Posts Tagged ‘EPA’
November 1st, 2011 at 5:33 pm
Pelosi: Make Your Plant Union or Shut it Down
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi sat for an interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo last week on the state of the economy. Based on her remarks here, we can conclude that — as dismal as the current downturn is — it would only be worse if the Sage of San Francisco and her ilk were still running the lower chamber:

h/t: Hot Air

October 26th, 2011 at 3:44 pm
More on Obama’s War on Ambition

Quin’s point is well taken.  Obama-era regulations and rhetoric are scaring away the kind of investment growth the country needs to get Americans back to work.  On the regulatory side, increased capital holding requirements stack dollar bills in bank vaults while small business loans dry up.  Cost-of-employment drivers like Obamacare and the EPA’s threatened regulation of carbon make any rational employer look for ways to enhance productivity and efficiency instead of staffing up.  Simply put, under President Obama it’s cheaper to do more with less to keep what you have rather than risk the money and regulatory gauntlet trying to increase market share.

On the rhetoric side, my recent column on the five most recent dumb statements by the president contains just a sample of his daily assaults on the ambition and energy of America’s job creators.  What the president fails to see is that a sustainable government depends on a vastly more prosperous private economy.  Until he learns the importance of that relationship, we’re likely doomed to being (and producing) much less than we otherwise would.

Btw, Quin: I’m sure you’ve got business contacts in the Mobile-D.C. corridor.  Are any of them looking at the current and future regulatory scene and thinking, “Gee, what a great time to expand”?

October 4th, 2011 at 1:27 pm
EPA Stacked the Deck on Endangerment Finding

Don’t bother me with the facts; we’re trying to save the world here!

That’s essentially what Patrick Michaels of the CATO Institute says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did when it decided that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger the environment and must be regulated.

The problem for EPA is that its own Inspector General recently stated that the process EPA used to justify its decision violated both federal law and scientific integrity.  According to Michaels, federal law requires any endangerment finding that is “highly influential” to be rigorously peer-reviewed to ensure that economy-altering regulations are based on the best science available.

EPA violated that standard when it based its endangerment finding on a facially biased United Nations report favorably reviewed by at least one federal climatologist who worked for EPA – a clear conflict of interest.

The stakes are high.  EPA’s endangerment finding is the legal basis for the agency to dictate energy regulations down to the kind of light bulb Americans can use in their homes.  By cooking the books that authority rests on, EPA has destroyed any credibility it may have had.

Let the legal challenges begin (again).

August 4th, 2011 at 1:12 pm
Obama’s July: 608 Regulations, Costing $9.5 Billion

U.S. News & World Report summarizes a great one-page handout from the office of Senator John Barasso (R-WY):

At Tuesday’s GOP Senate caucus lunch, the lawmakers said that they will renew their efforts, supported by business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In a memo Barasso handed out to the lawmakers, he claimed that the administration in July only has put in $9.5 billion in new regulatory costs by proposing 229 new rules and finalizing 379 rules. Among those he cited were EPA, healthcare reform, and financial regulatory reform rules.

If you’re a Tea Party activist, or someone looking for a compact fact sheet describing the growth in government, check out Senator Barasso’s handout. (pdf)

July 20th, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Surest Path to Getting Rid of a Federal Employee? Death
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At this time of “shared sacrifice”, the political class is fond of telling us that there are “no easy choices” to combat the nation’s crisis of overspending. Yet as private companies have cut back on their payrolls to cope with the Great Recession, Washington hasn’t even been firing on the merits, according to USA Today:

Death — rather than poor performance, misconduct or layoffs — is the primary threat to job security at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Office of Management and Budget and a dozen other federal operations.

The federal government fired 0.55% of its workers in the budget year that ended Sept. 30 — 11,668 employees in its 2.1 million workforce. Research shows that the private sector fires about 3% of workers annually for poor performance, says John Palguta, former research chief at the federal Merit Systems Protection Board, which handles federal firing disputes.

