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Donald Trump Budget Spends Big on Military and the Wall; Cuts Foreign Aid, EPA, and Public Broadcasting

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H/T Breitbarts Big Government.

This budget is a good start in trimming the government spending.

The one thing I would have liked to see in the budget is the funding for the United Nations go to zero.

President Donald Trump released his budget blueprinton Thursday, an effort to prioritize safety and security for the American people while dramatically cutting other agencies considered sacred cows by the left.

“To keep Americans safe, we have made tough choices that have been put off for too long,” Trump wrote in a message to Congress. “But we have also made necessary investments that are long overdue.”

The outline increases defense spending by $54 billion and increases funding for immigration enforcement as well as $4.1 billion investment for his promised wall on the southern border.

“We must ensure that our courageous servicemen and women have the tools they need to deter war, and when called upon to fight, do only one thing: Win.” Trump wrote.

The budget includes Trump’s promises to veterans, as the Department of Veterans Affairs gets a 10 percent increase in spending.

Trump cut funding for several agencies, including a 28 percent cut in the State Department, mostly because of cuts in foreign aid programs. The EPA also experiences a 30 percent cut, the biggest loser in the budget. The Department of Agriculture gets a 29 percent cut and the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor are also cut by over 20 percent.

Although there are over 13 percent cuts in the Department of Education, Trump’s budget proposes $168 million for charter school programs and $250 million for a private-school choice program, according to the Washington Post.

The Budget calls for the elimination of funds for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as well as the endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.

“We are going to do more with less, and make the Government lean and accountable to the people,” read Trump’s message to Congress.

The budget outlines Trump’s spending priorities, but a more detailed document is expected to be released by the White House in May.

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EPA Wants to Monitor How Long Hotel Guests Spend in the Shower

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This is from The Washington Free Beacon.

More of Big Brother sticking his nose in where it does not belong.

The EPA is one of many government agencies that need to be shut down.

$15,000 grant creating device to “modify” guests behavior

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants hotels to monitor how much time its guests spend in the shower.

The agency is spending $15,000 to create a wireless system that will track how much water a hotel guest uses to get them to “modify their behavior.”

“Hotels consume a significant amount of water in the U.S. and around the world,” an EPA grant to the University of Tulsa reads. “Most hotels do not monitor individual guest water usage and as a result, millions of gallons of potable water are wasted every year by hotel guests.”

“The proposed work aims to develop a novel low cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers,” it said. “This device will be designed to fit most new and existing hotel shower fixtures and will wirelessly transmit hotel guest water usage data to a central hotel accounting system.”

The funding is going toward creating a prototype and market analysis for the device. The goal of the project is to change the behavior of Americans when they stay at hotels.

“This technology will provide hotel guests with the ability to monitor their daily water online or using a smartphone app and will assist hotel guest in modifying their behavior to help conserve water,” the grant said.

The project was filed under “Water conservation,” “Urban water planning,” and “Sustainable water management.”

The EPA also has a WaterSense program that challenges hotels to track their water use and upgrade their restrooms with low-flow toilets and showerheads.

The program also encourages “linen and towel reuse programs” in guest rooms.

The EPA is concerned that the average shower, which lasts just eight minutes, uses 18 gallons of water, and has asked Americans to reduce their shower length by at least one minute.

Tyler W. Johannes, Ph.D., an associate professor in the University of Tulsa’s School of Chemical Engineering who is working on the project, told theWashington Free Beacon that the researchers hope to see the technology “adopted by all major hotels and used across the country.”

He said the device seeks to get hotel guests to limit their showers to seven minutes as a start.

Johannes and his team assumed the average hotel shower lasts 8.2 minutes, using 17.2 gallons of water per guest per shower.

“Initially our device/app seeks to get hotel guests to reduce their water use by 10 percent or to reduce their showers by about one minute,” he said.

Johannes provided a link to Home Water Works, which recommends taking a five minute shower to reduce water use.

The website, which is a project of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, also suggests watering plants with discarded cold water from showers that take a long time to heat up, and taking “navy showers.”

“The method requires three steps: 1) turn on water to rinse body and hair; 2) turn off water while shampooing hair and washing body with soap and washcloth; 3) resume water flow and rinse off all shampoo and soap,” the group said. “Using this technique, the total duration of water flow can easily be reduced to 5 minutes or less.”

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Following publication of this story, EPA deputy press secretary Laura Allen, said the “EPA is not monitoring how much time hotel guests spend in the shower.”

