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  • EPA Could Regulate Lawnmowers, Speed Limit

    Want to mow your lawn? Better check with the Environmental Protection Agency first.

    Last Friday the EPA issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that would impose a number of unthinkable regulations on the economy and everyday life. One of many is regulation the emissions of a lawnmower. This would require the agency to create different regulations and units of emissions requirements for each gadget that pollutes. Page 337 of the EPA’s ANPR reads,

    “[E]ach application could require a different unit of measure tied to the machine’s mission or output– such as grams per kilogram of cuttings from a “standard” lawn for lawnmowers and grams per kilogram-meter of load lift for forklifts.”

    If one considers all the non-road greenhouse gas emitting sources that need to be regulated, this would not only be a daunting task that would require a great deal of time and human capital, but it would also be very costly.

    As George Mason economist Walter Williams explains, often policymaking considers the benefits, which are questionable in the ANPR, without fully understanding the costs:

    “According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 43,220 highway fatalities in 2003 with an estimated cost of $230 billion. A five mph speed limit would have spared our nation of this loss of life and billions of dollars. Most people would agree that a five mph speed limit is stupid, impractical and insane. That’s one way of putting it but what they really mean is: the benefit of saving 43,200 highway deaths and the $230 billion, that would result from mandating a five mph speed limit, isn’t worth all the inconvenience, delays and misery.”

    Speaking of speed limit regulations, the EPA’s proposed rulemaking also notes on page 324 that “vehicle speed is the single largest operational factor affecting CO2 emissions from large trucks,” and that “every mph increase above 55 mph increases CO2 emissions by more than 1%.” The ANPR puts speed limiters on large trucks on the table as a means of reducing carbon dioxide.

    The ANPR will now move through a 120-day comment period. During these four months, the EPA should strongly consider the inconvenience, misery and massive costs they will impose on the American public if the agency is granted this unprecedented authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    21 Responses to EPA Could Regulate Lawnmowers, Speed Limit

    1. Darvin Dowdy, Houst says:

      I keep hoping some ambitious reporter can get into an Obama news conference or townhall meeting and pose the question to him asking if he would support a 55 mph speed limit on federal highways. Oh to watch him try & squirm out of that one. If he answered yes, he'd instantly lose millions of male voters. Millions! Instantly! Ha! DD

    2. Joy, South Carolina says:

      Are there any reins on the EPA? I hear things like "The EPA mandated" and the "EPA ignored Congress on such and such issue, or "according to EPA regs". Who is making all these rules and how did they get such power?

      The EPA can control the economy with nobody stopping them. I work in an Environmental Lab so I see things every day. For instance, they have a new regulation that goes into the water permits of water treatment plants forcing the plant to monitor mercury discharge. That's fine. What is not fine is that the mercury has to be analyzed at a level far below what would cause damage. There are very few labs with instruments to go that low so the cost to have a sample analyzed is extremely high. Add to that the sampling protocol. A certified lab has to send two men in hazmat suits to get the sample, sometimes many miles. It's not unusual to pay a couple of thousand dollars to have a sample taken which adds to the consumers cost and it does no good at all. Break one of the new light bulbs recently mandated by Congress and you are exposed to thousands of times more mercury.

      One of the tests EPA forces water depts to have done is so expensive that South Carolina made provision for the taxpayers to absorb some of the cost – that would be us. Every lab owner and technician knows that the test is worthless. It yields no useful information whatsoever. There are many EPA mandated tests that are just as useless.

      Bottom line is that the EPA could cripple the economy and nobody would ever know they did it. They could and do make rules that are harmful. The EPA is one scary organization.

    3. Jamie says:

      I used to be an environmental consultant (read: groundwater grunt). It was a source of both amusement and frustration to us that the level of some compounds in groundwater that mandated cleanup was at or below lab detection limits at the time…

    4. Prague says:

      Instructions for commenting are at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/downlo

      Here's the gist of it. They didn't insert the date into the relevant section, but it looks like it's 11 July 2008.

      DATES: Comments must be received on or before [insert date 120 days after date of

      publication in the Federal Register].

      ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-

      2008-0318, by one of the following methods:

      http://www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.

      • Email: a-and-rDocket@epa.gov

      • Fax: 202-566-9744

      • Mail: Air and Radiation Docket and Information Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.,

      Washington, DC 20460. In addition, please mail a copy of your comments on the information collection provisions to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Attn: Desk Officer for EPA, 725 17th St. NW., Washington, DC 20503.

      • Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW, Washington DC, 20004. Such deliveries are only

      accepted during the Docket’s normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.

    5. Pete, Richmond says:

      Re: Mercury limits. The Bush administration tried to curb this craziness, but the left and the environmental lobby screamed bloody murder. Eventually they gave in, and now, everybody pays.

      Common sense just doesn't play in politics.

    6. Frank, Columbus says:

      CO2 is not a criteria polutant, therefore EPA can't regulate it through speed limits or otherwise. Also, the Federal Highway Administration is the federal agency that sets the speed limits on our interstates (with the cooperation of the states), not the EPA. EPA consults with FHWA to reduce polutants through the conformity process. EPA does not have the authority to do anything with speed limits, so relax.

    7. Fritz, Nehalem says:

      “vehicle speed is the single largest operational factor affecting CO2 emissions from large trucks,” and that “every mph increase above 55 mph increases CO2 emissions by more than 1%.”

      Are those people totally brain dead or simply so mathematically challenged that they have no idea what they are talking about? If you increase the speed by 1.8%, it should take more than an increase of 1% in fuel and therefore a similar increase in emissions. Understand that it is not that I do not believe that higher speeds consume more fuel per ton mile which would result in a proportional increase in CO2 emissions, because in a broad sense I do. Instead it is a matter of the rule makers expressing themselves so poorly that it makes me cautious about accepting any statements they make.

      There is also the possibility that they know very well what they are saying and elected to use that phraseology in a deliberate attempt to make appear to be a bigger problem than it actually is, something I would not rule out from government regulators.

      In either case I would want to see the actual data that they are basing it on before I'm willing to accept their statement as written. My reason for this is that I suspect that the first few miles per hour above 55 results in very little difference, but the more you go above 55, the bigger the difference. My reason for believing that is that our current fleet of commercial vehicles has been specked to operate at higher speeds and may not achieve maximum efficiency at reduced speeds.

    8. Jack, Dallas says:

      The EPA is a political organization. Their policies are not created out of pragmatism, but from the politics of the moment.

    9. Jason, North Carolin says:

      This shouldn't surprise anyone; it's a natural evolution of the current fashionable insanity. After all, regulation expands to fill the available space.

    10. RC, New Mexico says:

      Jason, North Carolina says:

      This shouldn’t surprise anyone; it’s a natural evolution of the current fashionable insanity. After all, regulation expands to fill the available space.

      …so does the size and cost of the bureaucracy that investigates and enforces the regulation.

    11. DH, Ohio says:

      As a highly certified drinking water professional, I've dealt with these clowns for over 30 years. I had an EPA engineer tell me with a straight face "I don't care how much it costs, I want to see zero risk." The radical environmental movement totally controls USEPA, and they will bankrupt this country if we don't wake up.

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    13. usmcret, Tennessee says:

      Judging from what the majority of others have written, my last entry is not off-base.

    14. Pingback: EPA considers regulating speed limits « Internet Scofflaw

    15. Tbird Tennesse says:

      Reducing speed limits? Okay what about the value of the time lost? Roughly, it would take a truck driver a little over 4 hours longer to haul a load 1000 miles at 55mph than it would at 70mph.

      A lot of truckers get paid by the road mile. This would effective reduce their per hour income by about 22%.

    16. Doug Huffman, Washin says:

      To Mom, at the dinner table; "Mom, I no longer believe the EPA's sky-is-falling hyperbole and, because of that, I distrust our government."

      I believe that metallic mercury is as hazardous as metallic lead, meanwhile the EPA has demanded CFLs introduce tons of mercury into the environment. What to do, what to do?

    17. Pingback: EPA Warns of Lots of New Regulations - Ford Mustang Forums

    18. James, Washington DC says:

      Has anyone ever been able to link a definitive causal effect between human activity and "global climate change"?

      Is there a difference, in terms of environmental impact, between say cow flatulence and auto exhaust? Do trees and algae consume both to live? one more or less than the other?

    19. Pingback: What has the EPA done for you lately - IH ONLY NORTH

    20. Pingback: Pickerhead :: Pickings from the Webvine ::July 16, 2008

    21. Pingback: The government wants to regulate your lawnmower - Conservatively Speaking

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