Unsettled Science

The New York Times has a post up titled E.P.A. Chief, Rejecting Agency’s Science, Chooses Not to Ban Insecticide. That headline is somewhat misleading. EPA Administrator Pruitt killed the regulation because its scientific basis had been challenged by outsiders, including scientists at the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

The ban would have eliminated chlorpyrifos, one of the most commonly used classes of insecticides. Pruitt has sent the agency staff back to resolve the questions raised by the USDA and others. So, for now, chlorpyrifos will still be used by farmers to protect their crops.

“It means that this important pest management tool will remain available to growers, helping to ensure an abundant and affordable food supply for this nation,” Sheryl Kunickis, director of the U.S.D.A. Office of Pest Management Policy, said in a statement Wednesday.

Read the whole thing. It give a glimpse into a turf war between two of the embedded bureaucracies and how pitting one against the other might be a useful strategy to reign in overregulation.

I’m Not Making This Up, You Know

Gina McCarthy, the head of the Obama Administration’s EPA, wants to help fight global warming by reducing the efficiency of air conditioning. She wants to further restrict the use of hydrofluorocarbons which are used as the working fluids in refrigeration and air conditioning systems. There are substitutes such as ammonia, but they are less efficient.

So the way to fight global warming is to reduce the efficiency of air conditioning so that even more energy will be required. We’re gonna need a whole lot of windmills to handle that.


The EPA official who compared his enforcement methods with crucifixion has resigned. (H/T, Instapundit)

Note to the EPA: There may also be Eighth Amendment issues with crucifixion.

UPDATE–Ed Morrissey notes:

Armendariz’ departure may allow the EPA to spin a little longer, but the agency has “crucified” too many people for their approach to remain a secret. All Armendariz’ admission did was to corroborate the large body of evidence from inside the agency.

Pour l’encouragement des autres

The EPA admits to what amounts to randomly bullying a few to assure the compliance of the many. Video here. Can someone explain for me how this fits with the idea of equal protection of the laws?

Is it November yet?

UPDATE–The title of this post is a line from Candide describing a practice of occasionally shooting an admiral in order to keep other officers on their toes. I wonder … admirals … agency administrators …


UPDATE 2–The EPA has apologized for those remarks and assures us that they only engage in “ethical” enforcement. By that, I suppose they mean the sort of high-handed behavior that the Supreme Court slapped down 9 to 0 in the Sackett case earlier this term. To paraphrase a Supreme Court Justice: Your apology isn’t selling very well.

UPDATE 3–Commenter rehajm at Althouse takes note of the crucifixion part of the original EPA remarks to remind us of the following bureaucratic instructions:

Crucifixion? Good. Out of the door, line on the left, one cross each …

Brevity Verbosity is the Soul of Wit a Nitwit

It seems that the new CAFE regs coming from the EPA are not only the most costly to the economy, they’re the most verbose. They require over 550 pages of 10-point type set in three columns. Today’s Federal Register wasn’t released on time. Hmmm.

Moses needed fewer than 80,000 words for the Torah. That’s all the Law plus the histories of the Patriarchs and the Exodus.