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The world is changing. We must change with it. Time to transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world. We can make it happen.

Anderson Ends Successful Campaign for TCEQ Commissioner

Goal is higher than the position sought

I’ve smiled when people thought my ultimate goal was and is to become a TCEQ Commissioner.  The goal is much higher—and it has little to do with me or a position.  A simpler regulatory world is dawning.  The sunshine is peeking through.  It’s going to be a beautiful day.

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Anderson’s Simplicity Speech at TCEQ

Below is a copy of yesterday’s speech imploring TCEQ to begin simplifying the environmental regulatory system in the State of Texas.

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To watch the speech, just click here and click on Item #23.  And interesting discussion between the Commissioners at the end that everyone will want to see.

 

Simplicity Speech

 

I’m here to accept responsibility for what I’ve done—and try to make things right.  I’ve made millions of dollars off the complexity of the regulatory system . . . and it’s wrong.

Teddy Roosevelt once said, “If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

I can’t sit down.

I am not here to blame any of you.  It’s my problem.  My mistake.  My responsibility.  Boenhoeffer said, “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility”.  This is my problem.  My responsibility.  My duty to fix.  And I’m going to fix it.

Because I make money off of complexity . . . the regulatory system in many respects is benefiting me more than it is my clients or the environment.  The environmental regulatory system in the United States, to which TCEQ is a part of, has been found to be the most complicated regulatory system in human history.  A study found that the environmental regulatory system is twice as complicated as the tax code.  The system includes millions of pages of Federal and State laws, rules, guidance, permit terms, and other documents that establish legal obligations on Texas citizens and businesses.

Gina McCarthy, the former head of the EPA during the Obama Administration, said:

—“I hate that each sector has 17 to 20 rules that govern each piece of equipment and you’ve got to be a neuroscientist to figure it out.”

President Obama called the air quality management system “hugely complicated and very technical”.  Others have called it “complex”, “very complicated”, “contentious”, “lengthy”, “unreadable”, “incomprehensible”, “obsolete”, “overlapping”, and “a model of redundancy”.

TCEQ requirements in many ways are more lengthy and complicated than Federal requirements.  TCEQ generally takes the Federal rules and then adds even more requirements on to them.  The number of TCEQ rule records for example has grown by over 25% from 1999 to 2016.  Although much of these rules are in response to Federal mandates—not all fingers can be pointed at the Federal government for the resulting size and complexity.  I don’t have time to go into the weeds, but how many times for example do we need to say something?  We’ve got LDAR requirements repeated in 28 VHP, special conditions, 117 rules, “triple J”.  Mark Twain once said, “The more you explain it, the less I understand it.”  How can the public understand all this?  Let’s just be honest.  The fact is they can’t.

The answer is simplicity.  We need to be the change we want to see at EPA.  If we want EPA to be simpler, we must be simpler.  That’s what this petition is about.

The only way to become simpler is to build self-discipline into the process. We need a system that holds us accountable to simplicity.  Right now we’ve got nothing.  We’re drunk on rules.  And we keep drinking.  Unless we put self-discipline into our lives, our answer to the next problem is going to be another 6-pack of tall-boys.

Here is an idea Chairman Shaw.  And it’s gonna feel good.  I’m gonna use your first name with no disrespect, but just because in rule-aholics anonymous we only use our first name.  Walk into a small room of people sometime, who will probably be drinking way too much water-downed coffee, and just say, “Hi my name is Bryan, and I’m a rule-aholic.”  What a relief its going to be.  Like the world just came off your shoulders.  I’m going to say it now, “Hi, my name is Jed and I’m a rule-aholic” . . . [By the way, this is where all of you are suppose to say, “Hi Jed.”]

There is a different way to live.  A more simple way to live.  A way that protects the environment better.  A way that puts more money in our pocket.  A way that gives us more freedom as individuals and companies.

I didn’t vote for President Trump, but I love what he is trying to do with removing unnecessary regulatory burdens.  Overall, I think we as humans are intended to be free—free in every sense of the word.  Free not only from pollution, but free to the extent possible from rules that cast “can’ts” and “shalls”.  The danger with rules is the same danger Robert Frost wrote about “walls” in the poem “Mending Walls.”  Robert Frost wrote:

Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Rules that we create to protect ourselves are the same rules that can imprison us.  We need to have a system in place to evaluate our rules and ask is this still protecting us, or is this starting to “wall us in” more than danger out?  Is this wall getting too high and complicated?  Do we still need this rule anymore, or is it imprisoning our environmental and economic progress?   Right now we’ve got nothing.  We are working at a bar with our drinking buddies around us and attempting not to drink.  Can’t work.  Gotta have a program.  I’ve met with some political leaders and they say hey I don’t like living this way, but I don’t have a choice.  It’s the federal government.  It’s the system.  It’s not my fault.  I can’t do anything about it.  The Federal government needs to fix it first. . . . That’s a victim mentality.  Gotta stop.  We are not victims.  We are children of an all-powerful God.  We are the State of Texas.  We gotta put the Jagermeister bottle down and get a program.

The petition I submitted creates a program.  It borrows from the Federal government’s new 2 for 1 program since there is already precedent for it.  It’s not the big book, but it beats drinking.  And I’m suggesting we give it a shot.