The 1,800-employee Federal Communications Commission and the 1,200-employee Federal Trade Commission didn’t lay off or fire a single employee last year. The SBA had no layoffs, six firings and 17 deaths in its 4,000-employee workforce.
I’ll think about sharing in the sacrifice once these folks do.
h/t: Mollie Hemingway at Ricochet
July 7th, 2011 at 5:52 pm
Senators To EPA: Stick to Scientific Method, Not Job-Killing Partisanship
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Throughout the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has imposed innumerable costly regulations that threaten American jobs and impede economic recovery.  During Obama’s Twitter “townhall” earlier this week, a good question would have been, “Why does your administration continue to impose a regulatory agenda that squeezes small businesses, which create most new jobs in America?”  Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly, that question did not come up.  Regardless, it’s a sad state of affairs when administrative agencies, the most hyperactive part of our federal government, do so much to recklessly increase the cost of business and to reduce economic momentum.

Now, the scientific methods the EPA employs to reach its conclusions on a wide array of new federal regulations have been called into question by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  In a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Senators David Vitter (R – Louisiana) and James Inhofe (R – Oklahoma) from the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works cited scientific deficiencies identified by the NAS within the EPA’s assessment of alleged formaldehyde risks.  Accordingly, the Senators demanded an immediate answer on whether the fundamental scientific problems raised by the NAS warrant reconsideration of all EPA risk assessments that use the same methods.  That includes the EPA’s ongoing revision of its National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone, scheduled for release later this month.

As most Americans are beginning to realize, some fresh element of sanity is needed within the federal regulatory process to ensure that government regulations are based solely on sound science, and that American jobs and growth do not continue to be gratuitously sacrificed at the altar of the Obama Administration’s reckless partisan agenda.

The letter from Senators Vitter and Inhofe to EPA Administrator Jackson can be read in full by clicking here.

October 29th, 2010 at 2:29 pm
EPA Regulatory Lunge Could Result in 2011 Economic Plunge
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In an op-ed published today on The Hill’s Congress Blog, CFIF Vice President Timothy Lee warns that “regardless of what occurs on November 2,”  the EPA’s regulatory agenda moving forward threatens to hit consumers and business hard and right where it hurts: their pocketbooks.

Lee writes:

When we ring in the New Year in just two short months, next week’s elections will be in our collective rear view mirror. However — regardless of what occurs on Nov. 2 — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) campaign to impose its new round of economy-wide environmental regulations will continue in 2011. That should worry every American, because EPA’s wish list will hit consumers and business where it hurts: their pocketbooks.

Supported by an administration that has suffered defeat after defeat on Capitol Hill in its attempt to pass wholesale climate change legislation, EPA instead seeks to impose its costly and burdensome regulatory agenda through the back door. From overly complex new greenhouse gas rules to more stringent ozone standards to new mandates for recycled coal ash, unelected EPA bureaucrats hope to decree through regulatory fiat what they can’t enact through the democratic or legislative processes.

If successful, EPA’s agenda could cost American families $3,000 per year, according to Heritage Foundation estimates. …

Read the entire piece here.

June 10th, 2010 at 9:46 pm
The Coming Carbon Wars
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Lest Freedom Line readers sink too far into despair over Jeff’s earlier post about the EPA’s transformation into a People’s Commissariat, it turns out there’s good news: it’s all to stave off the coming carbon wars. At least that’s the diagnosis of California’s taxpayer-financed parody of liberalism, Senator Barbara Boxer:

Here’s to hoping that Boxer’s opponent, Carly Fiorina, brings this up the next time she finds herself on an open mic.

June 10th, 2010 at 6:32 pm
Senate Votes to “Turn Out the Lights on America”

The U.S. Senate this afternoon voted 47-53 to reject a resolution (S.J. Res. 26), sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), to prevent the EPA from unilaterally regulating all greenhouse  gas emissions  in the United States (in other words, regulating pretty much the entire U.S. economy).

Six Democrats joined with all 41 Republicans in voting “Yes.”    They included Senators Evan Bayh (IN), Mary Landrieu (LA), Blanche Lincoln (AR), Ben Nelson (NE), Mark Pryor (AR) and Jay Rockefeller (WV).  

During a floor speech prior to his vote in support of the resolution, Senator Rockefeller said he was voting “Yes” because “I don’t want EPA turning out the lights on America.”  Kudos to him.  Unfortunately, however, 53 of his Senate colleagues decided it best to relinquish Congress’ authority to a merry band of now unchecked, free-wheeling EPA bureaucrats for no other reason than the realization that their beloved Cap-and-Trade “climate change” bill is destined for failure in the normal legislative process.

