Posted by: Debby Durkee | March 7, 2011

Republicans push back on EPA.

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Republicans push back on EPA.

The Republican House and Senate members aren’t taking the overreach by Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency lying down. They’re pushing back as hard as they’ve been pushed. Voting to slash EPA’s budget and grilling Interior Secretary Salazar on offshore drilling, Republicans are geared up to take back power the executive branch has grabbed over the past couple of years. This is from Andrew Restuccia and Ben Geman of The Hill.

Republicans unveiled legislation that strips the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, a move that escalates the GOP’s attack on the White House environmental and energy agenda. Snip –

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in an appearance at the House Natural Resources Committee, faced tough questions from a parade of Republicans who lambasted restrictions on offshore drilling.

And EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson came face to face with House Republicans for the first time since they voted to slash her budget, testifying before a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

She was questioned on a variety of topics, ranging from the effects of the agency’s proposed climate rules to whether the EPA would regulate spilled milk.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) made the spilled-milk allegation, asking: “How can the EPA promulgate new rules like this? What’s next — sippy-cups in the House cafeteria?”

Jackson said the agency moved to exempt milk storage from proposed regulations on inland oil containment facilities. “We made it clear in our rules that we were not going to apply the rules to spilled milk,” she said.

That previous back and forth sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But, it’s not the Republicans who were being ridiculous. The EPA actually considered making dairy farms clean up milk being spilled as part of their onerous environmental rules. Thomas Sowell actually wrote an entire column on ridiculous regulations including this one last month in the Washington Examiner.

…the EPA has decided that, since milk contains oil, it has the authority to force farmers to comply with new regulations to file “emergency management” plans to show how they will cope with spilled milk, how farmers will train “first responders” and build “containment facilities” if there is a flood of spilled milk.

Since there is no free lunch, all of this is going to cost the farmers both money and time that could be going into farming– and is likely to end up costing consumers higher prices for farm products.

Now, do you think they would have left that rule in if Democrats were still in the majority in the House of Representatives? Yeah, me too.
Read it all here: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2011/02/epa-now-regulate-spilled-milk-really#ixzz1FwaEejRJ

More on the Republicans’ fight to get these out-of-control unelected bureaucrats out of the hair of the American people. Again from The Hill:

Meanwhile, the EPA-related bill, introduced Thursday in both the House and Senate, picked up the backing of one Democratic senator and two senior House Democrats after a weeks-long lobbying effort by Republicans to win some bipartisan support. Snip –

The new bill prevents the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global warming, from stationary sources, including power plants and refineries.

“I believe EPA is headed in the wrong direction with an aggressive and overzealous regulatory agenda that far exceeds the authority it’s been granted,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said at a hearing on the agency’s budget earlier Thursday.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), chairman of the Energy panel, introduced the House version, while Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) introduced the Senate version.

“The Energy Tax Prevention Act also imposes accountability,” Inhofe said in a statement on the new bill. “It takes power away from unelected bureaucrats and puts it where it belongs: in Congress, where the people can and should decide the nation’s climate change policy.”

Republicans on Thursday released a series of letters from industry groups that praise the bill, including from the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Industrial Energy Consumers of America.  Snip –

The bill could clear the House but would be unlikely to advance in the Senate. But it could provide political running room for less aggressive proposals that would delay regulation without stripping EPA’s authority outright.

EPA has begun phasing in initial greenhouse-gas permitting requirements for large new and modified pollution sources, and is planning to craft other regulations, including specific emissions standards for power plants and refineries.

…The seven-month GOP spending package that the House approved last month would prevent EPA from using fiscal 2011 funding for implementing climate rules, while Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has attracted backing from several centrist Democrats on a plan to delay regulation of stationary industrial plants for two years. Snip –

One former Capitol Hill aide who is active on energy policy predicted that the more important aspect of the climate fight remains the fate of riders on spending bills to block EPA.

It’s nice to see that Republicans are using the Democrats’ own medicine – attaching defunding EPA to a spending bill. Read it all here:

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/677-e2-wire/147371-republicans-ramp-up-push-to-block-epa-climate-rules

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