Many Texans were especially fond of presidential candidate Herman Cain’s response to Fox News host Megyn Kelly’s question on which federal department each politician would eliminate during the GOP debate last night.
Cain was met with possibly the loudest cheers from the audience when he said he would get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“The first department, if I were forced to eliminate a department — I would start with the EPA and start all over,” Cain stated. “It’s out of control.”
“Now I know that makes some people nervous. But the EPA has gone wild,” he continued. “The fact that they have a regulation that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2012, to regulate dust, says they’ve gone too far.”
“Rather than try to fix it, eliminate all of the things that they have right now. Then start rebuilding a responsible EPA,” Cain offered.
Many in Texas have seen this “EPA gone wild” declaration first hand.
Texas recently learned the EPA appears to be playing games with the deadline that requires lower emissions with air pollution rules.
Statewide, experts claim these standards will close energy plants, lay off thousands of workers and create blackouts.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott took legal action Thursday against the EPA by asking a federal court to enact a stay on the regulations.
Abbott said that “when the EPA issued its July 7, 2011, Cross State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), the Administrator failed to comply with federal laws that require federal agencies to inform the public of rule proposals in advance so that affected parties can participate in the rule-making process.”
“EPA opted not to include the State of Texas in key aspects of the proposed” regulations imposed in August, 2010, Abbott argued. The EPA “added Texas without notice to the final regulations earlier this year—the rule violated federal law and should be stayed by the Court”.
Even the state’s power grid operator cautioned that electric dependability would be compromised.
Luminant, the largest power generator in Texas informed officials they would be forced to close two coal plants and three lignite mines at a cost of 500 jobs rather than facing large fines and penalties for exceeding the pollution limits.
Last week, during a House panel presentation, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy insisted closures would not be necessary.
The Attorney General went straight after the White House: “Inexplicably, the Administration is determined to advance its aggressive agenda despite the risk of power outages in heat of the Texas summer and unemployment for hard-working coal miners and power plant employees whose jobs are imperiled by the EPA.”
“Because the EPA failed to provide Texas the advance notice that is required by federal law, the State and its electrical generators did not have an opportunity to prepare for–much less object–before these regulations were finalized.”
“Power plant operators in East Texas have said that job losses could have been prevented if the EPA had simply complied with the law. But worse, Texas’ last-minute inclusion in the EPA’s job-killing cross-state regulations was based upon a single air quality monitor in Granite City, Illinois–which was fundamentally flawed not only because a nearby steel mill necessarily impacts that location’s air quality, but because that very location actually satisfies federal air quality standards.”
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