January 4, 2017
On Tuesday, The Hill’s Timothy Cama reported:
An environmental group is launching a new advertising campaign against the confirmation of President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Clean Air Moms Action, a project of the Environmental Defense Action Fund, said Tuesday it is spending at least $100,000 on the campaign which centers on children's health concerns, targeting the Washington, D.C., area, and six states with senators who could swing the confirmation vote.
See the ad for yourself here. In fact, it is based on an egregious lie, and the truth of the matter demonstrates the...
December 20, 2016
The newly elected congressional majority should be ready and willing to help implement President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to tackle onerous regulations. But what about so called “non-regulatory programs” that have significant public policy and marketplace impacts?
Congress can address problems associated with such programs by defunding them or by bringing them under the authority of existing environmental laws.
Top on the list should be the Environmental Protection Agency’s Integrated Risk Information System, also known as IRIS. IRIS gains its authority simply as a line item inside EPA’s Office of Research and Development. As a research program, IRIS operates outside the regulatory process and its accountability systems.
December 12, 2016
This week on RealClear Radio Hour, Marc Edwards and Dan Liljenquist recount politically induced disasters from the perversion of science to the pension crisis.
My first guest is Marc Edwards, Professor of Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at Virginia Tech. Marc discusses institutional scientific misconduct in academic and government-funded science and details how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created and covered up both the D.C. and Flint, Michigan, lead and drinking water crises. He describes how upper management cultivates a culture of corruption to promote their policy agency agenda, risking loss of public trust in science.
November 2, 2016
The real victim in the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline is Dakota Access Services, the company behind the $3.7 billion project that would move almost 500,000 barrels of oil daily from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to a refining hub in Illinois. The operators of the pipeline are being jerked around by the government, environmentalists, and the Standing Rock Sioux, all of whom are acting in varying degrees of bad faith.
President Obama Yanked the Rug out from under Dakota Access Partners
The pipeline route is 99% on private land. As such, the federal government’s role is quite limited. In fact, the U.S. government’s jurisdiction extends only to the immediate area where the pipeline crosses navigable waterways.
After jumping through all the appropriate hoops, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permitted construction of the...
August 8, 2016would have you believe...
June 1, 2015
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) promulgated the Waters of the U.S. Rule, a regulation that purports to clarify which waters of the United States are subject to federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).
The CWA regulates the discharge of pollution into navigable waters. Rather than limit the definition of “navigable waters” to mean waters that are interstate and “navigable in fact,” the Clean Water Act broadens the definition of “navigable waters” so as to include non-navigable waters, in order to afford federal regulators a greater degree of environmental oversight. Federal jurisdiction, therefore, extends beyond waters that are strictly “navigable.”
However, the Clean Water Act fails to establish an exact limitation on federal...
April 28, 2015
The Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill for FY 2016 passed by the House Appropriations Committee spends too much, but does move some funding from very bad programs to somewhat less bad programs.
The best thing in the bill is the set of riders that prohibit the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the proposed Waters of the United States rule. That rule if implemented would expand federal jurisdiction far beyond what was intended by Congress in Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and far beyond the current definition or any reasonable definition of the navigable waters of the United States. The WOTUS rule also ignores and largely contradicts the Supreme Court’s decisions in SWANCC and Rapanos.
Here are a few suggestions for improving the Energy and Water Appropriations bill when it comes to the floor of the House this week:
- A rider...
April 6, 2015
California’s water woes are back in the headlines after Gov. Jerry Brown commanded a 25 percent cut in consumption last week after extended drought.
Pricing matters and we’ve not done the greatest job liberalizing infrastructure and matching resouces to market signals. California’s just the most extreme modern example, now pitting neighbor against neighbor. Pools in the desert are scorned, as are the lush desert golf courses, and thirsty agricultural interests.
But water doesn’t cost much. It needs to cost what its worth, and part of the job of markets is to determine prices. But markets are not what water utilities are.
November 21, 2014
Reporters like separation of church and state, unless it’s progressives violating it. Then, they lose interest in the concept. A recent Washington Post story cheerily reported on churches getting exemptions from a state-mandated stormwater fee (Maryland’s “rain tax”) in exchange for taking “green” positions, in the progressive bastion of Prince...
September 9, 2014
Well, some good news—it’s raining in Los Angeles.
Western droughts combined with questionable water access policies spawn water crises that unfortunately are not unique to the American west and California in particular.
Rather, water access issues are globally contentious. A Wall Street Journal book review on the “unhappy descent” of Turkey’s Meander River invoked common laments that:
In North America, so much water is taken out of the Colorado that it no longer reaches the sea. Nor does the Rio Grande. Or the River Jordan. Or China’s Yellow River.
Access to water in times of plenty and in times of drought...