Tag: Lisa Jackson

Republicans, Democrats, Public Dislike EPA’s ‘Energetic Regulator’

The Wall Street Journal today reports on the political unpopularity of the Environmental Protection Agency, its regulatory assault on the economy, and its polarizing administrator, Lisa Jackson. From “Environment Chief Caught in the Campaign Crossfire“:

[For] Republicans and for some Democrats, the EPA is a symbol of a government that does too much and discourages job-creating investments. “It represents government out of control,” said Rep. Sanford Bishop, (D., Ga.) when asked to describe his constituents’ view of the agency.

Ms. Jackson has emerged as one of the Obama administration’s most energetic regulators. During the past 18 months, the agency has proposed 42 “significant” regulations, according to OMB Watch, a left-leaning watchdog group. That compares with 16 in the first 18 months of the EPA during the George W. Bush administration. The government defines regulations as “significant” if they have an annual impact on the economy of $100 million or more or meet certain other criteria, such as raising new legal issues or interfering with other agencies’ actions.The new rules seek to reduce ozone pollution from factories and cars; coal ash waste from power plants; storm-water runoff from construction sites; greenhouse-gas emissions from cars; and mercury emissions from industrial boilers.

We can just imagine the White House political team, saying, “Gee, Lisa. You’re kind of, well, toxic these days. Can’t you do something to lower your profile, maybe get out of town before the election?”

EPA news release, “EPA Administrator Jackson to Travel to China“: “WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will travel to China from October 9 through October 14. This is the administrator’s first official visit to China, where she will highlight and build on a wide range of joint efforts aimed at addressing current and emerging environmental challenges, from sustainability to greenhouse gas pollution.”

Also at the WSJ today, Kim Strassel examines the campaign of Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), who ran afoul of his district’s economic interests when he supported Waxman-Markey. The column is, “The Cap-and-Trade Crackup.”

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Imperial EPA: Speeding Up Ozone Rules, Slowing Down Jobs

The EPA is so aggressive on so many regulatory fronts, otherwise major issues tend to get shortchanged in the media, so kudos to The Wall Street Journal for covering the agency’s proposed ozone regs, being pushed before the new 2008 regulations even had a chance to go into full effect.

Monday’s WSJ reported, “New Smog Proposals From EPA Draw Fire“:

A proposed crackdown on smog by the Environmental Protection Agency is fueling resistance from businesses groups concerned about costs, Republicans who say it’ll be a drag on the economy—and some heartland Democrats engaged in tough election battles this fall.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has dramatically stepped up the pace and scope of regulatory activity since 2009. She has pushed sweeping rules to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions linked to climate change, challenged coal companies over their mining practices, and questioned the methods energy companies are using to drill for natural gas.

Now Ms. Jackson is proposing to redefine what constitutes unsafe levels of ground-level ozone, a primary ingredient in smog.

The Journal cites two letters from elected officials alarmed by the EPA’s excesses. One comes from a bipartisan group of Senators led by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH). The letter, available here, notes that the EPA normally revises the National Ambient Air Quality Standards on a five-year basis, if not longer. The Senators argue.

However, the Agency has proposed to significantly tighten the standards that were adopted less than two years ago, with no new data prompting EPA’s reconsideration. We believe that changing the rules at this time will have a significant negative impact on our states’ workers and families and will compound the hardship that many are now facing in these difficult economic times. (continue reading…)

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EPA Prepares for Regulating Industry’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Today the Environmental Protection Agency took another step toward regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act. Administrator Lisa Jackson issued a final decision on the so-called Johnson Memo, which outlines when EPA’s controls on greenhouse gas emissions will actually take effect.  Although the decision states that new regulations will become effective no sooner than January 2011, EPA is clearly preparing to regulate GHG emissions from industrial facilities. According to EPA, “construction and operating permit requirements for the largest emitting facilities will begin when the first national rule controlling GHGs takes effect.” EPA further states that if “finalized as proposed,’’ the tailpipe rule for cars and trucks “would trigger these requirements in January 2011.” This is the earliest date on which vehicles complying with the new emission standards can be sold in the American market, which EPA has argued will “trigger” requirements on industrial facilities.

EPA’s action today not only paves the way for regulating stationary sources but also underscores the uncertainty and complexity of implementing a federal climate policy under the Clean Air Act. Not only is EPA delaying final release of the “tailoring rule” for industrial sources — a rule that regulators have been planning to release by March 31 — but it is also delaying the effective date “until at least January 2012.” (EPA Fact Sheet)

Federal regulators are still attempting to sort through the complexity of regulating industrial sources; in today’s statement, EPA says it will release details surrounding the tailoring rule “later this spring.” In addition, a White House review conducted by the Office of Management and Budget is a prerequisite for finalizing a regulation. If there’s any certainty at all in this complex process, it is that federal agencies are not backing down from their agenda to expand the scope of their regulatory powers.

