Saturday, June 23, 2012

EPA’s Dream World

The folly of the EPA is beyond parody. So I thought for this weekend I’d do something we haven’t done in awhile, and have a “name the most egregious example of EPA excess day." Allow me to start off with an example that is making the rounds of [conservative] reporting right now.

Living in the dream world of green miracles, the EPA requires that oil refiners produce millions of gallons of gasoline containing cellulosic ethanol.

Not ethanol per se mind you, but gasoline containing the miracle ingredient cellulosic ethanol. This requirement has been in place since 2005, and each year the number of gallons required of the miracle ingredient increases automatically. If the refiners don’t produce the required number of gallons of gasoline containing cellulosic ethanol, they are surtaxed on production—essentially a penalty. Before anyone says it, this is one boondoggle that Obama can at least partially blame on Bush.

Seven years after the addition of this EPA regulation, the fines are becoming extremely heavy. Well, that’s fair if the refiners don’t do what the government requires of them, right? I say “beat those global-warming producers over the head with their failure to comply with EPA regulations.” Or at least I would say that except for one small detail. Cellulosic ethanol doesn’t exist except in the fevered minds of green weenies who think that wishing will make it so.

Here’s how the inimitable Wikepedia describes the product: “It is a type of biofuel produced from lignocellulose, a structural material that comprises much of the mass of plants. Lignocellulose is composed mainly of cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Corn stover, panicum virgatum (switchgrass), miscanthus grass species, wood chips and the byproducts of lawn and tree maintenance are some of the more popular cellulosic materials for ethanol production. Production of ethanol from lignocellulose has the advantage of abundant and diverse raw material compared to sources such as corn and cane sugars, but requires a greater amount of processing to make the sugar monomers available to the microorganisms typically used to produce cellulosic ethanol by fermentation.” Wow!

Which is to say, don’t rely on Wikipedia to give you meaningful and accurate information about anything that has a political component. It all depends on the meaning of the word “is.” Small quantities of this product have been produced in experimental laboratories. Beyond that, the production of the product in any significant quantities is more pie-in-the-sky. One refiner, largely using federal grants and subsidies, is building a plant which will allegedly produce enough of the product to start the grass waving. Think “Solyndra,” only with plant material. Such as pond scum.

Now rather than the “is” that Wikipedia uses, let’s take a look at what the proponents of the product are actually saying. Here’s something from Brooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council of the Renewable Fuels Association: “We are going to reduce your blending obligation by 98% because we think it’s the right thing to do. We are going to maintain your blending obligation on the gallons that we think are going to emerge" (emphasis added). ‘Nuff said?

Well, that’s my example for the day. I now throw the floor open for discussion of your favorite EPA excess. Have some fun! To tweak your Pavlovian responses, I suggest the words “wetlands” and “endangered species.”

36 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

My favorite (if one can call it that) is the infamous sad tale of the snail darter) which held up development of where I now live many years ago.

StanH said...

James Lovelock, “Green Drivel” The godfather of global warming lowers the boom on climate change hysteria
In the Toronto Sun, By: Lorrie Goldstein
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/22/green-drivel

You want to get very angry. I saw this on Drudge this morning, this is one of the guys that gave us AGW. He’s now retired at 92, and is in no fear of losing grant money, so he’s speaking the truth. Peoples asses need to be in jail over this crap, including the crying Indian, if he’s alive…Owlgore for sure!

Tam said...

We have some nasty EPA stuff going on in AZ. First, Tombstone's water pipeline was damaged in a flood after a fire that caused roughly 5,000 years' worth of erosion in one fell swoop, but the EPA regs don't allow motorized vehicles on the gov't land. So the town too tough to die got shovels in hand and marched (74 people at a time...more than that could damage the fragile environment) up the canyon to repair the pipeline themselves. Insane.

Also, the border agents aren't allowed to patrol the public lands 100 (ONE HUNDRED!!!) miles between mexico and the US border because of environmental issues. As if the cartels and illegal border crossers care more about how they treat the land than the agents who would patrol it. Happily, it looks like this one might change. There was a vote the other day to actually allow the border patrol agents to you know, PATROL THE BORDER. Un-friggin-believable.

