Reckless: Lead, follow, or get out of the way

Mar 5, 2010

Reckless: Lead, follow, or get out of the way

Lead, follow, or get out of the way is apparently how the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) feels about climate change. Several months ago, EPA announced that carbon dioxide was a public endangerment and, as a result, the agency was required to manage the issue under the Clean Air Act of 1977. Now they are working through the typical rule-making process to come up with a means of managing the pollutant.

Just after the comment period ended, the big news came out that many major climate researchers were not necessarily being scientists because they were caught manipulating data and restricting access to the data by other scientists. Many of the leading climate scientists exposed themselves as advocates for the theory of climate change. As a result, there has been a massive loss of credibility regarding the entire climate debate.

A series of e-mails was discovered which showed the group of scientists were making assumptions about the climate data and manipulated the information to justify a predetermined outcome. This data figured significantly into the information that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) used to support their climate change theories.

The IPCC consists of various United Nations (UN) members, many of whom, in my opinion, have very questionable motives. Many other climate scientists have commented on the integrity of this world-changing information and have denounced its credibility. The IPCC’s fourth report was utilized by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson as one of the major sources of scientific support for EPA’s endangerment finding regarding carbon dioxide. It also weighed heavily on EPA’s decision to regulate carbon dioxide as an air pollutant.

The "Climategate" scandal, as this episode is being called, appears to have changed the game for the climate change agenda. But EPA is plowing through with their efforts to regulate carbon dioxide. A couple weeks ago, a coalition of industry groups, which included the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, filed a petition requesting EPA to reconsider their position on carbon dioxide. The request was essentially based on the fact that EPA relied upon fudged data, false temperature stations created, and that scientists cherry picked data to create a warming bias in the temperature records. It’s pretty clear that some of these scientists had agendas in mind rather than testing the scientific method.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-OK, is also getting in on the act and wants the Department of Justice to investigate the science and data. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-AK, is attempting to pass an amendment in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that would block any regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources for one year. This would include just about any business.

Murkowski, Inhofe and just about everyone else in Congress thinks that any response to the threat posed by greenhouse gasses should come from Congress and it isn’t the place for EPA to move forward on the issue without congressional guidance. "The Clean Air Act was never intended to regulate climate change," Murkowski said. Also, she said that she is committed to safeguard the economy from the EPA rules and regulations while attempting to move forward on a clean energy bill.

One would think that the exposure of the questionable temperature data last November and the total breakdown of the UN’s climate summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark, last November into a session where small, underdeveloped countries attempted to shake down the larger, wealthy countries, would have created a large amount of skepticism about the entire climate change debate. Logic would suggest—to me, anyway—that this petition for EPA to reconsider their efforts to regulate carbon dioxide would have a pretty good chance. However, at the end of the day, it will come down to politics. And the current state of American politics is, without question, out of control.

EPA has made a huge assumption that they can manage climate change through the Clean Air Act. Congress clearly doesn’t like it. The House passed a climate bill last fall, but the Senate appears apprehensive to even look at it.

EPA was a good idea when it was created and many of the acts that they manage are well-intentioned. We all want clean air and water. But the EPA, under Lisa Jackson’s direction, has become an agency to fear. EPA has the ability to pick the winners and losers in today’s economy, which is very dangerous. EPA has gone out of control and become a reckless agency. — PETE CROW