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On the Answering Machine at Home…Biz Markie?

Left during the day, a message from Biz Markie inviting your blogger to the Repower America rally on Capitol Hill today, featuring EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr., President of the Hip Hop Caucus. Repower America is former Vice President Gore’s organization that supports a radical restructuring of society and the economy to stop global warming.

Here’s the audio, promoting the last stop on the Hip Hop Clean Energy Now! tour. We’ll be interested in how they power the public address system.

Administrator Lisa Jackson was one of the subjects of discussion this morning on the Andy and Grandy local radio show (WMAL) during an interview with Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking member of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee, which held a budget hearing on the EPA on Tuesday. The Senator was complimentary toward Jackson, suggesting she didn’t really believe that the science on anthropogenic global warming was beyond dispute, and she was just toeing the Administration line.

At the EPW hearing, Inhofe released a new report about the forced consensus community, “‘Consensus’ Exposed: The CRU Controversy,” covering the the controversy surrounding emails and documents released from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

In his committee statement, Inhofe said:

EPA’s endangerment finding rests on bad science. The EPW minority report provides further proof that EPA needs to scrap the endangerment finding and start over again.

But that’s not what EPA is doing. It wants $43.5 million in new funding to regulate greenhouse gases. This is seed money for the most economically destructive regulatory initiative in this nation’s history. The nation is mired in an unemployment crisis; people need jobs. Yet once this effort commences, those fortunate to work will be out of work, and those looking for jobs won’t find them.

And yet the Hip Hop Caucus claims to be rallying for jobs. They should invite Sen. Inhofe to their event.

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Command and Control

From Fox News, “Administration Warns of ‘Command-and-Control’ Regulation Over Emissions“:

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn’t move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a “command-and-control” role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

The warning, from a top White House economic official who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity, came on the eve of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s address to the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Command-and-control economies are the hallmarks of totalitarian states.

UPDATE: Here’s the full quote from the official speaking on background:

“If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area,” the official said. “And it is 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.”

Uncertainty is indeed a serious economic threat. But a command-and-control takeover of huge swaths of economy, that’s a threat to liberty.

UPDATE (Thursday, 3:50 p.m.): Charles Krauthammer:

A threat and an amazing admission. It admits how bad the law in the Senate [is] today — that is being held up on – cap-and-trade. [It] in and of itself is going to kill jobs.

But secondly, if you [Congress] don’t do that, we [the administration] will do something worse — impose the EPA regulations, which is cap without trade. There isn’t a market mechanism. You can’t sell or purchase a permit to emit CO2.

So it’s command and control, which is a polite way of saying Soviet control, meaning it’s all regulation … And it is an amazing admission, and it is a kind of blackmail. Either you do this in the Senate and pass a bill or we will do it unilaterally.

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EPA Endangerment Power Grab, the Reactions

The National Association of Manufacturers was cited in many news reports on the Environmental Protection Agency’s declaration Monday that greenhouse gases threaten the public health, triggering the EPA’s regulation of carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Some examples:

Wall Street Journal, “EPA Calls Greenhouse Gases a Public Threat“:

EPA action won’t do much to combat climate change, and “is certain to come at a huge cost to the economy,” said the National Association of Manufacturers, a trade group that stands as a proxy for U.S. industry.

USA Today, “EPA’s carbon dioxide emissions ruling could raise energy costs“:

Industry groups say EPA regulation would eventually drive up energy costs, lead to lost jobs and delays in project permits and construction. More immediately, “This adds more uncertainty and could impact how companies make decisions,” says Keith McCoy, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers.

ABC News, “EPA Determines Greenhouse Gases Harmful to People and Environment“:

“I’ve heard from every industry sector, I’ve heard from utilities, I’ve heard from large manufacturers, I’ve heard from small manufacturers. There is a significant concern from every single manufacturing sector out there,” said Keith McCoy, vice president of energy and resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Washington Times editorial, “Reckless ‘endangerment’ for breathing“:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that the ruling “could result in a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project.” The National Association of Manufacturers likewise blasted the decision, and political and think-tank leaders warned of massive job losses because of it.

The NAM’s news release is here.

