Regulators Gone Wild

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As Trzupek drily notes, “Toxicity is a matter of dose, as sober scientists have observed since ancient times.”  But the combination of green fever and the impossible pursuit to cut pollution levels to zero have led regulators to try to make emissions from factories cleaner than what occurs in nature itself.

On the other hand, I’m not sure I want the EPA to recognize Trzupek’s truth that the pollutants put out by tailpipes dwarf what is put out by any large industrial sources. I like my car’s internal combustion engine. But as important as this is to recognize, it also falls into the usual arguments over environmental regulation and how much is too much. Trzupek’s less usual arguments are far more damning and demonstrate the unintended consequences of overzealous regulations.

Trzupek tells several stories of business owners hit with huge fines although, even by the EPA’s standards, they are hurting no one and following good cleanup procedures. In one case, a company did not notice in the mountain of paperwork it received from the EPA (resulting in the deaths of Lord knows how many trees) that a particular reporting procedure had changed. Although the firm was in complete compliance with its emissions, it missed a paperwork deadline and was smacked with crushing fines.

In another case, the EPA regulations were so stringent and inflexible that the agency insisted on practices that actually created more pollution than the method the business owner would have employed.

But Trzupek’s most ironic point — in a book filled with them — is the fact that by declaring war on American industry, the EPA has driven factories overseas, where they are allowed to pollute far more freely and thus contribute even more to “climate change.” If nothing else, consistency should demand that the EPA do what it can to keep industry here, not to mention the fact that we need private sector economic growth to pay for all these public employees and bureaucrats.

And according to Trzupek, under President Obama, Lisa Jackson’s EPA has undertaken its mission with a zeal that makes previous administrations pale by comparison.

Among his recommendations, Trzupek proposes that a public health standard be established that aims to eliminate truly dangerous doses of toxins, not attempt to scrub the detectable presence of poisons from the environment. His boldest idea is to break up the EPA into state agencies that would be more flexible, accountable and — fingers crossed – sensible.

Regulators Gone Wild is a succinct and compelling read. Trzupek may be a scientist, but he writes with a storyteller’s eye and the wit of a good polemicist. This book is a great antidote to the “what’s the harm?” fallacy.

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  • Alex Kovnat

    Breaking the EPA into state agencies won't help the problem of EPA regulatory excesses. Your friendly local state house can be conned and hustled by impassioned self-appointed crusaders for the common man, just as easily as the federal government. After all, look at California.

    • Ken

      As I live in California, you have hit the nail directly on the head!!

      • Rifleman

        I hear this joke is popular in Northern California:

        A federal agent shows up at a farm and demands to check out the property. The farmer says OK, but tells him not to go over to one pasture. Then the agent arrogantly tells him he has a badge from the federal Environmental Protection Agency and can go wherever he darn well pleases. The farmer says OK. A few minutes later, the agent is running for his life from a bull. The agent calls for help, so the farmer goes to the fence and yells: "Show him your badge."

        • ngw

          beforeitsnews website money column goldmansachs goodfellows & How goverment cooks the books, good website political vel craft

      • Renea

        California is slowly becoming a "green" state without any jobs. When the new CARB rules go into effect to slow global warming look out. After they get done they will drive out any and all high-paying manufacturing jobs in this state then we will set up a commission to try to figure out how to bring jobs to California. The costs for going green are really going to hit us in the wallet in the future by higher utility bills. Fewer regulations and lower taxes offered by other states are going to make it real easy for businesses to move next door.

  • scotsirish

    The EPA is not zealots for environmental loveliness. They simply hide under that cover (which invites the unlovely-people-with-vaccums-for-lives to join). The EPA is the Spirit of Stalin regulating and crushing, grinding and controlling until we have disappeared into the grim Gulag.

  • StephenD

    I liken the EPA to the strong arm of the competition. Think about this, Joe's Tool manufacturing, which employees 8 people and struggles along forging steel into tools. Across town is GE Corp. (who has actually helped to write the regulations). Along comes the EPA. They tell Joe and GE they must now install scrubbers in their smoke stacks, filters on their intakes, dust reduction sprayer equipment on the tracks, etc. GE, again the one who help put these regs in place, can absorb the cost of such demands. What happens to Joe and his 8 employees? GE ends up with exclusive (or at least a reduced field of competitors) in the tool making industry and another small business bits the dust. Who is the friend of Big Business again???

