Sunday, April 03, 2011

EPA Overreach: Hurting the Makers, Empowering the Takers

As media attention remains heavily focused on the ongoing battle between governors of some states and greedy public unions, a quiet battle has been brewing by a greedy Government Regulatory Agency and a Congress wanting to see the country recover from this deep economic recession we have been in for too long now.

That greedy agency, the Environmental Protection Agency has overstepped their limits of enforcing federal environmental laws to advancing “policies absent congressional action that could cost millions of jobs, hurt American consumers and put U.S. businesses at a competitive disadvantage globally,” as explained by Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute last November.

The congressional action undertaken to reign in the out of control EPA is H.R. 910: Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011 introduced by Rep. Frederick Upton (R-MI) and co-sponsored by 95 fellow representatives. The design of the bill is “To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.”

In a more plain laymen’s term, it is to prevent a government agency from sidestepping congress and taking it upon themselves to write the regulations they will enforce against us and businesses still struggling to come out of this ‘Great Recession.’

A related bill in the senate, S. 482 introduced by Sen. James Inhofe (Ok) carries 43 co-sponsors and carries the same intent as does HR 910.

HR 910 has made it through committee, S 482 has not. Needless to say, the Senate remains under the control of the Democrat Party who favor the policies that continue the country mired in deep recession.

The EPA, going along with those that continue to cry industry and man are causing global climate change has been writing regulations to enforce limiting “Green House Gases,” which include such nefarious gases as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides, all of which are mostly natural occurring in nature. Carbon dioxide is what you and I exhale every time we breathe.

Addressing CO2 in a recent conference call I was fortunate enough to listen in on, Jane Van Ryan from API said,
“The greenhouse gases in question include carbon dioxide. It has been estimated that as many as 6.1 million stationary forces could come under – and I have to emphasize the word “could” – could come under these regulations, depending on what happens.
That could include big-box stores, that could include farms, it could include, you know, small establishments as well as large establishments. And there are several states who say that they don’t even know how they would be able to handle the permits that would be required, because various companies, various of these stationary sources, would have to have permits to emit greenhouse gases to either continue operating or to expand their businesses. And it’s believed that the impact on the economy could be quite severe.”

The end result will not be much different than what we read in the Wall Street Journal article, We’ve Become a Nation of Takers, Not Makers, addressing the growing problem of greedy public unions and were we read,
“More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers.”

The difference is, instead of greedy union bosses, its greedy government agencies taking steps that will stifle job growth, raise the cost of business, taxes, fees and yes, even raise the price of the gasoline you and I depend on to freely move around or go to a job for those lucky enough to have a job still.

Also ignored is even the EPA's admission that CO2 emissions have been falling over the last 2 years.

As can be expected, opposition from the leftists who desire subjugation of the American worker to government is fierce and filled with the usual misinformed fear mongering. The ‘Green Chamber of Commerce’ claims, “H.R. 910, the ‘Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011,’ has been dubbed the ‘Asthma Aggravation Act of 2011’ by Pete Altman, a Climate Campaign Director at Natural Resource Defense Council.”

The Wilderness Society claims HR 910 “is premised on bad science and the pleadings of polluters who would rather continue dumping their harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for free, as they have for generations.”

The ‘Natural Resource Defense Counsel’ claims, “Besides blocking clean car standards, H.R. 910 will also worsen oil dependency by preventing EPA from setting similar standards for planes, trains, ships, off-road equipment and industrial uses.” Those “standards” are explained as, “The next round of EPA standards will have similar levels of benefits over the DOT fuel economy program alone. The standards for 2017-2025 have the potential to raise fuel economy to as high as 62 mpg, and save drivers as much as an additional $7,400 over the life of vehicle,” showing a complete disconnect with reality of what the average American enjoys in being able to travel freely and economically as they see fit.

As one who has spent in his entire adult life in the Automotive Industry and being a Washington State Certified Auto Emissions’ Specialist for several years, I have witnessed first-hand the results on such regulations forced upon the Auto Manufacturers and the public as cars were downsized, lightened by the use of more plastic components, components made from petroleum and that give off hydrocarbons as well. Also not considered is how the price of a car as skyrocketed over the years just on the average car, not even taking into consideration the “gas guzzler” tax on more high performance vehicles.

What is claimed that you might potentially save over several years, if you keep one long enough to realize any such savings, is more than offset by the price of the vehicle being driven up due to mandated technology and increased insurance costs due to the cost of repairs or replacement also skyrocketing.

Add to that, EPA will enforce more stringent regulations on facilities that service your vehicle, those airplanes, trains, buses and other modes of transportation that will undoubtedly be passed along to you in form of increased fares and repair bills.

Of course, the big problem there is how many businesses will be driven out of business due to citizens being unable to afford travel or a government mandated vehicle that is dependable which will increase unemployment astronomically and create even more people wholly dependent upon government which itself is so deep in debt it will take generations to climb out of, if we even can.

What you see unfolding before you is a near perfect description of socialism and why it is a failure wherever tried. As was expressed by Sir Winston Churchill, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

As Kyle Isakower shows us on API’s Energy Tomorrow Blogsite,
“implementation of EPA GHG regulation under the CAA could: Result in employment losses between 475,000 to 1.4 million relative to a baseline without the new regulations, Impact all sectors of the economy including up to an estimated 200,000 manufacturing jobs and Reduce total U.S. GDP by $47 to $141 billion annually.”

We ‘makers’ must begin pushing back against these ‘takers,’ be they greedy public union bosses or over reaching agencies empowered by government.

With that in mind, I fully support and ask you to fully support the American Petroleum Institute, Americans for Prosperity in supporting not only HR 910 and S 482, but the McConnell Amendment “that prevents the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, something it was never designed or intended to do.”

I also urge you to listen to or read the transcript of the recent conference call I was involved in for some very timely and pertinent information on the EPA’s overreach.

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