Tag: EPA

Just when you thought you KNEW what nearly caused the government shutdown!

(Wanted this to be days’ earlier, but it wasn’t possible.  So, TMC’s diary here seemed a perfect place to comment, but then the comment became very long . . . . so!)

While traveling to an appointment last Thursday (April 7th), I listened to David Sirota, filling in for Thom Hartmann.*  Sirota began by talking about Pentagon horrendous wastes, even to the extent that the Pentagon has an Entertainment Division.  Essentially, the Pentagon puts up money to back films about war and for war and does everything, with money included, to discourage film makers from making films that are against war.  He said he has detailed that information in his book, “Back to Our Future.”

Several veterans (one of VietNam era) called in speaking about the excesses of Pentagon spending and blatant waste.  Both discussed Halliburton and Blackwater, in particular.

The Budget Battle: From Here To Thursday

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

The Government has avoided a shut down in the last minutes, however, this isn’t over, by a long shot. While the Obama supporters will be touting tonight’s passing of a “Bridge CR” and agreement for the 2011 budget a “victory’, is it? Yes, they managed to remove some of the most egregious riders that the “Full Mooner” Tea Party Republicans were trying to jam through but it cost Obama almost $39 billion more than the $40 million that he originally proposed for a grand total of $79 billion in cuts that will only carry through until September that is if they pass it next Thursday. It still isn’t very clear just what is in that extra $39 billion in cuts.

There are still give aways in the bill which includes the riders to ban DC from using its own funds to pay for abortions for poor DC women and approval of the unpopular DC school vouchers which was opposed by the DC city council. So much for Republican respect for state’s rights.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post sums it up, this is “2011 not 1995”:

The substance of this deal is bad. The rhetoric of it is worse.

The final compromise was $38.5 billion below 2010’s funding levels. That’s $78.5 billion below President Obama’s original budget proposal, which would’ve added $40 billion to 2010’s funding levels, and $6.5 billion below John Boehner’s original counteroffer, which would’ve subtracted $32 billion from 2010’s budget totals. In the end, the real negotiation was not between the Republicans and the Democrats, or even the Republicans and the White House. It was between John Boehner and the conservative wing of his party. And once that became clear, it turned out that Boehner’s original offer wasn’t even in the middle. It turns out to be slightly center-left.

But you would’ve never known it from President Obama’s comments following the conclusion of the negotiations. Obama bragged about “making the largest annual spending cut in our history.” Harry Reid repeatedly called the cuts “historic.” It fell to Boehner to give a clipped, businesslike statement on the deal. If you were just tuning in, you might’ve thought Boehner had been arguing for moderation, while both Obama and Reid sought to cut deeper. You would never have known that Democrats had spent months resisting these “historic” cuts, warning that they’d cost jobs and slow the recovery.

Although there will now be a separate Senate vote to cut Title X funding for Planned Parenthood, which will most likely fail, this is a major capitulation by Obama and the Democratic leadership that gives 1/6th of the government 2/3rds of the budget cuts it wanted. All of these riders will appear again and again and many will pass the House and, perhaps, even the Senate. What matters more to Obama than anything else is his notion of “bipartisanship” which is shifting this country further and further to the right to the detriment of the majority if Americans and the future.

Nice spelunking by the Spelunker-in-Chief.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

There has been this aura of sameness about the current budget stand off and the past. The impasse is not about money, it’s about ideology concerning women’s reproductive rights and the environment. The Tea Party Republicans refuse to remove the riders that would block funding to Planned parenthood, ban the District of Columbia from using its own funds to pay for abortions and severely restrict the EPA ability to regulate emissions and green house gases. Meetings at the White House, while productive about the amount of money set to be cut from the long-term budget:

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid said Thursday that he is “not nearly as optimistic” as he was last night about avoiding a government shutdown before a Friday deadline, saying of a federal funding gap: “it looks like it’s headed in that direction.”

The Democratic leader said that the two sides have essentially agreed on the amount of money set to be cut from the long-term budget but that Republicans have drawn a line in the sand over “ideology”  – including policy issues dealing with funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Our differences are no longer over the savings we get on government spending, Reid said. “The only thing holding up an agreement is ideology.”

The President has reasonably suggested that a “clean bill” to extend the budget for one week and a provision that the troops would be paid in the event of a government shut down was rejected by the Tea Party who passed a bill this afternoon they know the President will veto, if it even gets past the Senate.

