The Environmental Protection Agency, also known as the EPA, has issued hundreds of stupid regulations that inhibit job creation and growth by private industry. Let’s look at some of these regulations.
American farmers have been saddled with a myriad number and variety of regulations. A major threat to farmers is Title V of the Clean Air Act. Title V, a CO2 emissions standard, would apply to “dairy facilities with over 25 cows, beef cattle operations of over 50 cattle, swine operations with over 200 hogs, and farms with over 500 acres of corn.” The EPA puts the first-year cost of each Title V permit at $46,500 and the pre-construction permitting program at $84,500. The EPA has temporarily raised the threshold for CO2 emissions but this waiver is on shaky legal grounds.
How about the so-called “Dust” regulation. The EPA is considering a crackdown on farm dust. The EPA proposes to regulate dust as a pollutant. So dust from combines, dusty roads or animals kicking up dust would be regulated. Truly, a stupid EPA regulation that is unenforceable unless they hire and locate an enforcement agent on every farm in America.
Another area that is stringently regulated is the handling of manure, particularly the paperwork involved. One farmer said that she spent 15 hours a week filling out forms to track each load of manure that her animals generated.
The EPA has done a tremendous amount of damage to America’s utility companies.” If President Obama is really serious about stimulating economic growth he must get control over the EPA bureaucracy, which is operating as a job killing machine. The EPA is infecting the business environment with a plague of new regulations and is compounding its affliction on the economy by denying permits for job creating projects,” said said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project.” In addition to harming today’s economy, the actions taken by the EPA will reduce our competitiveness and our national security,” added Borelli.
Several utilities including American Electric Power, Duke Energy, and Southern Company recently announced they are closing coal-fired power plants. This was due to new EPA regulations that would add excessive costs to meet the new standards. The results: layoffs, higher electricity prices and the possibility of power outages.
The EPA is also blocking the building of the Keystone XL pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s oil sands to Texas for refining. Construction of the 2,000-mile pipeline would produce billions of dollars in tax revenue from thousands of construction jobs. The added 900,000 barrels a day would contribute to our energy security.
During the BP oil spill the Dutch offered the use of 4 skimmers that would remove oil and water together from the Gulf. The oil which is heavier would settle to the bottom of the collection tank and the water would be pumped back into the Gulf. For 50 days while crude oil gushed into the Gulf of Mexico the EPA would not allow the skimmers to be used because the agency’s regulations prohibited water with oil to be pumped back into the ocean. After 50 days the EPA relented but by then the damage was done.
The list of stupid EPA regulations is endless. Utilizing favorable court decisions that have proved elastic for their purposes, the EPA is seeking to exercise control over nearly every facet of American industry. So what can be done? One proposal is the complete abolition of the agency. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich during a speech in Iowa proposed the replacement of the EPA with an agency called the “Environmental Solutions Agency.”
Gingrich’s campaign material said that the replacement agency “would encourage innovation, incentivize success and emphasize sound science and new technology over bureaucracy, regulation, litigation and restrictions on American energy.” Sounds like a plan.
Richard Billies is the purveyor of www.wastefraudandabuse.org and a frequent contributor to the SNSpost. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of Mr. Billies.