Countdown Clocks

Countdown Clocks

Posts tagged "EPA"

Today on the 700 Club, televangelist Pat Robertson claimed that the recent cold snap in North America and a ship stuck in Antarctica prove that climate change is nothing but a myth. Of course, both of his assertions are extremely dubious. While the New York Times notes that “97 to 98 percent of working climate scientists accept the evidence for human-induced climate change,” Robertson claimed that the scientists are merely lying to make money…something Robertson would never do.

“It’s getting warmer in Jupiter—and they don’t have any SUVs driving around in Jupiter—it has nothing to do with greenhouse gases it has to do with the action of the sun, there’s either two much sun or not enough sun,” Robertson said. “Think about how much money is involved. It’s money, they’re going to get a river of money.”

“Then you have politicians who want to take control and the progressives always want control, just like with health care, they want control; the EPA in America wants control of all of our energy.”

From the 01.07.2014 edition of CBN’s The 700 Club:

h/t: RWW

Gun Owners of America – which prides itself in being to the right of the NRA — has been pushing the creative conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is using the Environmental Protection Agency to institute backdoor gun control. GOA’s story goes that a Missouri lead smelter that shut down rather than comply with clean air regulations was in fact forced shut by the Obama administration in order to suppress the supply of lead used for manufacturing bullets.

The first problem with this story is that, as Steve Benen pointed out, the EPA started going after the plant in question during the Bush administration.

The story gained so much traction, though, that the NRA felt compelled to issue a statement earlier this month reassuring its members that “this particular facility’s closure should not have the dramatic impact that some have predicted.”

The word of the great conspiracy also reached a major bullet manufacturer, which itself issued a statement saying that its “supply should not be in jeopardy” and that the Missouri factory’s closure presented “no reason for alarm,” as the conservative outlet NewsMax reported.

But according to Gun Owners of America, these denials just serve to confirm the group’s suspicions. GOA spokesman Mike Hammond told NewsMax yesterday that the NRA and the manufacturer’s dismissals of the EPA-gun control conspiracy theory “only drive home his point.”

h/t: Miranda Blue at RWW

In a blog post this week, former Florida congressman Allen West gets behind a conspiracy theory that holds that the Environmental Protection Agency is launching a “clandestine” and “backdoor” assault on the Second Amendment. The gist of the theory is that President Obama used the EPA to shut down a Missouri smelter that refused to comply with anti-pollution regulations, thereby creating a scarcity of bullets and, in West’s words, “destroy[ing] the Second Amendment.”

Of course, there is no actual evidence to support West’s claim. In fact, the EPA first went after the smelter in question in 2008, the year before Obama became president. Steve Benen notes: “If enforcement of environmental safeguards was used to secretly undermine access to ammunition, the plot was launched by the notorious gun-grabbers in the Bush/Cheney administration.”

Despite the lack of evidence and the fact that the smelter was targeted before Obama even took office, now Gun Owners of America is also embracing the patently bogus conspiracy.

H/T: Brian Tashman at RWW

As the nation’s talking about the federal government being shut down (which the GOP/Tea Party extremists led by Ted Cruz and John Boehner caused BTW), KFTK radio host and conservative liar Dana Loesch celebrating the disastrous GOP-caused shutdown by falsely blaming the Democratic Party for allowing it to happen and even cheered the EPA being shut down.

As of Tuesday and continuing until further notice, the United States government has been shut down for the first time since 1995-1996. 
Guess who’s to blame for the shutdown? It’s the GOP and the Tea Party 100 percent.
They are absolutely harming America by playing games with our economy and pandering to hard-right Tea Party members rather than find a solution to help the American people out, such as their insistence on defunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). 
This political stunt by House Speaker John Boehner, Sen. Ted Cruz and their right-wing cronies may end up handing the keys to the House of Representatives over to the Democrats in the 2014 elections. This event also serves as a reminder to vote out all Republicans next year.
Her tweets that baselessly attack Democrats on the government shutdown:
Media Matters For America debunked the false right-wing spin that “Harry Reid’s ignoring children who have cancer” was originated by the conservative-biased Washington Free Beacon and then spreads to the rest of the RWNJ apparatus.
Conservative media are selectively and deceptively quoting from an exchange between CNN’s Dana Bash Senate and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to make it appear as if he dismissed the plight of cancer-stricken children being denied access to clinical trials due to the shutdown of the federal government. In fact, Reid said that legislators should fully fund the government, rather than force different groups to fight over funding. 
Specifically, conservatives are claiming that Reid replied to a reporter’s question, “If you can help one child with cancer, why wouldn’t you?”  by saying “why would we want to do that?” In fact, Reid was responding to Sen. Chuck Schumer, who had interjected, saying “why pit one against the other?”
On October 1, the federal government was shut down after conservative Republicans refused to pass legislation funding operations unless that funding was tied to the defunding or delay of Obamacare.
The Democrats DID NOT shut down the government, you low-life fucking liar! The GOP voted for it
Tea Party members/supporters are NOT the majority of the country; however, they are a majority of the GOP’s support base. Another lie from you, Mrs. Loesch. 
Yes, it’s the GOP’s fault, you stupid turdbreath!
WRONG. The GOP did.