“Let us be very clear, EPA is not monitoring how much time hotel guests spend in the shower,” Allen said. “As part of the People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3), a student design competition for sustainability, students at the University of Tulsa are conducting research to develop a novel low-cost wireless device for monitoring water use from hotel guest room showers. The marketplace, not EPA, will decide if there is a demand for this type of technology. It’s ultimately up to hotels to use technology like the monitors being developed at the University of Tulsa. EPA is encouraging creativity with water conservation efforts.”

 

https://social.newsinc.com/media/json/69017/28689883/singleVideoOG.html?videoId=28689883&type=VideoPlayer/16×9&widgetId=2&trackingGroup=69017

EPA Hits Coal Industry With A Massive Regulation Right Before Christmas

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This is from The Daily Caller.

In case you have not figured it out by now you miners voted for the man that will kill your jobs.

You bought the line of bull your union was shoveling saying Obama cared about you and the Republicans do not care.

Now the Obama thugs at the EPA is slowing killing your future.

I have no sympathy for you because you voted for this clown I do feel sorry for the miners that did not vote for Obama.

 

While millions of Americans began their holiday travels last Friday, the  Environmental Protection Agency had an early Christmas gift for the coal industry: a new regulation on coal ash from power plants.

“EPA is taking action to protect our communities from the risk of mismanaged coal ash disposal units, and putting in place safeguards to help prevent the next catastrophic coal ash impoundment failure, which can cost millions for local businesses, communities and states,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement.

After years of delays, the EPA finalized the nation’s first federal coal ash rule just in time for Christmas, which has got coal-fired power plant operators fuming. The coal ash rule not only comes with a hefty $735 million per year price tag, but the coal industry also argues it creates lots of uncertainty for plant operators.

“We still have concerns with the self-implementing nature of the rule and the way in which EPA has left the door open to one day regulate coal ash as a hazardous waste, creating additional uncertainty for electric utilities,” said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute.

Coal ash is a byproduct of power plants that can be made of various particles and pollutants, like mercury and cadmium, that are disposed of in landfills. The EPA estimates 110 million tons of coal ash is produced every year and about 40 percent of that is recycled by power plants operators.

Sometimes coal ash can spill out into waterways. In fact, the EPA says its new regulation is the result of a 2008 spill by the Tennessee Valley Authority in Kingston, Tennessee when the company’s coal ash pond failed to contain the waste. Earlier this year, Duke Energy spilled coal ash into the Dan River.

“These regulations will add to the challenges the electric power industry faces in providing reliable, affordable and increasingly clean electricity to power the U.S. economy and to enhance the daily lives of all Americans,” Kuhn said.

Environmentalists, however, were disappointed with the EPA’s coal ash rule, saying it didn’t go far enough to protect Americans from power plant waste. Eco-activists’ main source of contention was that the agency did not declare coal ash a “hazardous waste” under federal law.

“The EPA is bowing to coal-fired utilities’ interests and putting the public at great risk by treating toxic coal ash as simple garbage instead of the hazardous waste that it is,” said Scott Slesinger, legislative director at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Too much of the agency’s new rule is left to the discretion of states, which all too often have favored powerful utility companies instead of the public.”

But the EPA says the rule will help prevent future coal ash spills by putting up more safeguards, culminating in monetized benefits of $289 million per year. The costs of the coal ash rule, however, outweigh the benefits two and a half times using a three percent discount rate, according to the EPA’s own data.

Trampling on Coal Country Families

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This is from Town Hall.

Here in Indiana we get most of our electricity from coal.

I see first hand the damage happening to our state and the coal miners along with their families.

My question is “How many of the coal miners and their families voted DemocRat and for Obama?

It is like cutting off your arm to get rid of a splinter in your finger.

 

Between 1989 and 2010, Congress rejected nearly 700 cap-tax-and-trade and similar bills that their proponents claimed would control Earth’s perpetually fickle climate and weather. So even as real world crises erupt, President Obama is using executive fiats and regulations to impose his anti-hydrocarbon agenda, slash America’s fossil fuel use, bankrupt coal and utility companies, make electricity prices skyrocket, and “fundamentally transform” our economic, social, legal and constitutional system.

Citing climate concerns, he has refused to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocked or delayed Alaskan, western state and offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling. He’s proud that US oil production has climbed 58% and natural gas output has risen 21% since 2008. But he doesn’t mention that this is due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands; production has actually fallen in areas controlled by the federal government, and radical environmentalists oppose fracking all over the USA.

Above all, the President’s war on hydrocarbons is a war on Coal Country families. For 21 states that still rely on coal to produce 40-96% of their electricity, it is a war on people’s livelihoods and living standards – on the very survival of small businesses and entire communities. The price of electricity has already risen 1-2 cents per kilowatt-hour in those states, from as little as 5.6 cents/kWh in 2009. If it soars to the 14.6 to 15.7 cents/kWh paid in “job-mecca states” like Californiaand New York – which rely on coal for less than 3% of their electricity – the impacts will churn through coal-dependant states like a tsunami.

