Posts Tagged ‘EPA Environmental Protection Agency’
Nine State Attorney Generals sue Obama Administration for ignoring Constitution and breaking nation’s laws. Finally!
Posted March 8, 2012on:
- In: American Crash 2011 | Arizona Immigration Law | Arizona Immigration Law 2010 | Att. Gen. Eric Holder and Obama administration obstruct justice | Big Labor Unions | Black Panthers keep voters from polling places | Communism in America | Constitution of the United States of America | Environment | EPA Environmental Protection Agency | Health Care | Immigration | laws and regulations--stupidities | laws and regulations--stupidities | Left's and Obama's attack on religion | Leftist violence in America | Obama admistration | Obama and ethics | Obama Executive Decress | Obamanation | Obamcare repeal and replace | Progressives Movement to Destroy America | Radical Left at War with America | States revolt | Supreme Court rulings | US in Revolt
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I have been waiting for this for three years and finally 9 State Attorney Generals step up to the plate and sue President Obama and his administration of thugs for breaking the laws of the United States not once but repeatedly. If this had been any other President he would have been impeached his first year in office, but being the first Black president Obama has gotten a pass because the members of Congress are terrified of race riots. Race has nothing to do with the issues of course but any time Obama is criticized the person speaking up is called a racist. The other reason Obama has not even been investigated let alone impeached is because impeachment proceedings take place in the Senate and the Democrats and Harry Reid control the Senate.
The following is a long article but please do read it all so that you understand what and why. It is also a great lesson in civics! BB
Attorneys General Join Forces to Call Into Account Illegal Obama Administration ViolationsMonday, March 05, 2012
MEMO: A Report on Obama Administration Violations of Law
FROM: Attorneys General Tom Horne, Arizona; Pam Bondi, Florida; Sam Olens, Georgia; Bill Schuette, Michigan; Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma; Marty Jackley, South Dakota; Alan Wilson, South Carolina; Greg Abbott, Texas; Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia
DATE: March 5, 2012
As chief legal officers of the states and commonwealths, attorneys general are the last line of defense against an increasingly overreaching federal government. Attorneys general have a duty to uphold the laws of their respective states and uphold the U.S. and state constitutions.
One of the ways in which attorneys general protect the integrity of state laws and constitutions is by carefully reviewing the actions of the federal government and responding when they break the law or overstep the bounds of the Constitution.
Federalism is the division of authority between the federal and state governments that the Founding Fathers created to provide a check on federal power so that the federal government would not become destructive of the very liberty it was instituted to protect.
While some naïvely argue that the Constitution should “evolve” due to the fact that our Founders could not have foreseen the issues faced by our country today, they forget that the Founders faced tyranny firsthand and understood it well. This led to the creation of a Constitution that relies on limited government, precisely to protect our citizens from today’s unprecedented overstepping of the “division of authority.”
While each Attorney General has policy disagreements with the Obama Administration, those disagreements are not what serve as the basis for this effort. For example, this Administration makes many decisions and takes numerous actions that Republican attorneys general find politically ignorant or flawed from a policy standpoint. However, that does not make those decisions or actions illegal. The purpose of this report is to outline actions taken by this Administration that are violations of law.
The obvious example is a federal health care overhaul, passed against the will of the majority of Americans and more importantly in violation of the Constitution, which is now being challenged by more than half of the states.
While the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has received the most attention, it serves as a representation of a much larger picture that demonstrates the continued disdain for the Constitution and laws shown by the Obama Administration.
Through the collective review by a committee of Attorneys General from nine of the 50 states, the group identified more than 21 illegal actions from this Administration and is highlighting the effects of the federal overreach on our citizens and states.
Whether it is through the EPA, NLRB, Office of Surface Mining, FCC or other entities, the Obama Administration has aggressively used administrative agencies to implement policy objectives that cannot gain congressional approval and are outside of the law.
In Florida, a state with one of the most aggressive and innovative water quality protection programs in the country, the EPA chose to impose its own costly, unprecedented and unscientific numeric nutrient criteria. The estimated impact the EPA’s rules would impose was dramatic, including billions of dollars in compliance costs, significant spikes in utility bills and the loss of thousands of jobs. The Florida Attorney General’s Office sued the EPA and two weeks ago prevailed when a federal judge in Tallahassee threw out the costliest of the EPA’s rules, the one governing Florida’s streams and rivers. In doing so, the judge found the EPA’s rules were not based on sound science and that the agency had failed to prove that its rule would prevent any harm to the environment – in other words, the EPA was found to have violated the law.
