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Entries in EPA (25)

Friday
Jun292012

Former Global Warming Supporter Refutes Preservationist Ideology

Yeah, I know. Polar bears and penguins live thousands of miles apart. That’s what you have trouble with about this picture?

Not long ago, James Lovelock, the godfather of the manmade global warming movement, acknowledged that he had been unduly “alarmist.”

As do I, he still believes that we are contributing to climate change, but he admitted that his doomsday predictions --- and those by Al Gore --- were incorrect.

And now he’s followed up with an interview that is going to make those in the preservationist wing of the environmental movement gnash their teeth and pull out their hair.

For example, Lovelock supports natural gas fracking.

“Gas is almost a give-away in the U.S. at the moment. They’ve gone for fracking in a big way. This is what makes me very cross with the greens for trying to knock it. Let’s be pragmatic and sensible . . .”

By the way, the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, said unequivocally that no evidence exists that groundwater has been polluted by the hydraulic fracturing procedure. That doesn’t sit well with the preservationists either.

Lovelock also mocks the idea that economies can be powered by solar panels and wind turbines.

“We rushed into renewable energy without any thought,” he said. “The schemes are largely, hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant. I personally can’t stand windmills at any price.”

And he flatly denies the idea that “the science is settled” regarding manmade global warming.

“One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”

Read the full story here.

Friday
Jun292012

TRCP Critical of Proposed Cuts for Resource Management

TRCP photo

Proposed legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives “would dramatically reduce critical resource programs and sharply curtail federal agencies abilities to responsibly manage public resources and outdoor opportunities,” according to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP.

 “This misguided action by the House not only would roll back investments in conservation spending,” said TRCP President and CEO Whit Fosburgh. “It also undermines the foundation of our nation’s conservation policy. The bill wages a full-frontal assault on basic natural resources management measures that will cost us money and jobs, both in the near and long term.”

TRCP provides the following “lowlights” of cuts included in the bill: 

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget cut by $317 million
  • BLM operations and maintenance cut by $39.6 million
  • North American Wetlands Conservation Act cut by $13 million
  • EPA budget cut by 17 percent
  • Land and Water Conservation Fund reduced by 80 percent 
  • State and tribal wildlife grants cut by $30 million
  • Chesapeake Bay restoration funding cut by $7 million

 Read the full story here.

By the way, the proposed cut for EPA is regrettable, but certainly understandable, considering its abuse of power during this administration. Remember the Sacketts? Or how about the official who resigned after comparing his enforcement strategy to Roman crucifixion?

Friday
Jun012012

EPA Over-Reach Reflected in House Defeat of Guidance for CWA Enforcement 

Sacketts' landlocked home site was ruled a wetland by EPA, which threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day.

Regrettably, the U.S. House of Representatives has rejected an amendment that would clarify guidance for the Army Corps of Engineers and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in protecting waters and wetlands.

But in this era in which headlines and hype trump facts and reality, I’m not surprised. Not long ago, we learned what a bully the federal government can be with its enforcement of the Clean Water Act. That undoubtedly colored judgment for many who voted against the amendment.

Little more than two months ago the U.S. Supreme Court came down forcefully on the side of an Idaho couple (Sacketts) in their fight against the EPA, ruling that the couple can challenge an agency order to stop construction of their home on a property designated as a wetland.

In an opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court said the EPA cannot impose fines that could be as much as $75,000 a day without giving property owners the ability to challenge its actions.

“The reach of the Clean Water Act is notoriously unclear,” said Scalia.

“Any piece of land that is wet at least part of the year is in danger of being classified by EPA employees as wetlands covered by the act, and according to the federal government, if property owners begin to construct a home on a lot that the agency thinks possesses the requisite wetness, the property owners are at the agency’s mercy.”

The Sacketts’ home site is near a lake, but completely landlocked and within an existing subdivision.

 Yeah, I know, that seems to argue for the amendment and for clarification. But government over-reach in Idaho cast EPA and its enforcement of the Clean Water Act in a negative light for many Congressmen.

As did the comments from an EPA official regarding his policy of "crucifying" non-compliant oil and gas companies.

The Izaak Walton League, National Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership provided the following information about the issue:

The U.S. House of Representatives today struck a blow against Clean Water Act protections for streams that supply drinking water to 117 million Americans and wetlands that provide critical flood protection and fish and wildlife habitat. The full House rejected an amendment to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with Clean Water Act guidance and a future rulemaking.

