The EPA: All Your Motors Are Belong To Us

The EPA isn’t satisfied with applying ridiculous, expensive regulation on the sectors they already infest. Now they want to regulate pretty much everything else.

They just released a 564 page document that lays out their plan to get their claws into every sector of everything, all the time. (Note: The link loads a ridiculously large file.)

Coverage of all key vehicle, engine, and equipment sub-sectors in the entire transportation sector so that GHG emission standards are set not only for cars and light trucks, but for heavy-duty vehicles, non-road engines and equipment, including locomotive and marine engines, and aircraft as well.

If it rolls, floats or flies they want to control it. Hell, even if it’s stationary and has any kind of engine, they get to determine how it works. Because they’re such good engineers and all.

Or maybe not. This is one of many passages that highlights their ignorance:

Locomotives, as an example, have significant potential to recover energy otherwise dissipated as heat during braking. An 8,000-ton coal train descending through 5,000 feet of elevation converts 30 MW-hrs of potential energy to frictional and dynamic braking energy. Storing that energy onboard quickly enough to keep up with the energy generation rate presents a challenge, but may provide a major viable GHG emissions reduction strategy even if only partially effective.

Ahem. That’s the way diesel locomotives already work, and have for quite some time. The diesel engines don’t directly power the wheels. Instead, they’re tuned to operate at their peak efficiency and generate electricity for electric motors that run the wheels. When breaking, those motors become generators and the electricity is captured in a battery.

Any first year engineering student could have told them that. Perhaps they should hire one.

Considering how many planes we have in the air at any given moment, the controllers do a damn fine job of keeping them from crashing into each other. They appear to know what they’re doing, and how to do it. But the EPA thinks it knows better:

Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RSVM) allows air traffic controllers and pilots to reduce the standard required vertical separation from 2,000 feet to 1,000 feet for aircraft flying at altitudes between 29,000 and 41,000 feet. This increases the number of flight altitudes at which aircraft maximize fuel and time efficiency. RSVM has led to about a 2 percent decrease in fuel burn. Continuous Descent Approach is a procedure that enables continuous descent of the aircraft on a constant slope toward landing, as opposed to a staggered or staged approach, thus allowing for a more efficient speed requiring less fuel and reducing GHG emissions.

So they want to move planes closer together in mid air to save a miniscule amount of fuel. Brilliant.

They also included a blurb about contrails, which should give the tin-foil-hat crowd more to blather about:

Petitioners contend that aircraft emissions contribute to climate change also by modifying cloud cover patterns. Aircraft engines emit water vapor, which petitioners identify as a GHG that can form condensation trails, or “contrails,” when released at high altitude. Contrails are visible line shaped clouds composed of ice crystals that form in cold, humid atmospheres. Persistent contrails often evolve and spread into extensive cirrus cloud cover that is indistinguishable from naturally occurring cirrus clouds. The petitioners state that over the long term this contributes to climate change.

No proof, of course, they simply “contend” this contributes to climate change.

Two stroke engines are an inexpensive and simple way to provide power for lawnmowers, snow blowers, chain saws and the like. Four stoke engines burn cleaner and more efficent, but they are heavier, more complex and more expensive. Guess what the EPA is recommending. Yep.

I have a big lawn, and my lawnmower has a standard two stroke engine. It’s loud and manly sounding and tells everyone within a block and a half “Hey, I’m Mowing My Lawn.” In the entire course of a summer I go through about a gallon of gasoline. When it finally conks out, will I be forced to spend a couple of hundred dollars extra to replace it with a four stroke? Even if it lasts ten years it’s not a cost effective way to reduce the emissions of ten gallons of gas. But that won’t matter to the EPA. It’s not coming out of their pockets.

They also discuss requiring automatic transmissions for off road equipment.

They provide this example of just how far reaching their tendrils will be:

For example, consider a hypothetical 500 MW electric utility boiler firing a bituminous coal that is well-controlled for traditional pollutants. Such a boiler, operating more than 7000 hours per year (out of a possible 8760), can emit approximately 4 million tons of CO2 per year, or more than 580 tons per hour. Assuming a 100 tpy significance level (rather than the current zero level for GHGs), any change resulting in just 10 additional minutes of utilization over the course of a year at such a source would be enough to result in an increase of 100 tons and potentially subject the change to PSD. By contrast, to be considered a modification for NOx, the same change would require approximately 36 additional hours of operation assuming that the hypothetical source had a low-NOx burner, and 90 additional hours of operation assuming that the source also employed a selective catalytic reduction add-on control device.

