Category Archives: EPA

California becomes first state to mandate solar panels in new homes

government solve all problems

Doesn’t sound like a fantastic ROI for homeowners but makes the government feel good about their environmental causes.

From Fox News: California has become the first state in the nation to mandate solar panels for all new homes, in a move to cut greenhouse gas emissions that critics say will end up raising home prices in the already expensive market. 

In a unanimous 5-0 vote Wednesday, the California Energy Commission approved the policy.

The regulation will require all homes and apartments built after 2020 to have solar panels, adding an average of roughly $10,000 to construction costs for a single-family home. On the flip side, the commission says, the panels could yield much more in energy savings.

Spokeswoman for the Energy Commission Amber Beck told Fox News that under the new standards, new homes would be expected to reduce energy use by more than 50 percent. She argued that the change will lead to savings in the long run. 

“For residential homeowners, based on a 30-year mortgage, the Energy Commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment, but save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling, and lighting bills,” Beck said in a statement. “On average the 2019 standards will increase the cost of constructing a new home by about $9,500 but will save $19,000 in energy and maintenance costs over 30 years.”

Few industry groups outwardly oppose the plan after working for years with the commission to shape the regulations. But Republican legislative leaders said Californians can’t afford to pay any more for housing in the state’s already expensive market.

“That’s just going to drive the cost up and make California, once again, not affordable to live,” said Assemblyman Brian Dahle, the chamber’s Republican leader.

The solar panel decision is just the latest example of what critics see as the state’s ever-evolving nanny-state policies. California often is at the leading edge of government mandates and bans, having recently prohibited everything from plastic bags to foie gras – and even flirting with phasing out internal combustion engines.

Bill Watt, a homebuilder and design consultant, told The Orange County Registerthe added solar panel costs, in addition to other building mandates, will make homeownership out of reach for many buyers.

“We’re not building enough housing already,” Watt, former president of the Orange County Building Industry Association, told The OCR. “Why not just pause for a little while, focus on the affordability and housing issues, then circle back?”

Despite the increase in construction costs, the California Building Industry Association generally supports the plan, but expressed a preference to delay the launch.

“[W]e would prefer that this had been put off for a few more years, but the fact is that the California Energy Commission has been working on this, with us, for the past 10 years,” the association’s technical director, Robert Raymer, said in a statement, noting that the group worked with the state’s energy commission to alter the policy. “We know this is coming, we did everything we could to push down compliance costs and increase design flexibility.”

The mandate is the latest win for the solar industry, despite past controversies tied to companies’ use of taxpayer funds.

The most notorious example was California company Solyndra, which filed for bankruptcy in 2011. An Energy Department inspector general report in 2015 said the company misrepresented facts in order to secure a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government. Taxpayer lost most of that money in the deal.

The new California measure would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 700,000 metric tons over three years, according to the commission. The Energy Commission said this would be equivalent to taking 115,000 cars off the road.

DCG

Petition against release of millions of genetically-modified mosquitoes into Florida-Texas

This is friggin’ unbelievable.

In August 2016, the Obama Administration’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its approval to OX513A, a genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquito developed by a British biotech company, Oxitec. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary species that carries the Zika virus. OX513A is genetically engineered to pass along a lethal gene to wild females. The gene creates a protein that interferes with cell activity, killing females’ offspring before they reach adulthood.

The FDA approval was the green light for Oxitec to use the GMO mosquito in a field trial that fall in the small Florida community of 475 homes in Key Haven, about a mile east of the island of Key West. The trial was to test how well OX513A controls the local population of Aedes aegypti. Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry said, “Our studies show we can reduce the Aedes aegypti population by 90% over six months and keep it there by releasing small numbers of males after that. And that is very cost-effective compared to pesticides.” (CNN)

A successful field trial is required before OX513A can be sold commercially in the United States.