Also, we are relocating wild burros but there are rules about not spooking them, how much they can move per day so they don't overheat (it's been well over 100 degrees for weeks...) this relocation has our local dems screaching about humane treatment of animals and the environment but they've been stonewalling the Tombstone pipeline for over a year. Again, un-friggin-believable.

Yay EPA! Keep up the good work!

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I'm not sure that was the first EPA excess, but I do seem to remember it that way. For a very long time, if you wanted to point out EPA excess, your first choice was always the snail darter.

And ya gotta know that triggered my Pavlovian response for California's own snail darter--the Delta smelt, the fish that conquered California. Die, Delta smelt, die!

Tehachapi Tom said...

Hawk
The bo administration is using inmates from the Federal Prison Industries (UNICOR)as labor for state run manufacturing. Roosevelt established UNICOR as a voluntary work program for federal prisoners. With bo running it now who knows if it is really voluntary.
UNICOR which is a subsidiary of the Department of Justice is manufacturing solar panels.
bo's bunch have gone into business making solar panels which any government agencies wishing to install solar electric systems are required to purchase from UNICOR. The claim is the panels are totally US made, but anything from this administration can be claimed whether true or not.
If interested the web page is;
www.unicor.gov/electronics/solar/index.cfm

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Well, at least he admitted he had been gripped by hysteria (and the profit-motive), so I suppose that's something. Paul Ehrlich never did walk back his "population bomb" and his disciples are sitting in high positions in the Obama administration. Still, Lovelock has done a great deal of serious damage to society, so I'm going to take his semi-retraction with a grain of salt.

Here's the link: Global Warmist Retracts, Sort Of. I suggest everyone read it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: You must understand the reasoning or you'll never get with the program. Animals are more important than people. Pipelines are unnatural. Nature's destruction is, well, natural. And it's not man's place to interfere with the will of Gaea. Illegal immigrants are humans, but they are not to be interfered with because other less-human humans are oppressing them. Got it?

LawHawkRFD said...

Tehachapi Tom: Well, you've managed to find a federal agency that I hadn't heard of (or at least don't remember hearing of--there are so many). Here's the clickable link: UNICOR.

Which reminds me of one of the quotes from a spokesman for the refiners who are required to add cellulosic ethanol to their refined gasoline: "None, not one drop of cellulosic ethanol has been produced commercially. It's a phantom fuel. It doesn't exist in the market place. Forcing us to use a product that doesn't exist, they might as well tell us to use unicorns.

Tam said...

Lawhawk, I DON'T GET IT!!!! Off to re-education camp for me!

LawHawkRFD said...

Tam: You'll have to wait a little while to be re-educated. The EPA is having problems finding an environmentally neutral place to establish the re-education camp solely because there are so many people who need to be re-educated. The original plan was to build the camp near Cape Cod, but the guard towers would have been too visible from the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port.

AndrewPrice said...

I heard about this the other day. INSANE! If there was ever a need for evidence that the EPA is out of control, this is it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: It's another example of the EPA using financial blackmail to enforce its outrageous requirements. Private industry has to decide whether it's cheaper just to pay the fines/surtaxes or litigate. Apparently, it has reached the point where several of the refiners have decided that the cost of the fines is now exceeding the potential cost of litigating, and have filed suits. This is the same tactic that they used against the Sacketts (in comments, above), but at least large refiners can afford to take on the EPA, unlike most private land owners.

tryanmax said...

Favorite EPA excess? How does one choose? Though I'm spoiled for choice, my new favorite is the EPA doing flyovers above Nebraska and Iowa ranch and farmland in search of violations of the Clean Water Act. Some might call this domestic spying, but those people are crazy. So crazy, in fact, that when a rumor that the EPA was using unmanned drones started, it spread like wildfire. But those planes were manned. Silly conspiracy theorists!

Nothing to see here, move along.

But we were right about the spying--

I said, nothing to see here. Get going!

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: You are so right. So many choices, so little time and space. I like your choice. Big Brother goes high-tech.

tryanmax said...

