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Trump and Ryan Zinke And Scott Pruitt Are Environmental Disasters


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#101 Traveler

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Posted 10 October 2018 - 06:36 AM

For sure no formal investigation. But the press did do the job for Moore, and metoo came out in force. From what we have heard so far, it is safe to say the press would have gone after this, and plenty of metoos came out in a matter of days. Just saying, this could have been played a lot more elegantly.
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#102 LFC

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Posted 17 October 2018 - 03:54 PM

A slowdown on the wholesale rejection of science in the EPA proposed by Pruitt but it's definitely still chugging along.

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The Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday it is putting off for at least a year any final announcement on a controversial proposal overhauling how the agency evaluates science.

The agency’s so-called transparency in regulatory science rule was one of the most contentious proposed by former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who stepped down last summer amid ethics scandals. Trump replaced Pruitt with current acting administrator Andrew Wheeler, who like Pruitt describes himself as a champion of rolling back what they see as unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

Supporters say the rule would help the public understand the science behind EPA regulations, by requiring scientists to disclose more details of the individual cases underlying public-health studies.

EPA public hearings on the proposal drew mainly throngs of critics— health officials, academics, researchers and others, who said the rule could force regulators to ignore the findings of major public-health studies, since much of the individual information on patients in those studies is confidential.

“The current political leadership still wants to move forward with Pruitt’s agenda to sideline science, just at a slower pace,” Yogin Kothari of the Union of Concerned Scientists nonprofit said Wednesday.

“It’s clear the agency’s political leadership still wants to ignore the best available science when it comes to protecting public health and the environment,” Kothari said.


This.

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Sen. Mike Rounds, a South Dakota Republican, boosted the proposal at a subcommittee hearing on it earlier this month.

“The EPA has a long history of creating burdensome, unnecessary regulations without giving the public an opportunity to fully vet the reasoning behind their decisions,” Rounds said then.

Yes because the public is so capable of understanding science as well as the people who have literally spent their lives gaining expertise and because we've seen such great "common sense" policies come from Republicans.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#103 LFC

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 10:27 AM

Ryan Zinke is screeching the line that effectively if we let them cut down all the trees there won't be forest fires. The fact that much of the fuel was dry brush that had sprung up after previous rains doesn't seem to enter into their greedy little minds because there's no short-term profit in that position. He's just another crooked, lying piece of Trump shit that cares for nothing but money.

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Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke joined President Donald Trump’s blame game over the California wildfires on Sunday, faulting “radical environmentalists” for somehow preventing forest management.

In a Breitbart interview, Zinke said that “it’s not time for finger-pointing.”

“We know the problem,” he continued.”It’s been years of neglect, and in many cases it’s been these radical environmentalists that want nature to take its course.”

“I will lay this on the foot of those environmental radicals that have prevented us from managing the forests for years, and you know what, this is on them,” he added.

According to the Los Angeles Times, experts agree that Trump and Zinke’s blame of forest mismanagement is misplaced, as the area where the fire broke out was not heavily timbered, but quickly leapt onto nearby buildings.


From the LA Times link:

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Experts agree that overgrown forests in California pose a heightened wildfire threat in some parts of the Sierra Nevada. But although Paradise is near forestland, the wind-whipped Camp fire tore across areas that burned in lightning fires in 2008 and were later logged. It was not fueled by heavy timber.

“It started out as a vegetation fire. When it reached the incorporated area, which is definitely a lot more urban and developed of an area,” Jonathan Pangburn, a fire behavior analyst for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said in an interview last week, “it turned into a building-to-building fire ... no longer carrying through most of the vegetation, especially in the upper canopies in the trees. It was not a crown fire through the Paradise area.”

The Woolsey fire, which burned suburban areas from Oak Park to Malibu, was not near any forests. It destroyed 1,500 structures and left three people dead.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#104 LFC

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 05:47 PM

Lead by Trump and Zinke it is now boilerplate Republican policy to allow companies and farmers to pollute at will and to destroy wetlands. They really do want us to return to the filth of the 50s and 60s that prematurely killed people regularly. They Republican hyperbole was predictable.

