Sunday, April 18, 2010

The EPA Monster

By Alan Caruba

Among the legacies of Richard M. Nixon, famed for the Watergate scandal that forced his resignation, it should be noted that he created the Environmental Protection Agency. There was no vote in Congress. He did it with an executive order. Today the EPA has an annual budget of $9 billion and some 18,000 employees.

Not satisfied with the authorized powers given it to ensure clean air and water, the EPA has never ceased to seek expanded powers, culminating soon with a battle over whether it can regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) as a “pollutant.” Labeled a “greenhouse gas”, in the eyes of the EPA it is an “endangerment” to the health of humanity in general and Americans in particular.

CO2 is as vital to all life on planet Earth in the same way as oxygen. It is what plants consume in order to grow, much as oxygen is essential for life among living creatures that, in turn, are dependent on vegetation, crops, for their sustenance. It’s a neat little cycle that has existed since life emerged on Earth.

If the EPA gains the power to regulate CO2, it will have the power to regulate the activities of every individual and the entire economy of the nation. Traditional sources of energy, with the exception of nuclear and hydroelectric power, involve the emission of CO2. A modern society cannot function without CO2 emissions, but they have nothing to do with global warming because there is NO global warming.

CO2 represents a mere 386 parts per million of the Earth’s atmosphere. Humans are responsible for 3% of its generation; Mother Nature produces the other 97%. And the EPA wants to regulate ALL of it!

Actual science is of no importance to the EPA. If the EPA really cared about human life, it would not have a long history of banning beneficial chemicals such as DDT and other pesticides that protect humans against a laundry list of transmittable diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, et cetera.

The EPA is actually seeking to limit the amount of deicing fluid used to protect commercial and other aircraft on the grounds that it might get into nearby streams and rivers. Never mind the lives of the passengers and crews on planes that would be brought down as the result of such ice. This defies common sense.

In truth, the EPA threatens the economy and our lives in so many ways it is difficult to know where to point first. To my mind, the way it infiltrates the nation’s education system to fill the minds of children with visions of a planet threatened with “warming” or that every species is “endangered” or that all the waters and air are “polluted” is criminal.

The EPA is currently accepting grant applications “to help manage the National Environmental Education Training Program over the next ten years.” Costing $10 million, it “will provide teachers and other education professionals with resources and support to enable them to teach about environmental issues more effectively.” The EPA was not created to go into our nation’s schools in this manner. This is propaganda. This is indoctrination.

Let us grant that, when it stuck to its original purpose, it did make the air cleaner and some of the nation’s waters. Now, however, the EPA is a massive machine designed to destroy the nation’s economy and impede growth and development in every way possible.

The primary tool for this are lies concerning any element of the environment it wants to control and, as a result, retard the economy. As but one example, there are the new “smog” standards the EPA recently announced. It has reduced them to a level of 60 to 70 parts per billion in the air. It released a list of counties it says are in violation of the new limits.

The cost of achieving the lower standard is estimated from $19 billion to $90 billion. If you took one tennis ball from an olympic-sized pool filled with them, you would achieve the same result. It’s not merely absurd; it is yet another attack on every single business and industry operating in those counties.

The same idiocy applies to setting mileage rules or requiring that ethanol be added to gasoline. To achieve the mileage rules, the weight of automobiles must be reduced. People inside those thinner, lighter cars will die from an accident at a rate in excess of larger vehicles. As for ethanol, it requires more energy to produce than it saves. It drives up the cost of all the food we consume. It also reduces the mileage from every gallon of gasoline while emitting more CO2!

The EPA is currently at war with the coal industry, responsible for providing the source of 50% of all the electricity generated in the United States of America. A recent “endangerment” finding against all surface coal mining in the Appalachian States of Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia is based on the protection of the Mayfly population, an insect that typically lives for one day!

The list of EPA abuses of common sense and known science could fill a shelf of books in much the same way its ever-expanding regulations do, but the worst of it is yet to come if the Cap-and-Trade Act is passed.

Despite the fact that CO2 has nothing to do with the non-existent “global warming” and therefore does not need to be regulated for any reason, the enactment of the bill will literally prevent a homeowner from selling their home without permission from an EPA administrator. The cost of buying or selling a home will soar.

The Environmental Protection Agency needs to be reduced in size and authority to its original intent. Better still, eliminate it entirely. It is a monster.

© Alan Caruba, 2010


Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

I could not agree more. While we are at eliminating monsters, let us also slay the IRS.

admrich said...

By Global Warming, do you mean Anthropogenic or Man-Made Global warming ??

Travis sez said...

This is a vital summary of why we should teach our children the natural and symbiotic relationship of O2 and C02. I don't see evidence of any awareness of photosynthesis in what my grandchildren, or their parents were taught in the government schools. Less C02 = Less green, fewer crops, and higher prices. Right on, Alan.

Alan Caruba said...

Simply put, there never was or will be man-made global warming. The Earth's climate is largely determined by the sun and oher factors.

Unknown said...

EPA as originally set up was a damned good thing. I definitely can speak to the difference in air quality before and after. Lake Erie is no longer a dead lake, as it once was. The Cuyahoga river won't catch fire and melt another steel bridge, as it once did.

