Congress may be stalled out, but the EPA certainly isn’t

posted at 5:11 pm on December 21, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

The Environmental Protection Agency took a strategic timeout on their zealous regulatory agenda in the run-up to last November’s election, lest their many ambitious plans for job-killing regulations should put a damper on President Obama’s prospects. Post-election, however, it has been full steam ahead for the independent agency, and they are finally starting to release some of the some of the rules and regulations to which we are all going to be forced to adjust over the coming years.

On Friday of last week, the EPA issued a new soot rule under the auspices of the all-purpose Clean Air Act, via Fox News:

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday issued its first major regulation since the Nov. 6 election, imposing new air quality rules on soot pollution in what critics called evidence of a post-election “regulatory cliff.”

The EPA rule reduces by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources of pollution.  …

But the new soot standard has been highly anticipated by environmental and business groups, who have battled over whether it will protect public health or cause job losses.

“There is no compelling scientific evidence for the policy decision to develop more stringent standards. The existing standards are working and will continue improving air quality,” API Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Howard Feldman said in a statement. “We fear this new rule may be just the beginning of a ‘regulatory cliff’.”

And just today (man, this White House certainly does seem fond of Friday announcements, no?), the EPA issued a few more items — a host of new Clean Air rules for “industrial boilers, incinerators, and cement kilns“, which environmentalists are complaining are still too weak despite the ensuing costs to the domestic manufacturing sector, reports WaPo:

For the first time, large boilers and cement kilns will face strict limits on mercury, acid gases and fine particulate matter, or soot. But the EPA will give boiler owners three years to meet the new standards, with a possible extension for another year after that, meaning the earliest they will take effect would be in 2016. Cement plants will not have to comply with the new limits until September 2015, two years after they were originally set to take place. …

Although the most restrictive limits will affect just 1 percent of the nation’s nearly 1.5 million boilers, industry had fought restrictions in the past because these facilities are integral to the operations of hospitals, paper plants and factories. Boiler operators had sought to delay the rules by five years, until 2018. …

Donna Harman, president and chief executive of the American Forest and Paper Association, said in an interview that the Obama administration has come to recognize that her industry and others faced the daunting prospect of competing against other sectors to install new pollution controls on a tight deadline.

“This is one of the most costly and complicated rules, and there’s going to be a lot of competition for these resources [to upgrade boilers and incinerators] all at the same time,” Harman said. “You can put a stricter and arbitrary deadline, but if it can’t be done, it can’t be done.”

The EPA has also issued an “update” to on the “ongoing hydraulic fracturing study” that can still neither confirm-nor-deny any “any potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources,” the ready-to-be-peer-reviewed final draft of which is not scheduled for release until 2014. My suspicion here is that the administration is okay with dragging their feet a bit to give themselves plenty of time to scrounge up some ostensible reasons that hydraulic fracturing needs to be put under stricter controls — I don’t think even the White House has quite decided in which direction they want to take natural gas yet, but the more excuses they can come up with to expand federal oversight, the better for them.


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“The economy’s still moving. Shoot it again.”

Akzed on December 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM

bho has all his evil agencies out doing his dirty work with his blessings! bho can say one thing, but the agencies will be out like rattlesnakes waiting to bite all who doesn’t do as they want!

The epa has got to be the worse dc has ever made for their want to do away with almost everything in the US!
L

letget on December 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM

“The economy’s still moving. Shoot it again.”

Akzed on December 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Watch your language, NRA homophobe.

Bishop on December 21, 2012 at 5:20 PM

humans apparently do not need to thrive in the environment.

tom daschle concerned on December 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Obama and his environmental communists want the US to be number one in unemployment.

When millions of people finally decide to march on the White House, a few hundred thousand should branch off to the EPA building. This agency is, and has been out of control.

darwin on December 21, 2012 at 5:32 PM

humans apparently do not need to thrive in the environment.

tom daschle concerned on December 21, 2012 at 5:29 PM

As far as I can tell environmental fanatics (aka communists) don’t consider humans part of nature. They consider them alien to Gaia, to be culled and controlled.

darwin on December 21, 2012 at 5:35 PM

The EPA rule reduces by 20 percent the maximum amount of soot released into the air from smokestacks, diesel trucks and other sources of pollution.

Wonderful. Trucks haul everything, from your socks to your arugula. Prices will only go up.

darwin on December 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM

Thats a lot of new job-killing regulations the EPA is adding.

Someone should take the high capacity magazines away from the EPA.

agmartin on December 21, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Amazing to see the drunkenness of the power of authority.

mixplix on December 21, 2012 at 5:41 PM

Obama just came out and said; “I tried. Didn’t work. You’re screwed. I’m off to Hawaii.”

LoganSix on December 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

…the administration is okay with dragging their feet a bit to give themselves plenty of time to scrounge up some ostensible reasons that hydraulic fracturing needs to be put under stricter controls…

Doesn’t the new Matt Damon movie provide enough scientific proof?!? Sheesh, Hollywood does all the heavy lifting for this administration & then Jackson doesn’t take advantage!

KS Rex on December 21, 2012 at 5:49 PM

“The economy’s still moving. Shoot it again.”

Akzed on December 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM

Obama just came out and said; “I tried. Didn’t work. You’re screwed. I’m off to Hawaii.”

LoganSix on December 21, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Obama also said, Now is not the time for self-inflicted wounds.(I swear he said it.)

He also said, Drink some eggnog, eat some cookies… Seriously. The man is a genius. The world’s best public speaker evah.

/ <<< Do I need this?

Fallon on December 21, 2012 at 5:51 PM

They just keep pounding on America with their fist.

I had a dream years ago of Bill Clinton. Just a quick short vision like dream… I saw his giant smiling face looking over America from the eastern horizon and his fist was pounding on it. Just pounding and pounding on it. I’ve remembered that picture ever since and it has fit every liberal in power to this day.

JellyToast on December 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

When do we, in “The Land of The Free”, have the stones to resist?

It’s passed time to just say NO to this insane government.

We must organize and refuse to pay unjust taxes and fees and follow ruinous regulations.

FOWG1 on December 21, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Fear not … Dick Windsor’s on the job, burnin’ the midnight oil.

FOReWARD!!

Lost in Jersey on December 21, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Wonderful. Trucks haul everything, from your socks to your arugula. Prices will only go up.

darwin on December 21, 2012 at 5:37 PM

railroads too. epa tier 4 in effect now and its a real issue. what it will lead to is depowering units to meet standards thereby requiring extra units to do the work.
so where you had 2 high traction units hauling a consist you’ll need 3. where the 2 may have the weight on wheels needed to prevent slippage (spinning) you won’t have the power. so add another unit to make up for the loss. so you’ll also waste fuel.
very inefficient.
and the railroads are refusing to use the urea based solutions as that means they would need to add urea stations on the lines. just like old steam water towers, a step backwards.

dmacleo on December 22, 2012 at 11:05 AM

“The economy’s still moving. Shoot it again.”

Akzed on December 21, 2012 at 5:16 PM

“IT’S COMING RIGHT AT US!”

/lol, so true. They really are trying everything they can to destroy our capitalist economy, and with it this nation as it was comprised. We have to stop them, by any means necessary.

rayra on December 23, 2012 at 6:49 PM