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Category: Free Book: Kill the EPA

Chapter 4

Obama Snake Oil

 

EPA delivers large doses of snake oil

EPA regulations are often silly but they are always hurtful. Most regular human beings, who have not overdosed on Obama Snake Oil (OSO), see the sins of the EPA for what they are. OSO is a substancewhich the EPA should ban one day as a mind pollutant. Who knows what the next banned substance will be? Will it be two-ply toilet paper, outdoor dining, fireworks displays, or perhaps human flatulence? I should not give the EPA any ideas; they are already silly enough. Their latest target is antibacterial hand soaps. Maybe they make hands too clean.

EPA ignores dihydrogen oxide threat

On August 9, 2011, Patrick Hedger put forth a hypothesis on a dangerous substance that he said should be regulated by the EPA because it can be harmful and it can be toxic if breathed in small quantities or ingested in large doses.

The problem, according to Hedger is not being addressed. It is the chemical, Dihydrogen Oxide, which is also referred to as Hydric Acid.

Hedger laments that the substance is everywhere. He asks whether such an insidious chemical should not have more priority than others for the EPA due to its broader availability in the environment. Hedger writes:

“Dihydrogen Oxide is everywhere and it is killing people through over exposure and the adverse weather and other environmental conditions it creates.  The EPA has worked to create and implement regulations that have either banned or labeled hazardous far less lethal substances. So we must demand the EPA take action and regulate hydric acid right? After all the spread of Dihydrogen Oxide is so great that every single human being has close to a 70% contamination level. So where is the action? The dangers are proven. Why do we allow Hydric Acid to kill so many people and destroy so much? Simple:

“Dihydrogen oxide’s chemical formula is H2O. Hydric acid is water.

“So clearly it would be silly for the EPA to take action against water. Sure it can kill you, but you can’t live without it. If we safely use and recycle water, we can prevent most of the dangers it poses. Sure we can’t stop the thunderstorms and floods can be a bear to prevent, but just about everyone knows how to avoid drowning or that sticking your hand in boiling water is a bad idea. So if we can safely use a chemical or substance, despite its inherent dangers, it would be silly to impose government regulations on it. Right?”

The honeybee scare

You may have heard of the decline in the honeybee population in this country and across the world. What you may not have heard is that honeybees are not indigenous to America and probably came over with the pilgrims on the Mayflower. The phenomenon is true and it has been diagnosed but the cause is not known with specificity. The name of the problem is colony collapse disorder, or CCD, and it typically manifests itself with an abandoned hive with just the queen bee as the only occupant, apparently unable to reproduce.

Hannah Nordhaus has a great new book on the topic called "The Beekeeper's Lament," which is now available in popular bookstores. She offers a great perspective on why bees may be dying and it is not necessarily that clothianidin pesticide by Bayer, one of a number in the neonicotinoid (systemic) family is killing them.

This reasonably new pesticide now does the work that DDT once did. It is taking the blame by some environmentalists.  Can it be that since it replaced DDT it must be bad? Nordhaus notes the pathetic rush to judgment on the subject as she observed just how quickly environmentalists want to blame somebody or something for any problem in nature, often without having any facts.

This is the story of the EPA that we tell in this book. In fact, I predict that neonicotinoids will be found to be partly culpable in the reduction in honeybees and quite frankly the reduction in an insect population once robust enough to support animal predators such as tons of birds of all kinds. Now even the bird population is dwindling and the ornithologists are looking at the lack of insects as that problem. DDT is hardly in use at all in the world, so it is not this one time environmental fall guy that is causing the problem. The EPA would say that it is not nice to fool Mother Nature, and right now it is looking for a culprit to blame, right or wrong.

The three dirty letters DDT however, are not coming up. You see it is well known that DDT is a type of pesticide that is not harmful to bees, whereas neonicotinoids appear to be harmful to just about everything that is alive. Sometimes the cure is worse than the problem.

