Patterico's Pontifications


EPA Defies Sanity, or Defines Insanity

Filed under: General — JD @ 10:28 pm

[Guest post by JD]

The Obama EPA’s War on Jobs Continues Apace.

I really am struggling for the right adjective to describe this. It has been clear the the Obama EPA has absolute contempt for American jobs, the economy, the rule of law, and basic sanity.

Less than a week ago, the Environmental Protection Agency received a slap on the wrist from a federal appeals court that ruled that the EPA may not force oil companies to pay for an credits for failing to comply with a rule mandating that they incorporate a certain amount of cellulosic biofuels into their product. The EPA estimated that the industry would produce and make available for purchase 8.7 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels in 2012, but the industry only actually produced less than 21,000 gallons — and the court thankfully decided that the EPA could not inflict regulatory punishments based on their wildly enthusiastic and fanciful projections.

So, they just got done getting whacked in Court for trying to fine someone for not using something that essentially doesn’t exist, at least not anywhere near their projections. In a rational world, their mandates would mandate something that exists.

So, last year, their projection was around 8,700,000 gallons, when reality was around 21,000 gallons. The EPA projected approximately 415 times as much a reality allowed for.

What to do? Temper projections to match reality? Are you on crack?! This is the Obama EPA.

EPA raised how much cellulosic biofuel — those made from non-edible feedstock — it expected refiners to blend this year as part of the renewable fuel standard.

EPA set the mark at 14 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, up from about 8.65 million gallons last year. …

I really would love it if someone could explain this.


36 Responses to “EPA Defies Sanity, or Defines Insanity”

  1. The Onion is begging for mercy.

    JD (b63a52)

  2. It’s too bad we won’t have Richard Windsor to kick around any longer.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  3. Why do you hate our holy Mother Gaia?

    phunctor (05ac81)

  4. I really would love it if someone could explain this. —JD

    — It’s called “keeping up appearances”. And that’s ALL it is.

    Icy (2b83a4)

  5. Well, not to get all Separation of Powers on you, but when did you think the ex-Constitutional Law Professor gave a tinker’s damn about limitations to the power of the executive? As far as he is concerned, whatever he gets away with goes.

    JVW (4826a9)

  6. the NEVER-was-a-Constitutional Law Professor

    — Fixed, for accuracy.

    Icy (2b83a4)

  7. R.I.P. Ed Koch, who allowed the people of NYC to eat and drink whatever they wanted.

    Icy (2b83a4)

  8. There were a series of three cases on Admin law in school where one agency refused SCOTUS regarding admin hearing procedures. It went something like this:
    we’re not going to do mandatory appeals
    we’re not going to do optional appeals
    and, finally, we’re not going to even read them

    With that in mind, even SCOTUS will not have much effect on the EPA or Obama — and they likely read and recall the same cases.

    cedarhill (51fe88)

  9. The EPA’s projections are a field of dreams; If you build it they will come.

    felipe (70ff7e)

  10. “Magical Thinking”- like a child who imagines that because he/she thinks something should be one way, it is.

    In other words, not reality based but whole-heartedly believed. I think of it as thinking one can wiggle their little finger and make it happen.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  11. Explanation:

    Two reasonable possibilities:

    1) The bunch responsible for setting the projection didn’t know what the court ruled. Oh, yes, that is entirely possible in a large bureaucracy.

    2) (More likely) The projection had already gone through the evaluation and approval process and was on its way to the printer. Someone would have had to make an actual decision to stop it. The lady with all the fake email IDs was on her way out the door and nobody lower in the organization would make such a decision. Never underestimate the reluctance of a bureaucrat to make a decision, especially when there is a change in leadership underway.

    Also, don’t discount the possibility that someone in the bureaucracy saw some personal advantage to letting this go through. i.e.: The guy in charge of the unit that did this (Probably a “brother-in-law” of some sort) now looks like an idiot and his second in command (Who was doing all of the actual work) simply kept his mouth shut.

    This is thirty years experience in a large environmental bureaucracy speaking. Normal people cannot imagine the inertia, infighting, and reluctance to make decisions that is the normal routine in a large bureaucracy.

