In recent years, the American government has proceeded to overstep its boundaries by enacting and enforcing regulatory laws, which have harmed American businesses and lives (as seen during the 9/11 attacks), that are based on unproven scientific theories instead of cold hard facts. Jobs have been lost in productive industries — such as oil and gas as well as the coal industry — and money has been wastefully poured into unreliable and untested renewable sources of energy (that end up hurting the environment more than helping it) as a result of the government’s overzealous green crusade.
Multiple Nobel Peace Prize winners have commented on the absurdity of Global Warming, which has been the driving force behind the government’s fruitless eco-friendly laws. These new restrictions have caused American companies to fall behind on the international stage in spite of an abundance of natural resources. In order to reduce overall government spending, protect American energy companies from pointless and detrimental regulations, and keep government expansion in check, the scope of the EPA’s power must be reduced, information from interest groups should be held to the same standards as evidence in court (Daubert and Frye standards), and absurd policies that are forced upon US companies by foreign powers should be pulled out from.
The EPA was established on December 2nd, 1970 under the presidency of Richard Nixon. Since the 70s, it has effectively reduced the dirtiness of American life and industry. However, upon reaching whatever goal for the environment it may set, it will reclassify its mission, essentially allowing the EPA to determine just how important it is on a scale that it is capable of manipulating (Subcommittee on Environment p 41-42).
This self-evaluation has allowed the EPA to overstep its bounds and is one of the reasons that American businesses have suffered. According to USEPA, “emissions of Greenhouse Gases… were down to levels that have not been seen since 1997 (Subcommittee on Environment p 39).” Despite this, the EPA continuously bombards American businesses with more and more regulations. The successes of engineers and workers will never be enough for EPA officials to give up their paychecks, and thus they will continue to hurt American companies with overzealous policies that have no purpose other than maintaining a source of revenue. When using EPA data, one will notice that of the 6.1 million tons of fine particulate emissions produced per year, roughly 4 million tons comes from “Miscellaneous” sources, which refers to “all non-industrial, non-transportation sources (e.g.: consumer products, natural sources, etc).” When combining Electric Utility Fuel Combustion, Industrial Fuel Combustion, Other Fuel Combustion, Chemical & allied product mfg, Metals processing, Petroleum & related industries, and Other industrial processes emissions together, it adds up to 21% of total fine particulate emission contribution — a mere third of that produced by the “Miscellaneous” section (Subcommittee on Environment p 36). Despite this, the EPA repeatedly chooses to target industries — due to their easiness to regulate — instead of focusing on the antecedent of environmental woes. Based on information from the FRASE Index, the “most-regulated industry for 2014 was ‘petroleum and coal products manufacturing’ (Febrizio).” People don’t want to be told that they are the problem, and the EPA — afraid of possible repercussions from criticizing the masses — refuses to sacrifice public support for the betterment of society.
A study done by the Institute for Energy Research found that “expanding the development of oil, natural gas, and coal on federal lands” would provide for an extensive economic upturn. Within seven years, “the GDP would increase by $127 billion, 552,000 jobs would be created, and annual wages would increase by $32 billion (Febrizio).” Another study from the Heritage Foundation found that on following the current trend of increased regulations on sectors such as the coal industry would result in the loss of roughly 600,000 jobs, a $1,200 decrease in the average families income, and an aggregate GDP loss of $2.23 trillion by the end of 2023 (Jolevski and Loris). The economically unsustainable practices of the EPA are not only ineffective at solving the modern pollution problem, but reduces the presence of America on a global economic scale.
When government organizations such as the EPA are given the chance to determine their worth and have the power to decide their own necessity in the modern world, it results in a nigh indestructible agent of government power. When public support is added to that via the manipulation of fact distribution, the main body of the government becomes the hostage of such an organization. With an inability to rescind the power of said organization without extreme public backlash, politicians — people worried about getting re-elected — are placed in the mercy of the minds of their inferior. Despite the inherent problems of the EPA, a total phase-out of the organization and their policies would only be detrimental for the future of America. One solution which provides for continued sustainability without potential for the creation of an environmental despot, involves giving congress power over the EPA. If congress were to determine the EPA’s goal, rather than leave it to the EPA itself, the potential for passing more realistic regulations would be increased. When placed under the scrutiny of another power, the EPA should begin targeting actual problems in order to prove its worth — rather than determining it based on their own standards. Drivers are not given licenses based on their own perception of performance, and the same precautions that prevent bad drivers from killing people should be taken to prevent the death of American industries.