    • Herman Caintonette

      This happens every day, under both Republican and Democratic administrations. That is what Jack Abramoff did for a living; read his book. And you wonder why OWS is angry at the unholy and incestuous relationship between the plutocrats and government?

    • tanstaafl

      Big Government.

  • Spider

    The EPA is just another militant arm in the war against America and the west. The ultimate goal is the destruction of the economy by moving all productivity and jobs to third world countries where there is no EPA. Then they can say "see capitalism dosn't work" and then "the good guys" will install a totalitarian socialist / com-munist regime in its place – ending America and the freedoms we take for granted as we know it.

  • Herman Caintonette

    Forsmark: "And the dominant picture of impending doom is global warming — or “climate change” as it’s become known after the last few record-setting cold winters."

    What "record-setting cold winters?" Is it really too much to ask for the propagandists at FPM to show up with at least some facts?

    • johnnywoods

      Hey Herman, You would not recognize the facts if they ran over you so go play in traffic.

      • Herman Caintonette

        One month in one location does not a trend make. I prefer to rely on more reputable sources, such as NOAA. http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090126… You can believe that God is just hugging us closer a la Caribou Barbie, if it floats your boat.

  • Herman Caintonette

    By and large, the EPA is doing and has done an admirable job, but we have seen just how absurd the merger between the oligarchs and Congress can be. Regulations intended to fight childhood obesity were scuttled by the potato and pizza lobbies; now, pizza is a vegetable.

  • StephenD

    I LOVE that no one is responding to Herman "killing Jewish kids is morally legitimate" Caintonette.
    Invalidation is what he deserves here on FPM.

    • Rifleman

      Thanks, it was difficult to resist the urge to make fun of him for the "Regulations intended to fight childhood obesity" comment.

      • Herman Caintonette

        So, when are you going to diss YHWH for his murder of Egyptian children as punishment for Pharoah's tyranny? Hypocrite!

    • mlcblog

      Exactly. Shunning is a tried and true tactic. Works every time.

  • Amused

    Hmmmm…..The US Military , Intelligence Agencies , mostly all CREDIBLE scientists , and several city governments that are located at the edge of the sea , are preparing for extreme weather , and rising sea levels ….climate change is real and it is happening , regardless of what the lock-step anti-science Repo-Cons parrot as bible .
    Trupzek's a scientist all right , he 's admitted as much , that his job was instructing polluting industries how to skip around and sidestep environmental regulation .
    A shill for big buisiness , a "conservative platform " .

    • Herman Caintonette

      The Right reacts to science in much the same way that a vampire reacts to a cross made of silver.

      • rockman

        You are engaging in projection, Herman. See a shrink.

    • Rifleman

      Climate change is a self fulfilling prophecy. The climate has been changing as long as Earth has had one, with far greater extremes than mankind has experienced in our relatively short existence.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Environmental Regulation Agency, now this is something used to destroy the
    American economy and reduce America's ability to protect and project it's
    higher standards of living. Today we have fallen far behind where we should
    be as government ties our hands and removes our freedoms endowed by
    our Creator. We have been a tolerant people allowing all kinds of belief to be
    in our boat, the leftists want to sink the boat and use each oar of goverrnment
    to drive us on to the rocks of failure. The EPA in the hands of leftists does what
    leftists do, make America unlivable for Americans……………….William

  • 13Sisters76

    Wake up, fellow citizens. The agencies are the absolute WORST idea that politicians ever came up with. They are unaccountable, unelected, and a fascist form of government that defies the Constitution, as well as a nasty little way for the executive branch to make an end run around Congress.
    They convinced you that you wanted dirty air and water; that you couldn't decide for yourselves, within your state, how best to manage your resources; that you couldn't protect yourself or your safety; that you didn't know how best to spend the money YOU make; that you could not properly oversee the education of your children; AND YOU BELIEVED THEM.