Ironically it may be the bad politics of possibly having to back off their DDT ban that has the EPA in a quandary currently. It appears the DDT replacement is a far more lethal substance than DDT. Can the EPA face that as a possibility?  Anyway, I thought you would like a summary of Nordhaus’s take on all those quickly trying to solve the problem—with or without facts. It is a great theme and it describes the EPA to a tee.

“Dying bees have become symbols of environmental sin, of faceless corporations out to ransack nature. Such is the story environmental journalism tells all too often. But it's not always the story that best helps us understand how we live in this world of nearly seven billion hungry people, or how we might square our ecological concerns and commitments with that reality. By engaging in simplistic and sometimes misleading environmental narratives -- by exaggerating the stakes and brushing over the inconvenient facts that stand in the way of foregone conclusions­­ -- we do our field, and our subjects, a disservice. “

Amen!

Keep nature happy

Many of the EPA regulations are not only silly but they are very hurtful to people and to business and a good part of those that are hurtful are stupid also. You can tell that Hannah Nordhaus feels similarly to me about environmentalists as she eloquently puts the scenario in perspective in the quote above. It helps for all of us to remember that the EPA, as the enforcer for the environment movement, has just one goal—to make sure nature is happy. If you can actually come to accept that major premise, then everything the EPA does makes perfect sense.

There are no constraints for Obama’s EPA. Nature comes first. If life gets a little bit or even a lot uncomfortable for humans because of the EPA and Mother Nature is happy—so be it. C’est la vie.

A few stupid EPA regulations to ponder

Let’s talk about a few really bad EPA regulations that have become well known over the agency’s 40-year life. There are far too many to get more than a sampling as there are hundreds of regulations that most normal people would call stupid. Most are still on the books.

Early regulations once pinpointed real problems and addressed them point on. Today’s regulations are reflections of somebody’s ideological agenda and they are structured such that attempts to kill, say one amoeba, would be done with a bunker buster bomb. But somebody in the EPA would object to the killing anyway. More than likely EPA personnel would be lining up on the side of the one celled parasite rather than working to help humans get rid of such threats to human health.

The new EPA regulations appear designed specifically to inhibit job creation and growth by private industry at a time we are in economic chaos? Our parents would not believe we would let this happen. Let’s take a look at a few of the most egregious!

The EPA loves life on the farm. Unfortunately, the EPA is too busy punishing farmers for tilling the soil and taking out precious minerals. The EPA also has a lot of time to crack down on farmers for their fine work in feeding mankind. Consequently, the EPA gives farmers little credit for fighting insects and fungi and all kinds of pests and diseases to bring a crop to market that they can sell and we can use at our tables.

If we had full access to their wish lists, we would find that there are more than a few insects or fungi that the EPA would like to put on the endangered species list. Perhaps that is a big reason for their angst and their dissatisfaction with American farmers.

The EPA sees things differently from those of us who go to market and enjoy the fruits of the farmers’ labor. It has whacked farmers but good, with a lot of costly and expensive rules and regulations. If their intention is not for farmers to give up, pack it in, and let us all eat cake, it sure seems like it is.

CO2 Emissions

As an example of the pain caused upon farmers by the EPA, those in the industry know that American farmers consider Title V of the Clean Air Act as a major threat to their survival. This is a CO2 emissions standard which applies to small farms such as those with over 25 cows. You and I exhale CO2 and so do cows and pigs and other animals. To get a permit to operate under Title V, it cost farmers a mere $46,500 and the pre-construction permit to get things in order costs $84,500. That is pretty menacing don’t you think? In fact, it is legalized extortion. Yet, that is how the EPA does business.

Dust Regulations

Then, of course the EPA has its so-called “Dust” regulation that the agency posted as not true in mid September right after Herman Cain, Godfather Pizza CEO, nailed them in a Republican Presidential debate. I bet after the debate the EPA’s thoughts quickly went to banning the harmful effects of Godfather Pizza. Unfortunately for the EPA, right now at least, Godfather Pizza is under the purview of the FDA.

