Category Archives: Air Pollution

China Air Pollution Study has Serious Weaknesses; Non-conclusive

Peng Yin, Guojun He, Maoyong Fan, Kowk Yan Chiu, Maorong Fan, Chang Liu, An Xue, Tong Liu, Yuhang Pan, Quan Mu, Maigeng Zhou. Particulate air pollution and mortality in 38 of China’s largest cities: time series analysis. BMJ 2017;356:j667 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j667

The findings of this particular study (click here) and been seriously questioned (click here). If not considered, cigarette smoking is a huge confounding factor in any study involving the respiratory system. Confidence limits on the analysis must be considered when evaluating data.

How do Climate Models Account for Klyuchevskaya Sopka?

An honest question. What about the particulate and gas emissions from volcanoes?

“The volcanic ash cloud has spread over an area of almost 13,500 square feet. It has drifted 124 miles southeast toward the Sea of Okhotsk, in the Pacific Ocean. “click here

The sordid story behind USEPA’s air regulations

“The greatness of our unique nation hinges on the fundamental purpose of the government to serve at the will of the people and to carry out public policy that is in the public interest. When it comes to the executive branch, the Courts have extended deference to agency policy decisions under the theory that our agencies are composed of neutral, non-biased, highly specialized public servants with particular knowledge about policy matters. This report will reveal that within the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), some officials making critically important policy decisions were not remotely qualified, anything but neutral, and in at least one case — EPA decision making was delegated to a now convicted felon and con artist, John Beale.”

Click here or image below for full report.

Pages from index

California Air Resources Board double-counts emissions

“The California Air Resources Board used data that double-counted emissions from natural gas suppliers and the output from related power plants in reporting a 2 percent increase from 2011 to 2012, said William Nelson, a New York-based analyst for New Energy Finance. In both years, output was unchanged at about 351 million tons of carbon dioxide, he said. “(click here)

USEPA Cross-State Air Pollution Rule vacated (overturned)

The majority ruling below. Click here for full opinion.

KAVANAUGH, Circuit Judge: Some emissions of air pollutants affect air quality in the States where the pollutants are emitted. Some emissions of air pollutants travel across State boundaries and affect air quality in downwind States. To deal with that complex regulatory challenge, Congress did not authorize EPA to simply adopt limits on emissions as EPA deemed reasonable. Rather, Congress set up a federalism-based system of air pollution control. Under this cooperative federalism approach, both the Federal Government and the States play significant roles. The Federal Government sets air quality standards for pollutants. The States have the primary responsibility for determining how to meet those standards and regulating sources within their borders.

In addition, and of primary relevance here, upwind States must prevent sources within their borders from emitting federally determined “amounts” of pollution that travel across State lines and “contribute significantly” to a downwind State’s “nonattainment” of federal air quality standards. That requirement is sometimes called the “good neighbor” provision.

In August 2011, to implement the statutory good neighbor requirement, EPA promulgated the rule at issue in this case, the Transport Rule, also known as the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The Transport Rule defines emissions reduction responsibilities for 28 upwind States based on those States’ contributions to downwind States’ air quality problems. The Rule limits emissions from upwind States’ coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, among other sources. Those power plants generate the majority of electricity used in the United States, but they also emit pollutants that affect air quality. The Transport Rule targets two of those pollutants, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx).

Various States, local governments, industry groups, and labor organizations have petitioned for review of the Transport Rule. Although the facts here are complicated, the legal principles that govern this case are straightforward: Absent a claim of constitutional authority (and there is none here), executive agencies may exercise only the authority conferred by statute, and agencies may not transgress statutory limits on that authority.

Here, EPA’s Transport Rule exceeds the agency’s statutory authority in two independent respects. First, the statutory text grants EPA authority to require upwind States to reduce only their own significant contributions to a downwind State’s nonattainment. But under the Transport Rule, upwind States may be required to reduce emissions by more than their own significant contributions to a downwind State’s nonattainment. EPA has used the good neighbor provision to impose massive emissions reduction requirements on upwind States without regard to the limits imposed by the statutory text. Whatever its merits as a policy matter, EPA’s Transport Rule violates the statute. Second, the Clean Air Act affords States the initial opportunity to implement reductions required by EPA under the good neighbor provision. But here, when EPA quantified States’ good neighbor obligations, it did not allow the States the initial opportunity to implement the required reductions with respect to sources within their borders. Instead, EPA quantified States’ good neighbor obligations and simultaneously set forth EPA-designed Federal Implementation Plans, or FIPs, to implement those obligations at the State level. By doing so, EPA departed from its consistent prior approach to implementing the good neighbor provision and violated the Act.

For each of those two independent reasons, EPA’s Transport Rule violates federal law. Therefore, the Rule must be vacated.

CARB’s Mary Nichols closes mind to science….

California Air Resources Board (CARB) met on Thursday, May 24.  Chair Mary Nichols lets the clock run out before public comment could be presented….CARB regulations are based on junk science……click here for more….