Yet that is where rates are headed, as the Obama EPA’s carbon dioxide and other restrictions kick in. Hundreds of baseload coal-fired power plants (some 180 gigawatts of electric generation capacity) will be forced into premature retirement between 2010 and 2020. That’s more than 15% of the United States’ total installed capacity – enough electricity to power nearly 90 million average homes or small businesses. EPA assumes it can be replaced by expensive, unreliable, habitat-gobbling wind and solar power. It can’t.

EPA rules mean the price of everything people do will skyrocket: heating and air conditioning, lights and refrigeration, televisions, computers, medical equipment, machinery and every other gizmo that runs on electricity. Poor, minority and blue-collar families will have to find hundreds of dollars a year somewhere in their already stretched budgets. Shops and other small businesses will have to discover thousands of dollars, by delaying other purchases or laying people off. Factories, malls, school districts, hospitals and cities will have to send out search parties to locate millions a year at the end of rainbows.

Millions will get laid off – in coal mines, power plants, factories, shops and other businesses. Entire families and communities will be pounded and impoverished. Real people’s hopes, dreams, pride and work ethic will be replaced by despair and dependency. Bread winners will be forced to work multiple jobs, commute longer distances, and suffer severe sleep deprivation, if they can find work.

Families will have to cope with more stress, depression, drug and alcohol abuse, spousal and child abuse. Nutrition and medical care will suffer. More people will turn to crime. More will have strokes and heart attacks. More will die prematurely or commit suicide. For no measurable benefits.

EPA cites mercury, soot, asthma, climate change, hurricanes, seas rising seven inches a century, and even ocean acidification to justify the draconian rules. But the scientific basis is bogus. The agency cherry-picks data and studies that support its agenda, ignores libraries of contradictory research, rejects experts whose analyses question EPA conclusions, pays advisors and activists millions of dollars annually to rubberstamp and promote its regulations, and hides its work from those it decrees “are not qualified to analyze it.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change operates in much the same fashion.

Moreover, unhealthy US emissions plunged nearly 90% since 1970, even as coal use for electricity generation increased 170% – and the newest coal-fired power plants reduce pollution by almost this amount, using “supercritical” technologies, while also reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% or more, according the EPA and US Energy Information Administration reports.

Meanwhile, China, India, Germany, Poland and other countries are building some 1,200 new coal-fired power plants, and numerous gas plants, to spur economic growth, preserve jobs and lift people out of poverty. So the sacrifices Mr. Obama is imposing will do nothing to reduce global CO2 levels, which the evidence increasingly shows plays only a minor to trivial role in climate and weather fluctuations.

It’s true that Detroit temperatures didn’t dip below freezing in January and February in’79 – followed by a frost in June. But that was 1879! When he was a boy, “snows were frequent and deep in every winter,” Thomas Jefferson recalled in December 1809. “The Greenland seas, hitherto covered [in ice], have in the last two years entirely disappeared,” Britain’s Royal Society reported in 1817. “We were astonished by the total absence of ice in Barrow Strait. [Six years ago the area was] still frozen up, and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape,” Captain Francis McClintock wrote in his ship’s log – in 1860.

And don’t forget the Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, and the five frigid epochs that buried North America, Europe and Asia under glaciers a mile thick. Or the 4,000-year-old trees that recently emerged as modern glaciers melted back – proving that a forest grew in the now icy Alps just four millennia ago.

On and on it has gone, throughout Earth and human history: wild weather and climate swings on a recurring basis. But now, climate chaos cultists want us to believe such events began only recently, and we could stop today’s climate and weather aberrations – if we would just eliminate fossil fuels, destroy our economies, and condemn Third World families to permanent poverty and disease.

The truth is, there has been only one time in all of human history when governments were able to control Earth’s climate, and it is highly unlikely that we will ever return to those wondrous days.

So how do the EPA, IPCC, Michael Mann, Al Gore and other Climate Armageddonites deal with all these inconvenient truths, questions and skeptical researchers?

They hide their data and computer codes. Complain that they are being picked on. Refuse to debate “dangerous manmade global warming” skeptics. Harass and vilify contrarian experts, and boot them off university committees. Refuse to attend conferences where they might have to defend their manipulated data, junk science and absurd assertions. Al Gore won’t even take questions that he has not preapproved.

They have no cojones. They hide behind their sinecures the way Hamas terrorists hide behind children.

