What Are They Up To Today ?????

candlesThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is, lest you think otherwise, alive and well.  And they are on top of the really, really important things!  But beware!!!  They are coming for your candles!  The agency that once issued memos about carbon pollution from power plants and the threat that they posed to public health, is now warning that burning candles and incense can irritate the lungs of asthma sufferers.  Oh yes, and beware, too, of those summer bonfires, as the wood smoke can trigger asthma attacks.  Isn’t it wonderful that an agency with an $8 billion budget is spending our money to warn us about the dangers of candles and wood smoke?

As one who has had asthma since birth, I can assure you that candles burning in my home are not a problem.  My two biggest problems are the air outdoors when it is warm and humid, and flowers.  Ohhhh … I better watch what I say there, or perhaps the EPA will come dig up all my flowers!!!

Just days after the announcement about candles and incense, the EPA also announced that it would seek a two-year delay in the implementation of a rule requiring oil and gas companies to detect and repair leaks of methane and other air pollutants from oil and gas wells. In announcing the delay, the EPA acknowledged that it could have a disproportionate impact on the health of children, but argued that delay was worthwhile because it would save the oil and gas industry roughly $173 million.

Liz Purchia, a former EPA communications official under the Obama administration:

“They are just distracting from the larger issues by focusing on the really small ones. I’d love to see the last time they talked about carbon pollution from power plants and the threat that they posed to public health. It’s pretty unbelievable. They are using smoke and mirrors to make it appear like they are trying to protect public health, and meanwhile they are doing everything that they can do rollback regulations and work with the fossil fuel industry to bend to their will. They are showing a willful blindness towards the health of the American public.”

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has not, as of yet, taken any legal action against incense or scented candle manufacturers.

In other EPA news …

The Environmental Protection Agency has given notice to dozens of scientists that they will not be renewed in their roles in advising the agency. Members of the EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) whose terms end in August will not see them renewed, according to an email sent to members this week. They may re-apply, but were given a June 30 deadline to do so. The BOSC functions as an advisory board for the EPA’s Office of Research and Development, and helps the office make sure that it is using sufficiently rigorous science in its research and development programs.

Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

“The Board of Scientific Counselors was formed to make sure the EPA does the best possible scientific work with limited taxpayer dollars. This independent advice is needed now more than ever. By sacking dozens of scientific counselors, Pruitt is showing that he doesn’t value scientific input and the benefits it offers the public.”

Is anybody surprised by that?

In May, when Pruitt announced the terminations of nine scientists, his spokesman, J. P. Freire, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, such as the chemical, oil and gas industries. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community.”  Putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop?

And in other climate news …

At an Energy and Natural Resources Committee budget hearing earlier this week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke came under fire from Senator Al Franken over his inane comments that “the vanishing glaciers at Glacier National Park have undergone a “consistent melt” since the end of the last ice age”.  Franken informed Zinke that “scientists who work for you” have found the melting has “dramatically accelerated” in recent decades.

Franken: “Can you tell me how much warming government scientists predict for the end of the century under a business-as-usual scenario?”

Zinke: “The Paris accord, in the president and my judgement, it wasn’t about climate change, it was about a bad deal.”


Franken interrupted to ask Zinke to answer the question.

Zinke: “I don’t think the government scientists can predict with certainty. There isn’t a model that existed it can predict today’s weather given all the data. If everyone adhered to the Paris climate accord, that change would be roughly 0.2°, which is insignificant.”

Franken: “No, no, no!  I just want you to answer the question that I asked you. That’s all I want you to do.”

And so it continued, as nauseam. Keep in mind that Mr. Zinke is the head of the Department of Interior, a position that pays in the $100,000 per year range, yet intellectually I would pit almost any 8th grader against him in a debate.