Cornwall Alliance: Protecting the Unborn and the Pro-Life Movement from a Misleading Environmentalist Tactic

The Cornwall Alliance has issued a statement responding to claims made by environmetal groups that mercury regulation is pro-life. Click here for the statement. Click here for the press release. The text of the statement is below:

Protecting the Unborn and the Pro-Life Movement from a Misleading Environmentalist Tactic
A Joint Statement by Pro-Life Leaders

Recently some environmentalists have portrayed certain of their causes as intrinsic to the pro-life movement. The tactic often involves appealing to a “seamless garment” of support for life, or to being “consistently pro-life” or “completely pro-life.”

As leaders of the pro-life movement, we reject that portrayal as disingenuous and dangerous to our efforts to protect the lives of unborn children.

The term pro-life originated historically in the struggle to end abortion on demand and continues to be used in public discourse overwhelmingly in that sense. To ignore that is at best sloppy communication and at worst intentional deception. The life in pro-life denotes not quality of life but life itself. The term denotes opposition to a procedure that intentionally results in dead babies.

In stark contrast, most environmental causes promoted as pro-life involve little threat to human life itself, and no intent to kill anyone. For example, even if one grants the exaggerated numbers and harms claimed by the Evangelical Environmental Network (EEN) in its recent quarter-million-dollar advertising campaign that claimed, “being pro-life means protecting the unborn from mercury pollution,” mercury exposure due to power-plant emissions does not kill infants.

Consequently, calling mercury pollution and similar environmental causes pro-life obscures the meaning of pro-life. And thanking politicians with 100% pro-abortion voting records (even some who support partial-birth abortion) for their “pro-life” position because they supported restrictions on mercury emissions, while rebuking some with 100% pro-life voting records because they opposed or didn’t support the new restrictions, as EEN’s campaign did, will confuse voters, divide the pro-life vote, and postpone the end of abortion on demand in America.

This doesn’t mean we should ignore environmental risks. It does mean they should not be portrayed as pro-life. Genuinely pro-life people will usually desire to reduce other risks as well—guided by cost/benefit analysis. But to call those issues “pro-life” is to obscure the meaning of the term.

Two fundamental principles distinguish truly pro-life issues (like abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem cell research) from environmental issues. First and foremost, truly pro-life issues are issues of actual life and death, while environmental issues tend to be matters of health. Second, truly pro-life issues address actual intent to kill innocent people, whether the unborn, the gravely ill, or the aged, while environmental issues do not.

If environmental advocates still want to support mercury-emission reductions or other environmental causes, let them do so honestly and above board. But they should not promote those causes under the pro-life banner. That is at best badly misinformed, at worst dishonest.

We call on environmentalists to cease portraying such causes as pro-life and join us in working diligently to reduce and end abortion on demand in the United States, which every year kills about 1.2 million babies, amounting to over 54 million in the 39 years since the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

Signed,

  • Kim Andrews, Missouri Eagle Forum
  • Sara L. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Bristol House, LTD
  • Dr. Herman Bailey and Dr. Sharron Bailey, Hosts, Herman & Sharron Television Ministry, Christian Television Network
  • J. Matt Barber, Vice President, Liberty Counsel Action
  • Gary L. Bauer, President, American Values
  • E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Founder and National Spokesman, Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation
  • Rev. Pierre Bynum, Founder, Pro-Life Action Churches of Maryland, Inc, Chaplain, Family Research Council
  • Nancy Clark, Director of Women’s Ministries, Elim Fellowship; President, Evangelical Women Leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals
  • Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., Executive Director and Senior Fellow, The Beverly LaHaye Institute
  • Marjorie Dannenfelser, President, Susan B Anthony List
  • Rev. Barrett Duke, Ph.D., Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission
  • Rev. Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis, American Family Association
  • Tim S. Goeglein, Vice President for External Relations, Focus on the Family
  • Rev. Wayne A. Grudem, Ph.D., Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary; Board Member, Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
  • Donna Hearne, Convener, Educational Policy Conference
  • Rev. Peter Jones, Ph.D., Director, truthXchange, and Adjunct Professor and Scholar in Residence, Westminster Theological Seminary, Escondido, CA
  • Rev. Richard Land, Ph.D., President, Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission
  • Jan Markell, Founder, Olive Tree Ministries
  • Tom Minnery, Senior Vice President, Focus on the Family
  • Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President for Government Affairs, Susan B Anthony List
  • Penny Young Nance, Chief Executive Officer and President, Concerned Women for America
  • Tony Perkins, President, Family Research Council
  • Rev. Joey Pipa, Ph.D., President, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
  • Kelly Shackelford, President & CEO, Liberty Institute
  • Robert F. Schwarzwalder, Jr., Senior Vice President, Family Research Council
  • Eugenie Smith, President, Eagle Forum of Alabama
  • Ginger Soud, Eagle Forum of Florida
  • Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman, Liberty Counsel
  • Mark Tooley, President, Institute on Religion and Democracy
  • Kelley Wesley,  Pregnancy Center Advisor, former Chief Executive Officer of Sanctity of Life Ministries
  • Tim Wildmon, President, American Family Association

(Institutional affiliations are listed for identification only and do not imply institutional endorsement.)