EPA won’t even hold hearings in Coal Country or states that will be hardest hit by soaring electricity costs. It hosts dog-and-pony shows and “listening sessions” in big cities like Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh – where it knows passionate lefty students and eco-activists will dominate. People who will be grievously impacted by the draconian job-killing regulations must travel long distances and pay for expensive hotels and meals or remain silent and ignored.

That stacks the deck – the same way the “public comment” process is tilted in favor of ultra-rich Big Green agitators who have the funding and organization to generate thousands or millions of comments.

We taxpayers pay for these studies, payoffs and propaganda. And we will get stuck with the regulations, soaring prices and lost jobs that result. We have a right to review and analyze the data and claims. We have a right to be heard, in a fair and honest process that truly takes our concerns into account.

At the very least, the House of Representatives needs to hold hearings, and have callous bureaucrats, slick scientists and computer modeling charlatans present their data, codes and findings under oath. Then voters need to vote Republican in November – to change the Senate majority, and restore at least a modicum of constitutional checks and balances to a system which has vested far too much power in an unaccountable Executive Branch that shows total disdain for honesty, transparency and working families.

GAO: EPA Used 20-Year-Old Jobs Data To Justify Regulations

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This is from The Dailey Caller.

Reason 9,999,999 to defund and close the EPA.

 

How old is too old for employment data? Well, the Environmental Protection Agency has been using decades old economic data to analyze regulations, according to a government watchdog report.

The Government Accountability Office reported the EPA “estimated effects of its regulations on employment, in part, using a study that… was based on data that were more than 20 years old and may not have represented the regulated entities addressed” in its regulatory impact analyses (RIAs).

EPA officials told the GAO that the 20-year-old data “represented the best reasonably obtainable data” when they were analyzing regulations, and that “they are exploring new approaches for analyzing these effects but were uncertain about when such results would be available.”

“Without improvements in its estimates, EPA’s RIAs may be limited in their usefulness for helping decision makers and the public understand these important effects,” GAO noted in its report, released this week.

When crafting major regulations on industrial boilers, commercial incinerators and technology for waste-water discharges, the agency estimated the impacts its rules would have on jobs using a study looking at labor markets from 1979 to 1991 — decades before the EPA finalized any of these rules.

“EPA’s analysis of the net change in jobs represents an assessment of the distribution of the benefits and costs among different groups in society, distinct from the analysis of the net social benefits of regulatory alternatives,” the GAO said.

The EPA used a study based on “information that considered the effect of regulations on employment for certain years from 1979 through 1991” that only looked at “four industrial sectors.”

Shockingly, EPA officials admitted they last used the decades-old data in June 2013 to analyze job impacts from its regulations, and that the study “continues to provide a theoretical framework for EPA’s consideration of employment effects” in regulatory analyses.

The GAO report was prepared for House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, who has been looking into waste, fraud and abuse at the EPA. Previous investigations by Issa found that EPA employees were watching copious amounts of porn on the job and were falsifying federal documents.

“How much pornography would it take for an EPA employee to lose his job?” Issa grilled EPA officials in a House hearing from April. “You are running an organization from which no one can get fired.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/08/12/gao-epa-used-20-year-old-jobs-data-to-justify-regulations/#ixzz3AF2BrXLR

The Jailbird Architect of Obama’s Global Warming Plan

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This is from Town Hall.

How appropriate someone from the Obama Regime is in prison.

I hope a few more join the criminal in a jail cell.

 

When President Obama announced an unprecedented effort by the EPA to strong-arm states into adopting cap-and-trade, he made the announcement not by focusing on the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but rather on the so-called co-benefits that closing coal plants will have on particulate matter, which is already tightly regulated. These purported co-benefits are based on two secret studies that have never been publicly validated. Amazingly, the architect of this co-benefits strategy is a long-time EPA staffer named John Beale, now known as federal inmate number 33005-016 and locked up for fraud at Cumberland Federal Correctional Institution.

For nearly two decades, John Beale could do no wrong at the EPA even though he did no work. He flew around the world pretending to be a CIA agent and bilking taxpayers, according to his guilty plea, out of $900,000. While the media played the Beale story mostly for laughs, researchers in Senator David Vitter’s office did the serious investigative work of figuring out why Beale walked on water at the EPA.

What they discovered was that Beale was hired by his good friend Robert Brenner even though he “had no legislative or environmental policy experience and wandered between jobs at a small-town law firm, a political campaign, and an apple farm.”

And it was Beale, who became the EPA’s go-to fixer, who developed the strategy President Obama is now relying on.