The EPA now says dust is not one of their priorities. They admit they are considering / studying it. Farmers are always on notice because the EPA does not need Congress to OK its regulations. So, dust is definitely on the EPA agenda.  In fact, no matter what lies they tell, the EPA is looking to crack down on farm dust. Its proposal is already well formed and it involves treating farm dust as an air pollutant. Any dust from farm equipment, dusty farm roads, or those nasty farm animals kicking up dust would therefore be regulated by the EPA, when the rules are fully formulated and in place. Don’t laugh, it is true. Can you see why more and more long-time business owners are saying, “enough,” and simply retiring. Thank our friends at the EPA for that.

Manure Regulations

The EPA gets its kicks from getting into other people’s dung.  For example, they are into farm manure big time. They force the farmers to measure excrement as if they are trying to determine if the farm is large enough to warrant the big licensing expense as noted above. If a ton of excrement per month is the count, it may mean that the farm has 26 head of cattle and not the 24 as reported to the EPA. In this case, perhaps the farm needs to upgrade to the more expensive licenses.  

Not only is it a burden measuring and providing exact counts for things that we would call crap, farmers also must complete a ton of oppressive paperwork on EPA forms to properly account for the manure.

Unfortunately, God has not yet invented an animal that can go a lifetime without any excretory action. To satisfy the mounds of paper required by the EPA, there are documented cases in which farmers have spent upwards of 15 hours a week just filling out the forms so the EPA can track each load of manure that her animals generated. Maybe next year, they can add an excrement fee or perhaps ban excrement made (dropped) anywhere close to a rural area.

 

Figure 4-1 Manure Happens

Figure does not reproduce in copy

 

Power Plant Regulations

In addition to farmers, The EPA hates utility companies and they inflict big pain on this industry, which then is forced to raise utility rates. In addition to harming today’s economy, the actions taken by the EPA reduce the competitiveness of US industry and negatively impact our national security.

 

Figure 4-2 Nasty Power Plant

Figure does not reproduce in copy 

 

More and more utilities including American Electric Power, Duke Energy, and Southern Company have announced they are not going to take it anymore and they are preparing to close a number of coal-fired power plants. The cost of EPA regulations for them and many others is just too high. When the plants close, there will be layoffs, higher electricity prices and the possibility of power outages. It does help to remember that it is not the EPA’s responsibility to assure that humans are comfortable.

EPA is anti-energy

The EPA can and does hurt businesses in many ways and at the same time. They are truly ambidextrous. While blocking coal as a fuel source for electric power plants, the EPA is also blocking an easy means for the same plants to use natural gas or petroleum. It simply does not like fossil fuels and so its intent is for Americans to pay through the nose for power produced by oil, gas, or coal, The EPA does not really understand nuclear that well. It is regarded by scientists as a clean source of energy; nonetheless, the EPA is against it.

The Keystone XL pipeline saga

The EPA is active along with their environmentalist cronies and Hollywood celebrities with the intention of blocking the building of a new pipeline known as the Keystone XL pipeline. It would bring a huge amount of oil from Canada to Texas. It would be a good thing for America and it would assure that this valuable source of energy from Canda will not be diverted by the Canadians to Asia.

Every drop of oil counts when you are energy short as we are in America today. This Canadian Oil would supply start by providing 900,000 barrels of oil a day and provide billions of dollars of tax revenue. The EPA is against it and so is Obama but Obama must appear that he is undecided to please his union friends.

Since it is you and I who pay the 18,000 EPA employees their salaries, one would think they would work for us. Unfortunately, we do not get to evaluate their job performance regularly. However, we can elect new officials who can change their mission statement in a moment, and they can also eliminate the agency completely.

