Category Archives: Regulation

The Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket

The Supreme Court’s Environmental Docket

The Supreme Court will hear two low-profile, high-impact environmental cases in this new session. Richard Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard University, tells host Bruce Gellerman that he thinks the signs so far do not bode well for the Environmental Protection Agency. (LOE)

Shocking Costs Of Environmentalism

Shocking Costs Of Environmentalism

Energy: Those who fancy themselves to be green progressives are about to get some unwelcome “progress.” Thanks in part to environmental rules, electricity bills are headed for double-digit increases.

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Public consultation in the land down-under

Australian Government doesn’t give a toss what you think

The Australian government asks for submissions, gets around 4500, mostly against the tax, then ignores almost all of them. It’s just another form of suppression and censorship, a sign that the elites don’t give a fig what we think.

Menzies House is calling it an utter disgrace.

“In a shocking and historically unprecedented suppression of political expression, a staggering four thousand five hundred Australians have had their voices silenced by Australia’s political elite in the Labor-dominated Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Clean Energy Future Legislation.”

It shows what we all knew all along: the submission process was a merely legal formality, a scent of democracy.

This is a new low, and based on current performance, is just what we’d expect. They can’t justify this tax, they can’t debate the science, but they can ram it through. The only way “forward” is with whitewash, erasers, and the all-purpose delete key. (Jo Nova)

Strange claim of ‘new’ information on UV

The following articles claim UVB (ultraviolet radiation in the 270-320 nanometer [nm] band) had been the only/main suspect in causing skin cancer but that is really quite wrong. This assertion appeared in 2004 and represented a paradigm change. (links in our ozone page)

UVA (320-400nm) is and has always been the prime suspect in deep tissue penetration and genetic damage leading to melanoma while UVB, which can cause sunburns, has always been (and still is) otherwise considered benign/beneficial. UVC (<270nm), which would cause severe burns with short exposure but does not penetrate the atmosphere, blocked completely by atmospheric oxygen (O2) in addition to ozone (O3).

The only reason we can find for the reversal of paradigm and “villain switch” is that UVA is not blocked by stratospheric ozone at all and made a lie of claims that alleged stratospheric “ozone depletion” would lead to an increase in skin cancers. UVB is blocked to some extent by ozone (and thick cloud) and thus had to be made the villain of the narrative.

The claim that stratospheric ozone creates some sort of “life shield” around planet earth is and always has been utter twaddle – simply an excuse for the Montreal Protocol and the assassination of useful chemical compounds.

Study shines new light on damaging UV rays

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Jonathan H. Adler on the failure of the ESA

The Leaky Ark
By Jonathan H. Adler
Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The failure of endangered species regulation on private land.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted with much fanfare and little controversy in 1973. At the time, few anticipated how broadly the law would affect both government and private activities.1 Yet ever since its celebrated passage, the nation’s premier wildlife conservation law has been a source of conflict and controversy; it has been rightly described as “one of the most contentious of our federal environmental laws.”2 The ESA is a focus of controversy in part because of its strength. Indeed, the ESA may be the most powerful environmental law in the nation.

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In case their tinfoil hats blow off, presumably

Health Canada issues new cellphone safety advice
KRISTY KIRKUP

OTTAWA – Parents should encourage kids under 18 to cap their cellphone use, according to new advice from Health Canada.

The national health agency issued a precautionary safety update Tuesday – a response to a recent World Health Organization study on the radiation emitted by wireless devices. QMI Agency has also done a series of stories in recent months on the safety of wireless devices.

Health Canada says people can reduce their exposure to radiation from cellphones by limiting the length of phone calls, texting and using hands-free devices. (Toronto Sun)

Wireless group opposes health disclosure ordinance

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Inhofe calls for reopening carbon finding in light of IG report

Inhofe calls for reopening carbon finding in light of IG report

Jean Chemnick, E&E reporter

Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Link to Article

Inhofe Speech: Inhofe Calls for Hearing on Serious Flaws in EPA Endangerment Finding Process

Inhofe 2010 Speech: ‘CRISIS OF CONFIDENCE’ IN THE IPCC

One of the Senate’s top foes of U.S. EPA climate regulations said yesterday that a report last week by the agency’s inspector general was reason to reopen EPA’s finding that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health.

