Tag Archives: EPA

The Auctoritas of the EPA, by Eric Peters

The regulatory and administrative state, not contemplated in the Constitution, exercises vast and unaccountable power over the American people. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Crime doesn’t matter – but compliance does. The distinction is important because it conveys something important about the true nature of the government we endure.

Crime – actual harms caused to real people – goes largely unpunished because it does not threaten the government. Last summer’s “peaceful” protests are an obvious example  but there are many others, including the recent decriminalization, in some areas, of theft up to a certain arbitrary value of goods taken; just walk on in and help yourself.

Compliance, on the other hand, is essential to maintaining the government’s auctoritas – as the Romans referred to the prestige of Authority. When that is affronted, the consequences are severe – as witness the manner in which the government responded to the far more peaceful rally in DC this past January. As witness the brutal persecution – including the jailing – of VW executives when it was discovered that software in the automaker’s diesel-powered cars had been programmed to snooker federal emissions certification testing. Not a single actually harmed person – a victim, which used to be the essential defining element of a crime – was ever produced but VW was given the full Hut! Hut! Hut! because it had the temerity to affront the auctoritas of the government’s regulatory apparat, the Environmental Protection Agency.

So it is no surprise to find  out that the EPA – a federal regulatory agency and not a law enforcement agency – has been siccing armed Hut! Hut! Hutters! on garages and repair shops that affront its auctoritas by performing power tunes on cars, installing not-allowed parts such as aftermarket exhaust systems and so on.

These may or may not result in higher-than-allowed “emissions” of whatever the EPA regulations say is permissible, but the interesting thing is that regulations were once upon a time distinct from laws, the latter requiring passage by a legislative body at least somewhat theoretically accountable to the populace, via the election of legislators. The idea there being that if a legislator proposed an obnoxious law he could be replaced come election time with another legislator, who might get rid of the obnoxious law.

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How the UAW Will Kill the Big Three, by Eric Peters

The UAW is pushing against its own members’ interests, pushing the car companies to adhere to costly Obama administration mandates. From Eric Peters at ericpeftersautos.com:

The United Auto Workers (UAW) almost killed the American car industry once – back in the ‘70s and ‘80s – when it succeeded in making American cars too expensive (and too poorly built) relative to the Japanese competition – by demanding high wages and benefits for low-quality work.

Now comes its second opportunity.

Today, the union – which represents workers from GM, Ford and FiatChrysler – will tell Congress it opposes President Trump’s efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on the companies which employ the union’s workers and the car buyers which support them. It will tell Congress it wants the Obama-era fatwas defining carbon dioxide as an “emission” – and thus a “pollutant” – to remain in force and be enforced.

And for the public to be forced to spend more money on cars that are more “efficient” – regardless of the cost.

The UAW does not put it quite that way, of course.

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A CNN Smear, by John Stossel

In case there was any doubt, more proof that CNN is one scuzzball of a TV network. From John Stossel at theburningplatform.com:

Did you happen to catch CNN’s latest smear?

Anderson Cooper’s show recently featured a “two-part exclusive” that claims Donald Trump’s EPA director had conspired with the CEO of a mining company to “withdraw environmental restrictions” so the company could dig “the largest open pit mine in the world in an extremely sensitive watershed in wild Alaska.”

The report was enough to horrify any caring person. CNN showed beautiful pictures of colorful salmon swimming in Bristol Bay, and the reporter intoned dramatically, “EPA staffers were shocked to receive this email obtained exclusively by CNN which says ‘we have been directed by the administrator to withdraw restrictions’ … (P)rotection of that pristine area was being removed.”

No! A “pristine” area and gorgeous salmon were about to be obliterated by a mine!

I would have believed it, except I happened to report on that mine a couple of years ago.

I knew that the real scandal was not EPA director Scott Pruitt’s decision to “withdraw the restrictions”; it was what President Obama’s EPA did to the company’s mining proposal in the first place.

Zealots at the EPA had conspired with rich environmental activists to kill the mine before its environmental impact statement could even be submitted. This was unprecedented.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform later concluded: “EPA employees had inappropriate contact with outside groups and failed to conduct an impartial, fact-based review.”

Now, appropriately, Pruitt undid that censorship of science.

But CNN, implying devious secrecy said, “according to multiple sources, he made that decision without a briefing from any of EPA’s scientists.”

Shocking!

But Pruitt didn’t require opinions from scientists. He didn’t approve the mine. He didn’t make a science decision. He simply followed the law and allowed a company to submit a proposal.

