Obama’s tyrants, their hokum, and their corruption 4

Fifteen of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members have received $180.8 million in EPA grants since 2000. One CASAC panelist (Ed Avol of USC) received $51.7 million!

Repeat: $51.7 million dollars. Whatever did the man do to deserve that much tax-payers’ money? What unique skill has he acquired and uses to the enormous benefit of America or all mankind?

Read on to find out.

This is from Townhall, by Paul Driessen:

The Obama Environmental Protection Agency recently slashed the maximum allowable sulfur content in gasoline from 30 parts per million to 10 ppm. The agency claims its new “Tier 3” rule will bring $7 billion to $19 billion in annual health benefits by 2030. “These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment and a win for our pocketbooks,” EPA  Administrator Gina McCarthy insists.

Note that name. She is one of the most dangerous sub-tyrants in the Obama administration.

It’s all hokum. Like almost everything else emanating from EPA these days, the gasoline regulations are a case study in how America’s economy, jobs, living standards, health and welfare are being pummeled by secretive, deceptive, and indeed fraudulent and corrupt government practices.

Since the Clean Air Act was passed in 1970, America’s cars have eliminated some 99% of pollutants that once came out of tailpipes, notes air quality expert Joel Schwartz. Since 2004, under Tier 2 rules, refiners have reduced sulfur in gasoline from an average of 300 ppm to 30 ppm – a 90% drop, on top of pre-2004 reductions. In addition, because newer cars start out cleaner and stay cleaner throughout their lives, fleet turnover is reducing emissions by 8 to10 percent per year, steadily improving air quality.

The net result, says a 2012 Environ International study, is that ground-level ozone concentrations will fall even more dramatically by 2022. Volatile organic pollutants will plummet by 62%, carbon monoxide by 51% and nitrous oxides by 80% – beyond reductions already achieved between 1970 and 2004.

EPA (which once promised to be ultra-transparent) claims its rules will add less than a penny per gallon to gasoline prices; but it won’t say how it arrived at that estimate. Industry sources say the Tier 3 rules will require $10 billion in upfront capital expenditures, an additional $2.4 billion in annual compliance expenses, significant increases in refinery energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, an extra 5-9 cents per gallon in manufacturing costs, which will certainly hit consumers at the pump.

But regardless of their ultimate cost, the rules will reduce monthly ozone levels by just 1.2 parts per billion during rush hour, says Environ. That’s equivalent to 12 cents out of $100 million or 1.2 seconds out of 32,000 years. These minuscule improvements could not even have been measured by equipment existing a couple decades ago.

Their contribution to improved human health will be essentially zero.

Not so, say the EPA, Sierra Club and American Lung Association (ALA). The rules will reduce asthma in “the children,” they insist. However, asthma incidences have been increasing, while air pollution has declined – demonstrating that the pollution-asthma connection is a red herring. The disease is caused by allergies, a failure to expose young children to sufficient allergens to cause their immune systems to build resistance to airborne allergens, and lack of sufficient exercise to keep lungs robust. Not surprisingly, a Southern California study found no association between asthma hospitalizations and air pollution levels.

Moreover, EPA paid the ALA $20 million between 2001 and 2010. No wonder it echoes agency claims about air quality and lung problems. The payments continue today, while EPA also funnels millions to various environmentalist pressure groups – and even to “independent” EPA scientific review panels – that likewise rubber stamp too many EPA pollution claims, studies and regulatory actions.

As Ron Arnold recently reported in The Washington Examiner, 15 of EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee members have received $180.8 million in EPA grants since 2000. One CASAC panelist (Ed Avol of USC) received $51.7 million!

The seven CASAC executive committee members pocketed $80.2 million. Imagine Big Oil paying that kind of cash to an advisory group, and calling it “independent.” The news media, government and environmentalists would have a field day with that one.

