Thursday, June 7, 2012

EPA wants a "Way of Life Act" to control us even more

Despite the extensive regulations placed on Americans through the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and other directives, zealots at the Environmental Protection Agency say existing rules are not enough to control individual behavior - and controlling individual behavior is what they long to do.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) recently released a video montage of Obama EPA Regional Administrators revealing their hopes of imposing a green “Way Of Life Act” on Americans enforced through the regulatory dictatorship of the EPA.

President Obama-appointed EPA Regional Administrator Al Armendariz is heard saying on the video that the EPA should "crucify" and "make an example" of the oil and coal industries -- which is eerily in keeping with Obama's promise to bankrupt coal companies.

To be precise, Armendariz put his  "philosophy of enforcement" of a green way of life regarding oil & coal companies this way: "It was kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They'd go into a little Turkish town somewhere, they'd find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years."

Armendariz went on to say, “I don’t have a Way of Life Act that I can enforce - I’ve got a Clean Air Act, I’ve got a  Clean Water Act, a Safe Drinking Water Act that can be used to enforce green ideals." But having an official Act on how people actually live their lives would be so much more convenient.

Armendariz subsequently resigned under fire for his comments, but he wasn't alone in his intent to control our way of life. Also appearing on the video is EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck, who tries to justify a "Way of Life Act" because, “I don’t think individual change is going to be enough."

But it's not just these two people we need to fear, Sen. Inhofe’s office warns. “The purpose of this video is to get to know President Obama’s 'green generals' – the regional administrators – who are going into battle for the Obama-EPA, working hard to force a green 'way of life act' in regions across the United States."

It's frightening to imagine what type of controls they envision placing on us under such an Act. It's bad enough that environmentalists are indoctrinating children into a green way of thinking, to the extent of having them monitor their own parents to point out where they're failing to live "green." Now agents of the government want to regulate our behavior officially and have another excuse to raise taxes on our use of energy.

The question is, what makes these environmentalists' values more important than an individual's right to live as he chooses? At what point will the government, under the guise and legal backing of a green Way of Life Act or other existing Acts, begin to dictate how much water we can use in a given day, or how long we can run our air conditioner? Especially bothersome is that unelected officials are being given extraordinary power to enforce behavior on American citizens, and they have the full support of our President. 

Just like New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's attempt to regulate the size of soda cups we drink from, our government has no right telling us how to live our lives in our own private pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Too bad those values are all but forgotten by this leftist government gone wild. Hopefully this Way of Life Act remains nothing more than a pipe-dream.

 
What do you think?  Click on the comments link in the bar below to share your thoughts. No registration necessary.


17 comments:

  1. Wait, I'm pretty sure that EPA guy has been out of his office for a couple of months now (I think due to those comments).

    Besides, it's about corporate regulation of potentially health-harming activities, and there isn't any mention of regulating individual activities. I should add that I have to watch what I eat when I fish because corporations were allowed to dump whatever they pleased into rivers or onto land near rivers. I certainly don't think the government should tell me what I can and can't do, but regulating fracking is something different than telling people what kind of soda pop they can't buy. There are some things that can harm US if we don't use some regulation.

    Plus, I'm fairly confident that the EPA cannot enact laws. Last I checked, the legislature does that. They do enforce laws, but if you look at the numbers for the cost of penalties they've enacted, it has stayed pretty consistent with numbers before the Obama administration.

    And weren't you just complaining that Obama was playing politics with the pay gap issue? Where's the complaint (and why the implicit trust?!) of Senator Inhofe's statements? He's playing politics with the anti-regulatory component of his voting base, stirring up controversy over a person that has long since resigned and claiming that we need to watch out for a regulatory agency that cannot propose (only enforce, and barely, at that) legislation like the "Way of Life Act".

