Friday, February 24, 2017
Trump readies slew of new orders targeting EPA
President Trump is planning to issue executive orders this week to begin rolling back the centerpiece of President Obama's climate change agenda with several other regulations.
Trump is expected to soon issue the orders targeting regulations put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency, including the Clean Power Plan, which directs states to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants.
The EPA climate plan was halted a year ago by the Supreme Court until the courts can rule on litigation by 28 state attorneys general, the coal industry and hundreds of individual companies and industry groups.
The order is expected to direct the agency to redo the climate change rule, which would be different from asking the agency to rescind the regulation altogether. Ultimately, direction on what to do about the greenhouse gas rule will have to come from the courts.
But Trump isn't planning on stopping there. The president also will issue a separate order targeting the EPA's Waters of the U.S. Rule, which greatly expanded the agency's jurisdiction over waterways to include everything from major waterways to drainage ponds on private lands. Both the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the U.S. Rule have been long-time targets of the Republican Party.
Reports also say to expect a third Trump action to end the Department of Interior's moratorium on new coal mining leases put in place by the Obama administration.
EPA officials told Reuters that they were told to expect the executive actions shortly after EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was confirmed, but the exact timing of the orders is unknown.
Pruitt was confirmed by the Senate on Friday and sworn in as the nation's 14th EPA administrator. He addressed EPA employees briefly Tuesday during his first full day as as head of the agency.
Pruitt's EPA Will Be Better for Property Rights, States.
His Rule of Law record is exactly why ecofascists hate him so much
The sky is falling, and the oceans will soon cover the land. That is what Chicken Little leftists would have us believe following the confirmation of former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as director of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The hysterical warnings from the anti-free market crowd were as ludicrous as they were predictable; Pruitt is a conservative, so he wants dirty water, dirty air, toxic land and he will allow corporations free rein to dump chemical sludge into our pristine waterways.
In reality, Pruitt is not a conservative hardliner at all. Unlike many conservatives, he doesn’t want to get rid of the EPA, but believes it can play a vital role in protecting the environment. What makes Pruitt unacceptable to the radical Left is his respect for the constitutional power of the states to direct their own affairs, his record of fighting to protect private property rights, and his respect for the Rule of Law.
For decades progressives have used federal agencies, and the mountains of regulations they generate, to achieve through the federal bureaucracy (if not the courts) what they have been unable to achieve at the polls. The EPA has become one of the most dangerous of all federal agencies, not only abusing its power but destroying the lives of innocent Americans in the process.
Just ask Andy Johnson, a Wyoming farmer who sued the EPA after he was fined $16 million for building a small fishing pond on his property. After having done his due diligence and receiving all necessary permits and approvals to build a small pond on his property, the EPA claimed Johnson violated federal law, arguing his pond was subject to the Clean Water Act. After years of harassment and threats by the agency, Johnson reached a settlement last May where all charges and fines were dropped in exchange for planting willow trees around the pond to prevent erosion.
Johnson’s story is just one of thousands like it, and progressive environmentalists fear Pruitt because not only has he promised to end such abuses, but as Oklahoma attorney general he filed 14 lawsuits against the EPA to stop these types of abuse.
In a recent interview, Pruitt explained his philosophy of protecting the environment while simultaneously protecting property rights: “I reject this paradigm that says we can’t be both pro-environment and pro-energy. We are blessed with great national resources, and we should be good stewards of those. But we’ve been the best in the world at showing you do that while also growing jobs and the economy. Too many people put on a jersey in this fight. I want to send the message that we can and will do both.”
In a departure from the radicalism of the Obama administration, Pruitt sees it as his job to enforce the law as written, rather than create law through regulatory fiat or “sue and settle” (getting friendly organizations to sue before a friendly judge, and create law through the ruling). Pruitt argues, “Agencies exist to administer the law. Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.”
In light of that philosophy, Pruitt has already begun to roll back Obama administration excesses and abuses. He is withdrawing from the Clean Power Plan (Obama’s climate regulation scheme geared toward destroying the fossil fuel industry), and the 2015 Waters of the United States rule, through which the Obama EPA quite literally claimed the authority to regulate and control every single stream, creek, pond or mud hole as a tributary to a “navigable waterway.” He also declared his agency will review the Clean Air Act to determine whether it even has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide, which has been the lynchpin of the progressive effort to give government control over industry.