With simplicity will come better transparency.  With transparency will come better accountability.  The more simple things are, the more everyone understands them.  The more everyone understands them, the better they can comply with them.  It’s that simple.

Standing My Ground for Regulatory Simplification on Wednesday

 

I will stand my ground.

 

  • “The simplest things are often the truest.” — Richard Bach
  • “All the great things are simple.” —Winston Churchill 
  •  “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Isaac Newton
  • “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” – Albert Einstein

 

The TCEQ agenda session starts at 9:30 on Wednesday in Building E.  The petition for simplification will be one of the last items.  Live video is available at http://www.texasadmin.com/tx/tceq/

Trump out of Paris . . . but Interested in a Bigger and Better Deal . . . And here it is

Here it is President Trump.  And it’s even better than the Paris accord.

It’s called “AGAPE:  The Accord on Global Air Pollution and the Environment”.

It’s a multi-pollutant agreement.

It’s not just about climate.  The U.S. is being impacted by traditional pollutant impacts blowing in from other parts of the world–which is requiring us to put more controls on our own domestic sources.  Not a fair situation.  Not an effective way to deal with the problem.  Need a global multi-pollutant agreement that realizes the synergies of dealing with all this at the same time, holistically.  And one that truly and fairly apportions costs and responsibilities for these interrelated problems.

It’s become “a small multi-pollutant world after all.”  Time for a new, bigger and better deal.

Agape and global

I’ve incorporated this new international agreement with a domestic program so that it should all work more simply and seamlessly.  The new Clean Air Act re-authorization reduces the need for approximately 75% of the current Clean Air Act.

For a summary of the “Clean Air Act Reauthorization of 2017”, click here.

For the actual draft legislative text of the “Clean Air Act Reauthorization of 2017”, click here.

Rule Simplification: Good Idea for the Goose (EPA), but not the Gander (TCEQ)

 

TCEQ wants the Federal government to simplify its rules, but does not want to simplify their own (see link).

 

The Answer for the Clean Air Act

It’s simplicity that transforms the world.

Remember how complicated computers were in the 1980’s?

c promptYou had to know languages like “Basic” and “Pilot Tutorial” . . . and know a bunch of “c:/ prompt” commands.

Then came a man with a “mouse” and a “windows-based” platform.

Simple.

The power of the computer in the world has come not because of its complexity, but because of its simplicity.

Imagine what the equivalent of introducing a “mouse” and a “window’s-based” platform would do for air quality management?

Complexity builds mountains.  Simplicity moves mountains.

Jobs

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TCEQ Out of Touch with Simplicity

TCEQ believes their rules are written with the goal of simplicity in mind.

“[The] executive director believes TCEQ rules are written with this goal [of simplicity] in mind.”–TCEQ Staff (see link)

tceq 5“Simple” is probably the last word I think anyone in the business community, or the environmental community for that matter, would use to describe how TCEQ rules are written.

TCEQ’s  belief that their rules are written with the goal of simplicity in mind is either baseless–or they are failing miserably at their goal.  Either way, their eyes must be opened.  This approach cannot continue.  The days of piling more and more complicated rules on top of more and more complicated rules are over.  Complexity can no longer be ignored.

“Fools ignore complexity; pragmatists suffer it; experts avoid it; geniuses remove it.”- Alan Perlis

Perlis

Time for genius.  Plenty of geniuses are out there–including staff at TCEQ.

“Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered – either by themselves or by others.” – Mark Twain

Twain and Clean Air Act

What’s fascinating is that this move toward simplicity will happen.  It’s just how everything in the universe works–including air quality management:

——-“The whole world is certainly heading for a great simplicity, not deliberately, but rather inevitably.

The simplicity towards which the world is driving is the necessary outcome of all our systems and speculations and of our deep and continuous contemplation of things. For the universe is like everything in it; we have to look at it repeatedly and habitually before we see it. It is only when we have seen it for the hundredth time that we see it for the first time. The more consistently things are contemplated, the more they tend to unify themselves and therefore to simplify themselves. The simplification of anything is always sensational. [. . .]

Few people will dispute that all the typical movements of our time are upon this road towards simplification. Each system seeks to be more fundamental than the other; each seeks, in the literal sense, to undermine the other. In art, for example, the old conception of man, classic as the Apollo Belvedere, has first been attacked by the realist, who asserts that man, as a fact of natural history, is a creature with colourless hair and a freckled face. Then comes the Impressionist, going yet deeper, who asserts that to his physical eye, which alone is certain, man is a creature with purple hair and a grey face. Then comes the Symbolist, and says that to his soul, which alone is certain, man is a creature with green hair and a blue face. And all the great writers of our time represent in one form or another this attempt to reestablish communication with the elemental, or, as it is sometimes more roughly and fallaciously expressed, to return to nature.  [. . .]