The FY 2013 Energy and Water Appropriations bill (HR 5325), which the House debated today, includes a provision barring the Corps of Engineers from taking any steps – next year or in any future year – to revise the agency’s guidance on waters protected by the Clean Water Act. Representatives Jim Moran (VA) and John Dingell (MI) offered an amendment to strike this damaging provision, which would allow the Corps to finalize and implement new, science-based clean water guidance.  Members of Congress who opposed this amendment voted to maintain the status quo of wetlands loss, stream pollution, and regulatory confusion.

“The vote today represented a clear choice between restoring Clean Water Act protections to critical streams and wetlands and postponing those protections indefinitely,” said Scott Kovarovics, Conservation Programs Director for the Izaak Walton League of America. “The amendment offered by Representatives Moran and Dingell provided a balanced path forward for clean water. Unfortunately, too many members of Congress chose not to take that path.”

“Clean water must be a bipartisan national priority,” said Steve Kline, Director of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership’s Center for Agricultural and Private Lands. “Since 1972, the Clean Water Act has made significant progress in restoring and sustaining our nation’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands. The job is not done – and votes like today’s are a step in the wrong direction.”

Loss of Clean Water Act protections for small streams and wetlands could affect more than drinking water and wildlife habitat – it could hurt the nation’s economy. Hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation contribute billions to the economy, but these activities could be sharply curtailed by water pollution and loss of wetlands critical for ducks, trout, and other wildlife.

“American sportsmen greatly appreciate the efforts of Representatives Moran, Dingell, and others as they reminded the House what it seems to have forgotten: You can’t have fishable and swimmable waters if substantial numbers of wetlands and headwater streams go unprotected by the Clean Water Act,” said Steve Moyer, Vice President for Government Affairs for Trout Unlimited. “The Senate and the Obama Administration have rejected similar ill-conceived provisions in appropriations bills the past two years, and we urge them to do it again this year.”

Friday
May112012

Speak Up for Sportsmen's Heritage Act

Contact your U.S. Senator today and urge him or her to support the Senate equivalent of House’s Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089).

According to the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), the House version is a compilation of three Senate bills, S. 2066, S. 1066, and S. 838, “and an additional provision that promotes and advances our hunting and recreational fishing and shooting heritage.”

Forty groups recently joined the CSF in sending a letter to Senate leadership in support of the legislation. They include American Sportfishing Association, B.A.S.S., Coastal Conservation Association, Shimano, and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

Here are some of the highlights from the House bill:

 

  • requires hunting and recreational shooting and fishing to be recognized activities on all Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands;
  • protects recreational shooting on National Monuments under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management;
  • amends the Marine Mammal Protection Act to allow hunters who legally harvested polar bears in Canada prior to its listing under the Endangered Species Act to purchase permits in order to transport their trophies into the U.S.;
  • and clarifies that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the jurisdiction to regulate traditional ammunition with lead components and lead fishing tackle.

 

Thursday
Feb162012

EPA Sides With Anglers in War Against Fishing

Wind turbines are far more dangerous to birds than is lead fishing tackle.

On the freshwater front, anglers have won another battle in the war against fishing. For the second time in little more than a year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has denied a petition to ban lead fishing tackle nationally.

But the Center for Biological Diversity and its anti-angling allies won’t stop. Right now, they’re challenging EPA’s denial of their first petition and, in New Hampshire, they’re trying to expand restrictions already in place for state waters.

Most common argument for a ban is that populations of loons and other waterfowl are being diminished because the birds ingest the lead. But no scientific study supports that assertion.  Fatalities occur, but they are infrequent.

By contrast, wind mills kill hundreds of thousands of birds, including eagles and other raptors, annually --- a fact that some green groups choose to ignore as they wage war against sport fishing.

From the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation:

Science has prevailed. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD)—an anti-sportsmen group—that would have precipitated significant restrictions on lead fishing tackle all over the United States.

The CBD wanted the EPA to use the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to heavily regulate anglers from using tackle they have long used even though science doesn’t support such a measure. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF) has been, and will continue to, fight such unscientific lead bans and restrictions at the state and federal level.

And Keep America Fishing added this:

Listening to the voices of thousands of activist anglers, on February 14, 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) once again rejected the most recent petition to federally ban lead fishing tackle under the Toxic Substances Control Act. KeepAmericaFishing™ thanks everyone who took action on this important issue.