12 Jun 1998 Relief Report #65: June 12, 1998
* NWI Report Unmasks Possible Lawbreaking at EPA; Department of Justice Investigates
* Federal Government Intentionally Kills Jobs in Inner Cities
* Racist if You Do, Racist If You Don’t
* Do Alaskans Make Poor Neighbors?
* If Congress Won’t Make Agencies Behave, The Least It Could Do Is Not Give Them More Money
* New Papers Available
* New Climate Treaty Video, Fact Kit Available to Public
* Scientists Brief Congress
* American Land Sovereignty Act’s Chances for Passage Improved
Activities at the May Environmental Policy Task Force meeting chaired by David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research ((202) 507-6398).
NWI Report Unmasks Possible Lawbreaking at EPA; Department of Justice Investigates
Dr. Bonner Cohen, editor of EPA Watch and Washington Editor for Earth Times, reviewed the findings of a National Wilderness Institute report he wrote, “The People v. Carol Browner: EPA on Trial,” released at a Washington press conference with Congressional participation in May.
Following the report’s release the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility announced that it “has initiated an inquiry into the matters described.” The Landmark Legal Foundation has also referred the report to the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division for possible action.
On June 8 a group of 19 EPA employees from six EPA offices signed a joint letter endorsing the general conclusions of the report, saying they were willing to “risk their careers” by going public about alleged lawbreaking and irresponsible behavior at the EPA. Says the letter, in part: “Within the EPA, employees are harassed, even fired, for protesting illegal or irresponsible behavior by managers who jeopardize the proper enforcement of the law… At the EPA, retaliation against whistleblowers occurs at every management level. At times, it involved the highest levels of administration including the offices of Regional Administrators and the Office of Administrator Carol Browner.”
The report documents the following patterns of behavior by EPA officials: 1) corrupting agency ethics rules to silence whistle blowers, 2) creating and submitting backdated documents to federal court, 3) asking career scientists to lobby Congress in violation of federal law, 4) overseeing the creation of a tax-exempt group to circumvent state and local governments in violation of existing agreements, and 5) abusing the rights of citizens by violating the Congressional Review Act and establishing unwritten and unpublicized regulations.
A copy of the report, press releases and statements, and a confirmation of the Department of Justice’s actions are available at the National Wilderness Institute website at www.nwi.org/SpecialStudies/EPAReport/Overview.html or from Bonner Cohen at 202/739-0179. Additional information about the 19 EPA employees risking their jobs to speak out against EPA practices is available on the personal home page of EPA microbiologist Dr. David L. Lewis at http://members.aol.com/LewisDaveL/.
Federal Government Intentionally Kills Jobs in Inner Cities
Charlie Ingram and Bill Kovacs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce discussed the cost in jobs in minority communities of so-called “environmental justice lawsuits” brought by the EPA. Fifty environmental justice lawsuits have been brought by the EPA, said Kovacs. An analysis of just three of them revealed that they resulted in the loss of $1.4 billion in business investments in minority areas. Kovacs and Ingram noted that there is currently a labor shortage in the U.S., and that many businesses want to build facilities in inner cities to tap into the labor pools there, but the EPA’s actions are deterring this. Kovacs also discussed the Chamber’s “Sovereignty & Security Conference” on the science, economics, politics, and diplomacy behind the president’s Kyoto climate change treaty. The public can view conference proceedings at www.climatetreaty.com. Contact Bill Kovacs and Charlie Ingram at 202/659-6000.
Racist if You Do, Racist If You Don’t
Myron Ebell of Frontiers for Freedom commented upon the environmental movement’s opposition to the construction of new manufacturing facilities in the United States: “[Environmentalists] don’t like manufacturing plants on virgin ground, and now they don’t want it on ground that has had manufacturing plants before.” He also noted an irony: “If you don’t put a plant in an inner city, you’re a racist. If you do put a plant in an inner city, you’re a racist.” Contact Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282.
Do Alaskans Make Poor Neighbors?
Amy Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research, Myron Ebell of Frontiers of Freedom and Mike Waslyk of Defenders of Property Rights briefed participants on Senator Ted Stevens’s (R-AK)’s S. 1221, the American Fisheries Act, which would kill 1,500 jobs in the Northwest (it is thought that supporters hope the jobs will move to Alaska). A press release was distributed and is available at www.nationalcenter.org/GovtAbuses498.html & an op/ed is available at www.defendersproprights.org/oped0001.html (editor’s note: the op/ed link did not function as of 11/01). Contact Amy Ridenour at (202) 507-6398 or [email protected], Mike Waslyk at 202/822-6770, or Myron Ebell at 703/527-8282.
If Congress Won’t Make Agencies Behave, The Least It Could Do Is Not Give Them More Money
Keith White of the Environmental Literary Council and David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research reported on “environmental education.” White reported that the EPA has awarded over 200 grants per year for this in public schools. Ridenour described Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK)’s environmental education bill. Ridenour says that Inhofe’s logic in presenting that bill is that the federal government is going to fund environmental education, so a conservative may as well write a bill and include some restrictions in it. The problem, said Ridenour, is that the EPA does not care about carrying out programs consistent with federal laws, so restrictions Inhofe may get into law will be ignored. If Congress will not exercise its constitutional responsibility to oversee agencies, said Ridenour, the least it could do is not increase the EPA’s opportunity to misbehave. Contact Keith White at 202/296-0390 or David Ridenour at 202/543-1296 or [email protected].
New Papers Available
David Ridenour distributed National Policy Analysis #194, “Global Warming: Enjoy It While You Can,” by John Carlisle, which reviews the earth’s historic cyclical pattern of warming and cooling. Ridenour also distributed an op/ed he wrote (April 19 Miami Herald) which discusses environmental progress over 30 years and the declining membership of environmental organizations. Contact David Ridenour/John Carlisle at (202) 507-6398 or go to www.nationalcenter.org/NPA194.html and www.nationalcenter.org/NPA191.html.
New Climate Treaty Video, Fact Kit Available to Public
Joe Lucas, a former Special Assistant to Clinton Administration Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary and presently with the Center for Energy and Economic Development, announced the release to the public of a resource kit, “The Global Climate Debate: Fact Versus Fiction.” The kit, written for laymen, contains a video and papers. Lucas also announced a new study which estimates that Senate approval of the Kyoto climate treaty would cost the U.S. $318 billion in lost revenue and result in three million lost jobs. Contact Joe Lucas at 703/684-6297 or [email protected] (www.ceednet.org).
Scientists Brief Congress
Marlo Lewis of the Competitive Enterprise Institute informed participants that the Competitive Enterprise Institute is sponsoring briefings for Congress on scientific aspects of the climate issue. Each of these series of briefings will feature top scientists in the field. Contact Marlo Lewis at 202/331-1010 (www.cei.org).
American Land Sovereignty Act’s Chances for Passage Improved
John Rishel of the House Resources Committee announced that the chances for Senate approval of H.R. 901, the American Land Sovereignty Act, appear to be improved. The bill is designed to preserve the sovereignty of the United States over public lands against UN encroachment. Rishel reported that calls to the following Senators could be helpful: Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Wendell Ford (D-KY), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Tim Johnson (D-SD). Contact John Rishel at 202/226-7388. *