Dry Rot Eating Away At Ron Wyden’s Eastside Forests Bill

Told you so! Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed “Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009″ (OEFROGPJA) is dead in the water and sinking fast. Dry rot is eating away the timbers, and worms are attacking the hull.

Yesterday an eco-litigious group, the Hells Canyon Preservation Council (HCPC), sent Ron an 11-page letter [here] that says, in short, goodbye Charlie.

Previous posts regarding Wyden’s bill (OEFROGPJA) are:

Wyden Proposes the End of Forest Stewardship in Eastern Oregon [here]

AFRC Sells Out [here]

The Principal Defects in Wyden’s Forest Bill [here]

Harris Sherman on Jon Tester’s Forest Bill (same problems in both bills) [here]

What’s wrong with the eastside forest compromise (by Jack Ward Thomas) [here]

Summarizing the Defects in Wyden’s OEFROGPJA [here]

That last one lists and numbers all the flaws in OEFROGPJA. The eco-lits missed all those, except for #11: will not limit or preclude obstructionist lawsuits. The HCPC plays the litigation card in a few places in their letter:

If a main purpose of this Act is to reduce litigation over timber harvest projects, then the elimination of the administrative appeals process during the Interim Period is, simply put, a mistake. HCPC has a long-history of successfully using the appeal process to negotiate with the Forest Service and to ultimately avoid litigation in the vast majority of cases.

The vast majority? But of course, not all. Have lawyers, will sue. That EAJA pot o’ gold is just too tempting.

The HCLP also played the climate change card (no surprise there) and bemoans the switch from a 20-inch-diameter cut limit to a 21-inch-diameter cut limit. Horrors!

Perhaps most amusing is the backbiting against Oregon Wild, the eco-litigious extremist group that engineered the “compromise”.

The non-inclusive process by which the bill was developed was not an auspicious start. We find it highly ironic that a bill encouraging eastside local collaboration was developed without input from any eastside conservation groups. While we have much in common with our westside conservation partners, we could have brought well-needed on-the-ground knowledge to the drafting of this bill. …

In our opinion, excluding eastside groups from the drafting of the bill was also a strategic error. When we have discussed the bill with other interest groups they have reacted strongly to the exclusion of eastside groups. As this bill makes clear, to be effective, collaboration must include all stakeholders, especially those with a long history of committed involvement in the issues and areas at stake. To proceed without the involvement of local stakeholders has undermined the very goals that the bill purports to establish.

HCLP fails to mention that everybody in Eastern Oregon was excluded, not just the wackos. In fact, everybody everywhere was excluded, except for a handful of eco-nazis from Eugene.

Even the fawning Oregonian, which kisses the ground Wyden walks upon upon, had to admit his bill is twitching and gasping [here]:

Despite the unique coalition backing the bill, its chances in congress are uncertain.

“Uncertain” is a code word for all but six feet under. Is that the dirge music I hear?

Told you so. And good riddance, too.

Matt Wingard, Climate Realist

Oregon Rep. Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville) tells it like it is regarding the global warming hoax [here]. It’s nice to see an elected representative with the guts to speak the truth to power. Especially here in Loony Left Oregon, a one-party state.

Palin likens global warming studies to ’snake oil’

Note: Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference in Redding, CA yesterday. The following is the AP report.

Palin likens global warming studies to ’snake oil’

By JUDY LIN, San Jose Mercury News, 02/08/2010 [here]

REDDING, Calif.—Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin called studies supporting global climate change a “bunch of snake oil science” Monday during a rare appearance in California, a state that has been at the forefront of environmental regulations.

Palin spoke before a logging conference in Redding, a town of 90,000 about 160 miles north of the state capital. The media were barred from the event, but The Associated Press bought a $74 ticket to attend.

Palin said California’s heavy regulatory environment makes it difficult for businesses to succeed, a point that is shared by many business leaders in the state.

She criticized what she said were heavy-handed environmental laws. As Alaska governor, for example, she said she sued the federal government to overturn the listing of polar bears as a threatened species.

As Alaska North Slope wells dry up, the state is examining offshore drilling for oil and natural gas reserves. Protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act could thwart those explorations, according to Palin and her successor, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, who has picked up the cause.

