Written by Alan Caruba
Among the legacies of Richard M. Nixon, famed for the Watergate scandal that forced his resignation, it should be noted that he created the Environmental Protection Agency. There was no vote in Congress. He did it with an executive order. Today the EPA has an annual budget of $9 billion and some 18,000 employees.
Not satisfied with the authorized powers given it to ensure clean air and water, the EPA has never ceased to seek expanded powers, culminating soon with a battle over whether it can regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) as a "pollutant." Labeled a "greenhouse gas", in the eyes of the EPA it is an "endangerment" to the health of humanity in general and Americans in particular.
CO2 is as vital to all life on planet Earth in the same way as oxygen. It is what plants consume in order to grow, much as oxygen is essential for life among living creatures that, in turn, are dependent on vegetation, crops, for their sustenance. It's a neat little cycle that has existed since life emerged on Earth.
If the EPA gains the power to regulate CO2, it will have the power to regulate the activities of every individual and the entire economy of the nation. Traditional sources of energy, with the exception of nuclear and hydroelectric power, involve the emission of CO2. A modern society cannot function without CO2 emissions, but they have nothing to do with global warming because there is NO global warming.
CO2 represents a mere 386 parts per million of the Earth's atmosphere. Humans are responsible for 3% of its generation; Mother Nature produces the other 97%. And the EPA wants to regulate ALL of it!
Actual science is of no importance to the EPA. If the EPA really cared about human life, it would not have a long history of banning beneficial chemicals such as DDT and other pesticides that protect humans against a laundry list of transmittable diseases like malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, et cetera.
The EPA is actually seeking to limit the amount of deicing fluid used to protect commercial and other aircraft on the grounds that it might get into nearby streams and rivers. Never mind the lives of the passengers and crews on planes that would be brought down as the result of such ice. This defies common sense.
In truth, the EPA threatens the economy and our lives in so many ways it is difficult to know where to point first. To my mind, the way it infiltrates the nation's education system to fill the minds of children with visions of a planet threatened with "warming" or that every species is "endangered" or that all the waters and air are "polluted" is criminal.
The EPA is currently accepting grant applications "to help manage the National Environmental Education Training Program over the next ten years." Costing $10 million, it "will provide teachers and other education professionals with resources and support to enable them to teach about environmental issues more effectively." The EPA was not created to go into our nation's schools in this manner. This is propaganda. This is indoctrination.
Let us grant that, when it stuck to its original purpose, it did make the air cleaner and some of the nation's waters. Now, however, the EPA is a massive machine designed to destroy the nation's economy and impede growth and development in every way possible.
The primary tool for this are lies concerning any element of the environment it wants to control and, as a result, retard the economy. As but one example, there are the new "smog" standards the EPA recently announced. It has reduced them to a level of 60 to 70 parts per billion in the air. It released a list of counties it says are in violation of the new limits.
The cost of achieving the lower standard is estimated from $19 billion to $90 billion. If you took one tennis ball from an olympic-sized pool filled with them, you would achieve the same result. It's not merely absurd; it is yet another attack on every single business and industry operating in those counties.
The same idiocy applies to setting mileage rules or requiring that ethanol be added to gasoline. To achieve the mileage rules, the weight of automobiles must be reduced. People inside those thinner, lighter cars will die from an accident at a rate in excess of larger vehicles. As for ethanol, it requires more energy to produce than it saves. It drives up the cost of all the food we consume. It also reduces the mileage from every gallon of gasoline while emitting more CO2!
The EPA is currently at war with the coal industry, responsible for providing the source of 50% of all the electricity generated in the United States of America. A recent "endangerment" finding against all surface coal mining in the Appalachian States of Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia is based on the protection of the Mayfly population, an insect that typically lives for one day!
The list of EPA abuses of common sense and known science could fill a shelf of books in much the same way its ever-expanding regulations do, but the worst of it is yet to come if the Cap-and-Trade Act is passed.
Despite the fact that CO2 has nothing to do with the non-existent "global warming" and therefore does not need to be regulated for any reason, the enactment of the bill will literally prevent a homeowner from selling their home without permission from an EPA administrator. The cost of buying or selling a home will soar.
The Environmental Protection Agency needs to be reduced in size and authority to its original intent. Better still, eliminate it entirely. It is a monster.
Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/. An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center.
© Alan Caruba, 2010