This past week, I endured a very personal and distressing episode of government imposition by way of environmentalism. Let me explain...
Since about the age of twelve (44 years ago), I have experienced occasional bouts of asthma. The best description I can give to those who are fortunate enough to not have to deal with this malady is that it feels like your lungs are being stuffed with cotton.
After a day of helping to clear fallen trees on a friend’s property last Wednesday, my allergies decided to go respiratory on me. The allergic reaction was coming on strong and my epinephrine inhaler was empty. For the first time in probably 40 years, I found myself really in trouble with asthma.
My concerned wife drove hurriedly to the local Safeway while I sat in the passenger seat and focused on breathing. She was in and out of the store quickly, but returned incredulous and empty-handed. The Safeway pharmacist had explained to my wife that they were no longer carrying over-the-counter epinephrine inhalers in response to a new federal mandate and that she should get me to an emergency room.
Uncomfortable, but not quite in a panic, I opted to try the closest drug store, fifteen minutes away, rather than endure a an emergency room ordeal at the nearest hospital, 25 minutes away. Fortunately, the Walgreen’s had a supply of over-the-counter Primatene Mist, still legal for sale through the end of December.
Two days later, in the leisure of fully operating lung capacity, I investigated the matter, including a phone call to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Armstrong Pharmaceuticals explains in a statement on their website, “On December 31, 2011, the FDA ban on the sale of Primatene® Mist containing CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) as a propellant will become effective. ... The ban on the sale of Primatene® Mist is a result of the Montreal Protocol treaty, which prohibits the sale of certain products containing CFCs.”
The FDA’s website includes the explanation, “Primatene® Mist inhalers use CFCs, which decrease the earth's ozone layer.” The representative whom I reached by phone was not willing to argue the validity of the environmental claims. But she did give me her best shot at reasoning the FDA’s website statement that, “You can only buy albuterol HFA inhalers—or any inhaler after Dec. 31—with a prescription from your doctor.”
The Armstrong Pharmaceuticals website says that they are “actively finalizing its internal development of a new, CFC-Free Primatene® Mist that ... will use a more environmentally friendly propellant.” So, did the FDA first ensure approval of the replacement product before banning the current product? Nope. According to Armstrong, “There will likely be a period of time between December 31, 2011 and the date of FDA approval of the new HFA Primatene® Mist product.” The FDA representative confirmed this to me on the phone, criticizing Armstrong for having profit motivations.
Environmental activism, fortified by a willing and corrupt court system, is the liberals’ Rx of choice in controlling the people.
It has been over three years since TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP filed an application for a Presidential Permit with the U.S. Department of State to build and operate the Keystone XL Project, a 1,700-mile pipeline for transporting crude oil from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin to delivery points in Oklahoma and Texas. The proposed $7 billion project would create tens of thousands of American jobs and supplant a significant portion of crazy-country oil supplies with 830,000 barrels per day of friendly, Canadian crude.
In August, the U.S. Department of State posted the statement on their website that, “As part of the Presidential Permit review process, the Department has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) consistent with the National Environment Policy Act. ... Following the release of the Final EIS, a review period begins to determine if the proposed project is in the national interest.. ... We are on track for the Department of State to make a determination by the end of this year.”
Not so fast, all you skilled, hard-working, hopeful, self-reliant and unemployed Americans. On November 11, President Barack Obama announced, to the euphoria of environmentalists, that he would delay the Keystone XL approval decision until after the 2012 election. Killing tens of thousands of American jobs while maintaining dependence on middle-eastern oil will have to wait for Barack Obama’s second term.
I almost felt sorry for the President’s town crier, Jay Carney, as he danced around his boss’s indecision with, “Issues of public health, climate change, economic growth and jobs -- All of these things have to be factored in.”
Lest anyone believe that this move reflect’s President Obama’s or Secretary Clinton’s altruistic concern for Mother Earth, consider the assessment of Paul Gigot of The Wall Street Journal. He told Fox News that, “If that crude doesn’t come down here, the Canadians are not going to leave it in the ground. They’re going to still develop the resource. They’re just going to ship it west across to British Columbia. There are an awful lot of people in China who would like to have it. It’s still going to be produced. The only question is, ‘Are American jobs going to be able to get the benefit of that; Are American refiners in the Gulf going to be able to refine it or are they going to refine it in China?’”
So, there you have it; two examples of privately funded commerce seeking to bring enormous improvement in the quality of life for Americans, both dispatched in a haughty, sadistic manner. As my perceptive wife expressed, “It seems that the environmentalist has developed a taste for inflicting pain -- like that character in The Silence of the Lambs.”
Obviously, we need to toss Barack Obama and Democratic Senators out of majority rule in 2012. The EPA, the FDA, and the courts need to become the ones sucking wind at the mercy of We The People. For millions of us, it is personal.