Palin told the audience that filled the 2,000-seat Redding Convention Center that she disagreed with the science the government used to support the listing.

“We knew the bottom line … was ultimately to shut down a lot of our development,” she said during her 40-minute speech, which was followed by a 20-minute question-and-answer session.

“And it didn’t make any sense because it was based on these global warming studies that now we’re seeing (is) a bunch of snake oil science.”

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Battling Over the Forest Restoration Meme

When does “forest restoration” mean “abandonment to catastrophic destruction”? Answer: in the “Green Budget 2011″ proposal.

A coalition of quangos (quasi-governmental non-governmental organizations) is playing games with words. They want the word “restoration” to mean the opposite of what it actually means, prompting a battle over the meme.

The “Green Budget 2011″ [here] was prepared by 34 “environmental” lobbying groups including perennial litigation-happy bullies such as Defenders Of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and the World Wildlife Fund. Note that these same groups are the big pigs at the EAJA trough, raking in $billions from the government to sue the government in order to sabotage restoration programs [here].

The Green Budget 2011 defines “restoration” this way:

Restoration management should be viewed as a way to recover the natural processes, structure, composition and function of a healthy forest ecosystem; it is an intentional effort to restore land, air, and water degraded by human activities to a more natural state, enhancing our forests’ ability to adapt and be resilient to disturbances and change. This is a separate and distinct vision from traditional logging or hazardous fuels reduction; while these activities may have a place on national forests, the goals and objectives are not necessarily consistent with ecosystem restoration, and the terms should not be used interchangeably.

In other words, to the quangos “restoration” means No Touch, Let It Burn, Watch It Rot.

In actuality, real forest restoration means active management to bring back historical cultural landscapes, historical forest development pathways, and traditional ecological stewardship to achieve historical resiliency to fire and insects and to preclude and prevent a-historical catastrophic fires that decimate and destroy myriad resource values.

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President Jokes About ‘Snowmageddon’

This is priceless:

Epic Snowstorm Batters Mid-Atlantic Region

Fox News, February 06, 2010 [here]

WASHINGTON — Mid-Atlantic residents were buried Saturday from a likely record-setting blizzard the president jokingly called “Snowmageddon,” and those brave enough tried to clear a path through the wet, heavy mounds of thigh-high snow.

The snow was falling too quickly in the nation’s capital for crews to keep up, and officials begged residents to stay home and out of the way so that roads might be cleared in time for everyone to return to work Monday. The usually traffic-snarled roads were mostly barren, and Washington’s familiar sites and monuments were covered with nearly 2 feet of snow. …

The storm toppled trees and knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of customers in Washington, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The situation was the same in West Virginia, where some 400 National Guard troops were helping with snow removal. …

First, there was a small fender bender on the White House south lawn. Then a tree branch, overcome with snow, cracked and fell on a motorcade vehicle with press inside when the president was coming back from a speech at the Democratic National Committee’s winter meeting in town.

Instead of a presidential limo, Obama rode in a black SUV covered with presidential seals.

Obama thanked Democrats for being “willing to brave a blizzard. Snowmageddon here in D.C.” …

Barack O. is from Hawaii via Indonesia. “Snowmageddon” is painful irony, because for years the Dems have been hysterical about Thermageddon, aka the Venus Effect, aka the boiling of the seas and end of all life due to runaway global warming as predicted by Al Gore, James Hansen, and various other nutjobs.

But it’s all a joke, a rude joke, a joke on you and me, the American taxpayers, who are being asked to fork over $trillions and to gut the American economy in the name of preventing Thermageddon.

Ha ha, Mr. President. Très drôle. Now sack your worthless Constitution-bashing climate czars, including EPA drama queen Lisa Jackson and population bomber John Holdren. The joke (aka the biggest hoax in history) is over.

Cap-and-Trade Is Dead

In case you didn’t notice, cap-and-trade is dead. Al Gore’s scheme to create a new “carbon market” has bitten the dust. He and his partner in that crime, Goldman Sachs, the global investment banking and securities giant, may or may not realize it, but the canary is belly up.

Al and GS hoped to hamstring American industry (and the world) with an Enron-style market based on fiat “carbon derivatives” of no intrinsic value, bleeding coerced investors, utilities, and rate payers dry. But the MSM is now reporting what the rest of us have known for awhile — that dog won’t hunt.

