EPA Delivers Holiday 'Sucker Punch' to U.S. Economy

From the Heartland Institute…

While we were all preparing to see family and friends over the Thanksgiving, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency was exploiting the holiday lull to sneak through new regulatory “guidance” that threatens to inflict further damage to the U.S. economy. The Heartland Institute has been on the case since the EPA gave the public just 15 days (with a long holiday weekend smack dab in the middle) to weigh in on the process. You can see all of Heartland’s coverage at this link.

A post at Heartland’s policy blog, Somewhat Reasonable, also outlines the situation. I pass this information along in case you want to share with your readers this attempt to get “cap” without the “trade” implemented by bureaucratic fiat, after the real bill flopped in Congress. You can also get a sense of what’s happening by reading below my signature. Jim Lakely
Communications Director
The Heartland Institute

Heartland Institute Explains the Unconstitutional Power Grab

While you were getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday, the Environmental Protection Agency was cooking up a turkey of its own — a new “permitting guidance for greenhouse gases” that is unconstitutional and would extend the reach of Obama’s EPA into how nearly every American business may operate. It’s nothing less than a sucker punch to the U.S. economy, and an end-run around failed “cap-and-trade” bills that would deliver cap without the trade.

The Heartland Institute worked over the holiday weekend to draw attention to this outrage, and will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead.

Check out Heartland’s coverage of this issue by clicking here.

Heartland’s senior fellow for legal affairs, Maureen Martin, summarizes this bureaucratic power grab:

On November 15, Obama’s EPA issued a 100-page, highly technical “guidance” document proposing that as of January 2, 2011, large sources of greenhouse gas emissions–such as power plants, steel operations, and petroleum refineries–be required to obtain preconstruction and operating permits limiting their greenhouse gas emissions and to install the “best available” technology to do so.

Comments on these new rules are due on or before December 1, 2010, a 14-day period interrupted by the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. And EPA says it will review only comments on technical aspects of the new rule.

Previously, no such permits were needed, and no greenhouse gas limits existed. It is widely agreed such new rules will drive up the costs of electricity, iron and steel, gasoline, and anything else produced by large operations, with these costs passed along to consumers already staggered by a jobless “recovery” from the recession.

James M. Taylor, Heartland’s senior fellow for environmental policy, has also weighed in:

Forcing power plants to purchase and implement the “best available” technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions every time a plant is built or any kind of significant maintenance or renovations occur, however, means by definition that electricity prices are going to start rising in a manner that will make the economy-shocking energy price spikes during the summer of 2008 seem downright wimpy by comparison.

For more information on this subject, click here. If you’d like to interview any of Heartland’s environmental policy experts for a story, please contact Tammy Nash (tnash@heartland.org) or Jim Lakely (jlakely@heartland.org) via email, or call 312/377-4000.

The Heartland Institute is a 26-year-old national nonprofit organization based in Chicago. Our mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.


Leave a comment
  • This is a very narrow and biased perspective on the issue. I'm sure a "holiday sucker punch" is exactly what the President and the EPA had in mind... But in all seriousness, why is there no mention about how this could be a GREAT thing? Whether there's currently a "market price" for carbon emissions, it's going to cost us in the future. Just because the most efficient technology is more expensive doesn't mean that prices are necessarily going to sky rocket for consumers-- promoting NEW technology could also mean NEW JOBS, which is exactly what we need right now. There have been numerous recent studies showing how promoting more efficient energy, construction, production, etc. also supports thousands of new jobs.

    The fact is, the free market economy can't do anything to significantly improve our environmental impact. If they could, industries and businesses would dump whatever toxic chemicals they pleased into the air and water if it were cheaper than proper disposal (and they did until the passage of the Clean Air & Water Acts in the 1970's). In other words, cheap cost overrides human health, let alone the health of the environment itself in the unregulated free market. Do you ruling want that to be the sole guiding principle of our society? Didn't think so.

Leave a comment