Monday

EPA preparing to go "1984" on our asses.

While we were waging an epic battle against the draconian mandates of the health care bill the EPA was quietly waging a battle of its own. Very little coverage was garnered by the announcement that the EPA had declared carbon dioxide a dangerous pollutant. Despite the lack of fanfare this may represent an even larger threat to out liberties than Obamacare.

This declaration of CO2 as a pollutant will bring into the regulatory fold millions of private residences and small businesses that have heretofore escaped the smothering hand of the EPA.

Let that sink in for just a moment; your private home could be subject to regulation by the EPA. If that doesn't send chills up and down your spine it may be time to read George Orwell's "1984".

The following article appeared in The Orange County Register :

Mark Landsbaum: EPA choking freedom


"The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the Federal Government, are few and defined." – James Madison

They used to be few and defined; they are now unlimited and vague. 



Unfortunately, the ultimate discussion on global warming may require talking to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. If you thought zealots and celebrities-turned-politicians could be difficult to persuade, you ain't seen nothin' yet.


Those who would remake the economy in their own image and conform your lifestyle to their vision of a globally cooler utopia are advancing their quasiholy mission with the heavy hand of the unaccountable, unelected bureaucracy at the EPA.


Call it government by, of and for the bureaucracy. Where's James Madison when we need him?

Madison hell, I would be happy with Bill Clinton at this point. Clinton was at least smart enough to ease towards the center when his policies proved unpopular. This administration and its sycophants in the EPA are content to disregard the people as the steamroll the populace with draconian legislation. It was no accident that Cap and Trade legislation drifted to the back burner. Why suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous political fortune when you can simply bid unaccountable bureaucrats to do your dirty work in your stead?. 


There's nothing as insulated, nothing as isolated, nothing as arrogant as a federal bureaucracy. Think this thought: "I'd like to have a reasonable discussion with someone who will consider my point of view." Now think: "IRS. FBI. Homeland Security." Ouch. The EPA epitomizes the aloof, authoritarian worst of all federal bureaucracies. Don't expect a warm reception.

The author has succinctly stated the case here. We already know how the federal government does business so it is reasonable to assume that the existing model of totalitarianism will extend to the EPA's new found victims as well. 


Several key decisions begin this spring, not the least of which is the beginning of EPA enforcement. With this in mind, here are some EPA talking points, in case you're able to get a word in edge-wise:


Presumptions


We start with the understanding that this nation's founders never intended a massive government bureaucracy to dictate how Americans must live, what they can and cannot consume or manufacture, let alone how much of the stuff they exhale may legally be emitted. The EPA begins with the assumption that we've got all of this 100 percent wrong.

The EPA's malignant arrogance is not unique to the EPA. Our governments self-perceived omnipotence has been growing like an unchecked tumor for years.  I supposed the good news is its no longer asymptomatic. The people are realizing the pain in their chest is not going to go away. We are as a nation waking up to the fact that without treatment our condition may well be fatal.

Change of venue


Congress, bless its misguided hearts, at least is a representative body held accountable by voters. That's why Congress, once hell-bent on shoving down our throats an economy-killing, freedom-squashing carbon cap-and-trade law, has backed off. Politicians still can be cowed by public outrage. That's also why global warming alarmists shifted the venue from the comparatively responsive Congress to the utterly insulated EPA. Faceless bureaucrats don't stand for election.

This is the crux of the problem. Our leaders have abdicated their responsibility to those who are not accountable. That was by design. They now have the defensible position of claiming they had nothing to do with it. What that means is they are trying to re-brand themselves as incompetent instead of corrupt. You can now choose your poison. Lovely. 


Changing rules


Once upon a time this overbearing regulatory agency restricted its intrusions to matters that pretty much everyone agreed needed attention. Air pollution was a serious problem not long ago. It's debatable whether the might of the federal government was the only, let alone the best, solution. But at least real pollution was a real problem. The EPA has changed that game, perhaps forever, by declaring CO2 to be a harmful pollutant that must be regulated.


Quasiscience


The excuse the EPA uses to exert its regulatory version of martial law over everyday activities is that the globe allegedly is dangerously warming, and manmade greenhouse gas emissions are to blame. Nevermind, that temperatures are, at most, flat over the past 15 years. The only place a cause-and-effect relationship exists between rising greenhouse gases and rising global temperatures is in manmade computer models. Looking beyond the problem of garbage in and garbage out, history tells us a quite different story. As for blaming mankind for rising temperatures, there were far fewer people and absolutely no smokestacks or Hummers centuries ago when temperatures were higher and CO2 levels much higher.