Advocates of Climate Bill Scale Down Their Goals

By JOHN M. BRODER and CLIFFORD KRAUSS, NY Times, January 26, 2010 [here]

WASHINGTON — As they watch President Obama’s ambitious health care plan crumble, the advocates of a comprehensive bill to combat global warming are turning their sights to a more modest package of climate and energy measures that they believe has a better chance of clearing Congress this year.

Their preferred approach, a cap-and-trade system to curb emissions of climate-changing gases, already faced a difficult road in a bruised and divided Senate. Its prospects grew dimmer after the special election in Massachusetts last week was won by Scott Brown, a Republican who repudiated the federal cap-and-trade proposal in his campaign.

Republicans, industry executives and some Democrats have already written cap and trade’s obituary, at least for this year. And even some of the system’s most ardent supporters now say they must scale back their ambitions and focus on job-creating energy projects and energy efficiency measures if they are to have any hope of dealing with climate change in this Congress.

“Realistically, the cap-and-trade bills in the House and the Senate are going nowhere,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who is trying to fashion a bipartisan package of climate and energy measures. “They’re not business-friendly enough, and they don’t lead to meaningful energy independence.”

Mr. Graham said the public was demanding that any energy legislation from Washington focus on creating jobs, whether by drilling for offshore oil or building wind turbines.

“What is dead is some massive cap-and-trade system that regulates carbon in a fashion that drives up energy costs,” he said. …

Last December Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member, Committee on Environment and Public Works, announced at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen [here]:

I want to be sure the 191 countries understand this: again, an economy-wide cap-and-trade bill stands no chance of passing. …

Today the cost of cap-and-trade bills before the House and Senate bear striking resemblance to those of Kyoto. Take the Waxman-Markey bill, for example. A government study by the Energy Information Administration concluded that the Waxman-Markey bill destroys up to 2.3 million jobs in 2030 and destroys up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs in 2030 — and, I should note, those figures include new green jobs, so they are net job losses.

And in September, under pressure from a Freedom of Information Act request, the Obama Administration released a per-household cost estimate of the President’s cap-and-trade program. The cost per family was over $1,700 per year. Again, that would be the largest tax increase in history. …

When asked to prioritize a list of 20 public policy issues, respondents put climate change dead last. And the Senate has responded. At most there might be 25 votes in the Senate for a cap-and-trade bill, and they need 60.

My stated reason for attending Copenhagen was to make certain the 191 countries attending COP-15 would not be deceived into thinking the US would pass cap-and-trade legislation. That won’t happen. And for the sake of the American people, and the economic well-being of America, that’s a good thing.

Inhofe was correcto mundo. Cap-and-trade is deceased, has kicked the bucket, and is pushing up daisies.

Poor Al. The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.

Summarizing the Defects in Wyden’s OEFROGPJA

I fear that I have been too florid in my analyses of Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed “Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act of 2009″ (OEFROGPJA). My excess verbiage has obscured the key defects. In this post I simplify and specify with minimal artisticality of prose.

Previous posts regarding Wyden’s bill (OEFROGPJA) are:

Wyden Proposes the End of Forest Stewardship in Eastern Oregon [here]

AFRC Sells Out [here]

The Principal Defects in Wyden’s Forest Bill [here]

Harris Sherman on Jon Tester’s Forest Bill (same problems in both bills) [here]

What’s wrong with the eastside forest compromise (by Jack Ward Thomas) [here]

From those I have extracted the main issues, and who made the particular point:

1. prescriptive language violates NEPA and NFMA (Harris Sherman) (Mike Dubrasich)

2. draws action and funding away from other projects (HS)

3. will NOT result in any increased harvest (HS) (MD) (Jack Ward Thomas)

4. creates unrealistic expectations on the part of communities and forest products stakeholders (HS)

5. provisions are duplicative of existing authorities, such as the Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2009 (HS) (MD)

6. will not achieve undefined “comprehensive ecological restoration” (MD)

7. proposed management guidance by “plant association” scientifically untenable, unmappable, obtuse (MD)

8. statutory limits on the size of trees removed scientifically untenable, unworkable, will not achieve resiliency goals (MD)

