We were going to let this go, but since Politico brought it up…
The top House Republican for EPA budget issues doesn’t like the vitriol directed at the agency and even has some ideas on how to help it out.
Rep. Mike Simpson told reporters Wednesday that his concern stems from the vocal responses he hears against EPA whenever he mentions the agency during public speeches.
“Someone in the audience invariably will say, ‘Get rid of it. Defund it,’” the Idaho Republican said. “That’ll be the first applause line throughout the entire speech. That bothers me.”
Simpson, the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee that oversees EPA and the Interior Department, said his reply to the anti-EPA rhetoric is that the agency created during the Nixon administration serves an important purpose.
“What I tell people when they give the applause for eliminating the EPA, I say you can’t do that,” he said. “Because if you are a business out here and you need a Clean Water permit and you call the EPA to get a Clean Water permit and nobody answers the phone, you’ve got a problem.”
“They have a role to play that’s important, but I don’t like the overreach or perceived overreach and what it’s doing to the EPA and the important job that they do do,” Simpson added.
Simpson acknowledged that some of EPA’s biggest foes include his GOP colleagues on Capitol Hill, as well as presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich, who has called for the firing of all agency employees and the creation of a new “Environmental Solutions Agency.”
“Some of it is members of Congress’s fault because they’re not being told the other side,” Simpson said.
To help EPA, Simpson urged Administrator Lisa Jackson to get a better rapid response team. He noted last year’s budget hearings where lawmakers fretted about rumors the agency would regulate farm dust and spilled milk like spilled oil. Jackson has repeatedly said EPA wasn’t going to regulate spilled milk, and President Barack Obama even joked about the mythical rule during January’s State of the Union speech.
But the EPA response, Simpson said, must come faster.
“I heard you say one day, ‘No, that’s not what this is intended,’” Simpson said. “Somehow that needs to be made clearer quicker because when that starts to spread, I tell you it’s hard to put out.”
In addition to this softness, Simpson also remarked to the effect that:
Industry tends to overestimate costs and underestimate benefits, while EPA tends to underestimate costs and overestimate benefits, so the correct answer is somewhere in between.
Simpson is wrong.
- Virtually all Obama EPA estimated health benefits are imaginary.
- Industry costs are often avoided by simply moving the activity overseas.
- In the battle between truth and Falsity, the “correct” answer is not somewhere in between.