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The NAM Reacts to the EPA’s Endangerment Finding

Keith McCoy, vice president for Energy and Resources Policy, issued a statement on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers in reaction to the Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement of an endangerment finding, “NAM Says EPA Endangerment Finding Will Hurt Manufacturers’ Competitiveness.” Excerpt:

The EPA is moving forward with an agenda that will put additional burdens on manufacturers, cost jobs and drive up the price of energy. This finding comes when unemployment is hovering at 10 percent, and many manufacturers are struggling to stay in business. It is doubtful that this endangerment finding will achieve its stated goal, but it is certain to come at a huge cost to the economy.

Our nation needs a comprehensive federal policy that will achieve environmental results without inflicting unnecessary economic harm. This is a complex issue that deserves a rigorous, public and transparent debate in Congress.

By forcing manufacturers to meet unrealistic goals and placing burdensome costs on them, the EPA is hurting America’s competitiveness.

That, and it’s one of the greatest bureaucratic power grabs in the history of the United States.

From the EPA:

The NAM’s Bryan Brendle attended the briefing this afternoon and reports that questions about Climategate were simply dismissed. (See his Twitter posts here.) Administrator Lisa Jackson also broke away during the presentation, having to fly off to Copenhagen.

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EPA Endangerment Announcement Expected Today, 1:15 p.m.

The EPA’s news conference is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. today.

Later this week, EPA Administrator Jackson heads to Copenhagen to attend the donor nations’ climate conference.

And in contrapuntal news, President Obama gives a jobs speech at the Brookings Institution Tuesday.

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EPA: We Had to Destroy the Clean Air Act to Follow It

From The New York Times coverage of the EPA’s announcement of its intent to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act, “E.P.A. Moves to Curtail Greenhouse Gas Emissions“:

The proposed rules, which could take effect as early as 2011, would place the greatest burden on 400 power plants, new ones and those undergoing substantial renovation, by requiring them to prove that they have applied the best available technology to reduce emissions or face penalties.

Ms. Jackson described the proposal as a common-sense rule tailored to apply to only the largest facilities — those that emit at least 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year — which are responsible for nearly 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

But, as the AP story notes, the Clean Air Act usually applies to facilities that emit at least just 250 tons of carbon dioxide. There’s no provision in the statute that gives the EPA the authority to set an arbitrary higher figure, even though it might be politically expedient to target only largest industrial emitters of carbon dioxide. The pain and billions of dollars of costs are more diffuse that way.

But it’s just specious. The EPA’s logic boils down to this:

  • The Clean Air Act gives us the legal authority to regulate carbon dioxide from stationary sources.
  • So we are going to ignore the Clean Air Act in order to regulate carbon dioxide from stationary sources.

 

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The Most Powerful Regulatory Agency in the History of the World

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Environmental Protection Agency, which plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions no matter what the elected, policy-making branch of government does.

New York Times, “E.P.A. Proposes Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions“:

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed rule Wednesday to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions from thousands of power plants and large industrial facilities.

The proposal, long anticipated and highly controversial, marks the first government move toward controlling the emissions blamed for the warming of the planet from stationary sources. The E.P.A. has already proposed an ambitious program to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, expected to take effect early next year.

From the EPA website:

EPA proposes to focus first greenhouse gas permitting requirements on large industrial facilities
September 30, 2009 – EPA proposed new thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that define when Clean Air Act permits under the New Source Review and title V operating permits programs would be required. The proposed thresholds would tailor these permit programs to limit which facilities would be required to obtain permits and would cover nearly 70 percent of the nation’s largest stationary source GHG emitters—including power plants, refineries, and cement production facilities, while shielding small businesses and farms from permitting requirements.

Think Progress, a blog of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, explains the regulatory process:

Today’s proposed rule — which allows public comment until December — technically is a “tailoring rule” to limit regulation of global warming pollution to emitters of 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, instead of the automatic statutory amount of 250 tons. This 250-ton standard would cover about four million businesses and homes — the “glorious mess” President Bush used as an excuse for his inaction. The EPA plans to raise the pollution limit to 25,000 tons, so that only 14,000 industrial pollution sources nationwide would be covered by the regulations, 11,000 of which are currently covered by the Clean Air Act permitting requirements already. Each stationary source covered would be required to apply for a title V operating permit, and all new sources would require a new source review permit.

Just a mere 14,000 industrial pollution sources, and 11,000 are already familiar with the process. So it’s no big deal, right? No additional costs, no effect on U.S. competitiveness, and certainly no negative impact from a more powerful, intrusive and ideologically driven federal government extending its control over economic activity.

After all, think of all the green jobs created when the EPA hires more enforcement personnel.

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