9. proposed management guidance by “site potential tree heights” scientifically untenable, unmeasurable, obtuse (MD)

10. proposed management guidance by “heterogeneity” scientifically untenable, unmeasurable, obtuse (MD)

11. will not limit or preclude obstructionist lawsuits (which have already been threatened by eco-litigious groups) (MD) (JWT)

12. delays and implementation failures will lead to more and larger destructive (severe, high intensity) wildfires (MD)

13. does not protect (increases risks to) heritage, utility, resiliency, sustainability, public health and safety, private property, and other human values (MD)

14. does not protect (increases risks to) vegetation, habitat, wildlife, water, air, soils, and other ecological values (MD)

15. “local forests” managed under separate laws and overseen by advisory panels financed with federal dollars and staffed with federal employees supplant current legally prescribed planning and management processes (JWT)

16. no guarantee of long-term funding (JWT)

17. does not address systemic problems with USFS mission, existing conflicting laws (JWT)

Hope that helps.

30 Jan 2010, 12:35am
Politics and politicians
by admin
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Land Swapping Bill Proposed by Wyden and Merkley

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley have proposed a new “wilderness” bill for Eastern Oregon that is not quite what it appears to be. The same old enviro propaganda team is tooting their horns, but there is more to the story than meets the eye.

The deal is really a land swap more than anything else, not in the government’s favor, either. But that’s okay. The land to be designated wilderness does not qualify, and that’s a little more problematical. The proposed “protection” is not protection, and it will generate environmental destruction, but given Ron Wyden’s track record in that regard, it is less onerous than his terrible proposed OEFROGPJA bill [here, here].

The story as reported in the MSM:

Wyden, Merkley propose 16,000 acres of eastern Oregon wilderness

By Matthew Preusch, The Oregonian, January 28, 2010, [here]

Oregon’s two senators today proposed adding about 16,000 acres to the system of federally protected wilderness areas.

A land swap between private landholders and the federal Bureau of Land Management would create two new wilderness areas near the John Day River, Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley said.

One of the landowners involved in the potential swap is the Christian youth organization Young Life, whose Washington Family Ranch camp near the town of Antelope occupies the former home of the followers of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

Click [here] to see a map of the proposed wilderness area.

“Oregonians have a deep connection to their land,” Wyden said. “This legislation will strengthen that relationship by creating two wilderness areas that will preserve these natural treasures for generations to come and will serve as a hopeful postscript to the saga of the Rajneeshee colony.”

The map is incomplete. It does not show the Big Muddy Ranch where the loony Rajneeshees lived for a couple of years some 25 years ago in temporary bliss, sucking on nitrous oxide and planning their salad bar poisoning forays into The Dalles. I don’t know that the Rajneeshees need or deserve a postscript. Wyden sounds a little tipsy on that point.

The Big Muddy Ranch is now the site of the Washington Family Ranch, near the confluence of Currant Creek and Muddy Creek. Nor does the map show Antelope, which is just off the map to the west on Hwy 218. But that’s okay.

The map does show the checkerboard BLM ownership that will be traded. It is a good thing to privatize those isolated parcels and block up the Fed ownership.

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AGW, the SEC, and the Decline and Fall of Civilization

As predicted [here], on January 27th the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued an “interpretive guidance” on climate change. The new rule requires corporations to disclose “business or legal developments relating to the issue of “climate change” [here]. The SEC explained:

… [A] company must consider whether potential legislation — whether that legislation concerns climate change or new licensing requirements — is likely to occur. If so, then under our traditional framework the company must then evaluate the impact it would have on the company’s liquidity, capital resources, or results of operations, and disclose to shareholders when that potential impact will be material. Similarly, a company must disclose the significant risks that it faces, whether those risks are due to increased competition or severe weather. These principles of materiality form the bedrock of our disclosure framework.

This new knife cuts in a variety of ways. One implication is that companies must disclose to shareholders how Cap-and-Trade legislation might impact their bottom lines. Dr. Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project, applauds this aspect [here].

Corporate CEOs who have been actively lobbying for cap-and-trade climate legislation may soon find themselves in an embarrassing position thanks to a new Securities and Exchange Commission regulation, says Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project.

