Page 2 of Cammando got me on the subject of the EPA (or Obama's EPA according to him). I'm not well-versed on them so I did some reading. I think many (I did) assume that a ruling by the EPA today is a result of the thoughts/ideas/goals of the current President. Not true. I think many do not realize that sometimes the EPA is forced into action by the courts. So is is possible we don't fully understand how the EPA works and blast them unfairly or make them the scapegoat?... 50 comments | 855 Views | Go to page 1 →

  1. #21
    Moderator bugatti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    So, would businesses/municipalities/etc voluntarily "do the right thing" without an overseeing agency?
    Of course not. But that does not mean the overseeing agency does not overstep the realm of legitimacy. I think people would be shocked as to the burden the EPA places on many groups.

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    Premium Member 2 Humped Camel's Avatar
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    I also have some relatives that live in SEKY around some of the moutain top removal sites. I don't know about water quaility in the surronding streams, creeks and rivers but I do know that the people that live there feel that the removal is causing much more frequent and dangerous flash flooding.

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    The EPA is a poorly operated agency. That's the truth. I have seen that first hand in my years of dealings with them doing renovations and additions at the EPA's AWBERC facility in Clifton, OH. Still, they most certainly do accomplish good things.

    The alleged basis of the GOP argument against the EPA is that "the EPA has become a job-killing agency". I would argue that, first of all, and say that the GOP argues against the EPA to support the GOP money-makers in the fossil fuel industries. Mountain top mining and the GOP backed efforts to produce more fossil fuels is a losing battle. We will run out of fossil fuels eventually, albeit not in our lifetimes, and there is already more than enough damage that has been done to the environment due to 2 primary means of fossil fuel extraction: mountain top mining and hydraulic fracturing. They are extraordinarily destructive to the physical land itself, and even moreso to the water table - especially hydraulic fracturing. The fact that they are blaming the EPA for recognizing the inherent environmental destruction involved in the Spruce No. 1 coal mine (a mountain top mine in West Virginia that Newt Gingrich uses as a poster child) for killing jobs when they revoked their previously-approved permit is ridiculous in its own right.

    Hydraulic Fracturing:
    Do yourself a favor an peruse the list of chemicals that Halliburton has disclosed (after 63 years of refusing to do so) in their fracturing chemical additives and constituents...note, this is actually Halliburton's website. They argue that these chemicals only make up 1/2% of the materials that they pump into the ground, and that the rest is a mixture of clean water and sand...however, what they fail to mention is that there are an average of 1.6 million gallons of fracturing materials pumped into an average fracturing well. If you do the math on that...1/2% of 1.6 million gallons means there are 8,000 gallons of these chemicals being pumped directly into the ground where our drinking water is stored. To give you an idea of scale, that's the amount of one load carried by one of those 18 wheel tractor-trailer tankers - all dumped straight down into the ground. If it passes through the aquifer feeding the next-door neighbor's drinking well, too bad, sorry for their luck.

    The Republican Party, lead by none other than former vice-president and former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, has made a system of trying to destroy all of the laws and government policies that try to regulate the industry that they make billions in. They have disregarded studies performed by research group after research group (including the EPA) and they provide, instead, studies performed by their own scientists, and they have gone as far as to mandate that the EPA replace the results of their own studies with those of the Republican-backed "scientific research groups".

    Mountain Top Mining:
    Mountain top mining is simple: clear cut the forest on top of the mountain, blast the stone caps off of the top of the mountain, dig out the minerals from under the stone caps, and use the rubble and spoils to fill in all of the valleys to make it easier to access everything and truck out the minerals. It destroys forests, it literally blows up mountains, and it destroys the natural above-ground waterways created over millions of years. The biggest problem inherent to this is the fact that when it rains - there's nowhere for the rain to go. There are thousands and thousands of acres that have been cleared of plantlife, absorbant dirt materials and natural valleys, and as the result, water runoff travels wherever it wants - flooding adjacent land. Once again, we've impacted the neighbors of our fossil fuel extraction site. Once again, too bad, sorry for their luck.

    There are counties and counties of former mining country in southeastern Kentucky where the land has been mined out...and the mining companies simply move on. All of the GOP's precious jobs travel with them. As of the latest study performed by the US Energy Information Administration, there are approximately 8,600 surface mine workers in Kentucky. These jobs - relatively few in the grand scheme - travel with the equipment that does the mining. Take a look at Kentucky, home of 16 of the poorest 100 counties in the country. All 16 of those counties (Clay County – 18, McCreary County – 21, Wolfe County – 31, Leslie County – 33, Martin County – 39, Knox County – 40, Magoffin County – 42, Jackson County – 43, Owsley County – 44, Breathitt County – 62, Knott County – 69, Menifee County – 74, Bell County – 82, Harlan County – 83, Letcher County – 97, Lawrence County – 100) are located in the eastern/southeastern area of the state - coal country. Now, are those counties so poor because mining companies can't come work there? No, it's because most have been mined out for decades and the mining companies have left, leaving no work for the residents. Mountain top mining is a parasite. It comes in, sucks out what it can, and then leaves with destruction and joblessness in its wake.