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Cabinet chiefs and GOP lawmakers celebrated alongside farm and business leaders Tuesday as the Trump administration made good on one of its biggest promised environmental rollbacks, proposing to remove federal protections for thousands of waterways nationwide.

Environmental groups called the proposed overhaul of federal water protections one of the gravest assaults ever on the aims of the 1972 Clean Water Act, the foundational U.S. water protection law. Administration supporters praised President Donald Trump for knocking back what they said was federal overreach.

The Obama-era water protections targeted for replacement by Tuesday’s regulatory overhaul “was never about clean water,” Rep. Sam Graves, a Republican and farmer from Missouri, and one of about a dozen GOP Congress members at Tuesday’s launch at headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency. “It was always about the federal government getting more control over our water and our lives.”


Environmentalists, who have a MUCH better track record than agriculture and industry on these issues, see it as opening up the pollution floodgates.

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Environmental groups said the Trump administration proposal would have a sweeping impact on how the country safeguards the nation’s waterways, scaling back not just a 2015 Obama administration interpretation of federal jurisdiction, but how federal agencies enforce the 1972 Clean Water Act.

“The Trump administration has just given a big Christmas gift to polluters,” said Bob Irvin, president of the American Rivers environmental nonprofit. “Americans all over the country are concerned about the safety of their drinking water — this is not the time to be rolling back protections.”

The Trump administration would remove federal protections for wetlands nationally unless they are connected to another federally protected waterway, and for streams, creeks, washes, ditches and ponds that exist only during rains.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, also attending the ceremony for the regulatory changes, told the farmers and others attending the proposal “doesn’t remove any protection.”

“It puts the decision back where it should be, the people that work the land, that hunt, that own the land,” Zinke said.

Yeah, because farmers and ranchers have such a stellar record of no polluting and poisoning other people's water. Remind me again where the bacteria from that last romaine lettuce outbreak came from.


Of course homebuilders are thrilled that they'll be able to create thousands more tiny Houstons, leaving the cost of the predictable flooding on the poor saps who buy these homes with no idea what was done. We can only hope that the states and local authorities step in with sane building standards but, from what we saw in Texas, I wouldn't hold my breath especially in the red states ... who will pick our pockets yet again when the predicted disasters hit.

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“When you have uncertainty and overreach it makes it incredibly difficult to build American homes,” Gerald Howard, the CEO of the National Association of Home Builders, said of the Obama administration’s interpretation of the water rules.

Environmental groups say the kind of isolated wetlands, rain-fed streams and often dry washes that would lose federal protections also help buffer communities from the worsening impact of drought, floods and hurricanes under climate change, and are vital for wildlife.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#105 LFC

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Posted 11 December 2018 - 08:28 PM

Trump's Land Grab in 7 Maps

Disgusting. Just disgusting. And it's nothing particularly Trumpian, just pure, mainstream Republican policy.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#106 LFC

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 03:41 PM

Trump's EPA proposes creating more Trump supporters.

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The Trump administration on Friday targeted an Obama-era regulation credited with helping dramatically reduce toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants, saying the benefits to human health and the environment may not be worth the cost of the regulation.

The 2011 Obama administration rule, called the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, led to what electric utilities say was an $18 billion clean-up of mercury and other toxins from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants.

Overall, environmental groups say, federal and state efforts have cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 85 percent in roughly the last decade.

Mercury causes brain damage, learning disabilities and other birth defects in children, among other harm. Coal power plants in this country are the largest single manmade source of mercury pollutants, which enters the food chain through fish and other items that people consume.


Brain damage? Check! Learning impairments? Check! If it increases belligerence (and studies show that mercury does) then it's the Trumpian Trifecta!
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#107 pnwguy

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 04:14 PM

View PostLFC, on 28 December 2018 - 03:41 PM, said:

Brain damage? Check! Learning impairments? Check! If it increases belligerence (and studies show that mercury does) then it's the Trumpian Trifecta!
"Let them eat opioids"
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#108 Traveler

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 06:05 PM

And meth. Don't forget meth. It gets those that don't do opioids. Although I suspect that Venn diagram overlaps a bunch.
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."-- Winston Churchill
"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#109 AnBr

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Posted 29 December 2018 - 09:16 PM

View PostTraveler, on 28 December 2018 - 06:05 PM, said:

And meth. Don't forget meth. It gets those that don't do opioids. Although I suspect that Venn diagram overlaps a bunch.