Even though Oxitec had already conducted field tests in Key Haven and, before that, in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands, it now plans to release the GMO mosquitoes into the fragile environment of the Florida Keys and Texas, despite opposition from the local community in the Florida Keys who had passed an ordinance demanding more testing. More than 50 million of the genetically-modified mosquitoes will be released per week, 7 days a week, totaling billions of the mutant insects being released into a wide swath between Florida and Harris County, Texas.

More than 30 physicians have created a petition asking the FDA to conduct more evaluation of the risks of this genetically modified OX513A mosquitoes because they are created with E-Coli bacteria, herpes-simplex virus and other ingredients — a premature technology about which we know little, including the effects on public health and on the environment.

The petition points out that nearly all experiments with genetically-modified crops have eventually resulted in unintended consequences, such as superweeds that are more resistant to herbicides, and mutated and resistant insects. A recent news story reported that the monarch butterfly population is down by half in areas where Roundup Ready GM crops are doused with ultra-high levels of herbicides that wipe out the monarch’s favorite food, the milkweed plant.

The petition asks:

  • What’s the rush for this radical approach? Dengue fever has been absent from the Florida Keys for years, which indicates the current methods of control and public education are working. Will the more virulent Asian tiger mosquito that also carries dengue fill the void left by reductions in the Aedes aegypti mosquito population? Will the dengue virus mutate (think antibiotic resistant MRSA) and become even more dangerous?
  • Where is the third-party, peer-reviewed research on effectiveness and safety of GMO mosquitoes other than Oxitec’s own claims of success? There are other alternatives that are more natural, no-risk, faster and cheaper.

To sign the petition, go here.

H/t Big Lug

See also “Zika virus epidemic: What you should know”.

~Eowyn

Robert De Niro travels to Dubai to bash President Trump on climate change

robert de niro

TDS causes ugliness both inside and out

De Niro’s flight is going to leave a large carbon footprint. DiCaprio would be proud.

From Yahoo: Hollywood star Robert De Niro took aim at the Trump administration’s stance on climate change, telling a packed audience in the Middle East that he was visiting from a “backward” country suffering from “temporary insanity.”

He said that in the country he’s describing, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency suggested last week that global warming may be a good thing for humanity.

“I am talking about my own country, the United States of America. We don’t’ like to say we are a ‘backward’ country so let’s just say we’re suffering from a case of temporary insanity,” he added.

De Niro received applause and laughs when he said the U.S. “will eventually cure itself by voting our dangerous leader” out of office. He spoke Sunday at Dubai’s World Government Summit.

See also:

h/t Twitchy

DCG

Part of the swamp is self-draining: Over 700 employees quit the EPA

From the NY Post: More than 700 workers have left the rapidly shrinking Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office — including more than 200 scientists, according to a report.

The exodus by staffers who have quit, retired or taken buyout packages includes 96 environmental protection specialists and nine department directors, according to the report by The New York Times and ProPublica.

A majority of the employees, who include attorneys and program managers, are not being replaced, according to the report.

The departures reflect poor morale at the EPA, which Trump and top congressional Republicans have criticized as bloated and guilty of regulatory overreach.

That discontent is likely to widen following revelations that GOP campaign officials were using the Freedom of Information Act to request copies of emails from agency personnel suspected of opposing Trump and his agenda, the report said.

The news outlets’ investigation showed that the administration is well on its way to achieving its goal of cutting 3,200 positions from the agency — about 20 percent of its work force — to levels last seen during the Reagan administration.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said the agency was running more efficiently. “With only 10 months on the job, Administrator Pruitt is unequivocally doing more with less to hold polluters accountable and to protect our environment,” he said.

It was reported in October that EPA head Scott Pruitt has been getting far more death threats than anyone else who has ever led the agency, whose budget was slated for a 30 percent cut.

The EPA has experienced a downward trend since the Obama administration after Republican-led budget constraints left it with about 15,000 workers at the end of his term.

The reductions have accelerated under Trump, who campaigned on a promise to drastically scale back the EPA, leaving only what he called “little tidbits” in place.

