Posts Tagged ‘EPA’


Saturday, December 23rd, 2017

If you’re still not feeling the Christmas spirit yet, the New York Times offers up this brimming chalice of Winning:

More than 700 people have left the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, a wave of departures that puts the administration nearly a quarter of the way toward its goal of shrinking the agency to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.

Yet the winning continues:

Of the employees who have quit, retired or taken a buyout package since the beginning of the year, more than 200 are scientists. An additional 96 are environmental protection specialists, a broad category that includes scientists as well as others experienced in investigating and analyzing pollution levels. Nine department directors have departed the agency as well as dozens of attorneys and program managers. Most of the employees who have left are not being replaced.

The departures reflect poor morale and a sense of grievance at the agency, which has been criticized by President Trump and top Republicans in Congress as bloated and guilty of regulatory overreach.

Conservatives were wary that a Trump presidency would actually implement conservative policies, but when it comes to reducing regulatory burdens and bringing rogue agencies to heel, President Trump has not only exceeded expectations, he’s easily exceeded the (admittedly low) deregulation standards of Bush41 and Bush43, and is even on track to eclipse Reagan’s record in this regard.

So enjoy a heaping plate of Winning with your eggnog this year.

Trump Starts Bringing a Rogue EPA to Heel

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

President Trump is wasting no time in cleaning up Obama Administration messes where it’s possible to do so by executive order. One over the weekend started reigning in the EPA. “The Trump administration instituted a media blackout at the Environmental Protection Agency and barred staff from awarding any new contracts or grants. Emails sent to EPA staff since President Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday and reviewed by The Associated Press, detailed the specific prohibitions banning press releases, blog updates or posts to the agency’s social media accounts.”

Under Obama the EPA was a rogue agency perusing a radical environmental agenda at the expense of congressional intent. Texas alone has sued the EPA numerous times. A few of the lawsuits currently in progress over EPA overreach:

  • The Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.
  • The “Endangerment Finding” over greenhouse gas emissions congress never authorized the EPA to regulate.
  • The unconstitutional Clean Power Plan to regulate coal power plant carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The “Waters of the U.S. Rule,” allowing the EPA to micromanage the way farmers run their own farms.
  • Pollution Control Permitting, where the EPA illegally disapproved of Texas’ permitting program.
  • The 2016 Regional Haze Plan Suit. “Once again, the Obama Administration is misinterpreting and misusing federal agencies to force through a radical agenda based more on the beliefs of his environmentalist base than on common sense.” There was also a lawuit over the 2012 Haze Plan.
  • A lawsuit over the EPA’s failure to analyze job losses from coal regulations.
  • The Qualified Facilities Program for oil and gas drilling.
  • The Flexible Permit Program.
  • The Mercury Rule.
  • Industrial Plant Regulation.
  • Two separate Sulfur Dioxide Rule lawsuits. one still pending.
  • Multiple Greenhouse Gas rule lawsuits.
  • A lawsuit over Freedom of Information Act requests over the EPA colluding with various environmental groups to issue laws.
  • There are probably a few I’ve forgotten.
  • U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey has said that the agency “evidences the continued hostility on the part of the EPA to acceptance of the mission established by Congress.”

    Says Powerline’s John Hindraker:

    The EPA was created by Congress and owes its powers exclusively to Congressional enactment, but over time it has become contemptuous of its democratically-elected master, and has come to view itself as a superior and independent power, entitled to enforce those legal provisions that it likes, and ignore those that are inconvenient. Agencies like the EPA are the single greatest threat to the freedom of American citizens.

    The EPA is a rogue agency long overdue for reining in.

    Rep. Sam Johnson to Retire

    Saturday, January 7th, 2017

    U.S. Congressman Sam Johnson of the Texas Third Congressional district (northeast of Dallas, including Plano and McKinney) has announced that he’s retiring at the end of his term.

    Like Sen. John McCain, Johnson served as a military pilot who was shot down, held prisoner and tortured during the Vietnam War. Unlike McCain, Johnson has been a fairly reliable conservative, earning an 89% ranking from the Heritage Action for America’s scorecard and 82% ranking from Conservative Review, earning particular liberal ire for a bill to reign in the abuses of the EPA.

    At 86, Johnson is well into retirement age. As for replacements, State Senator Van Taylor’s Eighth District is right smack dab in the middle of the U.S. Third, and like Johnson, Taylor is ex-military, having served with the Marines in Iraq. He’s also a staunch conservative, pulling a 100% rating from the American Conservative union, all of which makes him a natural candidate.

    I just sent Taylor a tweet asking if he’s running. I’ll let you know if I get a reply.

    A Roundup of Texas Lawsuits of Note

    Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

    A number of lawsuits related to local or federal overreach in Texas are working their way through the court system. Here’s a quick roundup of developments in a few notable cases.