In South Carolina, the NLRB’s recess-appointed, unconfirmed general counsel threatened to sue the state for guaranteeing a secret ballot in union elections, despite 83 percent of South Carolinians voting for an amendment for such action. When South Carolina was joined by three other states in mounting a vigorous defense, the NLRB backed down but turned their attention to Boeing, a private company and corporate citizen of South Carolina, telling the employer where they could or could not locate facilities. Again – after a high-profile fight – the NLRB backed down in their complaint against Boeing, but only after the company and the union worked through an agreement. (In this case Boeing agreed to hiring 5000 more unionized workers in their home state of Washington in order to be able to op[en the one non-unionized plant in South Carolina employing 1000 workers. Some deal! BB)
In Arizona, voters passed a referendum requiring that individuals registering to vote show evidence that they are citizens. Over 90 percent of the population can satisfy this simply by writing down a driver’s license number or naturalization number. The less than 10 percent of those who do not have these numbers are able to register by mailing a copy of a birth certificate, passport, Indian registration number or similar documentation. The Obama Administration argued against Arizona in the Ninth Circuit and a decision is yet to be made. (It is a fact that people have to show ID in order to check a book out of a public library and no one complains, certainly not the Obama administration. But, just have a state require some type of ID in order to vote and the Obama thugs go wild. BB)
In Oklahoma, the EPA illegally usurped Oklahoma’s authority in the Clean Air Act to determine the state’s own plan for addressing sources of emissions by imposing a federal implementation plan. The federal plan goes beyond the authority granted to the EPA in the Clean Air Act and will result in a $2 billion cost to install technology needed to complete the EPA plan and a permanent increase of 15-20 percent in the cost of electricity. The Obama Administration is fighting Oklahoma’s appeal, which was filed in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The ongoing fight over the individual mandate and these four state examples serve as only a representation of the more than 21 Obama Administration violations that attorneys general are fighting against.
What these nine Attorneys General have collectively confirmed is that this Administration repeatedly shows disdain for states, federal laws it finds inconvenient, the Constitution and the courts.
With the release of this report, and its extensive list of transgressions, two principles are abundantly clear:
- This group of nine Attorneys General will grow and continue to serve as a de facto “task force,” assisting when possible to defend state laws and identifying “best practices” and legal arguments to fight back against the Obama Administration’s illegalities in a more cohesive and effective manner;
- The next election is critically important and as the states’ chief legal officers, the attorneys general will make a concerted effort to educate their states’ voters on the impacts that the Obama Administration’s legal violations have on their every day lives.
Regardless of party, when Washington politicians fail to adhere to the Constitution and the rule of law, state attorneys general become the last line of defense against an overreaching federal government.
List of Violations
- FCC: Regulation of the Internet in the face of a court order from Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington D.C. stating that the FCC does not have the power to regulate the Internet
- PPACA: Individual Mandate; To be heard by Supreme Court of the United States in March
- EPA 1: GHG lawsuit; EPA’s own Inspector General reported last September that EPA failed to comply with its own data standards; Heard in Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington D.C. in February
- OSM: Attempting to impose regulatory requirements on the 19 states with authority for exclusive regulation of their coalmines for the first time in more than 30 years
- NLRB: Boeing; Engaged in unprecedented behavior as described by former Chairmen under both Presidents Bush (43) and Clinton; behavior is best exemplified in South Carolina where the Board tried to muzzle over 80 percent of state voters who supported a secret ballot amendment to the South Carolina Constitution and attempted unsuccessfully to tell an employer in the state where they can and cannot base manufacturing facilities
- EPA: Florida Water; EPA’s numeric nutrient criteria pre-empted Florida standards; U.S. District Judge upheld the state’s site-specific alternative criteria for streams and rivers
- EPA: Texas Air; TX filed lawsuit challenging Cross-State Air Pollution Rules; application rule to TX was particularly dubious because state was included in the regulation at the last minute and without an opportunity to respond to the proposed regulation; regulation was based on a dubious claim that air pollution from TX affected a single air-quality monitor in Granite City, Illinois more than 500 miles and three states away from Texas
- EPA: Oklahoma Air; EPA illegally usurped Oklahoma’s authority in the Clean Air Act to determine the state’s own plan for addressing sources of emissions that affect visibility, by imposing a federal implementation plan; Federal plan goes beyond the authority granted to the EPA in the Clean Air Act and will result in $2 billion in cost to install technology needed to complete the EPA plan, and a permanent increase of 15-20 percent in the cost of electricity; Obama Administration is fighting Oklahoma’s appeal, which was filed in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
- HHS: Religious Liberty; HHS mandated religious entities such as Catholic, Baptist and Jewish schools and churches be required to provided medical services they find unconscionable to their employees; President attempted to compromise with an “accommodation” in name only that required insurance companies to provide the services for free to the religious organization employees; Accommodation made matters worse as many religious-base hospitals and schools are self-insurers; Seven Attorneys General filed suit to protect religious liberty and oppose the HHS mandate
