Opinion

GOP Senate staffers post top 10 reasons shutdown’s not all bad

A government shutdown that slows down the Obama EPA’s assault on American industry isn’t all bad.

That’s the message behind a list put out Tuesday by Republican staff members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that described the “Top Ten Reasons the Government Shutdown Isn’t So Bad.”

gulfdrill1016Reported by Politico on Wednesday, the list ranges from how the shutdown means fewer armed raids by EPA investigators on mining camps in Alaska to how it exposes the hypocrisy of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s positions on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Here’s the list. It’s got a light-hearted tone, but the underlying message is deadly serious:=

10.  Approximately 15,000 EPA employees are furloughed, making it less likely fake CIA agents at EPA will be ripping off the taxpayer

A former EPA official last month pleaded guilty to criminal charges of stealing almost $900,000 from the agency by pretending to be using his job with the EPA as cover for a secret job with with CIA.

According to the Washington Post, John C. Beale managed to fool supervisors at the EPA for years by disappearing from work periodically and explaining it by saying he was working for the CIA.

9. EPA doesn’t have the manpower to raid Alaska mines with armed guards

Armed EPA agents in body armor descended in August on a mining camp in Chicken Alaska searching for evidence of violations of the Clean Water Act, according to Fox News. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell has announced an investigation of the “intrusion.”

8. Fewer bureaucrats at the EPA makes it less likely that they’ll make up science on new regulations

U.S. Sen. Dave Vitter, R-La., the ranking Republican on the committee has complained repeatedly that EPA rules and regulations are based on flawed science when it comes to carbon emissions, methanol, natural gas drilling and other industrial activities.

7. Former Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar is worried about oil production in the Gulf of Mexico

The staffers are mocking a statement by former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar made on Oct. 1 warning that “the continued shutdown of the federal government will ultimately affect the government approval of activities in the Gulf of Mexico. [Given] the contribution the Gulf is making to the energy future of the United States . . . it’s not the kind of rollback we ought to have.”

Given the contributions Salazar made to shutting down oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico on behalf of the Obama administration  with a moratorium in 2010 after the BP well blowout, Salazar’s concern about the industry is considered suspect by the GOP staffers.

6. World War II veterans have stormed the Normandy beaches again. (Sadly, they had to, in order to gain access to their own memorial)

Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have begun an investigation into the National Park Service’s decision to close the national parks and memorials in Washington, D.C.

5. EPA doesn’t have the manpower to unilaterally expand its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act

Vitter and other Republicans on the committee have been trying to rein in the EPA’s efforts to expand its jurisdiction under the act.

4. U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) still finds time on the Senate floor to make inaccurate claims about green jobs.  (This is a positive, right . . . NOT!)

“There are more jobs now in green energy than in the entire oil and gas industry.” – Senator Whitehouse, October 10, 2013

Republican staffers on the Environment and Public Works Committee don’t like Democrat senators making speeches they think are factually wrong.

Their list explains:

“A recent study =by the American Petroleum Institute found that as of 2011 the oil and gas industry supports 9.8 million full-time and part-time jobs, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2011 there were only 3.4 million “green” industry supported jobs. Estimates from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory show that the federal government spent approximately $9 billion on green jobs, while only creating 910 new, long-term jobs. This means American taxpayers spent $9.8 million per job.”

3. Far-left environmentalists prove themselves hypocrites again: They criticize continuing oil and gas production on federal lands during the shutdown but issue no call to halt wind turbines

No explanation needed. Nothing is ever wrong with wind power for environmental groups. Nothing is ever right with fossils fuels.

2. President Obama has a temporary excuse for his stonewalling on FOIA and other transparency demands of the Administration

Another tongue-in-cheek “bright side.” With more than 90 percent of EPA employees furloughed, Republican staffers on the committee aren’t getting much of the information they seek from the agency.

1. “Richard Windsor” has been furloughed-for good!

In one of the least reported scandals of the Obama administration’s first term, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson admitted using the alias “Richard Windsor” to conduct EPA business out of view of the public.

The fake employee Richard Windsor was even awarded ethics certificates by the agency  for courses “he” took, according to the Washington Examiner.

With Jackson retired and employees furloughed, it looks like “Richard Windsor” is out of public life permanently.

 

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