But the giants of our time are undoubtedly alike in that they approach by very different roads this conception of the return to simplicity. Ibsen returns to nature by the angular exterior of fact, Maeterlinck by the eternal tendencies of fable. Whitman returns to nature by seeing how much he can accept, Tolstoy by seeing how much he can reject.”― G.K. Chesterton

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“The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler.” – Edward Teller

“I’ll tell you what you need to be a great scientist. You don’t have to be able to understand very complicated things. It’s just the opposite. You have to be able to see what looks like the most complicated thing in the world and, in a flash, find the underlying simplicity. That’s what you need: a talent for simplicity.”— Mitchell Wilson

“Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification.”— Karl Popper

“[T]he grand aim of all science…is to cover the greatest possible number of empirical facts by logical deductions from the smallest possible number of hypotheses or axioms.”—Albert Einstein

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“Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.”- Alan J. Perlis

I cannot tell you  what the result will be on June 7th when the TCEQ Commissioners consider my petition to begin a concerted effort toward regulatory simplicity.  But I can tell you that eventually it will succeed.  Simplicity always does.

I Re-wrote the Clean Air Act

I re-wrote the Clean Air Act.  I re-wrote it because nobody else thought it could be done.

Done.

Lombardi

To view a summary of the “21st Century Clean Air Act”, click here.  For the text of the new Act click here.

TCEQ to Consider Simplifying Regs

(Houston) – April 13, 2017

Yesterday a Petition for Rulemaking was filed with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to simplify environmental regulatory burdens to the State of Texas and its citizens.  EPA and President Trump are pursuing a similar course of action at the Federal level.  “If EPA can do better, we can do better”, said the petitioner Jed Anderson.  The Commission has 60 days to respond.

To read the Petition, click on the following link “Petition for Rulemaking to Reduce Rulemaking“.

Comment Filed on Trump Executive Order to Reduce Regulations that Includes Plan for Simplifying the Air Quality Management System

A public comment was filed on Executive Order E.O. 13771 that includes a plan for simplifying the air quality management system at its foundation:  (see below or https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190-0226).

Time to simplify the nation’s air quality management system to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world.  We can make it happen.

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You are commenting on:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Other: Memo opening a comment period for this docket.

 This is how your comment will appear on Regulations.gov:

Comment: My name is Jed Anderson. I am an environmental attorney with the AL Law Group and former attorney with Baker Botts and Vinson & Elkins, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law School where I taught the Clean Air Act.

I appreciate the opportunity to provide the following comment and proposal.

Instead of working through each rule individually to simplify the regulatory system–a much easier, quicker, and simpler way to achieve the goals of E.O. 13771 is to work the problem backwards starting with a simple solution. As John Gall said, “A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.”

To this end, attached is a proposal that reduces regulations by approximately 75% while improving air quality. The proposal could be accomplished via reforms to the Clean Air Act or potentially by consolidating statutory programs via a regulation or Executive Order that creates an alternative means of compliance approach consolidating compliance with the programs. Attached is a proposal that was submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality yesterday that includes this simplification approach via consolidation. Attached also is a summary along with draft legislative text that implements the regulatory reduction approach via statute.

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Uploaded File(s)(Optional)

  • Clean Air Act Reauthorization of 2017.pdf
  • The Clean Air Act Reauthorization of 2017.pdf
  • Petition for Rulemaking to Reduce Rulemaking.pdf

Schoenbrod’s latest book “DC Confidential” explains why the controversies and conflicts are occurring with the Clean Air Act

“Cathartic.  A cleansing bath in truth.”  Schoenbrod’s latest book explains why the Clean Air Act is the way it is.  Here is a link if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

I thought I understood why the Clean Air Act is the way it is.  I didn’t.  Now I do.  I read pages 39-55.  All of the controversies we face with the Clean Air Act make sense in light of this book.  Liberating in its insightfulness.  It will cleanse you better than a day spa.

—“This is an alarming book, and indeed we should be alarmed.”—Governor Howard Dean

As David explains in the book, essentially the Clean Air Act was the beginning in the U.S.  of two “tricks” that before had never taken place in Congressional history.  Congress learned how they could take credit for creating something good . . . and then pass the cost on to others (i.e. federal agencies, states, and future generations).  This way people would keep voting for them—and they could just point the finger for the inevitable hard choices at the federal agencies and keep pushing the work on the States under the rally cry of “cooperative federalism”.

This is a must read for anyone in the air quality business who believes we can do better for the environment, the economy, and our nation as a whole.

—“Cathartic.  A cleansing bath in truth.”—Jed Anderson 

Foreign Pollution Impacting Houston

Foreign pollution is impacting the health and attainment efforts of Houston . . . to the tune of billions of dollars.

Here is a presentation given yesterday to the Regional Air Quality Planning Committee:  “Houston and Foreign Pollution

Easiest Way to Avoid Environmental Laws

—“The easiest way to avoid environmental regulation is to create more of them.”

People ask me what the law says.  Increasingly I ask, “What do you want it to say?”  As environmental regulations grow in size and complexity—the ambiguities, conflicts, and redundancies grow—and therefore the ability to construe them however we want grows.

The reason why the easiest way to avoid environmental regulation perhaps is to create more of them is that environmental groups and environmental agencies can be conscripted in this tactic.  Yes, regulations can be avoided by removing them—but adding them to 10,000 other regulations is generally much easier.  It’s not better . . . but it is an easier way to avoid the law.

churchill

Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world.  We can make it happen.

To view a summary of the “21st Century Clean Air Act”, click here.  For the text of the new Act click here.