The IG report did not cast doubt on the science EPA used to support the endangerment finding, but it did question EPA’s process for reviewing that science. EPA says it followed established procedure to the letter when preparing its finding.

The endangerment finding, finalized in 2009, forms the basis for all of EPA’s climate-related regulations, for both stationary sources and vehicles.

In his remarks yesterday on the Senate floor, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) in particular questioned the agency’s use of data from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to support the endangerment finding.

“EPA’s findings rest in large measure on the IPCC assessments, and EPA appears to have accepted them wholesale,” said Inhofe, who serves as top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. (EPW)

Shale gas panel offers olive branch to industry

Shale gas panel offers olive branch to industry
Jennifer A. Dlouhy

When a government task force said natural gas drilling wasn’t inherently dangerous to water supplies — but still urged tougher standards for the practice — most environmentalists said the industry had gotten a free pass.

Industry leaders, however, complained that the group had overlooked existing regulations and voluntary improvements — including best practices espoused by the American Petroleum Institute — that are already designed to make drilling safer.

Today, members of the panel defended their approach and offered an olive branch to gas producers.

“We’re not recommending that for the existing standard-setting groups, there be something new on top of that,” said Daniel Yergin, the head of IHS-CERA, and a member of the Energy Department’s shale gas advisory board at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. “We’re trying to create an ongoing process for discussion among the players and participants in this,” whether they are regulators, drillers or local residents. (fuelfix)

Only partly right – the correct course is to repudiate all “renewables” mandates

Industry split emerges over biofuels’ indirect impact

European bioethanol producers have broken ranks and urged EU policymakers to introduce rules on the indirect climate impacts of biofuels that distinguish between “good and bad biofuel pathways,” Reuters has learned. (Reuters)

Bill would ease ethanol rule when corn stocks low

Two U.S. lawmakers are seeking to dilute the requirement to blend increasing amounts of ethanol into the nation’s motor fuel mix, aiming to alleviate upward pressure on food prices when corn supplies are short. (Reuters)

About time there was open discussion of ridiculously low radiation limits

U.K. expert says limits on radiation ‘unreasonable’
MINORU MATSUTANI

The government should relax restrictions on the amount of allowable radiation in food and also rethink its evacuation criteria for Fukushima Prefecture, site of the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, a British physics professor said Monday.

“The real problem is fear,” Oxford University professor emeritus Wade Allison said at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo.

Citing the doses of radiation received in medical procedures, such as CT and PET scans, Allison said Japan’s standard — which bans the sale of food containing more than 500 becquerels per kilogram of radiation and requires the evacuation of areas receiving 20 millisieverts a year — is far too conservative.

While setting standards is difficult for the government, which must balance radiation risks against the hardships of evacuation, Allison argues its conservatism does more harm than good.

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Sen. Inhofe: Obama’s EPA Waging War on Fossil Fuels

Sen. Inhofe: Obama’s EPA Waging War on Fossil Fuels
John Rossomando 10/03/2011

Job creation has been all over President Obama’s lips in the past few weeks, but GOP opponents say his Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory war on fossil fuels is costing the economy far more than the estimated $447 billion price tag of his jobs proposal.

“The President of the United States wants to destroy American energy,” said Oklahoma GOP Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee. “His intention is to kill fossil fuels, which we rely on for 99% of the energy in America.

“All of this killing of our energy supply is not by accident. It’s on purpose.”

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Government has no business mandating this nonsense in the first place

Certain biofuel mandates unlikely to be met by 2022; unless new technologies, policies developed

WASHINGTON — It is unlikely the United States will meet some specific biofuel mandates under the current Renewable Fuel Standard by 2022 unless innovative technologies are developed or policies change, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Research Council, which adds that the standard may be an ineffective policy for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. Achieving this standard would likely increase federal budget outlays as well as have mixed economic and environmental effects. (EurekAlert)

Ethanol Industry Reacts to NAS Report

Comment on this post Posted by Cindy Zimmerman – October 4th, 2011
The ethanol industry is challenging a new report from the National Academies of Science that questions the ability of the biofuels industry to meet current goals under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) and the ability of biofuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (DomesticFuel)

Misanthropic loons still trying to stifle crop development

Note the misinformation like “terminator technology” – hybrid seeds are generally infertile or revert to base stock after one generation – either way high-productivity hybrids are not suitable for seed saving, something which has absolutely nothing to do with biotechnology. Yes, some work was done to prevent illegal use of proprietary technology (like copy protection on music, videos and/or software that people shouldn’t but do steal – the same kind of thing that built the profits used for philanthropy by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 😉 ).