- DOJ: South Carolina & Voting Rights Act: Rejecting voter ID statutes that are similar to those already approved by the Supreme Court of the United States; DOJ ignored section 8 of the Voting Rights Act which calls for protections against voter fraud, and used section 5 to administratively block measures to protect the integrity of elections passed by state legislatures in preclearance states including South Carolina; South Carolina voter ID law merely requires a voter to show photo identification in order to vote or to complete an affidavit at the pain of perjury if the voter does not have a photo ID
- DOJ: Arizona & Voting Rights Act: Rejecting voter ID statutes that are similar to those already approved by the Supreme Court of the United States
- DOJ: Arizona Immigration; In violation of 10th Amendment, federal government to sue to prevent AZ from using reasonable measures to discourage illegal immigration within Arizona’s borders; Affects Arizona because state has a large percentage, compared to other states, of illegal immigrants and need to be able to act to reduce the number
- DOJ: Alabama Immigration; The DOJ challenged Alabama’s immigration reform laws after parts were “green lighted” by a federal judge; DOJ appealed the ruling; parts of the AL case have been struck down in various federal courts; specific provisions of the law include collection of the immigration status of public school students, businesses must use E-Verify, prohibition of illegal immigrants receiving public benefits; the provision requiring immigrants to always carry alien registration cards; allowance of lawsuits by state citizens who do not believe public officials are enforcing the law
- DOJ: South Carolina Immigration; DOJ challenged South Carolina’s immigration reform laws that are very similar to the AZ which is scheduled to appear before the United States Supreme Court; SC case will be heard by the 4th Circuit soon there after as the 4th Circuit granted SC motion to extend the filing time until after the US Supreme Court issues an Opinion in AZ
- Congressional: “Recess” appointments to NLRB (three) and CFPB (one)
- EEOC: Hosanna Tabor (MI); Sought to reinstate a minister who was discharged for her disagreement with the religious doctrine of the church
- DOE: Yucca Mountain; In 2009, Administration arbitrarily broke federal law and derailed the most studied energy project in American history when DOE announced intent to withdraw 8,000 page Yucca Mountain licensing application with prejudice; SC and Washington State filed suit, as a result, contesting the unconstitutional action; American people have paid more than $31 billion (including interest) through percentages of electric rate fees towards the project and taxpayers have footed an addition $200 million in legal feeds and over $2 billion in judgments against the DOE for breaking contracts associated with Yucca Mountain
- DOI: Glendale Casino (AZ); Glendale is a violation because the Federal Government is forcing a family-oriented town, Glendale, to become another Las Vegas against its will. Essentially, the Federal Government has granted ‘reservation status’ to a 54-acre plot in the same town, where the Tohono O’odham Nation plans to build a resort and casino.Home of the Republican State Leadership Committee
Posted April 19, 2011on:
- In: Climategate | Communism in America | Economy/Money | Environment | EPA Environmental Protection Agency | Gulf Oil Spill | Know the enemies of America | laws and regulations--stupidities | Obama Administrations obstructions in Gulf Oil Spill cleanup | Obama admistration | Obama's moratorium on drilling in the Gulf | Off Shore Drilling for oil and natural gas | Progressives Movement to Destroy America | Radical Left at War with America | Republican House of Representatives 2011 | Republican House of Representatives 2011 | Senate Republicans 2010 | Shore Bank Scam | Shore Bank Scam | Subverting America by Uri Bezmenov
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Right on top of yesterdays post comes this one. We the People are being raped by the destroyers of our country and this world. And we stand here trying to use the law to save us while they use our laws to destroy us! BB
by Dan Riehl
We all know how important energy is in our lives, just as commercial energy is critical to free market capitalism and the pursuit of prosperity in America. Now, thanks to environmental activists and several states, that may all be at risk in the US Supreme Court.
In 2004, unhappy that the duly elected Bush administration wasn’t restricting carbon emissions in the alleged cause of global warming, environmental activism prompted several states to file a “public nuisance” lawsuit, which would empower the courts in this regard.
They lost in the lower court but that was reversed in 2007.
This case is novel, and far more aggressive and disruptive than the global warming case the Court previously permitted. In a 2007 decision, Massachusetts v. EPA, a closely divided Court agreed with 12 states and several cities that the Environmental Protection Agency has authority to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. Though that case dealt with a narrow claim to enforce a federal statute, the Court’s decision emboldened what had already become a cottage industry of lawsuits designed to slow global warming by asking federal courts to enact what interest groups have been unable to secure through the democratic process: carbon caps and other limits on the way energy is produced in this country.
Under the guise of “public nuisance,” the plaintiffs in these suits seek to impose enormous damages and binding emissions caps on energy companies. The plaintiffs have acknowledged that their goal is a veritable sea change in the way energy is produced, sold, and used in this country. Incredibly, they assert that these companies can make major changes to lower emissions – such as the adoption of wind and solar alternatives – “without significantly increasing the cost of electricity.” But never before has the “public nuisance” doctrine been used to set national economic and energy policy. While litigation may be therapeutic for those frustrated by political inaction, this case is at odds with this country’s legal tradition.
