If you thought the EPA was out of control now, you haven’t seen anything yet. James Valvo of Americans for Prosperity has a preview of what you can expect from Obama’s EPA if he wins re-election. Here’s just two examples of what to expect.
Apply greenhouse gas regulations to existing power plants: In March 2012, EPA proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations for new power plants. EPA wrote its proposed rule in a way that ensures that the regulations will only apply to new plants and only combined-cycle natural gas plants will be able to meet the thresholds. While this rule effectively bans construction of new coal-fired power plants, it doesn’t affect the existing coal fleet.
However, EPA has no statutory basis for not applying the Section 111 rules to existing and modified sources too. Once the election is past and the GHG rules for new plants are finalized, environmental groups will likely use a sue-and-settle strategy to get the GHG rules applied to existing coal plants as well. As the Sierra Club’s chief climate counsel, David Bookbinder, wrote, after environmentalists get regulations for new plants in place, “they could start thinking about how to deal with existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Act. But one thing at a time.” EPA admitted as much in its initial November 2011 draft of the GHG rule, indicating that “in a subsequent separate action, the EPA will issue … emission guidelines for … existing fossil-fuel-fired” power plants.
Resurrect proposed ozone regulations: In 2011, the Obama EPA pushed an out-of-cycle review of the nation’s ground-level ozone NAAQS. The agency is only supposed to review the levels every five years, but an overzealous Obama EPA just couldn’t wait. Following significant blowback — because the standards would’ve put almost the entire nation “out of attainment” and halted all permitting — EPA was forced to shelve the proposal. However, 2013 marks the correct time to review the levels, and we should expect EPA to pursue its previous proposal in earnest. A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found that EPA’s proposed ozone levels would erase 7.3 million jobs and cost $1 trillion by 2020.
These are in addition to EPA’s intent to preemptively deny permits for new extraction activity and to massively expand the reach of Clean Water Act and mercury regulations.
Obama’s “all of the above” energy policy will continue to be a giant lie as Obama’s EPA will use its power to thwart resource development (such as natural gas and other energy exploration), through Clean Water Act overreach and permit delays. The EPA has already been shut down SIX times by US Courts, yet they will continue to overstep their authority to the detriment of American businesses and jobs.
The EPA has been killing American jobs and stifling resource development over the past three and a half years. It’s only going to get worse if we give Obama and his EPA four more years.