  • U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor reiterated that the injunction that stops Obama’s tranny bathroom mandate still applies nationwide. Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against the tranny bathroom mandate which has been joined by 13 other states.
  • Paxton has also joined a Texas Public Policy Foundation lawsuit against the City of Austin over their new short-term rental ordinance. “The Ordinance raises significant constitutional questions, because it functionally ousts homeowners and investors from real property without just compensation.”
  • Paxton also joined another TPPF lawsuit against the City of Brownsville over their $1 fee on plastic checkout bags, calling it an illegal sales tax, as bags are not taxable under state law.
  • Speaking of Paxton, in case you missed it, the SEC case against Paxton was thrown out by a federal judge:

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton won a sweeping victory in court Friday when Federal District Judge Amos L. Mazzant III dismissed a fraud case the Securities and Exchange Commission had brought against him.

    Mazzant, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama, found that even if all the facts the SEC alleged were true, they didn’t amount to any violation of securities law by Paxton.

    The SEC had dogpiled on Paxton after Collin County special prosecutors got a local grand jury to indict Paxton under state securities law in August 2015.

  • Now the question is whether Collin County will drop its own case against Paxton, and end payment of high dollar special prosecutor fees, now that the SEC has dropped the case.
  • Also note that Texas is still a co-plaintiff in State of West Virginia, et al. v. EPA, over the Obama Administration’s “Clean Power Plan,” which the Supreme Court ordered stayed February of last year.
  • LinkSwarm for August 14, 2015

    Friday, August 14th, 2015

    Austin had a very, very wet spring, but August is shaping up in normal fashion: Bone dry and hot as hell. Try to keep cool and enjoy a Friday LinkSwarm:

  • “There is no real distinction between today’s Democrats and socialists.”
  • Democrats have an America problem.
  • The email scandal could very well sink Hillary:

    Politicized or not, the DOJ will be increasingly boxed in by the FBI and intelligence community investigations. Normally, when the intelligence community finds classified materials in unauthorized locations, it seeks felony prosecutions. Gen. David Petraeus was sunk for keeping his own personal calendars in an unlocked drawer at home. The calendars were deemed classified, even if they lacked an official stamp. President Clinton’s CIA Director, John Deutsch, lost his job and security clearance for using his portable computer at home. It had classified material on it. Those violations are trifling compared to Hillary Clinton’s exposure.

    (Hat tip: Instapundit.)

  • Longtime Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin may be joining her in the big house
  • Bernie Sanders up over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire? #WhiteVotesMatter
  • Ohio Democrats continue their youth movement by recruiting 74-year old Ted Strickland for a Senate race.
  • Someone spilled millions of gallons of toxic waste into a river! Call the EPA! Oh wait, it was the EPA.
  • Islamic State executes 300 electoral civil servants in Iraq. Good thing we’ve got Nobel Prize winner Barack Obama sowing peace and stability to the Middle East rather than that warmongering bungler Bush… (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • So why did the Obama Administration pretend Taliban-head Mullah Omar was still alive when he’s probably been dead 2 years? (Hat tip: Prairie Pundit.)
  • And why is the Obama Administration siding with the terrorists and against the Americans who have already won legal judgments against them?
  • A whole bunch of gun myths debunked. (Hat tip: Borepatch.)
  • Just why did the University of Minnesota think it needed grenade launchers? (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • China devalues the Yuan. This is Big Freaking News, but hard to conceptualize, since China’s economic statistics are have not even a nodding acquaintance with reality, and haven’t for at least a decade. So is China’s current bubble bad, or super mega world-shatterling bad?
  • Your guide to global black market pricing.
  • Islamic State Worse off than Greece?
  • Brazil: Super-Duper boned.
  • Great Cthulhu emerges as surprise front-runner in Labour leadership contest.”
  • Tianjin, China Blows Up Real Good.
  • Jihadis kill four, kidnap six from hotel in central Mali. That’s really going to crimp your vacation plans. (Hat tip: Jihad Watch.)
  • Cop-killing inmate dies in prison riot. Alas, my electron microscope is being recalibrated, so I won’t be able to find the proper sized violin to commemorate this sad occasion… (Hat tip: Dwight.)
  • Social Justice Warriors continue their war on comedy on campus.
  • Man arrested for shooting at police in Ferguson was completely unarmed. Except for his guns.
  • Cool World War II radio intercepts story, via Instapundit.
  • Florida Man has been busy.
  • Texas Statewide Races Update for July 30, 2013

    Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

    Still getting up to speed, so expect these updates to be a bit random for, oh, the next five weeks or so.

  • Abbott: The Obama Administration’s Voting Rights Act lawsuit is purely political.

    The administration’s approach reveals the Democrats‘ fear that Republican candidates were making inroads with Hispanic voters. Democrats could never “turn Texas blue” if that trend continued, so they got the courts to draw district lines that guarantee Democratic victory in predominantly Hispanic areas.

    Instead of allowing the Voting Rights Act to work in a way the Constitution allows, the Obama administration is sowing racial divide to score cheap political points. The president is using the legal system as a sword to wage partisan battles rather than a shield to protect voting rights. This overreaching action undermines the Voting Rights Act and the rule of law. Texas will not tolerate it. So far, neither will the Supreme Court.

