|Environmental Reality Finally Takes Root!|
|Thursday, 15 September 2011 15:03|
Does anyone remember the movie Poltergeist when the little girl in front of the TV says, “They’re back!” Well, my take is, “It’s here!”
You may be wondering, what’s here? Well, it’s what 10 to 20 years of green hell gets us. Sure, the air and wastewater treatment was bad 40 to 50 years ago and environmental regulations were needed, and they’ve done a great job up until the 1990’s. No one opposes being environmentally sensitive. Not surprisingly, no matter how clean the air and water get, the EPA/CARB and all those that depend on green largess continue to find unacceptable risks, mostly based on junk science like CARB’s PM regulations or EPA’s CASAC ozone research. The EPA’s and state regulators’ powers and budgets, as well as those of environmentalists, depend on a continued public perception that there is a serious problem to solve. The regulations worked; now we should stop right where we are at and reevaluate every federal and state regulation and agency and all the public jobs that depend on this unwieldy job-killing machine. It is very unlikely that the environment would be harmed if we stopped and even rolled back many of these regulatory schemes, especially those based on junk science.
Who doesn’t think that examining what all these regulations have done to businesses and employment here would be a good first step to improving our economy? How many of us really believe the air we breathe and water we drink is bad today? Who can believe any of the ridiculous public health effects studies coming from the UC Schools or the American Lung Association?
Yes, jobs are now more important than any of these insignificant incremental environmental improvements proposed by EPA or CARB that come at such enormous social costs.
The proposed ozone rule would have tightened the ozone standard set in 2008 by the Bush EPA (who also stopped it), when few of us were actually really looking at the junk science. The ozone standard was suggested to be lowered from 75 ppb to 60 ppb (as in parts per billion).
In comparison, carbon dioxide or CO2, the gas we all exhale and plants need to grow, also attributed to burning up the earth, is about 380 ppm (as in parts per million). All still very tiny amounts.
The Clean Air Act calls for the EPA to reconsider emissions regulations of all types every 5 years, meaning the rules do not really need to be reviewed until 2013 anyway. So why the big rush and push by EPA?
As expected, dozens of environmental lobbying groups are already lining up to sue the EPA and get some of that “greenmail” funding (also see Hank’s story). It’s all a political self-preservation show.
So, why did Obama halt the EPA ozone rule? My best guess is that with the upcoming presidential elections in 2012, he must have felt that he needs to distance his party somewhat from the job-killing agenda. With over two years of 9-plus percent unemployment in the U.S. and 12-plus percent in California, things have to change for him to win again.
The new ozone regulation was estimated to cost businesses and taxpayers over $90 billion a year if implemented! Analysis from Manufacturers’ Alliance/MAPI estimated that if the proposed regulations are implemented, 7 million jobs will be lost and the U.S. GDP would be 3.6% lower by 2020. The EPA’s own low-ball estimates, which usually fail to account for the full costs of such regulations, indicated that this new rule could cost the economy as much as $90 billion a year. But it also had some vague and arbitrary number about 12,000 saved lives (all BS). When qualified researchers drill down on these claims, the numbers have no legitimate science or fact behind them.
Solyndra Just Another Environmental Boondoggle
With the fiscal problems of California and our country, recent news has not been very kind to those that have voted to subsidize green technology. Taxpayers most recently lost another $535 million investment or subsidy along with private investors’ money at a company called Solyndra. The total loss will be about $1 billion, and don’t forget the 1,100 jobs in the Bay that went “poof!” too. The company is also at least the second major government-subsidized solar company this summer to declare bankruptcy. Massachusetts-based Evergreen Solar entered bankruptcy protection on August 15 after closing its Massachusetts plant. Incidentally, 4 days after Evergreen Solar filed, SpectraWatt, Inc., a private company that was backed by Intel Corp., closed.
Yes, the newest subsidized solar cell/panel-manufacturing casualty is Solyndra, Inc., a Fremont, California-based company that has been the poster child for green jobs for at least the last 3 years. The August 31 announcement of Solyndra’s demise was a shock to many outside the business. Some insiders are saying that it’s simply not possible for the folks at the Dept. of Energy (DOE), who were part of the government loan guarantee meetings, to not have realized that Solyndra was headed for the garbage can. They had to be lawyers. They are not stupid. There had to have been memos and phone calls back to the DOE and ultimately the Obama Administration during August on the failing status of the company. If during that month they had any suspicions of wrongdoing or fraud by the company’s officers, they would have alerted DOJ, and the FBI raids would have happened before the company filed a bankruptcy petition. The business about raiding homes now is just a smoke screen for the President, Brown, and their party.