2017 Clean Air Act Reauthorization

Here are slides from the draft legislation to reauthorize the U.S. Clean Air Act.

To view a summary of the “21st Century Clean Air Act”, click here.  For the text of the new Act click here.

Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world.  We can make it happen.

Trump Air Regulations: will “2 out 1 in” become “3 in 1 out” in four more years?

 

 

Only way to simplify air regulation is to simplify the systems in the Clean Air Act.

 

 

 

“Simple systems . . . simple rules.  It’s that simple.”—Jed Anderson

 

  • Look at the amount of regulations needed to implement the acid rain program (40 CFR Part 72)
  • Now look at the amount of regulations needed to implement the rest of the Act

 

My ideas on simple systems are not genius.  Read below.  It’s plagiarism.  I just steal ideas from the ancients like others have done before me, bring it into a different context, and change the wrapping paper.

 

  • “Complexity is a sign of technical immaturity.  Simplicity of use is the real sign of a well designed product whether it is an ATM or a Patriot missile.”– Daniel T. Ling
  • “When the solution is simple, God is answering.” —Albert Einnew-clean-air-actstein
  • ”Beauty of style and harmony and grace and good rhythm depend on simplicity”—Plato
  • “A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over, beginning with a working simple system.”—John Gall
  • “Nature operates in the shortest way possible.”—Aristotle
  • “Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability.”– Edsger W.Dijkstra
  • “Phenomena complex—laws simple.”—Richard P. Feynman
  • “The cheapest, fastest, and most reliable components of a computer system are those that aren’t there.”– Graham Bell
  • “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci
  • “[T]he grand aim of all science…is to cover the greatest possible number of empirical facts by logical deductions from the smallest possible number of hypotheses or axioms.”—Albert Einstein
  • “Rudiments or principles must not be unnecessarily multiplied (entia praeter necessitatem non esse multiplicanda)—Immanuel Kant
  • “Youknow you’ve achieved perfection in design, not when you have nothing more to add, but when you have nothing more to take away.’— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  • “Fools ignore complexity; pragmatists suffer it; experts avoid it; geniuses remove it.”- Alan Perlis
  • “Nature is pleased with simplicity.  And nature is no dummy.” ― Isaac Newton  
  • “The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” —Albert Einstein
  • “There are two ways of constructing a software design. One way is to make it so simple that there are obviously no deficiencies. And the other way is to make it so complicated that there are no obvious deficiencies.”– C.A.R. Hoare
  • “Out of clutter, find simplicity.” —Albert Einstein 
  • “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent.  It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” ——E.F Schumacher
  • “Simplifications have had a much greater long-range scientific impact than individual feats of ingenuity. The opportunity for simplification is very encouraging, because in all examples that come to mind the simple and elegant systems tend to be easier and faster to design and get right, more efficient in execution, and much more reliable than the more contrived contraptions that have to be debugged into some degree of acceptability…. Simplicity and elegance are unpopular because they require hard work and discipline to achieve and education to be appreciated.”– Edsger W. Dijkstra
  • “Remember that there is no code faster than no code.”– Taligent’s Guide to Designing Programs
  • Although there are no textbooks on simplicity, simple systems work and complex don’t.” ––Jim Gray
  • “Nature does not multiply things unnecessarily; that she makes use of the easiest and simplest means for producing her effects; that she does nothing in vain, and the like”.—Galileo
  • “The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler.” – Edward Teller
  • “I’ll tell you what you need to be a great scientist. You don’t have to be able understand very complicated things. It’s just the opposite. You have to be able to see what looks like the most complicated thing in the world and, in a flash, find the underlying simplicity. That’s what you need: a talent for simplicity.”— Mitchell Wilson
  • “Science may be described as the art of systematic over-simplification.”— Karl Popper
  • “Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.”- Alan J. Perlis
  • “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”  —-Hans Hofmann
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” ―Henry David Thoreau
  • “There is no greatness where there is not simplicity . . . .” ― Leo Tolstoy
  • “Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” – Isaac Newton
  • “The simplest things are often the truest.” — Richard Bach
  • “When Henry Ford decided to produce his famous V-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece.  Ford replied, ”Produce it anyway.”― Henry Ford
  • “Simplicity does not precede complexity, but follows it.”- Alan J. Perlis
  • “The main purpose of science is simplicity and as we understand more things, everything is becoming simpler.” – Edward Teller
  • “Five lines where three are enough is stupidity. Nine pounds where three are sufficient is stupidity.”—Frank Lloyd Wright
  • “If you have 10,000 regulations you destroy all respect for the law.” —Winston Churchill 
  • Don’t be fooled by the many books on complexity or by the many complex and arcane algorithms you find in this book or elsewhere. Although there are no textbooks on simplicity, simple systems work and complex don’t.” ––Jim Gray
  • “When you first start off trying to solve a problem, the first solutions you come up with are very complex, and most people stop there. But if you keep going, and live with the problem and peel more layers of the onion off, you can often times arrive at some very elegant and simple solutions.”—Steve Jobs 
  • “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. —Steve Jobs
  • “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” —Henry David Thoreau 
  • “I do believe in simplicity.  [. . .] When the mathematician would solve a difficult problem, he first frees the equation of all incumbrances, and reduces it to its simplest terms.  So simplify the problem of life, distinguish the necessary and the real.  Probe the earth to see where your main roots run.” —Henry David Thoreau 
  • “A lady once offered me a mat, but as I had no room to spare within the house, nor time to spare within or without to shake it, I declined it.” —Henry David Thoreau 
  • “Simplicity is the law of nature for men as well as for flowers.” —Henry David Thoreau 
  • “Simplicity is the key to brilliance.”–Bruce Lee 
  • “In building a statue, a sculptor doesn’t keep adding clay to his subject. Actually, he keeps chiselling away at the inessentials until the truth of its creation is revealed without obstructions.”—Bruce Lee 
  • “To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is.” —Bruce Lee   
  • “All the great things are simple.” —Winston Churchill 
  • “Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.” –Winston Churchill 
  • “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! —Henry David Thoreau

Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world.  We can make it happen.

To view a summary of the “21st Century Clean Air Act”, click here.  For the text of the new Act click here.

The Clean Air Act and Grace

Grace seems to be the end to which we are headed.  Not grace that abolishes the law, but grace that fulfills the law.  Grace that brings freedom.  Freedom not only from pollution, but freedom from law.  We are intended to be free—in every sense of the word.

chestertonWe do not need to get good laws to restrain bad people. We need to get good people to restrain us from bad laws.” – G.K. Chesterton [one of the most brilliant thinkers and Christian apologists of the 20th century (his book “Orthodoxy” is pure whimsical genius)]

How can we move the Clean Air Act more along the continuum from a complex system of law to the ends of grace (i.e. fulfillment of the law and true freedom)?

President Obama Calls on Congress to Reform the Clean Air Act in NPR Exit Interview

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Fascinating reporter question.  And even more fascinating answer from outgoing President Obama.

Reporter:   [H]as the presidency become too powerful in your view?

President Obama:  “I distinguish between domestic policy and foreign policy. [. . .]  “On the domestic side, the truth is that, you know, there hasn’t been a radical change between what I did and what George Bush did and what Bill Clinton did and what the first George Bush did. It’s, you know, the issue of big agencies, like the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of Labor, having to take laws that have been passed, like the Clean Air Act, which is hugely complicated and very technical, and fill in the gaps and figure out our “What does this mean and how do we apply this to new circumstances?” That’s not new. Having federal bureaucracies and federal regulations, that’s not new. I think that what’s happened that I do worry about is that Congress has become so dysfunctional, that more and more of a burden is placed on the agencies to fill in the gaps, and the gaps get bigger and bigger because they’re not constantly refreshed and tweaked.”—President Obama, NPR Interview, December 15, 2016

[Click on the picture to see the video clip . . . or see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEjeKrZxDFQ&t=36m8s and http://www.npr.org/2016/12/19/504998487/transcript-and-video-nprs-exit-interview-with-president-obama.]

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to transform the Clean Air Act.  We can make it happen.

For more information on the Clean Air Act transformation effort, see http://www.cleanairreform.org.

Trump’s New Clean Air Act?

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The following re-write of the U.S. Clean Air Act removes 50-75% of the old Act while improving air quality and addressing climate change.

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A summary of the “21st Century Clean Air Act” is available here.

The text of the new Act is available here.

Houston Attorney Writes Book on Clean Air Act Reform

Jed Anderson, nationally known expert on the Clean Air Act and partner at AL Law Group, PLLC, has written a book about leading U.S. Clean Air Act reform, in an effort to address current regulatory and environmental needs in the modern world.Book - Amazon

A Victorious Defeat: 10 Years Reforming the Clean Air Act Kindle Edition

by Jed Anderson (Author)

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The Clean Air Act has become obsolete. A more simplified, coordinated, and more efficient Clean Air Act is needed to better address the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world. This book chronicles one man’s journey, efforts, and thoughts over a 10 year period in an effort to lead the nation in a new direction.

“Early in my career as an environmental attorney I realized that the unnecessary complexity of the Clean Air Act was benefiting me more than it was my clients or the environment.  I decided this could not stand.”–Jed Anderson

Excerpts from “A Victorious Defeat”:

Best way to Protect Nature

The best way to protect nature is to emulate nature.

—–“Nature operates in the shortest way possible.” ― Aristotle

—–“Nature is pleased with simplicity.  And nature is no dummy.” ― Isaac Newton

—–“Nature does not multiply things unnecessarily . . . and does nothing in vain”. — Galileo

Consensus on Clean Air Act Reform

How do we get consensus on how to update the Clean Air Act?  Quite easy.  Just a matter of personally searching for the truth as best we can see it.  I will explain.

Our objective on every issue should be to search beyond ourselves for the truth in a particular issue as best we can see it.   The harder we seek this truth for ourselves in everything, the closer we will eventually get to the same or similar solution since we are all seeking the same thing—the truth.  Anyone remember “Where’s Waldo”?  The reason we found him is we were all looking for the same thing.  Eventually there was consensus on where Waldo was.  What if the game though was called “Where’s Consensus”?  I think we would still be looking for Consensus.

Each of us is designed to find Waldo.  The more we search for the truth in any particular issue the more we realize we are looking for the same thing and the closer we get to finding the same thing.  And that same thing we will one day find will just be wonderful. . . . It’s the truth.