Instead, says Pruitt, his focus will be on cleaning up the air and water of the United States to correct and prevent problems like the lead poisoning of the Flint, Michigan water supply, and the unfolding failure of the Oroville Dam in California, which is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk. He also wants to revamp the EPA’s process for producing environmental data to make it scientifically driven rather than ideologically driven, in order to restore trust in the reports produced by his agency.
He also acknowledged the primary role of the states in keeping the environment safe, arguing for federalism: “Every statute makes clear this is supposed to be a cooperative relationship. … Congress understood that a one-size-fits-all model doesn’t work for environmental regulation, and … the state departments of environmental quality have an enormous role to play.” He vehemently opposes the position of the Obama EPA, which saw the states as “a vessel of federal will.”
So while career progressives in the EPA seek to undermine their new boss, and while Hollywood elitists like Susan Sarandon wring their hands and declare Pruitt’s appointment to be the “end of the EPA,” average Americans can sleep soundly. There is now a man at the head of that agency who wants to make sure they have clean air to breathe and clean water to drink, while also making sure bureaucratic thugs don’t ruin their lives if they decide to build a pond or clear brush off their land.
And that is welcomed news indeed.
NASA to Stop Shilling for Big Green, Restart Exploring Space…
“And would sir like a regular or large fries, with that? And how about a McFlurry?”
I do hope that Gavin “Toast” Schmidt, the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), followed the advice I gave him a few months back. Because it now looks very much as if he and many of his colleagues are about to face exciting new job opportunities, hopefully in areas best suited to their talents, such as the challenging world of fast-food retail.
Yes, as we predicted, NASA is going to be stripped of the two main roles it enjoyed under the Obama administration – Muslim outreach and green propaganda – and return to its original day (and night) job as an agency dedicated to space exploration.
The U.S. Senate passed legislation recently cutting funding for NASA’s global warming research.
The House is expected to pass the bill, and President Trump will likely sign it. Supporters say it “re-balances” NASA’s budget back toward space exploration and away from global warming and earth science research. Republicans plan to end the more than $2 billion NASA spends on its Earth Science Mission Directorate.
“By rebalancing, I’d like for more funds to go into space exploration; we’re not going to zero out earth sciences,” Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who chairs the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, told E&E News. “I’d like for us to remember what our priorities are, and there are another dozen agencies that study earth science and climate change, and they can continue to do that.”
Before we shed too many tears for the plight of Gavin Schmidt and the rest of his global warming research team, though, let’s just pause to reflect on how much damage they have done to the cause of honest science over the years and what eye-wateringly vast quantities of our money they have wasted.
A good place to start is this excellent piece by Steve Goddard, entitled The Pause Is Real: NASA Temperatures Aren’t.
Here is the damning chart that says it all:
How did a supposedly respectable government agency get away with such blatant fraud?
Well, one answer is that it was encouraged to do so by the US government which paid its Earth Science research division $2 billion a year, while giving only $781.5 million and $826.7 million to its astrophysics and space technology divisions. Obama wanted “global warming” to be real and dangerous: and – lo! – thanks to the magic of his crack prestidigitators at NASA, NOAA and the rest, it was.
But the longer answer is that this is what happens when green ideologues are allowed to infiltrate and hijack government institutions. As we’ve reported before, NASA has been caught out fiddling temperature data on “an unbelievable scale”. So too has NOAA. That’s because their global warming departments are mostly run by true believers – scientists who want to show the world that global warming is a major threat in urgent need of more grant funding, regardless of what the actual temperature data shows. Hence the many, many adjustments.
This has done tremendous damage not just in the US but across the world because it has enabled green propagandists to point at the dodgy adjusted data from NASA and NOAA and claim: “The Experts say…”
Now, thanks to Donald Trump, that fraud is about to come to a sudden and painful end. It never ceases to amaze and nauseate me that more people, especially on the right, aren’t more grateful for what is being done here.
