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dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:40 PM
Original message
EPA Smog Rules Freakout is Ridiculous
First of all, lets stop with the stupid sports metaphors. Really. If you need an analogy, smog regulations are a low card in a high stakes game, and Lisa Jackson is the queen of hearts when Obama needs spades. If you insist on baseball, smog reduction is a run, and Ray LaHood is Obamas designated hitter. But really, lets kill the sports metaphors.

One way to lower the amount of smog in American cities comes with through thick binders of all-powerful EPA regulations. Another way involves transportation spending priorities and vehicle emissions standards policies that also form a thick set of binders. Either way involves policy in binders. Either way reduces pollution.

Fridays progressive freakout over nixed EPA smog rules is not really about fighting smog, but the myopia of issue focus in the blogosphere and the inflated currency of online outrage. Transportation is a wonky subject that often flies below the radar. It is not sexy or cute. Much of its advocacy is local. But federal transportation policy is also crucial in reducing smog levels as well as achieving other progressive ends.


The ingredients of smog come from tailpipes. The way to reduce the impact of modern civilization on the environment is to make those tailpipes better and cleaner. To accomplish that, the president has leveraged his opportunity to force change on the auto industry.

The rest of the article is here...http://www.osborneink.com/2011/09/epa-smog-rules-freako...
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Kadie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. I read this earlier.
It is a very interesting piece.

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glowing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. Even better is good sound public transportation along with
high-speed trains to connect major cities. Giving travelers a way to transit via a train rather than by car or plane, and having a good public transit system available within the train stops destinations is important in cutting down on emissions from vehicles. Less vehicles on the road, more people riding on trains, trams, subways, trolleys, and buses is the best way to cut down on the need for everyone to have a car for commuting. The South East is becoming massively populated, however the sprawl approach to development and public transit has not caught up with the number of people needing to travel.
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. This president has the worst messaging team in the world. n/t
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dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I agree with that.
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young but wise Donating Member (760 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. +1
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
25. I think that is a cop out
Blaming them for people making knee jerk judgments when they know they are uninformed.

This probably was not thought even likely to make the news (not that sexy) and so anyone taking an interest in it can be expected to make some effort before passing judgment.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:55 PM
Response to Original message
6. It's a highly complex technological and legal matter about which tons of people are pretending to
know enough to deliver a flat out absolute judgement of what's going on, and oh so co-incidentally against the President, without asking any questions whatsoever.

In short, it's absurd!
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dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. that's right...
too many people think because they know how to turn on a computer and log into the internet, they are somehow experts in everything and Obama knows nothing (even though he is always the smartest guy in the room).
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. It's also kind of interesting that whatever lawsuit WAS underway had been abated BEFORE the request
for the rewrite of the regs had been made, apparently long before that request.

Why?

Was there some expectation that someone else would lead the legal struggle?

Or was it that the rules created avoidable legal problems as written?

I understand criticisms of Obama and have been trying to be patient and give those facts their due. But this issue is all such bullshit. The critique of the President has discredited itself. I no longer feel obligated to credit it with any respect whatsoever.

Others can allow themselves to be jerked around by attention/power addicts, not I!

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dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Patrice...
you have the right attitude...most of the bashing of Obama is absolute bullshit if you look into an issue closely enough...there is so much hyperspeculation against Obama here...it's getting old. I don't mind constructive and fact based critisism but many here go way beyond that.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. These attention addicts damage whatever actual value they might have contributed to the discourse
with their bullshit. They discredit themselves. And that's too bad for its deleterious effects upon the truth.

They are like the boy who cried "wolf!" too often. "The Left" wonders why it is left out? It makes itself ir-relevant! And this old Liberal regrets that, but they're doing more harm to their own issues than good.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #11
28. actually, he has earned a lot of that bullshit, if you
look closely enough at his messaging and caving in.

The GOP knows how to negotiate with him. Do nothing. He will end up adopting your policies anyway.

Now, we have standards that are actually WORSE than what Bush was recommending.
While you may not see it, smog, ozone, and particulates will cost billions in health costs in the future. Even conservative engineers would agree that the cost benefit was in favor of the new regs.

This automatic defense of the president is what is ridiculous, especially when he does not deserve it.

And the Tar Sands deal? 150 former WHITE HOUSE AIDES AND EMPLOYEES protested his final decision. The conservative GOP governor of a Red State said don't do it. The idea of shipping billions of gallons of nasty tar across some of the most pristine country, over water sheds, over virgin forests, just to serve a water hungry industry in Texas? That's not just a bad decision, that was insane.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. maybe, but I don't think you give regular folks enough credit
Would you be saying that same thing to regular people objecting to a letter issued by the Executive Office during the Bush Administration. The letter itself is not terribly complicated.

http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/USEOPWHPO/20...

Does it really take a PHD in Environmental Science to get the gist of this? Is that what you are saying?
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #6
26. +100000
And them blaming the President for their own behavior! (not good enough "messaging")
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
7. The biggest producers of smog are power plants
this was a big wet kiss to the Koch brothers, at the expense of 112,000 American lives every year. It IS a huge deal, especially if you have asthma or bronchitis.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
9. BTW, the rules weren't "nixed". A REWRITE was requested in order to sharpen them:
http://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/USEOPWHPO/20...

