After election, Republicans plan attack on EPA and climate scientists if they win the House

In the old Soviet Union, being a scientist was a dangerous thing unless discoveries upheld the Party’s ideology-

Doubt GOP will be put scientists in a gulag. They will just be investigated and badgered out of a job.

GOP plans attacks on the EPA and climate scientists. By Neela Banerjee. Los Angeles Times

Proposed limits on dust irk farmers

The EPA is considering lowering allowable particulate matter from 150 micrograms per cubic meter to the range of 65 to 85 micrograms. This would be a very good outcome for many reason ranging from health, soil erosion and snow melt runoff.

Recently a study implicated dust, primarily from western livestock grazing, as a big cause behind earlier and faster snow melt runoff in the Colorado Rockies which resulted in 5% less water in the Colorado River. Under current law there is little regulation on agricultural practices, especially livestock grazing, which could help mitigate this very real problem.

Of course the livestock industry is up in arms over the proposal and have gotten their lackey politicians involved.

“As usual, the EPA has failed to recognize the real-world impacts of their regulations,” [Mike] Simpson said in a press release.

Well, it looks like they are starting to recognize the impacts of their regulations. It now appears that they have seen the failure of their current regulations to protect long term public values over short term profits of the livestock industry. Let’s hope they make the change soon.

Proposed limits on dust irk farmers.
Capital Press agriculture news

E.P.A. Moves Toward Regulating Greenhouse Gases

Finally!

E.P.A. Moves Toward Regulating Greenhouse Gases. By Felicity Barranger. New York Times.

Utah’s dirty air problem is growing

Filthy winter air gets worse. Developments in Nevada could compound problem-

Utah’s air quality overall is relatively good. The problem is that it is bad, has been for a long time, and is getting worse where most of the people live — the Wasatch Front and Cache Valley.

Utah’s dirty air in population centers goes back to the days of primitive metal smelters located right in Salt Lake Valley. As all but one has closed, the problem has shifted to the emissions from and associated with the seemingly endless strip city from Brigham on the north to Payson on the south (where I am in a motel typing this story).

The EPA may soon impose sanctions on the state. If it stops the sprawl, that might be a good thing. See the story below.

Dirty-air problem is growing. EPA set a deadline. It won’t be easy. In fact, the state says, ‘It’s going to be really hard.‘ By Judy Fahys. The Salt Lake Tribune.

I want to add that developing problems in Nevada will only make it worse in the long run, such as the huge coal plants set to be built near the state’s western border at Ely and dewatering of Nevada valleys to feed continued growth in Las Vegas.

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Update on the Ely Energy Center (Ely coal plant). Coal plant debate intensifies. In Ely, feelings about the environment and the economy overwhelm the agenda. Las Vegas Sun. By Phoebe Sweet

Still more on the Ely project. Nevada Energy delays Ely coal plant, hastens transmission line project. By Jeremy Twitchell. Las Vegas Sun

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Obama’s EPA puts hold on South Dakota coal plant

Wow, quick action! Lisa Jackson was just confirmed the new EPA Administrator-

Obama’s EPA Raises Objections to South Dakota Coal Power Plant. By Catherine Dodge. Bloomberg.com

Columbia River pollutants at unacceptable levels, EPA says

EPA says Columbia River pollution levels “unacceptable risk to people, fish and wildife-

For those not familiar, the Columbia River is the major river of the Pacific Northwest. It and its tributaries drain almost all of Idaho, and Washington states, and western Montana. . . . much of Oregon and British Columbia too, plus the NW corner of Wyoming and a tiny bit of Nevada (where the mercury pollution from gold mines is tremendous).

Columbia River pollutants at unacceptable levels, EPA says. By Scott Learn, The Oregonian

This is the EPA’s first “state of the river” report. This is quite sobering coming from the Bush EPA. It is not a new problem, however. PCBs and DDT are slowly decreasing. Numerous other pollutants are present at unacceptable levels, but the trend isn’t clear.

A great deal of money has been spent trying to conserve and recover samon and steelheads runs. This pollution makes the faltering effort even more difficult.

