The Wall Street Journal today publishes responses to a recent column by Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, hailing the EPA’s 40th anniversary, “The EPA Turns 40.” It’s a splendid collection of letters under the rubric, “The EPA’s Jackson Leaves a Few Holes in Her History,” including the following from Jay Timmons, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers:
According to a Heritage Foundation review, 10 major rules came out of the EPA in fiscal 2010 with a cost of more than $23 billion. Is it Ms. Jackson’s contention that these government-imposed costs will not discourage the private sector to invest in new equipment or hire new workers, or that U.S. industry can afford whatever new burdens the government chooses to throw at it?
Consider the most burdensome of these proposals, the EPA’s plan to limit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, the cornerstone of the Obama administration’s attempt to force the nation off fossil fuels. This plan relies heavily on making energy more expensive. Consumers rein in other spending when their heating and electricity bills go up. Manufacturers, the economy’s largest users of electricity, behave no differently.
Ms. Jackson’s desire to paint the agency’s first 40 years as innovative bliss and economic rapture is understandable. But as the EPA moves into middle age, it’s time for Congress to check its power and conduct the serious oversight of the damage the agency’s agenda is doing to U.S. competitiveness and job creation. America, suffering from continued high unemployment and a fitful economic recovery, cannot afford the EPA’s regulatory excess.
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