The SEC voted January 27 to provide public companies with interpretive guidance that encourages corporations to disclose the possible business and legal impact of climate change to shareholders. Full disclosure will require companies to assess and describe how cap-and-trade legislation can harm company earnings.

“Fully disclosing the business risk of cap-and-trade will embarrass many CEOs who are lobbying for emissions regulations. Shareholders will discover that these CEOs are pursuing legislation that will negatively impact their company,” said Borelli. …

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Reps Walden and Barton Question New SEC Rules on Climate Change

Tomorrow (Jan 27, 2010) the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to issue a new rule requiring corporations to explain how they are “alleviating global warming.”

Representatives Joe Barton and Greg Walden of the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce have sent the SEC a letter requesting answers to seven key questions regarding the action [here].

The SEC plans to issue an “interpretive release” that has the effect of force of law with no hearings, taking no testimony, and without statutory authority to exercise jurisdiction over global warming “abatement.”

The SEC failed (with disastrous consequences for the entire world) to rein in investment banks and their credit default swaps that undermined the financial sector worldwide in 2008. The SEC failed to respond to repeated warnings about the Madoff Ponzi scheme, resulting in $65 billion in losses to investors.

Now the SEC has turned their defective attentions to the global warming hoax, not with the intention to protect investors from the fraud, but just the opposite — to force corporations to further the hoax.

As a result of the SEC’s ill-considered action tomorrow, corporations will be subject to civil lawsuits and criminal penalties if they do NOT participate in the greatest hoax in history.

Barton and Walden seek to forestall the SEC from become fraud merchants, the very thing the SEC was created to protect us from!

Let us hope that SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro and the rest of the SEC Commissioners take heed of Congressional displeasure and reject the new rule. If not, the SEC should be swept clean and responsible individuals installed in their place.

See also: Vested interests scary as any climate change scare by Annie Hales, Irish News [here]. A quote:

The transfer of carbon credits has the potential to devastate western economies.

What’s wrong with the eastside forest compromise

By Jack Ward Thomas, OregonLive.com, January 22, 2010 [here]

Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed legislation on eastern Oregon forests — the Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection and Jobs Act of 2009 — clearly recognizes that the governance of the national forest system is increasingly dysfunctional, expensive, inconsistent, confused and frustrating.

Surely, those who cobbled together this “compromise” did so with the best of intentions. And Wyden has the courage to address the impasse. But the proposal sidesteps the real problem and opens a Pandora’s box. This solution will prove to be neither feasible nor long-lasting while further confusing the situation. Should the national forests become “local forests” managed under separate laws and overseen by advisory panels financed with federal dollars and staffed with federal employees? Who cut this deal — which is proposed as law supplanting current prescribed planning and management processes?

I don’t question the proponents’ integrity or motivations. I applaud their willingness to step forward. But the approach is flawed, inappropriate, less than fully informed and has implications for the management of the entire national forest system. It should be debated in that context.

If current laws, regulations and legal precedents continue in force, success is questionable. Proposed actions remain subject to legal challenge. And unless Oregon’s congressional delegation routinely earmarks funds to execute Wyden’s plan, the anticipated results are unlikely.

The deal assumes status-quo conditions – political, economic, ecological and legal. But dramatic change is but one insect and/or disease outbreak, one fire season, one mill closure, one appeal, one successful legal challenge, one budget, one new research result or one shift in market conditions away.

The deal hinges upon trade-off s between interest groups. Those who wanted environmental protection got their wishes – upfront. Those who wanted a “guaranteed” supply of raw material or a certain number of acres to be “treated” are, in gambler’s terminology, “betting on the come.”

What happens when this deal plays out? Who cuts the next deal? Will Wyden be there – ready, willing, and able – to enact the deal into law?

A similar tact is being taken by Sen. Jon Tester in Montana – but in a very different approach. Imagine such individualized deals made into law for 154 national forests by uncoordinated actions of dozens of senators who come and go with elections.

Clearly, the governance of national forests is dysfunctional due to numerous, overlapping, contradictory laws continuously and variously interpreted by the courts. That’s the problem. These bills are “sick canaries in the mine shaft” – indications that something is dangerously amiss.

Would it not be better to recognize and comprehensibly address that dysfunction?

