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September 6, 2011

Politics Driving Backdown on Environment

Farrell Keough

Might this current administration have seen the light? A “Gallup survey from March showed that Americans prioritize economic development over environmental protection at a rate of 54 percent to 36 percent – the widest margin since Gallup first asked the question in 1984.”


The long and short, President Barack Obama has pushed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to hold back on implementing stricter ozone standards, having “previously said that the ozone standard of 75 parts per billion, set by the Bush Administration in 2008, was based on outdated science. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson had pushed for a tougher standard ahead of the regularly scheduled five-year review in 2013.” It seems political expedience is now the driving factor for this administration to wait until after next year’s election to determine if such rigorous standards do in fact need to be implemented.


There is a comedy of errors surrounding this new standard. You see, scientists have found a correlation between ozone and Global Warming. “The hole in the ozone layer is now steadily closing, but its repair could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.” How can this be? We have consensus that humans are the major cause of Global Warming. Might the science be less than complete?


But what could have led to this push for more and more environmental regulation? “After years of chafing under political appointees who viewed stricter environmental regulation with skepticism, long-serving federal officials are seeing work that had been gathering dust for years translate quickly into action… Businesses facing new regulation, however, often call it a case of unelected government employees running amok.”


As we have seen, the push to prove humans are the cause of all weather-related crises is dubious. The world is far more complicated than our models can handle. Does this mean we throw out all models and determine science to be only a political machine? No! But, we must be circumspect in our application of the proposed solutions to these proposed global problems.


You see, the big secret has been that we have not seen the problems of Global Warming in the Southern Hemisphere, but of course that has not slowed the push to enforce regulations in an effort to heal the entire planet – now scientists believe that these regulations could harm half the planet.  Oh the horror!


So, does this mean that until the next presidential election, business can run amok in the hopes to build the economy? Not likely.


In a newly produced local magazine, Frederick Gorilla,* an article was produced which shows the costs of existing environmental programs in Maryland would cost each household an additional $5,121! The Chesapeake Bay Nutrient TMDL Model, (implemented by Presidential Executive Order 13508) has been estimated to cost $11 billion – and this is a conservative estimate. The final costs will likely be much higher.


Don’t be misled. These actions to slow implementation of these regulations are pure political theatre! While they may have upset many in the Green Movement, it is only a ruse to bring in the vote of many who believe the economy is the major issue. Once the votes are counted, the winner of the next election will either contain the rampant growth of environmental regulations or allow these egregious proposals to grow unchecked.


* This magazine is free! Click on the hyperlink and subscribe.


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