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Author Topic: EPA is now one of the most powerful agencies in America
G2
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quote:
The Environmental Protection Agency took a major step Monday toward regulating greenhouses gases, concluding that climate changing pollution threatens the public health and the environment.

<snip>

The EPA said that the scientific evidence surrounding climate change clearly shows that greenhouse gases "threaten the public health and welfare of the American people" and that the pollutants — mainly carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels — should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

By regulating the so called "greenhouse gases", including CO2 and methane, the EPA has assumed regulatory control over just about every industry in the US from energy production and coal mining to dairies and cattle ranching as well as transportation.

quote:
The EPA and the White House have said regulations on greenhouse gases will not be imminent even after an endangerment finding, saying that the administration would prefer that Congress act to limit such pollution through an economy-wide cap on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Yeah, I bet it would be nice if Congress would smear a little legitimacy on this expansion of power but if they don't, well, screw it:
quote:
... the EPA has begun the early stages of developing permit requirements on carbon dioxide pollution from large emitters such as power plants. The administration also has said it will set the first-ever greenhouse gas emissions standards for automobiles and raise fuel economy to 35 miles per gallon by 2016 to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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Rallan
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Damn those "so called greenhouse gases". I hear that scientists just made up that stuff about how CO2 and methane retain heat better than oxygen or nitrogen so they could get more grant money [Smile]

You may want to keep an eye on your rhetoric so it doesn't run away from you.

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Mariner
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It ain't rhetoric, it's reality. Well, ok, I take that back. I disagree with G2's topic title. It should be "EPA is now the most powerful agency in America", not "one of".

Rallan, regardless of how one might feel about AGW (and check your own rhetoric; your description is not what AGW is actually about), this is a terrible finding. The CAA was made for actual pollutants, which tend to do bad stuff in small quantities. Thus, the act was written so that relatively small releases of these pollutants could be regulated. But CO2 is not a pollutant, it is a natural byproduct of virtually all human activity. And the limits in place from the CAA will mean that virtually every single business or institution in the United States is emitting too much of this "pollutant", no matter how environmentally friendly this business or institution is.

In other words, the EPA has the ability to destroy America. And while you will undoubtedly roll your eyes at that and say that obviously it won't come to this, the obvious next step is that it will do enough to cripple America but not kill it. And any reasonable enforcing of this finding would do that.

Of course, the Obama administration is pretending that it'll never come to that, and that they'll only look at really big polluters. But that's an illegal power grab (not that that ever stopped the government...) that will undoubtedly be challenged in court. So if the judge rules based on objective facts rather than politics (ok, that's probably a stretch...), it'll be shot down and the EPA will become the totalitarian dictators of the United States, with virtually unlimited powers to destroy anything they don't like.

And if that sounds silly to you, how about a more charitable scenario? Assuming the law is followed correctly, the EPA will become so bogged down in meaningless regulations that it will swamp their capacities, utterly destroying the effectiveness of the agency. Thus, not only will CO2 emissions not be curbed, but now there's no watchdog over the actual pollutants that could harm us because everyone at the EPA is too busy helping Grandpa Joe's Antique Shop down on Farm Lane work through the maze of bureaucratic red tape to make sure that they're compliant with a massive new host of regulations.

And just think what all those regulations, fines, permits, paperwork, and other nonsense will do to the economy and the unemployment rate...

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DonaldD
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Mariner, I believe you missunderstood the target of Rallan's remark. He actually quoted the specific bit he was being snide [Smile] about
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Mariner:
It ain't rhetoric, it's reality. Well, ok, I take that back. I disagree with G2's topic title. It should be "EPA is now the most powerful agency in America", not "one of".


That was the original title, G2 thought it might be over the top and changed it but in reality the EPA did just become the most powerful agency in the USA. What can they regulate? From the EPA's website:
quote:
In the U.S., our energy-related activities account for over three-quarters of our human-generated greenhouse gas emissions, mostly in the form of carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels. More than half the energy-related emissions come from large sources such as power plants and factories, while about a third comes from transportation. Industrial processes (such as the production of cement, steel, and aluminum), agriculture, other land use, and waste management are also important sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

<snip>

Electricity was consumed primarily by users in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors for lighting, heating, electric motors, appliances, electronics, and air conditioning.

