Tag Archives: EPA

Bush-Appointed Federal Judge Blocks Obama Water Rule Citing ‘Risk of Irreparable Harm’

BY MORGAN CHALFANT FOR FREEBEACON.COM

A federal judge in North Dakota appointed by George W. Bush blocked an Obama administration rule Thursday that would allow the federal government to regulate certain streams and other small waterways.

The Associated Press reported that U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson issued a temporary injunction requested by 13 states including North Dakota blocking the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from regulating small streams, tributaries, and wetlands as directed under the Clean Water Act.

While North Dakota’s attorney general, who filed the request, interpreted the ruling as applying to all 50 states, the EPA insisted that it only stretches to the 13 that sued for the injunction. The rule is set to take effect everywhere else on Friday.

According to Erickson’s ruling, the EPA has exceeded its authority by creating the rule, which requires landowners to obtain a permit if they take actions that would pollute or harm the regulated bodies of water. The agricultural industry has vehemently pushed back on the regulation.

“The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely,” Erickson said when granting the temporary injunction, alleging that the rule would force “jurisdictional studies” of each proposed natural gas, oil, or water pipeline project in North Dakota.

“While the exact amount of land that would be subject to the increase is hotly disputed, the agencies admit to an increase in control over those traditional state-regulated waters of between 2.84 to 4.65 percent,” he wrote in the ruling.

According to officials in North Dakota, the rule would cost the state millions of dollars.

In addition to North Dakota, the other states exempt from the rule are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

EPA Forced Their Way onto the Gold King Mine

epa1

The EPA not only caused a massive toxic spill that poured from an abandoned mine into the Animas River, they did it against basic common sense, working stupidly on the private property the mine is on, after threatening the owner who did not want to give them access. The EPA has not acknowledged or disavowed this claim as of yet.

The owner of the Gold King mine, Todd Hennis, told CBS Denver that the EPA forced him to give them access to the mine to investigate a discharge which they plugged up last year.

After the EPA was done and they removed the plug, the mine leaked more than 3 million gallons of toxic metals into the Animas and San Juan Rivers over the last two weeks.

Four years ago the EPA threatened the owner with a $35,000 a day fine if he didn’t let them on to work on his property. He said that when you’re the little guy you quickly put up the white flag.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPImyjJ0cKQ&feature=player_detailpage

Mr. Hennis said it all could have been avoided if the EPA and adjacent mine had acted on requests he made.

One of the excuses being used to deflect from the EPA’s responsibility in the spill is that the locals didn’t agree to the Superfund program.

The Superfund is only good at taking over private property and keeping business investments at bay with its onerous regulations.

It had absolutely nothing to do with the spill – nothing. The EPA wanted that false information out, it was another one of their leaks.

Hennis claims the water did not originate with the Gold King, but seeped into it from an adjacent mine, the Sunnyside. Its owners deny any responsibility.

There have been reports in the Denver Post and the Durango Herald that three mines adjacent to the Gold King are leaking.

The EPA removed the plug they put in with no planning and no backup plan.

Gold King

A geologist by the name of Dave Taylor came close to predicting this exact leak two weeks before in a letter to the editor in the Silverton Standard. His prediction concerned two adjacent mines.

Taylor said he didn’t know they were going to fool with the Gold King as well as the two other mines. The EPA plugged a 500 gallon a minute leak in two mines next to Gold King.

“That old plug in the Gold King mine was kind of unstable material,” Taylor noted in his letter.

“It was incompetent and stupid for them to go up to that existing plug and try to remove it without knowing how much water was upstream and behind it and what the hydrostatic pressure was,” Taylor says.

“The plug was stable until they fooled around with it. Once they disturbed it, that’s what activated the blowout,” he added.

Mr. Taylor did not precisely predict this blowout though he was close.

