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The environmental Protection Agency has plans to exert vastly expanded power over businesses, communities, and ecosystems.
The agency intends extensively to change the way it analyzes problems and arrives at decisions, as described in a Dec. 19 FoxNews.com article. The new, enlarged decision-making process goes under the term “sustainable development.”
Sustainable Development, by no coincidence, is “the centerpiece of a global United Nations conference in Rio de Janeiro next June,” explains the new EPA article by George Russell, executive editor of Fox News.
Guiding EPA thinking is a huge study commissioned by the agency last year for $700,000. The study was conducted by the National Academies of Science. A variety of consultants from different fields took part in meetings to develop the broad but vague concept of sustainability.
In a recent meeting with members of the National Academy, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson talked of sustainability as a scientific concept that will “spread to other (federal) agencies.” She called it a “new opportunity” and “the next stage forward” for the EPA. The agency has already cost industries billions of dollars in its often capricious decisions.
In an executive order as early as 2009, President Obama called for establishing an integrated strategy towards sustainability in the federal government and to make reduction of greenhouse gas emissions a priority for federal agencies. The phobia of global warming was even stronger then.
The study by the National Academy of Science said it will “provide guidance to EPA on how it might implement its existing statutory authority to contribute more fully to a more sustainable-development trajectory for the United States.” In other words, said Russell, “how to use existing laws to new ends,” or squeezing the most from laws that EPA wields.
The sustainability study was said to go beyond assessing and managing risks of pollutants, which has been largely the EPA’s job since the ‘80s. The agency’s approach to managing carcinogenic chemicals–its approach to environmental issues through the years– is known in the agency as its “Red Book.” This sustainability push is now being termed the “Green Book.”
Administrator Jackson, never under-confident, calls the Green Book “fundamental to the future of the EPA.” She compared it to the difference between treating disease and pursuing wellness.
The new sustainability instrument will broaden EPA’s powers to “include both social and economic as well as environmental ‘pillars’ and strengthen EPA…as a leader in the nation’s progress toward a sustainable future,” the Fox News story said.
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