We’ve been there before in 1995 with the same issue over women’s reproductive rights and the so-called less government gang insisting on interfering with matters that should be between a woman and her doctor. But no, they can’t give it up:

   “Gingrich and Dole are offering the funding and higher-debt bills but have loaded them with ‘riders’ such as the Medicare bill that the president won’t accept and with other items such as limits on appeals by death-row inmates. [Denver Post, 11/15/95]

   “One of the largest spending bills, for the Commerce, Justice and State Departments, is still being negotiated because it has riders on social issues like school prayer. The spending bill for the District of Columbia has been bogged down over a provision to bar Federal money to pay for abortions in the District and would prohibit public hospitals and clinics from offering abortion services.” [New York Times, 11/29/95]

   “Congress has been unable to send any bill to the president because of the excessive number of anti-environmental riders.” [U.S. Newswire, 12/8/95]

The fanatics just can’t let go of some issues so women should incorporate their uteruses as the Florida ACLU has suggested:

Incorporate Your Uterus

…before some politician gets between you and your M.D.

Of course, you can’t legally Incorporate Your Uterus, but you can online. And by doing so, you can send a message to the Florida Legislature that less regulation and government intrusion begins with a woman’s uterus. So “Incorporate Your Uterus” below, sign-up to receive updates about the important fight going on in Tallahassee and utilize our social networking tools to spread the word about this critical effort. After all, no politician should get between a woman and her doctor.

Learn how you can “Incorporate Your Uterus”

S02E09: Overturning EPA

cross-posted from Main Street Insider

A couple weeks ago, we looked at new regulations on greenhouse gases (GHG’s)┬ábeing imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This week’s episode focuses on a bill proposed as a response to these new regulations by House Republicans who oppose the EPA’s efforts. Contrary to what the title of the bill would suggest, this proposal has absolutely nothing to do with taxes. In fact, aside from the title, the word “tax” does not appear once in the text of the bill. The actual language of the bill shows that the real intent is to strip the EPA of power in the area of GHG’s and leave any decision making to Congress.

It should be noted that the EPA has been regulating air pollutants for over 40 years (just missed the 40th anniversary last December). Though regulating GHG’s is new, thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court ruling that declared GHG’s to be air pollutants, this type of EPA authority has been the status quo for a long time.

S02E07: EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations

cross-posted from Main Street Insider

This week, we explore how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to regulate the emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG’s) after a 2007 Supreme Court ruling declared that GHG’s meet the standard of an air pollutant. These new regulations take effect over three phases, the first of which is currently taking place.

More below the fold…

GOP to fight New EPA Regs, despite the EPA Science Evidence

GOP Vows to Fight White House Global Warming Policy

Jon E. Dougherty — Dec 29, 2010

Republicans have vowed to oppose Obama administration plans to pursue the White House’s global warming agenda through new rules and regulations issued by existing federal agencies.

On Jan. 2 new stricter carbon emissions standards will be introduced as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares new rules that would require companies to get permits to release so-called greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA, in an announcement last week, said it would move forward to adopt new standards for fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries, two of the largest industrial sources that the agency claims represent nearly 40% of the greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.

Critics of the new rules also say they will drive up the operating costs for those same industries, choking off any new job creation and doing more harm an economy that is still in recovery mode.

They are job killers,” environmental scientist Ken Green of the American Enterprise Institute said, in comments reported by Fox News.

GOP to fight New EPA Regs, despite the EPA Science Evidence

GOP Vows to Fight White House Global Warming Policy

Jon E. Dougherty — Dec 29, 2010

Republicans have vowed to oppose Obama administration plans to pursue the White House’s global warming agenda through new rules and regulations issued by existing federal agencies.

On Jan. 2 new stricter carbon emissions standards will be introduced as the Environmental Protection Agency prepares new rules that would require companies to get permits to release so-called greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA, in an announcement last week, said it would move forward to adopt new standards for fossil fuel power plants and petroleum refineries, two of the largest industrial sources that the agency claims represent nearly 40% of the greenhouse gas pollution in the United States.

Critics of the new rules also say they will drive up the operating costs for those same industries, choking off any new job creation and doing more harm an economy that is still in recovery mode.