Jack Ward Thomas is chief emeritus of the U. S. Forest Service.

The EPA and the Data Quality Act

Last week Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), Sen. David Vitter (La.), Rep. Darrell Issa (Calif.) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Wis.) sent a letter [here] to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson expressing concern that the EPA’s recent “endangerment finding” regarding CO2 violates the Data Quality Act.

I’m guessing you never heard of the Data Quality Act (DQA). I hadn’t, either, until today. The DQA is not an Act per se; it is a statute that was attached to an appropriations bill in 2000 (Section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2001 — Public Law 106–554; H.R. 5658). Section 515 directed the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to:

… issue government-wide guidelines that “provide policy and procedural guidance to Federal agencies for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by Federal agencies.”

The OMB did so [here] by defining what the quality (including the objectivity, utility, and integrity) of information means, in the legal sense. The OMB guidelines also established:

… administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain, where appropriate, correction of information disseminated by the agency that does not comply with the OMB or agency guidelines.

In the comment period prior to establishing the guidelines, concerns were expressed about whether the DQA applies to Federally funded scientific research. The OMB said no, unless:

… the agency represents the information as, or uses the information in support of, an official position of the agency.

Federally funded scientists can hold any opinion they want to (at least in regards to the DQA). However, any “information” used by a Federal agency in support of “an official position of the agency” must meet the quality guidelines.

This is a little bit tricky. If the research is Federally funded, and the researcher includes “an appropriate disclaimer … to the effect that the ‘views are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the view’ of the agency,” then that information is outside the purview of the DQA. But if the sponsoring agency “directs the person to disseminate the results, or the agency reviews and approves the results before they may be disseminated,” then the DQA does apply.

In sum, these guidelines govern an agency’s dissemination of information, but generally do not govern a third-party’s dissemination of information (the exception being where the agency is essentially using the third-party to disseminate information on the agency’s behalf).

What does data quality mean? According to the guidelines, qualifying information must be accurate, clear, complete, and unbiased, and must be presented with full, accurate, and transparent documentation. If the information is peer-reviewed (subjected to formal, independent, external peer review), then the objectivity criteria is satisfied, with the provisos that:

(a) peer reviewers [shall] be selected primarily on the basis of necessary technical expertise, (b) peer reviewers [shall] be expected to disclose to agencies prior technical/policy positions they may have taken on the issues at hand, (c) peer reviewers [shall] be expected to disclose to agencies their sources of personal and institutional funding (private or public sector), and (d) peer reviews [shall] be conducted in an open and rigorous manner.

Further, agencies were required to establish:

… administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain, where appropriate, timely correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency that does not comply with OMB or agency guidelines. …

Agencies shall specify appropriate time periods for agency decisions on whether and how to correct the information, and agencies shall notify the affected persons of the corrections made. …

If the person who requested the correction does not agree with the agency’s decision (including the corrective action, if any), the person may file for reconsideration within the agency. The agency shall establish an administrative appeal process to review the agency’s initial decision, and specify appropriate time limits in which to resolve such requests for reconsideration.

Meaning scientific information promulgated by agencies in support of their official positions can be challenged, and the agency must respond to those challenges. Theoretically, if the agency’s response does not satisfy, the appellant may seek judicial relief in Federal court, citing the DQA.

I don’t know if that has ever happened, but the possibility has cropped up regarding the EPA’s CO2 endangerment finding. The four Congresspersons’ letter refer to the Climategate emails and IPCC 4th Assessment as information the EPA relied upon that does not meet the tests of the DQA. They requested that EPA Admin Lisa Jackson conduct a review of the information the EPA used in their endangerment finding, and that she report to Congress as the whether the DQA was violated.

Chances are Jackson will either ignore the letter from Congress, or she may provide some excuses for the EPA’s compromising of the DQA. But the door has been opened to potential appeals and lawsuits, should “affected persons” (all of us) decide to legally invoke the DQA.

The situation is getting curiouser and curiouser. The CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) hoax is disintegrating. There may be a fireworks display or two before the party is over.

The Grandeur of the WFU

by bear bait

The legal situation in the US concerning WFU fire and the Feds is this: they don’t have any financial responsibility for the fire when it leaves Federal Land, unless they are in an agreement with the other public and private land firefighting entities to assist in a cooperative agreement.

