Friday, July 22, 2011

Observations From the Back Row: 7-22-11

“De Omnibus Dubitandum”

MILLOY: Show us the bodies, EPA

By Steve Milloy

The House will soon vote to (slightly) rein in the Obama Environmental Protection Agency. But this much-needed baby step by Congress will only happen if Republicans have the knowledge and muster the courage to withstand a final bare-knuckles assault by EPA’s enviro allies.

The House Appropriations Committee passed last week the fiscal 2012 EPA budget that would cut the agency’s budget by $1.7 billion - 18 percent - and delay for one year several of its new and/or planned regulatory programs targeting coal-fired electric utilities. It’s hardly landmark legislation but it’s a start.

But the EPA and its allies aren’t taking such reasonableness lying down. Leading their pushback is the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), which is making utility giant American Electric Power (AEP) the whipping boy example for Republicans and businesses that dare question - let alone rise against - EPA oppression………But like the EPA’s 17,000-lives-saved statistical fabrication, the ad is a fake…….The EPA says air pollution kills tens of thousands of people annually. This is on a par with traffic accident fatalities. While we can identify traffic accident victims, air pollution victims are unknown, unidentified and as far as anyone can tell, figments of EPA’s statistical imagination. It ought not to be too much to ask the EPA to produce some tangible evidence that air pollution is causing actual harm to real people.

Consider that the EPA and its enviro-buddies are essentially accusing coal-fired utilities of killing and injuring hundreds of thousands of people annually. Have you ever wondered why there are no class-action lawsuits against utilities for billions of dollars in damages? Apparently, even trial lawyers have no confidence that EPA science holds up to scrutiny……We can no longer afford the EPA’s clean air charade. The EPA has no clothes - if only congressional Republicans would open their eyes and notice.

My Take - Over years the EPA has come up with numbers of lives lost or saved that belie reality and when asked the prove those numbers they would just ramp them down; but they never justify them. Let’s stop kidding ourselves. These numbers are made up! Of course they call them estimates, but estimates and assumptions are the basis for much of what EPA does.

Let's face it; they make this stuff up!

Pesticides now have a 1000 fold safety factor to them. Originally it was a 10 fold safety factor then a 100 fold safety factor and now a 1000. Why and how? The way this worked was they added an intra-species 10X safety factor based on rat studies. The rationale is that since they didn’t test all species of rat they would add an “assumption” of 10X. This was interesting because the genetic groupings of rats they use for testing are prone to growing tumors on their own versus other rats which are seemingly much healthier. They added another 10X safety factor for inter-species concerns. The claim was that they knew what happened to rats, but rats aren’t humans, so what about humans and other animals? We now had a 100 fold safety factor tied up in pesticides and it was that way for many years.

I think this is even more interesting because they rate a chemical’s carcinogenicity based on rat studies and when challenged on the value of this kind of science claim that this is EPA policy. They then reject the concept when it suits them. After the Food Quality Protection Act was passed we were left with another 10X safety factor. The reasoning was that we “know” how this affects healthy people; but what about the sick, elderly and young? Thus they created a potential 1000 fold safety factor. There is not one iota of science to base this on. It is all based on the “risk assumptions” of an agency that was created to bring about a political decision on DDT irrespective of the facts. They haven’t changed in all these years.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax -
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings."



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