- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2009

EPA conflict

The Environmental Protection Agency has asked two of its lawyers to take down a YouTube video they made critiquing the Obama administration’s policy on climate change.

Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, a married couple based in California, do not like cap-and-trade legislation and have publicly argued that carbon taxes would be a more effective means of reducing carbon. They host the Web site www.carbonfees.com to promote their pro-tax views and wrote an Op-Ed in The Washington Post earlier this year that called the legislation a “mirage.”

But a 10-minute video titled “Huge Mistake,” posted on YouTube, went too far, the EPA says. In it, Mrs. Williams says they are “speaking out as parents, citizens, a married couple and attorneys.” Mr. Zabel cites their credibility as EPA lawyers, but cautions, “Nothing in this video is intended to represent the views of the EPA or the Obama administration.”

“Cap-and-trade for climate change has been tried in Europe,” Mrs. Williams said in the video. “It produced harmful volatility in energy prices and few greenhouse-gas reductions. It raised energy prices for consumers and made billions in windfall profits for utilities.”

The EPA says that although it asked the couple to take down the video, that doesn’t mean the agency is censoring them.

“EPA has nearly 18,000 employees, and all of them are free to — and many do — publicly express their views on issues of the day, including issues that are central to EPA’s mission,” EPA General Counsel Scott Fulton said. “The only requirement is that employees adhere to the government’s ethical regulations, which are in place to ensure that EPA and other agencies maintain the highest possible ethical standards at all times.”

Although the original video has been removed from the online video-sharing Web site, copies of it exist and are readily available on the Internet.

Targeting Blue Dogs

A liberal advocacy group dead-set on passing a health care reform bill that includes a public option have put together a list of 10 Blue Dog Democrats it will target for betraying the party line.

Thirty-four House Democrats on Saturday night crossed party lines to oppose health care legislation, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee is narrowing its sights on 10 lawmakers. PCCC sent out an e-mail solicitation on Tuesday asking for donations so it would be able to run ads in the targeted lawmakers’ home districts about their vote.

“Poll after poll shows that even voters in conservative states want health care reform and demand the public option,” said PCCC co-founder Adam Green. “Blue Dog Democrats are wholly owed subsidiaries of corporate America, and they will pay a political price back home for putting their corporate contributors ahead of their constituents who want reform.”

The 10 targets are: Rep. John Barrow of Georgia; Rep. Heath Shuler of North Carolina; Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin of South Dakota; Rep. Scott Murphy of New York; Rep. Jason Altmire of Pennsylvania; Rep. Glenn Nye of Virginia; Rep. Larry Kissell of North Carolina; Rep. John Adler of New Jersey; Rep. Suzanne M. Kosmas of Florida; and Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas.

Get a husband

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski is dishing out some old-fashioned advice for women in an article for The Huffington Post that may come as a shock to those who see her as Joe Scarborough’s liberal foe on the political chat program.

In a column titled “Don’t Forget to Have Kids,” Mrs. Brzezinksi told women that if they want a family, they should start early, “Even in your 20s!”

“Despite the shocked responses I am sure to receive for blogging this, I know that the strategy to ‘put off’ having kids and developing a family is about the most shortsighted concept I have ever witnessed among my colleagues and close friends,” she wrote. “Finding a job is hard enough, but have you ever considered the odds and the challenges of finding a good man? Bad news, girls. The odds are definitely better on getting the right job than getting a good partner for life. Someone who will grow with you. Someone to develop memories with. Someone who was there in the beginning. Someone who will be there at the end.”

She added, “And remember, you can always change a job. I hear it’s much harder to switch out a husband.”

Amanda Carpenter can be reached at acarpenter@ washingtontimes.com

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