The reason EPA went down to 15,000 employees under Obama is because of pressure from Republicans. This is the effort of the Republicans under the Obama administration on steroids,” said John J. O’Grady, head of the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, which represents EPA workers.

Trump has called climate change a hoax and announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accords.

Pruitt, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke all question the scientific consensus that carbon released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels is the main driver of global warming.

The Times and ProPublica analyzed EPA staffing changes through the end of September obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and interviewed current and former EPA officials.

DCG

Al Gore says Trump has “surrounded himself with polluters”

Al Gore hypocrite

Are ManBearPig’s private jet flights powered by unicorn farts?

From Hollywood Reporter: Al Gore previously expressed cautious optimism that Donald Trump would rethink some of his environmental policies, but the former vice president said he now realizes that he got that wrong.

Speaking at Mexico’s Morelia film fest this week, where he is presenting his Inconvenient Truth sequel, Gore chuckled when a reporter asked him when he would show the film to Donald Trump.

“I had a lot of conversations with Donald Trump after he was elected and after he went into the White House and I actually thought there was a realistic chance that he would come to his senses, but I was wrong,” Gore said.

Gore has not spoken with the president since the announcement that the U.S. was pulling out of the Paris climate accord and he now says he’s “not going to waste any more time” on reaching out to Trump.

The former vice president slammed the decision to withdraw from the agreement, calling it “reckless and indefensible.”

An Inconvenient Sequel opened stateside in August. Just days ahead of the release, a conservative think tank criticized the former vice president, saying his electricity bills showed he consumed at least 21 times more energy than the average American.

On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly vowed to “drain the swamp” in Washington, but Gore believes that has not happened: “I think he has surrounded himself with polluters and special interests who seem to not care at all about the public interest.”

Trump’s EPA chief Scott Pruitt has questioned the consensus of scientists that the earth is warming and that man-made climate emissions are to blame.

DCG

President Hillary Rodham Clinton’s first 100 days

That President Trump is continuing the neoCon’s foreign policy in Syria is disheartening.

That Trump has elevated his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner, to senior White House advisory positions although neither has any qualifications, is disheartening.

But whatever our unhappiness with Trump, just remember a President Hillary Rodham Clinton would be infinitely worse.

Assessing President Rodham Clinton’s first 100 days

By Howard Hyde ⋅ May 5, 2017

Having closed out the first one hundred days of the new administration, an assessment of the new president’s accomplishments is in order.

By any objective historical measure, the achievements of President Hillary Rodham Clinton have been extraordinary.  Let’s start with the Budget and Defense One-Two Punch.  The Omnibus Budget Act of 2017, passed by Congress and signed by the president in record time, calls for beefy increases in the budgets of the administration’s surrogate agencies: a 31% increase for the EPA, a 6% increase for the Department of Energy, and a 12% increase for the Department of the Interior, to name just a few.  All of these increases have been offset dollar-for-dollar either by reductions in spending for the Pentagon and Department of Defense or by increases in taxes on the rich.  “The era of the American military being used to intimidate and assault the freedom-loving people of the world is over,” Clinton is alleged to have proclaimed.

Some critics of Clinton’s budget have suggested that she is merely trading the externally facing military for the domestic-facing para-military, noting that many of the increases to the agencies are earmarked for “energetic and proactive enforcement” of regulations and that procurement requests for weapons and ammunition for the EPA’s various SWAT teams have already increased since passage of the budget.

The First Amendment has undergone a refreshing rebranding under the Clinton administration.  “Hate groups, hateful individuals and hate speech will no longer be permitted to hide behind the Bill of Rights, like terrorists using civilian children as human shields” (also alleged but not disputed).  Accordingly, all universities that accept federal funding, or that accept students who have taken federal student loans or grants, have been advised to follow the leadership of the University of California, Berkeley in setting standards for who may be allowed to speak on campus.  Dozens of “Tea Party” groups have lost their tax-exempt status.  “Lois Lerner was too lenient,” one staffer remarked off the record.  “We are cracking down for real this time.”

