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Archive for the ‘EPA’ Category

EPA and Sierra Club Communicated through Private Email on How to Destroy Coal

15880917134_bc4737459cHillary Clinton is not the only one in government who has been using an unofficial private email account for government work.

Guess who “helped” the Environmental Protection Agency develop rules to destroy regulate coal?

According to the Daily Beacon: “Top EPA Official Used Personal Email Address to Solicit Green Group’s Input.”

A high-level official at the Environmental Protection Agency used a personal email address to collaborate with a left-wing environmental group on major greenhouse gas regulations, newly released emails show.

Michael Goo, then the head of EPA’s policy division, in May 2011 emailed John Coequyt, the director of the Sierra Club’s international climate programs and a registered federal lobbyist, from his personal Yahoo email account.

Goo laid out a plan for the agency’s New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) regulations in a memo titled “NSPS Option X.” The NSPS regulations, when finalized, are expected to dramatically restrict greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants.

Goo’s use of a personal email address could violate federal law, according to Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), who has investigated EPA officials’ use of personal email addresses in his capacity as the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

“For two years, his communications with the Sierra Club and other outside groups were hidden from congressional inquiries and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests—potentially violating the Federal Records Act,” Smith said in a May statement.

So radical environmentalist groups got special treatment and special input on regulations having to do with an industry they hate and want to destroy. That’s our government for you.

Is it any surprise, then, that the EPA wants to keep the alleged scientific basis of its rules and findings secret from the public? If they are letting radical environmentalist groups assist them, investigating the scientific basis of their decisions might expose how much ideology and how little science is driving those decisions.

The EPA is just another center of corruption in our Federal bureausaur that should be defunded and shut down.

Read more at http://politicaloutcast.com/2015/06/epa-and-sierra-club-communicated-through-private-email-on-how-to-destroy-coal/#J1d3spw9UEgDvl2Y.99

House votes to weaken Obama’s climate rule

factory_emissions_013114thinkstock

By Timothy Cama and Cristina Marcos
The House voted Wednesday to delay the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate rule for power plants and let state governors opt out of complying.

The bill, passed 247-180, is a major blow to the main pillar of President Obama’s effort to reduce the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, although the White House has promised a veto to protect his legacy.

Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s power subpanel, sponsored the legislation as House Republicans’ principal response to the EPA’s climate rule. The rule has become the most controversial aspect of the Obama administration’s environmental policy, and one of its most controversial regulations.

Under the bill, state governors could opt out of adopting state plans for the EPA’s regulation if such a plan would harm electricity rates, reliability or important economic sectors in the states.
The regulation’s enforcement would also be delayed until all court challenges are resolved.

The GOP believes that the rule will not withstand judicial review, so the delay is designed to ensure that the regulation never takes effect.

“They’ve picked up a shotgun and pointed it at the heart of the American economy, our power generation,” Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) said of the EPA.

But Democrats warned it would ultimately gut the regulation intended to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

“This ‘just say no’ bill would effectively give governors the power to sabotage EPA’s proposed clean power plan by allowing them to opt out of the federal requirements of the plan based on arbitrary and ambiguous determinations,” said Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.).

The EPA proposed the regulation last June, and plans to make it final this August. It seeks a 30 percent cut in the carbon emissions of the nation’s power plants by 2030, with specific targets assigned to each state.

Regulators will give states 13 months to draft plans to hit their targets. If they don’t, the EPA will write its own plans and impose them — something the GOP is trying to prevent.

“Earlier we heard the gentleman from Illinois say that this was a ‘just say no’ bill,” Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.) said in response to Rush. “You bet it is. That’s exactly what it is. It’s a ‘just say no’ bill. No to a weaker electric grid. No to fewer jobs, particularly in manufacturing and also in the coal and energy industries.”

The White House sees the bill as a threat to the centerpiece of Obama’s climate legacy, and it has threatened a veto.

“The bill would give governors unprecedented and broad discretion to avoid compliance with the [CAA, Clean Air Act], thereby delaying the delivery of important public health benefits,” the White House wrote to lawmakers Tuesday.