On the other hand, the US Attorney General has three teams of US Attorneys, one in Sacramento, one in LA, and one in SLC, whose sole job is to litigate and secure damages when fire from other than Federal origins damage the Federal Estate. They can sue you for your fire and its damages to Federal land and assets, but you can’t sue them if their fire crosses onto your property and damages your land and assets. In two cases [here] that have gone to trial, Pacific Gas and Electric paid $14.75 million due to a right-of-way ponderosa pine that fell across power lines, starting a fire during a wind event. The issue was that PGE was negligent in not removing a tree that was damaged or rotten. I do imagine that a phalanx of utility attorneys have given instructions to lay waste to any possible vegetation that might fall across a power line.

The other case involved the Union Pacific RR, and the judgment against them was for $102 million, due to a broken rail repair fix that resulted in sparks into duff in the right-of-way and the confusion of who did what to suppress the fire and how. You have to know that five barely literate railgang crewmen are not the best witnesses, and they were led into various traps by the Ivy League US Attorney swells, who used their language skills and reasoning skills to baffle, confuse, and demean the blue collar workers. Poofs from law school dazzling a judge. Whoopee. It was established that the fire fighting effort was not that of Hot Shots, and therefore the Railroad was liable. So they ended up paying 102 million bucks for damage to trees that would never be logged, ever, due to specific area protections, but the trespass by fire garnered double stumpage. And then there were estimates of wildlife damage, and habitat damage, and watershed damage (in the Feather River, a river that sends zero water to the ocean, all of it claimed for irrigation and potable water use, and dammed to keep salmon out of it almost in the river’s entirety), and the best one of all “loss of the grandeur of the landscape.”

So if “loss of the grandeur of the landscape” is a compensable damage, where in the hell is it in the WFU, “fire for resource use” handbooks? Where is the NEPA document that so states that wildland fire can result in “loss of grandeur of the landscape?”

I would like the ODF to mention to the Feds that they have the right as a State to petition the Feds to control their freaking fires, and keep them off the non-Federal lands, as we are losing the “grandeur of our landscape” along with other compensable damages as are now recognized in Federal case law by precedent of trial results and judicial opinions.

The tyranny of the Federal Court is upon us, and the irresponsible actions of Federal land managers need to be addressed. If the US Military is not permitted to wage war on its own people, how is it that the Federal land managers can loose fire on the private estate without penalty or Congressional oversight???

The flaming liberals that Oregon elects to Congress need to answer these questions on the campaign trail, and since all but two have been there for a decade or longer, it isn’t like this is something new. This is something blue, and the blue state reps and senators need to go to the firelines and have their feet held to the very same fires.

When Tom Brokaw was still a news anchor, and I believe it was the Derby Fire that threatened his Montana ranch and hideaway, there was no end to the resources the Feds put forth to make damned sure his ranch was not consumed as were so many others. The Derby was a WFU that blew up, and was in “dangerous” terrain (are they not all?), and it was not worth the risk or time and effort to contain in the wilderness, so there was little effort until it was a full fledged fire front. But no public complaints were ever aired on the evening news because the effort to contain it was right where it was supposed to be: at the doorstep of the leading US news anchor.

It is not a world of equality. Never was, never will be. But at the least we can implore the ODF Board to flex some muscle and talk tough to the USFS about the WFU deal, and the impacts on Oregon private resources, for after all, fire protection is paid for by a property tax assessment in most cases. If you don’t have a protection agreement with the state, your fire does not get fought. By ODF or the Feds.

The other question should be, of course, is why does a private person have to insure or pay to protect himself from fire from the Federal estate? Aid to Haiti? Sure. Aid to Iraq? Sure. Aid to New Orleans? Sure. But have the conflagration from the Feds run over your land, where is the aid? Ha ha ha ha……

The GW Hoax Is Collapsing

World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown

by Jonathan Leake and Chris Hastings, The Sunday UK Times, January 17, 2010 [here]

A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.

Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.

In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.

It has also emerged that the New Scientist report was itself based on a short telephone interview with Syed Hasnain, a little-known Indian scientist then based at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.

