Dear Readers: As an environmental health and safety professional, I am often comforting clients confused by compliance issues — who are trying to do the right thing, but the arcane language and regulatory quirks make it difficult to know what the right thing is.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to help comfort the regulated, too. So, it seems they hired 2 new agents — Smith and Wesson. From Fox News: Man visited by armed EPA agents not satisfied with answers, wants agency changes
The North Carolina man visited by armed EPA agents after sending an email to a controversial agency official says he’s not satisfied with the explanations about what he considers an excessive response and that he wants changes to agency policies and procedures.
The incident unfolded after Keller sent an email April 27 to the EPA to try to reach Al Armendariz — a regional administrator who was under fire for a YouTube video post days earlier in which he said his enforcement strategy was to “crucify” executives from big oil and gas companies.
The letter to an EPA external affairs director read “Do you have Mr. Armendariz’s contact information so we can say hello? – Regards- Larry Keller.”
Keller said he was just asking as a taxpayer and denies being part of the Tea Party, though he acknowledges supporting the movement’s calls to defund the agency in part because it has outreached its intended mission.
“We are a customer of them,” he said.
Makes me wonder what the EPA officials asked of him, that he denied being a member of the Tea Party.
Meanwhile, in California, our eco-activists are just as dangerous, but in entirely different way. From Cal Wactchdog: NEW: Restoring the San Joaquin River for non-endangered red herring. It seems a fiscally responsible congressman doesn’t want to waste millions of dollars on introducing salmon into a river that isn’t ready for them. The key point of the article:
Thus far, $70 million has been spent on San Joaquin River restoration mainly on environmental studies with nothing to show for it. No physical improvements have been made to bring about restored salmon runs in the San Joaquin River. That’s $70 million that might as well have been flushed down the proverbial toilet to run to the sea.
This is one reason why California has spent $18.7 billion on five water bonds (Propositions 12, 13, 40, 50 and 84) since 2000 and has no added water to show for it. Instead, the bond monies have gone for open space acquisitions, greenscaping and environmental studies around upscale residential enclaves.
Another concern can be added, regarding those poor salmon — Radioactivity caused from the creation of Windfarms!
California’s deserts and mountains are rapidly being blanketed by wind farms with huge turning propellers that spin large magnetic coils to produce electricity. Rare Earth Elements are an essential ingredient needed to manufacture these magnets. REEs, such as Neodymium, Samarium, Gadolinium and Dysprosium, are in limited supply. Which brings into question both of Mr. Gore’s “renewability” and “sustainability” marketing claims.
California was the world’s largest producer of REEs until 2002, when the huge Mountain Pass open pit mine was closed after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that 600,000 gallons of highly radioactive mining wastewater had been spilled onto the surrounding desert between 1984 and 1998. The water contained highly concentrated amounts of radium, which has a half-life of 1600 years, and thorium, which has a half-life of 14 billion years.
Today, 95 percent of all REEs are mined and processed in remote Western China. Once shrouded in secrecy by China’s autocratic leadership, the environmental dangers of unregulated REE mining have caused so much damage it is now an acknowledged national concern. According to Wang Caifeng, China’s Deputy director-general of the Materials Department of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, producing one ton of REEs creates 2,000 tons of mine tailings. It is also estimated that, within Baotou, where China’s primary rare earth production occurs, REE enterprises produce approximately 2.5 billion gallons of highly polluted wastewater per year and most of that waste water is “discharged without being effectively treated, which not only contaminates potable water for daily living, but also contaminates the surrounding water environment and irrigated farmlands.”
Frankly, I long for the return to reliance on more traditional forms of energy, but it seems the wait may be in vain: In oil-producing Texas, the tasty treat for roadrunners is being used as an excuse by eco-activists to shut down petroleum exploration.
I don’t know if the entire country is an idiotocracy, but certainly a case can be made that the bureaucrats who have taken over our environmental management have established one. So our newly graduated teens may not be special, but they are thirsty, radioactive, and targeted. Sweet!!!