“The bill’s effects would be felt hardest by those most at risk from the impacts of air pollution and climate change, such as the elderly, the infirm, children, native and tribal groups, and low-income populations,” it said, calling the bill “premature and unnecessary” and saying that Obama’s advisors would urge a veto if it gets to his desk.

The White House added that it “is not aware of any instance when Congress has enacted legislation to stay implementation of a CAA standard during judicial review.”

Senate Republicans have put their efforts into a similar bill that would go even further in its attempts to weaken the rule and impair the EPA’s ability to set carbon rules for power plants.

Their bill, led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), would give governors even more reasons they could cite in rejecting compliance, including if doing so would hamper economic growth, competitiveness or jobs.

The Senate legislation would also repeal the EPA’s rule and reinterpret the Clean Air Act to make it extremely difficult for the agency to regulate power plants’ carbon.

Obama Admin. Releases 2,300 Regs Before Memorial Day Weekend – That Kills more of Our Liberty

by Courtney Coren
The Obama administration released its spring regulatory agenda Friday, including its costliest regulation to date, just as Americans are getting ready to celebrate the long Memorial Day weekend.

The Spring 2015 Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan includes more than 2,300 regulations that are in a variety of phases and also includes the administration’s plans for implementing the various regulations going forward, The Daily Caller is reporting.

This is not the first time the Obama administration has released its regulatory agenda right before a major holiday, when such things might go unnoticed.

In 2014, the fall regulatory agenda was released right before Thanksgiving Day and the spring agenda was also released right before Memorial Day weekend.

While the number of regulations are down compared to the agenda released in the fall, The Daily Caller notes that the most recent edition contains what could be the most expensive regulation in U.S. history, which is a proposed change to the ozone pollution standards by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Under the EPA’s proposal, the national ambient ozone standard will be reduced from 75 parts per billion to 65 to 70 parts per billion.

This reduction, the EPA claims, will result in significantly fewer asthma attacks each year — from 320,000 to 960,000. It will also help prevent “more than 750 to 4,300 premature deaths; 1,400 to 4,300 asthma-related emergency room visits; and 65,000 to 180,000 missed workdays.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy wrote in an opinion piece for CNN when the rule was first released in November 2014 that the reason for the proposed change is “to clean up our air, improve access to crucial air quality information, and protect those most at-risk — our children, our elderly, and people already suffering from lung diseases like asthma.”

“Bringing ozone pollution standards in line with the latest science is more than just a legal requirement; it empowers the American people,” McCarthy added.
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States will be given until 2020 to 2037 to make the necessary changes to meet the new air quality standards.

However, the American Action Forum issued a report in January saying that the rules are so extreme that even national parks would struggle to comply.

“Hardly transportation corridors and centers of heavy pollution, many observers would be surprised to know that Death Valley National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Cape Cod National Seashore have ozone readings of 71 to 87 ppb,” AAF wrote.

The National Association of Manufacturers issued a report predicting that the EPA’s proposed ozone pollution standard will reduce the GDP by $140 billion per year from 2017 to 2040 for a total of $1.7 trillion, making it the “costliest” regulation in U.S. history.

In addition, NAM says that the regulation will also “eliminate 1.4 million job equivalents per year.”

The group also argues that if the current rules on the books were just left the way they are, that alone would help improve air quality.

“Ozone-forming emissions have already been cut in half since 1980, and dozens of regulations already on the books will drive improvements to ozone levels over the next decade,” NAM wrote in its report.

“If the EPA simply let the current law be implemented, emissions would be cut by another 36 percent from current levels. In some parts of the country, air quality is already at or approaching background or natural levels.”
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According to The Daily Caller, the EPA has said that the cost of reaching the new air quality standards will only be $16.6 billion, but the health benefits will be worth $38 billion.