Either way “Big Agro” is the only way 9 billion people are going to be adequately fed on planet Earth, something farmer’s markets and superstitions like “organics” simply can not achieve. Retro nostalgia and primitive agriculture just won’t do the job. You could harvest between the ears of every greenie on the planet but you just won’t find enough crap to grow food for the current 7 billion population without using synthetic fertilizers and higher productivity crop plants. Get over it.

Battle Escalates Against Genetically Modified Crops
By Kanya D’Almeida

WASHINGTON, Oct 1, 2011 (IPS) – Home to a fast-growing network of farmers’ markets, cooperatives and organic farms, but also the breeding ground for mammoth for-profit corporations that now hold patents to over 50 percent of the world’s seeds, the United States is weathering a battle between Big Agro and a ripening movement for food justice and security.

Conflicting ideologies about agriculture have become ground zero for this war over the production, distribution and consumption of the world’s food.

One camp – led by agro giants like Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta – define successful agriculture and hunger alleviation as the use of advanced technologies to stimulate yields of mono-crops.

The other side argues that industrial agriculture pollutes, destroys and disrupts nature by dismissing the importance of relationships necessary for any ecosystem to thrive.

At the heart of this struggle is the debate about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which were given the green light in 1990 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated, “(We) are not aware of any information showing that GMO foods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way.” (IPS)

Has the 1970s Experience Been Forgotten?

Call for Energy Price Controls: Has the 1970s Experience Been Forgotten? (hidden perils of a $3.50/gallon federal price cap)
Donald Hertzmark
October 3, 2011

[Editor note: Tomorrow, economist Michael Giberson will critically assess government ‘price gouging’ laws.]

As an economist, whenever I hear the word “shortage” I wait for the other shoe to drop. That other shoe is usually “price control.”

– Thomas Sowell, “Electricity Shocks California,” January 11, 2001.

Like Bill Murray’s weatherman character in the movie Groundhog Day, the American public is obliged to relive certain bad ideas again and again (and again).

Like the movie the idea of price controls for energy keeps coming back, but will we, like Murray’s weatherman, reexamine what leads us to relive such unworkable concepts? The latest contestant in this march of folly was posted recently in the Atlantic Monthly’s business blog. (MasterResource)

Oh yes, that wonderfully “successful” and totally pointless Montreal Protocol

  • Should you care? No
  • Does this indicate anything other than a cold Northern winter? No
  • Is the “ozone layer” stable at any time? No (see “That ‘ozone depletion’ thing
  • Do fluctuating stratospheric ozone levels indicate “loss”? No
  • Is this of any significance to humanity or the environment whatsoever? No
  • Is this just another “People bad, industry bad, chemicals bad” scam from misanthropes and would-be controllers of everything? You betcha!

NASA Leads Study Of Unprecedented Arctic Ozone Loss

WASHINGTON — A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth’s protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere.

The study, published online Sunday in the journal Nature, finds the amount of ozone destroyed in the Arctic in 2011 was comparable to that seen in some years in the Antarctic, where an ozone “hole” has formed each spring since the mid 1980s. The stratospheric ozone layer, extending from about 10 to 20 miles (15 to 35 kilometers) above the surface, protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

The Antarctic ozone hole forms when extremely cold conditions, common in the winter Antarctic stratosphere, trigger reactions that convert atmospheric chlorine from human-produced chemicals into forms that destroy ozone. The same ozone-loss processes occur each winter in the Arctic. However, the generally warmer stratospheric conditions there limit the area affected and the time frame during which the chemical reactions occur, resulting in far less ozone loss in most years in the Arctic than in the Antarctic. (NASA News)