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And The Fool Strikes Again

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Old_Trapper70, May 8, 2017.

  1. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    One of the first things that tyrants do when in power is eliminate the opposing press, and the Intelligentsia. Obviously Trump feels threatened by those more intelligent then he (and that would include my dog), and them replace them with those who know nothing just as he knows nothing:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/07/...rod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=1

    "A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said the spokesman, J. P. Freire."
     
  2. Walter

    Walter Administrator Staff Member

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    Pretty usual for Trump.
     
  3. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    seems perfectly sensible.... what is so wrong with this?

    The EPA Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) was set up to provide advice and recommendations (technical and management) to the Office of Research and Development’s (ORD) research programs thus BOSC consults and coordinates its work with the Science Advisory Board. Doesn't it make sense to have industry professionals on board so that the ORD is researching "real world" issues? For example the BOSC is tasked amongst other things to oversee ORD's research program balance this includes evaluation of ORD’s research action plan and their Cross-Cutting Research Roadmaps - I think they have 4 on the go at the moment? Anyway the point is scientists in acedemic positions consult with industry and industrial scientists work with acedemics and universities in order to further their work and research and the real world applications of their work and research ergo why not have acedemic scientists and researchers and industrial scientists and researchers on BOSC? Seems perfectly logical!

    The BOSC is composed of approximately 20 members who will serve as Special Government Employees (SGEs). In selecting members, EPA consider candidates from the environmental scientific
    and technical fields, human health care professions, academia, industry, public and private research institutes and organizations, and other relevant interest areas. One of the criticisms from the article you post is...
    Which seems to suggest that the EPA is broadening the base of BOSC in line with its stated mandate!

    What the article doesn't say is who is joining. When you are privvy to that then we can discuss further. But just bear in mind the following, again taken from your posted article....
     
  4. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    http://www.philly.com/philly/busine...tt-says-hell-be-a-friend-to-the-industry.html

    "Mr. Brock was at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency two weeks ago when President Donald Trump signed an executive order that targeted a half-dozen Obama-era regulations to curb climate change, including Mr. Obama’s signature Clean Power Plan. The rule aimed to limit carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generators and would hit coal plants the hardest.


    Mr. Pruitt didn’t mention carbon dioxide or climate change in his brief remarks at Consol, nor did he talk about the stream protection rule, which Congress and Mr. Trump rescinded soon after the new president took the oath of office. That rule, finalized just weeks before the change in administration, would have required coal companies to restore affected streams to their pre-mined conditions.

    Instead, Mr. Pruitt talked about jobs and how the government can help unleash American energy growth."


    So, now coal companies can legally pollute the waterways and not even bother to clean out the polluting matter. In fact, they can now return to "mountain top removal" in the search for more coal, and not be bothered with returning the site to its original condition. And yet, most informed people understand that technology will continue to eliminate coal mining jobs while this pollution goes on.

    And for what?
     
  5. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    I thought we were discussing the replacement of certain academics from BOSC?
     
  6. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    That was a limited part of the argument. The other part was "impact of regulations on the regulated community,". Have you ever done any research on what happened to the waterways in this country before the regulations were put in place? How many children contracted cancer, and other illnesses? How many died? The cost of cleaning up after the industrial waste was poured into the rivers, streams, and lakes like the Great lakes? Do you know how much pollution fracking is costing now even in the wilderness of Wyoming? The industrial CEO's care nothing for the environment, or the health of others, just profit. And Liar Trump claimed to be looking out for the people, and we knew then he was lying, and we now know he is still lying.
     
  7. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    However, it was the whole point of the article and comments you made about the article which I find much more interesting and would be happy to explore further with you. I think there are lots of threads about the coal industry which in all honesty I think has been flogged to death?

    Not so much no. We had layers do most of the work as the company I worked for at the time was heavily involved in the insurance claims (as many of the Lloyd's Syndicates were) in respect of the seepage and pollution claims made by the EPA etal which came to a head in the 80s and 90s in the various US courts - saying that most of the class actions revolved around and against the chemical and military facilities that were polluting ground water which started in the 1930s onwards. Which is really no different from here in the UK which also has/had a significant chemical and coal industry.

    Cleaning up the US sites has cost the UK insurance industry billions - as you know Lloyd's has a significant exposure in the US markets and I would suggest almost 90% of US domestic commercial liability coverage ends up in Lloyd's either through reinsurance, surplus lines or direct (Lloyd's is licensed in a number of US states). The insurance markets have a major influence on the way business is transacted with "corporate" America. The cat modelling done by the likes of Guy Carpeter and Swiss Re for example are quite advanced. Without the balance sheet protections of the insurance markets or the ART markets the levels of industrial activity and the commitment to corprate activity would not be possible. Coverage would simply not be granted to companies that did not carry out comprehensive risk assessment and catastrophe management studies and without insurance or similar ART mechanisms in place they would not be able to obtain the backing of the financial markets in order to carry out their activities.

    If you are simply saying that irrespective of corporate goverance or fiscal/financial oversight companies will carry out their activities with disregard for the consequences and the intent to pollute then I would not agree with you. The cost of defending law suits alone would be ruinous.

    The above is a side issue from your posted article which I find much more interesting though and would be interested in your thoughts on my earlier post.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  8. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    It is not limited to the coal industry. Industrial waste comes from all of industry.