Read Latest Breaking News from Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/obama-administration-memorial-day-weekend-regulatory-agenda/2015/05/22/id/646318/#ixzz3bRdpexMe

OBAMA’S EPA HAS PUT 300,000 JOBS ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

Mitt Romney Finishes His Four Day Bus Tour In Ohio
Thank you Mr. President….
Check it out:

Combating climate change has been a priority of the Obama administration, and there’s a new regulation to be released this summer that outlines significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It aims to cut them by nearly 30 percent between 2025-2030. Based on the calculations by American Action Forum (AAF), this new regulation would force one-fifth of coal plants to close at an initial cost of 80,000 jobs. Yet, AAF also noted “secondary employment impacts,” which could soar to nearly 300,000 jobs lost, which is roughly the population if Cincinnati:
Buried in one of EPA’s technical support documents, among more than 1,600 other supporting documents for the proposed rule, the administration detailed the economic implications of complying with building blocks one (heat rate improvements at coal plants) and two (increased natural gas dispatch rates and decreased coal usage).

AAF used the 49 GW figure [the estimated amount of power lost with this new regulation] and EPA’s eGRID data to find the least efficient affected power plants, as measured by heat rate and pounds of CO2 emitted per megawatt hour (CO2/MWh). Anticipating that the least efficient coal facilities are most at risk for closure, AAF identified the 93 least efficient power plants that produced about 50 GW of power.

PA predicts that if states adopt only options one and two of the administration’s plan for power plants, 80,000 energy industry jobs will be lost to EPA climate regulations.

For perspective, 80,000 jobs is larger than the population of Napa, CA. But this is only the first part of the story. EPA never quantifies the secondary employment effects of these lost jobs. A 2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that one energy job supports 3.7 additional jobs. Using a jobs multiplier of 3.7, applied to the 80,000 lost jobs that EPA concedes, yields about 296,000 lost jobs across the U.S.

To put the figure of 296,000 lost jobs in context, the average annual pay in the “fossil fuel electric power generation” industry is $103,645 and the average coal mining salary is $82,068. This means that by 2030, the economy could lose $27.7 billion in wages, larger than the GDP of Jamaica. However, nowhere in EPA’s Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) do they monetize the loss of these jobs or wages.

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Combating climate change has been a priority of the Obama administration, and there’s a new regulation to be released this summer that outlines significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It aims to cut them by nearly 30 percent between 2025-2030. Based on the calculations by American Action Forum (AAF), this new regulation would force one-fifth of coal plants to close at an initial cost of 80,000 jobs. Yet, AAF also noted “secondary employment impacts,” which could soar to nearly 300,000 jobs lost, which is roughly the population if Cincinnati:

Buried in one of EPA’s technical support documents, among more than 1,600 other supporting documents for the proposed rule, the administration detailed the economic implications of complying with building blocks one (heat rate improvements at coal plants) and two (increased natural gas dispatch rates and decreased coal usage).

AAF used the 49 GW figure [the estimated amount of power lost with this new regulation] and EPA’s eGRID data to find the least efficient affected power plants, as measured by heat rate and pounds of CO2 emitted per megawatt hour (CO2/MWh). Anticipating that the least efficient coal facilities are most at risk for closure, AAF identified the 93 least efficient power plants that produced about 50 GW of power.

PA predicts that if states adopt only options one and two of the administration’s plan for power plants, 80,000 energy industry jobs will be lost to EPA climate regulations.

For perspective, 80,000 jobs is larger than the population of Napa, CA. But this is only the first part of the story. EPA never quantifies the secondary employment effects of these lost jobs. A 2009 PricewaterhouseCoopers study found that one energy job supports 3.7 additional jobs. Using a jobs multiplier of 3.7, applied to the 80,000 lost jobs that EPA concedes, yields about 296,000 lost jobs across the U.S.

To put the figure of 296,000 lost jobs in context, the average annual pay in the “fossil fuel electric power generation” industry is $103,645 and the average coal mining salary is $82,068. This means that by 2030, the economy could lose $27.7 billion in wages, larger than the GDP of Jamaica. However, nowhere in EPA’s Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) do they monetize the loss of these jobs or wages.

The spread of the job loss won’t be equal either. Virginia could potentially see over 7,000 jobs lost due to this new regulation.