    Also, it's no secret that the residents of the mining and fracturing regions where these energy companies are doing business feel the devastation after they are left behind. Many of them do all they can to prevent the companies from coming there in the first place. However, the fact is, ownership is 9/10 of the law, and once the energy companies have bought the land, it's theirs to destroy. I can't help but think to bring up Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning's actions 3 or 4 years back when Ken Lucas kept trying to get them to come down to town hall meetings in southeastern Kentucky to discuss mountain top mining. Both of the days they agreed to fly down from Washington, their private jets mysteriously "broke down" - both times. I can't help but think that that is a picture perfect example of how much the Republicans really care about their constituents. Why am I to believe that they honestly care about those people's jobs when they aren't even willing to address the fact that the actual homes they live in and the water they drink is being destroyed right before their eyes?

    To make a long story short, the Republican Party's views on the environment are my A#1 reason for changing my registration fro Republican to Independent. Does the EPA need to be completely revamped and reworked? Yes. Replaced? Perhaps. Should the Republican Party lead the charge? God help us if they do.
    Last edited by Colonels_Wear_Blue; Mar 22, 12 at 08:33 AM. Reason: Added List Of Counties

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    Moderator rockmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugatti View Post
    Of course not. But that does not mean the overseeing agency does not overstep the realm of legitimacy. I think people would be shocked as to the burden the EPA places on many groups.
    I understand. But many call for the complete dismantling of the EPA. While I agree that there are serious concerns and much room for restructuring and reviewing policies for "realisticness", and even changes in administration, I disagree that such an entity is unneeded.
    Colonels_Wear_Blue likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    I understand. But many call for the complete dismantling of the EPA. While I agree that there are serious concerns and much room for restructuring and reviewing policies for "realisticness", and even changes in administration, I disagree that such an entity is unneeded.
    No doubt. It is kind of like the ACLU. The ACLU like the EPA has done a lot of good for this country and looked out for the interests of many whose personal liberties were egregiously hindered. But at some point it crosses the line of ridiculousness. In working with the EPA on our issues, I feel they are pretty sloppy with some of their work as Colonels alluded and have a bullying mentality.

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    Premium Member Bluegrasscard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    I understand. But many call for the complete dismantling of the EPA. While I agree that there are serious concerns and much room for restructuring and reviewing policies for "realisticness", and even changes in administration, I disagree that such an entity is unneeded.
    There is a logical need for a function that focuses on avoiding and, when necessary, dealing with abuses of the environment.

    But something is a miss with this current bunch. If you watch the video in the Fox article and go to 2:12 it quotes a report on the agency from the chamber of commerce.

    "EPA actually trains its personnel to make the terms of unilateral orders 'ugly, onerous and tough' and 'very unpleasant' in order to coerce settlements."

    If the someone told me the government did things that were 'ugly, onerous, tough and very unpleasant...to coerce...' I would have thought they were talking about interrogation methods at Gitmo - Not how to unilaterally and without any due process go after average US citizens whose property may or may not be wetlands and far away from running water.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    I understand. But many call for the complete dismantling of the EPA. While I agree that there are serious concerns and much room for restructuring and reviewing policies for "realisticness", and even changes in administration, I disagree that such an entity is unneeded.
    I simply feel that they should not be able to create laws. That is not how our system is supposed to work. Laws are supposed to be created by people who are answerable to the electorate.

    The EPA should present their findings, research and proposals to congress and then the laws should be passed or not passed based on their merits. Not imposed on us by people with an agenda, who don't have to answer to the electorate.

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    Premium Member coldweatherfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugatti View Post
    No doubt. It is kind of like the ACLU. The ACLU like the EPA has done a lot of good for this country and looked out for the interests of many whose personal liberties were egregiously hindered. But at some point it crosses the line of ridiculousness. In working with the EPA on our issues, I feel they are pretty sloppy with some of their work as Colonels alluded and have a bullying mentality.
    While not a huge fan of the ACLU (mostly because of their tactics, not necessarily their purpose), at least they do most of their work via the courts. They can't just impose their will. They have to win.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2 Humped Camel View Post
    There is a huge difference between a bear crapping in the woods, which I do believe they do, and ten thousand head of cattle all crapping in the same place. Manure run off in streams causing algea blooms and other problems is a very real and destructive problem. It can wipe out all living species in those streams and most certainly wasn't a problem before man's big animal farms. If the EPA doesn't make them control the run off they will not control it.
    I can understand regulations for a feed lot, but regulations to keep cattle from crapping next to or in a steam. That includes herd that may be as small as 10 or 20 head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrasscard View Post
    Shall we follow China's lead and just let the coal plants and energy companies do whatever they please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    Shall we follow China's lead and just let the coal plants and energy companies do whatever they please?
    They do?

    Forcing bankruptcy on the companies that supply over 50% of the electricity to the nation is reasonable?
    Last edited by Bluegrasscard; Mar 29, 12 at 05:38 PM. Reason: add

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrasscard View Post
    They do?