    Only if they know about it, and, as Flint Michigan shows, when they find out it is too late. If not for activists such as Erin Brokovich, and groups such as the EPA, the problem would be even greater.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/20/health/chromium-6-in-drinking-water/index.html

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fracking-brings-ammonium-and-iodide-to-local-waterways/

    http://www.care2.com/causes/epa-links-wyoming-water-pollution-to-fracking.html
     
  9. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right. Thats' why there is a legal and implied duty of care for everyone running a business from the corner shop to the multi-nationals.

    Regarding the CNN article you posted its quite interesting. California's public health folks don't agree with the EPA so I guess a debate is taking place between local/federal health officials and other stake holders and the EPA. It seems to be requiring clarification or determination of safe levels or acceptable levels or whether a federal agency should have power over the of state officials or whether state official should be the final arbiters? What are your thoughts? Looking at some of the comments...
    I think the conclusion though is interesting...
    So maybe its right that the EPA is shaken up a bit.

    Regarding Fracking and the water cycle, that again is an interesting article. Its becoming common here in the UK as well and I don't know if I'm pro or anti-fracking. Reading the article though it seems broadly in line with the EPA conclusions in that evaluating the potential activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle with regard to the impact on drinking water will need to keep pace with emerging technologies and new scientific studies.

    I suppose you as an American need to think about what role you think the EPA should take and whether up to now it has fullfilled the role what you wanted it to be - as a government organisation funded by the taxpayer has it fulfilled its role? judging from the articles you've posted above perhaps not, which leads us back to the original point that perhaps a shake up is not such a bad thing?
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2017
  10. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    And quite often ignored since the profits are greater then settlements in lawsuits.

    By putting in more industry magnets that are creating the problem, and removing the scientists that are trying to fix the problem?

    The dangers of fracking both from the point of pollution, and the removal of the "cushion" for faults, and tectonic plates, out weigh any benefit. Renewables are safer, and becoming more prominent, and cheaper.

    IMO, the opposition the EPA faces prevents it from doing its job. Then too, the political aspect also prevents it from adequately pursuing certain goals while overreaching on others. It is hard to get a rational balance when humans are the ones in control.
     
  11. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Conversly you could argue that the poeple doing the job are causing the opposition? That seems true from some of the articles you posted above.
    As you quite rightly say it is difficult obtaining a balance, especially if your team is made up of the same like minded people - that hardly leads to balanced output. Going back to the start of your post the context was bringing in people from industry (we don't know who or what that term actually implies so we can only assume) however, just for the sake of argument if you bring in people from industry doesn't that provide a better dynamic - surely such a team would have a more robust interchange of views and ideas. As an industry representative you will have to defend your viewpoint from the academic representative and vice versa presumably leading to better output since it would have to have gone through more rigorous testing and been scrutinised more fully by both sides. It seems like a win win?
     
  12. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    Pruitt as Att. Gen. of Kansas, I think it was, sued the EPA some 14 times, and wants to end it like Trump does. But, if you are trying to end pollution is the one best qualified to answer the problem the ones who study the matter, or the ones who caused the problem for the sake of profit? I don't think the CEO is going to be interested in an "academic" POV, or even in "rigorous testing". Use the coal mining as an example, or the fracking industry. They know they are polluting the waters, and making it unsafe for consumption, or even for fish to live in. Does it stop them? And now, thanks to Trump, they can do even more damage.
     
  13. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Again, we don't know. Jumping many steps ahead of the assumption at this stage is fruitless since we don't know who is being appointed to BOSC, what their area of expertise is and their qualifications for the role. In any event its not the EPA that makes the law that is the job of Congress the EPA researches, regulates and to some extent provides frameworks for enforcement:-
    - Laws written by Congress provide the authority for EPA to write regulations.
    - Regulations explain the technical, operational, and legal details necessary to implement laws.
    - EPA helps regulated entities meet federal requirements, and holds entities legally accountable for environmental violations.
    - EPA issues policy and guidance documents to assist the public and regulated entities.

    Within the EPA are the research labs and bodies some being independent labs.
    Office of Research and Development Laboratories - These labs develop knowledge, assessments, and scientific tools that underpin the vast majority of EPA's standards and guidance.
    Office of Research and Development Research Programs - Six national research programs engage with outside partners and EPA programs.
    Program Office Laboratories - These labs directly support regulatory implementation, compliance, and enforcement at a national level.
    Regional Laboratories - These labs provide scientific data that support the Regional environmental programs' needs for immediate information to make decisions.

    Sitting over those are both the internal and external oversight, co-ordination and advisory etc. committees and there are many of them! One of the many is BOSC. The EPA Board of Scientific Counselors (BOSC) provides advice, information, and recommendations to EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) on technical and management issues of its research programs.

    For me the issue is not who is going to replace certain BOSC members whose terms have expired but the overall thrust and possibly the usefulness of the EPA with regard to how it views real world science and industrial activity and the quality of the advise and oversight it provides to its stakeholders. If as you are suggesting it is/will become another Trump rubber stamp organisation then I would agree with you that it is a waste of time but at the moment I don't think its quite at that stage.
     
  14. Old_Trapper70

    Old_Trapper70 Well-Known Member

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    Again you are ignoring reality. Trump appointed a person to head the EPA that has been trying to destroy it for years. He has already eliminated by EO certain regulations that Obama put in place to prevent the pollution of streams, etc. He has opened up federal property to drilling, and mining. He wants to eliminate the National Monuments so more drilling, and mining, can occur. He has cut the budget for the EPA.

    Don't know how much more evidence you need, but hey.........
     
  15. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    Executive Orders are from the President not the EPA!
     
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