Link to the EPA report

On the Internet database of eco-criminals

These are comments by the Missoula Independent on the EPA’s new on-line database, and one particularly — Montana subdivider David Allen Phillips-

etc. by the Missoula Independent staff

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Environmental groups, scientists cheer Obama appointments

The cheer in the story is for the Energy, Climate Change, EPA nominations-

Environmental groups, scientists cheer Obama appointments. LA Times. By Jim Tankersley and Tom Hamburger

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PEER says Obama’s EPA pick is no good

Bush’s EPA criticized Obama’s new EPA choice for her bad record in New Jersey on toxic waste-

Likely EPA pick hit for Jersey record. Politico

“In a report released this summer, the EPA’s inspector general slammed New Jersey’s failure to clean up several toxic waste sites in a timely manner, and accused the state’s environmental agency of going easy on polluters and failing to seek necessary support from the EPA. The report said the department bore at least partial responsibility for ‘not implement[ing] agreements on clean-up milestones, Agency responsibilities, and enforcement actions.’ ”

On the other hand, the Sierra Club places the blame for the bad record in New Jersey on Governor Jon Corizone.

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Obama’s choices for EPA and Energy Secretary

Steven Chu, a physicist, will be energy secretary. Lisa P. Jackson, from New Jersey environmental protection will head the E.P.A.-

Story from the New York Times. Obama Team Set on Environment. By John M. Broder.

Carol Browner, head of the EPA under Clinton may get the new climate post.

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Nancy Sutley will head the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) inside the Executive Office of the President. Story on Sutley. “Mind your CEQ.” Posted by Janet Wilson to Gristmill. The CEQ is a position that does not need congressional approval.

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My stray comment . . . could you imagine a real scientist, in fact a n0bel prize winner, heading up a cabinet department in the Bush Administration? RM

EPA, Interior Dept. Chiefs Will Be Busy Erasing Bush’s Mark

Huge transformation expected-

EPA, Interior Dept. Chiefs Will Be Busy Erasing Bush’s Mark. By Juliet Eilperin. Washington Post Staff Writer.

Few federal agencies are expected to undergo as radical a transformation under President-elect Barack Obama as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department, which have been at the epicenter of many of the Bush administration’s most intense scientific and environmental controversies.

These are most hopeful words as the plunderers are doing their last minute worst.

Steve Cobble says lets have “Grijalva for Interior and Solis for EPA”

From the Huffington Post-

Grijalva and Solis. Column by Steve Cobble.

And from New West. Grijalva Obama’s Best Bet at Interior. By Joan McCarter.

EPA Moves to Ease Clean Air Rules for National Parks

Another massively offensive attempt to gut the outdoors by the outgoing Administration-

EPA Moves to Ease Air Rules for Parks. Regional Administrators Decry Decision. By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer. Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Trying to keep the air around and in the national parks has been a 30-year battle. One that is being lost. This just gives up and encourages the opposite.

Fortunately, this new regulation will probably not be completed by the end of the Administration and then dropped by Obama.

A very important recent development, in fact might kill off almost all new coal plants in the short run. I posted it the other day, but it got few readers probably because I billed it as a Nevada issue when it is actually a national victory for clean air.

Here is the Nevada story I posted. “Good news. Three coal plants planned for Nevada may have been killed.” It should probably read “EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board drives a nail into the heart of traditional coal plants.”

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More Bush giveaways

A Christmas present for oil shale developers. Oil shale frenzy. Bush rules a gift to oil companies. Salt Lake
Tribune
Editorial.

Good news. Three coal plants planned for Nevada may have been killed

The worst of the three is the 1500 megawatt plant slated for Ely, Nevada-

Up in Smoke: Environmentalists say future of three proposed Nevada coal plants in jeopardy. By Phoebe Sweet. Las Vegas Sun.

An EPA decision and the bad economy probably means they are dead.

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Perhaps most importantly, the EPA decision also has very important national ramifications. EPA Coal Decision Levels Playing Field for Wind, Solar. By Alexis Madriga. Wired Magazine.

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Salon Magazine releases a shocking report on Bush’s EPA

The EPA’s Stalin era-

“It’s absolutely shocking what’s going on,” say insiders. Secretive changes have diluted science and jeopardized public health. Will Obama overcome Bush’s toxic legacy? . . . Salon Magazine

The EPA’s Stalin Era. By Rebecca Clarren

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