Our employment contract with the EPA says they get paid anyway, whether they help the people or hurt the people. Since during the building process, the pipeline may hurt nature a bit while in the future it would clearly be helping humans, the Obama’s EPA is not interested in the pipeline ever being built. Apparently, this is a direct order from Obama himself who recently placed the deal on hold. Obama has many rich and prominent political donors to his electoral warchest who raised environmental concerns. They are part of heavy activist environmental group, who threatened to withhold future campaign support if the project went ahead. It is no secret that Obama wants to get elected again far more than he wants to serve the people.

The EPA has identified Coal as its big target and it Is trying to get Power plants that use coal to shut down or convert to something more enviro-friendly. Yet, the EPA and Obama are blocking needed oil by not permitting the direct pipeline to Texas to be built. So, what does Obama’s EPA want us to do, bring land-based oil in from Canada on tankers?  Maybe they really want to create a heating and cooling crisis in the US? Can that be the plan?

President Obama is not very good at making any decision. We all know that not making a decision however is a decision. Obama gets away with it because the media is corrupt. He was a very ineffective Senator and he leads from behind so that he can second-guess all results. Obama is the same Obama who voted present innumerable times in the Senate and thus he had no real record when he ran for President.

Present, however was the only way Obama could vote when the unions were looking for 20,000 construction jobs and the environmentalists were pushing for magic, rather than the pipeline to deliver energy to homes in the US. A real leader would have OK’s the pipeline because it was the best thing for our country.

Obama never says never!  Thus every issue, upon which he has ever had to decide, remains open today. In this latest non-decision, the President delayed and perhaps killed the planned $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project until after the next election. Obama does not care about America but he does care about holding title to the office of President of the United States.

The President knew that about 20,000 union jobs were likely to go elsewhere but his major mandate to the EPA has been to keep the US in a bankrupt energy position until the economy completely collapses. The more Americans he can fool, the closer his wish for a permanently weak America is to coming true.

The President’s decision to table the pipeline rather than go hog wild to make it happen hit a lot of dependent people right between the eyes. Which project developer or supporter can take a year off waiting to see if the temperamental Obama will ever say “yes.” The Keystone XL organization has already pumped $1.7 billion in steel pipe as well as millions of dollars to obtain right-of-way easements to assure a proper construction path.

The project has been under study for three years and the environmentalists have assured that there were the requisite volumes and volumes of impact statements produced to properly characterize the work effort. It should have been a go but emotion and the win at all costs mantra of environmentalists often trumps the facts.

Since the pipeline crosses US borders, the State Department had previously determined that it would have “no significant impacts” from their perspective as they had controlling jurisdiction. They were prepared to offer their formal approval by the end of 2011. Unfortunately, this self-imposed timetable provoked environmental activists to push hard for the administration to reject it. The White House, under control of BHO rejected it. The EPA and Obama campaign supporters had a party. America wept for itself.

It is really tough for those who expect the best from this administration. Disappointment has been the lesson to all of us who hoped for a good change. All of the agencies—EPA, FDA, USDA, DOE, etc.—are in lock-step with Obama regardless of how off the mark the President’s demands take them.

So, we all must stay well awake as this President will not give up until he is clearly defeated and his surrogates, such as the EPA will not give up until there is no hope. Their life’s missions appear to be aligned so closely with the President’s that they move like twins in simpatico.

None of the President’s agencies, especially the EPA seem to really care about America or Americans. The sooner Americans realize that we are on our own, the sooner we all will be able to fend off the incessant volleys and move in only one direction – the direction that helps America the most. It is always the direction opposite that to which the president is heading.

It is really inconceivable that a president who blames everybody else for job losses can turn his back on 20,000 jobs plus the opportunity for a few percentages towards energy independence. What motivates such a president to turn away from things that help America if it is not that he wishes the worst for America?