You can talk to Heisenberg about that.
Pray for Trump: Psalm 109:8

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

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Second inaugural address January, 1937

#110 LFC

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Posted 03 January 2019 - 04:58 PM

Under Trump EPA enforcement is way down. No shock there though the magnitude is a bit staggering. There are graphs that I can't link to in the article.

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Since its founding, the EPA has been the nation’s environmental enforcer of last resort. Enforcing environmental laws is a fundamental role of the EPA. William Ruckelshaus, the agency’s first administrator, famously described its role in environmental enforcement as that of a “gorilla in the closet” – muscular, dexterous, smart and formidable – not omnipresent, but ready to take decisive action to enforce laws if need be.

But the data we have collected show that EPA enforcement under Trump is more accurately characterized as sheep-like – meek and mild, often following the lead of regulated industry rather than acting as an independent, scientifically and statutorily driven regulator. The report is based on interviews with EPA staff and recent retirees and analysis of the EPA’s own data and internal documents. In this article we’ve also used recently updated data and included an expanded analysis of regional and statutory declines.


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The EPA is also imposing fewer fines on environmental law breakers. The EPA imposed civil penalties of $58 million in fiscal year 2018, the lowest since at least 2006 by a wide margin. The average for the period from 2006 to 2017 was $846 million, and the next lowest year (2009) still had $109 million in fines.

Costs for regulated entities to comply with environmental regulations, such as upgrading pollution control equipment, were the lowest they have been in at least 12 years. Compliance costs in 2018 were $3.8 billion, down 81 percent from the previous year, and well below the average of $10.9 billion from 2006 to 2017.

Finally, inspections are also down, which means that the EPA does not know if many facilities are complying with the law, and, further, that next year’s enforcement actions will also be low.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#111 LFC

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Posted 25 February 2019 - 08:16 AM

Republicans continue to sell out the Constitution as they try to pass special laws to protect oil pipelines from protests. To quote the right-wingers when they talk about guns, there are plenty of laws covering this situation on the books. We don't need more.

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The oil and gas industry has started its 2019 lobbying efforts with a bang.

Eight different statehouses across the nation are considering bills criminalizing protests on property owned by the oil and gas industry which critics say could squelch pipeline protesters and others calling attention to climate change-causing infrastructure.

The bills offer steep criminal penalties for trespass onto oil and gas industry-owned private property defined as “critical infrastructure” under state law. The legal definition of “critical infrastructure,” which incorporates essentially all assets serving as the bedrock of the current economic system, has greatly expanded in the post-September 11 era. With that expansion came increasingly harsh criminal enforcement mechanisms available to prosecutors in the name of protecting national security.

It is no coincidence that the bills are rolling out simultaneously with nearly identical language, in various states. The Real News has traced these bills back to model bills emanating from two organizations, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Council of State Governments (CSG), both of which receive generous financial backing from the oil and gas industry. In turn, the organizations serve as facilitators for doling out model legislation to state legislators.

Critical infrastructure bills of this sort, first passed in statehouses in early 2017 following the mobilization at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, have been taken up by both ALEC and CSG for use as model legislation.

In the first month of the year, Indiana, Wyoming, Illinois, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, Idaho, and Ohio have all taken this template-based model legislation under consideration, which mirrors two bills passed in Oklahoma in 2017. Sandwiching them together as one, ALEC created the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act at one of its annual meetings held in December 2017. And the lobbyists and legislators involved in the organization in the room that day gave it a “yes” vote.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#112 LFC

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Posted 26 February 2019 - 03:20 PM

A representative of the EPA face a Democratic panel over the agency's plummeting rate of regulatory enforcement. For anybody that knows anything about how corporate America has operated since like forever the part I bolded is a real doozy.

Quote

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s enforcement chief on Tuesday pushed back on “the myth” that the regulator is soft on polluters as Democratic lawmakers pressed her on the big decline in civil penalties and site inspections last year.

Susan Bodine, assistant administrator of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, testified at a House energy committee panel, where Democratic lawmakers pressed her on significant drops in inspections, penalty collections and referrals of cases to the Department of Justice.

