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Posts Tagged ‘EPA’

[click for credit: John Hartzell, Middle Age Riot]

So true, so true. Except for the child labor, perhaps!

What are these people we put into power thinking? What on earth is good about this?

Now, if it were actually TRUE that a million jobs would open up due to this loosening of regulation, I could even understand it. But there won’t be new jobs. There is no new demand for coal in this country. Demand for coal has steadily declined in the last 10 years, and will continue to do so.

So all this does is open the gates for the polluters. And there lies the rub:

That’s why this is being done: Coal guys have been hurting, and now they can relax and squeeze the last 10 years worth of pennies out of their dying industries.

Trump is actually using our emotions about coal miners to get what he wants for Big Coal. The coal miners that stood behind him when he signed the executive order were pawns. He does not give a shit about them or their lives. They’ll never set foot in his golden tower. He is using them. He is using us. He is using his voters.

And we’re making America dirty again?

Be careful what you vote for!

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We now have put Scott Pruitt, who has made a career of suing the EPA as Oklahoma’s attorney general, who is a climate change denier – contrary to his own recent statements – in charge of the EPA.

We recently saw an executive order to allow dumping of coal mining waste into streams, reversing an Obama order to the contrary. Supporters argue that this is not a new order, but simply a return to standards that were in place since 1983.

Ok, so we’re rolling that clock back to 1983, and we’re not so bad, because Reagan allowed it too?

This is all done for a few thousand coal mining jobs in the United States.

Great. We’re bringing jobs in coal mining and fracking back to the United States. China, Europe and even India are rapidly implementing renewable energy technologies. For instance, in Holland, all trains now run on wind energy. China just canceled 103 coal plants. China leads the world in implementation of solar energy.

Chinese children go to school 260 days a year. Americans 180. American children will be able to learn more about Noah’s ark when Betsy DeVos gets to implement her pet projects and bring “God to our schools.”

America puts its people to work in coal mines. China trains its people in renewable energies, software engineering, and manufacturing engineering.

That’s how we’re making America great again, folks.

Believe me.

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climate-science-consensus

Source: Skeptical Science

The worldwide consensus that the current global warming is anthropogenic approaches 100% as the expertise in climate science rises.

In English: The more a person knows about climate science, the more they believe it’s man-made.

Trump’s assignee to transition the EPA to the new administration is Myron Ebell, a climate change denier. Ebell has no scientific experience at all. He graduated from Colorado College with a B.A. in philosophy and obtained an M.Sc. in political theory from the London School of Economics. This makes him a politician by education, and that’s what he has done all his life.

I put a dot for him on this chart. He has no professional experience with climate science.  Not surprisingly, and consistent with the graph, knowing nothing about climate science, he ends up on the bottom as a denier. There is nothing wrong with that. Most people don’t.

However, this is the “best and brightest” President-elect Trump came up with to head the transition of the EPA, a highly science-heavy organization. That’s like making the clerk in the butcher shop in your local supermarket the Surgeon General. After all, he knows what a T-bone steak is. Meat.

I wonder what kind of respect Ebell will garner from the staff in the EPA?

This appointment does not make Trump look like he is serious. During the campaign, he signaled that actual expertise does not really matter, as long as you have good advisers. But if the advisers themselves do not have any expertise, things will not end well.

The emperor has no clothes.

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Here is a picture of smog in the U.S.

Smog in the US

[click to enlarge; picture credit: NASA]

The red areas are smog in 2005 and 2011.

It shows nitrogen dioxide, which we produce in gasoline engines in cars and trucks, and by burning coal in power plants. Due to work by the EPA, which first started curbing nitrogen dioxide in 1971, its concentrations have been falling over time.

Power plants have installed scrubbers to remove pollutants from their smokestacks, and car manufacturers have adopted catalytic converters. Since 2005, electric utilities have reduced burning of coal and gone to the cleaner natural gas. Our air is much better today than it was 10 years ago, and much better than 30 years ago.

