"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

EPA Failed to give Texas Adequate Notice on New Rules

There is one sentence that tells it all about this overreach again by the EPA and the real reason behind the ruling IMHO is to go after Texas and other oil and gas producing states:
Like so many other regulations from the EPA, this rule will cut Texas jobs, cut Texas economic growth, increase Texas energy costs and harm Texas energy security. 
Texas and Oklahoma have had nothing but trouble with the EPA for years over their rules that keep tightening and tightening to the stage it hurts jobs and the ability to provide energy for the Country.  Time and time again the EPA has had our states in Court.  If there is one very good reason that Governor Rick Perry needs to run for President, it is to clip the wings of the EPA and their overreaching rules aimed at destroying the economies of oil producing states which also happen to be red states.  Doesn't take a genius to figure out that this is payback by Obama and his Administration because Perry has stood up the federal government and this President.

You read this new initiative by the EPA who failed to give adequate notice to Texas, and it sums up this Administration where Obama wants to be a dictator not a President.  This EPA and other agencies of the Obama Administration continue to avoid following rules that conflict with their agenda.  They know Obama will protect their decisions to ignore the rules and laws in place if it means going after Texas and other red states who dared vote against him in 2008 and still oppose his policies.

Now we have the details on what the EPA is now up to against Texas:
EPA decision will cost Texas jobs
Agency failed to give state adequate notice
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency released the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. This is another rule in an endless line of new federal regulations, all with the stated purpose of improving air quality. Like so many other regulations from the EPA, this rule will cut Texas jobs, cut Texas economic growth, increase Texas energy costs and harm Texas energy security. 
Most alarming is the EPA's conscious curtailment of the due process rights of Texas and its citizens by failing to provide proper notice and thus the opportunity to provide meaningful comments on the rule. The EPA claims Texas was given proper notice, but we maintain that a lone sentence in a 256-page proposed rule can hardly be considered adequate notice. While the TCEQ was proactive and submitted comments on the new rule, those comments cannot be considered meaningful. Why? Because the EPA did not provide Texas with proposed emission budgets, time frames, etc., that were provided to every other state included in the proposed rule. 
Nor did the EPA contact Texas officials to alert them to Texas' inclusion in the final rule. 
To add insult to injury, Texas power plant emissions did not significantly contribute to downwind particulate matter pollution, based on the modeling in support of the EPA's proposal. In other words, Texas did not cross the EPA "contribution threshold" and therefore should be excluded from the rule. But in the final rule, the EPA's revised modeling now links Texas emissions to Madison County, Ill. — quite a distance. And in another questionable decision, the EPA is issuing a supplemental proposal to take comment on the inclusion of six additional states found to significantly contribute to downwind ozone in the same post-proposal modeling. But Texas was not afforded that same opportunity. 
The disparate treatment of Texas is troubling and flies in the face of proper notice and comment. The EPA's late decision to add Texas in the particulate matter portion of the rule and lack of transparency in this decision brings to question the validity of the science used and whether federally mandated sulfur dioxide reductions in Texas are necessary for public health protection. 
This rule will impose great costs on coal-fired power plants, causing some to shut down or curtail operations, threatening the state's electrical capacity reserve margins needed to avoid power disruption during times of peak demand. Such a scenario could lead to blackouts, which create serious health risks to Texans dependent upon reliable energy. Despite EPA assurances, it is difficult to see how other sources of energy — natural gas-fired plants, solar or wind energy — can compensate for these shutdowns, given the rule's January 2012 compliance date. If power plants are forced to shut down or curtail operations, Texans and the Texas economy will suffer. 
For many Texans, increased energy costs and increased consumer costs merely mean further tightening of already-tight budgets. But for fixed- and low-income populations, the prospect of hot Texas summers and skyrocketing electric bills is frightening. And particularly for the elderly, this may mean threats to their health with an increased incidence of heat stroke and heat stress. 
Like so many of the EPA's proposed rules — extreme tightening of ozone limits, global warming control schemes, attempts to nullify Texas' very successful flexible permitting program — this rule seems not so much intended to improve the environment as to impose unnecessary, expensive federal controls on industry and increase the costs of energy to consumers. And increased energy costs also increase the price of nearly everything consumers purchase. It seems even more peculiar to impose these higher costs on Americans during a lingering recession. 
The EPA has once again gone beyond its mission by re-creating its own science. As with the pending new ozone standard, the EPA has supposedly "proven" that protective levels of any emission simply do not exist. Under this administration, the only acceptable emission limit of any pollutant is zero. This philosophy is in direct contrast to a healthy environment, healthy economy and sound science. 
Shaw is chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Read more:  Houston Chronicle 

When Obama looks back and asks why Governor Perry is getting in the race for President, he need look no farther than in the mirror and at the agencies under him like the EPA who have overreached into the states.  Where the Federal Government should be involved in protecting our borders, Obama sends desk troops so now the Governor has sent DPS to the Texas border with the helicopters to assist the Border Patrol to stop the drug cartels from bringing their violence to Texas.  

Obama has failed in so many areas but one big one is taking on domestic oil and gas in favor of foreign oil (except Canada) and trying to tank the economies of some of our states.   There is a pipeline ready to be built but that the agreement still sits on Hillary Clinton's desk and has from day one.  Since it crosses the Canadian border on the way to OK and TX, it needs her approval.  EPA is against it so Clinton's lets it sit with no repercussions from Obama who could care less.  It would provide up to 100,000 jobs but seeing OK and TX not get something to help our economies and oil and gas seems to be more important to this Administration.

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