***********

Jed AndersonJed Anderson is a Principal Attorney with the AL Law Group PLLC in Houston, Texas.  Mr. Anderson was formerly with the law firms of Baker Botts L.L.P. and Vinson & Elkins L.L.P. and also served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law School where he taught the Clean Air Act class.

The State Bar of Texas Environmental Journal once wrote about Mr. Anderson’s work,  “Jed’s argument [about the Clean Air Act] has caught the attention of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Congress and may be a catalyst for positive change in this complex issue.”

Mr. Anderson also has the distinction of being the first person in U.S. history to re-write the Clean Air Act from its foundations (see https://cleanairreform.org/about/).

 

TSCA Reform . . . Now Clean Air Act Reform

Senate passed TSCA reform!  Now it’s time for Clean Air Act reform.  Environment and economy deserve it.  Time for a 21st century Clean Air Act.  We can make it happen.

TSCA

Houston Clean Air Act Reform Events – Feb. 10-11

3 upcoming events focused on Clean Air Act reform:

  1. February 10th, 2:00 PM – Rice University presents “Visions of Climate, Energy, Air Policy and Law”
  2. February 10th, 4:30 PM – UH Energy and UH Law present, “The Clean Air Act Fails Us and the Climate:  The Need for Bold Reform”, Professor David Schoenbrod, New York Law School
  3. February 11th, 8:15 AM – Air & Waste Management Association presents the “Hot Air Topics Conference”
“Click” on event brochure below for more details

law-center-feb-10-lecture (00000002)

Rice EventAWMAAWMA Panels focused on Clean Air Act reform or likely to touch on the issue:

8:15am Current Air Issues
Jeff Holmstead, Bracewell & Giuliani and Former EPA Deputy Administrator for Air
Martha Landwehr, Texas Chemical Council
Jed Anderson, The AL Law Group, “CAA Reform and Modernization”

10:00am Public Policy Issues
Jim Blackburn, Blackburn & Carter
Todd Staples, TXOGA

12:50 Keynote Speech
David Schoenbrod, Renowned Author and NYLS Professor, “The Clean Air Act is Obsolete: The Need for Bold Reform”

1:15 CAA Policy Issues Panel:
TCEQ Commission Toby Baker (invited)
EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry (invited)
The Honorable Jerry Moulton, Mayor of the City of Deer Park
The Honorable Stephen DonCarlos, Mayor of the City of Baytown
Tom Jordan, Senior Policy Advisor, San Joaquin Valley APCD

3:15pm “A New Direction for the Clean Air Act”
Dr. Daniel Cohan, Rice University

The world is changing. We must change with it. Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (see for example “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016”). We can make it happen.

Clean Air Act Favors Foreign Pollution

domestic vs. foreign pollution

 The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (see for example “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016”).  We can make it happen.

New Year’s Resolution and Clean Air Act Reform

CAA Reform ResolutionMany people say to themselves, “Why make resolutions that I’m just gonna fail at anyway?”

Not the point.  God works from intent—not probability of success.

Problem isn’t that we make resolutions that are impossible—but that they are not impossible enough.

Resolve bigger.  Resolve annually, daily, hourly.  Failure doesn’t mean impossibility.  Dust yourself off.  Resolve again.  Apparently that’s how it all works.  Success is not our responsibility.  Intent is.  Keep intending.  Intend as big as you can dream.

A New Year tomorrow.  I wish everyone the very best.

Resolution

National Multi-Pollutant Market-Based System

The following elaborates on the proposed “National Multi-Pollutant Market-Based System” found in the draft “Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016”:

Slide2

Slide1

Slide3

CAA and Simplicity

System

The world is changing. We must change with it. Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world.  We can make it happen.

Legislation Calls for Foreign Pollution Study

Olson BillFantastic!  What bold Congressional leadership!  Hopefully this helps lead to comprehensive improvements to the Clean Air Act.  Thank you Congressmen Olson, Latta, Cuellar, and Kirkpatrick!

H.R. 4265 “The Clean Air Implementation Act”

Reps. Pete Olson (R-TX), Bob Latta (R-OH), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ), and Henry Cuellar (D-TX), yesterday introduced bipartisan legislation that would update how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) addresses ozone requirements in the Clean Air Act.  The legislation calls for a stay in the ozone standard until a study of foreign pollution impacts to the NAAQS is completed.

Highlights of Clean Air Implementation Act:

  • Timeline Revision– EPA shall update the Ambient Air Quality Standards at eight year intervals unless the Administrator finds that specific circumstances warrant a review earlier in the cycle.

  • Secondary Consideration of Feasibility– EPA can use as a factor in determining the range of levels for a new NAAQS feasibility when setting a new standard.

  • Foreign Transport– EPA in coordination with the National Academies of Sciences shall report to Congress within two years, the extent to which foreign sources of pollution impact achievement of NAAQS standards in the US. The 2015 standard will be paused until the study is complete.

Here is the Press Release Summary of the Bill:  https://olson.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/olson-latta-kirkpatrick-cuellar-introduce-ozone-bill

 

Two Ways to Bring About Changes in CAA Policy

Amazes me how much time, money, and emotions people on both sides spend fighting to bring about change under the existing structures of the Clean Air Act.