Gun violence should be seeing a substantial reduction under the Clinton administration now that the national gun registry database is actively integrating records from state-level sales and other sources, and with mandatory universal enrollment required of all firearm owners before year’s end.  At least one source close to the administration has said candidly off the record that “the die is cast.  Before the end of the first HRC term, we’ll have [confiscated] all of their guns.”  When asked what about those gun owners who would not be willing to give up their guns regardless of cost to themselves, the same staffer shrugged.  “Then they will pay that cost.”

“Syrian” “refugees” and sanctuary cities are thriving in America.

Due to the untimely death of Justice Antonin Scalia and the precipitous retirement in February of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Clinton has been given her golden opportunity to railroad through her picks for the Supreme Court.  As a result, Elizabeth Warren is on track to become the first Native American female justice, with Loretta Lynch not far behind (with the competing double-credential of first black woman – which will triumph?).  Those irritating challenges to the constitutionality of the administration’s agenda from freedom of speech to gun control will all be DOA.

And of course, Obamacare is on the point of being repealed and replaced…with a single-payer system run exclusively by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in close consultation with the Veterans Administration and the Bureau of Indian Affairs: “America (finally) Cares.”

(End of nightmare fantasy.  We now return you to your regularly scheduled life.)

Regardless of any failing of the Trump administration, “bullet” is far too feeble a word to describe what we as a nation have dodged.

Howard Hyde is editor of www.CitizenEcon.com, fellow of the American Freedom Alliance, and author of the books Pull the Plug on Obamacare (2013) and Escape From Berkeley: An EX liberal progressive socialist embraces America (and doesn’t apologize) (2016).

Howard Hyde is actually too soft on President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

An even better picture of President Hillary’s first 100 days can be gleaned from Hillary Clinton’s 100 most damaging WikiLeaks (go to the link for more information on each “most damaging WikiLeaks”):

