Archive for the ‘EPA’ Category

EPA madness rolls on

07/15/2011

“What happens if the government mandates the consumption of a product that doesn’t exist? Naturally, the Environmental Protection Agency has decided to punish the gasoline refiners because they can’t buy a type of alternative fuel that no one is making. Consumers will be punished too.

The 2007 energy bill vastly increased the volume of corn ethanol that must be blended into gasoline, though it also included mandates for cellulosic ethanol.  …

The EPA set the 2011 standard at six million gallons. Reality hasn’t cooperated. Zero gallons have been produced in the last six months and the corner isn’t visible over the next six months either. The EPA has only approved a single plant to sell the stuff, … but it shut down its cellulosic operations earlier this year to work through technical snafus.

In its wisdom, Congress decided that some companies should be penalized if the targets aren’t met.  …  U.S. oil refiners that make gasoline … will end up buying six million cellulosic waivers by year’s end at $1.13 a pop. That’s $6.78 million in higher costs at the pump, in return for nothing.

That might not be much in the scheme of things, though late last month the EPA proposed a 2012 mandate that will fall somewhere between 3.55 million and 15.7 million gallons. Barring a miracle, cellulosic producers won’t hit even the lower end, refiners and the driving public will continue to pay for the mistake, and the mandate will continue to ratchet up annually. Perhaps the EPA can also find someone to tax for the lack of unicorns.”  “Cellulosic Ethanol and Unicorns

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Hypocrite in Chief

04/27/2011

“President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged world oil producers to lift crude output, as he sought to deflect public anger over high gasoline prices that has hurt his popularity among voters.  …

“They need to increase supplies,” Obama told CBS affiliate WTKR in Hampton Roads, Virginia.”  “Obama Urges Oil Producers To Increase Output

 

“Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits.  …

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says … [h]e’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area.  …

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.  …

At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil[,] … two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history.”  “EPA Rules Force Shell to Abandon Oil Drilling Plans

Job creators: EPA the biggest barrier to job creation

02/24/2011

“The Environmental Protection Agency is the biggest barrier to doing business in the U.S., according to an analysis of a congressional survey.”  “Survey: EPA is biggest barrier to doing business”  The graph below is from “Industry Has Spoken… Will the President Listen?“.

Imperious unelected EPA bureaucrat: you'll take it and you'll like it

02/22/2011

“As Congress considers legislation to curtail the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy struck a tone of defiance rather than conciliation at the 14th Annual Energy, Utility, and Environment Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

McCarthy vowed to push forward with carbon dioxide restrictions proposed by EPA and ratchet up the pressure with additional restrictions in the near future.

The end goal, according to McCarthy at the late-January conference, is not a mere tweaking of current energy use and energy sources, but rather a fundamental overhaul of the nation’s production and use of energy . EPA is ready, willing, and able to drive this overhaul, McCarthy emphasized.

“We must transform the power sector in a way that meets the needs of the 21st century,” argued McCarthy, who repeatedly used the word “transform” to describe EPA’s goal for the nation’s energy use.  …

Responding to concerns about the economic damage often caused by EPA regulations, McCarthy struck an equally defiant tone.

“Concerns about cost and reliability always arise when we seek to overhaul industry,” said McCarthy, dismissing cost concerns.

“Industry always overestimates the costs” associated with new regulations, … McCarthy asserted.  …

These additional costs, McCarthy asserted, are not a serious concern because electricity is currently inexpensive.  …

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), however, the average retail price of electricity has risen 50 percent since 1999.”  “EPA’s McCarthy Strikes Defiant Tone About Global Warming Regulations

Politics, not science

02/10/2011

“The Minority Staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works responded to the release of a letter by former EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson on the legal implications of the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. The letter was released by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).

Johnson’s letter came six months before EPA released the “Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR): Regulating Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act,” which explored the multitude of scientific, technical, legal and economic problems associated with making an endangerment finding for GHGs under the CAA.  As former Administrator Johnson wrote in the ANPR:

“One point is clear: the potential regulation of greenhouse gases under any portion of  the Clean Air Act could result in an unprecedented expansion of EPA authority that would have a profound effect on virtually every sector of the economy and touch every household in the land.

“I believe the ANPR demonstrates the Clean Air Act, an outdated law originally enacted  to control regional pollutants that cause direct health effects, is ill-suited for the task of regulating global greenhouse gases. Based on the analysis to date, pursuing this course of action would inevitably result in a very complicated, time-consuming and, likely, convoluted set of regulations.”

Notably, given these and other considerations, [the Bush] EPA ultimately decided not to issue an endangerment finding.

The Obama EPA, however, ignored these concerns and issued a positive endangerment finding in December 2009.  It is now dealing with the consequences: a regulatory morass that is stalling economic growth and keeping people unemployed — all for no meaningful impact on climate change.”  “EPW MINORITY STAFF RELEASES BUSH ADMINISTRATION VIEWS ON ENDANGERMENT

Earth to EPA: now is no time to kill more jobs

02/04/2011

“At 64.2%, the labor force participation rate (as a percentage of the total civilian noninstitutional population) is now at a fresh 26 year low, the lowest since March 1984, and is the only reason why the unemployment rate dropped to 9% (labor force declined from 153,690[,000] to 153,186[,000]). Those not in the Labor Force has increased from 83.9 million to 86.2 million, or 2.2 million in one year! As for the numerator in the fraction, the number of unemployed, it has plunged from 15 million to 13.9 million in two months! The only reason for this is due to the increasing disenchantment of those who completely fall off the BLS rolls and no longer even try to look for a job. Lastly, we won’t even show what the labor force is as a percentage of total population. It is a vertical plunge.”  “Labor Force Participation Plunges To Fresh 26 Year Low