BTW, here is an article about it: Cattle buzzed by gov't flights As you can see, the "nothing to see here" attitude is expressed right in the article. It makes you wonder, if everyone is cool with the EPA conducting surveillance flights over cattle country, why the adamance about quashing the drone rumor?

(If it is just a rumor...?) <|:)

LawHawkRFD said...

O.T. I can't resist. Bill Maher has done it again. Denying that he is rabidly partisan, he announced on his Friday show that "Republicans don't care about dead Mexicans" so the Fast & Furious investigation is a sham. He also claims that if Fast & Furious hadn't provided the guns to the cartels, they'd have gotten them somewhere else. Maybe, but so what? Why would they want to search out deadly weapons at great cost when they can get them so easily from a federal operation? This trivialization and politicization of the deaths of innocents is really beginning to really piss me off.

The full exchange between Maher, the loathsome Rachel Maddow and Libertarian Nick Gillespie can be read at The Daily Caller link over on the left top side of our cover page.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Thanks for the link. Curiouser and curiouser.

tryanmax said...

So, guns given to Mexican cartels are fungible, but money given to Planned Parenthood for everything but abortion is not. Just keeping a mental list.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Liberal reasoning again. I don't claim that I'll ever understand it. Guess I'm just another stupid conservative ape.

tryanmax said...

I just watched the Maher video over at Daily Caller. Can you believe that Maher has the gall to describe Republicans as "living in a bubble" on the basis that Darrell Issa knew about F&F a year before he did? That's pretty much turning the definition of "living in a bubble" bass-ackwards!

Equally outrageous is his "because I said so" way of establishing that Republicans don't care about dead Mexicans while he is demonstrating a complete and utter lack of regard for dead Mexicans because, oh, they'd be dead anyway. WTF!?

Koshcat said...

I don't have a sexy link or specific story, but the way the EPA has handled diesel fueled cars frustrates me. So on the one hand the government has CAFE standards, which many of those might be reached easier with allowing diesel engines and on the other they block the importation of many of the diesel engines being used in Europe because of increase particulate and sulfur in the exhaust. I'm sure they could sit down with engineers and car makers and hammered something out but I guess that's too hard. Makes me think they don't want us driving at all.

How can the government require a corporation to use something that doesn't exist? I think I would just ignore it and challenge them to fine me. I would love to see them argue that in front of a judge:

Greenie: "You're honor, unicorn blood would increase MPG to 100 and save the planet."
Logical person: "Unicorn blood doesn't exist."
Greenie: "THAT'S IRRELEVANT!!! WHY DO YOU HATE GIAH!"

Maybe I can take advantage of this. Pass a law that all oncologists have to give Koshcatimab to all their cancer patients or pay a fine to me.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: It's nothing short of crazy-time. You saw right through both of those ironies. Inconsistency of thought is de rigueur for lefties and liberals, often within a single sentence.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: Anything, no matter how efficacious, which comes from fossil fuels is earth-destroying according to the green weenies.

I'm working on some legislators and oncologists about the cancer-drug additive. But I regret to inform you that the formula for the nonexistent additive (which will never exist) is already taken under the name of lawhawkasone furoate. Sorry.

tryanmax said...

The third irony is that Maher calls Republicans the "party of mental patients" when he can't himself construct a cogent thought. Meanwhile, you've got Rachael Maddow getting applause for telling the guy from Reason.tv to "shut up" so she can prate on conspiracy theories about conspiracy theories.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Maher's a study in about six different mental pathologies. He's a warthog calling a razorback ugly. I really like Gillespie, even if he is a little too libertarian for my tastes. But did you happen to notice that he has a look that says, "I'm an easygoing soft-spoken guy, but I could take both of you on blindfolded and with one hand tied behind my back?" In a perfect world, he would have been free to belt Maddow in the mouth.

tryanmax said...

Yes, Gillespie does carry a certain air of restrained power. Like a libertarian Bruce Banner.

LawHawkRFD said...

tryanmax: Most of the time he's wearing a black leather jacket and has that 5 O'Clock shadow. I'd think twice about messing with him. LOL

As for Maher, he makes me recall a very old joke. Two farmers are talking. Farmer One is complaining to farmer Two that unlike Farmer Two's mule, his own mule won't follow any commands, and it's slowing down his plowing. So he asks Farmer Two what his secret is.