Also, despite CNN’s repeated depictions of salmon on Bristol Bay, it turns out that the proposed mine would not even be on the Bay. It would not even be 10 miles away, or 20 miles away, or even 50 miles. The proposed mine would be about 100 miles away.

Did CNN mention that? No. Never. We asked CNN why. And why not point out that the mining company is just being allowed to start the EPA’s long and arduous environmental review? They didn’t get back to us.

To continue reading: A CNN Smear

The Anti-Diesel Jihad Expands, by Eric Peters

The government is bent on destroying fuel-efficient diesel engines in favor of less efficient and more environmentally destructive electric cars. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

For reasons that aren’t inscrutable (give me a minute – I’ll explain) the jihad against diesels  is metastasizing to include FiatChrysler.

The combine – which subsumes the Jeep and Ram truck brands – has been accused of selling diesels that emit “as much as 20 times” the maximum allowable quantity of an exhaust byproduct, oxides of nitrogen (NOx).

This is exactly what got VW nailed to the cross. And it’s exactly the same demagogic coverage. “As much as 20 times” the allowable maximum!

Good god, it sounds apocalyptic! A lung-melting catastrophe!

Except of course it’s not.

A bureaucratic standard may have been affronted – that is all.

Note the “as much as . . .” verbiage. As in, could be – or might be. As opposed to something exact.

Weasel words, the sort of copy an advertising shyster would use to hawk a product that didn’t actually do a damned thing but the words implied it did because it might. It is of a piece with third-empty cereal boxes – the box itself meant to make you think you are getting what you just paid for.

Only, it’s worse, because in this case there is nothing in the box.

Nothing in whole numbers, that is.

As in the VW crucifixion, the standard affronted amounts to a difference of less than half of one percent. If you don’t know this, you don’t know your Tiers and Bins – EPA-speak for the various levels and thresholds for allowable exhaust emissions. The difference between one Tier and Bin and the next is fractional.

I bold this out of exasperation.Because it is never explained by the media. Search for yourself and see. It is outrageous, a monstrous dereliction of duty. Because with explanation, without qualification, the “as much as 20 times” business creates an egregiously false impression.

People have been grossly misled about misled about the extent to which new cars do not pollute. The whole aim of practical politics, as H.L. Mencken once said, is to menace the public with dangers – all of them false – so as to instill in them a hysterical fear and make them clamorous to be led to safety.

Exactly so.

To continue reading: The Anti-Diesel Jihad Expands

The Clover Who Squealed, by Eric Peters

Just because something’s lawful doesn’t make it morally right, and just because something’s illegal doesn’t make it morally wrong. If you’ve grasped that concept, you’re intellectually more advanced than the “clover who squealed.” From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Late last week, it was revealed who squealed.

The Clover responsible for making it impossible for any of us to buy a diesel-powered Volkswagen henceforth – and a lot more – is Stuart Johnson, the former head of VW’s Engineering and Environmental Office in Auburn Hills, Michigan. He was outed in a book written about the VW “cheating” business by New York Times reporter Jack Ewing.

Johnson, of course, is about to get everything short of a ticker-tape parade. A bust of him will likely be cast and placed in the Hall of Mirrors – or whatever the equivalent is in the foyer of the EPA. He is already being lionized in the Usual Corners as a “hero” (that term, along with “community,” has worn out its welcome and ought to be etymologically euthanized).

You’d think he did something good. I suppose this depends on your perspective.

If you are a government bureaucrat then Johnson is your kind of guy. The sort who is pained by the idea of any action contrary to regulation or edict. Who feels guilty when – as here – a business attempts to get around a ridiculous edict or absurd regulation.

 Which are never perceived as ridiculous or absurd by people like Johnson because they come from the government, are “the law” and therefore must not merely obeyed but reverenced. Visualize the ritual triple curtsey before The Presence of the king. . . .
Such people are the new people in American business, popped out of their molds after 12 years in care of government molding centers, then sent – the smarter ones – for higher technical training. But never training in how to think conceptually, beyond the narrow range of their specialty, such as engineering. And then off to work either for the government or on its behalf in the increasingly not-private sector of the economy. Which has become – operationally speaking – a kind of adjunct or subsidiary operation of the government.

To continue reading: The Clover Who Squealed

Trump Thinks Your Car’s Gas Mileage is . . .Your Business . . . by Eric Peters

As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted today, eliminating costly fuel mileage mandates will help US car companies far more than trade barriers would. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

The Clovers are aghast that Trump is threatening to do the unimaginable – and stop threatening the car companies with federal fuel economy fatwas (and add-on fatwas forbidding or restricting how much plant food – carbon dioxide – cars may emit).