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  2. Dan - didn't you read her article - she clearly says that the guy resigned. Why are you pointing it out to her that he resigned? So what if it already happened. The point is the mentality of people running the 'green' movement in America. Have you seen the power the EPA is exerting over private citizens because it is given the power to enforce laws even though it itself is an unelected group of regulators? Have you spoken to truck drivers in California about the oppressive limits placed on them via the EPA that is making it impossible to do their jobs? Have you seen the farmers who's water have been cut off to save an unknown species of fish, and now their produce is being imported, thanks to the EPA's stranglehold? Did you read about how the EPA ordered homeowners to relinquish their home - which was under construction - and plant trees in its place - WITHOUT reimbursing them for their property, as would have happened under normal eminent domain - which the EPA is not required to obey? They've been given the power to denote Co2 - a natural gas that all living things NEED to SURVIVE as a pollutant so they can control that as well, they are demanding nuclear power plants be shut down which are the only things that have been proved to reduce Co2 (which is NOT harmful in the first place!!) and EPA has "vetoed" a vital, congressionally approved, flood-control project in the Mississippi Delta, claiming it would harm wetlands. People in Grand Rivers, KY aren't allowed to fix some bad public sewer problems because the EPA is saying they can't. It goes on and on and on. So what if the guy already resigned. Like the article said (if you read it) it's not just about him - it's the poisonous attitude of these self-righteous people that we need to bear in mind. No the EPA doesn't enact legislation (the article never said it does) but it is given extreme powers to enforce it. So if they're pushing for a Way of Life act and they got it, imagine what they would do with it. And don't be so fooled into thinking everything is so harmful and unhealthy and bad for us. Of course that's what the alarmists want you to think. They depend on people like you to believe every word they say so you'll follow them blindly. America has the safest standards in the world. Doesn't mean we should abuse them through manipulation and fear mongering. What do you think they mean when they say "individual behavior is not enough" - they want to control it. Think about it. If you think the EPA is not an extremely heavy-handed regulatory body, you've been out of the country or just not doing your due diligence on the issue.

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    1. I'm just curious - can you explain to me how CO2 is required for all living creatures to survive?

      Also, I'd like to learn more about the specifics regarding the EPA's transgressions, so can you give me some good primary sources (i.e. not from blogs or forums) to check out? Thanks!

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  3. Mary from MacombJune 9, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Without CO2, vegetation dies, herbivores die, you die - did you not take science? At the very least, it's a friendly gas, not a pollutant despite what the EPA will try to tell you. The pay-gap issue is politics because there is no pay-gap and the president is presenting something untrue for political gain. The EPA is actually abusing its power - do your own homework on the issue - look it up. Both the president and the EPA deserve to be exposed - I'm glad it's being done anywhere it can be done.

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    1. Why, hello, Mary from Macomb! I actually have a B.A. in biology, and I have two years of dental education under my belt. In the last two years, about half of my classes - including cardiac and respiratory physiology (which is how the heart and lungs work) - have been taught by the same instructors that teach at the Michigan Medical School. Needless to say, I actually have some education on this.

      First, an explanation about my question. The way the question was worded allowed me to think that Mike perhaps thought that living creatures other than plants directly used CO2 as a key component of life. Indirectly, CO2 is obviously necessary (I mean, come on, I couldn't tell you how many times I had to memorize the enzymes in photosynthesis and the Kreb's cycle), but I just wanted clarification.

      Second, let me say that the normal CO2 levels we experience are perfectly fine! However, if you believe that it is completely and absolutely safe, go ahead and lock yourself in a room with 80% CO2 and 20% O2 (the normal level of oxygen in the air). You'll probably die from hypercapnia (too much CO2 in the blood). Even if you use something like 10% CO2, you'll probably notice that you'll start to undergo respiratory acidosis. You see, CO2 is a component in both the bicarbonate acid/base system, which regulates the pH in your body to be consistent (if it didn't, bad things happen, like protein denaturation), and also in the regulation of breathing.

      CO2 is important because if the concentration increases in your blood (such as during exercise), your body starts breathing more quickly to get rid of it - that's right, most of your breathing is regulated by CO2 concentration (not oxygen, as most laymen and high-schoolers who didn't pay attention think). Why does your body increase breathing in response to CO2? Because if CO2 builds up due to the lack of ability to breathe it out (i.e. hypoventilation), respiratory acidosis occurs, and half of your organs stop working. Again, this is assuming the hypercapnia doesn't get to you first!

      So is CO2 safe normally? Yes! If concentrations increase slightly due to fossil fuel use, will the CO2 levels still be safe? Almost definitely yes! Just don't patronize me about "not taking science" - I've probably done a lot more than you have with science (including genetics research), and I know damn well what CO2 does and that plants use it.

      As for "doing my own homework", you evidently haven't had much experience in debate or professional writing. There's this thing called "burden of proof" (Wikipedia has a good explanation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof), which basically means that if you make an assertion, YOU have to prove it (and not expect the other person to jump through hoops to check things out). Did you not pay attention in philosophy?

