In the News
Big Green Pushes for EPA Power Grab To Stop Pebble Mine
Ron Arnold, Washington Examiner, 26 April 2012
News You Can Use
Calculating the EPA Tax
EPA regulations will raise electricity rates by 10.34 percent, according to “Economy Derailed: State by State Impacts of the EPA Regulatory Train Wreck,” an excellent report released this week by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Inside the Beltway
Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Armendariz Has Got To Go
A growing number of lawmakers are calling for the resignation of EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz due to his comments that EPA’s “general philosophy” is to “crucify” and “make examples” of oil and gas companies. Armendariz’s inflammatory statements were made in a 2010 speech, video of which went viral earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Senator James Mountain Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced on the Senate floor that he has launched an investigation in order to learn more about EPA’s “crucify” strategy. Video of Sen. Inhofe’s excellent floor speech is available here. Seven Republican Members of the House have since called for EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to fire Armendariz. They are: Reps. John Fleming, Jeff Landry, Steve Scalise and Rodney Alexander of Louisiana ,and Pete Olson, Ted Poe, and Kevin Brady of Texas.
Ousting Armendariz is a worthy cause. There are ten EPA administrative jurisdictions, and EPA 6 (which covers Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and New Mexico) is by far the worst. Indeed, it has been an innovator in regulatory machinations during the Obama administration.
On December 30, 2010, for example, EPA Region 6 seized the authority to regulate greenhouse gases in Texas, based on the preposterous premise that the state had failed to provide for climate change regulations…in 1992! It is an Orwellian re-writing of history for EPA Region 6 to claim that states had a responsibility to contemplate the regulation of greenhouse gases two decades ago. As a result of this power grab, Texas is facing a de facto moratorium on major economic development. According to Inside EPA (subscription required), industry representatives in Texas have been informed by EPA officials that processing Clean Air Act permits for greenhouse gases will take a minimum of two years.
EPA Region 6 also pioneered EPA’s absurd Regional Haze strategy, about which I’ve written here and here. In a nutshell, EPA Region 6 imposed almost $2 billion in controls on seven power plants in New Mexico and Oklahoma, in order to achieve visibility “improvements” that are imperceptible to the human eye.
As the Russians say, the fish rots from the head. EPA 6 Administrator Al Armendariz was appointed by President Obama in November 2009, and since then, the office has been out of control. Axing Armendariz would be a fine first step in the long march to reining in EPA.
Across the States
Where’s the Fracking Press Release in Pennsylvania?
On January 19, 2012, EPA issued a press release announcing that it would conduct tests to determine whether well water in Dimock, Pennsylvania had been contaminated by hydraulic fracturing. The agency also said that it would start trucking water to four homes, because “data reviewed by EPA indicates that residents’ well water contains levels of contaminants that pose a health concern.”
EPA’s January announcement caused a considerable stir, as it seemed to validate environmentalist claims that hydraulic fracturing posed a threat to drinking water. Last Friday, however, EPA quietly informed Dimock residents and Pennsylvania regulators that the results of its tests indicated no evidence that natural gas drilling had contaminated the well. Notably, EPA did not issue a press release trumpeting its latest findings.
Around the World
U.N.’s Growing Carbon Footprint
The Cooler Heads Digest is the weekly e-mail publication of the Cooler Heads Coalition. For the latest news and commentary, check out the Coalition’s website, www.GlobalWarming.org.