<snip

In the U.S., the transportation sector accounts for approximately 33 percent of total carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion, the largest share of any end-use economic sector in 2007. Emissions from this sector increased by 29 percent from 1990 to 2007, representing an average annual increase of 1.7 percent. Nearly 60 percent of the emissions resulted from gasoline consumption for personal vehicle use. The remaining emissions came from other transportation activities, including the combustion of diesel fuel in heavy-duty vehicles and jet fuel in aircrafts.

In short, there is no limit to their reach. The EPA (i.e the executive branch of government) can now control literally anything they decide to control.
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edgmatt
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I wonder if they will regulate how many breaths we are allowed to take daily. I now know every time I breath out, I am helping destroy the planet. If only something on the planet used CO2 and converted it to Oxygen. Then all the problems would be solved!
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cherrypoptart
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I was thinking exactly along those lines. Talk about regulating your breathing.

Everyone should have to carry around a backpack with a green leafy plant hanging out of it so that the fronds wave in your face, providing shade while converting your toxic Earth killing breath to clean, all natural Oxygen. It's the only way to breathe environmentally friendly.

I know that may not sound too comfortable carrying around a plant all the time, but trust me, it's a lot better than the alternative: a plastic bag over your head courtesy of the EPA. But don't worry. When they're done with the plastic bag they'll recycle it. Over the head of the next mouth breather.

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whitefire
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When I heard this, I thought, "What we need is a BS czar." Who whenever someone in power says something that sounds stupid they can stand up and say "BS" - then the person has to make an actual public defense of their statement or their statement/order can be safely disregarded.
Maybe someone appointed through direct election by the people, a new check and balance against stupidity.

---

That said, maybe this isn't stupid, but I'd like to see a reasonable accounting of why CO2
quote:

threaten the public health and welfare of the American people" and that the pollutants*...should be regulated
* emphasis mine

We're not talking about something that kills people directly like mercury in the drinking water. At best (for their argument)we're talking about something that might kill people in the most indirect way possible.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by edgmatt:
I wonder if they will regulate how many breaths we are allowed to take daily. I now know every time I breath out, I am helping destroy the planet. If only something on the planet used CO2 and converted it to Oxygen. Then all the problems would be solved!

Humans produce about 2.3 pounds of CO2 per day by breathing. That comes to roughly 840 pounds per year.

quote:
An endangerment finding would allow the EPA to use the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon-dioxide emissions, which are produced whenever fossil fuel is burned. Under that law, the EPA could require emitters of as little as 250 tons of carbon dioxide per year to install new technology to curb their emissions starting as soon as 2012.
So simply breathing appears to be safe, for now. It is not difficult to see the new powers of the EPA being used to limit population though. The US population breaths out about 126,000,000 tons of CO2, well with the EPA's authority to regulate. The future of the planet is at stake, what's a few people when compared to that?
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kenmeer livermaile
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Maybe they'll just require chronic mouthbreathers to practice sinus breathing.
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Colin JM0397
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Interesting commentary from the UK: Climategate: Barack Obama's rule by EPA decree is a coup d'etat against Congress, made in Britain
quote:
Who needs tanks on the lawn when you have the Environmental Protection Agency? Barack Obama’s use of the EPA to pressurise the Senate to pass his climate change Nuremberg Decrees shows his dictatorial mentality. He wants to override Congress, which is hostile to his climate gobbledegook because it is representative of the American electorate, and sideline the nation’s elected Senators by ruling by decree, courtesy of the EPA. This is a coup d’état...

But what is of compelling interest on this side of the pond is the way in which the bullets to shoot down American democracy were made in Britain. The trail is not hard to follow. When the EPA published its “Endangerment Finding” on greenhouse gases and proposed rule, back in April, almost every paragraph of the text (Federal Register, April 24, 2009, pp 18886-18910) cited as authority the IPCC’s 2007 Report, which the Agency acknowledges it “relies on most heavily”. And whence came the main input on climate change to that report?

Yes, that’s right! You’ve got it: from Phil Jones, Michael Mann and the rest of the lads at the CRU, East Anglia. From the innovative, creative “scientists” who wanted to “beat the crap” out of a climate change sceptic; who “just completed Mike’s Nature trick”; who “can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t”; who deleted e-mails in the interests of science; who tried to prevent publication of dissenters’ views; who coined the historic phrase “hide the decline”.

Those jokers are the main authority for the extravagant claims in the IPCC report and, by extension, for the EPA’s “Endangerment Finding”. That is the authority that is being invoked to overturn the principles of 1776 in the United States. The Protocols of the Elders of Norwich are the justification for EPA tyranny. It is with that weighty evidence at his back that Barack Obama is going to Copenhagen to sell out American taxpayers to Third World subsidy junkies, profiteering “green” corporations and the ever entrepreneurial Al Gore. This is the steal of the millennium: forget the Great Train Robbery and the Brinks Mat caper – these hoodlums are targeting $45 trillion.