In 1997, with a major fight over proposed ozone standards looking bleak for the EPA, Beale developed a memo that turned the tide by relying on claims of outsized health benefits from reducing particulate matter. The benefits were based on two data sets, the Harvard “Six Cities” and American Cancer Society studies. The data was already a decade old and had never been independently verified. But the secret science attached huge alleged benefits to the proposed regulation, and it was ultimately adopted.

Those two studies are still secret, and still the EPA’s favorite trick to get expensive regulations past the finish line. They have gone to the well 33 times, and yet the alleged health benefits from the secret studies get bigger and bigger – when they should be getting smaller, as each regulation further reducing emissions of particulate matter.

Robert Brenner, the EPA policy director who hired Beale, was effusive in his praise, telling Beale in 2011 as he prepared to retire: “legislative, regulatory and international successes came when you were around to develop the strategy and make sure we all did our jobs in carrying it out. There is just no one better at it than you.”

Now Beale is locked up for fraud, but his secret science trick marches on.

President Obama once told the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Yet he was saying something quite different when he announced his plan to force states to adopt his cap-and-trade system.

With no mention of his desire to drive up electricity prices to combat global warming, Obama instead focused on Beale’s infamous co-benefits theory.

“Kids being treated here all the time for asthma and other breathing problems,” Obama said. “Often these illnesses are aggravated by air pollution. Pollution from the same sources that release carbon.”

It was pure sleight-of-hand, equivocating regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, which EPA itself has concluded “do not cause direct adverse health effects such as respiratory or toxic effects” with particulate matter that is already tightly regulated.

The reliance on purported co-benefits is necessary because Obama’s cap-and-trade rule has no direct benefits. The EPA has 26 published indicators for measuring the impacts of global warming, but when questioned by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy admitted that none of the EPA’s proposed regulations will have a positive impact on any of the indicators. Instead she said the regulations are just “positioning the U.S. for leadership in an international discussion.”

Wonderful. We’re going to make electricity prices skyrocket in the hopes that it will somehow help convince China, Russia, India, and the rest of the world to sign on to a new global climate treaty.

Which brings us back to Beale.

President Obama is exploiting children with asthma, relying on the same two secret studies developed by criminal fraud John Beale to justify driving up energy prices for what amounts to international posturing. That’s wrong.

 

Prairie chicken killing jobs in western Kansas

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This is from Kansas WatchDog.org.

Prairie chickens, Spotted Owls, Snail Darters and whatever can be used the government will use to destroy jobs.

The EPA, Endanered Spieces Act,  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with many other government agencies are killing jobs.

Photo by Travis Perry SHUTTING DOWN: An oil pumping rig stands watch over a dry, stout wheat field in Logan County. Recent rulings and restrictions by the federal government are clamping down on the oil and gas industry in western Kansas, costing jobs and causing some companies to pack up their operations entirely.

 

By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

HOXIE, Kan. — These days, when Kyle Randa scouts a new location for an oil well, his schedule is a little different.

He’s up early to drive out to the spot. But rather than get right to work, for a few hours he sits, waits and listens.

And hopes he doesn’t hear the booming call of the now-infamous lesser prairie chicken.

Like countless others in Western Kansas, Randa’s job has been upended by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service move to list the small grouse as a threatened species. With the March decision came new rules, regulations and the threat of fines for disturbing the bird.

While folks in the oil and gas industry are now restricted where they can work — it costs as much as $45,000 in fines to tear up a single acre of lesser prairie chicken habitat — it goes beyond that. Randa, who works for Mull Drilling of Ness City, used to start his days by 6 a.m. or earlier, but now he and other oil patch workers are barred from going anywhere near a rig before 9 a.m.

What happens if, say, there’s a fire? Randa just shrugs, and said it’s not worth inviting fines. They’ll just wait it out.

Under the scorching summer sun, restricted hours mean hotter, longer days with fewer jobs to go around.

“It’s going to change our lifestyle, how we operate,” Randa told Kansas Watchdog. “They’re trying to set the hours you can work, they’re going to restrict where you can and where you can’t work. We don’t work from 9-5.”

While the initial impact of the USFWS ruling is being felt by the energy industry, a ripple effect is inevitable. Oil and gas are huge economic factors in communities across western Kansas. They provide not only reliable employment, but make up a substantial chunk of the tax base. Ed Cross, president of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association, said in July 2013 the industry employs as many as 67,000 Kansans.

Until May 12, at least some of those jobs were spread across about 15 oil wells near Oakley, right in the heart of lesser prairie chicken habitat.

“We stopped because we don’t want to be their (USFWS) poster boy,” said Mark Hammerschmidt, a driller with Pelican Hill Oil and Gas.