Meanwhile, a recently elected Republican House is taking steps to go in the other direction through budget cuts to the EPA. Environmental activism in the US is, in effect, looking to up-end the democratic process – an all too common theme across the Left – by empowering the courts to make policy in perhaps the single most critical policy area for American prosperity.
The agency will lose $1.6 billion as part of a deal between President Barack Obama and congressional leaders to produce $38 billion in spending cuts for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year, according to legislation made public today. A plan detailing where the cuts will be made is due in 30 days.
Republicans argued for a larger cut plus provisions that would bar the EPA from enforcing rules on reducing carbon dioxide from power plants and factories. The budget deal accepted by Obama will undermine efforts to reduce pollution from mountaintop coal mining and mercury emissions from power plants, said Gabe Wisniewski, coal campaign director for the environmental group Greenpeace.
Also, as if all that isn’t bad enough, the EPA recently admitted it has zero interest in worrying about job production in America – video at link. Of course, all this plays out as the economy lags, unemployment skyrockets and American jobs continue to disappear.
The EPA has admitted that they don’t even consider jobs when they do their economic analysis. No really. They don’t even think about the potential impact on unemployment. This is appalling, coming from an administration that has said over and over and over again that jobs are the top priority.
Posted November 30, 2010on:
NOTE: this bill passed the Senate today and now must be reconciled with the House version and made into one version that both houses can approve. Then if this can be done there will be a vote by both houses approving the bill before sending it to the President. Obviously I am upset. Let us hope time runs out before the Democrats can get this done. The Democrats also want to pass the immigration DREAM Act and the repeal of the military “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. The President wants this Bush Tax Bill continued in some fashion before the time runs out because he knows that if it isn’t he can kiss his job good-by even if the Republicans manage to get it approved after the new Congress takes over in January because then it will appear that the Republicans push it thru over the heads of the Democrats and the President. BB
If you thought the taking of toys out of Happy Meals and cities like new York and San Francisco requiring restaurants to post calorie counts and reduce salt from their food choices was too much government interference then this bill will really get your attention. THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT IS NOW TAKING OVER THE ENTIRE FOOD INDUSTRY BY TAKING OVER FOOD PRODUCTION. The bill has passed the House with very little discussion and is now in the lame duck Senate. These guys don’t have time to consider and pass a budget for this year or to do anything about the Bush tax cuts so they will expire and cause us all to have a massive tax increase beginning in January, but they can darn well make sure America’s have the proper diet and safe foods. That is, safer than they are right now since every other day we are hearing about recalls of bad eggs and such.
The Federal Government controls the financial industry, the automobile industry and is indeed taking over health care behind the scenes even while the Congress mumbles about “repeal and replace” because the Obamacare Bill (along with several others that already passed) set up the bureaucracy to implement the details of the bill. The federal government has shut down the oil industry in this country by mandating a moratorium on drilling in the Gulf and Alaska and is pouring your billions into electric cars and other such nonsense. (The electric for those cars is generated in mainly coal burning (coal is a fossil fuel!) plants so how electric cars can be “green” I have no idea. Apparently those in Washington believe that Electricity comes out of the plugs in our walls!) Our First lady has gotten bills passed that regulate the foods served in our schools and even suggested the packaged lunches from home should be inspected. These packaged lunches should not be taken from the children but the children will be given literature on healthy eating to take home. Just a bit of pressure to conform or be seen as contributing to the nations health care cost by eating poorly and being “out of shape and unhealthy”. Can’t you hear the bullying now!
So with all this already in the works Obama and his Democrats are ready to send the nation an all encompassing bill that will effectively take over the nation’s food production, processing and even distribution. Can you see it: any cities with a too active Tea Party Patriots movement might just find itself short on food deliveries until the population shapes up. A bit of “friendly starvation” or the modern day “siege”.
No need for catapults or battering rams, just misdirect the food delivery trucks for a few weeks and the starving population will beg the government to take over and regulate the flow of traffic and even those who can drive on our highways so that those food trucks can get to their city. That’s call two birds with one stone! BB
Below from American Thinker contributor Micheal Geer:
Detailed Concerns with S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010
Growing an Already Disjointed and Duplicative Federal Government
In 2008, GAO testified before a House subcommittee that “FDA is one of 15 agencies that collectively administer at least 30 laws related to food safety. This fragmentation is the key reason GAO added the federal oversight of food safety to its High-Risk Series in January 2007 and called for a government wide reexamination of the food safety system. We have reported on problems with this system-including inconsistent oversight, ineffective coordination, and inefficient use of resources.”
Specifically, GAO found that in 2003, FDA and USDA activities included overlapping and duplicative inspections of 1,451 domestic food-processing facilities that produce foods regulated by both agencies. This GAO testimony came on the heels of a 2005 GAO report that identified significant overlap in food safety activities conducted by USDA and the FDA, and to some extent the EPA and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), including “71 interagency agreements [to coordinate overlapping activities] that the agencies entered into… However, the agencies have weak mechanisms for tracking these agreements that…lead to ineffective implementation.”