Another problem plaguing U.S. industry is the misrepresentation of information from interest groups. While one would expect for information passed to members of congress to be accurate, there is no requirement regarding proof of soundness of an argument (Thomas). Interest groups are capable of using unproven, untested theories to advance their ideologies, and a congressperson with similar ideals to the interest group may overlook the experimental nature of the information provided to them, for the sake of pushing a certain idea among their colleagues and the public. The information brought before politicians should be subject to the same standards as evidence in criminal cases: the Daubert and Frye Standards. Frye provides that evidence submitted to court must pass “general acceptance analysis” among the scientific community related to it. Daubert expands upon Frye by allowing expert testimony from those with firsthand experience in the related field and requires that evidence “can, or has been, tested… has been subjected to peer review and publication… the known or potential rate of error for a particular scientific technique… whether the theory or technique is generally accepted in the relevant scientific community (Roberts, Decandio, and Ingersoll). When subjected to such standards, one would find that a majority of information regarding global warming (the main force behind environmental regulation) is greatly overemphasized. A presentation titled “Quantifying the Lack of Consistency between Climate Model Projections and Observations of the Evolution of the Earth’s Average Surface Temperature since the Mid-20th Century” showcased at the 2014 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union by the Cato Institute is “a straightforward demonstration that climate models project a greater rise in the global average temperature than has been experienced (Michaels and Knappenberger).” According to the research of Nobel Prize winner Ivar Giaever, the Earth has maintained a stable temperature for over 150 years, with only slight increases and decreases (Giaever). Geophysicists have provided copious amounts of information available for for public use, most of which shows that projections for an increased temperature are almost always too drastic. One concern that has been raised is that the vast majority of comparisons regarding climate model projections and observations of the Earth’s surface temperature are not effective. The sentiment among those who are skeptical of these comparisons is that there are variables that are unaccounted for, such as how observed temperature includes regions of missing data “(i.e., incomplete geographic data coverage)” whereas climate models span the entirety of Earth’s surface, as well as how observed temperature collections combine air temperature measurements land with sea surface temperatures in order to reach a global average, meanwhile climate model compilations use flat air temperatures over continental and oceanic bodies. “The combination of these factors is shown to lead to a slight warming bias in the models when compared to the observations. A more appropriate model dataset has been developed and made available for researchers to compare the models with the UK Hadley Centre data through 2014 (Michaels and Knappenberger).”
However, interest groups supporting the idea of anthropogenic global warming have cherry picked and misrepresented the information provided by these geophysicists. The natural warming and cooling of the Earth has been blatantly ignored by interest groups. Upon being subject to the Daubert standard, the fallibility of the incomplete information used by said interest groups will be revealed to the public eye. Receiving the whole picture would assist in reducing the number of pointless regulations passed by congress as a result of misrepresentation with intent to advance a political ideology. Interest groups, lobbyists, and the media have continuously stated that evidence of anthropogenic global warming is incontrovertible. While this fact may be true, they have misrepresented the magnitude at which human life has influenced global warming. The act of misusing the information provided, and not giving congress the whole picture has resulted in the passing of countless job-killing regulations.
In California, laws have been passed based on misrepresented information, resulting in the construction of Ivanpah solar plant. Ivanpah was built on the premise of meeting California’s regulations requiring utility companies to get “33 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and 50 percent by 2030 (Danelski).” Ivanpah cost taxpayers $1.6 billion (Danelski) and was projected to provide $3 billion in economic benefits as well as 1000 construction jobs and 86 permanent jobs (Renewable Energy World). Despite such promising prospects, Ivanpah struggled to meet 45% of its projected annual production goal in its first year, and has only managed to reach three fourths of the goal since then (Danelski). This further wraps into not only economic detriment caused by overzealous environmental protections, but the misinformation on the behalf of the level of advancement regarding renewable energy technologies. To build on the sheer magnitude of the fallacy regarding the technology in Ivanpah, the so-called renewable energy source has resulted in increased Greenhouse Gas emissions. The counterintuitive nature regarding the forced use of incomplete renewable energy technology through the passage of law is based entirely on theories that overstate the level of increase in temperatures in the troposphere.