“While coal extraction in the Appalachian Basin is far more labor-intensive than coal extraction in the western U.S., western states account for a greater percentage of coal generation. The result is job losses distributed across centers of production,” according to AAF.

So far, West Virginia and Texas have shouldered the bulk of the job losses from existing EPA regulations on power plants. The facts, figures, and costs can also be found on their Regulation Rodeo portion of their site. Since 2008, the total number of new finalized regulations is 2,597, the cost amounts to $733 billion dollars, and that adds up to 500,787,395 in paperwork hours. You can go through a line-by-line account of the red tape coming out of Washington.

As I’ve written previously, we’ve experienced the calmest Hurricane season in 30 years, the quietest tornado season in 60 years; the creation of 19,000 Manhattan islands worth of sea ice, and the Arctic Ice Cap has grown by 533,000 square miles. In 2007, the BBC warned the cap could vanish by 2013. Oh, and we’re at the most industrialized point in human history–and air quality couldn’t be better, according to the EPA. It’s hard to justify the potential cannibalization of nearly 300,000 jobs with such figures.

Oh, and Americans really don’t care about climate change; they care about jobs and the economy.

As for the EPA, well, they seem to be wasting taxpayer funds on research equipment that they haven’t used in years (via Citizens Against Government Waste):

A March 16, 2015 EPA Inspector General (IG) report found that $2.95 million of sampled EPA research equipment went unused for two to 14 years in the Office of Research and Development (ORD). The IG reviewed “capital equipment,” defined as a piece that costs more than $75,000, at three of ORD’s 14 research facilities nationwide.
The IG “determined the date the equipment was last utilized,” and found that 30 of the 99 pieces of capital equipment reviewed, or 30 percent, hadn’t been utilized for between two and 14 years. The report provided a harsh assessment of the agency’s cost-controls, concluding, “The EPA does not manage its scientific equipment as a business unit or enterprise. ORD managers and staff are not aware of federal property management requirements.” This latest review followed previous reports from the IG, the Government Accountability Office, and the National Academy of Sciences on unused EPA equipment since 2011.

MAN GETS PRISON FOR COLLECTING HIS OWN RAIN WATER

BY ROYCE CHRISTYN

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Collecting rainwater on your own property can now lead to jail time, as proven by a man from Oregon who was just sentenced to prison for doing just that. Who owns the rain? The US government, apparently, now. Not so long ago, it was common practice across much of the world to collect rainwater into man made wells on your property as a means of farming, irrigation, and having fresh clean water. It was just as common as canning your own food, having knowledge of at least some basic survival skills, and being self-sufficient.

It wasn’t even that many generations ago that all of this was common practice – people born before WWII were pretty adept at these skills, as they were a necessity to survival. One of the main (and easiest) ways to ensure survival? Collecting rainwater on your own property. The practical uses for storing and collecting rainwater are numerous and many people across the world in rural areas still do it today for all of the reasons listed above. However, over the past few years, laws making the collection of rainwater illegal have been causing an uproar across the US.

Now, a man from Grey Point, Oregon has been sentenced to thirty days in prison for storing collected rainwater on his very own property – and the public is outraged.

– See more at: http://yournewswire.com/man-gets-prison-sentence-for-collecting-rainwater-on-his-own-property/#sthash.UhxMfKXD.dpuf

Second Government Agency Under Criminal Investigation Claims Lost Emails: The EPA

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By Daniel Doherty

Apparently the lost (destroyed) IRS Email debacle wasn’t just an isolated incident: a second federal agency is also having trouble finding emails that a congressional committee is demanding in order to fulfill its oversight responsibilities:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the IRS share a problem: officials say they cannot provide the emails a congressional committee has requested because an employee’s hard drive crashed.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

More details:

The committee suspects that Phillip North, who worked for the EPA in Alaska, decided with his colleagues to veto the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay in 2009, before the agency even began researching its potential impacts on the environment.
Committee staffers have been trying for about a year to interview North, but he has been in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate, they said.