Obama hates America and, increasingly, that sentiment is being reciprocated. This is a socialist, World Government putsch. Have the American people the resolution to resist it? We shall soon know.

I don't think Obama hates or loves the US - seems to me he's simply doing what he's been told to do.

[ December 09, 2009, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: Colin JM0397 ]

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DonaldD
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"pressurise the Senate"

That sounds dangerous.

"Those jokers are the main authority for the extravagant claims in the IPCC report". Umm, wow. Colin, do you really want to be associated with this editorial?

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threads
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I guess Gerald Warner's plan is that if he makes every sentence in his article ridiculous then nobody will bother trying to dissect it.
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kenmeer livermaile
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Who needs talking points when you have a nonsense blunderbuss?
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G2
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We're getting an idea of how the Obama administration and the EPA will exercise their new power:
quote:
The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn't move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a "command-and-control" role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

<snip>

But while administration officials have long said they prefer Congress take action on climate change, the economic official who spoke with reporters Tuesday night made clear that the EPA will not wait and is prepared to act on its own.

And it won't be pretty.

"If you don't pass this legislation, then ... the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area," the official said. "And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it's going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty."

This administration is apparently prepared to take what it calls "unilateral action" even if it means disrupting an already severely weakened economy.

Hope and change, G2 doesn't think it means the same thing it used to mean.

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Colin JM0397
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Don, no more than you apparently would like to get behind the likes of Jones and Mann? That is, after all, what the EPA finding was about.

Are Jones and Mann to be respected? I think calling them jokers is certainly a slight. Arrogant self-righteous asshats would be more accurate, yet still underscore the immensity of havoc those two have caused.

Beyond all that, it is only an editorial, so take it for what you want. I find it interesting, but that doesn’t mean I want to blow the guy. Looking at his picture, he’s definitely not my type… being a guy and all.

[ December 09, 2009, 02:02 PM: Message edited by: Colin JM0397 ]

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Mariner
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Frankly G2, anything less than the EPA destroying America's economy would be an illegal power grab from the Obama administration. They found that they're required to regulate CO2 with respect to the Clean Air Act, so they are bound by law to do just that. It's just unfortunate that the law is an absolute disaster now. Obama's hands are tied on the issue. Of course, what he should be doing is pleading Congress to pass an emergency bill barring the EPA from regulating CO2 under the CAA, but whatever.

However, this does make it clear just how bad this ruling is. The Obama administration is saying flat out that this will hurt the economy. How often does a politician admit that they're going to do just that? I assume if there was ANY wiggle room there, they'd try to put the best face on it as possible. They can't. There is no good face. Unless this is stopped, we're doomed.

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G2
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This threat of unilateral action is an attempt to coerce Congress to pass something that may be more palatable to everyone. It's also out there so that Obama could go to Copenhagen and make it look like the US is really doing something (don't want another Olympics debacle).

But like you said, unless this power grab is stopped, we're in quite the pickle.

[ December 09, 2009, 04:57 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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threads
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quote:
Originally posted by Mariner:
Frankly G2, anything less than the EPA destroying America's economy would be an illegal power grab from the Obama administration. They found that they're required to regulate CO2 with respect to the Clean Air Act, so they are bound by law to do just that.

What does regulating CO2 via the Clean Air Act entail? I did a cursory reading about the act and couldn't find anything about what the EPA would be required to do with respect to CO2 (note: I'm not saying it isn't required to do anything, just that I don't know what it is required to do and had trouble finding sources on it).

It's hard to comment on this thread because it lacks content and there aren't any obvious sources to use short of the act itself (which would take a while to read).

[ December 09, 2009, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: threads ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"It's hard to comment on this thread because it lacks content '

Typical G2 thread. secondary info at best most often. All that's left is ad hominem reasoning because there's little data beyond a headline.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by threads:
What does regulating CO2 via the Clean Air Act entail?

We don't yet know for sure just what the EPA will do other than the previously mentioned threat of a "command-and-control" role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

Although the Clean Air Act allows them to go after anyone that produces more than 250 tons per year, right now the EPA is saying they will target producers of CO2 that exceed 25,000 tons of CO2 emitted per year - meaning predominantly energy production and some heavy industry. However, at 250 tons, this gives the EPA regulatory oversite over roughly 85% of all US businesses.

