By on April 5, 2017

white house on moving day
The Trump administration’s current plan for the Environmental Protection Agency budget removes nearly all funding for vehicle emissions testing. Proposed cuts to the EPA’s budget would eliminate 99 percent of the agency’s $48 million in funding for vehicle testing, shouldering automakers with increased fees to split the difference.

However, former head of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality Margo Oge is claiming that such a large cut would force the agency into “pretty much shutting down the testing lab” regardless of corporate contributions. 

EPA spokesman John Konkus was unwilling to say how the cuts might affect vehicle testing. “We know we can effectively serve the taxpayers and protect the environment. While many in Washington insist on greater spending, EPA is focused on greater value and real results,” Konkus stated.

We already knew that the proposal would also eliminate roughly 168 of EPA’s 304 full-time emission jobs through budgetary constraints. A document released online by the Washington Post in late March outlined specific cuts to the agency’s federal funding and has since been verified by unnamed EPA officials speaking with Reuters.

While the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers pushed for a review of the current emission guidelines, the possibility of the EPA’s certification program’s elimination has the lobby group feeling less enthused. Gloria Bergquist, a spokeswoman for the Alliance, said automakers were extremely concerned that the cuts could delay certification of new vehicles “and getting products to consumers.”

There’s also the matter of catching companies that attempt to deceive environmental regulations. In 2015, Volkswagen Group was busted for emissions cheating after getting away with it for years. While the initial discovery came from a smaller lab in West Virginia, the EPA was tasked with extensive testing to verify claims and build a case for its enforcement arm to come after VW.

Janet McCabe, a former EPA official under the Obama administration, said that companies that adhere to the rules will be at a disadvantage without an effective testing program. Furthermore, there is no way to enforce those rules if the EPA cannot conduct research via testing — giving business less incentives to comply. “We know that a little bit of cheating can mean a lot of air pollution,” McCabe said.

EPA officials have recently investigated Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Daimler AG over similar diesel emission concerns. As well, there are numerous examples of the agency stopping automakers from overstating fuel efficiency on window stickers in the past decade.

The White House’s budget plan would also cut $44 million — or 87 percent — of air, climate, and energy research from the Office of Research and Development. Roughly 224 additional employees would be dismissed due to defunding of the EPA’s Climate Protection Program. Research partnerships aimed to reduce fuel costs, alternative fuel source testing, and even a Great Lakes infrastructure initiative are also on the chopping block. In total, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and his team propose to trim $2.5 billion from the agency’s spending next year and lay off around 25 percent of its current employees.

The administration plans to release a fully detailed budget plan in May.

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91 Comments on “White House Plan Virtually Eliminates Funding for EPA Emissions Testing...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “Well , here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into ”

    Sounds funny when Laurel and Hardy says it but not in the context of trying to convert campaign bluster into a cohesive plan for running a country.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Nothing makes America great again like more smog.

    • 0 avatar
      runs_on_h8raide

      CARB renders the EPA useless anyway. A brilliant cost savings measure by The Donald.

      Besides, a good lawyer keeps all industries in check, and Lord knows, there’s plenty of them around salivating for class action. Death to the EPA!!!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “a good lawyer keeps all industries in check”

        I don’t think it was a lawyer that discovered VW’s defeat device.

        How does a lawyer prove that increased emissions are responsible for COPD or lung cancer in a plaintiff?

        What if “industries” lawyers are better funded than John Q Public’s lawyers?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Let’s play mad libs

          How does a lawyer prove that increased [artificially added sugars and HFCS] are responsible for [clinical obesity, diabetes, or heart disease] in a plaintiff?

          Bring on smog but take out the sugar which plagues a hundred times more citizens. I would need more data but I would wager for every instance of lung cancer et al (which is difficult to prove from smog as stated) there are one hundred cases of an obesity related illness in the US.

          (btw unless we’re dropping cats from the exhaust emissions increases will be/are insignificant. LA needs fewer HUMANS in it’s valley instead of fewer emissions)

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            28-Cars-Later – that is an interesting aside. Obesity is a serious issue and is easier to correlate since a person has to chose to ingest the food containing “artificially added sugars and HFCS”. One can also track what a person is eating rather easily.

            A person cannot chose to abstain from breathing (well, not for long). The increase in pollution from a reduction in standards or enforcement isn’t going to show effects immediately and there are other things that may be in the air than can cause disease.

            If you fire all of the technicians and scientists that test air quality, how does one prove what was in the air?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            28, I do believe you just played “Enter The Strawman.”

            In any case…yes, both bad foods and pollution harm people, but it’s impossible to regulate how people eat. And it’s easy to regulate how much pollution an internal combustion engine puts out.

            You attack the problems you can attack and hope for the best on the others.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the replies guys, I don’t have time for an intelligent followup post right now as I am in Vegas. Wish me luck.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @28-Cars-Later – good luck and have a ton of fun.

      • 0 avatar
        mason

        “CARB renders the EPA useless anyway”

        We have a winner!

        So they (the EPA) are crying in their beers over experiencing budget constraints for the first time ever.
        Welcome to the real world, where many of you have likely never been. It’s pretty dam cruel out here.

        • 0 avatar
          fendertweed

          I spent 25 years working with and training state environmental inspectors etc., including California, and working with federal enforcement.

          Your assertion, with all due respect, shows a clear lack of understanding about how the regulatory and enforcement authorities and schemes (the lawyers and the scientists) work together.

          Just to help fill you in on how that (rather large) part of the real world operates. The idea that “budget constraints” (which have existed for many, many years prior to now) and the “real world” are somehow new to the EPA appropriations process (or, indeed, to funding and administering either state or federal government) is seriously flawed and misinformed.

          EPA budget constraints’ “first time ever”?

          That’s not even fake news, that’s just rank ignorance of the facts.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Fendertweed, It is very easy to find the EPAs budget year over year. They have NOT gone hungry, particularly during the Obama era. In 1970, the first FY budget was a tick over 1 billion dollars. By 2010 that same budget exceeded 10 billion dollars. Breaking that down that’s an annual average increase of $225 million EACH YEAR with the exception of FY 2009-2010 in which their budget increased 2.65 BILLION dollars. Some adjustment for inflation eh? That one year budget increase is more than the PROPOSED budget cuts. Meanwhile in the private sector aka THE REAL WORLD we are forced to continue the same work load with less manpower and relatively stagnant wages for better than a decade. We’ve all been forced to trim the fat to stick around or face the chopping block. Many govt entities are long overdue for a some serious fat trimming. Nothing the rest of the world hasn’t already endured. Forgive me if I don’t have a tear to spare.

            https://www.epa.gov/plannedbudget/budget

            @Freedmike, take your fear mongering and pound salt. Seriously. It gets old.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Mason clearly doesn’t breathe the same air we do…because if he does, then he’s a damn fool for trolling the EPA folks who are gonna lose their jobs. And what’s their job, for the record? It’s making sure that the air mason breathes isn’t filthy. What a bunch of losers, right? HAHA, funny.

          Seriously, there are some right wing types who are paying a really, really steep price for “sticking it to the libs.” Hope it’s worth it!

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Mason gives a new twist to “class divide”; he’s never completed any.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ” the EPA folks who are gonna lose their jobs. ”

            Not just the EPA folks. Between the hiring freeze and normal attrition the reduction in civil service employees will already be quite noticeable.

            But other agencies will yet feel the axe, real soon.

            Trump is only 70-some odd days into his presidency, and already has done so much to effect change in government and the US.

            Give the guy time to drastically rearrange and reassemble America in his image.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            HDC, don’t believe everything you see on TV. On the ground, Trump has done pretty much nothing. His executive orders on immigration have been stayed because Democratic- and Republican-appointed judges alike think they are probably unconstitutional. His budget blueprint is just a blueprint, which Congress will revise heavily, and not to his liking. His executive orders affecting administrative agencies will be reversed the second a Democrat is in office (and some of them will even be reversed under a better-informed Republican). The jobs deals for which he keeps taking credit were already slated to happen before he took office. He is a Potemkin President, and I suppose I’m thankful for that because if he were able to pursue his priorities with impact it would be horribly destructive.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            dal20402, as I mentioned over the years on ttac, I have one son who is a supervisory agent with the Border Patrol (CBP), and I have another son, and a grandson, who work for ICE at international monitoring centers.

            I can tell you, there already have been massive changes made that the public will never know about.

            And those court rulings on the perceived Muslim ban? Useless, because changes already in effect at visa-issuing outposts like Consulates and Embassies have already been strengthened to reflect extreme vetting.

            You have no idea how hard to it is to come to the US these days.

            And ALL people arriving in the US from foreign locales are highly scrutinized without them being aware of it, even those with Green Cards and US Passports.

            That’s all I am prepared to say about it. You can accept it, or reject it. I am not at liberty to divulge any more.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            And I’ll bet your dad’s an exec at Nintendo too.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “I am not at liberty to divulge any more.”

            in other words, you’re lying your @$$ off.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            JimZ, no I’m not. I’ve never lied about anything I commented on. You can take it or leave it. I don’t care. I’m not trying to win you over. I have nothing to prove.

            Read Gen Kelly’s comments before Congress recently. He had to walk back a lot of what he said earlier, because things have changed. Because procedures have changed.

            None of the stuff I talked about is classified. It’s just not public knowledge. Even the questioning at Border Patrol checkpoints in MY area has changed. It’s all part of the new game plan.

            This new administration is being quite secretive about a lot more than not pre-announcing military strikes, or whatever. Or changed border entry procedures.

            Actually, I agree with that philosophy. America should not broadcast what it is doing or going to do ahead of time.

            That would be aiding the enemy, like had been done over the past eight years.

            When we crossed back into the US from Ensenada, Mexico, recently, the CBP gave us a thorough look over, probably brought on by the fact that we were being driven in a Suburban with Baja California plates on it.

            I wonder if we get the same treatment when we come back from Vancouver, BC, after the summer?

            My guess is no.

          • 0 avatar
            06M3S54B32

            “Seriously, there are some right wing types who are paying a really, really steep price for “sticking it to the libs.” Hope it’s worth it!”
            So well said. I can’t believe how shortsighted these “Trumptards” who put that orange clown into office. It’s like a bad nightmare.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ” It’s like a bad nightmare.”

            Yes it is. Especially for the powerless and irrelevant minority.

            And I like it!

            I caught on the news just now that McConnell is going to invoke the “nuclear option” to get Neil Gorsuch on the SCOTUS.

            I can’t believe that the minority allowed that to happen because over the next four years there will be another SCOTUS vacancy and the ‘crats have a snowball’s chance in hell to regain the majority of the Senate in 2018.

            It’s like Harry Reid’s gift that keeps on giving. Go 51!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Yes it is. Especially for the powerless and irrelevant minority.

            And I like it!”

            You must have hated the failure of RumpCare. That would have meant 24 million poor people without coverage.

            Republican ideology in a nut shell, who cares about the powerless and irrelevant minority.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I never thought repeal and replace would pass.

            My prediction was similar to John Boehner’s.

            The anti-Trumpers coupled with the disarray within the Republican Party spells self-destructiveness. It is as if the Republicans are really two differing factions masquerading under the GOP banner.

            The ‘crats never cared for the powerless and irrelevant Republicans when they were the minority. Now the roles have changed.

            But I will say now that Trump has bombed Syria, there are two more Republicans, McCain and Graham, who are firmly in Trump’s camp, since they advised Trump to take punitive action against Syria.

      • 0 avatar
        Malforus

        Troll accounts are getting more prolific…

        Well I guess my whole “believe in the Canadians” approach isn’t working.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        There’s nobody like the orange one who keeps unscrupulous lawyers busy with work.

        Over 3.5k lawsuits filed and counting, not to mention the Donald suing or threatening to sue anyone who says anything negative about him.

        And the claim that he “never settles” is BS like pretty much all his claims – the orange one has settled numerous lawsuits, including recently the one for Trump (Infomercial) “University.”

    • 0 avatar
      VW4motion

      Freed,
      People do not like hearing facts anymore. Alternative facts is the new thing now.

  • avatar
    zoomzoomfan

    What’s funny is that Trump’s successor will almost certainly reverse all of these decisions.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “Trump’s successor will almost certainly reverse all of these decisions.”

      That’s exactly right, but only if Trump’s successor is a ‘crat.

      And what we’re seeing right now is that Trump (who is the successor to the last administration) is systematically dismantling the damage that the previous administration has done to America and the auto industry.

      A great number of Americans truly rejoice in seeing the regulations, rules and mandates wrought upon them by the last administration nullified. And they better enjoy it while it lasts, for 4 or 8 years.

      Only the tree-hugging green weenies are inflicting wedgies on themselves because of this good news.

      I’d like to see bigger V8s make a comeback in trucks and cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “systematically dismantling the damage that the previous administration has done to America and the auto industry.”

        systematically – “according to a fixed plan or system; methodically.”

        – I have yet to see evidence of a cohesive plan. (Other than Russia’s involvement in his election.)

        – Those two Muslim bans were highly effective.

        – That replacement for Obamacare worked really well too.

        “damage that the previous administration has done to America”
        Citations required.
        Last I checked, the economy was doing reasonably well and unemployment was down.

        “and the auto industry”

        Yeah, that whole bailout thing really decimated the USA industry.

        “Only the tree-hugging green weenies are inflicting wedgies on themselves because of this good news.”

        Then why are you saying that you are deliberately spending as little time in the USA as possible?

        I’m sure the “for profit” health care industry will love the increased revenue made from the increase in pulmonary disease.

        “That’s exactly right, but only if Trump’s successor is a ‘crat.”

        Yes that is true.
        I’m betting that his successor is going to be Mike Pence.
        But that does not involve an election.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Damage? lol

        The auto industry just had one of its greatest stretch runs – which is pretty incredible considering what Obama was dealt with coming out of the subprime/financial derivatives mess which not only decimated the auto market, but froze the credit markets.

        Speaking of which – it was the over-DEREGULATION of Wall St. and keeping financial derivatives unregulated which caused the Great Recession.

        It’s the same kind of deregulation which allowed Enron to run havoc with the California electricity market.

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        Haha Damage, right like the damage that led to record auto sales. Not like the Trump Slump happening now in the sector.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Taxpayer funded. A lot of money sunk into that bottomless pit. A lot of people and small-businesses selectively culled during the bailouts, handouts and nationalization.

          Then, I suppose it depends on a person’s point of view.

          Record auto sales because of pent-up demand, and the cheap cost of auto loans because of the Fed’s artificially low rates.

          Which makes it all political since the party wielding power determines the direction of the country.

          And I do believe we are changing course.

          I’ll let you know if this course-change works for me when I get to that point.

          Too early to tell now.

          • 0 avatar
            duffman13

            HDC,

            By your own admission you’re retired. This course change “working for you” is likely limited to capital gains tax rates and medicare/SS disbursement increases. The former of which would be damaged by the republican health care plan, and the latter of which would be privatized (read: screw you if you’re under 60) if the GOP had their way.

            The impacts of this administration are already leaning toward significant layoffs in the hospitality sector as foreign tourists are actively choosing to go to elsewhere on vacation (a multi-billion dollar industry). it remains to be seen what happens to the rest of the economy, but the low-skill jobs aren’t coming back even if GDP goes up. Those people were replaced by robots, not foreign workers.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            duffman13,

            I’ve been officially retired and not working since 1 Jan 2016. Prior to that I worked on a strictly cash basis for 30 years to maintain/repair/refurbish real estate properties.

            And prior to that I spent 20+ years in the US Air Force, from which I retired in 1985.

            BTW, I believe that repeal and replace never had a chance. Tax reform is a myth. No one on either side of the political aisle is going to help Trump achieve his goals. That would undermine their own political agendas.

            I also believe the GOP should leave the ACA alone and let it collapse under its own weight. The GOP doesn’t owe the ‘crats anything since the GOP was not involved in passing the ACA.

            The new guy is making some changes and it will affect everything in America. Even cars, trucks, Hybrids, EVs, etc.

            And where one faction of America was riding high during the last administration, they may find themselves disadvantaged under the current administration. Maybe even sidelined, like the ‘crats these days.

            As a candidate Trump outlined what he would do if elected, and he got elected. It should surprise no one that he is following through on his promises.

            You’re right. Many of those changes coming up are going to have a dire effect on some people and businesses.

            You know, like enforcing that Red Line and reaching out to touch Syria with 59 Cruise Missiles. Got everyone’s undivided attention. Nothing focuses the mind like an act of war.

            Or the Carl Vincent executing a 180-degree turn mid-ocean and heading toward a station off the coast of North Korea. Trump said he would act alone if the UN remained indecisive. He did and he will again.

            There’ll be some changes made.

            Make those changes work for you. Don’t lament the past.

    • 0 avatar
      pmirp1

      Zoomzoomfan, I doubt Ivanka will reverse many of her father’s policies

  • avatar
    dal20402

    We all know OEMs would never, ever cheat. Trust the nice men with checkbooks!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “defunding of the EPA’s Climate Protection Program”

    Boo. Hoo.

  • avatar
    chuckrs

    Wonder how much of this will go through. There is no percentage for the administration to be reasonable. If Trump gave the congressional members of the ‘resistance’ all they wanted, they would just ask for much more. Might as well start from an unreasonable position, knowing the opposition is, if anything, even more unreasonable.
    How many environmentalists cook with and heat their homes with natural gas? Its natural alright but almost pure methane, 30 times more potent than CO2 as a GHG. Fixing the pipeline infrastructure instead of giving the EPA sideline oversight on methane would go a lot further towards reducing methane emissions, but that is a job for burly blue collar people, not our sort, you know. (Source https://tinyurl.com/ltsedeo)

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I believe EOs are the only option left to Trump. I would be truly astonished if Trump gets any real, long-lasting, legislation accomplished.

      Repeal and replace is out. Tax reform is a wet dream since there will be no unity among the Republicans and only opposition from the ‘crats.

      Nothing is going to get done, again.

      Maybe 2018?

      But I doubt that too.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “I would be truly astonished if Trump gets any real, long-lasting, legislation accomplished.”

        This statement contradicts your earlier one.

        ” systematically dismantling the damage that the previous administration has done to America and the auto industry.”

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Trump can systematically dismantle through EOs, but they are only good until some future administration overturns Trump’s EOs.

          You know, like Trump is overturning the EOs of the previous administration.

          Trump is not going to get any long lasting legislation accomplished because no one on the Hill will help him.

          Both Republicans and ‘crats will fight Trump tooth and nail so they can keep the status quo.

          Personally, I am glad for the respite for as long as it lasts.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        The Dems aren’t opposed to real tax reform at all.

        In fact, they are for tax reform – but not “reform” which just keeps rewarding the wealthy and corporations.

        Obama actually went ahead and extended the Bush tax cuts in hopes that would generate good will with the Republicans and foster them to compromise, but it was nothing but obstructionist from the Republicans (aside from the few moderates/centrists left in the party).

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          Yeah, you go on buying that tax cuts helping only the 1% crap. I am on track to write a check for offing 30 grand to the IRS next year and I am pretty offing far from the one percent. What the hell entitles anyone to that much of the fruits of my labor?

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “30 grand”

            Well, why not ask Trump to release 10 years of his taxes so you can find out how much he owes you?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            First off, I know in the one year of taxes that have leaked from Maddow’s “bombshell” he paid more taxes in that single year than I will pay in my lifetime.

            That isn’t really relevant to 30,000 of my dollars going to the IRS. Nice deflection though. I care more about the portion of that 30 grand that is wasted and used to support people who won’t make the same sacrifices I made to get myself into the position I am in after 20 years of busting my butt.

            I made incredibly stupid decisions in my youth. Monumentally dumb. But at some point you have to grow up and ask “What can I do to maximize my earning potential”. For me that involved going to war. In exchange for literally rolling the dice with my life on several occasions I got a highly marketable skill. Now that I am ready to reap the benefits of that gamble I have an unending supply of societal leaches with their hands in my pocket.

            I simply pointed out the fact that a whole lot of us non one percent types still pay a whole heck of a lot of taxes and would welcome a tax cut and you throw Trump out there. I’ll tell you this, I am more worried about those who leach of the tax code using things like the Earned Income Credit to get back more than they paid in every year than people like Trump who used seemingly legal means to pay a few million less than they otherwise would pay. I care way more about my taxes than Trump’s.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al From ‘Murica – you post is the voice of many in the middle class that feel their taxes are supporting those who don’t/won’t work.
            There will always be a small portion of any society that don’t/won’t work.
            What about those who can’t?

            One could “cut them off” but then where do the costs go?
            Law enforcement, justice/legal system, prisons, healthcare, property loss/increased security, personal security, loss of productivity etc.

            There needs to be much more done to provide stable jobs for those who want to work and much to be done to get those who don’t want to work into the workforce. Same can be said for those who can’t work.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            I’m biased against the wealthy, I suppose, unlike many of our politicians.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Jealousy is an ugly trait.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Lou I agree to a point. We as a nation should take care of people who can’t work. We are far to fortunate to ignore those folks. As for those that won’t work…I don’t care. I think hunger would prove to be an excellent motivator for them.

            As I mentioned my wife is in the mental health field where people have to see her to obtain certain disability benefits. It is her assertion that at least half of them could work. This causes a twofold problem in that they take away limited resources from those that really need them and they perpetuate the idea of this “moocher class” of people which biases taxpayers against such social programs who then go vote. Then everyone gets worked up about people like me who pay taxes being heartless when we elect people who desire to cut waste rather than blaming those that waste the resources. I just want the leeches out of my pocket so I can put a little aside so my kids can go to a decent college and not have to go to some car-hole and get shot at to pay for college.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            crap hole…not car hole

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    At their current level of funding EPA did not catch VW cheating, but they used it as a justification to request a bigger budget. Thanks to VW we now know that emissions cheating is a real possibility, and the moral of the story is God help you if you get caught. The potential payouts are so huge that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear of big legal firms that specialize in class actions investing in emissions labs.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    But they were doing such a bang up job.

    How long did VW get away with their diesel emissions before some random graduate students figured it out? It sure as hell wasn’t the EPA.

    • 0 avatar
      lon888

      The real lies with EPA’s testing method. VW knew that the cars would only be run so long at a certain speed, among other things. The WVU students made adjustments to the EPA’s methods and parameters and that how they were caught. The EPA needs to adjust its testing methods and catch the cheaters. Oh, and by the way I really like to breathe reasonably clean air so I see a real need for EPA regs. VW proves that if given the chance the big corporations will cheat you blind.

  • avatar
    rocktobersky

    Captain Planet would be so disappointed with the Trump administration. Just like Bill Nye

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Good. I like my skies smoggy, my air smokey, I love the smell of diesel fumes in the morning. It smells like victory. I know the next time I buy a car and the MPG sticker is off 25% hey – who cares. They got my money baby!

    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!
    USA!

  • avatar
    johnnyz

    Trump is not going far enough! He should gut the entire agency. While he is at it he could take down the ATF, the DEA and others. Our federal government has been out of control for decades. Bureaucrats try to protect their jobs, f- them.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Well, that’s why Pruitt is there, to whittle the EPA down to size.

      Give Trump a chance to work his magic. It’s only been 70-plus days.

      I’m amazed he already has done as much as he has in such a short time.

      Big changes a-comin’. Trump said so.

      Let’s revisit this at the end of his term as president.

      Just don’t expect anything Trump does to last because EOs can easily be overturned, like Trump is doing to the EOs of the last guy in office. Trump is getting no help from Congress so EOs are his only tool, along with a pen and a phone.

      If a ‘crat gets elected as the next POTUS, everything that Trump did will be overturned.

      So enjoy it while it lasts.

      Excellent time to buy that new car or truck!

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Give Trump a chance to work his magic.”

        What magic?

        “Art of The Deal”

        Ha ha.

        That book was written by Tony Schwartz.

        Being in charge of the USA isn’t like being the front man for a 2nd rate reality show.

        His magic failed on two Muslim bans and the Obamacare replacement.

        His magic failed Michael Flynn national security adviser.
        Why did Flynn ask for immunity?

        His magic failed Steve Bannon. He was removed from the National Security Council.
        Why?

        To quote YOU: “Trump is getting no help from Congress”
        WHY?
        His magic failed Congress.

        “Let’s revisit this at the end of his term as president.”
        Okay.
        I can wait 6 months to a year.

        Odds were 3/1 now they are 11/10.

      • 0 avatar
        afedaken

        @HDC Ya know, I’m thinking we live in a fine time for vehicles regardless, and while I approve of some (very few) of the changes that Trump has been making, I find it hard to believe that he deserves any credit whatsoever for cars you can buy right now.

        Even with today’s rapid pace of design and prototyping, releasing a new model is still a multi-year process. Assuming he even gets a second term (and at this point, I’m convinced of neither the likelihood nor wisdom of that possibility) you might start seeing his impact on these things towards the end of an 8 year cycle. For better or worse, the cars we see right now are a response to the latter Bush or early Obama policies.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          afedaken, the nice things about vehicles in America is that we have a choice. It wasn’t always that way. In the past we had only the Big 3, and some imports.

          Re Trump, the only poll that mattered was on Nov 8, 2016, when the guy was constitutionally and legally elected POTUS according to the laws of the US of A.

          Whether people love him or hate him, they’re stuck with him. The ‘crats, libs and green-weenies are just blown away by Trump’s election, staggering around aimlessly, stuttering and stammering jibberish.

          Personally, I’m surprised at what Trump has been able to do with only 77 days into his presidency.

          So I’m all for giving the guy a chance to show his stuff, but I don’t think we’ll have to wait long to see an impact of his effectiveness.

          That said, I would be totally flabbergasted if Trump will be able to achieve or accomplish anything of significant and lasting duration.

          No one in Congress is going to help him. His own party is sabotaging his every effort to do some good for America.

          And if Trump cannot keep the promises he made to his supporters who got him into office, Trump is toast in 2020. No second term.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      With drug warrior Jeff Sessions in the Cabinet, ATF and DEA are likely to be expanded, not shrunk.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @dal20402 – yes. One you take away all funding going to the lower class you might as well take away any chance of them getting stoned enough not to notice how f^cked over they are.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          There are people that have genuinely wretched situations that need help. But there are a whole lot of people that have made poor choices and are now asking me to subsidize those poor choices. My wife does counciling services people are required to do and she sees it daily. In her area it is a high number.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Big Al From ‘Murica – it depends on what constitutes a poor choice.
            Choosing to try methamphetamine’s is an example but people don’t expect to get addicted. Same can be said for tobacco products, alcohol and prescription drugs.

            I’ve made poor choices as a youth and occasionally even now. The advantage to being middle class and/or a part of a stable family is that you can recover from those poor choices.

            If people aren’t in the position to recover from poor choices and don’t have the personal skills, do we just abandon them?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            When I ran out of poor choices to make I joined the Military. It is full of people you describe. They get straightened out and join the work force in 4 years, stick around for 20, or don’t straighten out and get the boot. It was a crap time to join when I came back in, but I needed healthcare for my family and to save for retirement (my 401K got gutted in 2008). Don’t want to, fine…but don’t ask me to subsidize that choice through my taxes. Yes, not everyone can. I am not talking about people who can’t work. As for personal skills, I have none to speak of but I have offers all over lately because of other skills.

            We don’t need to abandon them, but supporting them in perpetuity isn’t helping them. Put them programs to teach them a skill. I have no issue paying for that. If they won’t do that they will when they get hungry.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Well in the 80’s when there was a war on crack we grew these programs and locked up as many users as we could fit in the jail. Of course that was predominantly an issue in Black neighborhoods. Today’s drug of choice is opiates and is hitting white suburbia so we see the users as victims and want to focus on treatment. Both parties are guilty.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Just curious, what’s your stance on breathable air, rivers that don’t spontaneously combust, algal blooms, or a habitable planet for humans in the next century?

  • avatar
    shaker

    This is all to get money back into the hands of the wealthy.

    The Dems will have to reverse this train wreck to give the people what they really want, and it will cost even more in debt.

    When are people going to stop being fooled by this trickle-down crap?

    When are wealthy people going to admit that they’re not saints just for providing some job opportunities?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Maybe “The People” should go out and get “what they really want” on their own. Nah, too difficult…way easier to play victim and get someone else to pay for it. This country has issues to be sure, but it is still the easiest place on the planet to make something of yourself. Of course you have to be willing to work and sacrifice and there in lies the problem for so many living here today. I’m so sick of it…Get off your A$ $es and make something rather than crying all the effing time about life not being fair.

      • 0 avatar
        afedaken

        It’s been shown recently that upward economic mobility is by far easier and more likely in northern europe, the UK, Germany, France, and Canada than it is here.

        I get that you don’t like free riders. That’s always a problem and it always will be. But many of the changes that are being made have the potential to hurt ALL of us.

        We’re cutting the budget for the EPA, who will likely be unable to continue monitoring or testing of vehicle efficiency. IMO, this doesn’t hurt so much, vehicles are pretty darn efficient these days.

        They’re also going to be unable to continue to monitor water quality. I have to drink. They may be much less effective at policing emissions. I have to breathe. They will be unable to test pesticides thoroughly. I need to eat.

        I mean, I don’t really give all that much of a damn about the free riders; they’ll always be there. I don’t know you from Adam, so you’re on your own. But I sure as heck care about me and mine, and absent the ability to completely disconnect from the outside world, effective regulation is the best way to tilt the outcome in my favor.

        Now you could argue that the EPA has overstepped some of their bounds, and I’d agree with you on a case-by-base basis.

        But there are demonstrable outcomes that have shown that the regulations that the EPA creates and promulgates have had the desired effects. Pittsburgh residents no longer fear the river will light up. L.A. residents can breathe. When I was born you’d be a fool to touch the Schuykill River in Philly without hazmat precautions. Now you can swim in it. This is what we wanted, and what we got. It’s good.

        You could also argue that they’re doing a TERRIBLE job at some of their actual mandate. The residents of Flint Michigan would certainly agree with you.

        What I, and many other voters want, are government agencies that do what we want, (and ONLY what we want) but also…

        …DO IT WELL. And while they’re arguably not regulating skillfully or properly right now, zeroing out the budget is not going to change that. Doing away with the agency without replacement is also not going to change that.

        Accurate data driven outcome based performance metrics, and accountability will change that. But I’ve seen none of that out of Trump, Pruitt, OR the current EPA.

        • 0 avatar
          mason

          The correlation between a budget cut and the EPA effectively shutting down is nonsense. Remember, this is a proposed budget cut whose to say they will end up at this number. Even if they do it’s still less than the single year budget increase between 2009-2010 increase of 2.65 billion.They’ll figure it out again. This just means theres less room at the top for frauds like John Beale and Beth Craig. No more unauthorized bonuses and use of credit cards. There’s been millions of dollars of fraudulent activities at the top for alot of years. People on the clock and working another job. People getting paid their salary while being MIA for two plus years. People getting caught red-handed watching porn 4-6 hours a day with over 7000 pornographic websites on a company server. He still retains his $120,000 a a year salary. Hes not alone, many of them are still employed there. If that changes as a result of budget cuts, it’ll favor everyone of us taxpayers.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            mason, we’ll have to see if Trump can pare back the size of government like he promised he would do if elected.

            But cutting the EPA and the IRS drastically was on Trump’s agenda.

            I, for one, hope Trump succeeds. But to succeed, Trump will need his own party (in the majorities, like right now) to back him.

            And I don’t believe for a New York minute that will ever happen. THEY ARE THE SWAMP!

            Repeal and replace is out. Tax reform? Ain’t ever gonna happen.

            If we get ANY movement on either of these important items, it will be more like a bowel movement than legislation.

            IOW, it will be totally watered down to appease everyone in the GOP and totally ineffective as legislation.

