Regulations

  • New Maryland governor to scuttle predecessor’s anti-farm regs

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    Farmers on Maryland’s Eastern Shore are breathing a sigh of relief on news that newly sworn-in Gov. Larry Hogan (R) plans to scrap regulations targeting agricultural runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. Hogan’s announcement came as outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) was scrambling to get the regulations finalized before leaving office Jan. 21. “The first fight […]

  • Virginia land trust’s transgressions draw legal, legislative scrutiny

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    The once-respected Piedmont Environmental Council has been shamed by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation and Virginia Assistant Attorney General Richard Mahevich for misdeeds surrounding its sale of Liberty Farm to organic farmer Martha Boneta. The PEC had inserted language into an easement agreement with Ms. Boneta and the VOF that benefitted PEC member Phil Thomas, who then took various actions against Ms. Boneta in a blatant attempt to force her to abandon the property she had turned from a dump into a profitable operation. Now the Virginia legislature is considering legislation to curb the power of land trusts.

  • Vetoing bipartisan energy, job, and economic growth

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    CFACT Senior Policy Advisor Paul Driessen says that the Obama Administration is continuing, even revving up, its campaign against domestic energy production with new EPA regulations on the horizon that would shutter much of the nation’s coal industry and do great harm to oil and gas production; he also promised to veto any legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Moreover, the Obama progressive mentality is so pervaseive that international lending and donor agencies (the UN, OPIC, etc.) are holding poor, developing countries hostage to wind, solar, and biofuel projects that cannot lift them out of poverty — and thus these elites are damning the world’s poorest people to eternal poverty when true prosperity through fossil fuels is staring them in the face.

  • Obama Administration kicks the oil-and-gas industry while it is down

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    Just as the glut of oil on the world market has prompted Saudi Arabia to pump out even more oil at cheap prices (for up to 5 years, the Saudis say — as long as it takes to crush the U.S. shale industry — the Obama Administration wants to impose harsh new resrictions on oil and gas companies. A better recipe could not be found for decimating the U.S. economy, killing jobs, and ceding control over world oil prices and demand to the Saudis and their OPEC cronies.

  • New EPA ozone rules could shutter businesses

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    Once again, the EPA is emerging as a chief jobs killer for the Obama Administration (which apparently wants most Americans unemployed and dependent upon government for their very existence). The proposed new ground-level ozone standard — whether it is 60, 65, or even 70 parts per billion, will kill jobs, weaken our national and local economies — and increase the power of the Executive Branch to rule as a dictatorship.

  • Ethanol policy reform–the rare place where environmentalists and energy advocates agree

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    The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a bad joke that is costing American businesses money and trouble over a fuel — cellulosic ethanol — that is perhaps decades away from marketability. A coalition is building to eliminate this costly, even damaging, mandate that the EPA is eagerly enforcing despite issuing its rules after the fact and pressing for engine-damaging ethanol limits of up to 15% at a time when gasoline prices are dropping and U.S. production of gasoline is peaking. CFACT advisor Marita Noon says it is time to reform, revise, or repeal the RFS.

  • Spending bill brings relief to rural America

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    While the so-called “Cromnibus” spending bill has its detractors on both sides of the political aisle, the devil is always in the details. And this bill, for the first time in years, did contain some items that will lead to cheering in rural and western America (and by right-minded people all over). Among them: the EPA is barred from cutting dairy CO2 emissions and from regulating farm ponds under navigable water legislation, and neither the greater sage grouse or its smaller cousin, the Gunnison sage grouse, can be officially listed as endangered until more studies are undertaken.

  • Special interests influence costly EPA regulations

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    The EPA has entered into more than 60 sue-and-settle agreements in just the last 4 years — as part of a widespread collusion with radical environmentalist groups who use this back-door process to avoid public scrutiny of their confiscatory plans until it is too late for the public, let alone lawmakers, to intervene to find a better solution to the alleged problems being addressed through such lawsuits. It is time to stop this incestuous relationship between federal employees and their once and future colleagues who currently work for radical environmental groups.

  • How Obama and his environmental base are planning to eradicate the oil and gas industry

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    The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee minority (soon to be majority) staff has just released a report, “Setting the Record Straight: Hydraulic Fracturing and America’s Energy Revolution,” which shows how President Obama is coordinating with far-left environmental activists such as the aggressive NRDC and the Sierra Club, along with their millionaire board members, their Hollywood celebrity boosters and their “philanthropic” funders, such as the rabidly anti-fracking Park Foundation, to wage an all-out assault to shut down domestic production of American oil and natural gas. There is hope that this agenda can be derailed in part by the incoming GOP Senate majority and a unified House of Representatives, but the President and his minions will continue their regulatory assault as long as they have the power to thwart the will of Congress and the people.