(cross-posted from DanaBusted.blogspot.com)

A Fox News anchor suggested that since the majority of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees have been furloughed under the government shutdown, we should simply do without them even after it has been resolved. However, EPA employees furloughed include those in charge of cleaning up hundreds of hazardous waste sites and enforcing clean air and water laws.

On Wednesday, Fox News’ America’s Newsroom noted that less than 7 percent of the over 16,000 EPA employees would be working during the government shutdown (about 1,000 total employees). Co-anchor Martha MacCallum laughed that “some” have “asked why we need the other 15,000 EPA workers at all,” adding that these were “valid questions.”

The “some" who are asking this are several Republican lawmakers behind the government shutdown. For instance, Rep. Steve Stockman who has rallied for the shutdown, tweeted a Washington Examiner article suggesting furloughed employees may be “non-essential” long-term, and re-tweeted a follower celebrating the idea that they wouldn’t return:

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) tweet on EPA shutdown

And Rep. Marsha Blackburn, who also voted for the bill that led to the shutdown, once again cheered the shutdown because it would prevent the EPA from issuing new regulations:

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) tweet on EPA shutdown

However, in addition to employees that are fulfilling the EPA’s legal obligation to set standards under theClean Air and Water acts according to the most up to date scientific understanding, there are many other furloughed EPA employees conducting important work for the agency.

For instance, only 182 of the 804 employees in charge of enforcing “regulations by taking legal action against an air or water polluter” are exempted from furloughs, according to Reuters

h/t: MMFA

Senate leaders struck a tentative deal in the 11th hour to confirm seven presidential nominees to executive positions without the use of the nuclear option.

In short, Republicans would confirm nominees to all seven positions, a big concession for the GOP. But in a concession for Democrats, they would replace two recess-appointed nominees to the National Labor Relations Board — Sharon Block and Richard Griffin, pictured below — with new nominees under the following condition: Republicans pledge to confirm any two replacements by President Obama to the board by Aug. 27.

The nominees who would be confirmed in the deal are Richard Cordray to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Gina McCarthy for the Environmental Protection Agency, Tom Perez for the Labor Department and Fred Hochberg for the Export-Import Bank. Under the terms of the deal outlined by Reid’s office, Mark Pearce would be confirmed to the NLRB while Block and Griffin would be replaced.

Texas — a state famous for its size and stature — claims an outsize share of the country’s industrial accidents. As of May 2012, the state held 1,827 facilities deemed at risk of toxic or flammable chemical accidents, about one-tenth of all those in the nation, according to data from the EPA’s Risk Management Program as tabulated by the Right-to-Know Network, a non-profit government watchdog. Yet the state was responsible for nearly 50 percent of the evacuations and property damage costs caused by accidents at such plants over the previous five years, according to a Huffington Post review of the data.

Al Gore, environmental activist and former vice president, said he was “very pleased” to hear President Barack Obama pledge to combat climate change in his inauguration speech. He urged the president to “follow through” on his commitment.

“There are some actions he can take that do not require congressional approval,” Gore said in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.”

Gore argued the president should expand current Environmental Protection Agency regulations, saying such action would be protected by the Supreme Court.

“There is a law on the books that requires the EPA to regulate pollution. The Supreme Court has agreed with the obvious interpretation that global warming pollution is pollution,” he said. “It’s been applied to new coal plants. It should be applied to all facilities.”

Environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council have also called on the president to keep his distance from Congress on climate change.

(via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Republicans emphatically approved a toughly worded party platform at their national convention Tuesday that would ban all abortions and gay marriages, reshape Medicare into a voucher-like program and reject federal spending as an antidote for the nation’s ailing job market.

Here are key elements of the Republican platform:

JOB CREATION:

It states that the best jobs program is economic growth. “We do not offer yet another made-in-Washington package of subsidies and spending to create temporary or artificial jobs.”

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SMALL BUSINESS:

The GOP pledges to reform the tax code to make it easier for businesses to generate more capital and create more jobs.

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TAXES:

"We reject the use of taxation to redistribute income, fund unnecessary or ineffective programs or foster the crony capitalism that corrupts both politicians and corporations."