“We’ve got guys on drilling units that don’t have jobs now, because there’s so many that have backed off,” he said. “Each well, you’re affecting maybe 100 people by the time you get all the service, all the guys on the rig. There’s a whole lot more to it than just drilling a hole and putting a pumping unit on it. There’s a lot of service industries that are affected by this.”

But even more unsettling than the threat of fines — which can range upwards of $25,000 for just disturbing a lesser prairie chicken, Randa said — is the uncertainty. Folks aren’t sure exactly how things will be enforced, and just how closely the federal government will follow the letter of the law.

But if you ask Jim Carlson, the whole decision is wrong from the start.

Carlson heads the Kansas Natural Resource Coalition, a group of 31 Kansas counties that have banded together to fight the perceived power grab by the federal government.

“The science doesn’t support the listing,” Carlson told a crowd of worried individuals during a KNRC meeting in Hoxie on Thursday.

While the official USFWS report detailing the lesser prairie chicken listing is a staggering 600 pages long, at the very core is one simple number: 18,000. That’s how many birds government officials say they counted in Kansas last year, cut nearly in half from the 34,000 birds counted in 2012.

Here’s the dirty little secret officials don’t want you to know: in reality, they have no way of knowing just how many lesser prairie chickens reside in Kansas, and the methodology they use to count the birds is shaky at best.

According to surveys conducted by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the birds are counted by listening for their calls within a given area, under a few assumptions:

  • Only males are counted
  • All males attend leks (mating grounds)
  • There are as many females as males
  • All leks within the survey area are detected

KDWPT’s surveys even admit “it is likely that some of these assumptions are being violated and as a result the density estimates are probably biased (most likely low).”

You know what happens when you assume, right?

Randa readily admits he’s not a scientist, be he likes to think he has a feel for the wildlife around him.

“I’ve lived basically my whole life in Ness County, and we have more prairie chicken today than I have ever seen before,” Randa quipped. “We haven’t seen a decline in the numbers, we’ve seen the opposite.”

Photo by Travis Perry

PARCHED: Wheat harvest is just around the corner, but fields that should be chest high barely come up to your knees. While locals and state officials continue to assert the drought has caused the dip in lesser prairie chicken numbers, federal officials believe oil and gas industry activity are largely to blame.

Driving through western Kansas, it’s painfully clear how a multi-year drought has gripped the region. Wheat harvest is only days away, but stalks of grain that should be chest high barely reach the knees.

Sheila Ellis, rancher and KNRC research analyst, said the lesser prairie chicken saw population declines during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, but with the return of moisture came an increase in the bird’s numbers.

“The heavy hand of the Endangered Species Act will not make it rain,” KNRC President Ken Klemm told Kansas Watchdog in a previous interview.

At this point, the fate of the lesser prairie chicken is tied to the livelihood and economics of western Kansas, and will ultimately be decided in court. Until then, Randa is just doing his job, which he feels has come under the watchful eye of big brother. In recent months, plain white SUVs bearing government plates have dotted a distant roadside near his job sites; small planes have passed and circled overhead.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of government vehicles. I think they’re observing, somewhat,” Randa said. “I guess we can only say what we’re seeing, but it definitely feels like we’re being observed, and I’ve never had that feeling before.”

White House looks to regulate cow flatulence as part of climate agenda

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This is from The Daily Caller.

Obama and the EPA are now on fart patrol once more.

More wasted taxpayers dollars to promote Obama’s radical globull warming agenda.

 

As part of its plan to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, the Obama administration is targeting the dairy industry to reduce methane emissions in their operations.

This comes despite falling methane emission levels across the economy since 1990.

The White House has proposed cutting methane emissions from the dairy industry by 25 percent by 2020. Although U.S. agriculture only accounts for about 9 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it makes up a sizeable portion of methane emissions — which is a very potent greenhouse gas.

Some of these methane emissions come from cow flatulence, exhaling and belching — other livestock animals release methane as well.

“Cows emit a massive amount of methane through belching, with a lesser amount through flatulence,” according to How Stuff Works. “Statistics vary regarding how much methane the average dairy cow expels. Some experts say 100 liters to 200 liters a day… while others say it’s up to 500 liters… a day. In any case, that’s a lot of methane, an amount comparable to the pollution produced by a car in a day.”

“Of all domestic animal types, beef and dairy cattle were by far the largest emitters of [methane],” according to an EPA analysis charting greenhouse gas emissions in 2012. Cows and other animals produce methane through digestion, which ferments the food of animals.

“During digestion, microbes resident in an animal’s digestive system ferment food consumed by the animal,” the EPA notes. “This microbial fermentation process, referred to as enteric fermentation, produces [methane] as a byproduct, which can be exhaled or eructated by the animal.”