      But hey, don't let me throw science at you. Have fun believing what you want and claiming a "liberal bias" on science and medicine. Shame on me for asking about someone else's point of view.

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    2. Brandon, If you want a list of the EPA's transgressions, just read Mike H.'s comments. Everything he writes has been well documented in various publications and newscasts,although not as much by the liberal media. You've probably spent too much time studying to realize what is happening around you. While the EPA does not have power to enact legislation they do have the power to issue regulations which can lead to heavy fines and in some cases even result in imprisonment. Please don't just rely on what you hear from the left. Be willing to discuss issues and hear both sides of arguments. You might find it enlightening.

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    3. Hi, Arjay. I'm going to copy and paste what Brandon said about burden of proof:

      "As for "doing my own homework", you evidently haven't had much experience in debate or professional writing. There's this thing called "burden of proof" (Wikipedia has a good explanation here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophic_burden_of_proof), which basically means that if you make an assertion, YOU have to prove it (and not expect the other person to jump through hoops to check things out). Did you not pay attention in philosophy?"

      To reiterate what that means, in a discussion or debate, the person making a claim, must be able to prove it. Brandon is trying to have a discussion and has had two people tell him to "look it up yourself" and "don't believe the left" without providing any proof for their assertions or trying to help him understand their viewpoint without being condescending.

      Also, the same could be said of the right, in regards to bias. They want your votes just as badly as the left.

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    4. Like Kelly said above, I would like actual sources citing those specifics. I couldn't find all of them when I looked (which, again, I shouldn't have to do if we follow debate/philosophy rules).

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  4. Brandon, if you need a list of specifics regarding the EPA's transgressions all you need to do is read Mike H's comments. All of those have been documented in various news reports. Obviously you've been too busy with your work at school to pay attention to what the EPA is regulating. Yes, regulating.
    While the EPA cannot enact legislation their regulations are enforceable and can result in heavy fines and under some circumstance lead to imprisonment. The trouble with liberals is that they are reluctant to discuss issues for fear that their arguments won't hold up.

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  5. Okay, I actually looked stuff up, if anyone is actually bothering to keep reading these responses (or actually looking up their information - fat chance). Sorry if I found the wrong references (but that's why you need to provide your own).

    Californian truck drivers (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/06/california-truckers-take-epa-to-court-over-fuel-efficiency-rules/): This is the only source I can see the point of. I agree that it's bad that small-business truck drivers are getting shafted, but the big issue to me is that the larger truck businesses (the American Trucking Association) helped push it through and are obviously very happy about some of their competition getting pushed out. I'd blame the influence big business has on the government just as much as I would the EPA.

    Farmers with lack of water access (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2219121/posts): The drought is due to a known species of an endangered fish (delta smelt), and the water was cut off in accordance with the Endangered Species Act. I think that the water should have been kept on, though this would have been a severe penalty against the ESA and somebody would have gotten in trouble. I can’t find any way to ask for permission to kill endangered species for a different purpose (though I think there should be one). Most importantly, a local judge (NOT the EPA) ordered the pumps shut off. Since the EPA did not order it, I’d say there is no EPA "stranglehold" here. One might argue that the EPA COULD have regulated the farmers according to the ESA, but it was a local judge upholding the law. I disagree with how that law acts, but that's a legislative problem, not an EPA problem.

    EPA disregarding eminent domain: This one I cannot find. I did find Sackett v. EPA, but that isn't at all the same.

    Mississippi delta pumps (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1709351,00.html): I couldn't find much on why the project was particularly helpful, or why it was particularly bad. This was during the Bush presidency, so I wonder if the veto was for environmental protection, or for politics. At any rate, it would have harmed the environment to help out a small number of people who already collect subsidies from the government. Look at it this way - this was 200 million dollars we cut from the budget. Isn't that a good thing?

    EPA shuts down nuclear reactors: I can't find that, but I did find the former EPA head saying that we could and should build more nuclear power plants (http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/former-epa-chief-building-100-more-nuclear-reactors-is-doable/)

    Sewage treatment plant in Grand Rivers, KY (http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Costly-EPA-tests-preventing-Grand-Rivers-from-building-new-sewage-plant-132741513.html): The U.S. Fish and Wildlife, not the EPA, shut that project down. The EPA requires testing to make sure the water is treated correctly, but they didn't shut it down. I might add that government grants from the USDA and CDBG helped pay for it (and government taking money to pay for things like that is, I’m told, socialist, and a big no-no).