Enviros, EPA responsible for blackouts

02/04/2011

“The rolling blackouts now being implemented in Texas and across the country as record cold weather grips the United States are a direct consequence of the Obama administration’s agenda to lay siege to the coal industry, launch a takeover of infrastructure under the contrived global warming scam, and help usher in the post-industrial collapse of America.  …

Even as China and Mexico … build dozens of new power plants every year, the United States is barely permitted to construct a handful, as the Environmental Protection Agency takes control of refineries and power plants under the completely fraudulent pretext of preventing global warming even as the country experiences some of the coldest weather seen for decades.”  “Obama’s blocking of new power plants triggers nationwide blackouts

EPA to Shell, Alaska: Drop dead

02/04/2011

“Shell Alaska has dropped plans to drill in the Arctic waters of the Beaufort Sea this year … company Vice President Pete Slaiby said Thursday.

The recent remand of air permits issued by the Environmental Protection Agency was the final driver behind the decision, Slaiby said at a news conference.

Alaska receives upward of 90 percent of its general fund revenue from the petroleum industry, and top state officials reacted strongly to the decision. U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, blamed the Obama administration and the EPA.

“Their foot dragging means the loss of another exploration season in Alaska, the loss of nearly 800 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs,” Begich said. “That doesn’t count the millions of dollars in contracting that won’t happen either at a time when our economy needs the investment.”

The EPA issued Shell an air permit, but the agency’s review board granted an appeal because of limited agency analysis regarding the effect of emissions from drilling ships and support vessels.  …

The subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC has invested more than $3 billion in exploration off Alaska’s coast since 2005, Slaiby said.  …

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell said it was unfathomable that a company could buy federal leases but not get onto them within five years.

“It’s also unfathomable that they cannot get an air permit after five years when they can get one in the Gulf of Mexico within months,” he said.

Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said actions taken by the Obama administration will result in higher gasoline prices and a loss of jobs and revenue.”  “Shell: No Beaufort Sea drilling in Arctic for 2011

EPA escalates jihad against coal — revokes previously issued permit

01/13/2011

“The Environmental Protection Agency revoked the permit for one of the nation’s largest … coal mining projects on Thursday …

“We remain shocked and dismayed at E.P.A.’s continued onslaught with respect to this validly issued permit,” said Kim Link, [spokeswoman for Arch Coal, Inc., the nation’s second largest coal producer]. “Absent court intervention, E.P.A.’s final determination to veto the Spruce permit blocks an additional $250 million investment and 250 well-paying American jobs.”

“Furthermore, we believe this decision will have a chilling effect on future U.S. investment,” she added, “because every business possessing or requiring a permit under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act will fear similar overreaching by the E.P.A. It’s a risk many businesses cannot afford to take.”

She was referring to the provision of federal law under which the permit was originally issued and then revoked.  …

Groups including the National Realtors Association, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association …  said in [a] letter [to Nancy Sutley, chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality] that if the agency revoked the coal mining permit, “every similarly valid permit held by any entity — businesses, public works agencies and individual citizens — will be in increased regulatory limbo and potentially subject to the same unilateral, after-the-fact revocation.”

“The implications could be staggering,” they added, “reaching all areas of the U.S. economy including but not limited to the agriculture, home building, mining, transportation and energy sectors.”  …

Environmentalists … praised the revocation of the permit.”  “Agency revokes permit for major coal mining project

See also:  “EPA Blasted as It Revokes Mine’s Permit” and “EPA Ratchets Up Campaign to Destroy Jobs

First they came for Texas

01/03/2011

“Since December 2009, the EPA has issued four major greenhouse gas rule-makings, and 13 states have tried to resist the rush.  … When EPA’s instructions change, states typically have three years to revise these plans before sending them to Washington for approval.

This summer, the 13 states requested the full three years for the costly and time-consuming revision process, until the EPA threatened economic retaliation with a de facto construction moratorium. If these states didn’t immediately submit new implementation plans to specification, the agency warned, starting in 2011 projects “will be unable to receive a federally approved permit authorizing construction or modification.” All states but Texas stood down, even as Texas continued to file lawsuits challenging the carbon power grab.

Two weeks ago, EPA air regulation chief Gina McCarthy sent the Texas environmental department a letter asserting that the agency had “no choice” but to seize control of permitting.  …

The takeover was sufficiently egregious that the D.C. circuit court of appeals issued an emergency stay on Thursday suspending the rules pending judicial review. One particular item in need of legal scrutiny is that the permitting takeover is an “interim final rule” that is not open to the normal—and Clean Air Act-mandated—process of public notice and comment. So much for transparency in government.

The EPA claims its takeover is a matter of great urgency, but Texas is being pre-emptively punished for not obeying rules that don’t exist today because the EPA hasn’t finalized them.  …

This and other permitting uncertainties have brought major projects in the U.S. to a standstill. The Texas takeover in particular is pure political revenge and an effort to intimidate other states from joining the Texan lawsuits.  …

The EPA concedes that some 167 current projects will be affected, and many more in the future. Our guess is that all of them will be delayed for years and many will simply die. This is precisely the goal of a politically driven bureaucracy that wants to impose by illegal diktat the anticarbon, anti-fossil fuel agenda that the Obama Administration has been unable to pass by democratic consent.”  “The EPA’s War on Texas