July 11, 2020

EPA Will Demand Personal Information on Farmers In Order to Be Monitored

There’s a full-court press under way, and it’s not just on a basketball floor leading up to the Final Four. The Environmental Protection Agency has joined league with the earth-huggers to smother resistance to their “green” agenda. By colluding with special-interests groups, the EPA has demonstrated the lengths to which it will go to advance the notion that the business of America is environmentalism.<<<Read More from the Washington Times>>>

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Occupy Occupy D.C. Activists Call on Congress to Conduct Oversight Hearings into EPA Grantmaking

Washington, D.C. – “Occupy Occupy D.C.” activists will gather just steps from the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency at noon on Friday, February 24 to demand that Congress hold oversight hearings about possibly politicized grants made by the federal agency, and related issues.

The need for hearings, first suggested two days ago by the National Center for Public Policy Research in light of EPA grants made to the Pacific Institute, currently embroiled in an ethics scandal, has been heightened by the EPA’s scrubbing of its public grants database on or around February 23.

“The EPA’s decision to remove information about grants made to the Pacific Institute from the public database, first revealed by the website JunkScience.com, immediately after the National Center for Public Policy Research filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information about those grants is suspicious,” said National Center Chairman Amy Ridenour.

The National Center is concerned that the EPA is making grants to organizations involved in policy advocacy, an inappropriate use of taxpayer monies.

“With our spiraling deficit, the last thing the American people need to pay for is someone else’s political mudslinging,” added David Almasi, executive director of the National Center for Public Policy Research and director of the National Center’s “Occupy Occupy DC” project. “Not only is politicized grantmaking a waste of taxpayer money, it is illegal.”

Activists will gather on Friday at noontime at Freedom Plaza (13th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) to call for a series of oversight hearings over possibly-politicized grants made by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Occupy Occupy DC activists are asking Congress to review the grants made during the last two Administrations to make certain sufficient standards of objectivity are in place; to obtain the views of respected scientists as to whether the EPA grant program is focusing its resources in the most promising areas; and to examine the question of whether the grant program, at a time of massive deficits, is set at an appropriate spending level.

The National Center has obtained a five-week permit for Freedom Plaza to share Freedom Plaza with left-wing “Occupy D.C.” protesters. Since February 13, it has sponsored noontime events every weekday.

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In Light of Latest Climate Scandal, Congress Asked to Review EPA Grants

Congress Asked to Hold Oversight Hearings to Review Possibly Politicized EPA Grants

Oversight Hearing Should Review Objectivity of Grant Recipients, Goals and Appropriate Funding Level

FOIA Requests Being Filed

Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Public Policy Research is today calling on Congress to hold a series of oversight hearings over possibly-politicized grants made by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The National Center’s general counsel, Justin Danhof, has also filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking additional details about several of those grants totaling nearly a half million dollars, made to the Pacific Institute in California.

The president of the Pacific Institute, Peter Gleick, has this week confessed to misappropriating the identity of another individual in order to obtain confidential documents from a rival think-tank, one that has reached different conclusions than has the Pacific Institute on the causes and significance of global warming.

Gleick said in a statement that he did so because of “frustration” over differences between persons and institutions within the global warming debate.

“The Pacific Institute receives federal grants related to science research while participating ardently in public advocacy on science-related issues,” said Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research. “While it is possible to be objective during research while simultaneously conducting public advocacy, it is difficult. It most likely is especially difficult when a research institute’s CEO is so overcome with the passion of his convictions that he cannot restrain himself emotionally while in pursuit of his advocacy goals.”

Ridenour continued: “In 2006, in response to another controversy related to maintenance of high objective standards in climate science research, the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations conducted hearings about the so-called ‘hockey stick’ graph of Professor Michael Mann of Penn State University, which had been used by the United Nations’ IPCC for advocacy purposes. The hearing, predictably, did not settle the global warming issue but it did provide lawmakers and the public with the opportunity to hear from prominent climate scientists and statisticians with a variety of viewpoints. It was a form of peer-review, necessary in our view because the traditional peer-review process within science is insufficiently rigorous, particularly when it comes to the highly-controversial issue of global warming, over which very many billions of dollars are at stake.”

The 2006 hearing also reminded scientists and other professionals of the importance of maintaining the highest standards of objectivity.

The oversight hearings the National Center now recommends would have three purposes. 1) To review the grants made during the last two Administrations to make certain sufficient standards of objectivity are in place; to 2) obtain the views of respected scientists as to whether the EPA grant program is focusing its resources in the most promising areas of research with an eye toward maximizing public benefit; and 3) to examine the question of whether the grant program, at a time of 15 trillion-dollar federal government debts, is at an appropriate spending level.

“While Congress itself should not be deciding every EPA grant,” added Ridenour, “Given the amount of dollars involved and the potential for abuse, it makes sense for Congress to call eminent scientists before it every few years to obtain their views on whether these grants are sufficiently advancing the public interest.”

The National Center recommends that grants from the Obama and Bush Administrations be equally evaluated so as to eliminate any suspicion that Congress’s legitimate oversight function is being used for partisan purposes. The evaluation should not be limited to grants made on issues related to global warming.

The National Center has so far filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the EPA related only to grants to the Pacific Institute, it expects to file additional FOIA requests in the coming days.

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The Ag Minute: EPA’s Sue & Settle Strategy Makes for Bad Agriculture Policy

*Editor’s Note* The following is a press release sent out by the House Committee on Agriculture, chaired by Frank D. Lucas. I would like to point out that although this release and the information contained in it, seems directed mostly to problems with agriculture regulation and the Environmental Protection Agency, this calling of the Obama Administration’s “Sue and Settle Strategy” is very widespread and reaches every aspect of Americans’ lives.

WASHINGTON – This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Tom Rooney discusses the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) growing trend of developing public policy as the result of lawsuit settlements. This defective method of putting in place regulations that circumvent the public rulemaking process can negatively impact the agriculture community. Rep. Rooney highlights one such example with the proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) Reporting Rule.
Click here to listen to The Ag Minute. The transcript is below.

“It seems agriculture can’t catch a break from the Obama administration’s regulatory overreach.
“The latest example has the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considering a new mandate that could compromise the safety and security of America’s livestock operations.

“The proposed mandate would require all Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, to submit to the EPA a long list of proprietary information regardless of whether or not they discharge manure. This information would be made public. If you don’t comply you would face fines up to $37,500 per day.

“The problem with this proposed mandate is two-fold:

“First, livestock producers are concerned the new regulation not only violates their privacy, but also poses significant security risks. Making extensive information public could put their families and operations in peril.

“Second, this mandate is part of an ongoing and alarming trend within the EPA where policy is increasingly being developed as the result of lawsuit settlements and not the rule of law.

“This particular proposed regulation was the result of a settlement with environmental groups, so the farmers and the ranchers that will be affected by this mandate had no say in this development.

“Using lawsuit settlements to create policy is an underhanded way of changing the rules on our farmers and ranchers without their voice and consideration.”

The Ag Minute is Chairman Lucas’s weekly radio address that is released from the House Agriculture Committee.

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