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Hedke: A New Age for EPA

I read with great interest “The Beginning of the End of EPA,” an article appearing in Breitbart on January 23, 2017, written by Dr. Jay Lehr, science director at The Heartland Institute. Lehr was one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) chief proponents prior to and during the agency’s launch, so his rejection of EPA carries incredible weight. 

When EPA was created in 1970, America faced tremendous environmental challenges, notably substantial air and water pollution. A dramatic clean-up was necessary, and clean up the problem we did. Some work remains to be done in various states, but there is every reason to believe each state is capable of addressing its own problems and would be very adept at doing so without one iota of oversight from the EPA behemoth in Washington, DC.

In his article, Lehr suggests replacing many of the duties of the modern EPA with a “Committee of the Whole,” which would be composed of the states’ environmental agencies. Lehr suggests a five-year timeline for materially reorganizing the current, destructive version of EPA left behind by the Obama administration.

Under Lehr’s plan, the Committee of the Whole would review all national environmental regulations and remove those regulations that do not comport with the congressional intent of existing federal law. In many cases, EPA as it is currently structured has created unjustifiable, reckless regulatory schemes. Lehr’s plan would gradually phase out those programs deemed unnecessary, thereby reducing EPA’s size from 15,000 to 300 (six delegates from each of the 50 states). Such a move, if successfully implemented, would greatly reduce annual expenditures, from approximately $8.5 billion to perhaps as low as $2 billion. 

Lehr would also transpose the existing Washington, DC headquarters to a location in America’s heartland, making it more readily accessible to all 50 states’ local environmental agencies.

I believe Lehr’s concept has merit, but its implementation would depend on the approval of the team yet to be fully devised by the incoming administration.

The still-developing Trump environmental team offers incredible opportunity, especially Scott Pruitt, who has been tapped by President Donald Trump to be the next EPA administrator. His arrival could not possibly come at a better time. 

I sincerely and deeply applaud Trump for making this appointment, and I believe Pruitt will succeed in “Making America Great Again,” by leading the free world toward appropriate environmental management—to the extent humans can achieve that objective.

One of the most exciting and important aspects of Trump’s incoming environmental team is that it will reveal to the American people how the prior administration significantly and inappropriately skewed and twisted the scientific process to achieve specific and radical environmental goals. With Pruitt’s guidance, the scientific method will once again be applied to environmental study within the corridors of the national government, giving the American public and the world access to honest data. 

“Climategate” and other environment-related scandals have not been forgotten by those of us who have actual credentials to study the data and understand how the manipulation of that data has led to indoctrination, not scientific advancement, setting mankind, especially Third-World countries, back decades in their pursuit to obtain affordable energy. What a crying shame.

There are those, like Michael Moore and Tom Steyer, who say the evidence showing man is responsible for climate change is overwhelming, but such claims have no scientific merit. I would welcome the opportunity to debate Mr. Moore and Mr. Steyer on any stage in America or any country in the world. The facts speak very loudly and very clearly in opposition to their theoretical modeling beliefs; the models fail at every turn, the unmanipulated data do not.

Under the leadership of Pruitt and others in the Trump administration, the falsification of data endorsed and created by taxpayer-funded government agencies is finally going to come to an end, and heads will roll as accountability is restored. 

Whistleblower Alan Carlin, formerly of the EPA, until dismissed; William Happer at Princeton; Pat Michaels, formerly at the University of Virginia; Richard Lindzen at MIT; John Christy at the Earth Science Systems Center at the University of Alabama-Huntsville; and Willie Soon at the Harvard Astrophysics Laboratory, as well as many others, will all be vindicated entirely, and real science will once again come to the fore. 

Carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the most incredible substances in existence, will no longer be demonized; it will instead be recognized as a deliverer of great benefits for mankind, including increased plant growth, greening of Earth, and numerous other benefits. Current CO2 concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere measure at about 400 parts per million (ppm), or 0.04 percent. Just for a little context, guess what the concentration is inside a typical U.S. submarine? 8,000 ppm (0.8 percent). How many sailors have you met lately complaining about the debilitating concentration of CO2 on those subs?

The unbelievable “finding” promoted by the Obama administration and climate alarmists that CO2 is purportedly a “pollutant” is disgraceful. I cannot imagine a more blatantly false argument, yet the U.S. Supreme Court, in its infamous 2009 ruling, told EPA it has the authority to regulate this harmless, odorless, tasteless, essential-to-mankind gas—all under the theory CO2 is somehow “hazardous.” Given the current evidence, which no fair-minded person would ever say support such a conclusion, this claim is ridiculous.

Under the Obama administration’s EPA, science was hijacked in favor of politics. So, to Michael Mann, Al Gore, and the other climate alarmists who promoted false science, know this: Your day is up. If you choose to lawyer up and fight, distort, and manufacture “facts,” you’ll soon find the new EPA will take you down a road you never anticipated.

Dennis E. Hedke (think@heartland) is a former state representative in the Kansas House of Representatives and the former chairman of the Committee on Energy & Environment.

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