He appears to be entertaining the horrible idea that the people who buy cars ought to be free to decide for themselves how much fuel economy matters to them – since they will be the ones paying for both the car and the gas. And – oh my god! – that this is really none of the business of the “concerned” scientists and other professional busybodies who regard their opinions and preferences as holy writ enforceable at gunpoint.

“We’re going to work on the CAFE standards so you can make cars in America again,” said Trump. He should have added the qualifier – affordable cars in America again.

Leaving aside the moral issue – who are these people to tell anyone whether their next car should get 10 MPG or 40 MPG? – the issue never addressed by the media, including the automotive media, is how much will all this cost us?

Obama’s mullahs uluated about the many billions (allegedly) which would be “saved” by force-marching every automaker to build cars that average 54.5 MPG. It is the sort of “savings” one realizes by emptying your bank account to buy something you don’t need that’s 5 percent off.

Only worse, because you’re not given the option to keep your money in the bank.

To continue reading: Trump Thinks Your Car’s Gas Mileage is . . .Your Business . . .

Monsanto Colluded With EPA, Was Unable To Prove Roundup Does Not Cause Cancer, Unsealed Court Docs Reveal, by Tyler Durden

Guess what happens when government regulates business? Business spends a lot of money and goes to extraordinary lengths to game the system in its favor. After over 100 years of the regulatory state, that should surprise no one, but to those who need a demonstration, here’s a good one. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

If we had a dime for every kooky, left-wing theory we’ve heard alleging some vast corporate conspiracy to exploit the treasures of the earth, destroy the environment and poison people with unknown carcinogens all while buying off politicians to cover their tracks, we would be rich. The problem, of course, is that sometimes the kooky conspiracy theories prove to be completely accurate.

Lets take the case of the $60 billion ag-chemicals powerhouse, Monsanto, and their controversial herbicide, Roundup as an example. For those who aren’t familiar, Roundup Ready is Monsanto’s blockbuster weedkiller, credited with transforming U.S. agriculture, with a majority of farm production now using genetically modified seeds resistant to the chemical.

For years the company has assured farmers that their weed killing product was absolutely safe to use. As proof, Monsanto touted the approval of the chemical by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

That said, newly unsealed court documents released earlier today seemingly reveal a startling effort on the part of both Monsanto and the EPA to work in concert to kill and/or discredit independent, albeit inconvenient, cancer research conducted by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)….more on this later.

But, before we get into the competing studies, here is a brief look at the ‘extensive’ work that Monsanto and the EPA did prior to originally declaring Roundup safe for use (hint: not much). As the excerpt below reveals, the EPA effectively declared Roundup safe for use without even conducting tests on the actual formulation, but instead relying on industry research on just one of the product’s active ingredients.

“EPA’s minimal standards do not require human health data submissions related to the formulated product – here, Roundup. Instead, EPA regulations require only studies and data that relate to the active ingredient, which in the case of Roundup is glyphosate. As a result, the body of scientific literature EPA has reviewed is not only primarily provided by the industry, but it also only considers one part of the chemical ingredients that make up Roundup.”

To continue reading: Monsanto Colluded With EPA, Was Unable To Prove Roundup Does Not Cause Cancer, Unsealed Court Docs Reveal

Apocalypse Avoided? by Eric Peters

President Trump has a chance to rescind the government-mandated destruction of the automobile industry. This should be a no-brainer. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

If this one thing happens, electing Trump will have been worth the bother.

It’s actually two things.

Trump’s EPA will be “revisiting” the Obama EPA’s last-minute fuel efficiency and emissions fatwas, hurriedly ululated just two weeks before the end of the Obama EPA.

It might just prevent a catastrophe worse than the implosion of 2008 – when two out of three of the Big Three went bankrupt. This time, the industry could go bankrupt.

The first fatwa would require every car company to build cars that average 54.5 MPG by model year 2025 – irrespective of such banal things as what this will cost the people who have to pay for it all.

The Obama EPA’s imbecile reasoning – if taken at face value – is that the government decreeing cars must average 54.5 MPG will reduce fueling costs. People will save money on gas.

Certainly.

But the cars will cost a lot more. And not just that.

Executives from almost every major car company recently paid a visit to Trump’s new EPA chief, Scott Priutt, explaining to him that not a single car any of them make averages 54.5 MPG and to get there would involve literally throwing away two-thirds of the models currently available for sale and re-engineering the rest at huge cost.