The Clean Air Act, Information Quality Act, Executive Order 12866 and other laws require that agencies assess both the costs and benefits of proposed regulations, adopt them only if their benefits justify their costs, and even determine whether a regulation is worth implementing at all. However, EPA and other agencies systematically violate these rules, routinely inflate the alleged benefits of their rules, and habitually minimize or even ignore their energy, economic, health and social costs.

Reporting on a hearing held by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, Arnold noted that CASAC members say they weren’t even aware that they are obligated to advise EPA on both benefits and costs. Former EPA Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation Jeff Holmstead testified, “As far as I know, CASAC never fulfilled this requirement as it relates to the ozone standard or any other” rule.

Former CASAC chairman Dr. Roger McClellan told Rep. Smith he did not think the panel “ever advised EPA to take account of the role of socioeconomic factors, unemployment or other risk factors” adversely affecting people’s health. Another former CASAC member testified that the advisory committee was not even “allowed to discuss any of the adverse consequences” associated with new rulemakings.

EPA regulations impose countless billions of dollars in annual impacts on the US economy, according to studies by the Heritage Foundation, Competitive Enterprise Institute and Government Accountability Office. Estimates of total compliance costs for all federal regulations range to nearly $2 trillion per year. Some may bring benefits, but many or most also inflict significant harm on human health.

They mean millions of layoffs, far fewer jobs created, and steadily declining quality of life for millions of Americans, who cannot heat and cool their homes properly, pay the rent and mortgage, or save for retirement. …

In another example, EPA justifies its onerous carbon dioxide regulations by asserting that Earth’s climate is highly sensitive to C02, hypothesizing every conceivable carbon cost, and imputing huge monetized damages from hydrocarbon use and CO2 emissions ($36/ton of CO2 emitted). It completely ignores even the most obvious and enormous job, health and welfare benefits of using fossil fuels; even the benefits of higher carbon dioxide levels for food crops, forests and grasslands; and even the harmful effects that these regulations are having on energy prices and reliability, and thus people’s jobs, health and welfare.

The EPA, ALA and CASAC likewise insist that new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards for coal-fired power plants will bring huge health benefits. However, the mercury risks were hugely overblown, the proclaimed dangers from fine particulates were contradicted by EPA’s own illegal experiments on human subjects – and the agency never assessed the health and welfare damage that the MATS rules will impose by causing the loss of 200,000 jobs and 23,000 megawatts of reliable, affordable electricity by 2015.

So who is Ed Avol, and what did he do to earn $51.7 million of your money?

He is Professor of Clinical Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, specializing in “respiratory health, air pollution and the public health impacts of traffic”.

Here he is.

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And what did he do?

He rubber-stamped the tyrannous rulings of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Citoyons – is this not cause, and is it not time, to rebel?

Keeping the homeland safe 0

This information comes from Dr Terry  Kelhawk at PoliticalMavens. A Palestinian passed through Paris on his way from the Middle East – we are not told where to – and this is what happened:

The Arab Muslim screeners [in Paris] found out he was Palestinian, and while the other passengers were being heavily scrutinized, he got the “hail fellow well met” treatment. Smiles and sympathy replaced not only his walking through the metal detector, but exempted his backpack from the indignity of x-ray as well. Good thing he was not in the mood to blow up a plane that day.

That needs to considered along with this report by CNS News (worth reading in full):

Four months after the attempted Christmas Day bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit and nine years after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, only 14 of the 57 U.S. consulates identified as being at “high risk” for potentially providing visas to terrorists have been furnished with units of the Department of Homeland Security’s Visa Security Program (VSP).

President Barack Obama, meanwhile, is planning to freeze the program’s budget for fiscal 2011.

The VSP, established by the Homeland Security Act of 2002, puts Department of Homeland Security officials in the field at U.S. consulates to vet the backgrounds of people applying for U.S. visas. …

While administration officials have said publicly that five additional VSP units should be in place at high risk consulates by the end of 2011, President Barack Obama’s fiscal Year 2011 budget for DHS–submitted almost two months after the Christmas Day bombing attempt—does not increase funding for the program from its fiscal 2010 level.