Today, manufacturing, harvesting any natural resources or just being in business in California is too costly and cumbersome because of regulations. Sure Hollywood and Silicone Valley are exceptions, but they can’t employee everyone. It’s no wonder why we are in the mess we are. Governor Brown pledged 500,000 new green jobs over the next decade as part of his grand plan when elected. I would have bet him his job on that one. Well, there’s a negative 1,100 or more jobs lost for ya and with the collateral loss in jobs, probably 2-3 times that many when the fall-out domino-effect is calculated.
A study released in July by the non-partisan Brookings Institution found clean-technology jobs accounted for just 2% of employment nationwide and only slightly more – 2.2% – in Silicon Valley. Rather than adding jobs, the study found, the sector actually lost 492 positions from 2003 to 2010 in the South Bay, where the unemployment rate in June was 10.5%. And this was before Solyndra’s collapse.
Gov. Brown’s Green Dictatorship
Gov. Brown, too, appeared to be surprised by Solyndra’s sudden collapse (at least publicly). Just 2 weeks before the bankruptcy announcement, he invited Solyndra, Inc. management to join him on-stage to unveil a proposed package of tax subsidies for green energy companies. Solyndra’s presence was supposed to lend evidence to the “success” of past clean energy subsidies. Not surprisingly, this is a poor omen for Governor Brown’s tax plan.
In an interview I heard or saw recently, Brown said he would continue to talk about the realities of climate change even as many politicians in Washington try to avoid that conversation. What’s he smoking these days? No one is avoiding this issue, I mean, fraud! He should call U.S. Senator James Inhofe’s office first.
He said, “Climate change will create floods, droughts, forest fires of greater intensity and regularity and with far greater devastation.” People who think of earth’s weather in terms of the last 100 years on a 4.5-billion-year-old planet are fools. Who is naive enough to believe that the earth and its weather never changes?
Brown asserted that many of the people who once denied that tobacco was harmful are now well-financed “climate deniers.” So, do the oil companies own the tobacco companies now, too? He added, “Climate denial propaganda is very powerful, but California is standing against it.” Brown, actually with a straight face, added, “Part of my job is to advance the truth of science.”
Yes, advance the truth of science…hmmm. You would think he would begin by helping UCLA’s Professor Enstrom and others like him, who don’t always provide politically correct research results and recieves unfair treatment by the educational and scientific community. When he was the state attorney general, we (CDTOA) asked him to investigate the CARB employee and lead researcher (for the on- and off-road diesel engine rules) Hien Tran’s confessed academic fraud and CARB Chair Mary Nichols’s cover-up of this fraud. He, of course, declined, or more accurately, ignored our request.
OK, he’s a little corrupt and autocratic. How about at least looking into the “admitted” false CARB scientific claims about off-highway diesel engine emission inventory, which were off by 360%? Or investigate the CARB SmartWay claims that truckers drive over the speed limit 84% of the time and that helps them save $3 billion a year in fuel costs? Or this one we are all now too familiar with: the PM2.5 premature death claims that went from 12,000 to 8,000 to 3,000 down to 350, statically zero? You talk about junk science—is he that stupid? Maybe he thinks we are!
His relationship with CARB and Mary Nicholas is despicable (he just vetoed two CARB-related bills, SB 211 and 724). Hopefully, this all will be his eventual undoing.
Make no mistake; it is the beginning of the reckoning for all these green claims and success stories and those that lie about it all. The windmill, concentrated solar power (CSP) and electric car financial debacles are next.
Not even our garbage industry has missed the business-killing wrath of California government. A prime example of this is Waste Connections, Inc. It is a large ($1.3 billion in revenue) waste-handling company based in the Sacramento area. Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, said on a radio show August 31, it was “in negotiations” to relocate its headquarters to another state, but did not say where. Word is Texas. He said the move was because, “It’s extremely difficult to do business here,” Mittelstaedt.
Regulations are part of civilized society; over-regulation is surely its demise. Over and over again we read about important California businesses moving to other states. When will our elected officials take notice and make positive changes in the business environment here? With the current versions of lefty Rope-a-Dopes in Sacramento, when will the California voters get it and vote the right folks in?
Our lawsuit against CARB has been making it way through the legal process, thanks to Ellison Law Group.
As usual, KILL CARB!