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Howls Of Inhofe Outrage - How DARE EPA Film Pollution From Wells?!? [View All]

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-27-06 12:36 PM
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Howls Of Inhofe Outrage - How DARE EPA Film Pollution From Wells?!?
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A U.S. senator from Oklahoma suggests that Denver's regional EPA office was out of bounds in using an infrared camera to detect smog-forming pollution leaking from oil and gas sites northeast of Denver. Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican and regular critic of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the agency's actions reported in a June 20 Rocky Mountain News story "give rise to concern" and threaten the "trust" between regulators and industry.

Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, outlined his complaints in a recent letter to Robbie Roberts, administrator for the EPA's Region VIII office in Denver. In the letter, Inhofe seeks answers to 14 questions about the EPA's activities, including whether it had permission to film oil and gas activities on private property. Inhofe's July 18 letter follows the News' report that a number of top EPA officials, including the head of enforcement from Washington, D.C., took a mid-June tour of oil and gas sites in Weld and Adams counties. The group was armed with a special infrared camera that can detect leaks of smog-forming pollutants - typically invisible to the naked eye - from storage tanks, pipelines, valves and other areas of industry facilities.

The News obtained video of the emissions and posted it on its Web site. One leak in particular drew light-hearted comparisons from one member of the tour to volcanic gases erupting from Mount Vesuvius. Inhofe is considered a powerful ally of the oil and gas industry and has made a habit of irritating environmental groups. He is perhaps best known for suggesting in 2003 that global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." Environmentalists viewed Inhofe's letter to the EPA as political interference in the agency's effort to corral pollution sources and another example of the influence the oil and gas industry wields in Congress and the Bush administration.


"It is unfortunate that a senator from Oklahoma is using intimidation tactics to derail efforts in our community to protect the children of Colorado from harmful air pollution," said Vickie Patton, a senior attorney with Environmental Defense. Patton noted that Inhofe's criticism of the EPA comes at the same time smog levels in the Denver region have hit summertime highs, with pollution monitors registering levels exceeding public health standards more than two dozen times since late May.


Inhofe. What a pantload.
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