19 Apr 2001 April 19, 2001
* Congressman Joe Knollenberg Charges that Clinton Administration’s Energy Policy Makes U.S. More Dependent on Foreign Oil
* EPA Roiled by Racial Discrimination Charges
* National Wilderness Institute Releases New Report on EPA Persecution of Employees
* National Center For Public Policy Research Launches Environmental Justice Project
Environmental Policy Task Force Meeting: Activities at the September Environmental Policy Task Force Meeting chaired by David Ridenour of The National Center for Public Policy Research ((202) 507-6398 or [email protected]).
Congressman Joe Knollenberg Charges that Clinton Administration’s Energy Policy Makes U.S. More Dependent on Foreign Oil
Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) criticized the Clinton Administration for pursuing an energy policy that makes the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil sources. In particular, Rep. Knollenberg noted that it is becoming increasingly difficult for oil companies to get gasoline to the market because domestic refineries are already operating at nearly full capacity, yet regulatory policies supported by the Administration and environmentally-motivated litigation have made it almost impossible for new oil refineries to be built.
Commenting on the Administration’s decision to release 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to try to reduce surging gasoline prices, the Congressman said, "It’s hard to see how that can make much of a difference given that oil refineries can barely process the oil as it is." Also, the Congressman’s staff point out that it is illegal to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the purpose of reducing gasoline prices.
Congressman Knollenberg also reported that he and other members are working hard to attach language to at least seven appropriations bills to prevent the Administration from attempting to implement provisions of the Kyoto treaty, which has not been ratified by the U.S. Senate. He noted, however, that it is tough marshalling support to oppose the Administration’s climate change policies. Administration officials accuse Congressman Knollenberg and other members of stifling research and development. The Congressman says the Administration argues that his amendment language "prevents the President from exercising his Executive powers." Rep. Knollenberg says that his amendments are legitimate congressional efforts to stop the Administration from violating the Constitution and implementing provisions of the unratified Kyoto treaty. But he notes that some Members of Congress, although skeptical about the Administration’s global warming claims, feel compelled to show that they are concerned about combating global warming.
Task Force director John Carlisle expressed some surprise that Congress still feels pressure to address the Administration’s views on alleged man-made global warming. He specifically noted that scientists and the Environmental Protection Agency harshly criticized the Administration’s recently-released National Assessment on Climate Change Impacts on the U.S. as based on bad science. In addition, NASA scientist James Hansen, a leading proponent of the global warming theory, partially recanted on some of his views in August. Rep. Knollenberg says the problem is that most Congressman just do not know much about the global warming issue and tend to react without getting the facts. For more information, contact Aloysius Hogan, Legislative Director for Rep. Knollenberg, at 202-225-5802 or by e-mail at [email protected].
EPA Roiled by Racial Discrimination Charges
Dr. Bonner Cohen of the Lexington Institute reported that several African-American employees at the Environmental Protection Agency have charged that a number of agency managers have discriminated against them through denial of job opportunities, scapegoating and promotion of racially-biased managers. In an effort to address these claims, EPA Administrator Carol Browner met with a NAACP-led delegation. The meeting, however, ended in disaster with harsh exchanges occurring between Browner and the NAACP representatives, according to a source present at the meeting. For more information, contact Bonner Cohen at 703-522-9643 or by e-mail at [email protected].
National Wilderness Institute Releases New Report on EPA Persecution of Employees
Bonner Cohen announced the release of a new report he authored for the National Wilderness Institute, "’Under the Guise of Environmental Protection,’ EPA Revealed." The report argues that the EPA is increasingly finding it difficult to employ qualified scientists due to the overly politicized atmosphere of the agency. For more information, contact Bonner Cohen at 703-522-9643 or by e-mail at [email protected].
National Center For Public Policy Research Launches Environmental Justice Project
Task Force director John Carlisle announced that the National Center For Public Policy Research has launched a new Environmental Justice project that highlights environmentalism’s negative impact on minorities and calls for a new environmental policy that balances minorities’ need for economic opportunity with environmental goals. Carlisle noted an econometrics study commissioned by black and Hispanic groups showed that the Kyoto treaty would reduce earnings of black and Hispanic workers by 10% and throw 864,000 blacks and 511,000 Hispanics out of work. The National Center plans to aggressively market these and many other examples of environmental injustices to minorities through policy papers, op/eds, letters-to-the-editor and press releases as part of an effort to build a grassroots Environmental Justice coalition. For more information, contact John Carlisle at 202-507-6398 or by e-mail at [email protected].*
-by John Carlisle