Do we really believe this would have happened without the EPA?

Yet, there is Ted Cruz who yells he wants to abolish the EPA because it is a “job killer.”

One must wonder about the sanity of these people. During the Obama years, we have added over 14 million jobs in an unprecedented job growth period of 70 uninterrupted months. We have created way more jobs than were destroyed during the Bush years, particularly toward the end, when the economy crashed.

Yet, somehow, the EPA is killing jobs.

Do we really want to remove the EPA, start burning coal again, subsidize petroleum companies, and turn the yellow and blue areas read again on the map above?

Because that’s exactly what would happen.

I vote that we keep the EPA. It’s doing a remarkable job in our country, and with the “job killing” that’s going on (adding 14 million in 70 months) I am fine with it continuing to “kill jobs” at that rate.

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Whenever the Republican candidates trumpet on stage that the EPA is the first agency they want to abolish, it has the most adverse effect on me.

Just watch what happened in Flint, Michigan. The city decided to save money and use water from the Flint river, rather than Lake Huron, for the city’s water source about two years ago. The Flint river is so corrosive that it rusted and corroded the lead pipes that distribute the water. With the corrosion, lead levels 20 times the safe amount were in the city water. Eventually, a local pediatrician figured it out. Then came the cover-up by the city, before that finally crumbled, and now the news comes out.

But back to the EPA. We have the EPA to hold people and businesses accountable. Without the EPA, factories would be free to dump poison into the rivers and into the air. Without the EPA, industry would be free to rape the land and its people. And don’t tell me that industry would volunteer to “be good.”

Just read up and see what kinds of pollution we had before the EPA (before 1970). The country was polluted. But then again, just go to Mexico, or India, or Brazil, or China – to see real pollution. Then come back and tell me you want to abolish the EPA.

It’s strange how the same people that keep harping about the legacy we leave for our children are also those that wouldn’t mind pumping more CO2 into the air, allow pollution into the rivers, and open up national parks for logging and mining.

I honestly cannot understand that thinking.

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There are plenty of voices in the Tea Party and even the general Republican Party that want to abolish the EPA, either by defunding it, abolishing it altogether, or curtailing its power.

The EPA may be a bloated government bureaucracy. But if you just get rid of it, who does its job? The states? Really? Fifty states will each protect their own environment? It seems to me that would make bureaucracy 50 times as large, to do the same job, or, more likely, the job won’t get done the same way.

The EPA protects us from many different threats and looks out for the health of  the people. It may kill jobs by doing that. Let’s just take a look at one industry that the EPA is regulating, the coal industry, which is one of the most significant polluters in the world.

One of the biggest problems associated with coal-fired power plants is the coal ash, which is laced with arsenic, lead, mercury and other toxic chemicals. If these substances make it into the water supply or the general environment, they can be deadly. They certainly cause all sorts of illnesses and birth defects. The industry does not have a strategy for safely disposing the 130 million tons of ash it produces every year.

How much is 130 million tons of ash? Enough to fill a million railroad cars.

An August 2010 joint study by the Environmental Integrity Project, Earthjustice, and the Sierra Club reported that 39 coal ash dump sites in 21 states have contaminated local drinking water or surface water with arsenic, lead, and other heavy metals at levels that exceed federal safe drinking water standards. This is in addition to 98 coal ash sites that are polluting local water supplies that were already identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In response to these and other threats, new regulations are in the making to require an upgrade of the management of coal ash storage facilities so as to avoid contaminating local groundwater supplies. In addition, EPA is issuing more stringent regulations on coal plant emissions, including sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The goal is to reduce chronic respiratory illnesses, such as asthma in children, and the deaths caused by coal-fired power plant emissions.

[Source: Brown, Lester R. (2011-01-06). World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse (Kindle Locations 2681-2687). Norton. Kindle Edition.]

Do these congressmen we have seen in the video above really believe that the fifty states would adequately regulate the coal industry and come up with a consistent plan for disposing coal ash safely?

A ludicrous thought.

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