It’s not just the dairy industry that the Obama administration is clamping down on. The White House is looking to regulate methane emissions across the economy from agriculture to oil and gas operations — all this despite methane emissions falling 11 percent since 1990.

 

Methane emissions have largely been reduced because of the incentive for companies to capture it and sell it for monetary gain. Oil and gas companies, for example, have been looking for ways to increasingly capture methane leaked from drilling operations which they can then sell.

“The industry has led efforts to reduce emissions of methane by developing new technologies and equipment, and recent studies show emissions are far lower than EPA projected just a few years ago,” said  Howard Feldman, head of scientific and regulatory affairs at  the American Petroleum Institute. “Additional regulations are not necessary and could have a chilling effect on the American energy renaissance, our economy, and our national security.”

“Methane is natural gas that operators can bring to the market,” he added. “There is a built-in incentive to capture these emissions.”

Environmentalists have been pushing the Obama administration to crack down on methane emissions for some time, arguing that they drive global warming and pollute the air and water. Activists have argued that the methane leakage rate from natural gas operations is 50 percent higher than the EPA estimates.

“President Obama’s plan to reduce climate-disrupting methane pollution is an important step in reining in an out of control industry exempt from too many public health protections,” Deborah Nardone, campaign director of the Sierra Club’s Keeping Dirty Fuels in the Ground campaign. “However, even with the most rigorous methane controls and monitoring in place, we will still fall short of what is needed to fight climate disruption if we do not reduce our reliance on these dirty fossil fuels.”

Republicans and the oil and gas industry argue that the methane leakage rate has been estimated to be 50 times lower than the EPA’s estimate. The GOP argues that the EPA’s estimate is simply an attack on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

“The EPA has been on a witch hunt to shut down hydraulic fracturing, and yet again the evidence doesn’t back up their excessive claims,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter. “All too often we see the Agency using flawed science for political purposes, but this report – partially funded by environmental activists no less – shows EPA’s emissions estimates from hydraulic fracturing are way off.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/28/white-house-looks-to-regulate-cow-flatulence-as-part-of-climate-agenda/#ixzz2xVQ1YBMX

Wyoming welder faces $75,000 a day in EPA fines for building pond on his property

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This is from Fox News Politics.

This is one of the best arguments to close down the EPA.

Not only do we need to shut them down all of the regulations dumbassed regulations need to be voided and prohibit enforcement.

 

All Andy Johnson wanted to do was build a stock pond on his sprawling eight-acre Wyoming farm. He and his wife Katie spent hours constructing it, filling it with crystal-clear water, and bringing in brook and brown trout, ducks and geese. It was a place where his horses could drink and graze, and a private playground for his three children.

But instead of enjoying the fruits of his labor, the Wyoming welder says he was harangued by the federal government, stuck in what he calls a petty power play by the Environmental Protection Agency. He claims the agency is now threatening him with civil and criminal penalties – including the threat of a $75,000-a-day fine.

“I have not paid them a dime nor will I,” a defiant Johnson told FoxNews.com. “I will go bankrupt if I have to fighting it. My wife and I built [the pond] together. We put our blood, sweat and tears into it. It was our dream.”

But Johnson may be in for a rude awakening.

The government says he violated the Clean Water Act by building a dam on a creek without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Further, the EPA claims that material from his pond is being discharged into other waterways. Johnson says he built a stock pond — a man-made pond meant to attract wildlife — which is exempt from Clean Water Act regulations.

The property owner says he followed the state rules for a stock pond when he built it in 2012 and has an April 4-dated letter from the Wyoming State Engineer’s Office to prove it.

“Said permit is in good standing and is entitled to be exercised exactly as permitted,” the state agency letter to Johnson said.

But the EPA isn’t backing down and argues they have final say over the issue. They also say Johnson needs to restore the land or face the fines.

Johnson plans to fight. “This goes a lot further than a pond,” he said. “It’s about a person’s rights. I have three little kids. I am not going to roll over and let [the government] tell me what I can do on my land. I followed the rules.”

Johnson says he was “bombarded by hopelessness” when he first received the administrative order from the EPA. He then turned to state lawmakers who fast-tracked his pleas to Wyoming’s two U.S. senators, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi, and Louisiana Sen. David Vitter.

The Republican lawmakers sent a March 12 letter to Nancy Stoner, the EPA’s acting assistant administration for water, saying they were “troubled” by Johnson’s case and demanding the EPA withdraw the compliance order.

“Rather than a sober administration of the Clean Water Act, the Compliance Order reads like a draconian edict of a heavy-handed bureaucracy,” the letter states.