It says a Republican administration would extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, pending reform of the tax code. It says the party would strive to eliminate taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains altogether for lower- and middle-income taxpayers. It also would work to repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.

The party backs constitutional amendments to balance the federal budget and require a super majority for any tax increases.

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MARRIAGE:

The platform affirms the rights of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriage. It backs a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

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VOTER INTEGRITY:

"Voter fraud is a political poison," the platform says. It praises legislation to require photo identification for voting and to prevent election fraud.

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GUN CONTROL:

The party says it opposes legislation intended to restrict Second Amendment rights by limiting the capacity of clips or magazines or otherwise restoring the assault weapons ban passed during the Clinton presidency.

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ABORTION:

The party states that “the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.” It opposes using public revenues to promote or perform abortion or to fund organizations that perform or advocate abortions. It says the party will not fund or subsidize health care that includes abortion coverage.

—-

ENERGY:

The party is committed to domestic energy independence and an “all-of-the-above” energy policy, backing the exploration and development of the Outer Continental Shelf and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It criticizes the Obama administration for picking winners and losers in the energy sector and expresses support for new coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible and efficient.

It adds: “We will end the EPA’s war on coal and encourage the increased safe development in all regions of the nation’s coal resources.” It calls on Congress to prohibit the EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations “that will harm the nation’s economy and threaten millions of jobs over the next quarter century.”

——

MEDICARE and MEDICAID:

The platform pledges to move both Medicare and Medicaid away from “the current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model.” It supports a Medicare transition to a premium-support model with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice. Age eligibility in Medicare must be made more realistic in light of longer life spans.

Medicaid services for low income people would be transformed into a block grant program in which the states would be given the flexibility to determine the best programs for their residents.

——

IMMIGRATION:

The platform makes clear that “we oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by intentionally violating the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed it.” It demands that the Justice Department halt lawsuits against Arizona, Alabama and other states that have enacted tough measures against illegal immigrants. It says federal funding should be denied to universities that provide in-state tuition rates to illegal immigrants. It advocates making English the official national language.

——

HEALTH CARE:

It states that a Republican president on his first day in office would use his waiver authority to halt progress in carrying out the health care act pushed through by President Barack Obama and that Republican victories in November would guarantee that the act is never implemented. It proposes a Republican plan based on improving health care quality and lowering costs and a system that promotes the free market and gives consumers more choice.

——

EDUCATION:

Republicans support consumer choice, including home schooling, local innovations such as single-sex classes, full-day school hours and year-round schools. It says Republicans renew their call for replacing family planning programs for teens “with abstinence education which teaches abstinence until marriage as the responsible and respected standard of behavior.”

——

DEFENSE:

The platform says Republicans are “the party of peace through strength” and support the concept of American exceptionalism - “the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history.” It criticizes the current administration for its weak positions toward such countries as North Korea, China and Iran and its reductions in military spending. The Republican national military strategy “restores as a principal objective the deterrence using the full spectrum of our military capabilities.”

h/t: AP.org

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, is a virulent denier of climate science, with a voting record to match.

favorite of the Koch brothers, Ryan has accused scientists of engaging in conspiracy to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” He has implied that snow invalidates global warming.

Paul Ryan Promoted Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About Climate Scientists.In a December 2009 op-ed during international climate talks, Ryan made reference to the hacked University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit emails. He accused climatologists of a “perversion of the scientific method, where data were manipulated to support a predetermined conclusion,” in order to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” Because of spurious claims of conspiracy like these, several governmental and academic inquiries were launched, all of which found the accusations to be without merit. [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]

Paul Ryan Argued Snow Invalidates Global Warming Policy. In the same December 2009 op-ed, Ryan argued, “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate EPA Limits On Greenhouse Pollution. Ryan voted in favor of H.R. 910, introduced in 2011 by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas pollution. [Roll Call 249, 4/7/11]

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate Light Bulb Efficiency Standards. In 2011, Ryan voted to roll back light-bulb efficiency standards that had reinvigorated the domestic lighting industry and that significantly reduce energy waste and carbon pollution. [Roll Call 563, 7/12/11]

Paul Ryan Voted For Keystone XL. In 2011, Ryan voted to expedite the consideration and approval of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. [Roll Call 650, 7/26/11]

Paul Ryan Budget Kept Big Oil Subsidies And Slashed Clean Energy Investment.House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed FY 2013 budget resolution retained a decade’s worth of oil tax breaks worth $40 billion, while slashing funding for investments in clean energy research, development, deployment, and commercialization, along with other energy programs. The plan called for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone. [CAP,3/20/12]

H/T: Brad Johnson at Climate Progress