  1. Obama lied: he knew about Hillary’s secret server and wrote to her using a pseudonym, cover-up happened (intent to destroy evidence).
  2. Hillary Clinton dreams of completely “open borders”.
  3. Hillary Clinton received money from and supported nations that she KNEW funded ISIS and terrorists.
  4. Hillary has public positions on policy and her private ones.
  5. Paying people to incite violence and unrest at Trump rallies.
  6. Hillary’s campaign wants “unaware” and “compliant” citizens.
  7. Top Hillary aides mock Catholics for their faith.
  8. Hillary deleted her incriminating emails. State covered it up. Asked about using White House executive privilege to hide from Congress.
  9. Bribery: King of Morocco gave Clinton Foundation $12 million for a meeting with Hillary, 6 months later Morocco gets weapons.
  10. “Spirit Cooking” (Warning: satanic/extremely graphic).
  11. State Department tried to bribe FBI to un-classify Clinton emails (FBI docs).
  12. Hillary caught on tape about rigging the Palestine election (audio).
  13. Latinos are “needy”. Latino outreach is “taco bowl engagement”.
  14. Clinton campaign was in direct communication with DOJ regarding Hillary’s investigation.
  15. Bill Clinton receives $1 million “birthday gift” from ISIS-funding Qatar while Hillary was SoS, Qatar receives arms flow increases of 1,482%.
  16. Hillary cheated in debates: DNC head Donna Brazile caught giving MULTIPLE debate questions to Hillary.
  17. Hillary campaign prays for shooters in news stories to be white.
  18. Rigging the primaries against Bernie Sanders (DNC favored Hillary).
  19. Rigging the primaries against Bernie Sanders (Hillary’s team).
  20. Hillary was hateful, neglectful, above the law, “contemptuous” to her security detail, and “blatantly disregarded” security, (FBI docs)
  21. Clinton Foundation schemed with Big Pharma: keep the price of AIDS drugs high in America and NO to cheaper generic versions.
  22. Democrats created fake Trump “grope under the meeting table” Craigslist employment ad in May 2016.
  23. Hillary’s camp excited about a black teen’s murder (to help her agenda).
  24. Rigging media polls through oversampling.
  25. “Bill Clinton Inc.” How millions of dollars were raised for the Clintons. Blurred lines between personal and Foundation money.
  26. Hillary sold 20% of America’s uranium to Russia as Secretary of State. Clinton camp worried that the deal is being investigated.
  27. Hillary is still privately against gay marriage.
  28. Acknowledging radical Islam is a real threat and a “serious problem for our future”.
  29. Admitting terrorists will infiltrate the Syrian refugee program.
  30. Hillary’s poor health (collapsing, memory loss, drug research).
  31. Hillary took money from foreigners for campaign (illegal).
  32. Hillary says climate change activists should “get a life”.
  33. Hillary is pro-fracking, calls it “a gift”, despite what she publicly says.
  34. Referring to a “Shadow Government” that protects Hillary (FBI docs).
  35. List of reporters that Hillary wined and dined, including biggest journalists and pundits of CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, NY Times. Entire “interview” with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is staged, reading word-for-word.
  36. Democrats using American lobbyists to money launder foreign       donations illegally.
  37. The New York Times colluding with Hillary, allowing quote edits.
  38. Racist remarks about Blacks and Muslims.
  39. Tipped off by the State Department about Benghazi emails.
  40. Hillary’s staff admitting she is “tainted” and “really vulnerable” on corruption and bribery.
  41. Podesta’s very close friend at DOJ in charge of FBI re-opening email investigation, previously gave campaign “heads up”.
  42. Billionaire George Soros has influence over Hillary, ties to election fraud in systems used for U.S. voting.
  43. Clinton campaign refuses to report sexual harassment (then forwards complaint to harasser).
  44. CEO of Google (parent company) working for Hillary Campaign.
  45. Admitting Hillary did not use private server for security reasons (shows intent).
  46. Hillary Clinton “doesn’t seem to know what planet we are all living in at the moment”.
  47. Hillary’s team: She has “the worst judgment” and her “instincts” have led to many problems for campaign.
  48. Are there other emails that Hillary didn’t release to Congress? “Definitely”.
  49. Obama elevated Malaysia on the human rights list JUST to let Malaysia into TPP.
  50. Big media collusion email, working with reporters.
  51. Using female senator to conjure fake sexist claims against Bernie.
  52. Hillary campaign caught partaking in insider trading (illegal).
  53. Hillary Clinton bragged about being invited to Putin’s “Inner Sanctum”.
  54. Hillary needed to be reminded to NOT to discuss foreign policy intel over private email server.
  55. John Podesta’s password was p@sswOrd.
  56. Hillary Clinton had to be told when to smile during speeches.
  57. “Bernie needs to be ground to a pulp” and more.
  58. Disney, ABC head is colluding with Hillary’s campaign.
  59. Coordinating with SuperPACs, which is illegal.
  60. Hillary’s team admitting she lies a lot.
  61. Plotting to attack Obama because “his father was a Muslim”.
  62. Colluding over withholding Benghazi emails.
  63. Hillary plans to support the TPP.
  64. Entire “interview” with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes is staged, reading word-for-word.
  65. Hillary Clinton stole furniture from the State Department (FBI docs).
  66. Hillary told Tim Kaine back in July 2015 he would be VP.
  67. Hillary tweaks her policies based on donors’ wants.
  68. “…go through all the emails and pull the official ones”
  69. Hillary sends U.S. intelligence and war plans to Podesta’s hacked email.
  70. Hillary’s team admits to knowing of classified material in emails.
  71. NBC colluded with the Clinton campaign.
  72. Avoiding the press because of tough questions.
  73. Clinton Foundation did not pay for the services they received.
  74. Illegally coordinating with Priorities USA, a SuperPAC funded by George Soros.
  75. Conflict of interest: Bill was personally paid and received gifts from CGI sponsors.
  76. Man who ran ‘Bill Clinton Inc.’: “I’m also starting to worry that if this story gets out, we are screwed”.
  77. Podesta illegally has access to top secret information.
  78. Podesta connects to unsecure network where anyone could access.
  79. Hillary’s speechwriters: “I don’t mind the ‘backs of dead Americans’ because we need a bit of moral outrage.” (Benghazi)
  80. Admitting Hillary failed foreign policy.
  81. The AP colluding with the Hillary campaign.
  82. Hillary camp using “propaganda”.
  83. Hillary’s camp says she has a “character problem” and is “arrogant”.
  84. Staging fake anti-Trump protest, conspiring with Univision CEO.
  85. Meeting to go over Cheryl Mills’ testimony to FBI/Congress.
  86. Journalist talks strategy with Clinton staff and asks for permission to write article.
  87. Violating campaign finance law.
  88. Proof that ‘Correct the Record’ (SuperPAC) is directly coordinating with the Hillary campaign against federal campaign law.
  89. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in direct contact with the Hillary campaign.
  90. Hillary’s team working with hundreds of MSM news pundits.
  91. Admitting Obamacare isn’t working.
  92. Hillary tries to hide her tiny rallies.
  93. Hillary had a mole working on Biden’s team.
  94. John Oliver caught colluding with Hillary’s campaign.
  95. Politico’s Glenn Thrush colluding with Hillary’s campaign, admits to being a “hack”.
  96. “We are finishing up the next round of TV scripts”
  97. ‘The Huffington Post’ colluded with Hillary.
  98. Clinton campaign memorized their email cover-up script.
  99. Heavy press collusion over Cuba and Hillary’s health.
  100. Obama picked people in his administration from the suggestion list of CiTi bank advisor/Wall St shill.