They want to control a boiler down to the minute. Amazing.

There are 70 categories and subcategories they want to regulate.

EPA has already promulgated NSPS for more than 70 source categories and subcategories and we could add GHG emission standards, as appropriate, to the standards for existing source

And just in case they feel like it, they can change what is and isn’t considered a global warming gas on a whim:

EPA can add or delete pollutants from the list consistent with certain criteria described

They want to regulate anything that emits a total of 10 tons of global warming gasses per year. A single Taco Bell generates that much methane just from burrito farts. Expect them to add burrito farts to their list.

It’s interesting to note they’ve nearly abandoned the phrase “global warming” and replaced it with “climate change.” They use “global warming” a mere 27 times in 564 pages. “Climate Change” appears 212 times.

This is yet another example of a government agency run amok. If they get their way expect everything to be more expensive, more complicated, and more of a pain in the ass.

For more examples of EPA incompetence, psudo-science, and downright fraud, check these past articles on The Hittman Chronicle and The Facts:

Bottom Fishing

The EPA Report

6 Comment(s)

  1. I am just curious, where is the EPA mentioned in the Constitution? I don’t recall ever reading that article in there. It seems that we have gone from a 3 part government to a multipart government. So now we have the EPA regulating my transportation, the FDA regulation my food, the CDC regulating my sex and Homeland security regulating who know what for who knows what security reason.

    Tom | Jul 21, 2008 | Reply

  2. And to make it worse, these are law making bodies.

    We have a little (very little) recourse for legislators who make bad law. But we have NO recourse when one of these bureaucracies create law. They call it “regulation,’ as if it were different, but in fact they are real laws, with real penalties if you break them.

    These agencies do not need to be reigned in. The need to be abolished.

    Hittman | Jul 22, 2008 | Reply

  3. I am wondering if a case can be made that these agencies are violating the constitution simply on them not being elected officials. As you and I know only congress can create laws.
    I would love to see some large corporation with some balls fight one of these agencies on a constitution basis since no where does it say that the congress can proxy out its law making or war making.

    Tom | Jul 22, 2008 | Reply

  4. I think that was fought to the Supremens a long time ago, and they ruled that since these agencies are an arm of congress it’s constitutional. I wasn’t able to find the case on Google, but it was while ago, and you’re right, it should be revisited.

    Downsize DC is attacking this very issue with their “Write the Bills Act,” which would require congress to pass legislation, rather than let these agencies create law with no recourse.

    Dave Hitt | Jul 23, 2008 | Reply

  5. Well as we know the supreme court is worth as much as our dollar bills are. Yea its nice when they rule in favor of what I think is right but all to often they don’t care to read, or care to understand, any of our founding fathers papers to get a sense of what was meant by what they wrote in the constitution. I have lost faith in the supreme court to rule properly. FDR ruined the supreme court and it hasn’t been the same since. In the past 8 years alone they have helped to weaken more of our rights then they have helped to strengthen.
    I also use Downsize DC all the time but here in NJ my letters fall on deaf ears.

    Tom | Jul 26, 2008 | Reply

  6. If you really want your letters to congress weasels to have an impact, send them snail mail with a check for at least five thousand dollars.

    I used to write the weasels, but got disgusted with the responses. I’ve started doing it again with Downsize DC, which makes me feel better any may have *some* effect, but these bastards are already bought and paid for. The starting bids are six figures, far more than we can afford.

    I was impressed that the Supremes mentioned the FFs intentions on the recent RTKBA decision. Impressed, because that hardly ever happens, and considering their decisions, I honestly don’t think many of them have read any of the FFs writings. De-pressed, too, because their interpretation included the indefensible conclusion that “shall not be infringed” meant all kinds of regulations were just fine, as long as they weren’t *too* draconian. But at least they got a part of it right, and that’s pretty rare from those clowns.

    Hittman | Jul 29, 2008 | Reply

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