The EPA order on Jan. 30 gave Johnson 30 days to hire a consultant and have him or her assess the impact of the supposed unauthorized discharges. The report was also supposed to include a restoration proposal to be approved by the EPA as well as contain a schedule requiring all work be completed within 60 days of the plan’s approval.

If Johnson doesn’t comply — and he hasn’t so far — he’s subject to $37,500 per day in civil penalties as well as another $37,500 per day in fines for statutory violations.

The senators’ letter questioned the argument that Johnson built a dam and not a stock pond.

“Fairness and due process require the EPA base its compliance order on more than an assumption,” they wrote. “Instead of treating Mr. Johnson as guilty until he proves his innocence by demonstrating his entitlement to the Clean Water Act section 404 (f)(1)(C) stock pond exemption, EPA should make its case that a dam was built and that the Section 404 exemption does not apply.”

The EPA told FoxNews.com that it is reviewing the senators’ letter. “We will carefully evaluate any additional information received, and all of the facts regarding this case,” a spokeswoman for the agency said.

The authority of the EPA has recently been called into question over proposed rule changes that would redefine what bodies of water the government agency will oversee under the Clean Water Act.

The proposed changes would give the agency a say in ponds, lakes, wetlands and any stream — natural or manmade — that would have an effect on downstream navigable waters on both public land and private property. “If the compliance order stands as an example of how EPA intends to operate after completing its current ‘waters of the United States’ rulemaking, it should give pause to each and every landowner throughout the country,” the letter states.

For now, the matter remains unresolved. Johnson says he’s not budging, and there’s been no indication from the EPA they will withdraw the compliance order.

Regardless of the outcome, Johnson says his legal fight with the government agency is a teachable moment for his kids

“This is showing them that they shouldn’t back down,” Johnson said. “If you need to stand up and fight, you do it.”

 

EPA says taking over private property will benefit the economy

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This is from The Daily Caller.

How will people loosing their property help the economy?

Productive farms growing food, hogs, cattle and other livestock

being shut down will affect the food supply and jobs.

Can the EPA run your property better than you? The Environmental Protection Agency says that its proposal to extend its regulatory powers over wetlands and waterways would produce economic benefits.

Republican lawmakers warn that the agency is trying to extend its power to regulate private property.

The EPA’s rule would redefine the term “waters of the United States” to include all “tributaries, regardless of size and flow, and all lakes, ponds and wetlands within a floodplain” reports E&E News. Other bodies of water, “such as geographically isolated wetlands, would have to be shown on a case-by-case basis to have a significant chemical, physical or biological effect on larger waterways downstream — a major point of concern for environmental groups” E&E added.

According to a document obtained by E&E News purporting to be from the EPA, the Clean Water Act rule would cost the U.S. between $133.7 million and $231 million per year and yield yearly benefits from $300.7 million to $397.6 million — meaning the rule could produce up to $263.9 million in economic benefits a year.

Republicans are displeased.

“The EPA’s draft water rule is a massive power grab of private property across the U.S. This could be the largest expansion of EPA regulatory authority ever,” said Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith. “If the draft rule is approved, it would allow the EPA to regulate virtually every body of water in the United States, including private and public lakes, ponds and streams.”

The EPA says that claims of private property takeovers are false. The agency told Fox News that the draft water rule would “not expand EPA’s or the (Army Corps of Engineers’) jurisdiction or protect any new waters that have not historically been covered under the Clean Water Act.”

Environmentalists have applauded the EPA’s rule as much needed clarification under the Clean Water Act, arguing that previous court decisions had caused confusion over what waterways the agency had authority over.

“The benefits of protecting our rivers, lakes and streams are clear,” said Ally Fields, a clean water advocate at Environment America. “With the drinking water for 117 million Americans at risk, it’s time for the EPA to fix the Clean Water Act and protect all our waterways.”

The EPA is basing its rule on a draft environmental report looking into the connectivity of waterways. The report has yet to be reviewed by the EPA’s science advisory panel and Republican lawmakers have urged the White House to put a hold on the rule until it has been reviewed.

“If EPA moves forward with this draft rule, as they have already committed to, the property rights of millions of Americans would be at stake,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter, who joined with two House Republicans in asking the White House to stall the rule last month until it has been fully reviewed.

“The agency’s own science advisors have not had the opportunity to review the science underpinning this rule,” said Rep. Smith. “Any rule that could give EPA the authority to tell us what to do in our own backyards needs to be supported by sound science.”

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/09/epa-says-taking-over-private-property-will-benefit-the-economy/#ixzz2n8PSW7p9

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