H/t Thought Crime Radio

~Eowyn

Martin Short calls Trump the “dumbest president ever”

AMBI benefit gala in support of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Cinema To Help the World

Martin Short believes he has some kind of power…

The Trump Derangement Syndrome is a contagious infection in Hollyweird.

From Yahoo: Martin Short stripped down to a nude bodysuit to perform a musical number and became a human bagpipe in the hands of a large, kilt-wearing man — all for the sake of the environment.

Short was the multitalented master of ceremonies at “Stand Up! For the Planet,” an all-star comedy benefit for the Natural Resources Defense Council. With performances by Larry David, Pete Davidson, Jerrod Carmichael and Tig Notaro, the event raised $1.4 million to support litigation against President Donald Trump’s environmental policies, according to organizers.

“Do you realize if a drone hit this crowd, Trump eliminates all his problems?” Short said. “That’s the kind of power we have.”

Guests at the untelevised fundraiser at Beverly Hills, California’s Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts included Rob Reiner, Albert Brooks, Pierce Brosnan, Jordana Brewster, Amanda Peet, Marcia Cross and Christopher Meloni.

“Look how rich you guys look,” Carmichael said as he took the stage. David, who walked out to the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” theme, joked about the size of his carbon footprint, given his frequent use of air conditioning in his ample home. “People shun the homeless, but you’ve got to admire their footprint,” he said.

He also joked that he had “no divorce perks” with his ex-wife Laurie David, who organized Tuesday’s event and recruited him to perform.

Despite the event’s inherent political nature, Short was the only one who delved directly into that territory. As he introduced Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale, Short described their show, “Veep” as “a political satire and turned into a documentary” and the two stars as “a more dynamic comedy duo” than Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer.

Short also called the current administration “amoral” and said Trump is “the dumbest president we have ever had.”

Trump had no immediate response on Twitter.

The president of the NRDC said the organization has already sued the Trump administration over the Keystone XL Pipeline project and proposed changes to Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

DCG