Sunday, April 4, 2010

Decision Time Rapidly Approaching

The current adminstration is out of control.  They recently passed health care provisions that nobody wanted but they shoved it down our throats anyway.  Now they are about to pass environmental regualtions that they have no control over but will make you pay for the privilege of exhaling that which you just breathed into your lungs for free.  No, you won't find this one shoved down your throat but you will have a sore butt from them shoving it where the sun don't shine! 
Below we have yet another story filled with scare-mongering rhetoric regarding global warming; none of which is true, i.e. "greenhouse gas emissions that are increasing ocean acidity at an alarming rate."  This is all garbage.  The primary purpose of any environmental regualtion is to increase revenue and facilitate the takeover of the United States by the United Nations.  It has nothing to do with the environment...nothing, nothing, nothing! ~ Norman E. Hooben

EPA May Use Clean Water Act to Regulate Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Sunday April 4, 2010
If some businesses and politicians, plus the usual Greek chorus of climate skeptics and conservative pundits, are up in arms about the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (and the U.S. Supreme Court decision that authorized the agency to do so), they're likely to be livid about a new move the EPA is considering: using the Clean Water Act to control greenhouse gas emissions that are increasing ocean acidity at an alarming rate.
But with climate legislation stalled in Congress, the Obama administration is exploring other options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, accelerate climate change, and cause other problems such as increasing ocean acidification.
Since the beginning of the Industrial Age, the ocean's acidity has increased about 30 percent. Today, the world's oceans are absorbing 22 million tons of carbon dioxide every day. Scientists are worried that increasing acid levels in the oceans could disrupt the complex and delicate marine food chain.

According to Richard Feely, an oceanographer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Seattle, ocean acidity today is higher than it has been at any time in the past 20 million years. Citing scientific evidence, Feely said previous high acid levels in the world's oceans have caused mass extinctions of marine plants and animals--damage that it can take nature 2 million to 10 million years to repair.
"The decisions we make now, over the next 50 years, will be felt over hundreds of thousands of years," Feely said in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers.
Greenhouse gases from industrial and tailpipe emissions aren't the only culprits, of course. Ocean acidity is highest in areas where upwelling occurs. Certain types of wind cause the oceans to churn, bringing deep water to the surface. That's upwelling.
Deep ocean water is typically more acidic than shallower water, because it absorbs carbon from dead marine plants and animals as they decompose. When upwelling brings deep water to the surface, it absorbs even more carbon dioxide. By the end of the century, that deep ocean water is expected to be 150 percent more acidic than it is now.
Upwelling is particularly acute along the Pacific coast of the United States and in certain areas off the coasts of Africa, South America and Portugal.
None of this is a done deal yet. Although the Clean Water Act does consider high acidity a pollutant, which would seem to give the EPA the authority to address increasing ocean acidity, agency officials have expressed some misgivings about using the Clean Water Act for that purpose. For one thing, the acidity standard in the Clean Water Act hasn't been updated since 1976 when the legislation was written. For another, the cleanup mechanism in the Clean Water Act is intended more for single sources of pollution than for a broad strategy like reducing ocean acidity.
The EPA published a Federal Register notice in late March, kicking off a 60-day public comment period on whether the Clean Water Act could and should be used to control greenhouse gas emissions that add to ocean acidity. The agency will review and analyze the comments, and should reach a decision by sometime in November. Meanwhile, it is not at all clear which way the agency is leaning.
"This is not an easy issue. We are trying to figure out how to proceed," Suzanne Schwartz, deputy director of the EPA's Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds, told McClatchy Newspapers in an interview. "There are questions about how effective the Clean Water Act will be. Honestly, we don't know what we are going to do."

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