Easier and simpler way.   On the surface this way seems harder, but only seems harder because no one has tried it.  Start climbing and the mountain becomes smaller.  Eventually you find yourself at the top wondering how you got there.  All will be well.

Solution to CAA

Paris Accord Signed

Whitfield and Clean Air Act ReformPresident wants climate change legacy protected.  Congressional Republicans want a better working environmental protection system.

No one thought of this idea yet.

Horse-trade.  Create a win-win.  Update the Clean Air Act to do both.  What will fascinate you most is not your differences . . . but that essentially you want the same thing:  a cleaner more prosperous world.  You can have it.  All will be well.

 Politico:  OBAMA’S FRAGILE CLIMATE LEGACY: President Obama was elated by the 195 country climate accord announced on Saturday, but the future of U.S. participation in that deal, and Obama’s entire legacy on climate change, rests on a single hope: That a Democrat, or at least a non-climate denier, live in the White House in 2017. As POLITICO’s Sarah Wheaton reports, Obama’s climate actions, from EPA carbon regulations to military moves to go green, have come without participation from Congress. And all face significant resistance from national Republicans, including the leading GOP presidential candidates, who have either denied human-caused climate change or down-played its importance. “The President is making promises he can’t keep, writing checks he can’t cash, and stepping over the middle class to take credit for an ‘agreement’ that is subject to being shredded in 13 months,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking yesterday on ABC’s “This Week,” offered a retort to McConnell and the GOP field, “I don’t believe the American people, who predominately do believe what is happening with climate change … are going to accept as a genuine leader someone who doesn’t understand the science of climate change and isn’t willing to do something about it.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-energy#ixzz3uJbjZQC6

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (see for example “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016”).  We can make it happen

Schoenbrod to be Keynote at Houston Air Conference

Fantastic news!

Renowned writer, thinker, and environmental reform advocate David Schoenbrod has agreed to be the Keynote Speaker for AWMA’s 2016 Hot Air Topics Conference in Houston on February 11th.

What an honor and treat this will be.

And what an intriguing conference AWMA leadership is putting together this year.  Hope everyone can be there to watch what transpires.

Information on the conference is available at:  2016 AWMA HAT Conference.

breakinglogsavingourenvironment

 

Summary of “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016”

Click on the following for a summary: “Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016

Click here for the draft legislative text.

Paris Agreement Creating Opportunity to Update U.S. Clean Clean Air Act

Obama and Paris

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (see for example “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016”).  We can make it happen.

Congress and the Clean Air Act

Great panel in D.C. on the role of Congress in environmental law (see https://youtu.be/_PfITwn7g9s)

A few quotes from David Schoenbrod on the panel:

Schoenbrod and Federalist Society

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (see for example “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016”).  We can make it happen.

 

Paris Treaty and the Clean Air Act

Draft of new Clean Air Act circulating that incorporates placeholder for Paris Treaty while simplifying the regulatory system for all pollutants.   (see https://t.co/uxLIopKCzs).

2016 CAA and Paris

CSAPR . . . why not CNAPR?

CNAPR

Puzzling why States and EPA want to keep focusing almost exclusively on each other and beating each other up in this changed world of ours.


JacobHolmstead and Global ProblemJaffeTranspacific PollutionEastern vs. Western States and Transported PollutionSadredrin and Global ProblemSlide7Agape and globalSlide33

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (ex. “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”).  We can make it happen.

Waxman Makes Compelling Arguments for Clean Air Act Reform

Henry Waxman today made compelling arguments for updating the Clean Air Act again (see https://t.co/ckl8jNnw8l)

Waxman on CAA Reform

Waxman on CAA

 

Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (ex. “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”).  We can make it happen.

Summiting Climate Change and Air Pollution Problems

 

Complexity builds mountains.  Simplicity moves mountains.

CAA and Simplicity

—“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” —Steve Jobs

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (ex. “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”).  We can make it happen.

2016 Draft – “Clean Air and Climate Change Act”

 

 

Add your revisions to the latest draft of the “Clean Air and Climate Change Act” (see https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wEFHhoJMpeY_-SqRmK8P7ZYLtxu0gX-QE9tYCUYfoAw/edit?usp=sharing)

Below is a summary.

The final draft will be formally unveiled at the Annual  AWMA Hot Air Topics Conference on February 11th in Houston (see http://www.awma-gcc.org/)

The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2016

  • Primary goals are to: 

(1)  Create a comprehensive multi-pollutant approach to addressing air quality and climate change concerns;
(2)  Realign responsibility and authority under the Act to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of International, Federal, State, and Local control efforts; and
(3)  Modernize and simplify the Act to make it more transparent and easier to implement and enforce.
  •  Establishes an international component to managing and helping improve air quality in the U.S.