They are job killers,” environmental scientist Ken Green of the American Enterprise Institute said, in comments reported by Fox News.

could affect tourism … but finding the truth is more important

Gulf Coast Communities Investigate Oily Sea Mist

by Debbie Elliott, NPR — September 3, 2010

Orange Beach city hall has been inundated with calls from residents with complaints – foam that they think is dispersant, a gray-metallic slick in back bays or seaweed that looks oiled. There’s a heightened sense of environmental awareness, and local officials are looking for a way to determine what’s going on.

Mayor Tony Kennon says that’s why the town hired independent scientists to test the air, water and soil.

[…]

Orange Beach is using grant money from BP for the testing, and posting the data on the town’s website. Mayor Kennon says negative results could affect tourism in the short term, but finding the truth is more important.

Kudos to Mayor Kennon for taking a stand, for what’s right!

The Major is a man of his word.

Monitoring, he is.

NEW Study indicates Microbes ARE rapidly consuming the Gulf Oil

I, for one, hope that this is true, and will be further substantiated:

Study: Petroleum-eating microbes significantly reduced gulf oil plume

David Brown, Washington Post Staff Writer — Tue, August 24, 2010

Petroleum-eating bacteria – which had dined for eons on oil seeping naturally through the seafloor – proliferated in the cloud of oil that drifted underwater for months after the April 20 accident. They not only outcompeted fellow microbes, they each ramped up their own internal metabolic machinery to digest the oil as efficiently as possible.

The result was a nature-made cleanup crew capable of reducing that reduced the amount of oil amounts in the undersea “plume” by half about every three days, according to research published online Tuesday by the journal Science.

The findings, by a team of scientists led by Terry C. Hazen of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California […]

BP to offer claimants a One-time Payment

I think “Breaking” is the correct adjacent …

BP offers one-off payouts to stem Gulf oil spill lawsuits

Lump-sum compensation offered in return for waiving the right to sue,

but uncertainty remains for those indirectly affected


Tim Webb, guardian.co.uk — August 1, 2010

BP will begin its legal offensive this month to cap its liabilities from the Gulf of Mexico disaster by offering those affected one-off compensation payouts in return for them waiving the right to sue.

[…]

The fund does not cap BP’s liabilities at $20bn. But privately the company believes that it will not have to pay out anywhere near this sum. BP has hired a battery of lawyers to protect itself, and so far it has paid out $261m in claims.

[…]

According to BP, 1.8m gallons of dispersant have been pumped into the Gulf. Scientists say that the resulting high toxicity levels could harm marine life for years to come.

Hmmm … Seems BP is a bit worried about the long-term effects of that 1.8 Millions of gallons of Corexit, they used — to help make that spill problem disappear?

Houston, We got a New Problem — BP’s Oil has ALL Disappeared!?

OH  NOES!

Just when you thought the worse was over …

BP to scale back some oil response units, new leader pledges to stay for long haul

by Doug Mouton / Northshore Bureau Chief

wwltv.com — July 30, 2010

How much oil is in the Gulf now is up for debate.  Several Louisiana leaders, including St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis have argued that million of gallons of oil are underwater, waiting to surface.

We haven’t found that,” [Bob] Dudley [new BP CEO] said.

Dudley said six ships and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are working to locate underwater oil.

It’s a big hunt going on right now,” Dudley said. “It’s going to keep going on.”

Hey BOB! — MAYBE you haven’t “found it” because of 1.8 Million Gallons of Toxic Dispersants you managed to spray — Kept much of it Underwater, eh?

They’ll find ALL that missing Oil — just give them some more time … that’s all they ask …

Reid puts Energy Bill on Ice: with a Chilling Effect on Wind and Solar?

The Energy Bill has been shelved for now — another Price exacted by the Do Nothing Party.

Senate Halts Effort to Cap CO2 Emissions

Democrats Forgo Centerpiece of President Obama’s Energy Plan, as Cap-and-Trade Fails to Lure Broad Support in Congress

By Stephen Power, Wall Street Journal — July 23, 2010

Mr. Reid refused to declare the idea dead. But Thursday’s decision called into question when or whether any legislated cap on greenhouse-gas emissions would reach Mr. Obama’s desk.

Now, businesses, such as wind-turbine makers, that had bet on a greenhouse-gas provision to make alternatives to coal and oil more cost-competitive must recalculate how long it might take for that to happen.

[…] the solar industry is growing at the rate of about 40% a year in terms of electrical power installed and is likely to continue to grow, said Ron Kenedi, vice president of Sharp Corp.’s Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group in Huntington Beach, Calif.

We need some new Senators (at least 60), who actually care about Energy Independence — enough to act.

Load more