“We have tried to serve a subpoena on your former employee and we have asked for the failed hard drive from this Alaskan individual who now is in New Zealand, and seems to never be returning,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the committee’s chairman, said Wednesday.

Emails provided by the committee show that EPA told congressional investigators about the hard drive crash months ago. But McCarthy said she only told the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) about the problem Tuesday.

Ah, so the guy Issa’s been trying to subpoena for alleged criminal wrongdoing is living in a foreign country and ignoring his inquires. Meanwhile, the hard drive that might have stored potentially incriminating emails on it has conveniently “crashed.”

Any takers on what the third federal agency will be to accidentally “lose” relevant and potentially damaging internal emails? It’s only a matter of time.

Who’s really in charge at EPA?

freedomFreedom Industries’ chemical spill near Charleston, WV, contaminated the water supply for 300,000 people. A request for information was answered almost a week later.

By Beth Parke and Joseph Davis
Society of Environmental Journalists

Who’s really in charge at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency?

Administrator Gina McCarthy says “we want to be as transparent as we can.”

If that’s so, why did nearly a week go by after the massive chemical spill in West Virginia before anyone with EPA would speak, even briefly, with a reporter for the Charleston Gazette? With the water supply of 300,000 worried people contaminated, why did it take days longer for follow-up information to be supplied?

US EPA
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said delays in responding to press queries is to find the best person to answer the question.
Sadly, such communication delays by EPA are not limited to crises. Journalists frequently report waiting for days and in some cases weeks to get EPA to respond to routine requests for information or interviews.

EPA’s mission is to protect public health and the environment. The agency’s website says it must ensure that “all parts of society … have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks.”

But as we saw in West Virginia, officials with answers are not available when it counts. Who’s really in charge at EPA?

How can the public get the information it needs when the agency doesn’t respond in a timely way to journalists’ questions about what EPA knows or is doing?

Members of the Society of Environmental Journalists often are the reporters on the front lines trying to pry information from EPA. They have seen an agency that for much of the 1980s and 1990s was considered one of the most open in the federal government become incredibly secretive, especially under the Obama Administration.

As we celebrate “Sunshine Week,” it’s worth noting that nowadays EPA in many cases simply fails to answer questions posed by journalists on behalf of the public – even some that are routine and non-controversial. When the agency does respond, a favorite tactic is to wait until just before or even after a reporter’s deadline and then mail a short written statement that does not answer the questions.

Here are just a few recent examples:

• On Jan. 16 Dan Telvock of the Investigative Post in Buffalo, NY, sought backup for an EPA official’s public statements about environmental risk in a low-income neighborhood he was writing about. The official initially said she would provide the information and asked Telvock to email his request. After he did so, an EPA press-office spokesman called and promised the information. Over the next nearly three weeks, EPA dribbled out unrelated information and an interview with someone who could not address Telvock’s original inquiry. He wound up without enough information to write a story.

• Independent journalist Gary Wilson, a commentator for Great Lakes Echo and a contributor to WKAR in East Lansing, Mich., emailed the Chicago regional EPA office in January seeking routine information on federal funding for fighting invasive Asian carp in the lakes. Eight days and a reminder later, he received the requested figures. He’s still waiting, though, for an answer to his query last fall about the impact of the federal shutdown on cleanup of toxic dump sites in the lakes region.

“The more we can get our story told and the information out, the better we all are. Facts should speak for themselves, and we should get them to you as quickly as we can.” –Gina McCarthy, EPA • Also in January, Portland, Ore., journalist and author Elizabeth Grossman contacted EPA seeking information about the agency’s regulation of contaminants and emissions from dairy operations for a Yale Environment 360 story. Nearly three weeks later, she had received a nonresponsive one-sentence statement and a link to an EPA web site, but no answers to the detailed questions she had posed.

EPA Administrator McCarthy has said the only reason for delay in responding to press queries is to find the best, most knowledgeable person in the agency to address the issue. But that is taking days or even weeks if it happens at all.