  • Amused

    Unfortunately those great captains of industry , if left to their own devices [ie:Koch Bros.] will poison your wells and they'll drionk bottled water ….and the dimbulbs like YOU 13sisters76 will sit there heaping praise , if they pissed on your head and told you it was raining , you'd just smile sheepishly and agree , as would misguided nimrod Ward .
    Most of the people who are affected by industrial waste in their water supply or in the air they breathe ,HAVE NO VOICE , nor are they any match for Corporate Lawyers , as you two clowns well know .And it's always after people are made ill or die ,that any notice is taken at all .Maybe you juveniles may remember Love canal ? Regulation was not the cause of the BP blowout , but rather lack of enforcement and collusion between the local justice system ,regulatrers and offenders .Or maybe neither of you give a rats arse about a previous BP refinery explosion , due directly to that corporations flaunting of regulation , and your fellow Americans that were killed . Trouble with you Repo/Cons is that you got your heads too far up the arses of Big Buisiness .

    • WilliamJamesWard

      You are a fool and stupidly equate regulated interference with the best way
      to do business and advance life with a continuous war on polution. Morons
      like yourself blow up what takes place into your imaginary bogey men of
      Corporate influence not being held accountable when they are, when at
      fault they pay dearly but your ilk use the problems to stop any progress and
      to eliminate the act of working for a living which is necessary for the great
      majority. Fairness is sought after but foolishness and disorder is all that
      you are capable of entertaining, amusing no just still funny…………William

  • Amused

    And what you fail to recognize is that the cost of regulation is FAR EXCEEDED by the cost of cleaning up the disasters with YOUR TAX DOLLARS ……what ignorant sycophants you are !!!
    "endowed by the Creator " .?…." defies the Constitution " …..? -what IMBECILES !

    • Herman Caintonette

      Remember Love Canal? We should pump water from it into every one of these clowns and see how quickly they demand change.

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Second fool, where did you forget that knowledge advances not just
        by hapless events but by experiencing what is bad and making changes
        for advancement, a slow process maybe to late for you and the mentally
        challenged confused…………………………………………..William

  • Amused

    Ward , experiencing what is BAD ???? Your ignorance [or arragance ] is stunning ! Regulation comes AFTER the bad as happened .And the problem causes "the bad experience , AFTER the science confirms it , those CAUSING it are SLOW to do anything , putting profit ahead of all else , as is usually almost exclusively the case .
    You are a prime example of purposed ignorance , a trademark of your ilk .I would be ashamed to make such a stupid statement as the one you just expectorated .You're PATHETIC Ward .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    I recognize your ignorance and understand that maybe in your sissy life you have
    not yet experienced BAD but when you do which is more likely than not you will
    learn what is know as a severe lesson. Making my mind reach back in time to
    ancient history the Proverb 26:3 reminds me of the enlightening teaching that
    applies to you completely……flagellum equo etcamus asino et virga elorso
    inprudentium…………learn something, look it up and try a small bit of self education.
    Regulation does not always come after the BAD is out, coverup and hiding the
    facts are also a large part of problems but for the public they are who act and
    formulate protections and take action against those who damage society, the
    laws are on the books, corrupt politicians, judges, lawyers, educators, journalists
    and all other rats need to be cleaned out but that goes back to the character of
    society and there is the rub, ethics and morals are not in your understanding while
    ranting is………….have a nice day…………………………………………..William

  • Amused

    "two things are infinite , the universe and human stupidity , and I'm not sure about the universe "
    -Albert Einstein
    You're a prime example Ward . And please, bible pounding does not provide any rationale for yours Ward . Save your latin too , I can copy from translation sites too .And I doubt if your mind "can even reach back to Love Canal , just one of the more notorious , "severe lessons " about what unregulated industry invariably does .Asbestos is a more grievous example , and you can be reminded by the army of lawyers on tv trying to get a piece of the multi-billion dollar fund Big Buisinesses had to pay into , because they all knew of the dangers 100 years ago ….and did NOTHING .Where are "the ethics and morals " ? You suck up to the offenders Ward , and then pollute the scriptures themselves,appropriating them ,and by inserting your bullsheet .

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Amused get a real name and stop hiding behind idiocy, you are no one and
    a stooge for the left and Islam. Nothing you have to say is relevant to anything
    I have to say except you rag like a little punk and are in need of more than
    this blog can give, I will not respond to any more of your tripe and wish you
    find a life without the hundred pounds of bile in your veins………….William

  • Amused

    You're a fool Ward ,GFY ,and kick yourself to sleep .That is if you can get your head out from up the arses of big buisiness long enough .

  • Deanr

    i'm sure some predicted colder winters after the Icelandic eruption. Vulcanism…fasinating. Hey, ward and amused: it's a tie. Too much power concentrate is toxic.