« BACK  |  PRINT

RS

MEMBER DIARY

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); What women need to know.

Every woman that has ever run a household budget, balanced her check book, ran a business and/or worked with a budget knows that there is NO room for waste!

Every day the talking heads on both sides are reporting something about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and how the administration will either help or hurt America. One of the talking heads conversations was how the EPA is discussing if they want to regulate cow milk when it spills this is not exactly on the top of my list for environmental issue and so my first impression was “that’s just stupid”. If you are like me, I listen and try my best to figure it all out or ‘trust’ my elected official to do the right thing. The milk issues prompted research and writing of this article to at least educate myself and other women on the EPA basics.

The basics:
Who’s in charge?
The first African-American to serve as the Administrator for the EPA is Lisa P. Jackson. She is in charge of 17,300 employees and $10.5 billion for the fiscal year of 2010 which was the highest budget in the 39 year history of the administration. Her qualification to run such as administration includes being former Chief of Staff to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine, Commissioner of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and 16 years as an EPA employee. She graduated from Tulane University and Princeton University with a master’s in chemical engineering (EPA.gov). Her qualification and education indicates to me that she is well suited for the position.

The focus of the EPA:
Ms. Jackson’s focus for her and her employee’s;
“…focus on vulnerable groups including children, the elderly and low-income communities that are
particularly susceptible to environmental and health threats…” (EPA.gov)

“…usher in a green economy, address health threats from toxins and pollution, and renew public trust
in EPA’s work” (EPA.gov)

Her ‘big picture’ tries to ensure that Americans feel comfortable with the administration existence:
“she has promised all stakeholders a place at the decision-making table” (EPA.gov)

Stakeholders? Who are the stakeholders?

The stakeholders are Americans but the EPA is a government administration that gets a budget approved within the budget that Congress approves and the President signs. The federal budget is not monitored or audited and employee accountability is very different from the real world therefore accountability to shareholders is far from reality. The position of administrator is also an appointed position by the President so accountability to stakeholders who had no input into the selection of administrator creates an immediate disconnect, a lack of responsibility and accountability to stakeholders, as long as the President is happy ~ the Administrator has a job.

2010 Budget:• 10.5 billion in discretionary budget
• 3.9 billion for EPA’s operating budget
• 19 million Greenhouse Gas (GHG)
• 475 million for programs in the Great Lakes region
• 3.9 billion Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs)
• 18 million deployment of green infrastructure for water treatment
• 1.3 billion Superfund
• 600 million EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
• 24 million to fully fund five Water Security Initiative (WSI)
• 1.1 billion grants for states and tribes for human health and the environment (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act)

Goals of the EPA:The EPA’s top seven goals include the following:
• Taking Action on Climate Change
• Improving Air Quality
• Assuring the Safety of Chemicals
• Cleaning Up Our Communities
• Protecting America’s Waters
• Expanding the Conversation on Environmentalism and Working for Environmental Justice
• Building Strong State and Tribal Partnerships (EPA Blog)

What does the EPA really do?
The EPA creates laws for protecting public health and the environment,
“However, most laws do not have enough detail to be put into practice right away. EPA is called a regulatory agency because Congress authorizes us to write regulations that explain the critical details necessary to implement environmental laws. In addition, a number of Presidential Executive Orders (EOs) play a central role in our activities” (Office of Regulatory Policy and Management)

EPA Regulations create job losses: (just listed a few)• Tightening of ozone rules will create 7.3 million job losses by 2020
• 800,000 jobs will be lost due to control of technology for the boiler industry (EPA at 40…)
• For us women who own a home; try to sell your house, the EPA will regulate that and it will cost you money! (EPA: Out Of Control And Coming For You!)

Besides controlling job growth, the EPA seems to have a big focus on air quality, water and climate change spending billions of Americans hard earned cash. We need to remember as Americans we already have some of the best water, air and climate change policies in the world and without controlling other countries pollution issues we are pouring money down the drain (California Pollution: Made in China?

My opinion:The EPA is out of control.
How can Congress, The President and Ms. Jackson justify spending $10.5 billion (the highest budget in 39 years) in the worst economy America has ever experienced?
They can’t.
I understand big picture thinking and tactical and strategic thinking/actions but this is out of control. We have Americans wondering where their next meal will come from. Putting a hold on or eliminating this organization will not create a ‘life or death’ situation.

Ask yourself these few questions:

Is focusing time and taxpayer’s money on regulating milk spills in today’s economy or ever is a good idea?
Why does the EPA complete some of the same task that states complete?
Do I understand the science behind ‘climate change’ and air quality?

Reference:
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
http://www.epa.gov/budget/2010/2010bib.pdf
California Pollution: Made in China?
http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2010/12/01/california-pollution-made-in-china/
EPA at 40 — An Agency Out of Control
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/12/02/epa-agency-control/
EPA.gov Blog,
http://blog.epa.gov/administrator/
EPA: Out Of Control And Coming For You!
http://hoguenews.com/?p=9806
Office of Regulatory Policy and Management

http://www.epa.gov/lawsregs/laws/index.html

Get Alerts