According to a March 8 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, a lack of funding could hamper expansion of the Visa Security Program to the many high-risk consulates that still do not have a unit. …

President Obama’s proposed freeze on VSP funding and the administration’s slow pace in putting new VSP units in high risk consulates is unacceptable to some congressional Republicans, who have introduced legislation to address these issues.

The Secure Visas Act (HR 4758), introduced in March by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), would allocate $60 million to the program for fiscal 2010 and another $60 million for fiscal 2011 for placing VSP units in the 15 “highest risk” consulates beyond the 14 that already have units in place. That bill would approximately double the funding the Obama administration has allocated for the program in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011.

“The visa security process is our first line of defense against terrorists and others who wish to do us harm,” Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the lead sponsor of the Secure Visas Act, told CNSNews.com. “But under President Obama, new Visa Security Units ground to a halt.” …

At the current rate of VSP placement — about five consulates every two years — it would take until 2021 for 75 percent of high-risk consulates to have the program in place. …

“If the Obama administration will not exercise its authority to develop new VSUs (Visa Security Units) at the highest risk posts identified by its own Department of Homeland Security, Congress must step in,” said Smith. …

Smith and Secure Visas Act co-sponsor Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) noted that it took 12 months for the DHS to start the process for putting a VSP unit in Yemen, the country where Christmas Day bombing suspect, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was radicalized.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano waited 12 months before even sending a request to the State Department to open a unit in Yemen,” the senators wrote. …

Upholding injustice 0

… or ‘Holdering  justice’  – seems to amount to the same thing.

With Attorney General Eric Holder at the head of it, the US Justice Department would be better named the Injustice Department.

This from the Washington Times shows why:

The Democrat-controlled House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday rejected by a 15-14 vote a resolution of inquiry that would have forced the Justice Department to tell Congress why it dismissed a civil complaint against members of the New Black Panther Party who disrupted a Philadelphia polling place in the November 2008 election.

The party-line vote had been sought by Rep. Frank R. Wolf, Virginia Republican, who, along with Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said they have been unable to get information from the department on the complaint’s dismissal.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Judiciary Committee defeated my resolution of inquiry on a party-line vote. There has been no oversight, no accountability and certainly no transparency with regard to this attorney general and this Department of Justice,” Mr. Wolf said. “Where is the ‘unprecedented transparency’ that this administration promised? Where is the honesty and openness that the majority party pledged? The American people deserve better,” he said….

Rep. Dan Lungren, California Republican, described the dismissal of the complaint as “a denial of justice” and Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said the resolution was an attempt to hold the Justice Department accountable to Congress.

The 15 Democrats, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, sent the resolution to the House floor with an adverse recommendation, voting it “unfavorably” out of committee. …

Mr. Wolf said that after ignoring seven letters over seven months seeking information on the case and failing to comply with subpoenas from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, he decided to seek the resolution. He said Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. continues to “thwart all efforts to compel an explanation for the dismissal.” …

Mr. Wolf, ranking Republican on the House Appropriations subcommittee on commerce, justice, science and related agencies that funds the Justice Department, also said that while the Justice Department is claiming broad privileges to avoid disclosing any new information regarding the case, many legal scholars have challenged the department’s assertions of privilege. He said the committee’s failure to approve his resolution had set a “troubling precedent.”

“Is it going to continue to blindly defer to all unsubstantiated claims of privilege from the department?” he asked. “The Justice Department has gone as far as to claim privilege and redact seven pages of a letter I sent to the attorney general and released publicly on July 31, 2009.

“I sincerely question the judgment of the Civil Rights Division leadership — both in its dismissal of this case and its stonewalling of this Congress and the Commission on Civil Rights,” he said.

Mr. Wolf argued that the complaint was “inexplicably dismissed” earlier this year over the objections of the career attorneys overseeing the case as well as the departments own appeal office. He said he regretted resorting to an oversight resolution, but “Congress and the American people have a right to know why this case was not prosecuted.” …