When EPA does make officials available, all too often the interview is directed to an administrator who actually lacks detailed knowledge. This from an agency that once routinely responded to reporters’ inquiries within hours. A key problem is that the agency has started requiring all interactions with the news media to go through a once-responsive Public Affairs Office. In the past many agency scientists and officials were free to speak when a reporter asked questions. But now because all inquiries go through the Public Affairs Office, many go unanswered. This problem has become chronic.

mccarthyJudging from her public comments, Administrator McCarthy seems to understand the importance of providing prompt, full information to journalists and their audience, the public.

“The more we can get our story told and the information out, the better we all are,” McCarthy said in an interview not long ago. “Facts should speak for themselves, and we should get them to you as quickly as we can.”

So what’s the hang-up, then? Who’s really in charge?

Beth Parke is the executive director of the Society of Environmental Journalists. Joseph Davis is director of the SEJ Watchdog Project. SEJ’s mission is to strengthen the quality, reach and viability of journalism across all media to advance public understanding of environmental issues.

For questions or feedback about this piece, contact Editor in Chief Marla Cone at mcone@ehn.org.

‘Secret dealing’? Emails show cozy relationship between EPA, environmental groups

by John Roberts
Newly disclosed emails suggest senior policy officials at the Environmental Protection Agency and environmental groups are working closely to kill the Keystone XL pipeline, critics say.

“These damning emails make it clear that the Obama administration has been actively trying to stop this important project for years,” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., who has long advocated for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline’s construction, said in a statement to Fox News.

The emails were obtained under a Freedom of Information Act request by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute. In one communication, Lena Moffit of the Sierra Club wrote to three senior policy staffers at the EPA, including Michael Goo, who was then the associate administrator for policy.

“Thanks so much for taking the time to meet with us on Keystone XL yesterday,” she wrote. “Let me know if I can be helpful in any way — particularly in further identifying those opportunities for EPA to engage that don’t involve ‘throwing your body across the tracks,’ as Michael put it.”

EELI senior legal fellow Chris Horner told Fox News that as a government agency, EPA couldn’t be seen as overtly trying to kill Keystone, but was reaching out to environmental groups for other ideas on how to do it.

“On its face,” Horner told Fox News, “it smacks of classic secret dealing and an uncomfortably close working relationship and one that is known to these parties, but quite plainly not advertised to the public.”

Barrasso was less diplomatic. “Despite the fact that Keystone XL has bipartisan support in Congress and from governors, environmental extremists inside and out of the administration are working behind closed doors to kill it,” he said.

Many EPA staffers — including Goo — came from the environmental movement. Goo, who is now at the Department of Energy’s policy shop, was with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Horner said many EPA staffers share a policy agenda with environmental groups, a common cause illuminated in the emails his group obtained.

“This series of correspondence plainly indicates that you’ve got an agency that’s made up its mind — working with allies with whom it is ideologically and substantively aligned on this — trying to find ways to advance their argument without being too obvious about it,” Horner told Fox News.

Emails previously obtained by Horner’s group reveal similar agenda-sharing regarding coal. There are dozens of exchanges on the just-released regulations regarding coal-fired power plants.

In one email, John Coequyt, head of Sierra’s “beyond coal” campaign, wrote to Goo and another EPA staffer in an apparent attempt to pressure EPA into adopting regulations so strict that coal plants that already received construction permits could not be built.

“Attached is a list of plants that the companies shelved because of uncertainty around GHG regulations. If a standard is set that these plants could meet, there is a not small chance that they (sic) company could decide to revive the proposal,” Coequyt wrote.

In another email to Goo and Alex Barron of EPA’s climate office, Coequyt responded comically to an August 2012 article that quoted now-EPA administrator Gina McCarthy as saying the new regulations would not kill coal.

“Pants on fire,” wrote Coequyt

Other communications arranged meetings between Goo and Coequyt at the Starbucks in the JW Marriott hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, close to the EPA — an attempt, charges Horner, to discuss issues without having to sign into the EPA building. And there are numerous requests from environmental groups to meet with EPA staffers.

There is also evidence, said Horner, that EPA officials sought to keep their deliberations with environmental groups out of the public record by using private email accounts and back-channel communications.

