By Rep. Lamar Smith
The Environmental Protection Agency’s core mission is to protect human health and the environment. But little of EPA’s proposed regulatory agenda would have any impact on the environment. That hasn’t stopped the agency from imposing some of the most expensive and expansive regulations in its history.
Recent EPA rules will cost billions of dollars and place a heavy burden on American taxpayers. These egregious EPA rules will diminish the ability of businesses throughout the United States to compete globally.
EPA’s political agenda is to rearrange the American economy, instituting “command and control” by the Obama administration.
The House Science Committee’s investigations have revealed an EPA that intentionally chooses to ignore sound science. EPA cherry-picks the science that fits its agenda and ignores the science that does not support its position. When the science falls short of EPA’s predetermined outcomes, the agency resorts to a propaganda campaign designed to mislead the public.
EPA has used suspect science, questionable legal interpretations, and flawed analysis to justify its unprecedented regulatory agenda.
A glaring example is the president’s so-called Clean Power Plan. This plan is nothing more than a “power grab” to give the government more control over Americans’ daily lives. The regulation stifles economic growth, destroys American jobs, and significantly increases energy prices. That means costs will rise – from electricity to gasoline to food, disproportionately hurting low income Americans.
The non-partisan Energy Information Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy has independently found that the Clean Power Plan will reduce economic growth, increase electricity costs, and result in almost 376,000 jobs lost over the next 15 years.
EPA’s own data shows that this regulation would reduce sea level rise by only 1/100th of an inch, the thickness of three sheets of paper. The Clean Power Plan represents massive costs without significant benefits. In other words, it’s all pain and no gain.
President Obama used this unconstitutional power grab as the cornerstone of his agenda at the Paris climate talks. The Paris Agreement is a bad deal for the American people that will shrink our economy without any recognizable benefits. Even if all 178 countries meet their promised reductions of carbon emissions for the next 85 years, that will reduce temperatures by only 1/6 of one degree Celsius!
The committee also has revealed troubling and illegal activities in EPA’s promotion of the Waters of the U.S. rule. The committee found that the EPA engaged in inappropriate tactics to generate grassroots lobbying in support of this rule. This past December, the Government Accountability Organization (GAO) issued a legal opinion stating that EPA violated both the Anti-Lobbying and Antideficiency Acts.
Over the past year, several of EPA’s major regulations have been halted by federal courts. These include the agency’s efforts to stop the Pebble Mine, the controversial Waters of the U.S. rule, and the Clean Power Plan. These regulations are power grabs that trample on the constitutional rights of individuals and rely on suspect legal interpretations of the law.
As we head into the presidential election season, let’s not forget our neighbors across the country who would be out of a job at the hands of the Obama administration’s extreme climate agenda.
At a recent commencement speech at Vermont Law School, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy stated, “[s]ometimes it feels like David and Goliath.”
This is one thing she’s absolutely right about – the American people are David, and the EPA is Goliath.
The EPA should stop acting like a bully, follow the rule of law, and allow science rather than politics to drive its regulatory agenda.
Congressman Lamar Smith represents the 21st district of Texas in the House of Representatives and is the chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.