All to salve the mania of EPA ayatollahs, who are convinced it’s their business to force the public into “efficient” cars – no matter how much it costs the public.

The second fatwa, though, is potentially much worse. It decrees – for the first time in the history of federal fatwa’ing – that the inert, plants-breath-it gas, carbon dioxide, be classified an “exhaust emission” and regulated as if it constituted a danger to air quality and public health.

To continue reading: Apocalypse Avoided?

Silence of the Lambs? by Eric Peters

VW executive Oliver Schmidt is looking at 169 years in prison for a victimless crime. Welcome to American regulatory justice, Herr Schmidt. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

You’d think maybe he killed someone.

Oliver Schmidt is facing 169 years in prison.

Earlier this week, the 48-year-old German national was frog-marched before the judge who will preside over his coming criminal trail, shackled at the ankles and waist, wearing an orange, Hannibal Lector-style one-piece jumpsuit.

All that was missing, really, was the face mask.

That – and a victim.

Schmidt is one of several VW executives implicated in the diesel “cheating” scandal. He is the former chief of the now-writhing-on-the-floor, hoping-for-mercy German car company’s Environmental and Engineering Center in Detroit. VW has thrown him – and six other executives and engineers – under the bus, having already agreed to plead guilty to multiple felony counts.

Not one of them identifying a single specific victim.

This is routine. Which doesn’t make it any less bizarre.

169 years in prison is a sentence harsher than the one meted out to Charles Manson (he has been up for parole several times already) and most run-of-the-mill killers, who generally serve about 20 years.

And they actually killed someone.

If Schmidt gets half the 169 years, he will spend the rest of his natural life behind bars.

What was his “crime” again?

He stands accused of attempted murder . . . of The Law.

And not even that, really.

A regulation.

An EPA-issued fatwa regarding acceptable levels of exhaust emissions. VW – well, Schmidt and the six other fall guys – traduced the EPA’s regulatory standards by programming or otherwise adjusting the ECU (the computer that controls the engine) of TDI diesel-powered VWs to pass the emissions tests required for certification prior to sale, but revert to more mileage-and-performance-friendly programming that resulted in slightly, imperceptibly, higher-than-allowed emissions once out on the road.

To continue reading: Silence of the Lambs?

Cash For Not Clunkers, by Eric Peters

The government is forcing VW to pay people to throw away perfectly good cars because they do not comply with a regulatory pollution edict. Tragically, the cars that are destroyed will be models that because of their excellent gas mileage dramatically reduce aggregate emissions far more than the small increase in tailpipe emissions due to VW’s “cheating.” The cars that replace the destroyed cars will get worse mileage and thus emit more pollutants. This is rank idiocy. From Eric Peters on a guest post at theburningplatform:

You’ve heard the saying that history repeats . . . as farce? Well, here we are. Not quite ten years after the government paid people to throw away perfectly good used cars to “stimulate” demand for new ones – the despicable Cash for Clunkers program – the government is doing the same thing again.

Only this time, the cars are not “clunkers” and the government is forcing VW to pay people to throw them away.

Almost 600,000 of them.

These cars are not high-miles and worn out, on their last legs. Many are only a year or two old. Nothing is wrong with any of them – other than their having been deemed “out of compliance” with Byzantine EPA emissions tests.

But only sometimes – and only slightly.

The cars were programmed to pass the EPA certification tests – required before they could legally be sold. They passed the tests, which incidentally is the same criteria Uncle insist on when it comes to the “education” of “the children” in government schools. Pass the tests (SOLs) and you pass on to the next grade. Kids are “taught” to pass the tests.

Uncle smiles.

But in VW’s case, it was later discovered that the programming was set up to run the engine differently – that is, better from the standpoint of the people buying and driving the cars – when out on the road and not connected to the EPA’s emissions test dynamometers. Under certain operating conditions – wide open throttle, for one – the calibrations were set to produce maximum performance.

Or, under other conditions, maximum miles-per-gallon.

Diesel-powered VWs like the Jetta and Passat TDI routinely delivered better-than-advertised (by EPA) mileage, out in real-world driving. I can vouch for this personally, having test driven every TDI-powered VW sold over the past 10 years. They all used less fuel – delivered higher mileage – than EPA said they would. Interesting. Less fuel used equals less exhaust gas produced equals lower emissions overall.

To continue reading: Cash For Not Clunkers