Lawlessness at the EPA

07/22/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Remember Jack Benny's reply when held up at gunpoint? Your money or
your life was the demand. "I'm thinking, I'm thinking," was the reply.
Well, the response we heard from the administration last week
was that they will take both. Money, money, money makes the world go
round, says the song. But CO2 and nitrous oxide emissions threaten our
life. So EPA will simply ignore the Supreme Court ruling that CO2, a
greenhouse gas, should be regulated as a pollutant. The key to
remember is that more oil and coal production equals more Co2 in our
atmosphere. That equals increased warming. Because we have failed to
develop renewable fuels, instigated a carbon tax, issued meaningful
vehicular gas standards, and emphasized technological energy
conservation, we "are addicted to oil". Who said that anyway? Was
that a cynical statement or just Orwellian doublespeak? That addiction
warning quarrels perfectly with the new cry: Drill, drill, and drill
anywhere. Don't think, just drill. Let's just change a letter or two
of that refrain and make it: Dumb, dumb, dumb.

So here we are between a rock and a really hard place. The
administration has defied the Supreme Court and hidden evidence that
these emissions are harmful. Another one of the mysterious deleted
emails documented the harm. At the very least, that is naughty, at the
worst, criminal. Apparently, you don't have to obey the law. You just
change it when you think no one is looking, if you are the President
or the Vice President. Outlaws in the Oval office? Go stand in the
corner. Time for a time out.

Two problems arise. First, we need to fix emissions. They cause harm
to health and increase world warming. By now, we all know the
consequences of accelerating warming: famine, migration, loss of
species, and catastrophic storms to name a few. We are not dolts; we
have the capability to make the necessary changes. It is a matter of
will, innovation, and yes, inconvenience. By now, there is no
alternative. If you hear otherwise, it is false. It is that simple. It
is a siren song.

So what do we do? We get to work, create solutions and a whole,
vibrant new industry.

The starting gun for the energy race began years ago and we are
losing. Here is how we catch up.

Convene the best energy minds, and there are many, in the world in a
big room and give them ten days to formulate a plan that includes:

-- Some drilling, where appropriate, cost effective, and expeditious.

-- Some coal, produced by retrofitted or new power plants that
cuts smog in half and reduces co2 emissions by 15% Use carbon
sequestration (burying carbon) offsets emissions by 90%.

-- Provide tax subsidies for wind, solar, and geothermal. Put in
place businesses incentives to develop the infrastructure for
transferring that energy from one part of the country to another.

-- Mandate energy conservation technology in plants, federal,
state and municipal buildings as well as commercial structures.
Require green architecture standards. They are not onerous.

-- Mandate smart car standards now not in 25 years. Detroit
might not have to look at Toyota's rear end had that action been taken
6 or 7 years ago.

-- Consider the pros and cons of nuclear energy.

-- Call for action from all of us to conserve gasoline, heating
fuel, paper, food, and energy wherever we can. Ask us to give back to
our country. We are ready and waiting to be a national community and a
national movement to save our country and ourselves.

The other problem is how do we deal with elected officials who simply
do not obey the law? How do we handle officials whose arrogance mocks
our ethical behavior? Throw them out of office for starters. Once we
are rid of these thieves of our future, take them to court, as an
example that when we break the law, we are held accountable. Our
leaders need to know that there are consequences for thumbing their
noses at the glue of our country: our law.