Anyone the EPA decides to go after will be monitored and fined if they exceed the limits and likely be required to implement technologies that scrub their CO2 emissions out or they will have to reduce production in order to get under whatever levels the EPA says they need to be under. They could even be shut down entirely if they fail to comply with EPA diktat.

How far the EPA will take this is up to the EPA and whoever is the current head of the executive branch. A pretty good scenario for corruption there ...

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
So simply breathing appears to be safe, for now. It is not difficult to see the new powers of the EPA being used to limit population though. The US population breaths out about 126,000,000 tons of CO2, well with the EPA's authority to regulate. The future of the planet is at stake, what's a few people when compared to that?

As though G2 reads tomorrow's headlines today:
quote:
COPENHAGEN: Population and climate change are intertwined but the population issue has remained a blind spot when countries discuss ways to mitigate climate change and slow down global warming, according to Zhao Baige, vice-minister of National Population and Family Planning Commission of China (NPFPC) .

"Dealing with climate change is not simply an issue of CO2 emission reduction but a comprehensive challenge involving political, economic, social, cultural and ecological issues, and the population concern fits right into the picture," said Zhao, who is a member of the Chinese government delegation.

Many studies link population growth with emissions and the effect of climate change.

"Calculations of the contribution of population growth to emissions growth globally produce a consistent finding that most of past population growth has been responsible for between 40 per cent and 60 percent of emissions growth," so stated by the 2009 State of World Population, released earlier by the UN Population Fund.

Although China's family planning policy has received criticism over the past three decades, Zhao said that China's population program has made a great historic contribution to the well-being of society.

As a result of the family planning policy, China has seen 400 million fewer births, which has resulted in 18 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions a year, Zhao said.

The UN report projected that if the global population would remain 8 billion by the year 2050 instead of a little more than 9 billion according to medium-growth scenario, "it might result in 1 billion to 2 billion fewer tons of carbon emissions".

Meanwhile, she said studies have also shown that family planning programs are more efficient in helping cut emissions, citing research by Thomas Wire of London School of Economics that states: "Each $7 spent on basic family planning would reduce CO2 emissions by more than one ton" whereas it would cost $13 for reduced deforestation, $24 to use wind technology, $51 for solar power, $93 for introducing hybrid cars and $131 electric vehicles.

Diane Francis from Financial Post in Canada:
quote:
China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.

For those who balk at the notion that governments should control family sizes, just wait until the growing human population turns twice as much pastureland into desert as is now the case, or when the Amazon is gone, the elephants disappear for good and wars erupt over water, scarce resources and spatial needs.

The point is that Copenhagen's talking points are beside the point.

The only fix is if all countries drastically reduce their populations, clean up their messes and impose mandatory conservation measures.

The EPA regulates CO2 and "family planning" China style may just be on their agenda - we know it's the cheapest way to go and with the massive debt problems facing America may be the easiest.
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DonaldD
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It's interesting that the Financial Post's editorial policy is firmly in the AGW doubter camp.

It's kinda refreshing that even the FP seems to accept the reality of AGW and, instead of tilting at that particular windmill, is now focussing instead on the politics behind its opposition to the science. It is, dare I say it, almost honest.

Of course, The Post now seems to be advocating actions even more drastic than those it feels would be required in order to address AGW, but hey, that's just how they roll... AGW deniers call for world-wide population controls - woot!

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edgmatt
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While I was reading those article pieces, my stomach was in my throat. Those might have been the scariest things I've ever read. Super Yikes.
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kenmeer livermaile
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When the bundle of major problems, contained in the labels AGW/Peak Oil, finally appear unquestionably manifest to the general populace, folks will embrace an authoritarianism not seen in the States since the Puritans.

I recall how folks were willing to toss their civil liberties to the government via the Patriot Act and similar things, just because some lunatic zealots blew up some buildings and racked up an impressive body count.

The moment that the more dire consequences of energy base resource depletion/major climate upheaval become apparent in a manner that the media can show over and over and over and over and over, people will want to know why strict rationing and emission compliance wasn't enforced unyieldingly last month?

Fears of uber-government takeover in one of the world's most open and robust democracies is mostly paranoid fetish. We learned in the 30s during the Great Depression (not to mention the Soviet revolutions a decade or so previous)that it is the people who will drive the government to herd them like cattle into what feels to them like a safer herd configuration.