In response to the incomplete information promotes by ignorant or manipulative groups, global organizations have been created and treaties have been signed, such as the Paris Climate Accord. As his final landmine for the incoming president, Barack Obama signed the United States into the Paris Climate Accord along with 196 other nations. Donald Trump proceeded to pull out of the agreement, resulting in widespread criticism for “rejecting the future. ” Despite protest from climate alarmists and the international community, Trump did not back down from his decision. The American Enterprise Institute released a report in July of 2018 “based on research by the 2018 BP Statistical Review of Global Energy and University of Michigan economist Mark Perry indicating that the United States achieved the largest decline in carbon emissions in the world for the 9th time this century (Downey).” The reduction of 42 million tons of emissions places the United States at the top of an agreement that it signed off from. Numerous countries such as Canada, the European Union, and even China, the “champion of the Paris Climate Accords,” saw an increase in emissions, despite being signing members of the Paris Climate Accords. Thanks to the foresight of the current administration, the United States managed to save face, and more importantly: jobs. The Heritage Foundation projected that “the Paris Accord would cost the United States nearly 400,000 jobs,” and would cost taxpayers $2.5 trillion by 2035 (Downey). However, the potential economic downturn the Obama administration could have caused is not the most worrying thing about the Paris Climate Accords. The Obama administration’s willingness to sign the United States into global agreements that are backed by no more than a mere honor system — capable of being circumvented by a mildly intelligent 6 year old child — is alarming. The environmental crusade has caused head government officials to sign away the right of prosperity from the citizens of the United States. This blatant overstep of authority should never be given the chance to occur, as manipulation of one’s desires can cause clouded judgement — as seen with public support of signing away their own economic future to join an agreement of slackers, free loaders, and snakes, all for the pretense of fighting the “most pressing issue the upcoming generations are faced with.”
Moving back to the 1970s — the time during which the World Trade Center was being built — construction teams in the United States started removing asbestos from insulation in anticipation of a ban on the mineral. This resulted in inconsistencies in insulation throughout the floors of the World Trade center. There were four different types of insulation used throughout the World Trade Center, with core columns, the seats of long-span joists, and exterior walls and columns being sprayed with insulation lacking asbestos. The untested insulation had not been checked for quality assurance regarding whether or not “the material remain on the steel (adhesion), resist physical damage (cohesion), insulate properly (thickness and density), and behave as a fire retardant (Morse)” and information regarding its effectiveness would not become available until after the World Trade Center was built. The ineffective coatings applied to beams and girders had started to deteriorate by the 1990s, and entire stories of sheets of insulation had fallen off (Morse). On the floors directly affected by plane impacts, or other locations close to where the fires first started, this may have been fatal for countless people. The spread of the fire allowed for the metal beams to heat and lose rigidity and strength, eventually resulting in the collapse of a floor and many subsequent floors beneath it. Although it can’t be stated for certain, the use of an asbestos related material — which had been proven throughout years of use — may have saved lives of those who may have been trapped and killed in floors that collapsed due to a failure in structural integrity.
As previously stated in the essay, evidence of Global Warming and whether or not humans contribute to it is incontrovertible. However, the planet goes through natural periods of warming and cooling. Geophysicists have discovered that the Earth is currently in a natural warming period. Despite this, they have also noted that within the last 20 years, the rate of global warming has significantly decreased. Furthermore, the Cato Institute has noted that “the observed warming rate has been beneath the model mean expectation for periods extending back to the mid-20th century — 60+ years,” and successfully demonstrates this by compiling and comparing the observed warming rate to the range of climate model predictions regarding warming rates from 1951 to the present day (Michaels and Knappenberger). Despite this information, global warming alarmists and environmental activists continue to push their agenda and spread lies to the global community regarding the seriousness of the threat faced in the future. The malicious intent of these activists is obvious — they plan to use the natural order of life in order to push their agenda. Countless American jobs have already been lost, families affected, hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted, unknown amounts of time lost, and all because interest groups and the Environmental Protection Agency want to push the envelope to see just how much they can get away with. The most effective manner of rectifying this blatant manipulation of the citizens of the United States is through proper education, and ensuring that every child knows the real depth of the threat they face, and allowing them to weigh that against their financial stability in the future. However, this is highly unrealistic as it would challenge the mainstream agenda, and the introduction of such knowledge into the education system would hurt all of the key speakers fat cats that could serve to make a quick buck preaching about their own theories and what they plan to do to combat the latest enemy of mankind. The most realistic way to do things is through a roundabout manner, going through the courts, congress, and the executive. Luckily, the current president seems more open to the notion that the crusade to save the planet is nothing more than a farce, and that in order to make meaningful change, people will need to be able to sustain themselves financially to fully reap the benefits of a cleaner Earth. By getting the president to force the EPA to answer to goals set for it by congress, forcing evidence provided by interest groups to go through the same scrutiny as evidence provided in criminal court cases, and pulling out of global contracts in order to focus on what the United States needs, a path will be paved not only for environmental sustainability, but economic sustainability as well.
By providing a test for information regarding the implementation of new regulations and looking at things from a fiscally responsible standpoint, while keeping in mind the potential for tyranny when giving a government more and more power, the United States may be able to lead a new movement for improving overall quality of life within the 50 States, then the continent of North America, and eventually — if met with enough success — the world. However, in order to reach the endpoint, there must be a starting line, and without aid from the government and a decent chunk of well-informed individuals, the movement for a true better tomorrow will never come to light.