In a second letter in the Silverton Standard, Mr. Taylor wrote, “I said I just can’t believe they were so … incompetent that they would go in there and attempt to do this – unplug the Gold King mine –without a backup plan.”

About the Gold King, Taylor told Breitbart, “They went to the entrance, the portal, and started blindly digging and this thing unloaded. Three million gallons behind that and it blew, and there was no stopping it,” he added.

Some believe the EPA did this deliberately but the fact is the EPA as an organization is just blatantly incompetent.

The EPA has been less than forthcoming about the results of their tests. Some professionals who have independently tested the water found lead at 12,000 times appropriate levels, others report 3,500 times the limit that is safe for humans. CNN reported that samples of beryllium and cadmium were 33 times higher, and one of the arsenic levels was more than 800 times higher.

The EPA has a known history of forcing owners to comply with their demands. They don’t use AK’s, they use outrageous and unconstitutional fines. It’s still force and is well beyond simple bullying.

Mike & Chantell Sackett

The most famous case demonstrating the EPA’s use of force is probably that of Mike and Chantell Sackett.

The Supreme Court of the United States heard the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 and ruled unanimously in the Sackett’s favor in 2012 though the case wasn’t over, it just guaranteed some of their basic rights.

The EPA deprived Mike and Chantell Sackett of their private property and due process rights, circumvented the courts, violated the Constitution, and used the Clean Water Act to do it.

Can a government agency deprive a citizen of their private property and their Constitutional rights? The EPA obviously believes it can.

The Sacketts were clearing their land to build a dream home in Idaho with all the necessary permits in place when the EPA told them to stop building, restore the land to its original condition, and pay enormous fines because their land was protected wetland even though it wasn’t listed as such on the EPA’s own documents.

The Sacketts were threatened with fines they couldn’t pay of up to $75,000 per day and faced financial ruin. They decided to fight. The Pacific Legal Foundation came to their aide, took their case, and argued it before the nine Supreme Court justices.

The EPA violated the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution in the Sackett case.

The Fifth Amendment is clear – No person shall be …deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.

The Sackett case is an important one in that should help define how far a government agency can go in controlling private property but even when the EPA loses a case, they continue to violate the law.

The Sacketts continue to fight the EPA and their case is on remand.

Listen to the Sacketts yourself.

Yes really: Obama is about to END the 4th of July as we know it

Written by Michele Hickford, Editor-in-Chief for ALLENWEST.COM
We’ve written here previously about the draconian restrictions the EPA is quietly implementing in our nation. In fact WE were skewered by the liberal media for mentioning barbecue grills.
Well, hate to say we told you so, but it’s about to get even more absurd. And once again, it goes right the heart of something most Americans treasure.
Per the Daily Caller, enjoy Independence Day while you still can. If President Obama gets his way, this could be the last Fourth of July worth celebrating.
New ground-level ozone standards being pushed by Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency would result in widespread bans on fireworks shows, backyard grilling and other Independence Day traditions.
Because the proposed ozone rule is set so low, things as harmless as a few backyard chefs grilling burgers in the same area at the same time, or even festive fireworks being launched during an Independence Day celebration, could cause an area to violate federal ozone standard thresholds. Such a violation of the EPA’s unreasonably low ozone limit would result in fines and other penalties for local governments from federal regulators.
In an attempt to steer clear of punishment, local lawmakers will have to respond to the new EPA rules by enacting municipal grilling bans and canceling fireworks shows from sea to shining sea.
Yep, another one of those great ideas that will increase prices of goods sold, eliminate jobs and once again, assault one of our most cherished traditions.
Recent studies by the National Association of Manufacturers and other groups have shown that the EPA’s new directive would be the most expensive regulation ever enacted, costing the economy $140 billion annually. Even the EPA’s own cost estimates acknowledge the economic hit from the proposed regulation would be well into the tens of billions of dollars a year
Oh, and here’s the best part of all. Despite the damage this will do to our economy and American way of life, it will do almost NOTHING to improve air quality, reducing ozone to a level barely above naturally occurring levels.
Excuse me for a moment. HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Okay. I’m better now.
Even the EPA doesn’t really understand why the rule is needed. While testifying before Congress earlier this year, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy indicated that ozone levels would go down without this rule in place.
My friends, we are frogs in that pot of water and the temperature is ever so slowly being turned up, almost imperceptibly. As the Daily Caller says, this new guideline will make it so difficult to comply, whole regions of the country will have to pay fines and face other penalties, without any realistic hope of meeting the standard short of banning cars and forcing businesses to close.
Enjoy your smoke-belching pick-up with the gun rack and the American flag waving off the railing while you can folks, because don’t think for a second they’re not ALL in Obama’s sights.
I am personally astonished by the speed in which he is destroying this nation and our deeply-held fundamental beliefs and traditions. It is the now the final act in the tragic drama of the Obama presidency and we haven’t even seen the grande finale.
 