    Big government never works well, it just exists, like lichens on a rock.

    TexasBob (0c7121)

  12. What part of ‘electricity prices will neccessarily skyrocket’ and ‘I will crucify power plants’ did you miss, this is deliberate.

    narciso (3fec35)

  13. Why are they doing this?

    To paraphrase the line from the Stepford Wives – “Because they can.”

    What is the downside for the EPA? So they get slapped down by a court later. It does not cost the EPA anything. So why not?

    And even if the court slaps them down resubmit the requirement, and go through the process one more time.

    Mark L (91163f)

  14. That was a very good and useful comment at 7:05AM, TexasBob.

    elissa (0a4492)

  15. Never attribute to malice that which can reasonably be explained by stupidity.

    Also, this ruling relates to petroleum refineries. Any impact on electric power generation costs would be minimal.

    TexasBob (0c7121)

  16. Given their track record of malice, why would we assume stupidity?

    JD (b63a52)

  17. Texas Bob, you make a good point: but in the case of this EPA, how about a combination of stupidity and malice?

    Bar Sinister (664312)

  18. The theory was that cellosic ethanol would come from waste stock — things like the straw from growing wheat or weeds pulled from vacant lots. But apparently there’s a plan to plant waste crops to produce cellosic ethanol. Since the theory was to keep food crops available for food, the practice looks like defeating the theory. Not that I am surprised.

    MT Geoff (a67ef4)

  19. Let’s assume the GOP takes the Senate. Is there any way possible they could start to undo this web of malicious rules and regulations? And in fairness, this is a problem that has been growing for decades, not just in the last 4 years.

    Patricia (be0117)

  20. The Law and Common Sense are two totally different things. Always have been and always will be. As long as lawyers run things it will be ever thus.

    Ralph Gizzip (5ab3ea)

  21. JD – Regarding the topic I have to disagree with both options, and propose a third.

    They neither defy sanity, nor define insanity. Instead, they deify the insanity their policies have created.

    ChimpZilla (49c6dd)

  22. It’s the current 5-year plan, man.

    mojo (8096f2)

  23. What is the downside for the EPA? So they get slapped down by a court later. It does not cost the EPA anything. So why not?

    And even if the court slaps them down resubmit the requirement, and go through the process one more time.

    Comment by Mark L (91163f) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:08 am

    I’m waiting for Obama to stop waiting for conservative Justices to die and just go ahead in Roosevelt like fashion and enlarge the Supreme Court. That’d eliminate another pesky part of our federal framework.

    Don’t like the fact that the elected representatives of the people can’t agree on something? Issue an executive order. Your diss’ing the Court in a State of the Union address didn’t knock ’em into line – appoint enough progs to make sure no sane decision protecting the rights of Americans and hewing to the Constitution will be rendered for at least another 40 years.

    in_awe (7c859a)

  24. Agenda-based “science”, we’ll ram it down your throats!

    And you will like it.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. 15. Never attribute to malice that which can reasonably be explained by stupidity.

    Comment by TexasBob (0c7121) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:14 am

    Uh, TexasBob. This is the administration that bragged about keeping its boot on the neck of BP.

    This is the administration that put a moratorium on oil drilling in the gulf based upon a document they altered to make it appear that the industry experts they had sign off on it endorsed that moratorium.

    This is the administration that was found in contempt of court for continuing its moratorium after a judge struck it down.

    This is the administration that reluctantly had to fire its region six director who made the mistake of publicly articulating the administration’s policy towards oil companies; crucify them.

    This is the administration’s EPA that uses pseudoscience and statistical skullduggery to justify it’s business strangling regulations.

    I’d say we can attribute this to malice. Obama was taught to hate oil companies, particularly US oil companies, by his mom when she was married to Indonesian oil executive Lolo Soetero. US oil companies rape the world and steal the oil from third world countries thus keeping them third world.

    Once is an accident. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. This is malice.

    Steve57 (104863)

  26. “This is the administration’s EPA that uses pseudoscience and statistical skullduggery to justify it’s business strangling regulations.”