That said, the Greenie meddlers moved in as staff and upper-level bureaucrats. The entire environmental movement has had way too much influence upon the selection of political appointees to the highest positions.

Power has been usurped by those with an obvious agenda--and the inevitable results of that agenda bode ill for the nation...

Deep Roots in Tough Times said...

EPA is a Joke

Time to shut down the EPA, Education Department and the IRS.
They have grown way beyond their original intent. They are nothing but phony organizations that keep liberals pockets lined with our tax dollars.

kenlowder said...

You can Also add the fall of the world trade towers to the fault of the EPA. During their construction the steel beams of the building was coated with asbestos! Half way through the building asbestos was banned by the EPA. Those steel beams that the plans fuel contacted were not protected which helped in the failure of the building.

libertyvini said...

The EPA was not set up to decrease pollution. The states were already moving, by increasing fines, and instituting pollution permits for discharges to air, water, and soil. If anything, the creation of the EPA pre-empted state authority in this regard, nationalizing pollution permiting on behalf of the biggest industrial polluters. What this in effect did was grant large firms explicit licenses to pollute, disadvantaging smaller firms and sending many of them into bankruptcy.

Which brings us back to the roots of the problem. State court abrogation of property rights against pollution trespass, followed by federal government control of industry during the two World Wars, Korean, and Vietnam wars institutionalized an ethic of 'produce at any cost' in many industries. Indeed, by far the worst polluters continue to be those facilities (such as the present and former nuclear and chemical weapons sites) that were under direct federal control.

The EPA most certainly does not prevent pollution, on the contrary, it protects it. The current effort (Waxman-Markey) is a bid to give the EPA the authority to advantage nuclear utilities like Exelon over their carbon-based competition, see Forbe on 'the president's utility' or my own articles on

Rich Kozlovich said...


Great article. In the past there have been those who posted comments touting the clean air and clean water successes of the environmental movement and the EPA, and they were correct. And as I have stated in the past, it behooves us to acknowledge those successes because they are factual and historical events that cannot be denied. Having said that we to come to this question; does this give them a pass on everything else they have done? I call this the “Hitler made the trains run on time fallacy”. Having done some good things doesn’t give them a pass on the rest of life.


Syn Diesel said...

"As for ethanol, it requires more energy to produce than it saves. It drives up the cost of all the food we consume. It also reduces the mileage from every gallon of gasoline while emitting more CO2!"

No, no it doesn't. That's just a manufactured (Pimentel et al) narrative used by both lefty eco-nutters and right-wing misanthropes in need of a talking point ("Scientists now tell us...").

Hippy eco-techhead David Blume's book Alcohol Can Be A Gas is an approachable resource for lay people such as yourself. Free market alcohol fuel is not only viable but a significant opportunity for economic growth and competition. And that so-called subsidy doesn't even begin to cover the fees, bonding and inflated volumetric tax small-scale distillers pay so don't think that canard will gain any traction.

Alan Caruba said...

Syn Diesel:
It defies logic to turn food,i.e. corn, into a fuel. All that does is drive up the cost throughout the food chain because corn is widely fed to livestock and used in countless food products.

Were it not for government subsidies in the millions and probably reaching the billions, there would be no ethanol and alternative fuels. There is no need and no demand for them.

Ethanol is so corrosive it must be delivered everywhere by truck because it cannot be sent via pipelines.

But the bottom line is that the US sits atop billions of untapped barrels of oil and has billions more offshore. Only the government stands between us and its extraction, refinement, and use.

Alternate fuel is a confidence game that costs Americans millions as they fill their gas tanks with a mix that provides less mileage than pure gasoline.

Sorry, but them's the facts.

Syn Diesel said...

I invite you to read Blume's book. Unless your specialized technical experience allows you to safely ignore the go-to reference for ethanol fuel. "Them's the facts" kinda falls short and makes me wonder, in light of your other comments, if I should also reconsider my negative opinion of the EPA, Al Gore and Earth First!.

Nah, just kidding about that.

sorsdahl said...

Seeing is believing;
You can see that its the CO2 emissions which is actually helping fertilize crops. Roundup and other chemicals are building in toxins in the soil that will effect our lifes, and the genetic varieties of GMO’s also threaten our way of life moving forward.
Global warming based on CO2 is a scam. CO2 is carbon dioxide, they say its a global warming gas but CO2 is also dry ice, LOL and you see dry ice on other planets so I dont fear the earth heading into a furnace.
Even water is a global warming gas according to the IPCC, yet water is also ice.
So there you have it, we need to spend less money on chasing global warming scams and focus instead on toxins 2-4,D, agent orange and Monsanto’s seeds and Glyphosate killing chemicals and seeds.
The Hazards of Using Monsanto’s GMO “BT Cotton”

Michelle said...

EPA is a JOKE! Obviously they have never been afflicted directly with bed bugs as I have been. Reputable pest control companies can't even get this situation under control. I am willing to put my hard earned tax dollars towards DDT, and take my chances with it's detrimental effects. Just waiting for further research to finally confirm that these parasites actually carry viable parasite to human diseases. Unfortunate that it would probably have to come to that before someone wakes up and does something about it! Shame on the EPA and it's "environmental safety concerns".