After being repeatedly poked on the subject by the Associate Press, the Inspector General for the EPA admitted this week that the agency has simply ignored those instructions and the studies were never conducted. (AT&T Live)Can you imagine what the EPA would do if a fossil fuel or mining company simply ignored the law requiring them to study the environmental consequences of their actions?
The Obama administration has failed to study as legally required the impact of requiring ethanol in gasoline and ensuring that new regulations intended to address one problem do not actually make other problems worse, the Environmental Protection Agency inspector general said Thursday.
The conclusion in the new audit confirmed findings of an Associated Press investigation in November 2013. The AP said the administration never conducted studies to determine whether air and water quality benefits from adding corn-based ethanol to gasoline. Such reports to Congress were required every three years under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Given the ongoing debates on the subject, up to and including arguments between the presidential candidates all through the primary battles of both parties for two straight election cycles it’s rather amazing that the EPA could simply blow this off. The topic has made it into the platform committee discussions for both parties and it engulfs a variety of questions ranging from environmental impact to government mandates. There have been hearings held on the hill and endless scholarly papers penned on both sides of the debate.But they don't have to study it, because deep in their hearts, they have an almost religious conviction that the ethanol mandates are good for, well somebody.
Ethanol is hardly without controversy. On the production side it’s been repeatedly shown that it uses up to 300% more water than anyone expected. Vast amounts of land were converted to corn fields in the rush to cash in on the government mandate, causing all manner of environmental havoc. And the resulting fuel has been problematic at best. Consumer Reports has been warning for years that ethanol blends can destroy small engines and boat motors. In fact, this mandate has spawned an entire new industry which produces additives specifically designed to remove the ethanol which the government insists must be added to our gasoline. (There’s an unexpected government stimulus program for you.)You see this over and over. The administration, or rather really, the permanent bureaucracy that nominally answers to the administration regardless of who is in office, decides that parts of the law that allegedly bind them into doing something will simply not be enforced. After all, who will impose the laws will on EPA? I suppose the Justice Department could, perhaps, but there's no joy in that; they'd rather spend their time looking for white collar criminals and people suspected of harboring prejudices against protected classes. And itself, another case.
EPA, like most agencies now, has men with assault rifles available to support their directives against the public, but where in the government is the agency will to deploy them against the EPA when it refuses to follow the law? Hell, they can't even hardly be fired, let alone fined if they break the law.