    Steve57 – You forget a few.

    This is the administration which excluded the findings in the final report of its EPA in-house expert which conflicted with its goal of finding CO2 a pollutant.

    This is the administration whose Department of Interior instructed scientists to ignore scientific evidence which did not support the Secretary’s goal of removing dams from the Klamath River.

    Those are just a couple I can think of off the top off my head.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  27. I really would love it if someone could explain this

    They don’t really give a crap about the rule of law.

    Its that simple.

    SGT Ted (506d69)

  28. To rein them in, a lower court, to which the appeal will be returned for final adjudication, needs to issue a directive to the top 6-10 officials at the EPA for their compliance.
    Failing that, which is the pattern & practice of this agency, those 6-10 individuals need to be incarcerated for Contempt of Court. If those individuals fail to comply, and their replacements ditto, more jail time for all.
    Perhaps then, someone at EPA will notice.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  29. daley @26, I’m sure I did forget more than a couple. It’s really hard to keep track of every illegal and/or dishonest regulatory assault this administration has launched against our economy.

    But that’s why I can’t attribute what’s going on to stupidity. The Obama administration, and the EPA in particular, have taken note of the gentle hints they’ve received so far that they’ve exceeded their legal authority on numerous occasions.

    What’s the evidence they’ve noticed? Well, in EPA director Lisa Jackson’s case she decided to use aliases such as Richard Windsor to hide the evidence that she fully intended to continue her illegal activity.

    In this Jackson was simply following Obama’s example.

    That’s what moves the explanation for this beyond stupidity into the land of malice. The merely stupid don’t plan ahead to hide the evidence of what they’re up to.

    askeptic is right. It’ll take jail time to make them stop. Not because they’ll learn the error of their ways. Simply because as long as they’re locked up they can be stopped.

    Steve57 (104863)

  30. By the way, this administration’s war on cheap, reliable energy is just Obama’s way of keeping a campaign promise. Or, rather, threat.

    Obama Says He Will Control Your Thermostat, …

    I don’t know how so many people in this country didn’t get the message in 2008. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee heard it loud and clear.

    Obama promised to rule this country in such a way that it’d get the comeuppance it deserved, for the benefit of the rest of the world.

    That’s why the socialists across the pond gave him a prize.

    Steve57 (104863)

  31. It’s part of the Democratic War On Science (TM). Along with the E-15 fuel that they’re trying to ram down our throats, no matter what it does to existing engines and fuel lines.

    Bill Roper (334fb0)

  32. Math is hard. Power makes people stupid.

    htom (412a17)

  33. I really would love it if someone could explain this.

    Easy peasy:
    “Liberal logic” is strongly rooted in GIGO principles”

    As a matter of fact, it’s pretty much built on GIGO.

    Glad to help.

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Labeler of the Obama-Naut (98ae1f)

  34. “EPA’s refusal only adds to suspicion that Administrator Jackson’s secret email accounts were intended to evade transparency… Smith added.

    A slur against the “most open and transparent administration in US history“? How dare y’all Rethuglicans!



    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Labeler of the Obama-Naut (98ae1f)

  35. daleyrocks beat me to it.

    There is simply no end to the depths of shame these pricks will stoop to, and the media just can’t be bothered to say a single bad word about anything they do.

    They will deserve to be the first ones marked off to the wall to be shot:

    “I fear, more than anything else, [he] reminds me of William Roper, Sir Thomas More’s son-in-law, who in Robert Bolt’s ‘A Man for All Seasons’, insists that the law of England be set aside to get at More’s enemy, Thomas Cromwell. More, saying that it would make no difference if Cromwell were the Devil himself, asks Roper, ‘What would you do Cut a road through the law to get after the Devil?… and when the last law was down,… do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil the benefit of the law, for my own safety’s sake.'”
    – Stephen L. Haynes –

    Dark times a’commin’.

    Keep your powder dry.

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Labeler of the Obama-Naut (98ae1f)

  36. Good advice from Elbow — Picky Bugger

    Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and Labeler of the Obama-Naut (98ae1f)

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