Hasnain has since admitted that the claim was “speculation” and was not supported by any formal research. If confirmed it would be one of the most serious failures yet seen in climate research. The IPCC was set up precisely to ensure that world leaders had the best possible scientific advice on climate change.

Professor Murari Lal, who oversaw the chapter on glaciers in the IPCC report, said he would recommend that the claim about glaciers be dropped: “If Hasnain says officially that he never asserted this, or that it is a wrong presumption, then I will recommend that the assertion about Himalayan glaciers be removed from future IPCC assessments.” …

The New Scientist report was apparently forgotten until 2005 when WWF cited it in a report called An Overview of Glaciers, Glacier Retreat, and Subsequent Impacts in Nepal, India and China. The report credited Hasnain’s 1999 interview with the New Scientist. But it was a campaigning report rather than an academic paper so it was not subjected to any formal scientific review. Despite this it rapidly became a key source for the IPCC when Lal and his colleagues came to write the section on the Himalayas.

When finally published, the IPCC report did give its source as the WWF study but went further, suggesting the likelihood of the glaciers melting was “very high”. The IPCC defines this as having a probability of greater than 90%. …[more]

Note: not “blunders” but a deliberate hoax with intent to defraud and steal on a global scale. You can’t call this kind of thing “science”. Note also the involvement of BINGO’s. See [here] for a discussion about BINGO’s.

Global Warming Lawsuits Are a Cash Cow for Eco-Litigious Groups

In September we posted a “memo” [here] from Wyoming attorney Karen Budd-Falen which noted that $billions have been paid to eco-litigious groups for suing the federal government.

Thousands of lawsuits have been filed over red-tape procedures, and win, lose, or draw, the eco-suers have received windfall “fees” in outrageous amounts.

Nonprofit, tax exempt groups are making billions of dollars in funding; the majority of that funding is not going into programs to protect people, wildlife, plants, and animals, but to fund more law suits. Ranchers and other citizens are being forced to expend millions of their own money to intervene or participate in these lawsuits to protect their way of life when they have no chance of the same attorney fee recovery if they prevail. In fact, they are paying for both sides of the case–for their defense of their ranch and for the attorney fees for environmental groups receive to sue the federal government to get them off their land. There are also numerous cases where the federal government agrees to pay attorney fees, but the amount paid is hidden from public view.

In October Karen Budd-Falen followed up with another memo [here] detailing some of the more egregious fee claims requested by and paid to the eco-litigation industry and the gross, Wall Street-level compensations paid to the fatcat CEO’s of the “non-profit” eco-law firms.

Bleeding the taxpayers dry and monkey wrenching government agencies with frivolous lawsuits is a never-ending tale of horror. Karen Budd-Falen’s fifth installment is entitled “Attorney Fees Tax Dollars Have Already Decided U.S. Is Globally Warming” [here]. Some excerpts:

… the United States federal government has paid millions in tax dollars to environmental groups to litigate over global warming already. These cases are NOT about whether global warming is or is not a scientific fact, but over timelines and procedures which seem to be impossible for the federal agencies to comply with… and getting paid handsomely to do it. …

[For instance] In the California litigation regarding the Delta Smelt (the 6-inch minnow that has so adversely impacted California’s Central Valley farmers), the federal court rejected a biological opinion because it “failed to consider” climate change data. …

Once a species is listed under ESA, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups then use the National Environmental Policy Act (”NEPA”) process to further their view of global warming. …

Attorney fee awards to environmental groups to continue to sue the federal government is big business… [I]n only 18 of the 50 states, 13 environmental groups have amassed total attorney fees payments of 30 million dollars plus extracting another four million dollars from businesses, all based on payments from federal attorney fee-shifting statutes. The vast majority of these are ESA cases and there are more to come. Recently the Wild Earth Guardians filed a single petition to list 206 species under the ESA, and the CBD [Center for Biological Diversity] has filed a petition to list 225 more species. According to the CBD’s website, this is an exercise in “strategic creative litigation.” There is no way that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can make a “scientific” finding on all those 431 species within the 90 day time frame mandated by the ESA, making federal district court litigation (and the payment of attorney fees) inevitable and profitable.

All of Budd-Falen’s memos on EAJA abuse may be found at the Western Legacy Alliance website [here]. The links there are temporarily broken but should be fixed very soon.

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