This is why we can't have nice things. Like a functional government.
Republican Senator David Vitter has posted an unbelievable blog post on the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works website. It is a top 10 list of reasons the government shutdown is a good thing, but the main point is that the Environmental Protection Agency is shutdown, so everything else about the shutdown is okay.
Here's a sample of the nonsense:
3. Far-left environmentalists prove themselves hypocrites again: They criticize continuing oil and gas production on federal lands during the shutdown but issue no call to halt wind turbines
"It's disappointing that the public is shut out from national parks but oil companies get to drill in them." - Alex Taurel, Deputy Legislative Director at the League of Conservation Voters
Vitter has repeatedly pointed out the hypocrisy of the Administration pursuing cases involving oil and gas producers, and not wind energy producers. The Administration has taken legal action against oil and gas producers whose operations have resulted in the death of birds. On the other hand, they have failed to pursue action against, and even offered waivers to, the companies who operate wind turbines that kill birds, including bald eagles, on leased federal lands. It was recently reported that "wind turbines kill over 600,000 birds annually."
Perhaps environmentalists oppose expansion of oil and gas drilling because fossil fuels kill humans and are contributing to climate change that threatens humanity as we know it?
Also, cats kill more birds than wind turbines. Where is Senator Vitter's blog post about the War on Cats?
There have been a lot of crazy things written about the shutdown, but what makes this exceptional is that it serves as a good example of how wide a gap exists between the two parties when it comes to certain environmental regulations.
Matthew Yglesias notes the extremism of Vitter's list:
The issue here, basically, is that Louisiana is a major oil and gas state, and oil and gas producers naturally would prefer it if there were no environmental regulations. In terms of Vitter's listicle, though, I think conservative politicians are supposed to complain about environmentalist "overreach" and such without actually endorsing the view that there should be no environmental regulations whatsoever.