 

Binding CO2 cap would leave US on shaky legal ground

MY COMMENTS:  Two traitors, one from the left and one from the right.

US legal expert lays out criteria for Paris pact, warns govt should not over-commit or it could face trouble in courts.

two liarsObama’s climate policies face stiff opposition from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Pic: White House/Flickr)

By Ed King

President Barack Obama is likely to be on shaky legal ground if he agrees to a proposed UN climate deal that establishes a legally binding emissions cap for the US.

That’s the view of professor Daniel Bodansky from Arizona State University, an expert in international law who has authored a new paper on the proposed Paris pact.

“The President would be on relatively firm legal ground accepting a new climate agreement with legal force, without submitting it to the Senate or Congress for approval, to the extent it is procedurally oriented, could be implemented on the basis of existing law, and is aimed at implementing or elaborating the UNFCCC [UN climate body],” he writes.

“On the other hand, if the new agreement establishes legally binding emissions limits or new legally binding financial commitments, this would weigh in favor of seeking Senate or congressional approval.”

Published by the Washington DC-based Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions, Bodansky’s paper suggests key criteria for US negotiators working on a global deal.

The deal should be consistent with US law
-It should not establish a binding CO2 cap
-It should not establish binding commitments of US dollars
-It should not offer the UN climate body more power

On the first principle, he says the president could cite the Clean Air Act and its use by the EPA to curb CO2 emissions as evidence US carbon cuts are backed by domestic law.

But on the second and third items – critical for a UN deal – Bodansky says the legal position is unclear, although he does suggest the president could use executive powers to push them through.

The intervention comes at a critical time for negotiations on a global deal, which are little over six months away from being finalised in Paris at a December UN summit.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have vowed to block efforts by Obama to tackle global warming, through Congressional enquiries and by voting to block funds for key environmental efforts.

How the US administration negotiates these obstacles will likely be critical to success in Paris.

Without US support, China and other emerging economies could also question the level of their involvement in a deal.

Lead envoy Todd Stern is on record saying he does not back a ‘top down’ legally binding treaty.

 

 