In one such exchange, James Martin, who was the EPA’s Region 8 administrator, exchanged ideas with the Sierra Club’s chief legal counsel Vickie Patton on where to hold public hearings on new coal regulations. Martin used a “.me” account instead of his official EPA server.

Martin resigned in February of 2013 in a storm of controversy over using personal email to conduct official communications.

Many of the emails provided to Fox News have been redacted. The EPA claimed they show the “deliberative process.” Now that the proposed regulations on coal have been published, Horner and the Energy and Environment Legal Institute plan to go to court to obtain unredacted versions.

John Roberts joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in January 2011 as a senior national correspondent and is based in the Atlanta bureau.

New EPA Rules From The Progressive Left Will Kill Clean Coal

By ROBERT M. DUNCANWashing Coal

In an astounding paradox of modern politics, the Obama administration continues to promote green-energy technologies while also working hard to kill at least one of them. The proof lies in the administration’s carbon regulations on coal power plants announced on Sept. 20. The rules would wipe out the development of ecologically important carbon capture and storage technologies.

In announcing the EPA’s new carbon regulations, Administrator Gina McCarthy said that new power plants “can minimize their carbon emissions by taking advantage of modern technologies.” The fact is that the coal-based industry cannot realistically follow these rules without putting itself out of business.

Carbon capture and storage is a form of clean-coal technology that allows power plants to trap and store their carbon emissions. CCS holds great promise as a means to use coal while drastically lowering carbon emissions.

Associated Press

The technology is still in its infancy, though. The first generation in the U.S. is now being developed through a joint venture between private industry and the government. The goal is to demonstrate that CCS can operate reliably and safely on large power plants.

Only one first-generation CCS project is now being built on a large power plant in the U.S.: the Kemper County plant in Mississippi. As the Journal pointed out in an Oct. 13 article (“Mississippi Plant Shows the Cost of Clean Coal”), Kemper has been plagued by serious cost overruns and illustrates how expensive CCS implementation is today. Incorporating this technology into a new coal plant could cost up to $1 billion.

The second generation of CCS projects is expected to lower costs and improve performance. This is the critical step to ensuring that CCS can be implemented on a broad scale. This is also the step that the Obama administration will be stopping with its latest EPA rules.

The EPA’s proposed carbon regulations will require new coal plants to use CCS regardless of the cost. Since only the expensive first-generation technology is now available to utility companies, the EPA is making new coal plants so expensive that no utility will build one.

The administration’s action ignores the historical evidence on how new technologies are successfully developed. The first cellphones in the mid-1980s cost more than $4,000 and had the physical characteristics of a brick. Each new technological generation of the mobile device became more advanced, less expensive and more efficient. In 2013, new phones can be purchased for less than $100, have the processing capacity of household computers and are owned by almost everyone.

Like the mobile phone, CCS technologies will become less expensive over time if given the chance. The coal industry already has a proven record when it comes to clean energy technology. There are at least 15 different clean-coal technologies in use by our nation’s coal fleet, which have helped reduce emissions by nearly 90% since 1970.

CCS may be the most innovative and valuable of them all. The global market for the technology could exceed more than $1 trillion within the next two decades. If the U.S. is forced out of the CCS business by EPA’s rules, other nations like China will pick up the slack and reap these large economic benefits.

Over the past five years, the Obama administration has trumpeted its commitment to clean energy, clean coal technologies and CCS. If this commitment is real, then the EPA regulators should allow CCS technology time to develop and become commercially viable before imposing it on companies. To do otherwise will be dangerous for energy and the environment.

Mr. Duncan is president and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
published in the Wall Street Journal 10-13-2013

There are four separate scandals going on at EPA right now

by Mary Katharine Hamepa_logo

Oh, that we were not flooded with scandals already, this might actually rate some coverage. But alas, as it is, even a news junkie like myself didn’t know there were four separate EPA scandals going on until Gabriel Malor laid it out for me. You should follow him because he’s smart.