If a legal effort is to be made for enforcement, it's a good idea NOT to have junked up regs that cause un-necessary ir-relevant legal work while the important and powerful aspects of the legal issues suffer from that chaos and distraction.

It's just plain weird that everyone is pretending IN THIS CORRUPT ENVIRONMENT that has produced so much else of such a flawed nature, about which many of the same sources bitch constantly, that these regulations as written are pronounced perfect and exactly what the situation needs and thus grounds to excoriate the administration. One can only speculate about how that evaluation serves various political objectives, not the least of which could be to further damage PBO.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. "what" un-necessary ir-relevant legal work
I completely understand the mypoic focus on the laws impact upon PBO.

The rest is not so clear. BTW, nixing to rewrite....is still nixing in my book.
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:45 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Read the letter. Sloppy regs, like sloppy legislation, can cause more trouble than help. nt
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Read it the first time--no where does the letter reference sloppy, un-necessary, irrelevants regs
NO WHERE.

The chief reason for reconsideration of the draft rule is repeated rather clearly three times:

a. relevant provisions of the Clean Air Act forbit EPA to consider costs in deciding...air quality standards....NONETHELESS

b. In light to Executive Orders, the President has set new priorities. The President has directed me to minimize regulatory costs and burdens, particularly in the economically challenging time.

c. The President has instructed me to give careful scrutiny to all regulations that impose significant costs on the private sector...

There may be very legit reasons for reconsidering the implementation of the draft rule, but we need not make up a reason that was never proffered. The emphasis, the clear emphasis, forwarded in this letter is COSTS and CERTAINTY for the private sector, not sloppy draftmanship.

In the three number 'related points,' draftsmanship is not the issue there either.

1. A new standard is not mandatory.

2. There might be other scientific studies which provide a reason to delay the new standard. (Surely industry can provide us something to chew on while we wait.)

3. We done a great job up to this point, why move on a new standard now.

Again, none of that points to the draft rule being sloppy, or unnecessary (for the sake of cleaner air or enforcement--unnecessary for private sector costs--maybe), or irrelevant.

Even if people read what they want to read, surely the thrust and meaning of that letter deserves a more intellectually honest accounting than the draft rule was sloppy and needed to be re-written.
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Vattel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
12. Basically the blogger says that because Obama
has done some things to reduce smog, backing off of this one is nothing to freak out about. But the EPA scientists say that the new regulations would save thousands of lives. So why shouldn't we concerned?
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. Might we expect the EPA to defend its own work, the regs it wrote? What about the issues
raised in the letter linked above?

Is it a good idea to send attorneys into the fight with fucked up weapons that trigger motions from the opposition that COULD have been avoided?
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Vattel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 09:29 AM
Response to Reply #17
30. Those EPA regs are based on the science.
I'm not saying that scientists are always correct, but I am not going to ignore what they say unless someone gives me evidence that I should.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. What?
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Fearless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
13. Tell me... would stricter EPA regulations HELP lower pollution?
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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. Of course they would. The REAL question is whether these are the regs to do that.
It's really odd that of the thousands and thousands of ways regulations could be written, everyone is assuming that THESE regs are perfection without knowing hardly anything at all about them.


Questions as to the efficacy of the regs must be asked objectively. It's not rational to START with one's conclusion.

Astounding.
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Fearless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. They do. Restricting the PPM of pollutants in the atmosphere is by definition
lowering pollution. In the past, every instance of this occurring has led to a reduction of pollution in the atmosphere. This is fact.
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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 08:28 PM
Response to Reply #22
33. this costs to much for the private sector...plain and simple
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. They *could*.
Obviously, it all depends on the nature of the language, industry response to the regulations, and the level of enforcement.

Of course, there are also *other* efficient ways to lower pollution as well.
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Fearless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. So if this one works why are we not doing it?
Do we no longer follow the Clean Air Act?
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-06-11 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. Looks like because of this latest action, you are justifying it by discounting the Clean Air Act
you really don't need to go that far just to be supportive of Obama.

:shrug:
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Harmony Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
24. Unrecomended and here is why I choose to do so
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 09:38 AM by Harmony Blue
This is a major step back for progressive environmentalism. It was a progressive victory, which will drift into limbo and highly likely become a defeat now.

The Montreal Protocol showed that swift, decisive action when backed with substantial scientific evidence can make a difference. Turning our back on the scientific community is a massive miscalculation.

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Supersedeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-07-11 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #24
34. though the science hasn't changed, the cost analysis and thus priorities have
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Sheepshank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
27. I counter the urec with a rec
The question, in part, I ask is the rotten timing of the bill, and the benefit to the REPs in being able to hammer Obama on one more thing, right before an election. EPA is and has been a hammering point and touted as anti business by the GOP for some time. As if they knew this issue was coming to a head, they started in with the rehtoric as a precurser, grooming the public with anti EPA sentiments.

Taking the time to get the election out of the way first,will allow a decision that will not be hampered by election rhetoric and election pressures to accomodate a RW ideology.
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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
29. K&R
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