While mainstream media commentators on both left and right bloviate about Trump’s style (clearly they prefer Obama’s empty rhetoric) and stoke up fake news stories about Russian plots, Trump is busily getting on with one of the most valuable and important missions ever conducted by a US president: he is putting an end to the biggest and most expensive scientific scam in history.
Oh, and he is also working wonders for property rights and business by rescinding such damaging regulations as the Waters Of The US and the Climate Action Plan.
A source briefed on the matter told The Washington Post one of the orders “will instruct the Environmental Protection Agency to begin rewriting the 2015 regulation that limits greenhouse-gas emissions from existing electric utilities” and order “the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing.”
Trump will issue a second order instructing the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to rewrite the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule that expanded federal control over rivers, streams and wetlands — even those on private property.
If ever a swamp needed draining, it’s the swamp of the $1.5 trillion environmental scam. This could have gone on for ever and ever. Our grandchildren ought to be properly grateful to President Trump that it didn’t.
More speculations and surmises
What if ....
In Geneva, Switzerland, yesterday, the IPCC named the team of 86 experts from 39 countries that will author the investigation on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the impact of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty.
The Special Report, which is due to be published in 2018, was commissioned by the Paris agreement COP21 in 2015. It will be a robust scientific report into ways to arrest global warming levels by assessing research and highlighting policy options available to support the achievement of a climate safe, equitable and sustainable world.
Head of UC’s Department of Political Science and International Relations and director of the Sustainable Citizenship and Civic Imagination: Hei Puāwaitanga research group, Assoc Prof Hayward will be using her expertise in the field of sustainable development, poverty eradication, and reducing inequalities.
“We need interdisciplinary thinking to address complex serious problems, and it is heartening to see recognition for the way Arts and Humanities can also assist us in tackling some of our world’s greatest challenges,” she says.
While Assoc Prof Hayward is the only New Zealander on this IPCC special report team, she says other New Zealanders are expected to be nominated to write later reports.
Professor Ian Wright, UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), observed that an international perspective and community engagement are key drivers for the future of the institution.
“This type of activity, where UC academic expertise is being used to underpin mitigation strategies to a critical global issue, underlines the fact that the University of Canterbury is engaging with local, regional, national and international communities, including business.”
Greens cowardice on Islam, other key issues, matches their ignorance
Chris Kenny discusses Australia's Green party:
Islam is the most feminist religion. Wind energy is reliable. Border security is unnecessary. The US alliance is inimical to our national interest. The Australian is a race-baiting newspaper.
The Australian Greens have strayed so far from reality in their post-truth universe that they must have become confused between the real world and a flashback to some trip in the 70s.
They have become the lunatics at the bottom of the garden shouting at the moon.
It would be hilarious if it weren’t so dangerous, amusing if it wasn’t so damaging to our nation. “The Australian, or as it may be better described, the Q Society Gazette,” said Greens senator Nick McKim in the Senate today, “has become little more than a loss-making, race-baiting rag.”
Not only do these political fringe dwellers combine with Labor and crossbench senators to undermine the nation’s fiscal position and economic future, but they meddle incessantly and odiously in identity politics, fuelling resentment and division, and spitting bile at mainstream voters, their concerns and their values.
This latest foray from Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, and McKim has come after today’s page one article by Caroline Overington about Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
Overington revealed how taxpayers had funded the writer’s tour to majority Muslim nations in North Africa and the Middle East to promote her book and her views.
It was highly relevant and topical given Abdel-Magied’s appearance on Q&A on Monday night, when she attempted to justify sharia law, and, astonishingly, said Islam was “the most feminist” religion.
In return for its reporting on this issue, this newspaper was singled out by the Greens leader who claimed we had attacked Abdel-Magied and that our reporting was fuelling tensions around Islam.
Overington revealed Abdel-Magied’s tour took her to a range of countries where women are treated appallingly.
She did nothing but put salient facts into the debate. She can’t do much about her skin colour but Overington is neither middle-aged nor male and anyone who reads her work knows she is a strong feminist.
McKim and Di Natale, on the other hand, are white non-Muslim men eager to parade their tolerance for Islam while wilfully blind on equality for women behind the veil.
Their cultural and political cowardice is matched only by their ignorance.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
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Posted by JR at 1:29 AM