Meanwhile, out in the real world …

The Southwest is experiencing its worst heat wave in decades. Excessive heat warnings have been in effect from Arizona to California and will be for the remainder of the week. On Monday, temperatures in Phoenix hit 118 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, which announced the record-tying heat.

heatIt was so hot that dozens of flights have been canceled this week at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

My vote is for sending Trump, Pruitt and Zinke to Phoenix, make them stand on the airport tarmac for about three hours in their suits and ties, then ask if they still believe climate change is a ‘hoax’.

22 thoughts on “What Are They Up To Today ?????

  1. Dear Jill,
    There should be full employment for attorneys at this point because it looks like the courts are the last bastions for redress under the leadership of DDT.
    Guess which president created the EPA. it was the republican President Richard Nixon.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This line of thinking suggests that The Administration will be urgently asking the Naval sections of the Pentagon to coming up with revised strategies and protocols for deployment of naval forces; since obviously in their view the world is flat we can’t have fleets sailing off of those edges can we?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It really beggars belief that anyone cannot see global warming has increases exponentially in the last few decades. Actual reduced sunspot activity is such that we should be in an active cooling period, so how anyone can deny that the warming trend is not man made (greenhouse gas increase ) but a subversive political plot to make us think it is happening, but isn’t, has got to be living in some kind of hermetically sealed jar. It is ludicrous!

    I say too ” peg ’em out in Phoenix…let ’em fry!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure if they do not see, or if it just better suits their purposes to deny. Either way, it is unconscionable and does nobody any good. As Roger commented, they must also surely believe that the earth is flat! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, Scott Pruitt sued the EPA numerous times (for some reason I remember 13 times, but don’t take that to the bank). I believe he deserves a dose of his own medicine and concerned citizens and groups should return the favor to cease and desist the assault on public health. I am hoping the lawsuit the kids are bringing on doing more on climate change gets heard at the higher levels. People need to be respond under oath answers to questions like the ones Mr. Zinke avoided from Senatot Al Franken.

    Note to all. Politicians not answering questions asked is as old as the hills. When I hear someone evade by bringing up Hillary Clinton or the Paris deal being bad, I know they are lying or don’t know the answer. The sad truth is too few are paying attention. Great post, Keith

    Liked by 3 people

    • I am not sure of the exact number of times Pruitt sued the EPA either, but I do know it was over a dozen. And now the fox is ‘guarding’ the henhouse. And some people see nothing wrong with this picture???

      I agree with you fully … evasion is a sure sign that either the person is lying or has no clue. In this administration, both seem to apply. Sigh.


  5. Aaargh. This makes me so cross! Emperor ‘Nero’ Trump, fiddling while the world burns. People dying in forest fires in Portugal. Record temperatures here for June. Wildlife cycles becoming erratic. Sigh.
    (But an admission – I do buy soya wax tea lights and avoid those with cheap wicks 😉 and I hate plug-in and other air ‘fresheners’ with a vengeance.)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. In a word, the EPA has been co-opted by the Trump Administration — probably the only way they could keep their jobs! So the watchdog has been put to sleep with steak laced with tranquilizers. Why are we not surprised??

    Liked by 2 people

    • We are not surprised for the same reason that a bunch of guys at a bachelor party are not surprised when a semi-nude female pops out of the cake … it has happened far too many times before. At least the guys at the party are happily not-surprised, whereas the owner of the dog who was put to sleep may be less so. Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Candles and woodsmoke eh.No mention of smoke from a coal fire which of course they want to mine again. Cats, dogs, horses aren’t worthy of a mention and yet a little household pollution takes the place of a global condition as they hope to flummox everyone.
    Is there a single appointee who is doing a good job in the public interest?
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 4 people

    • To answer your question … NO. There does not appear to be a single person in the entire administration who allows their conscience to guide them, who cares more about the nation and its people than their own self-serving interests. I am not sure where we turn from here, whether the Constitution will hold under the current regime, whether we will still be able to call ourselves a ‘democracy’ at the end of the day. But I know that as long as I keep taking breaths, I will keep speaking out against this abomination. That is as much as I can do. Sigh.

      I am taking a bit of a break … just 4 days. I will miss you, but I’m tired and I need this. xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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