- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
Obama administration pumps unprecedented power into EPA
Question of the Day
The study — released by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit group of state legislators — details how the EPA has grown much more aggressive under President Obama.
It specifically cites the agency’s record number of “regulatory disapprovals” of state strategies to meet federal environmental standards, coupled with a never-before-seen number of “federal implementation plans,” de facto takeovers of states’ blueprints to comply with the Clean Air and Clean Water acts.
The study also takes aim at the EPA’s close working relationship with leading environmental groups to rewrite regulations without the involvement of Congress or state leaders, and it accuses the agency of having “severely limited states’ fuel choices” through stricter limits on coal-fired power plants.
“The EPA is supposed to serve as a resource for states, but in the last few years we’ve seen a more nationalized environmental policy,” said Todd Wynn, director of the council’s energy task force. He added that his organization will continue to push “policies to help state legislators push back against an intrusive federal government.”
The EPA had no comment on the study, released one day after Mr. Obama outlined his plan to tackle climate change in his second term.
The plan bypasses Congress and relies on executive actions and more EPA rules.
The president’s call for greenhouse gas limits on existing power plants, critics say and some of his supporters acknowledge, eventually would result in the death of coal-generated electricity in the U.S. The EPA already has proposed emissions standards for new coal-fired power plants that would all but guarantee that no such facilities could be built. Those rules have yet to be finalized.
Environmentalists support the president’s goals, and some have pushed for even more aggressive action from the EPA.
But congressional Republicans, along with many state officials and the energy industry, say the agency is going too far.
“The president’s unprecedented use of the Environmental Protection Agency to enact overreaching regulations and circumvent state primacy has prompted our fellow Republican attorneys general to fight back at full force, and we plan to continue,” reads a joint statement released Tuesday by Republican attorneys general in Alabama, Montana, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
The EPA issued 95 regulatory disapprovals of state environmental plans during Mr. Obama’s first term, compared with 54 during the eight years of the George W. Bush administration. During President Clinton’s second term, the agency issued 44 such declarations, according to the study.
The report also asserts that the EPA has imposed “at least $13 billion in annual regulatory costs” through the “sue-and-settle” method. That approach involves environmental groups suing the EPA for failing to meet deadlines for actions related to the Clean Air or Clean Water act, and the agency negotiating settlements on how to address the issues.
The technique effectively removes states and other stakeholders from any involvement in federal environmental policy.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.
Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Obama to Republicans: 'Stop just hatin' all the time'
- House votes to sue President Obama over claims of presidential power
- White House: No choice but to act now on climate change
- EPA hears testimony on proposed carbon emissions rules
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Orrin G. Hatch
Procedural changes impede the chamber's traditional deliberative function
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Houston mayor: Sorry that police put man's blind dog on road to die
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors