We all probably know Snow Birds that leave the NY 23rd in the winter for warmer climates, mainly to Florida, Arizona, Texas or California. Two friends of mine have been going further south for their three month winter hiatus. This years they are in Panama, and recently have spent winters in Honduras, Mexico, Cambodia, Viet Nam and others. Here is a recent email I received from them.
Republican denial of global warming shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. It’s consistent with their centuries long limited agenda (strong military. small government, family values) and steadfast denial of any aspect of REALITY that conflicts with it.I’ve been to 25+ countries. Am presently in Panama. and EVERY trip I’ve made has made me grateful for US government. Do these Republican ideologist imagine that the traffic regulations, sanitation stipulations, electrical codes, safety guidelines, etc, which make life in the United States both safer and better, place exist on their own? They exist because of government which created and enforces them.I thank big government every day I’m in the United States of America.Hope you’re doing well. HOT here. 91 in afternoon and 86 now.
Going to see part of Panama Canal tomorrow.
I understand that being against regulations is good political rallying point aimed against the Democrats. Rep. Tom Reed has 31 Press Releases on his website that discusses regulations uses phrases like “costly regulations”, “this legislation will reduce regulations”, “over regulation has a disproportionately negative impact”, “reducing onerous regulations“, “If this regulation is left in place it may have crippling effects.”
Yes, no one likes to be told what to do, but there are reasons for regulations. Reed’s comments deal with the clean air act, agriculture, light bulbs, business operations, infrastructure, waterways, property rights, wood stoves, Chesapeake Watershed requirements, health services and other topics. To be fair, Rep. Reed is working with other Upstate New York representatives to tighten the pilot flight and duty time regulation, since that was the cause of the Flight 3407 crashed outside of Buffalo on February 12, 2009.
New York State has the reputation of being over-regulating. The news of the Flint, Michigan’s poisonous water reminds us how grateful we should be to have the New York State Department of Health and their strict regulations. Hearing that the Flint School District has one school nurse in their school system. Secretaries, with little if any health training, passes out the medicine for the students. What a way to save money.
The 2013 Fertilizer Explosion in West, Texas, which killed 15, was caused because the company failed to safely store the chemicals in its stockpile, and that federal, state and local regulations about the handling of hazardous materials were inadequate. Remember that Timothy McVeigh used fertilizer when he blew up Federal Building in Oklahoma.
The factory in West, Texas had a history of disobeying regulations. They were fined in 1985 for mishandling storage requirements, 2006 for failing to file a required risk management plan, and 2011 for not having a required storage plan. They had other minor citations.
According to a Huffington Post article:
Texas prides itself on the lack of rules for businesses. Texas is the only state that doesn’t require companies to have workers compensation insurance. Houston is one of the few cities that have no zoning laws to create buffers between schools, homes and toxic chemical manufactures. Texas doesn’t have a state fire code and prohibits small counties from having local codes allowing fire marshals to inspect and prohibit the storage of highly flammable and explosive chemicals near homes and schools. According to the New York Times, some Texas counties even cite the lack of local fire codes as a reason for companies to move there.
We have elected leaders who promote regulations as un-American. Lobbyists’ donations fine their way to those representatives. They conveniently question the science research that would lead to costly safety innovations, therefore reducing profits. Guess which way those representatives vote.
Lacking regulations might be good for industries by bringing jobs to your neighborhood or state, but they are harmful to the workers of the unregulated plants. Industrial nations have the responsibility to protect their workers, and neighbors of the industrial plants (including homes, schools, and other businesses) from profit-making (non-accidental) accidents.
The quality of life differences between the United States and third world countries (Panama, Honduras, Mexico, Cambodia, Viet Nam, for example) can be attributed to many factors. The differences of regulations is one those factors. . Our standards are envied by people of other nations. Have you noticed there has not been a mass migration out of the USA to third world (few regulations) countries?
When Tom Reed and others rail against regulations, they seldom explain what regulations they would rescind or give evidence that fewer regulations would be good.
“The issue in regulation always should be whether it delivers benefits that justify the cost,” said Noll. “The effect of regulation on jobs has nothing to do with the mess we’re in. The current rhetoric about regulation killing jobs is nothing more than not letting a good crisis go to waste.”
Here in New York State, many schools have been found to have well over maximum levels of lead in their water. Funding has been cut for testing and corrections to made in most cases. Beyond regulations, there must be funding appropriations to follow through on laws made to protect Americans. The GOP has a habit of whenever possible – shrinking funding for such protections.
Rep Tom Reed is no exception to using the mantra of ” We don’t need no stinking regulations”, as he repeats and repeats how NYS dairies, wineries, tourism, and other small businesses (that rely on a cleaner environment) are ‘the backbone’ of the district.
Starting in 2011, Tom Reed co-sponsored and voted for
Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 – Amends the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas (GHG) to address climate change. Excludes GHGs from the definition of “air pollutant” for purposes of addressing climate change.
From his first election on to present day, as Tom Reed continues to backhand the truth about climate change and it’s repercussions:
On Passage: S.J.Res. 24 – Disapproving of the EPA Rule to Increase Emissions Standards for Existing Power Plants
“This resolution invokes the Congressional Act to disapprove of the recent EPA rule that greatly increases emissions restrictions on existing coal-fired power plants. This tremendously destructive regulation would greatly increase energy costs in the many states which rely heavily upon coal-fired power plants for their electricity. These cost increases damage overall economic growth, and in particular lower the standard of living of lower-income earners. Tom W. Reed: Yea
“Passage: H.R. 427 – Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act
This bill, entitled the “REINS Act”, would require a vote in Congress on any “major” regulation (over $100 million in economic impact) issued by the executive branch before it could be enforced on the American people. The REINS Act would thus restore much of Congress’ lawmaking authority that it has ceded to the executive branch over the past century. Tom W. Reed: Yea
I believe NY 23rd’s best solution is to not live without regulations – rather we should live without Tom Reed as our Congressman.
I can at times sympathize with the complaints about regulatory burdens. When they were on paper, I used to have three 3″ binders containing all the federal & state regulations, applicable laws, policies, and guidance documents for my job on my desk’s bookshelf. While I can gripe about regulations with the best of them, I know they’re necessary. What I notice is that none of people like Reed ever points to specific regulations they feel are unnecessary, counterproductive, or outdated. As we’ve learned the hard way, yes, they are needed, even if they are at times a PITA.
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Texas never disappoints in leading the way by serving as a horrible warning…now that they’ve eased yet more gun regulations to allow campus carry, the predictable exodus has begun (and Texas, even more so than many places, can ill afford the coming brain drain): https://www.texastribune.org/2016/02/25/ut-architecture-dean-cites-campus-carry-reason-dep/
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