    All said, it looks like most of these examples are actually due to legal concerns based on acts passed by the Congress. I agree with the trucking issue, and I concede that the power to veto the Yazoo project is worrisome (though I think the project was wasteful and useless anyhow), but the rest seem relatively unfounded.

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  6. Brandon - there has been trouble with this blog site - I was trying all day yesterday to post the following, but it didn't go through. You accuse us of it being a 'fat chance' that anyone would do their homework. Well, actually it's you who is asking us to do your homework for you, which I did (I will post some research in the next post - it won't fit in this post). I'm not sure how much evidence you would need before you start to see the writing on the wall, but this is a start.

    You know, it's okay to disagree with what readers say, but you should refrain from insulting us ("fat chance" anyone will do their homework, etc.). It makes you look very immature and arrogant, which only hurts your credibility. It makes you look like someone who is very adept at repeating what he has read in a book (which by the way, you provided no source for, despite your demands that others provide sources) but that's as far as it goes. You come off as someone who sees himself as a know-it-all but repeating information from a book is not an impressive feat.

    By the way, government using tax dollars to pay for grants is not socialism. Government trying to take control of private enterprise and redistribute earnings is socialism. Big difference - and that is what our current president is attempting to do. The Affordable Healthcare Act, for instance, wants to put a cap on what medical professionals are allowed to "earn". You say you are in dental school. You must be very altruistic because you will no doubt graduate deeply in debt and then under this Act, the government will tell you how much of your 'earnings' you're allowed to keep. So how nice of you to do all that studying, pay all that money, and do all that work for peanuts. And if you are in for the profit, that's great - but you shouldn't then look down on others who want to make a decent living either - and anyone who even remotely supports socialism is saying people don't have the right to want to be rich and successful, in whatever way you may define that. For your sake, you better pray ObamaCare is repealed, but of course you probably blindly support it and socialism in general without realizing the harm it will cause you and the people you love.

    Also, I think you missed the point being made about the Sackett case. It was being compared to eminent domain, in which case the government must reimburse property owners for seizing their property. But because the EPA isn't under eminent domain restrictions, The Sacketts had their property taken without reimbursement. That was the point that was being made - nobody said the Sackett case was an eminent domain case. You should pay closer attention to what is being said. Have a great day.

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    1. Hi. Brandon got snippy because Mary and Arjay were being incredibly condescending, when he originally was trying to build a discussion. There was nothing attacking in his first post, but Mary said "did you not take science?" which (especially in text) is hard to read as anything but sarcasm.

      And on top of that, they simply reiterated that he should find their information. He had trouble doing that, hence the burden of proof. He said fat chance because the previous readers only insulted him and refused to give sources.

      As Brandon's fiance, I can assure you that he is currently planning to go into public health to help those in poverty stricken areas through the Commissioned Corps. And I'm sure he can tell you more about that than I can.

      For your last point, that is exactly why Brandon wanted YOUR/THEIR sources! The stuff he was finding wasn't matching! So whomever is making the claim needs to support it with primary sources, such as scientific journals, news, etc. Blogs don't really count because that is someone's opinion or spin on an event. You could probably find just as many liberal blogs spouting the opposite of the same events.

      Also, you all seem to be assuming that Brandon disagrees with you on everything, when he's really just looking for sources. He doesn't completely agree with the EPA, but once again, sources.

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  7. And here is the homework I did for you:

    Justice Is Sweet: The Sackett v. EPA Decision
    http://townhall.com/tipsheet/erikajohnsen/2012/03/21/justice_is_sweet_the_sackett_v_epa_decision

    EPA Regulations Will Kill Coal, Jobs in Texas
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/07/12/epa-regulations-will-kill-coal-jobs-in-texas/

    EPA’s “Sustainability” Agenda: Vast Power Grab
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/21/epas-sustainability-agenda-vast-power-grab/

    The EPA's Abuse of Power: The government's startlingly aggressive and dishonest campaign against natural gas
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/epas-abuse-power_590334.html

    The Human Consequences of EPA’s War on Coal
    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/05/03/the-human-consequences-of-epas-war-on-coal/

    The United States of EPA
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204630904577056393981840650.html

    Washington Post: The EPA is earning a reputation for abuse
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-epa-is-earning-a-reputation-for-abuse/2012/05/03/gIQAucvzzT_story.html?hpid=z3