Building on sand


The EPA, incapable of distinguishing pollutants from harmless air, based its war on global warming on findings of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a governmental body, not a scientific body. The IPCC drew on scientific studies, except for those it excluded. IPCC hand-picked representatives, some of them scientists, summarized the findings, selectively including and excluding from the already-screened conclusions. The IPCC came up with an unsurprisingly political document drawn from sometimes one-sided, other times flatly flawed, research, while ignoring inconvenient contrary evidence. Since last year, there's been news aplenty about the IPCC report's frauds and mistakes. Good enough for government work, apparently.

This party of the story continues to unfold almost daily. Each passing week brings us more detailed accounts of how the anthropogenic global warming movement falsified, tweaked or lost data. At the very least we should be skeptical of claims related to that data. One would think scientists would by their very nature question any result that could not be readily reproduced; I mean given the whole scientific method thing and all.


Real science


The EPA's declaration of CO2 as a pollutant ignores its amply demonstrated benefits. Even if manmade emissions did cause higher temperatures, the consequences are likely beneficial not dire. The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change is a network of scientists not funded by governments that stand to gain control. It was established to examine the same climate data used by the U.N.'s panel. But the nongovernmental panel reached "the opposite conclusion – namely, that natural causes are very likely" responsible for whatever changes have occurred in global temperatures. Even so, its conclusion was: "[T]he net effect of continued warming and rising carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere will be beneficial to humans, plants and wildlife."


Arbitrariness on steroids


The 1970 Clean Air Act, which was improperly invoked to regulate CO2, is explicit in determining the level at which atmospheric pollutants trigger mandatory government regulation. As a result of extending Clean Air Act authority to CO2, 41,900 previously unregulated small entities will require preconstruction permits, and 6.1 million previously unregulated small entities will need operating permits. It's impossible for the feds to clamp down on every car, tractor, lawnmower, commercial kitchen or other mom-and-pop establishment. So here's what will happen: Bureaucrats arbitrarily will decide where to draw the line. A line drawn today doesn't mean it won't be redrawn tomorrow. Authority creep is inevitable, except, of course, in the cases of the well-connected, who game the system or grease the skids. Instead of quoting Madison, we should quote George Orwell: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."


I diverge somewhat with the author here. His assertion that the EPA cannot keep up dismisses the fact that we have a radical administration in play. There is little to stop huge funding increases to allow for an unprecedented growth in the EPA. We have some history to support that with the proposed growth of the IRS under the health care law. I guess we will have to wait and see. 

'It's too late' defense


It can be argued that the EPA is acting rashly based on wrong-headed legal interpretations, and justified this with rigged research with a blind eye to contrary evidence. It might be argued that the EPA should hold off regulating until underlying scientific claims can be verified. Don't hold your breath. "It is impossible to independently test or verify (England's Climate Research Unit's) calculations because raw temperature data sets have been lost or destroyed," noted Greg Abbott, the Texas attorney general, who has sued to block the EPA diktats.


Fix is in


The EPA's power grab officially began at the end of March with press releases declaring the agency's "final decision" that issuing "construction and operating permit requirements for the largest emitting facilities will begin." Today, the "largest." Tomorrow "the not-so-large?" The next day, who knows? At this rate you might want to hold your breath. Exhaling soon may be an emission law violation.


Nearly last ditch


Congress will have a chance this spring to reassert authority over the bureaucracy when it considers reining in the EPA. A pending resolution by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, would veto the EPA's "endangerment finding" that declared CO2 to be a harmful pollutant. Stay tuned.

I would not count on Congress to act. The Congress has already proven they lack the will to buck the Messiah in Chief on any substantive issue. Aside from that the EPA has already declared that should Congress fail act they will take the matter into their own hands. Funny how that works; unelected bureaucrats dictating to Congress what they will or will not do. We have truly reached a historic low in this country. 


Last ditch


The EPA's unprecedented claim to sovereignty over things that move and many that remain stationary is being challenged in court by no fewer than 15 states' attorneys general, and private plaintiffs, including 500 scientists, who dispute the IPCC's science. The nut of the challenges is that the government exceeded its authority in declaring CO2 a harmful pollutant, and that underlying science is fatally flawed.

This effort could succeed but is far from certain. The Supreme Court has been a bit, how would you say, schizophrenic. They have ruled on the side of the Constitution with cases involving firearms rights (District of Columbia v. Heller) and then gone all liberal with cases like the infamous "eminent domain" case (Kelo v. City of New London). We will have to wait and see. 


Forecast


We're usually optimistic, but the short-term outlook is bleak, and the long-term is bleaker yet – unless someone derails the high-speed, runaway EPA. Otherwise, James Madison's homeland and yours is in for a stormy climate of arbitrary bureaucrats picking and choosing winners and losers, allowing you less and less to say about it as the government expands its control over American life even further.

I will agree that the forecast is bleak; there seems to be little sunshine on the horizon. I guess that may be a good thing. If the sun shines too much the planet heats up thereby given the EPA something else to regulate. I can see it now; EPA declares sun a harmful pollutant. Given what we have witnessed so far it doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

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