Four simultaneous scandals is the most of any agency we’re talking about right now. It’s gonna take a lot more attention before the EPA is forced to clean house. More than a couple congressional letters, I would think, which is why I’m writing about it now. I don’t know if it’s because EPA is relatively more popular than some of the other agencies embroiled in scandal now, or if these scandals simply affect fewer people directly, but this is probably the best chance we’ve had in a while to curtail EPA’s prosperity-destroying activities.
Make sure you go over and read the whole thing, but here’s the run-down.

1) The EPA gave an ethics award to fake employee, “Richard Windsor,” who was already just an unethically created e-mail alias for the agency’s former head, Lisa P. Jackson.

HotAir’s covered this story several times, but it really escalated to a point I don’t think I would have even concocted for a fictional account of government stupidity for fear it might feel like a reach. But government stupidity, undaunted by such a challenge and unbound by the limits of my imagination indeed awarded the “scholar of ethical behavior” award, among other professional recognitions, to a dude who does not exist and was created merely to unethically circumvent FOIA requests.

As the result of the persistence of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in pursuing their Freedom of Information Act requests, we found out late last year that Jackson had been using an epa.gov email account under the name of “Richard Windsor,” and that in practice it looked an awful lot like a deliberate attempt by Jackson to fly beneath the transparency radar when communicating about costly and publicly controversial EPA ideas and initiatives. Even better, it now looks like the EPA awarded the non-existent Richard Windsor with several of the oh-so-august bureaucracy’s required workplace certifications
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As Erika wrote, this is real life.

2) The EPA makes conservatives pay a fortune for FOIAs to be granted while waiving fees for liberal groups.

According to research from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, whose fellow Chris Horner uncovered “Richard Windsor:”

Specifically, CEI asserts that the EPA is waiving FOIA fees for what it describes as left-wing groups – like the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and EarthJustice – while it “systematically denies waivers for groups on the right,” according to CEI Senior Fellow Christopher Horner.

Horner said his research shows that from January 2012 to Spring 2013 the fees for “green” groups were waived in 75 out of 82 cases. Meanwhile, the EPA effectively or expressly denied his request for fee waivers in 14 of 15 FOIA instances over this same time period. Horner’s appeals of the EPA decisions to deny his fee waivers were rejected.

Further review, Horner said, established that “green” groups proved successful in getting their fees waived 92 percent of the time.
As Gabe notes, the EPA is kindly “considering” an investigation into this matter. Most transparent administration evah. More pressure, please, Congress!

3) EPA contractors are basically Gym, Tan, Laundrying in new, swanky rec rooms thanks to your tax money.

Aww, yeah:

In a huge Environmental Protection Agency warehouse in Landover, enterprising workers made sure that they had all the comforts of home. They created personal rec rooms with televisions, radios, chairs and couches. On the walls were photos, calendars and pinups. For entertainment, they had books, magazines and videos. If they got hungry, they could grab something from a refrigerator and pop it into a microwave.

The crown jewel of their hideaway — which stored EPA office furnishings — was a 30-by-45-foot athletic center, cobbled together from “surplus” EPA gym equipment and decked out with a music system provided via “other agency inventory items,” according to a recently released inspector general’s report.

All of it was carefully hidden from security cameras by partitions and piles of boxes set up by the workers, employees of Apex Logistics, the contractor that ran the warehouse until the EPA severed ties after learning of the situation last month.
4) The EPA leaked confidential information on farmers and cattle facilities to environmental groups. No bigs.

For your NOM-IRS analogy, this one’s perfect:

According to a letter from a group of Senators to Acting EPA Administrator Bob Perciasepe, the EPA “released farm information for 80,000 livestock facilities in 30 states as the result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from national environmental organizations. It is our understanding that the initial release of data contained personal information that was not required by the FOIA request for ten states including Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio and Utah. This release included names and personal addresses.”

The Senators sent the letter Friday to express concern over the sensitivity of the data that was released to groups like Earth Justice, Pew Charitable Trust and Natural Resources Defense Council and to ask how the EPA plans to protect the data of farms and ranches that are also homes to families.
I’m in ur database, leakin to your political enemies.

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