Earth day countdown: environmentalism’s ten biggest scams, hoaxes, myths and frauds–
#7 – “Clean air” green fuel additive poisons millions
Pushed by the EPA as the magic cure to pollutants in gasoline, methyl-t-butyl ether has instead proven to be a toxic nightmare.
MTBE is supposed to reduce carbon monoxide and high ozone levels caused by auto emissions and has replaced lead as an octane enhancer since 1979. Beginning in 1992, MTBE use in gasoline was increased to fulfill the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments’ oxygenate requirements.
One problem. Those environmentalist mandates are now pumping massive amounts of the toxic chemical into the air and drinking water.
When research animals inhaled high concentrations of MTBE some developed cancers or experienced other non-cancerous health effects. Research also shows when ingested in water MTBE is a potential human carcinogen at high doses.
That’s important because this environmentalist-required chemical is probably in your family’s drinking water.
MTBE is found throughout aquifers in North America, detected in tens of thousands of contaminated sites in water wells distributed across the country. MTBE’s high solubility and persistence cause it to travel faster and farther than many other components of gasoline when released into an aquifer. Because it is water soluble, it easily moves through soil, polluting both surface and groundwater. MTBE gets into water through leaking underground storage tanks and pipelines, spills, emissions from marine engines into lakes and reservoirs, and to some extent, from its release into the air.
The San Francisco Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board reports MTBE is one of the widespread pollutants in local groundwater. In 1996, the city of Santa Monica found two of its drinking water wellfields were contaminated as high as 610 ppb and 86 ppb. The toxic contamination, mandated by environmentalists, forced the two wellfields, representing 50 percent of the city’s drinking water supply, to be shut down. The city began purchasing replacement water.
Removing MTBE from groundwater and soil is estimated to cost from $1 billion to $30 billion. Recent state laws have been passed to ban MTBE in certain areas. California and New York, which together accounted for 40 percent of U.S. MTBE consumption, banned the chemical starting January 1, 2004.
As of September 2005, twenty-five states had signed legislation banning MTBE. In 2000, the EPA drafted plans to phase out the use of MTBE nationwide over four years. As of fall 2006, hundreds of lawsuits are still pending regarding MTBE contamination of public and private drinking water supplies.
Have MTBE contamination in your community? Thank an environmentalist.
#6 – The “Endangered Species Act” has nothing to do with animals
Sold as legislation that would protect vulnerable species, the Endangered Species Act and other wildlife preservation laws are instead routinely abused by environmentalists as weapons against employers.
A favorite tactic is to use junk science and strong-arm tactics to get species that are not threatened or endangered listed as “threatened” or “endangered” to shut down agriculture, homebuilding, energy and timber development and other job-creating activities in targeted areas.
Among the earliest attempts to pull such scams occurred in 1973 when radical environmentalists successfully delayed construction of the Tellico Dam when a University of Tennessee biology professor claimed a rare fish called the “snail darter.” Greens filed a lawsuit under the National Environmental Policy Act claiming construction of the dam would alter the Little Tennessee River and destroy the “snail darter,” which would be placed on the Endangered Species List in 1975.
They did not succeed in their goal of stopping construction of the dam, but they did succeed in inflicting lengthy and expensive delays in its construction.
Not only did the species not go extinct, it was plentiful enough to be taken off the Endangered Species List less only a year after completion of the dam environmentalists claimed would wipe it out.
In the most famous case of fraudulent use of the ESA, environmentalists petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1986 to list the spotted owl as an “endangered species” in order to shut down timber harvesting across vast areas of the northwest United States. Waging a ferocious public pressure campaign, environmentalists claimed the bird could only nest in “old growth” forests, and logging would lead to the bird’s extinction.
The scare tactics paid off in 1990 when the government declared the owl threatened, forcing loggers to leave at least 40% of the old-growth forests intact within a 1.3 mile radius of any spotted owl nest or activity site.
The result? Timber harvesting was virtually shut down in the American northwest and thousands of loggers lost their jobs. To add insult to injury, not only is the spotted owl not threatened, it is more than capable of nesting in secondary and newer forests.
Environmentalists were not at all ashamed of their fraudulent use of the Endangered Species Act. League of Conservation Voters founder and former Sierra Club Executive Director David Brower proudly crowed, “Loggers losing their jobs because of Spotted Owl legislation is, in my eyes, no different than people being out of work after the furnaces of Dachau shut down.”
source-the sovereignity, katir o, unced, dr paul erlich, edf, mtbe, sierra club, david brower, dr walter williams, judge edmund sweeney, william ruckeishaus, dr charles foster, john davis, dave forman, david graber, reed noss, paul ehrlich, cato, pat michaels, reid bryson, lowell ponte, kenneth watt,