BP Oil Spill—not Obama’s finest moment

It is not the first time for Obama to vote against American energy. The US Interior Department got a piece of the action in the Gulf in 2010 after the BP spill. Wherever the government was involved, things stalled. Additionally, thanks to the government, the people in the gulf suffered more than even the Katrina disaster. Who would have expected after the southern states were hit with such drastic job losses that the President’s men would increase, not decrease the time period in which they would be unemployed. Is this our Job’s President or is it just a little snake oil?

You may recall in 2010 that U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s declared a six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. If you were working someplace else in the US, you may not have noticed. This action by Salazar from Interior, and Obama the ideologue erased access to 7.5 billion barrels of oil and nearly 60 trillion cubic feet of natural gas along with tens of thousands of job opportunities they would have created.

Just like the pipeline crews are not holding in place since these men need to work, those Gulf drilling rigs and jobs went overseas. They did not sit around hoping Obama and Salazar would start playing nicey nicey with them. They left the gulf for greener pastures.

By the time the courts told Obama he did not have the authority, the damage had already been done. And, to show the judge who the President was and that judges are just puny little things compared to presidents, Obama changed a few things in the Salazar regulations and then ignored the court order to drop the moratorium. Yet, nobody, D or R really challenges this powerful prince as he destroys America piece by piece with his agency power.

In this big 2010 BP Gulf Oil spill, it appeared that the EPA was hurting rather than helping in the cleanup. Why was that? It was because they actually were hurting the cleanup and not offering any real help. They operate under Obama’s direct orders.

They were a constraint to all those trying to help the people of the Gulf to get rid of that nasty oil.  But, then again their job is not to help man. The EPA job is to help nature and most of the time man is guilty and nature gets hurt simply because there are too many people.

Some may recall during the Gulf disaster that the Dutch had offered four huge skimmers that would suck up tons of the toxic water and oil.  The oil would sink into the tanker’s tank, and the water would be pumped off back into the Gulf. This was not acceptable to Obama’s EPA.

The EPA had a regulation that water that contained oil could not be pumped back into the ocean. Rather than waive it, they stubbornly stuck by that regulation because after all, they had written it.  So for 50 days nothing was permitted in the Gulf while the oil was racing in.  After 50 days, the EPA relented and of course there was no problem from the Dutch skimmers once they went into operation, but by then the big damage was already done. The EPA expressed no remorse.

Dinesh D’Souza is one of America's most influential conservative thinkers. He wrote a book titled, “The Roots Of AObama’s Rage in which he explains the unexplainable about the conundrum in chief. He has choice words to say about Obama in the gulf:

“Next let’s consider Obama’s response to the devastating oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. As torrents of black oil gushed toward southern shores, Obama sounded lethargic, almost bored, with what was going on and what needed to be done to stop it. Even Democratic strategist James Carville expressed amazement at Obama’s personal and emotional remove from the situation. “I have no idea why they didn’t seize this thing. I have no idea why their attitude was so hands off here.” Listening to Obama talk on the subject, TV host Keith Olbermann​responded: “It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days.”

“Finally, addressing the TV cameras on May 14, 2010, Obama managed to work up some enthusiasm. Time and again he condemned “British Petroleum​”—an interesting term since the company long ago changed its name to BP. Given our anti-colonial theory, it’s no surprise that Obama wanted to remind Americans of what BP used to stand for. He was equally outspoken in whacking the other oil companies for their “ridiculous spectacle” of “pointing fingers of blame.” Actually these companies were not responsible for the spill, and the only blame, in addition to that of BP, belonged to the Obama administration for its Katrina-like incompetence in responding to the disaster.