The EPA’s annual report released earlier this month showed it leveled $69 million in civil penalties against polluters and conducted 10,612 site inspections in the 2018 fiscal year, the lowest in at least a decade for both measures.

But Bodine said in her testimony that despite these numbers, EPA is achieving results by encouraging companies to self-report violations and make compliance and enforcement processes more efficient.


I bet they're "achieving results", just not results that involve reducing pollution or violations of the law.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#113 HockeyDon

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 07:32 AM

View PostLFC, on 26 February 2019 - 03:20 PM, said:

A representative of the EPA face a Democratic panel over the agency's plummeting rate of regulatory enforcement. For anybody that knows anything about how corporate America has operated since like forever the part I bolded is a real doozy.

I bet they're "achieving results", just not results that involve reducing pollution or violations of the law.

It's easy.

Fewer violations must necessarily mean companies are polluting less. Therefore just write up fewer violations and claim success!
Well, fuck.

How can I be expected to distinguish BS from reality when so much of my reality is utter BS?!

"There seems to be a lot of people dying of ignorance while living in the information age." my sister-in-law.

#114 George Rowell

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 10:57 AM

View PostHockeyDon, on 27 February 2019 - 07:32 AM, said:

It's easy.

Fewer violations must necessarily mean companies are polluting less. Therefore just write up fewer violations and claim success!
People in China never get Celiac disease. And they never test for it. Fact. The actual amount of Celiac disease in China is estimated to be 0.4% and they are all happily eating bread and getting treated for some other disease they do not have.

In another instance they found in Aus that the wonder cure for prostrate cancer was working because the patients never came back to the clinic. They died of other diseases first.
A doctor knows a little about a lot. A specialist knows a lot about a little. In time the doctor knows less and less about more and more and the specialist knows more and more about less and less until ultimately the doctor knows nothing about everything and the specialist knows everything about nothing.

#115 JackD

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 02:01 PM

That's great medical care: no celiac disease because they never test for it. Brilliant!

#116 LFC

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Posted 04 March 2019 - 05:59 PM

Recall that coal ash is one of the things Trump is loosening the rules on. He doesn't care how many children he poisons.

Quote

More than 90 percent of U.S. coal-fired power plants that are required to monitor groundwater near their coal ash dumps show unsafe levels of toxic metals, according to a study released on Monday by environmental groups, which cited the potential harm to drinking water.

The groups, led by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, said their findings show that stronger regulations are needed for coal ash.

Data made public by power companies showed that of the 265 plants subject to the monitoring requirement, 241 – or 91 percent – showed unsafe levels of one or more coal ash components in nearby groundwater compared to EPA standards, according to the analysis by the groups.

The report also found that 52 percent of those plants had unsafe levels of cancer-causing arsenic in nearby groundwater while 60 percent showed unsafe levels of lithium, which can cause neurological damage.

“Using industry’s own data, our report proves that coal plants are poisoning groundwater nearly everywhere they operate,” said Lisa Evans, senior counsel with Earthjustice.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#117 LFC

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Posted 07 March 2019 - 11:28 AM

Trump's EPA and Texass Republicans shut down any tracking of the pollutants that were released by Hurricane Harvey. Better that people end up being poisoned without anybody's knowledge.

Quote

Congressional Democrats are launching an investigation into why the EPA stopped NASA from tracking harmful pollution from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that EPA officials and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality declined a NASA offer to fly a pollution-analyzing jet over the Houston region to help evaluate the environmental effects on locals after the catastrophic 2017 storm. EPA officials argued the data collected by the space agency could cause “confusion” and might “overlap” with their own analysis. “EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality knew air pollution was one of the unseen dangers of Hurricane Harvey, but chose not to use every available tool to discover it,” said Elena Craft, a senior director at the Environmental Defense Fund, which coordinated air-pollution sampling in Houston after Harvey. On Wednesday, members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent letters to the EPA, NASA, and Texas environmental officials asking for all documents relating to the agencies’ decision not to fly. “Instead of gathering the most accurate air-quality data possible, state and federal officials apparently decided they would rather not know about potential toxic chemical releases,” committee members wrote.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer





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