EPA’s biggest fear? Evaluating employment impacts of its regulations

EPA Biggest Fear
By Bill Kovacs for THE HILL
Congress in 1977 mandated in every major environmental statute that EPA “continuously evaluate potential loss or shifts in employment” from its regulations in order to gauge the real regulatory impact on individuals and communities. Since 1977, EPA has not complied. The agency has been ignoring the faces of real people who lose real jobs because of a regulation.
EPA has been implementing rules as a result of Congressional action, but Congress also intended for EPA to evaluate the impact on real Americans who lose real jobs. Fortunately, this lack of compliance is now being challenged in federal district court.
A lawsuit brought against EPA by Murray Energy Company argues that section 321(a) of the “Clean Air Act” imposes a mandatory duty on EPA to conduct the continuous evaluation of potential job loss and shifts in employment from the agency’s air quality rules, but the agency failed to act. EPA tried to dismiss the case, arguing that Murray has no standing to bring a lawsuit because it is not harmed by EPA’s failure to conduct the study.
But on March 27, the federal district court found that Murray’s claimed injuries are sufficient to give the company legal standing:
Congress’ purpose in enacting the requirement for the evaluations was to provide information which could lead the EPA or Congress to amend the prior EPA actions. This Court also finds that the injuries are redressable. If this Court were to grant the requested injunctive relief to require the EPA to perform its duty under 18 U.S.C. § 7621, the results of the inquiry may have the effect of convincing the EPA, Congress, and/or the American public to relax or alter EPA’s prior decisions.
The legislative history shows clearly that Congress wanted to get the hard facts about the impact of EPA regulations on jobs. The 95th Congress was unmistakably clear that it wanted to determine the truth of the allegations that environmental regulations were responsible for plant shutdowns, decisions not to build new plants and resulting job loss.
Decades later, in Whitman v. American Trucking Association, Justice Scalia writing for a near-unanimous Court observed:
In particular, the economic cost of implementing a very stringent standard might produce health losses sufficient to offset the health gains achieved in cleaning the air – for example, by closing down whole industries and thereby impoverishing the workers and consumers dependent upon those industries. That is unquestionably true, and Congress was unquestionably aware of it.
Why is EPA so fearful of undertaking this mandate? Perhaps it is time for Congress to demand EPA look at the impacts of its regulations on real people, in real communities. And if EPA continues to deny Congress this information, then maybe it is time for Congress to make EPA’s funding contingent on the performance of a mandate imposed on the agency by a federal court.
Kovacs is senior vice president of Environment, Technology, & Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

FEEDING THE PLAN WITH FEDERAL GRANT MONE

by Kathleen

“We live now in an era where normal values have been displaced. The good is called bad, the bad – good.” – Anna Politkovskaya.

“What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.” Francis Fukuyama, The End of History?

Using federal grant money to fund and expand the tentacles of Sustainable Development has a number of ugly realities. First, and easiest to understand, is that this is a money redistribution scheme that helps bankrupt both the federal government and the middle class. The money wasn’t allocated specifically by Congress to fund grants that come from HUD, EPA, DOT, DOE (and maybe other sources as well).

Second, the projects into which this money goes do very little to improve the infrastructure, to help stimulate the local economy or to benefit those it is ostensibly designed to help. I say ‘ostensibly’ because that is what those handing it out and those spending it say it is for, but it is truly a wealth redistribution plan as noted in first paragraph.

Let’s look at just one of the grant sources, the Community Development Block Grants:

As noted by the Cato Institute, CDBG activities are supposed to meet one of three objectives: (1) benefit low- and moderate-income persons, (2) prevent or eliminate slums or blight, or (3) address a serious need or threat that has particular urgency.9 A huge range of activities meet these criteria, including:

While CDBG funds are initially handed out to state and local governments, the ultimate beneficiaries are usually private businesses and organizations working on particular projects, such as shopping malls, parking lots, museums, colleges, theaters, swimming pools, and auditoriums. Here is a small sampling of projects funded in 2008.

These ‘plans,’ supposedly put together by the local metropolitan planning commission along with the city or county council are just like every other plan in every other community in the world. Yes, the world, not just the U.S. Can anyone say that Kalispell, Montana, San Francisco, California, Knoxville, Tennessee, Lhasa, Tibet and Saigon, Viet Nam are so alike that it is only natural that their General Plans for the next 10 or 20 or 50 years all look the same?

