energy intensive industries to relocate to other countries - that would only harm our economy without reducing global carbon emissions.'
Last year David Cameron said he wanted the Coalition to be known as the `greenest government ever'. And Mr Osborne alarmed industry when he announced a `carbon floor price' in his Budget last March - essentially a tax on emissions that will raise £3.2billion by 2016.
Former Conservative Chancellor Lord Lawson, a leading climate change sceptic, said tax breaks for the hardest-hit industries were a good `first step'. The current policies are endangering the economy at a particularly difficult time,' he said. `I hope the Chancellor will as soon as possible spell out exactly what he proposes to do to prevent this.
`The real need is not to have these absurd commitments and then have to run around bribing vulnerable businesses at taxpayers' expense so as to prevent them from closing down or leaving the country - it is to amend the [emissions] targets. `We must make it quite clear that we are not going there if the rest of the world isn't.'
Under Labour's Climate Change Act, the Government is legally bound to cut emissions 35 per cent by 2022 and 50 per cent by 2025. But the EU is committed only to cutting emissions 20 per cent by 2020. Several countries are rejecting calls for them to increase the target to 30 per cent.
Tory MP David Davis, a former leadership contender, said: `George Osborne must stand his ground against the Lib Dems on this issue. `There is absolutely no point in having such draconian environmental policies that heavy energy-using industries like steel and chemicals up sticks and go and create just as much pollution in India and China, but to our economic disadvantage. It is simply not a rational policy.'
Energy Secretary Chris Huhne said it was vital for Britain to reduce its dependence on oil and gas imports from `volatile' parts of the world. He said volatility in fossil fuel prices was primarily responsible for pushing up household bills.
Ministers' obsession with green taxes is driving up energy bills, bringing financial pain to millions of families, it was claimed last night. But the Government energy summit yesterday offered no hope that struggling families and businesses will be offered lower energy bills this winter. Both Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and British Gas managing director Phil Bentley admitted that price rises were here to stay.
The `big six' energy giants have increased tariffs by 15 per cent-plus in recent weeks, raising the average annual dual fuel bill by around £175 to £1,345.
This figure is inflated by around £100 to cover a raft of green taxes and associated charges, which are set to soar in the next decade. Mr Huhne is the chief cheerleader for the charges, which are being used to fund a £200billion shift to wind, wave, solar and nuclear power.
Yesterday he insisted that prices in Britain were `relatively good' compared with elsewhere in the world but admitted: `If you are asking me to predict what is going to happen to world fossil fuel prices then the Government's prediction... is that in the medium-run those prices are going to go up. The companies are not the Salvation Army. We expect them to earn respectable returns for their shareholders.'
Mr Bentley added: `In the last two and a half years, gas prices on the international market are up by 70 per cent. I'm afraid it is an inconvenient truth that those costs have to be passed on to customers.'
Mr Huhne said customers should shop around as up to 85 per cent `don't bother' to look for a better deal. He said: `This is not small beer. If you look at the figures on an average dual fuel bill of about £1,300, by switching you can get £200 off.'
But yesterday Simon Walker, the new director general of the Institute of Directors, said it was `simply not credible' for the Government politely to ask energy firms to curb bills. He warned that the current push for green energy is driving up bills, saying: `Current policies risk locking us into cleaner and more expensive energy, when the goal should be cleaner and cheaper energy.
`What may have been tolerable in an age of affluence is far less realistic today. Undermining the UK's competitiveness through high energy costs would do no favours to either economic recovery or the environment.'
David Cameron is under pressure to reverse a cut in the Winter Fuel Payment for millions of pensioners who cannot afford to keep the heating on. This winter, over-80s will see the grant reduced to £300, a £100 drop from last year. Younger pensioners will receive £200, a £50 cut. In total, 9.2million households will be affected.
The true story of cosmetics
Exposing the Risks of the Smear Campaign
The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and its partner, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), are on a crusade to scare consumers away from using cosmetics and hygiene products that contain preservatives and other useful chemicals. As part of their effort to ban the use of synthetic ingredients from skin products, these environmental extremist groups are working to incite fear among consumers, making outrageous and bogus claims that we are poisoning ourselves by using lipstick, makeup, deodorants, skin creams, and even baby products. Specifically, they claim that the additives can cause cancer, create neurological disorders, or cause hormone disruption-even though they are present in trace amounts.
In fact, these preservatives protect users from bacteria. Present in quantities so small-typically, less than 1 percent of a product's total weight-they are added to prevent contamination and to protect consumers from the buildup of dangerous bacteria that can cause eye infections, skin rashes, and even deadly infections such as E. coli and Salmonella.
Parabens, for example, are added to makeup, deodorants, moisturizers, and body creams to prevent bacteria, fungi, and mold. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, parabens are linked to breast cancer and can cause hormone dysfunction. Yet scientists have refuted the claims, arguing that concentrations of parabens in cosmetics are too small to have an adverse effect, and are at levels in our body thousands to millions of times lower than naturally produced estrogens.
Another example is the chemical oxybenzone, used in sunscreens to protect users from the ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer. The Environmental Working Group warns consumers to stay away from oxybenzone because it "contaminates the body" and can cause hormone disruption and cell damage. Yet cancer research organizations such as the Skin Cancer Foundation refute EWG's assertions, arguing that there is no evidence to back the claims of oxybenzone risks. These cancer foundations worry that such fear mongering will scare consumers away from using sun block products that protect consumers from the risks of skin cancer from the sun's rays.
In spite of the lack of scientific evidence of health risks from these ingredients, the anti-chemical groups have been successful in creating a climate of fear among many consumers-and lawmakers. The legislation they are promoting, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011, would ban any cosmetic and skin care ingredients that exceed a one in a million risk of an adverse health impact-which is to say it would ban most ingredients since almost everything carries risk greater than one in a million. While the risks from products not containing these additives would be much higher, those risks would not be considered. In effect, the bill would ban the very chemicals that protect consumers.
In reviewing the claims of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group, as well as the scientific literature on the use of these chemical additives, this report finds that these fringe groups are pushing their own anti-chemical agenda at the expense of human health. It shows that consumers are at far greater risk by avoiding these essential ingredients, as backed by sound and peer-reviewed science.
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