The chief administrator, Lisa Jackson of the Environmental Protection Agency, said Americans can have both a clean environment along with a successful economy in a September 23rd hearing in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Investigations.
Republicans want less regulation and is not willing to hold companies accountable to even current regulations.
The EPA had put forth a directive that states and counties must comply with the ozone standard of 75 parts per billion set by President George W. Bush’s administration.
Jackson wanted even more stringent regulations, but President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, which governs the regulatory review system, federal regulations “must promote predictability and reduce uncertainty.” Some suggest the President is capitulating to the Republicans and was undercutting Jackson’s authority.
Prior to the EPA’s chief meeting with Congress, Jackson had said the following:
“I take great heart and confidence in knowing that the vast majority of the American people believe very strongly that they want to see an EPA that’s funded, they want the environmental cop on the beat, they don’t want to trust businesses to police themselves”.
EPA is currently enforcing a 1997 ozone standard of 84 parts per billion. States and counties violating that rule must develop plans to meet the national standard.
Jackson commented that it is disingenuous to connect environmental regulation to declining employment prospects and a bad economy.
“In contrast to doomsday predictions, history has shown, again and again, that we can clean up pollution, create jobs and grow our economy all at the same time,” she said in prepared remarks.
“Americans are no less entitled to a safe, clean environment during difficult economic times than they are in a more prosperous economy,” she said.
Here in Georgia, the issue of climate change and clean energy will be front and center in 2012 and will have an impact in congressional races that include the 10th Congressional District with Paul Broun, 8th with Austin Scott, 3rd with Lynn Westmoreland, 1st with Jack Kingston and the 12th with John Barrow.
Will the Georgia Democratic Party put forth candidates that can articulate clean energy policies that will protect the environment, the public and produce jobs in the region?
Three coal-fired power plants – with proposed emissions of carbon dioxide that could exceed 22 million tons per year – have been proposed for Georgia. The first, proposed by New Jersey-based LS Power in 2001, is the Longleaf Energy Station, a 1200 megawatt (MW) plant to be built in Early County in southwest Georgia. The second, proposed in January 2008, is for Plant Washington, an 854 MW plant to be located in Washington County, near Sandersville. The third, Plant Ben Hill, was proposed in 2009 by the same company that is behind Plant Washington and is also expected to be approximately 850 MWs. The legal challenges to these coal plants are a critical part of both the local effort to shift Georgia away from coal-burning energy production and the national effort to address climate change through organized opposition to coal plants.
Washington County EMC (Electric Membership Corporation) is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative that supplies electricity to the people of Sandersville, Tennille, Deep Step and communities inside Washington County.
EPD had recently held a public hearing on August 18th at Oconee Fall Line Technical College in Sandersville in order to receive formal comments on the draft air pollution permit amendment for Plant Washington. This forum provided an opportunity for the public to present data, make a statement, comment, offer a viewpoint or argument either orally or in writing.