  • The EPA’s man-made cooling crisis

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    The United States is likely to see brownouts and blackouts thanks to the shuttering of coal-fired power plants (and who knows, maybe even gas-fired plants) that are part of an Obama Administration effort to depower the nation to satisfy environmental extremists and to satisfy his own desire to diminish the role of the United States in world affairs. The EPA is his tool of choice (along with other federal agencies whose policies rarely are blocked by either elected officials or the courts). And as the supply of electricity dwindles, the price of power will rise dramatically, with the greatest negative impacts on the poor, the elderly, and the disabled.

  • Welcome to the O-zone—where economic development is a zero-sum game

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    Included in the Obama Administration’s “Unified Agenda” for 2015 are new, job-killing standards for ground-level ozone that are the product of a friendly lawsuit from the Sierra Club. These rules the President put on hold in 2011 in an effort to reduce “regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty, particularly as our economy continues to recover” — or maybe for fear they would harm his reelection chances in 2012. The new regulations will mean that, depending on the final rule, 76% to 96% of the country—including some national parks where the natural background levels for ozone are 65 to 67 parts per billion—will be out of compliance. This will deal a crushing blow to U.S. economic recovery — and the Sierra Club and the President know and heartily approve of this tragic outcome.

  • The Environmental Protection-racket Agency

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    The Environmental Protection Agency has just proposed new regulations for ground-level ozone that are lower in many cases than natural ozone levels. They base this proposal on a discredited study by one scientist from California whose work has been severely criticized, and their “benefits” analysis excludes all costs of imposing the regulations, which would be the most expensive in American history. A 2010 Manufacturers’ Alliance/MAPI study calculated that a 60 ppb standard would render 85% to 95% of U.S. counties out of compliance, cost the economy $1 trillion per year, and kill 7.3 million jobs by 2020. CFACT’s Paul Driessen says that the new Congress should rein in the EPA using the principle: No data and no integrity result in no regulation and no taxpayer money to impose it.

  • Time for tough love on tax credits for the mature wind industry

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    A year after the Congress allowed the wind power production tax credit to expire, the American Wind Energy Association is making a last-ditch effort to renew the PTC, which apparently is necessary for its survival. Moreover, the conditions that fostered the creation of this tax credit — fears of dependence on foreign oil — have long since passed, thanks to the fracking revolution. As CFACT analyst Marita Noon says, it is time for the wind industry to grow up.

  • Six energy policy changes to watch for in a Republican-controlled Congress

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    CFACT advisor Marita Noon suggests six major areas of confrontation and change now the the Republican Party controls both the House and Senate: the long-awaited (and perhaps too late) approval for the Keystone XL pipeline; a major expansion of oil and gas and minerals development on federal lands; lifting the current ban on U.S. oil and gas exports; reining in the EPA’s power, especially as it applies to the proposed Clean Power Plan and the expanded Waters of the United States regulations; major reforms to the Endangered Species Act that would turn landowners from enemies to protectors of threatened and endangered species; and an end to climate alarmism as official U.S. Congress policy. Nearly all of these changes are expected to be vigorously fought by President Obama and the White House.

  • Congress’ job: “Reins” in the runaway EPA

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    Now that he no longer has to face the public, President Obama may soon unleash a torrent of radical executive orders with far-reaching consequences, but his regulatory bodies are advancing an all-out war on the U.S. oil and gas industry that can only be curtailed through Congressional action (at least for now). The chief problem is that the EPA’s regulations constitute “s power without accountability — a useful formula politically but an abysmal one for policy-making.” The REINS Act would end this shell game.”

  • Obama’s regional climate hubs take aim at farmers, ranchers, forest landowners

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    Do not for a moment believe that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting up these “Climate Hubs” to assist farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners, says CFAC Advisor Bonner Cohen. The goal is to force these hard-working Americans into compliance with federal mandates on climate change — which will surely include new restrictions on their use of water, livestock feed, fertilizers, livestock management techniques, and who knows what all else that violate every principle of real land management ever established through the test of time. If they succeed in this, we should fear for our food supply.

  • WOTUS comes to Louisiana, and it’s coming soon to you

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    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flexed muscles it may not yet have the right to use in declaring a Louisiana property to be a wetland. Worse, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Corps’ latest victim their day in court. But the Pacific Legal Foundation has petitioned the Supreme Court. claiming abuse of the Clean Water Act. Even if the PLF beats the Corps in court, the victory will be pyrrhic if the EPA is allowed to promulgate its Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which is due to take effect at the end of 2015 if not withdrawn or dramatically restructured.

  • EPA hides science behind draconian regs

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    The EPA has virtually rewritten the Clean Air Act to suit its own ends, and while a divided Congress refuses to act to rein in the agency, the Supreme Court had a shot and even admitted that the agency had overstepped its boundaries, but still let the EPA embark on a mad race to destroy the nation’s foundational energy sources — coal, oil, and natural gas. Even worse, new EPA regulations, which will cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion and innumerable job losses, are backed by
    “secret science” that the EPA will not even share with Congress.