Be glad that EPA is showing any muscle now. The more responsive to these problems the government appears now, the less extreme will be the people's cry for a boot-heeled nanny state "tomorrow" when free market management of such problems proves as futile as it ever does when faced with global scale upheaval.

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G2
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G2 wishes he could make this up. The EPA will begin regulating CO2 - who's hardest hit by this? Minorities, black Americans to be specific. For reals:
quote:
Five civil-rights organizations recently condemned the EPA’s plans to regulate carbon dioxide and other emissions as part of its war on so-called “global warming.” These groups’ leaders argue that the EPA’s December 7 “Endangerment Finding” and pending anti-CO2 regulations will slam Americans hard and blacks and other minorities hardest.

“President Obama wants to price us out of energy,” Harry Alford of the National Black Chamber of Commerce told Public Radio International. “This is a war on how we live in America, and don’t regard it lightly. We need to fight them, we need to fight them hard, fight them fierce.” Alford represents some 100,000 black-owned companies.

[LOL] Wow, this is a racist policy! Freaking awesome. The logic:
quote:
“We estimated that implementation of the EPA Finding would#...#significantly reduce U.S. GDP every year over the next two decades, and by 2030 GDP would be about $500 billion less” than otherwise. The report also predicts the EPA’s destruction of 2.5 million jobs by 2030.

APA projects that “EPA carbon restrictions would greatly increase U.S. energy costs,” specifically by 50 percent for gasoline, 75 percent for residential natural gas, and 100 percent for industrial natural gas by 2030.

APA expects the black poverty rate to grow from 24 percent to 30 percent, and Hispanic poverty from 23 percent to 28 percent.

Due largely to their already low average incomes, APA explains, “rising energy costs have a disproportionately negative effect on the ability of minority families to acquire other necessities such as food, housing, childcare, or healthcare. Essentially, the EPA Finding will have the effect of a discriminatory tax based on race.”

Heh:
quote:
It is tragic that America’s first black president would deny economic opportunity to so many people of color,” said Congress of Racial Equality national spokesman Niger Innis.

It's tragic alright. Oh man, G2 can't quit giggling.
quote:
Until top transatlantic scientists stop scratching their heads about whether Earth is unnaturally warming or cooling, would the EPA please kindly stop torturing black people?
[LOL] [LOL] [LOL] [LOL] The Obama regime and the EPA; racists that torture black people. Awesome.
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TomDavidson
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I'm a little confused, G2. What about the article do you find funny?
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
G2 wishes he could make this up. The EPA will begin regulating CO2 - who's hardest hit by this? Minorities, black Americans to be specific.

G2, I think you miss the point. The progression of events will probably be:
1) Tax on carbon content of fuel
2) Poor people can't afford fuel
3) The government gives the poor 50% of the money from the tax.

Pros:
Government gets 50%
Poor get 50%
Poor are indebted to the Democratic party.
CO2 usage is curtailed.

Cons:
The middle/upper class gets a whopping big hidden tax increase.

I strongly doubt it has alluded the designers of these policies of the ramifications.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I'm a little confused, G2. What about the article do you find funny?

Obama and the liberals craft a policy that does significant harm to minorities. You don't don't find the irony of that funny? Well, probably not, it's been well documented on this forum that the left has no sense of humor.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Obama and the liberals craft a policy that does significant harm to minorities. You don't don't find the irony of that funny?
It's only ironic if you believe two things:

1) Obama is more likely to craft policies beneficial to minorities than he is to craft policies beneficial to the environment.
2) All minority groups are accurately able to establish which policies are harmful to minorities.

Do you believe these things?

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Obama and the liberals craft a policy that does significant harm to minorities. You don't don't find the irony of that funny?
I think Bush policies did significant harm to all Americans, including white ones, and I didn't find that ironic. Why would Obama policies doing harm to black Americans (and other minorities) be ironic?

I think it's only ironic if one believed that Obama came into power only in order to boost the fortunes of black people. I don't know any liberals that believed that.

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G2
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And here we go. The Obama regime, through the EPA, has issued its diktat:
quote:
Starting in July 2011, new sources of at least 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year and any existing plants that increase emissions by 75,000 tons will have to seek permits, the agency said.

In the first two years, the E.P.A. expects the rule to affect about 15,550 sources, including coal-fired plants, refineries, cement manufacturers, solid waste landfills and other large polluters, said Gina McCarthy, the agency’s assistant administrator.



[ May 14, 2010, 12:30 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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