  • Abbot also appeared on Lou Dobbs to discuss voter ID:

  • He also appeared on the Mike Huckabee show:

  • And the Mike Gallagher Show:

  • And Trey Ware’s show on KTSA:

  • Huckabee, who last endorsed David Dewhurst in the Senate race, endorses Dan Patrick in the Lt. Governor’s race. I’m sure the endorsement had nothing to do with Huckabee’s son doing work for a consulting firm hired by Patrick…
  • Former state Rep. Ray Keller is running for the Railroad Commission.
  • Interview with Barry Smitherman
  • The Houston Chronicle tackles the Lt. Governor’s race by…comparing Twitter statistics for Jerry Patterson and Dan Patrick. I feel dumber merely by having linked to that.
  • Texas Sparkle endorses Todd Staples for Lt. Governor.
  • Eric Opiela is running for Agricultural Commissioner. I sort of like his ad featuring a Prius-driving EPA official:

  • Malachi Boyuls is running for the railroad commission. You don’t see many Malachis in public office these days…

  • Democrat Mike Mjetland is considering running for Governor.
  • LinkSwam for June 8, 2013

    Saturday, June 8th, 2013

    It’s hard to find time to do an ordinary LinkSwarm with so much Obama scandal news breaking. It’s like ScandalPalooza. And there are some scandal tidbits here as well.

  • Inside the life of Kim Il-Sung’s personal sushi chef.
  • Obama’s arguments for vast NSA powers amounts to “Terrorism is on the run. That’s why we have to tap all your phones and read all your email.”
  • You know what the great weasel word in common for tech giant non-denial denials on the NSA PRISM scandal? “Direct access.” Or “we give them boatloads of indirect access.”
  • The IRS scandal is like Enron: criminality by underlings empowered by a toxic culture at the top by people who think the rules don’t apply to them because they’re smarter than everyone else. “Any good CEO will tell you that ethical meltdowns like the IRS political-targeting scandal are rarely the work of a few rogue employees. Such messes are the result of a toxic culture that has been allowed to fester.”
  • That Gibson guitar raid now makes sense as part of Obama’s weaponizing of the federal government.
  • ObamaCare advocates are just fine with doubling premiums for the poor.
  • Code Pink learns that Michelle Obama may not be criticized any time, ever, for anything.
  • Oh, come on! You can’t even parody this stuff any more. (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)
  • Fake EPA employee wins real EPA award. (Also from Ace of Spades, which has a lot more EPA malfeasance, including the same sort of conservative targeting the IRS used.)
  • The idea that conservatives oppose Obama just because he’s black is an outrageous, pernicious lie that harms America.
  • Mark Steyn: Why are we spending billions on the NSA when we don’t have the guts to actual screen Muslim immigrants?
  • A former Communications Intelligence officer looks at PRISM.
  • 24 Turks arrest for anti-Erodgan Tweets.
  • Complex regulation i strangling American business.
  • Texas Beats EPA Again: Cross-State Pollution Rules Struck Down

    Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

    “A federal court has struck down an Environmental Protection Agency rule that forces cuts in soot- and smog-forming power plant emissions that cross state lines, dealing a major blow to the White House’s air quality agenda. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.”

    This is great news for Texas, as the original rules could have resulted in Texans dying during the height of summer due to shutting down existing Texas power plants before new ones had come online. Those rules had already been stayed early this year, but have now been struck down entirely.

    From the news stories, it’s unclear whether the Obama Administration’s EPA will appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

    More from Red State.

    Edited to add: TPPF now has a memo up celebrating the ruling. For once I was ahead of them!

    Texas Wins One Against the EPA

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

    The U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals ruled for Texas and against the EPA on the latter’s rejection of Texas’ Flexible Permit program.

    In November 1994, Texas submitted a proposed amendment to its State Implementation Plan that included the Flexible Permit program. The Clean Air Act required that EPA approve or disapprove the amendment within 18 months. However, the EPA did not announce its rejection of the program and the permits issued under it until July 2010 – more than 14 years after its statutory deadline to act.

    Just think: Thanks to ObamaCare, soon that same lightning-fast efficiency exhibited by the EPA will be coming to your doctor’s office.

    Note: This is not the cross-state border emissions rules that was threatening to shut down power plants at the height of the summer (which, thankfully, hasn’t happened so far). Texas’ appeal on that is still pending.

    Obama’s EPA Takes Aim at Williamson County

    Thursday, May 10th, 2012

    You know all those lovely jobs the free market has been creating in Williamson County? Well, they’re about to be salamandered:

    The Williamson County Conservation Foundation is gathering a task force of various communities and stakeholders to try and prevent the endangered listing of several salamander species in Central Texas.

    This has been churning away in the background for a while, but I’m hearing that it’s about to impact some local Williamson County Republican races. I don’t think I have a good handle on all the angles yet. I’ll try to post when I do.