Today, the Trump administration is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to sell more than 150 million gallons of gasoline contaminated with tetrachloroethylene, or PCE.
The Environmental Protection Agency has been stockpiling gas that contains the chemical, to meet a directive from a federal court to comply with a 1970 law that prohibits any mixing of water and fuel to avert pollution.
It appears that the EPA didn’t intend to sell it; the orders from court came because EPA officials were not managing the order as requested. In fact, the agency has sold nearly 13 billion gallons of fuel contaminated with tetrachloroethylene over the past 35 years, without any apparent oversight or pressure to sell the fuel.
But now, as the litigation with the EPA moves through the appeals process, the EPA is saying it will sell the contaminated gasoline when it gets a court order. According to an EPA official, this administration is already winning the litigation, so we can add this toxic fuel-of-choice to the list of things the current administration will sell the country once it gets a court order to do so.
What on earth are they thinking?
First, they know that any buyer will sell this stuff if they can. It’s likely, if not likely, that some kind of lawsuits will make sure the EPA’s selling contaminated gasoline forever, so this is likely to be yet another windfall for these lawless bureaucrats.
Second, the sale of this contaminated gasoline — or any toxic oil — is irresponsible. As any Washington, D.C. government employee will tell you, not only can this stuff have health impacts that are even worse than simply driving around in a deadly oil-disintegrating vehicle, but also the contamination of our groundwater will not be limited to the people who live near heavily-polluted areas — as proven by other contaminated toxic chemicals like DDT, lead and arsenic. There is also a good possibility that the cleanup will be buried in the cost of the cleanup, to which the federal government is already giving up billions to the coal industry.
The agency is already spending approximately $16 million a year, and will spend another $30 million, to try to clean up its mishandled lawsuit, and it is also spending billions in cap-and-trade monies to reward polluters like the oil industry.
That’s $160 million a year going for the toxic fuel, and the agency is already losing this case and covering the other massive disbursements. (It’s not that hard to find this post from the San Francisco Chronicle: “The Trump administration on Friday drastically cut EPA’s 2014 ‘science advisory’ budget by 28 percent and instructed agency scientists to consider the impacts of climate change only as a chance to inform its policy.”) The agency has also given billions to the coal industry, which is betting on climate change as a means of reducing energy costs.
Don’t tell me these guys are rational people, but I can already see that they’re playing what is essentially a political game where they get to give the clean-up and just waste hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Look at the science of climate change — the glaciers are melting, the sea is rising, sea level is likely to rise even faster if there’s a warming climate — and realize that we can’t take any chances with these poisons. Not when they’re killing wildlife, slowing down the economy and harming our children.