Those 53 Senators, together with President Obama who lobbied hard to defeat the resolution, now must take full responsibility for the negative economic consequences sure to come.

February 23rd, 2010 at 10:20 am
Slow-Motion Government
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In the President’s shiny new once-over-lightly-with-a-higher-price-tag health care proposal (too vaguely written, it seems, for the CBO to score the economic impact), parts of it are implemented all the way to 2018, when the excise tax on expensive health care plans kicks in (and kicks anyone who has one in the groin). 

Many people who believe they don’t have one of those “Cadillac” plans now are likely to find that they do have one by 2018.

Also in the proposal, the fines for those incorrigible scoff-laws who stubbornly refuse to yield to the so-called “individual mandate” start small and progressively increase by year.

Call that slo-mo government, which has the distinct and not-to-be-overlooked advantage that all who impose it will likely have gone on to greater or lesser rewards by the time the populace actually catches on.

As David Brooks points out in his column this morning, “The odds are high that the excise tax will never actually happen.”  But that excise tax (along with other tricks in the bill) is what allows the whole house of cards to be nominally (and nominally only if you are deceiver or deceived) “deficit neutral.”  We thus face punitive taxation or fiscal disaster.

In a different slo-mo government development, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has informed some unruly coal-state Senators (all Democrats) that they shouldn’t get all worried about that EPA plan to regulate greenhouse gases.  It will now be “phased in” beginning in 2011, so as not to upset the fragile economy. 

Hit the buzz saw with your overreaching, did you, lady?  By 2011, the science on which the EPA determinations are being made will be so discredited that the EPA will have to cop an insanity defense.

There are good and rational reasons for phased-in government projects (such as you don’t build the bridge until you’ve got the road to it, even if it’s going nowhere), but the two aforementioned are not among those.  They are examples of government folly, the former predicted, the latter now being acknowledged.

In the meantime, where are the fast forward projects to get us out of our economic mess?  You know, some stuff the people actually want the government to do.

December 10th, 2009 at 3:36 pm
Obama’s EPA Goes Chicago Thug Style
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Was Chicago-style political thuggery the type of “hope and change” for which Americans voted in 2008?

Either way, that’s the White House’s emerging modus operandi.

Intially, the Obama Administration at least paid lip service to bipartisanship, even if the reality behind closed doors was quite different.  But with the EPA’s recent determination that everyday carbon dioxide constitutes a “dangerous pollutant,” Obama has abandoned even that pretense.  According to an anonymous White House source quoted by Fox News, the EPA’s absurd ruling is a bald political tactic to bludgeon the Senate and the business community into accepting carbon cap-and-tax legislation:

If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area.  And it’s not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

The House of Representatives passed a cap-and-tax bill by razor-thin margins, but its prospects in the Senate appeared slim.  Meanwhile, many business coalitions have refused to play ball in the White House’s game of global warming hysteria.  Enter the team of Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod, with their ugly form of Chicago politics.

As Obama’s popularity falls to record lows for a President at this stage, and with his extremist agenda in increasing jeopardy, we should prepare for more.

December 8th, 2009 at 1:00 pm
Stop Breathing! The EPA Says You’re Destroying the Environment
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The Obama Administration increasingly resembles an oceanliner captain who stubbornly responds to iceberg alarms by shifting to full speed ahead.

Ignoring recent news of declining global temperatures and the Climategate scandal that has shaken global warming activism to its core, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday declared carbon dioxide a “dangerous pollutant.”

That’s right – the gas that we all exhale and that plants inhale is suddenly a toxin.

The political cynicism behind this maneuver is obvious.  Barack Obama and climate change alarmists (notice, by the way, how they dropped the term “global warming” when the temperature data became too inconvenient) know that passing draconian carbon cap-and-tax legislation in the foreseeable future is nearly impossible.  Consequently, they have used the EPA to arrogantly shove their agenda through, or at least as a threat to Senators and big business lobbyists that the alternative to Congressional cap-and-tax is even worse.

Fortunately, the EPA’s reckless, mindless and arrogant maneuver will be challeneged in court.  But in the meantime, we’re left to wonder whether there’s any limit to the destructive efforts the Obama White House will shove down Americans’ throats in order to placate the extremist left wing.