This overlap was evident in the egg salmonella scare. The Wall Street Journal reported (USDA Graders Saw Bugs and Trash at Egg Producer; Didn‘t Tell FDA) that U.S. Department of Agriculture experts knew about sanitary problems at one of the two Iowa farms at the center of a massive nationwide egg recall, but did not notify health authorities.) USDA inspects farms and gives eggs their “Grade A” label, while the FDA technically is tasked with the safety of the final egg product.
This discrepancy was the impetus behind an egg safety rule originally promulgated 10 years ago by the FDA. Unfortunately, three administrations sat on the proposed rule without finalizing and implementing it. FDA Commissioner Dr. Hamburg stated, “We believe that had these rules been in place at an earlier time, it would have very likely enabled us to identify the problems on this farm before this kind of outbreak occurred.” A lack of regulatory bill isn’t the problem.
Charging the Bill to our Children and Grandchildren
The legislation will cost $1.4 billion over 5 years. This cost does not include an additional $230 million in expenditures that are directly offset by fees collected for those activities (re-inspections, mandatory recalls, etc.). The total cost of the bill is over $1.6 billion over 5 years. Of these costs, $335 million are for non-FDA programs – the food allergy grant program, implementation grants to assist producers, assistance grants to states and Indian Tribes.
Many argue that this spending is just “discretionary.” It is important to realize that the CBO score reflects the cost of the increase in FDA’s scope. It is true that this bill only authorizes funding (though problematically, for the first time ever provides an authorization line for just food activities at FDA).
If future appropriations do not add up to the amount CBO is estimating, the likely result is that none of these provisions can be fully implemented, or worse, the FDA is forced to cut corners in other areas it regulates (drugs/devices/etc.) to fund this added regulatory burden on foods.
Without paying for this bill, at best we are just passing it for a press release, and at worst, we shackle the FDA with unfunded mandates.
New and Unnecessary Non-FDA Spending
CBO estimates that implementing other provisions of S. 510 would increase non-FDA discretionary spending by $335 million over the 2011-2015 period. The bill would authorize three grant programs outside the purview of the FDA:
(Like all we need are more federal grants so congressmen can pay off constituents! And of course the money is wasted as most of it is siphoned off by the various agencies it p[asses thru before getting to where it might do some good. BB)
School-based allergy and anaphylaxis management grants. Authorized at $30 million annually, CBO estimates that this program would cost $107 million over the 2011-2015 period. This program creates new federal standards for how local schools deal with food allergies and ties the “voluntary” standards to eligibility for federal grant funds. This is not a federal role, the standards are overly prescriptive, and it duplicates existing efforts. The CDC has already published extensive best practices for how local schools can implement sounder strategies for dealing with food allergens. The word “food” is the only relationship between legislation to dictate the food allergy policies of local schools and legislation to modernize how the FDA regulates the food industry.
Food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance grants. Enacting the bill would require the Secretary of HHS to enter into cooperative agreements with the Secretary of Agriculture to provide grants for food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance to owners and operators of farms, small food processors, and small fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Based on spending patterns of similar programs, CBO estimates that implementing this provision would cost $21 million over the next five years
Food safety participation grants for states and Indian tribes. S. 510 would authorize the appropriation of $19.5 million for fiscal year 2010 and such sums in subsequent years to award grants to states and Indian tribes to expand participation in food safety efforts. CBO estimates that implementing this provision would cost $83 million over the 2011-2015 period.
Along with the grant programs, S. 510 also would require the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to participate in food safety activities and would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to enhance its participation in food safety activities. CBO estimates that EPA will incur costs of about $2 million annually. CDC is required to significantly increase its surveillance activities, which CBO estimates will cost $100 million over 5 years. CDC is also required to set up “Centers of Excellence” at selected state health departments to prepare for food outbreaks at a cost of $4 million annually. (The EPA Environmental Protection Agency of course doesn’t at this time have enough control over our lives. remember it is this agency that has shut down and destroyed the farming in southern California over a darned minnow forcing the Americans to get their fruits and vegetables from other countries. BB)
Burdensome New Regulations
There are 225 pages of new regulations, many of which are problematic. While some regulations are potentially onerous, but perhaps reasonable – such as requiring every facility to have a scientifically-based, but very flexible, food safety plan-others give FDA sweeping authority with potentially significant consequences.
While it is hard to pull out just 1 or 2 regulations in the bill that make the entire thing unpalatable, on the whole this bill represents a weighty new regulatory structure on the food industry that will be particularly difficult for small producers and farms to comply with (with little evidence it will make food safer). The following regulations are perhaps the most troubling:
Performance standards. The bill gives the Secretary the authority to “issue contaminant-specific and science-based guidance documents, action levels, or regulations.” The way the bill is written the authority is extremely broad and could be used by FDA to issue very specific and onerous regulations on food facilities, without even the normal rule-making and guidance process FDA food regulations normally go through.