          • 0 avatar
            mason

            Another example of gross abuse of American tax payer dollars courtesy of the EPA

            “The Obama cabinet secretary who launched a costly program to make America’s minority communities green has sent millions of taxpayer dollars to environmental causes overseas, including China, Russia and India.Ranking members of a congressional energy committee call it “foreign handouts” amid record deficits, soaring unemployment and a looming debt ceiling in the U.S. The money—$27 million since 2009—has been issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is headed by Lisa Jackson.The cash was issued via 65 foreign grants that don’t even include Canada and Mexico, according to a report issued this week by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.Among the foreign handouts include $1.2 million for the United Nations to promote clean fuels, $718,000 to help China comply with two initiatives and $700,000 for Thailand to recover methane gas at pig farms.An additional $150,000 went to help the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) combat fraud in carbon trading and $15,000 to Indonesia’s “Breathe Easy, Jakarta” publicity campaign.”

            blog/2011/06/epa-gives-millions-in-foreign-handouts/

            Oh the irony. Lisa Jackson pumping hundreds of thousands of US tax payer dollars to combat fraud in other countries while many of the upper echelon at the EPA sinfully splurge in the spoils of each and every one of our sweat and tears. Pumping money into countries like China and India who habitually pump their effluent from major chemical plants into the nearest body of water is akin to pissing on a raging forest fire. It’s simply maddening.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      There are people at the top of the system sponging billions off of us middle-class types, too. They got the bailout of the century when their silly games went awry. They essentially put Barack Obama in a hole, and the Republicans did whatever they could to shovel dirt into it.

      I don’t think that they “worked their asses off” to deserve the better part of a trillion dollars.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Whatever…Obama should have locked them up. If you want to play the “too big to fail” game becausee little people would have been hurt, fine. Bail them out and then lock the people up who did it. Don’t give me that “republicans shoveled dirt on Obama” crap. Obama was and is as Wall Street as Mitch McConnell and Goldman Sachs.

        And Who said I want to eliminate the EPA. Cutting their budget is not eliminating it. For several years now we have been a shrinking force. You do more with less. People work harder and executives have to prioritize. That is what successful businesses do. Let the EPA, the DoD, Department of State, and any other Federal entity take a long hard look at their mandate and allocate limited resources accordingly. I really do feel for those that will loose their job. The cuts and hiring freeze caused some consternation with my job search and made me go some other directions. It worked out. I don’t wish unemployment on anyone. I have been there and if you want to work it is a miserable, humbling, and humiliating sometimes experience. But I actually saw a story where they were chastising Trump because of what the cuts would do to DC home values. Really? Nobody gave a rip when the Base Closure and Realignment Commission took 1/4 of the value of my home overnight by closing a base. Some of these folks do live in a bubble that the rest of us aren’t lucky enough to live in. Doesn’t mean I wish them ill will, but doesn’t mean I buy into this notion that they are all selfless servants toiling away for the sole benefit of society. Just like the Military has some dirtbags that suck up resources so too do these agencies. When we were told to tighten our belts they were the first to go. So too will it be at these agencies.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Well, there you go, Trumpers. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Your prize? Smog! Since we have to compete with China’s growing economy (where Trump himself is responsible for outshouting US jobs), why not try to mimic their poor air quality as well?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Yeah, because there is no middle ground here. You are either for the EPA as it sits or for something akin to The Great Gatsby where people live amongst the coal ash if they aren’t wealthy.

  • avatar
    Dirty Dingus McGee

    For the last several weeks, I’ve been avoiding post’s like this. I had grown weary of all the political bashing going on in the comments, that these articles are DESIGNED to do. The only difference I can see between these post’s, and the one that caused Bark’s departure, is the viewpoint of the author and their willingness to engage the commenters.
    According to Mark S’s post a while back, personal attacks would be cause for being “run out of town”. If that’s the case, both he and the moderators are failing miserably.

    Is this a news worthy post? Yes. But in my opinion, post’s like this should have the comment’s closed from the beginning. You want to have political argument’s, go to a politics board with them. It’s not like there aren’t elevteen jillion of them, from both sides of the political spectrum.

    But maybe page clicks are more important these days, than The Truth About Cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Well clicks are important. You see, your reading of brown car articles isn’t what buys the server space and bandwidth to keep the lights on here…It is advertising. That advertising pays because of clicks. I don’t really care for this stuff either and often do skip it but if it keeps the lights on then who cares. Just keep scrolling if you wish.

  • avatar

    Remember Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now? “The Horrorr. The Horrorrr” Replace that exclamation for “The Irony. The Irony”. Just when the EPA had an ‘interesting business model” in fining Volkswagen multi-billions of dollars, Trump decides to cut short the EPA.

    • 0 avatar
      mason

      If by interesting Buisiness model you mean relying on third parties to do their dirty work, then I agree it is definitely an interesting one. Don’t need much of a budget to do that.
      In all honesty it’s easy to see how they overlooked VW for so long. When the upper echelon spends all their time on the clock watching porn, selling personal beauty products, and pretending to be super secret CIA agents in order to get out of doing any real work you can’t expect the minions to have any real purpose or direction.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Shove it

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