GOP '12-ers: EPA who?

by Steve Milloy
August 16, 2011, The Daily Caller

The irony in last week’s Iowa Republican presidential date was that only the RINO slammed the Obama Environmental Protection Agency.

For two hours, a Fox News panel peppered Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum with questions, most pressingly about what they would do to create jobs and help speed economic recovery.

But only the least Republican among the field – former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman who served as Obama’s ambassador to China – hit the nail on the head by attacking the EPA.

Huntsman rightly observed, “We don’t make things anymore in this country. We need to start making things in this country. And in order to do that, we need serious regulatory reform, not just repealing Obamacare, but ending the EPA’s regulatory reign of terror.” He mentioned the “EPA’s regulatory reign of terror” twice.

Just two weeks ago, however, Huntsman delivered the keynote address at the annual dinner of the Republicans for Environmental Protection, which my web site, protested as “RINOs for EPA Protection.” REP, after all, has been defending the EPA in response to Congressional GOP efforts to rein in the out-of-control agency.

That Huntsman’s views on the EPA have evolved so quickly — he obviously prepared the “reign of terror” sound-bite and used it twice without prompting from the Fox interviewers or his fellow candidates — is only surpassed in surprise by the rest of the field’s omission of any criticism whatsoever directed at the EPA.

If you happen to be a GOP presidential candidate reading this column, please note that the Obama EPA is an economic wrecking ball aimed at the American economy.

First, there is the EPA’s multiple-warheaded assault against coal-fired power plants, which threatens to reduce coal-fired electricity generation by 15 percent by 2016 and increase electricity prices by 15 percent, according to a study Energy Ventures Analysis, Inc. on behalf of the National Mining Association.

This threat is so serious that even the New York Times — no friend of coal-fired electricity — reported that the loss of coal-fired power threatens the availability of electricity during peak demand – i.e., air conditioning during killer heat waves.

Adding insult to injury is the fact that the EPA appears to have lied to the public and Congress about consulting with the Federal Energy Regulatory Council about the impacts of removing so much coal-fired power generation so quickly.

Despite asserting to the public that the it consulted with FERC, the federal commission with expertise in interstate electricity transmission, the EPA never conducted promised joint modeling exercises with the Commission on the impacts of its regulations or otherwise seriously consulted with it. Moreover, all five FERC commissioners have written to Sen. Lisa Murkowski indicating that little to no consultation occurred with the EPA.

Next, there is the recently-delayed but still-on-track EPA effort to further tighten air quality standards for ozone. As perhaps the most expensive EPA rule ever, it threatens to kill 7+ million jobs by 2020 and cost $1 trillion per year in compliance between 2020 and 2030.

As this column as explained before, neither rule will bring any measurable benefits to public health or the environment.

Add these rules to the general Obama EPA assault against the coal, and oil and gas industry and the toll on the economy can be easily imagined, though imagination isn’t necessary.

In its recent report, “Progress Denied: A Study on the Potential Economic Impact of Permitting Challenges Facing Proposed Energy Projects,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that regulatory red tape is holding up projects worth 1 million jobs annually and $3.4 trillion in GDP over the next 20 years. While not all this red tape comes from the EPA, plenty does.

Sure keeping taxes as low as possible and limiting government spending are important, but without economic growth — which the EPA is blocking — neither will be enough to rescue our economy or our country from financial disaster.

The Iowa debate was a shocking reminder of how little Republicans understand the significance of the rogue and anti-business EPA. Yes, Afghanistan, Iran, immigration, abortion and many others issues are important. But economic growth is vital and the EPA is being used by the political left as a means to arrest growth.

If even a RINO gets it, what’s wrong with the others?

Steve Milloy publishes and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery 2009).

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4 thoughts on “GOP '12-ers: EPA who?”

  1. Excuse me, but in case no one has listened to Republican Presidential Candidate RON PAUL for, oh I don’t know, the last umpteenth bunch of years, that one of his first duties as President would be to get rid of the EPA, Dept. of Energy, Dept of Education and MANY, MANY other money gulping useless (but damaging) departments of the Govt. And Ron Paul was at the Iowa debate. His message and his agenda is always the same: pro-American, for freedom, liberty and for the people.

  2. It has been a great disappointment so far amoung Republican candidates for president that none has made an issue of the failed energy policies of the Obama administration. None of the renewable energy projects are practical and they are wasting taxpayer’s money and diverting attention away from real solutions to our energy problems.

    Producing 150 barrels or oil, 500 tons of coal, or 3 million cubic feet or natural gas is the same as producing a new car or 2000 bushels or corn. Millions of jobs and trillions of dollars are lost by not letting private enterprise develop our natural resources for our own use and export. Do the Republicans have a clue to what is going on?

  3. Maybe there are just too many federal fish to spear and they had to pick their targets carefully.

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