Traceability. FDA is required to establish a “product tracing system within the FDA” based and develop additional record keeping requirements for foods determined to be “high risk.” The House legislation includes “full pedigree” trace-back which puts FDA in charge of tracing the entire supply chain. The final bill requires the FDA to do this for high-risk foods, and while there are some limitations on FDA, anything further than the “one-up-one-back” requirement in the bioterrorism law will be very onerous on industry.
Standards for produce safety. For produce, this bill gives FDA the authority to create commodity-specific safety standards for produce. Instead of trusting industry and the free-market, this provision implies that complying with government standards is the best way to keep consumers safe. A lot of the produce industry lobbied for these standards to provide “consumer confidence” after the jalapeno and tomato scare, but federal regulations could particularly adversely impact small providers.
Other regulations in this bill are overly punitive and could set up an adverse relationship with industry. They include:
Administrative Detention of Food. The bill lowers the threshold for detaining articles of food to “adulterated or misbranded.” The threshold is currently higher for a reason-administrative detention is an authority that should only be used when there is clear, imminent danger.
Suspension of Registration. Facility registration may be suspended if there is a reasonable probability that food from the responsible facility will cause serious adverse health consequences or death to humans or animals. “Reasonable probability” isn’t a difficult enough burden for FDA to prove when the consequence is closing down a private business.
Fees. Allows FDA to assess fees for compliance failures (recalls and re-inspections). These fees give FDA incentive to find reasons to re-inspect a facility or order a mandatory recall-the only ways they can collect money for their efforts. Furthermore, assessing industry to pay for a new regulatory structure will increase food costs for consumers during a recession.
Mandatory Recall Authority. Provides FDA with the authority to force a recall (and collect fees to pay for it). It is unclear why this authority is necessary – even in the worst food safety outbreaks, there do not appear to be any instances in which tainted products were on the shelves or with distributors that the company at fault did not work with FDA to conduct a voluntary recall. Allowing FDA to collect fees for forcing a mandatory recall could also push FDA to pull the trigger early on a mandatory recall – putting them at odds with the company responsible.
- (I pointed out that the Food and Drug Administration FDA in control of the delivery of food could be manipulated to put certain areas of the country under siege and in fear of starvation. This just as the EPA has destroyed the farming in southern California so as to promote the Democrats and Obama’s goal of global trade and dependence leading to global government. Now the FDA can starve communities or destroy whole food industries with wicked charges. BB)
Taking off from Lyndon Johnson’s observation, quoted above, the ambiguity of language in S.510 provides a giant opportunity for empowered authorities to make up both the intent and meaning of these proposed regulations and interpret this law as they see fit when they should be constrained by specifics. Legislators can be amazingly specific when they want to be. But a law that is couched in terms and phrases open to interpretation is exactly what leads to cascading unintended consequences. And many believe that’s exactly why ambiguous language is used. Along the lines of “better to ask forgiveness than permission.” Or, more bluntly, we’ll do as we please, see you in court, and we’ll let a judge sort it out.
This is exactly why so much distress and anger permeates the internet over S.510: the possibility of slowly eroding the natural rights of home gardeners and their valued seed stocks in the face of the sweeping changes genetically patented seed lines represent. Attorneys for multinational corporations making these GMO seeds are ruthless in pursuing lawsuits to enforce what they claim is patent infringement — even when it is nature spreading these seeds into fields and farms, and not by consent or intent of farmers who find GMO patented seeds suddenly among their crops. The what if scenarios of ambiguous language coupled to a corporatist-Statist administration are frightening, and the people raising an alarm about home gardens and seed stocks are probably not Chicken Littles. Not if recent history is any indication.
It’s sophomorically easy and disingenuous to arm-chair quarterback. The safety of our food supply and the responsibility for overseeing what that requires is a gargantuan undertaking. Hats off to every one in the chain of command who is doing the job right, efficiently, and without bureaucratic malice. But arming that chain of command with vastly enlarged responsibilities riddled with powers of enforcement ambiguous at best is to ensure a law that harms rather than protects. Man is a fickle animal capable of glory and honor, but he is just as capable of chicanery and greed. Ambiguity invites disaster.
Lastly, S.510 is an inverted pyramid of power. Growing federal mandates on top of an already top-heavy bureaucratic leviathan is neither efficient nor safe. Going to the well again, let’s say it over and over: complexity is the enemy of security.
As sweeping a bill as has ever been introduced regarding food safety, S.510 reaches too far and too wide and embraces too much with a one-size-fits-all worldview. Instead of the hard work of focusing on specific issues and making those work within the structure of laws and regulations and departments already empowered, the authors of S.510 chose to use the biggest brush on the biggest canvas.
…Resulting in an embodiment of the truism complexity is the enemy of security.
Dump S.510, go back to the drawing board, leverage the brilliance of the free market, and reinstitute simplicity for the sake of security.
Morning Bell: A Crisis of Competence in the Gulf | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.
There has been nothing but news about the oil spill in the Gulf this story might just serve as a reminder of what has happened so far. I have highlighted several things I think you should take note of. The most important being that the EPA (Environmental Protections Agency) and Obama have refused to allow Louisiana to build barrier islands between the oil and the delicate and vitally important wet lands. This in the plans for a spill was to be the first action taken! I can only conclude that the Obama Administration wants this spill to do as much damage as possible. BB
A Crisis of Competence in the Gulf
Let’s be clear: Every day that this oil sits is one more day that more of our marsh dies,” Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA) said Monday. “We’ve been frustrated with the disjointed effort to date that has too often meant too little, too late for the oil hitting our coast,” he continued. Specifically, Jindal is frustrated by the failure of the federal government to produce the 8 million feet of oil-blocking booms it asked for back on May 2nd and 3rd. So far Louisiana has only received 815,000 feet of boom, and even then the federal government has failed to place it in the correct locations.
Worse, Obama administration regulators continue to deny Louisiana officials permission to build up barrier islands between the coast’s marshes and the gulf. Federal regulators have so far refused to permit the state to act, fearing the unintended long-term damage to local wildlife. So instead of action, the oil continues to float on shore threatening the livelihoods of millions of Louisianans. (Can you believe their excuse for not allowing the barrier islands to be built which is merely dredging up sand fromoceans floor and piling it up. They are concerned for the Long term damage to the wild life! If the oil gets far into the marsh the lands there will be no wild life left to damage! BB)
Meanwhile the Environmental Protection Agency again demonstrated its uselessness when it informed BP it had 24 hours to find a less toxic alternative to the chemical it had been using to break up the oil. BP informed the EPA that no alternatives were available in sufficient quantity to deal with the spill, and when the EPA’s deadline came and went with no change in BP’s practices, the EPA meekly said they would study the issue, which was an acknowledgment that it has no answer either.
The federal government’s failure to know how to handle the Deepwater Horizon oil spill does not end with the EPA. It goes all the way to the top. Frustrated by his government’s inability to master the problem, President Barack Obama reportedly cut aides short recently, ordering them to “plug the damn hole.” As if no one had thought of that already. But instead of focusing on the problem at hand, President Obama moved to appoint an unaccountable commission to study the problem substituting process for action at a time when leadership was needed. The commission shifts the responsibility from the persons we elect to oversee these issues to unelected bureaucrats.
The Pew Research Center has released a poll showing a majority of Americans give President Obama and his administration bad marks for its handling of a massive oil spill. To combat this rising discontent, the Obama administration flew Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen up to Washington to provide some clear answers as to who was in charge of the operation. Just this past Sunday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had said of BP: “If we find that they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing, we’ll push them out of the way appropriately.” But when asked about Salazar’s comments Monday, Allen responded: “Well, I would — I would — I would say that that’s more of a metaphor. … You need equipment and expertise that’s not generally within the government — federal government, in terms of competency, capability or capacity. There may be some other way to get it, but I’m a national incident commander. And right now, the relationship with BP is the way I think we should move forward.”
BP, rather than taxpayers, should be held responsible for the costs of the clean-up and liability, and under current federal law that is the case. BP is currently responsible for every penny it costs to clean the mess up. Furthermore, they are responsible for up to $75 million in liability costs (i.e. the secondary costs incurred by businesses and communities) directly, and up to $1 billion additionally comes from the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. And the $75 million cap is waived if the responsible party is found to be grossly negligent. Calls to increase these caps retroactively are not needed and are more political expediency then either stopping the leak or mitigating its consequences. Equally frustrating are calls to raise the gas tax, and transfer the costs of this spill onto American consumers.
And that right there, in a nutshell, is the problem not only with the Obama administration’s handling of this crisis, but with the entire regulatory state. The Obama administration is set to announce new and stricter regulations on the oil industry tomorrow. But as the NEPA waivers and MMS failures of this accident show, the existing regulatory framework is already not being enforced. So how will new regulations piled on top of the old ones fix the problem? When government micromanages how private enterprises are run, those entities are not incentivized to prepare for the worst outcomes. Now no one has developed a plan or the expertise to deal with this spill.
The Obama administration’s leftist narrative is that after eight years of deregulation under the Bush administration, American businesses are dangerously under regulated. But this simply is not true. By every objective measure, regulation increased – not decreased – during the Bush years. Instead of adding on new regulations, the old ones should be reformed to restore incentives through profit and loss. Instead of retroactively raising the cap on BP’s economic liability, thus undermining the rule of law, Congress should look to raising or eliminating the cap in the future. But most importantly, President Obama needs to accept the responsibility that the federal government is the ultimate owner of the land BP is drilling on, and as the primary responsible party he must show more leadership in solving this crisis.
