Thirteen years of regulatory oversight?
From the Detroit News:
Numerous violations and longstanding concerns that the Edenville Dam could not withstand a significant flood led the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to revoke its license for power generation in September 2018.
“Thirteen years after acquiring the license for the project, the licensee has still not increased spillway capacity, leaving the project in danger,” wrote Jennifer Hill, director of the division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance. “The spillway capacity deficiencies must be remedied in order to protect life, limb and property.”
Saving Mussels not People?
Also from the Detroit News:
Days after feds revoked the dam’s license to generate power, the state assumed oversight, inspected the dam and declared it and its spillways to be in “fair structural condition.”
Over the next two years, state regulators appear to have focused increasingly on what they said was the company’s unauthorized drawdown of winter water levels of Wixom Lake, which they said created a danger to freshwater mussels.
Continue reading “The Breached Michigan Dam Was Supposed to Save Mussels?”
By Blake Hurst
This guest post is by Blake Hurst, a farmer in northwest Missouri, growing greenhouse flowers, corn, and soybeans. He is also president of the Missouri Farm Bureau.
Farmers and what critics call “industrial agriculture“ are under public pressure—over genetically modified seeds, long-standing fear of chemicals, and concerns about animal welfare. Farmers’ methods of producing food are criticized in documentaries, in best-selling books, and of course, on Twitter. Heck, dairy farmers even got a starring role at the Academy Awards, when Joaquin Phoenix gave his opinion on the evils of drinking milk.
Not only are farmers in trouble in the court of public opinion, but we’re also faring poorly in actual courtrooms. Lawsuits against Roundup, the most ubiquitous crop-protection product on the market, have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments against the German chemical company Bayer. Bayer recently purchased Monsanto, the company that brought Roundup to the market. Hair-on-fire ads on TV and social media have convinced at least 42,000 people to file suit against Bayer, leading the company to signal a willingness to accept a multi-billion-dollar settlement.
The lawsuits claim that Roundup causes cancer, but regulatory agencies worldwide have failed to find a link between Roundup and cancer. In fact, the U.S. EPA has taken the unprecedented step of intervening in a related lawsuit in California that would require products with the chemical to be labeled as carcinogenic. The EPA has, in no uncertain terms, told the court that such a label would contradict the agency’s conclusions about the carcinogenicity of Roundup. Continue reading “The War on Roundup: A War on Science in Agriculture”
By H. Sterling Burnett
You may have heard that the Trump administration is proposing changes in the 50-year-old National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which mandates federal regulatory environmental oversight of major infrastructure projects. These changes are appropriate and overdue. Here’s why.
NEPA requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions before they can go ahead. The actions covered by NEPA are broad, including projects such as building highways and airports, managing forestland, and constructing transit systems.
NEPA was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1970. It has not been substantially updated in decades, during which time its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) requirements have been stretched beyond what the law itself requires. In fact, they have been stretched beyond what the law allows, under our federalist system of government under the Constituion. This a gross example of mission creep.
On multiple occasions, environmentalists have used NEPA to block federal land management plans that would, in fact, have been environmentally beneficial, and to halt local infrastructure projects that are neither federally directed or managed nor substantially funded by the federal government. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has tacitly, and sometimes actively, supported these lawsuits.
‘Tied up and Bogged Down’
“America’s most critical infrastructure projects have been tied up and bogged down by an outrageously slow and burdensome federal approval process, and I’ve been talking about it for a long time,” Trump said, when signing the proposed reforms on January 9. “These endless delays waste money, keep projects from breaking ground, and deny jobs to our nation’s incredible workers.
Continue reading “Why Should We Endorse Trump’s NEPA Reforms?”