Taking Aim at Obama’s EPA Strongwoman

Way back when we listed key reasons to oppose candidate Obama’s election, near the top of the list was cap-and-trade legislation in particular and his stance on environment issues in general.  His appointment of Carol Browner as his energy czar and Lisa Jackson as EPA administrator right off the bat was an early clue this would be no moderate Democrat regime in Washington.

Long before Copenhagen, Jackson was handed a gift.  While Congress was dragging its feet getting around to authorizing what she wanted to do on cap-and-trade, the Supreme Court ruled EPA could proceed to regulate greenhouse gases like CO2 and methane, under a very expanded interpretation of the Clean Air Act.  While that was never the intention of previous Congressional law or intent, Jackson immediately seized on the gift from the near-legislator justices to see just how much she could get done by regulation.  Damn the infernally slow senators, full speed ahead!

On one front, while Jackson started promulgating rules on dust that would nearly put coyotes in violation of rules, much less pickups and field work, she also went to work on carbon.  Now at least one state is fighting back.  Just as many states banded together to contest the adminstration’s health insurance mandate and Arizona has fought back on federal illegal immigration failure, Texas is fighting back against Jackson’s charge over legal barriers to get what she wants now, not later.

While Jackson has decided she can set carbon targets quickly, by law it is the states who run the programs and do the permitting.  When federal EPA issues decrees, the law gives the states three years to revise their implementation plans, according to the Wall Street Journal (“Shootout at the EPA Corral,” 10/11/10).  But Jackson decided to ignore the law.  She has decreed that the states will have their implementation plans revised by this January or she will strip the permitting process from the states and take it over herself from the federal level.

“Put bluntly, this coercion is illegal,” the Journal said.  In addition, the feds haven’t written their permitting program and have no staff for implementing such a program.  With states stripped of the permitting authority and the feds not ready, that would mean no major American construction project, stalled without EPA air quality and pollution permits, would go forward for months or years.

For Texas, that not only means no major construction but no major energy or refinery projects.  Across America, it would mean no new carbon-based utility projects, industrial production, manufacturing plants or even large office buildings, the Journal said.  Texas has estimated over 160 state projects would be stalled in 2011 alone.  So Texas has sued the EPA in a D.C. appeals circuit, charging the EPA of going “beyond the powers” granted it by Congress.

Animal agriculture was a lonely voice crying out against carbon regulation, until the states who depend on coal to generate electricity started figuring out what would happen to them under Obama’s energy plan.  Now, Democrat Jay Rockefeller has a bill (S. 3072) to put a two-year freeze on Jackson’s power grab.  Now there’s an idea to put the kibosh on Jackson’s dust-defying regulations.

Published in: on October 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi, I can’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please

  2. Very enlightening and beneficial to someone whose been out of the circuit for a long time.

    – Lora

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