Farmer Two says that it's all about gentle persuasion. Farmer One says "OK, show me." Farmer Two walks up to his mule, pulls out a hammer, and hits the mule right between the eyes. Farmer One says "Wait--I thought you said to use gentle persuasion!" Farmer Two says "Absolutely, but first you have to get his attention." Somebody needs to get Maher's attention.

Sorry if that suggestion was too violent for today's sensibilities.

Jen said...

LawHawk,

Too violent? I think not, and I say hit 'em harder!

I don't live in cattle country, but I noticed as recently as a few weeks ago (and longer) that there had been an awful lot of flyovers, mainly helicopters, and low flying planes. Was this just my imagination? I don't recall ever seeing it like this before. I was beginning to get a little suspicious, and I notice this kind of stuff because I am out of the house at the time, so it is easy to see/hear.

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

Why can;'t the oil refineries sue.

Is there no legal precident for overtunring a law that is impossible to follow....

Koshcat said...

It is a well know faction the unicorn blood cures multiple medical ailments including cancer. Physician take it themselves and give it to our patients bu we suppress it's widespread development and use because it costs next to nothing to get. All you need is a bucket of fairy wings and leprechaun balls to attract the unicorn, catch it, bleed it, and collect the blood for consumption later. It keeps best if you mix it with ground up ogre bunion and make into sausage.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Don't even get to the blood. Don't even tell Greg Gutfeld that unicorns don't exist, even if the refiners recognize that fact.

LawHawkRFD said...

Indi: Think of it this way. It's a parallel to what is happening with Obamacare. Employers are discovering that the demands of Obamacare are so onerous that it is cheaper to pay the fines for not providing medical insurance than it is to provide it. It's a monetary calculation, and the government has used it as an extortion scheme for decades. Obamacare and cellulosic ethanol are just two recent examples.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: And let us not forget that unicorn horn ground up and dissolved in a liquid is a cure for poisoning. But as you pointed out, the bait to catch the unicorn is hard to find.

Koshcat said...

No doubt. With the recent inflation that doesn't exist, you should see the price of arugula and leprechaun balls! Downright criminal. We should get Barney Frank to sponsor a price limit bill.

LawHawkRFD said...

Koshcat: That sounds like the lunch menu at the Obama girls' hoity-toity school.

I'm thinking of asking for a federal subsidy to convert my property to a truck farm. I'll raise pickups on the north side, and the big rigs on the south. They will all be genetically-engineered to run on pixie dust.

Individualist said...

Lawhawk

I momentarily forgot about the actual cost of a lawsuit. Honestly we conservatives need to create a pro bono legal defence aid group to take on these causes....

While I normally disparage judicial activiwm in the this case where government is actually stopped from forcing their activsim on the rest of us.

A counterpart group to the aCLU desigend to provide legal services and funding to challenge unconstitutional laws which affect business could find a refinery affected by the law willing to challenge it if the cost of legal services are handled by this group and donations. Then we could have these laws challenged.

It would even by in the best interest of Joe Taxpayer to fund this case. The refineries will simply take the cost of the fines and determine how much they can raise the price while maximizing revenue to make up for the excess cost. They can then make up the rest by cuttting services.

I guarantee you that the rise in gas to $3 and above from 2005 on is probably in a small part due to this extra fine which has to be paid.

In real extremes such as the Windfall profits tax of the late 70's implemented by Carter where refineries were charged 90% of all revenues earned in excess of $18 a barrel for oil we had a refusal to even sell the product. Remember the gas lines and the odd or even days based on license plates. Well at the same time the gas compamies are doing this Phillips 66 is advertizing all the products made by petroleum and polyester was the big fashion craze and all the furniture and doo dads were made of plastic.

Oil companies simply shipped the oil to taiwan and sold it back to the US market as lava lamps and polyester suits avoiding the tax on the oil.

If we challenge these things in court and make it difficult for the EPA then they might start thinking about their rules before implementing somehting some activist who never had a science class is mad about.

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