The Canadian Free Press has come out again with an announcement of what Obama plans well ahead of the US media. Oh, Rep. John Boehner has taken a stand against it by stating, ““At the same time the White House makes today’s announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is plotting a new massive job-killer that the American people can’t afford.”, and it has been “mentioned” in passing by other media types, but the condemnation has not begun. And it won’t begin until after it is a done deed. You see President Obama has no intentions of bothering with a messy fight in congress such as was part of the Obamacare Bill; he will simply have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) declare CO2 a destructive and is causing global warming and most the restrictions of the Cap and Trade Bill will come into being.
Abandoning all loyalty to the democratic processes this nation holds dear, President Obama has made the decision that getting energy tax legislation through Congress with the approval of the American people is just too much of a pain to bother with. Instead he will have the EPA declare as early as next week that CO2 is a dangerous global warming gas and will start regulating its emissions immediately. (what more proof do we need that Barack Obama is a traitor to the United States of America? BB)
Put simply, it means $8 for a gallon of gas and 2-3 times higher electricity bills. It also means the loss of millions more sorely needed jobs as businesses are hit with higher operating costs and the transfer of whatever remains of our manufacturing sector to China where energy is cheaper and they aren’t so concerned about CO2.
In the first week alone, American businesses estimated that ObamaCare will cost them $14 billion. By most estimates this latest Obama nightmare will be far more expensive and may literally destroy the economy in less than 20 years.
All because of climate science that has been clearly exposed as inaccurate and untrustworthy. Obama may or may not be a communist plant sent to destroy America, but he sure is acting like one.
Keeping an eye on what kinds of people are winning elections all over the country I find we conservatives have much to be happy about. It is we baby boomers babies who are coming into their own now. While we played with our toys and became so politically correct and tolerant of everyone’s views to the point where the scum rose to the top making the world these people had to grow up in a gross and ugly place, they were taking it in and saying they didn’t like it and didn’t want to raise their children in this brutally ugly world lacking in morality and values. So now that they are of age start making their views heard they are determined to take the country back to a time where government did not intrude into peoples lives, where government did not force people to accept behaviors and actions that the majority of people found objectionable. A time where little clerks at little musty desks made laws and rules that we all had to live by regardless of the harm done to society. Where a tiny minnow with no significant impact on the environment or the food chain could destroy our nations fruit and vegetable producing area putting tens of thousands of people out of work and raising the prices at our grocery stores. BB
by Christian Josi During his campaign for Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli committed himself to acting with an aggressive conservative agenda. He promised voters that he would use the office to aggressively fight governmental overregulation and interference wherever he could find it.
In other words, he pledged to use the office of Attorney General for good, rather than evil. After just over one month in office, he’s off to one hell of a start.
Last week, AG Cuccinelli boldly petitioned the EPA to convene a proceeding to reexamine their “Endangerment Finding” which claims that human activity has increased atmospheric greenhouse gases to a point that people’s lives are at risk. As such, they claim, the federal government must impose new caps on emissions and other climate protection policies in the energy sector.
Cuccinelli believes, rightly, that regulations based on the findings of the EPA in this sketchy case would be both legally questionable and detrimental to Virginia’s economy. (Much of the research that the EPA has based these findings upon has come from the questionable climate-gate materials). Accordingly, the AG also has petitioned a federal appeals court to review the EPA’s findings.
Keep an eye on this guy. He means business. And by picking these kinds of necessary fights, he’s certainly going to need backup.
This is the kind of backup we Tea Party Patriots can and must give to anyone who is brave enough to buck the current system. If the Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli can get the EPA to back down in Virginia then the battle to change their rulings and temper their power in all states is strengthened. Remember when officials from the EPA were questioned as to whether they would change some of their rulings now that Climategate proved so much of the data they had used to be faulty and they said and round and loud, “No!” Well, this is the arrogance we have to fight and Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli has made a grand start.
Oh, and another thing I have noticed among the new crop of young men and women running for office: there are more and more with Northern and South Eastern European names. These are the grand Children and great grandchildren of those poor and huddle masses our Lady Liberty begged to come to America and who came in the early 1900’s by the boat loads. These people I have been telling you who were brave enough to leave behind the old and go into the unknown. The true pioneers who came not knowing the culture or the language but determined to live free and make their own way because the old country had no place for people of their spirit.
And yes, my maternal grandparents were Kowalo and Starvoyto. And it was these grandparents who taught me to love America and see it as a country different than any in the world. I have not been off of the continent of North America but I know and have known since as a child my Grandparents told me about the homes they left. They brought much of the good with them, but were careful to leave the bad behind just as our Founding Fathers themselves when setting up our government kept the good from the old country but cut out and left the bad behind. BB
read also what some states are doing to Congressmen who are out of control:
The recall of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez took a step forward yesterday with a promising oral argument in New Jersey state court. The New Jersey Constitution expressly provides for the recall of members of Congress representing the state in a provision adopted by a 75% favorable vote of the people in 1995. The New Jersey state legislature then expressly provided by statute for the procedures for such a recall.