– Creates the authority to negotiate and develop a Multi-pollutant International Emissions Management Program (MIEMP)
  • Modernizes, Simplifies, and Consolidates Much of the Current Air Quality Management System into a National Multi-pollutant Market-based System (NMMS):

– Congress sets the initial emission reduction schedule with the NMMS based on the advice of EPA, States, and others (a comprehensive, coordinated, multi-pollutant review which includes NAAQS pollutants, greenhouse gases, visibility pollutants, toxics, and other pollutants).  [It should be noted that the NAAQS are retained and are strictly science-based.  Health is essentially the only consideration for where the NAAQS are set.  The difference is that economics and politics would be more truthfully and honestly de-linked from where the health-based standards should be set.   Congress would then decide on the amount and speed with which to pursue NAAQS reductions based on where the NAAQS are set, by Congress’s goals for reducing other pollutants, by economic considerations, by trade-offs for spending money on further NAAQS reductions rather than on other societal benefits, by energy policy considerations, etc.].
– Requires EPA to periodically review the NMMS and submit a new emission reduction schedule for Congressional approval (if Congress fails to act, the new schedule would become automatically effective on a given date).  This periodic review also includes recommendations from EPA to Congress on changes to the MIEMP.    
– Larger stationary sources are made subject to the NMMS and are required to demonstrate compliance via real-time facility-wide source monitoring (PSD/NNSR, NSPS, MACT, and Title V were therefore no longer needed for these large sources and were removed).  The NMMS for mobile sources is generally implemented the same as under the current CAA.  The NMMS for smaller stationary sources is implemented via national performance standards (combining MACT and NSPS). 
– States are placed in charge of enforcing the NMMS, addressing potential fence-line or hot-spot concerns not addressed by the NMMS, and functioning as innovators, information gatherers, and primary advisors on developing the NMMS and national performance standards.  States are provided with not only more rights to develop more stringent controls, but more ability to do so since less resources are needed to be spent on administrative exercises.

 

Environmental and Industry Groups Want Same Thing . . . Improve the Clean Air Act

Both sides want improvements to the Clean Air Act.  Excellent!  Let’s make it happen.

NRDC and DonigerNAMSlide2Slide7

Einstein’s 3 Rules of Work and the Clean Air Act

Einstein and the Clean Air ActAs Picasso said, “Good artists copy, great artists steal”.  So how might Einstein approach the Clean Power Plan, New Ozone Standard, and other challenges we face under the Clean Air Act?  Easy to find.  Here are Einstein’s 3 rules of work:

  1. “Out of clutter, find simplicity.
  2. From discord, find harmony.
  3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”—Albert Einstein (his three rules of work)

Anyone want to try applying his 3 rules to the Clean Air Act?  Does anyone else feel almost giddy when they think about the environmental and economic opportunities that could be realized?

What an incredible world we live in.  What an incredible journey we are on.  All will be well.

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (ex. “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”).  We can make it happen.

Image

CPP and Ozone Fights

Fight or Build

Clean Power Plan

Everyone wants to fight.  Anyone want to build something new?

CAA of 2015Slide21SocratesSlide1

 

If EPA give you what you perceive to be Lemons . . . Make Lemonade!

EPA and LemonadeNo one is seeing the billions of dollars in potential relief EPA is offering States.

On Monday EPA recognized in the final ozone rule that climate change is increasing ozone:

“[C]limate change has the potential to increase average summertime O3 concentrations by as much as 1–5 ppb by 2030” (80 Fed. Reg. 65292 at 65300)

  • 81% of CO2 comes from outside the U.S.
  • EPA said that States are not responsible for reducing background pollution
  • States therefore potentially don’t need to offset 4.05 ppb (i.e. 81% of 5 ppb) with additional local VOC and NOx controls

EPA is telling you States that you are not responsible for offsetting the world’s pollution in your SIPs . . . so stop it.  You’ve got enough of your own pollution to deal with.

The world is changing.  We must change with it.  Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (ex. “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”).  We can make it happen.

Paris too Narrow

Paris too narrow.  Need bolder multi-pollutant approach.  Interrelated problems.  Environmental and economic synergies to be realized.

Slide2Agape and global

Paris is a bit Short-Sighted

Paris climate treaty is a bit short-sighted.  Need a holistic, global multi-pollutant approach to take advantage of synergies.

AGAPE

Ozone: Global Problem . . . Global Solution

Ozone has now become a global problem. Clean Air Act must be expanded to include a global solution.

Holmstead and Global Problem

Jacob

Sadredrin and Global Problem

Jaffe

Ozone Standard Too High . . . Ozone Standard Too Low

Everyone just wants to fight.  Anyone interested in building something new?

Socrates

CAA of 2015

Clean Air Act and Thinking Outside the Box

Thinking and Boxes

Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (ex. “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”).  We can make it happen.

A 21st Century Clean Air Act

Time to transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world.

CAA of 2015

“Click” on picture for a powerpoint overview.  To view the text of the Act, “click” on the following link: Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”.

Predicting the Future of the Clean Air Act

How can we best predict the future of the Clean Air Act?

     —–“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”—Abraham Lincoln

LincolnClean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015

Time to simplify and transform the Clean Air Act to better prepare ourselves for the problems and opportunities of a 21st century world (ex. “The Clean Air and Climate Change Act of 2015”).  We can make it happen.

Think Volkswagen is in Trouble???

Wait until the public figures this out.  Trillions of dollars in health and economic impacts.

Volkswagen and Defeat Device on New Ozone StandardTrue Ozone Standard

Peace and the Clean Air Act

 
What struck me most in the recent NY Times article calling for Clean Air Act modernization was the following quote:

—“Peace needs to break out on environmental protection.”

Peace and the Clean Air Act

 

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