Sunday, March 27, 2011

Observations From the Back Row

By Rich Kozlovich

Mass murderer, nitwit defend EPA

Former Republican EPA administrators William Ruckelshaus and Christine Todd Whitman authored the op-ed below that appeared in today’s Washington Post. Ruckelshaus’ unjustified ban of DDT in 1972 has led to the deaths of tens of millions of Africans. Whitman is an airhead — at the time she was appointed as EPA administrator, she actually didn’t know the difference between global warming and ozone depletion. When an interviewer asked for her views on the state of global warming science in December 2000, Whitman replied, “Clearly, there’s a hole in the ozone, but I saw a study the other day that showed that that was closing.”

My Take - I remember Whitman as EPA administrator, and how she whined when she found out this wasn’t a very nice job if you bucked the greenies. That’s why her term is only for 2001-2003….she couldn’t wait to get out. What was she thinking; how brain dead could she have been? So now they trot out these two to defend the EPA. They meow all the right warm and cuddly sounds, but here is a bit of reality from a real scientist….who actually helped create the EPA and helped in their foundational legislation. See what his views are on the EPA today.  Please read, An Interview with Dr. Jay Lehr, Defender of Our Industry.

American Chemical Council (ACC) CEO, Cal Dooley, Calls for Cooperation From Industry, Government on Crafting Regulations.

The Toxic Substances Control Act needs to be updated, and since there may not be much progress in Congress, states are taking the issue upon themselves, creating a complicated regulatory landscape, said American Chemistry Council President and CEO Cal Dooley.

“The lack of certainty makes it difficult for companies that produce and use chemicals to operate efficiently and diverts resources from investment and hiring to managing duplicative and inconsistent regulatory requirements,” Dooley said at the opening of the GlobalChem conference.

My Take- I have been amazed at this trend from an organization that one would think would be opposed to more regulations. The number of pages added to the Federal Register, which lists all new regulations, reached a high of 78,090 in 2007, up from 64,438 in 2001. Over 25% of all federal regulations are environmental regulations. I would like to know exactly what regulations imposed by the federal government doesn’t already cover all of these issues? In over 78,000 pages of regulations what could they have possibly missed?

Generally when a large organization such as the ACC demands more government oversight of an industry it means that the largest companies will be in a position to drive smaller competitors out of the market. This pattern started when Whiskey Act was passed in 1791 by large distillers in the cities to force farmers to stop making and selling corn liquor. It was true when tobacco companies settled the lawsuits with the states attorneys general forcing the smaller companies to remain small, The agreement allowed the tobacco companies to pass any fines on to consumers, making them a partner with the states and these “fines” now became, in reality, excise taxes. Who was the biggest supporter of that action? Phillip Morris. I seriously doubt that this situation is any different now.

I have no doubt that this will not benefit the nation or the small businesses involved in chemical manufacturing, distribution or application. Since I know someone who knows Mr. Dooley and he tells me he is a sharp guy, I can’t doubt his intelligence, so I have to wonder as to his (and his organization’s) motives. I receive their newsletter and I have found, based on some of their positions, that I have absolutely no confidence in these people at all.

The ACC reminds me entirely too much of Crop Life America who has taken positions against pesticides that are bereft of long term vision as to the consequence of those decisions and can only be construed as self serving to the largest manufacturers. The fact that the EPA is so hot for passage is a good enough reason not to be hot for it.

One large company really gets it though. I am so pleased to report that Dow is now upset at the EPA’s junk science rationale regarding their fumigant ProFume (Sulfuryl Fluoride). I wish to commend them for this principled stand. They may now be coming to the industry asking for support for their position. Great! I am all for that!

Since this is an issue of principle, i.e. junk science, and not an economic issue, let’s first start with first things first - overturning the Montreal Protocol; another piece of junk science that would have never become law if the internet had existed in those days. That way we can get methyl bromide back. After Dow has worked with everyone on that, I have no doubt that we will have time to enthusiastically work on the Sulfuryl Fluoride issue, and we will have momentum on our side. I congratulate Dow AgroSciences for their vision and determination and look forward to this challenge to fight against junk science regulations. Clearly they realize that this kind of thing has long term implications everyone will eventually have to face.

Government's Work Is Never Done: The endless expansion of big government

"When," humorist P.J. O’Rourke has asked, "can we quit passing laws and raising taxes? When can we say of our political system, ‘Stick a fork in it, it’s done’?... The mystery of government is not how Washington works but how to make it stop."

Alas for O’Rourke and those who sympathize with him, the project of contemporary liberalism is never done. You might look upon the vast expansion of the regulatory state over the past couple of decades and conclude that government could afford to take a breather—maybe even a three-day weekend. Wrong. To the liberal or progressive eye, the remarkable thing is not how much government does—but how much it has yet to do…….

Considerations such as these seem to carry little weight with fans of the regulatory state such as The Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson—who noted, in the wake of the once-in-a-millennium tsunami that has devastated Japan, that "we haven’t defeated risk." Once we have—presumably after the Rapture comes—then maybe the expansion of the regulatory state can throttle down. Until then, this much is clear: If O’Rourke wants to stick a fork in anything, he better have a permit.

My Take – Do I really have to say anything?


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