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Federal Government Dazzles on Parade PDF Print E-mail
Written by Steve Dittmer   
Monday, 12 July 2010
AFF Sentinel Vol.7#16

Don't forget our industry blog, Freemarketcarnivore

The federal government has all year provided a dazzling display of arrogance combined with inept, painfully slow, heavy-handed environmental decision making. Environmental reverse priorities -- humans last and enviro-zealot causes first -- have been showcased. It is not a pleasant harbinger for livestock producers who make their living on the land and water outdoors.

By last Christmas, the nations convinced the manmade climate change "research" was fraudulent had joined with the nations who refused to commit economic suicide with energy handicaps and neutered Copenhagen's voodoo climate change summit. But the activists had the hall rented, so the charade premiered anyway.

With cap and trade stalled in the Senate and Copenhagen a flop, President Obama's EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson evidently borrowed from Rahm Emanuel's playbook: damn the facts -- and especially the cries from the peasantry -- full speed ahead. Jackson rolled out the EPA's endangerment finding, claiming that greenhouse gases were a danger to human beings and EPA needed to do something NOW. "Something" evidently meant as many ways to cripple commerce, manufacturing, food production and transportation as is fiendishly possible with thousands of EPA global climate change zealots plotting.

The Gulf oil spill presented a fine opportunity to demonstrate the federal government's ability to know priorities and make fast decisions. When it was obvious to everyone rational that keeping the oil away from the Gulf Coast and its shores, marshes and seafood beds was absolutely paramount, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers rushed to sit on their behinds and for weeks allow no sand berms to be built to protect the sensitive shores because it might disturb the ocean bottom. Rock berms were banned. The best analogy someone posed: debating whether to let the firemen save your burning house because the flowers might be trampled.

This wasn't a borderline case -- and still the federal enviros embarrassed themselves.

There is always time to curry favor with the left's shock troops. The minute we heard the help of many nations to provide specialized skimmers and oil collection technology had been turned down because of the Jones Act, we figured it for a union deal. The Jones Act requires only U.S-owned, U.S.-managed and U.S.-crewed ships to operate in U.S. waters. Most of the specialized oil spill ships in the world were foreign registered, many Dutch and Belgian. For weeks, the president refused to waive the Jones Act and head off the slicks before landfall.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Salazar, wanting to look environmentally proactive, moved to further destroy the economy of the Gulf Coast, punish the oil industry and torment his silly American constituents with higher energy costs.

The problem was that in 60 years and 30,000 wells, even in the deep waters the enviro-zealots had forced them into, this was the first disaster.

When Salazar got the report from his panel of oil industry experts, he had trouble. Their recommendations did not include what the administration wanted - a drilling ban or moratorium. At least a moratorim would drive up oil prices. Did it or not occur to Salazar that with six-months of moratorium, with multi-million dollar drilling rigs costing millions of dollars a week to operate, that companies would not just sit around and wait for the U.S. enviro-zealots to maybe or maybe not allow them to resume? Fox News Sunday reported July 11 that at least one rig was preparing to depart for Egypt already.

But Salazar would have a moratorium, no matter what (Obama's orders?). So after he had the expert's signed report, he inserted a couple paragraphs recommending a ban, and released it. In this administration, no one is calling Salazar out on fraud.

When a coalition of businesses that serve oil drilling platforms, bolstered by a brief from Louisiana's attorney general, won in court against the moratorium, the U.S. government immediately appealed. In a page from the environmentalist's zero risk playbook, David Axelrod defended the government's moratorium by saying they couldn't take the chance another well could blow (Fox News Sunday, 7/11/10).

On June 30, the EPA revoked the emissions permits of 122 Texas oil industry facilities (, Houston Chronicle, 7/1/10), including 30 percent of the nation's capacity. Early reports indicated the refineries would have to shut down but now EPA says the refineries can keep operating while they begin the permitting process. The EPA ruled invalid the permit system operating the last 16 years and said some operations may need new equipment.

Nothing like uncertainty over price and supply in the middle of summer driving season.

Ranchers and farmers and feeders are getting a frightening preview of EPA's boldness and power.

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