Moreover, these plans are building non-elected boards and regional councils made up of ‘stakeholders’ (private political organizations – NGOs affiliated with the UN – that are not local, but travel the nation, imposing Sustainable community plans, and thereby feeding off the grant money). Also cashing in are major corporations and business owners who are looking to cash in through Public Private Partnerships,

Look at just one local community’s take from the federal government and stop and think about how much control the feds take for their largess with your money. Then multiply that by every city and county in the country:

The Consolidated Plan establishes the basis and strategy for the use of federal funds granted to the City of Knoxville by the U. S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under the following programs:

In addition to CDBG, HOME and ESG programs, the City received stimulus funds in 2009 and is implementing Neighborhood Stabilization Program-1 (NSP-1), Community Development Block Grant – Recoverfy (CDBG-R), and

Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing (HPRP) programs. The projects funded with these funds will continue until they are completed and all funds are expended.

Quote of the Day: “What Civilized Society Destroys Its Own Food Source for a Three-Inch Fish?”

Reposted from Moonbattery

Although leftists will try to spin the California drought as proof of global warming, there is far more to this crisis than the climate — which in the Southwest has been dry since long before Americans lived here. Californians are paying the price for succumbing to liberal rule:

Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove — who represents part of Kern County, the second largest agricultural sector in the country — has been trying to get the word out about how Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations apparently are literally draining water into the sea all for the sake of a three-inch fish.

“I put together this short video to explain the real cause of California’s water shortage problems, which everyone is paying attention to now that the Governor has imposed water restrictions on the entire state,” Grove wrote on her Facebook page on April 3, the day she reposted the video she first published back in September.

“Share it with your friends who need to know the truth,” Grove wrote.

Here you go, friends:
http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=A48jl-S9Hhc

Here’s why the water problems caused by ecofascists in California are everybody’s problem:

“All in all, California farmers fallowed about 500,000 acres of land this year,” the Wall Street Journal reported in June 2014. “But here’s the thing: much of this land could have been productive had the state stored up more water from wet years and not flushed 800,000 acre-feet into the San Francisco Bay last winter and an additional 445,000 acre-feet this spring to safeguard the endangered delta smelt.”

That drives up the price of food for everybody. Eventually, if real resistance does not emerge to our leftist ruling class, there will be food shortages.

Grove asks,

“What civilized society destroys its own food source for a three-inch fish?”

The answer: the same civilized society that puts an anti-American radical in the White House. A society that has lost its will to live. We had better get it back quickly or our future will be short — and hungry.

Wow: Obama’s Blood Will Boil After His Former Law Professor Said This About Him

prof

Wow, liberals are really fuming about this. I guess the truth really hurts, and the Left just can’t take it.

The issue I want to discuss is the Environmental Protection Agency and rules they have issued in an attempt to go around Congress on Obama’s climate change agenda. Laurence Tribe, formally the Left’s go-to-guy to support Obama’s illegal executive actions, thinks the White House has gone too far this time.

He has been hired by energy companies looking to stop the EPA dead in its tracks.

The New York Times reports:

Next week Mr. Tribe is to deliver oral arguments for Peabody in the first federal court case about Mr. Obama’s climate change rules. Mr. Tribe argues in a brief for the case that in requiring states to cut carbon emissions, thus to change their energy supply from fossil fuels to renewable sources, the E.P.A. is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority under the Clean Air Act. At a House hearing last month, Mr. Tribe likened the climate change policies of Mr. Obama to “burning the Constitution.”

Politico added:

“You know, I’ve cared about the environment ever since I was a kid. And you know, I taught the first environmental course in this country, and I’ve won major victories for environmental causes. But I’m committed to doing it within the law,” Tribe said.

“Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy,” he added.

If EPA is allowed to choose its interpretation of whether it may regulate power plants under section 111(d) and 112, the agency would essentially be making laws itself, according to Tribe.

“EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts all at once,” he said.

The courts seem to be stepping up as the check on Obama’s illegal dictates as the Constitution says they should. Congress has abdicated its power to the executive branch. The judicial branch does not seem to share the same mindset.

This case is just one of many working through the court system. Next week, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will rule on the halting of Obama’s executive amnesty.

This is really going to be fun to watch.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.
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