February 15 News: Senate GOP Targets The EPA

Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE)

A series of new bills introduced by the GOP this week in the Senate seek would limit the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory reach, and would subject the agency to penalties for missing reporting deadlines. [The Hill]

Offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), the legislation reflects the latest in a series of Republican attempts to rein in an EPA that GOP lawmakers say has run amok and must be held accountable….

Republican anger has mostly been directed at the agency’s use of regulations and official memoranda to further the administration’s environmental agenda without congressional approval. Lawmakers also complained loudly after EPA’s regulatory agenda was released long after its statutory deadline.

Johanns introduced four separate bills. The first targets EPA’s use of guidance documents, rather than formal rules, to enforce actions. Such guidance is not subject to congressional oversight, but Johanns’s bill would remedy that by bringing them under the scope of the Congressional Review Act, he said.

The second would require the EPA’s Inspector General to report to Congress twice a year on the agency’s progress toward meeting deadlines that, Johanns said, are now being skirted. The third measure would reduce EPA’s budget by $20,000 every week until the agency meets its agenda setting deadlines.

The last bill would force EPA to provide timely information and technical assistance to states working to comply with federal mandates.

Thinning Arctic sea ice appears to be accelerating the growth of algae in polar waters, a new study finds, a development that could alter the region’s ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. [Climate Central]

Climate change poses a serious financial threat to the federal government, according to the Government Accountability Office. The government owns extensive infrastructure, insures property, and provides emergency aid after natural disasters. [WaPo]

February 2012 to January 2013 was the warmest February-to-January period since record-keeping began in 1880, NOAA said in its monthly State of the Climate report. [Climate Central]

Gina McCarthy, a veteran clean-air expert, and a 58-year-old Boston native who once worked for Gov. Mitt Romney, has emerged as the top contender to take over the EPA, according to people familiar with the matter. [WSJ]

While storms swept across the Southeast over the past week and made a significant dent in drought conditions, the drought also expanded into southern Florida and continues to persist across the rest of the county. [Climate Central]

Today, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research will present work to members of the United Nations Security Council in New York to show the connection between climate change and global security challenges. [Bloomberg]

Canada’s national police force and intelligence service view environmental activist activities such as blocking access to roads or buildings as “forms of attack,” and depict those involved as national security threats, according to the documents released under freedom of information laws. [The Guardian]

A worldwide expansion of relatively cheap shale oil could put investment in renewable energy and global emissions targets under threat, according to a new report by consultancy firm PwC. [The Guardian]

9 Responses to February 15 News: Senate GOP Targets The EPA

  1. John McCormick says:

    News: Canada’s national police force and intelligence service view environmental activist activities such as blocking access to roads or buildings as “forms of attack,” and depict those involved as national security threats, according to the documents released under freedom of information laws. [The Guardian]

    This is where we are heading. Climate hawks will eventually be seen as nation security threats in any country intent on taking the last of its fossil fuels to market.

  2. John McCormick says:

    This February 13comment by Mulga cannot be lost to the archives.

    It is the most provocative comment I have read on CP in a long while.

    Mulga clearly states plan the rich have set in motion to defeat us.

    “I think that the Kochtopus has a plan. It involves gerrymandering districts, interfering with the electoral college, relying on Obama to demoralise the Hope Fiends, leading to their withdrawal from the process, mass disenfranchisement of poor voters and collapsing the economy. The last is pretty certain, particularly if the poison of austerity is inflicted on the US economy. Personal indebtedness in the USA is still stratospheric, wage stagnation still the order of the day (thereby requiring yet more debt to finance ‘The American Way of Life’)and oil prices are steadily creeping up, a factor in the latest phase of the decades long process of market capitalist implosion. The plutocrats are still sitting on trillions, not investing in wealth production, when wealth extraction through financial chicanery and rentier activities is so much easier. Another leg down in the economy, around 2014-5, and a candidate more marketable than Romney, and the tentacles will reach right into the Oval Office.”

  3. Joe Romm says:

    Yes, well, Being provocative does not mean being true. do

  4. Sasparilla says:

    Secret funding of climate sceptics is not restricted to the US

    Here’s some background on the funding of the denier force in the UK.

  5. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Absolutely! The Right in the UK have been spying on workers and ‘trouble-makers’ for years, keeping lists and denying employment to those on it. Police provocateurs have infiltrated Green groups for years, inciting them to violence. When the time comes for a crack-down, which depends on when enough people have woken up to their coming doom and begin to panic, ‘Green terrorism’ will fill the pages of the MSM, and false-flag provocations will begin. Then, having been demonised for years, in the vilest manner, by the Rightwing MSM, Greens will be the next ‘enemy within’ in line for repression. It’s the only way that the Right know how to act.

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Precisely. It was conjecture, but I really think that they will give it a go, along those lines, and others I cannot even imagine. The future is going to be ‘troubled’ to say the least, and the Right has always preferred ‘taking the risk out of democracy’.

  7. Mike Roddy says:

    Johanns and people like him are the perfect targets for Democrats. Guys who want to do things like abolish the EPA should be featured targets of the Democratic National Committee.

    Instead, the Democrats let LCS or blogs do their dirty work, and prefer to campaign on jobs and entitlements. They have lost whatever idealistic or even practical mission they once had, especially since DLC’s coup. It may be time for a new political party.

  8. Mike Roddy says:

    I’m with John and Mulga here. Well meaning people have trouble digesting the fact that the Kochs and people like them are both evil and quite resourceful. We don’t know what they are capable of, but so far it appears there are no real limits.

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Exactly, Mike. It really seems as if people are, in a fashion, mesmerised, as if by a snake, by the actions of the elites. It is, I imagine, really confronting and frightening to realise that not only do human creatures exist who place no value on the life and well-being of others, but who will actively work to destroy the lives and life prospects of others, if there is money to be made. How very much worse to admit to yourself that this type totally dominate capitalist societies, control all the mechanisms of power, and have projected their omnicidal psychology onto society so effectively that most of the public either refuse to recognise the ecological catastrophe, or heatedly dismiss it as ‘Green propaganda’.