    Forcing bankruptcy on the companies that supply over 50% of the electricity to the nation is reasonable?
    You're right. ...what smog? Acid rain?....pshh, don't believe in it.

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    Premium Member leatherneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    Cammando got me on the subject of the EPA (or Obama's EPA according to him). I'm not well-versed on them so I did some reading.

    I think many (I did) assume that a ruling by the EPA today is a result of the thoughts/ideas/goals of the current President. Not true.
    I think many do not realize that sometimes the EPA is forced into action by the courts.


    So is is possible we don't fully understand how the EPA works and blast them unfairly or make them the scapegoat?
    I suggest you sit down with Dave Rager, the Executive Director of Sanitation District No. 1 and Ron Lovan, the General Manager of the N. Ky Water District to get their perspective on the reasonableness of the EPA.

    I'm dealing with the EPA (indirectly at this point) concerning a matter. We've shown them through tests verified by indpendent labs that my client's process does not result in heavy metals being placed in the waste water system. Under the EPA rules, it doesn't matter because they've determined that the manufacturing process in every circumstance will place heavy metal in the system; thus we have to get a permit and conduct expensive quarterly testing to demonstrate that heavy metal isn't going into the system. So the client has to spend a lot of money proving what we've already proven. And once in the permit category, the client remains in the category forever (although admittedly the frequency of testing decreases over time).

    It would be like the EPA showing up at your house stating that because you keep gasoline in a container in your garage (for your lawnmower) you might inadvertently be allowing gasoline to get into the storm water system. You prove to them you are not, but the EPA requires you to continually pay for tests forever to prove that you aren't doing so.

    EPA and the various environmental laws and regs mean well and admittedly have done a lot of good for the environment (I swim in the Ohio River during the summer and I know well the benefit of the Clean Water Act), but they go to extremes in their interpretations of the law and the regs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leatherneck View Post
    I suggest you sit down with Dave Rager, the Executive Director of Sanitation District No. 1 and Ron Lovan, the General Manager of the N. Ky Water District to get their perspective on the reasonableness of the EPA.

    I'm dealing with the EPA (indirectly at this point) concerning a matter. We've shown them through tests verified by indpendent labs that my client's process does not result in heavy metals being placed in the waste water system. Under the EPA rules, it doesn't matter because they've determined that the manufacturing process in every circumstance will place heavy metal in the system; thus we have to get a permit and conduct expensive quarterly testing to demonstrate that heavy metal isn't going into the system. So the client has to spend a lot of money proving what we've already proven. And once in the permit category, the client remains in the category forever (although admittedly the frequency of testing decreases over time).

    It would be like the EPA showing up at your house stating that because you keep gasoline in a container in your garage (for your lawnmower) you might inadvertently be allowing gasoline to get into the storm water system. You prove to them you are not, but the EPA requires you to continually pay for tests forever to prove that you aren't doing so.

    EPA and the various environmental laws and regs mean well and admittedly have done a lot of good for the environment (I swim in the Ohio River during the summer and I know well the benefit of the Clean Water Act), but they go to extremes in their interpretations of the law and the regs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    You're right. ...what smog? Acid rain?....pshh, don't believe in it.
    With nuclear dead what are the options?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluegrasscard View Post
    With nuclear dead what are the options?
    Many people say that...just like they said it was dead following Chernobyl. It will be back - and rightfully so. I'm not looking into having a renewable energy discussion here, but if you ask me, we're going to see a lot more pebble bed reactors popping up in the next 5-10 years.

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    EPA's veto of Spruce Mine permit overturned* - News - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports -


    "This is a stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute," Jackson wrote in a 34-page opinion that's been highly anticipated by all sides in the mountaintop-removal debate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by leatherneck View Post
    I suggest you sit down with Dave Rager, the Executive Director of Sanitation District No. 1 and Ron Lovan, the General Manager of the N. Ky Water District to get their perspective on the reasonableness of the EPA.

    I'm dealing with the EPA (indirectly at this point) concerning a matter. We've shown them through tests verified by indpendent labs that my client's process does not result in heavy metals being placed in the waste water system. Under the EPA rules, it doesn't matter because they've determined that the manufacturing process in every circumstance will place heavy metal in the system; thus we have to get a permit and conduct expensive quarterly testing to demonstrate that heavy metal isn't going into the system. So the client has to spend a lot of money proving what we've already proven. And once in the permit category, the client remains in the category forever (although admittedly the frequency of testing decreases over time).

    It would be like the EPA showing up at your house stating that because you keep gasoline in a container in your garage (for your lawnmower) you might inadvertently be allowing gasoline to get into the storm water system. You prove to them you are not, but the EPA requires you to continually pay for tests forever to prove that you aren't doing so.

    EPA and the various environmental laws and regs mean well and admittedly have done a lot of good for the environment (I swim in the Ohio River during the summer and I know well the benefit of the Clean Water Act), but they go to extremes in their interpretations of the law and the regs.
    From my experience with the EPA, the extremes you elude to are currently perpetuated less by environmental concerns and more for providing a renewable revenue stream to maintain the bureaucracy.