“Addressing the nation on the spill on June 15, 2010, Obama stressed that Americans “consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s resources.” Obama went on to say that “for decades we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s century-long addiction to fossil fuels.” Unfortunately, “time and again the path forward has been blocked” by, among others, “oil industry lobbyists.” Now, on the face of it, this is a perfectly reasonable statement from a liberal politician who thinks this is what the American public wants to hear. But ask yourself, what does any of this have to do with the oil spill? Would the oil spill have been less of a problem if America consumed a mere 10 percent of the world’s resources? Of course not. The point is that for Obama the energy and environmental issues reduce to a simple proposition: America is a neocolonial giant eating up more than its share of the world’s resources, and in doing so America is exploiting the scarce fuel of the globe; consequently, this gluttonous consumption must be stopped. This is the heart of Obama’s energy and environmental agenda: not cleaning up the Gulf or saving the environment in general, but redressing the inequitable system where the neocolonial West—and neocolonial companies like BP—dominates the use of global energy resources.”

Brazil can drill

Ironically, after the US had invested over $2 billion with Brazil’s state-owned oil company Petrobras to finance offshore exploration in their home oil field in the Santos, which was close to Rio de Janeiro, Obama came out of Gulf hiding and pledged that America would become one of their best customers. I wonder if Brazil offered a Plexiglas flexible pipeline between our two countries, whether Obama would have given the OK. Can it be that Obama only says “no” if America has a chance to gain?

No pipeline, period

Considering the Keystone XL pipeline was an inland connection between Canada and the US, it is hard to understand that on March 19, 2010, President Obama explained his decision to give Brazil a head start against America in this way:

“At a time when we’ve been reminded how easily instability in other parts of the world can affect the price of oil, the United States could not be happier with the potential for a new, stable source of energy.” Dear President Obama: What about Canada and Montana?

Obama’s delay on the pipeline may force developers to kill the pipeline project altogether. Why an oil customer that depended on the pipeline would be reassured by a president who cannot make a decision favorable to America, would want to invest in America is anybody’s guess. Customers who have already signed up to take delivery of oil will surely lose money, and there will be added expenses to get new permits.

All Americans are set back by Obama’s pipeline decision. No matter what we can do for ourselves, Obama, the environment prince, will veto it, and the EPA will enforce his veto.

Why does putting off the real decision til after the election make any sense for America. We must face it with no false hope. Obama has made the decision. He just did not announce it as the decision. There will be no Canadian / US pipeline.

According to TransCanada CEO Russ Girling, who knows more about the situation than even the know-it-all Obama, says that if crude delivery can’t begin as scheduled, “Those shippers will only wait so long, and then they will start looking for other markets. Similarly, the refiners can only wait so long for Canadian crude oil to come into their marketplace.” A key prospective market is Asia. Will this be known as the big Obama jobs loser of November 2011? I think so!

Obama is the reason we are not doing well. Look no further than the White House for why there is no economic or jobs recovery. Recovery would get in the way of the President’s ideological agenda. If any other president were in control of the EPA, for example, nobody would expect that president to advocate courses of actions that would hurt America. With Obama, it is not the case. We expect the worst from him and we get it.

Kill the EPA in self defense

It is not silly but it is true that the government through the EPA plans to gain control over as much of American industry as possible. Their intent is to kill off American industry and American energy. I say kill the EPA monster first.

Newt Gingrich repeatedly has suggested the replacement of the EPA with a new agency called the ”Environmental Solutions Agency.” I fear that would be a political trick and the same bums would simply be in new offices. Let’s start by ridding ourselves of this scourge. Kill the agency and let the EPA employees get jobs on farms or oil rigs—or collect unemployment.

I can’t think of a better way to end this Chapter on Obama Snake Oil than by quoting Thomas Sowell, who on June 15, 2010, writing for the National Review Online titled his piece as: “Obama’s Snake-Oil Spill” I think Sowell has Obama pegged pretty well. Here it is:

“Nothing will keep a man or an institution determined to continue on a failing policy course like past success with that policy. Obama’s political success in the 2008 election campaign was a spectacular triumph of creating images and impressions.

“But creating political impressions and images is not the same thing as governing. Yet Obama in the White House keeps on saying and doing things to impress people, instead of governing.”