    EPA to Raise Electricity Prices, Risk Blackouts
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/06/epa-to-raise-electricity-prices-risk-blackouts/

    EPA’s New Mercury Rule? Environmental Hocus Pocus
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/12/21/epas-new-mercury-rule-environmental-hocus-pocus/

    EPA CO2 Regulation Effectively Bans New Coal Facilities
    http://blog.heritage.org/2012/03/27/epa-co2-regulation-effectively-bans-new-coal-facilities/

    EPA Gives Grant Money to Interpol
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/06/08/epa-gives-grant-money-to-interpol/

    EPA’s Tighter Ozone Standards Will Strangle Economic Recovery
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/09/23/epa%E2%80%99s-tighter-ozone-standards-will-strangle-economic-recovery/

    EPA Wants to Regulate CO2 but Ignores Vital Information
    http://blog.heritage.org/2011/11/28/epa-wants-to-regulate-co2-but-ignores-vital-information/

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  8. Here's more evidence that the EPA is putting its extreme left wing politics ahead of the well being of private citizens. The EPA is nothing but a political power grab. Anyone who doesn't see that is either intellectually dishonest or just hopelessly naive. Yet, watch, they'll still try to defend the EPA rather than admit that maybe they were wrong about the EPA. Ego matters more than fact with some people.

    EPA power grab to control private property around ditches:
    Link: http://www.humanevents.com/2012/06/11/epa-power-grab-to-regulate-ditches-gullies-on-private-property/

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  9. So it was the Sackett v. EPA decision. Thanks! Mike H said something about eminent domain or something and I didn't know what he was talking about (because nobody gave me their sources). I can't find any reputable source that shows that the house was taken, but I can find plenty that say the Sacketts were fined waaaayyy too much (and I agree). Anyway, that was a due process case, and the Supreme Court unanimously decided that the Sacketts could go ahead and debate the issue in district courts (which they should be able to do, especially at that price ticket).

    I'd just like to know - what's wrong with my sources? You've put forth blogs and opinion pieces (I might as well dig into the liberal blogs over at HuffPo, MSNBC, or New York Times - anybody want to read some Krugman?), but those are incredibly biased sources. Here, one from the NYT! http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/opinion/the-sacketts-and-the-clean-water-act.html?ref=environmentalprotectionagency

    See? Blogs and opinion pieces are possibly the most biased forms of information because it's one person's opinion.

    For what it is worth, Theresa, thank you very much. Seriously, no sarcasm here, thank you for at least posting some information. You must understand that I was being told I haven't done my homework, but nobody would actually show me any information that backs up their ideas. Even initially, all I asked was for some sources. I was polite. I was unassuming. I just wanted to know more. You are the first to actually look something up, and thank you. I wasn't insulting everyone - just those who told me that I was blind to the real situation but wouldn't actually inform me (in an unbiased fashion, especially) what that situation was.

    Also, it may interest some here to know that I'm really not all that liberal; I'd consider myself a moderate. Most of my political viewpoints are nuanced and based on whatever unbiased information I can find (needless to say, I generally stray away from blogs and forums). I voted for Rick Snyder (and am largely happy about what he's done) and am going to get my CPL soon. And overall, there are some major things I don't like about the EPA. Never once did I say that I liked it - I only said that the reasons being cited here were not accurate according to the higher-level sources of evidence I found. I'm totally down with conservatism - but man, when people get into a government-bashing rampage and start using blogs and hearsay as evidence, the scientist in me gets a little irked. Can you see where I'm coming from?

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  10. I think things are being taken a little too seriously. Most blogs by their very nature are nothing but an informal forum for opinion to start a dialog (which this blog is obviously very successful at doing). Blogs in general are not scientific research journals. If you're looking for irrefutable proof of every opinion voiced, an informal blog that makes no claim to be scientific is probably not the best place to be looking. For example, Mike H above cited a lot of EPA issues that have been in the news - probably did it just from memory. It's not his duty to provide anyone with proof, or sources or what not. This is just a discussion forum. Even if a source was cited for every single opinion put forth, someone could still find reasons to refute it and then it turns into a never-ending tit-for-tat and everyone has to provide proof and documentation and resources? Maybe expectations are just too high...it's only an informal blog to put forth ideas. It's not an official high school debate that requires formal documentation for everything said, especially by the readers making comments. Just sayin'.

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    1. Fair 'nuff. Here you go: http://cdn.styleforum.net/4/47/474301cc_update-high-five.gif

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