We already have more than 700 waivers to the requirements of ObamaCare in place, with 40% of those affected being in unions. Now we see waivers beginning in another area of the Obama administration’s key policy areas — greenhouse gas emissions. In January, the administration began enforcing new EPA rules on new or expanding power plants, and within just a few weeks, announced the first waiver of those rules:
The Obama administration will spare a stalled power plant project in California from the newest federal limits on greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution, U.S. EPA says in a new court filing that marks a policy shift in the face of industry groups and Republicans accusing the agency of holding up construction of large industrial facilities.
According to a declaration by air chief Gina McCarthy, officials reviewed EPA policies and decided it was appropriate to “grandfather” projects such as the Avenal Power Center, a proposed 600-megawatt power plant in the San Joaquin Valley, so they are exempted from rules such as new air quality standards for smog-forming nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
Hey, you know what else Barack Obama did in January? He picked GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt to lead his new jobs commission. Does that sound like a non-sequitur to you? Let Timothy Carney explain the details of the Avenal Power Center:
The proposed Avenal Energy project will be a combined-cycle generating plant consisting of two natural gas-fired General Electric 7FA Gas Turbines with Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG) and one General Electric Steam Turbine.
GE: They bring good waivers to life!
The Obama administration seems very eager to impose regulation on everyone except their bestest buddies. If these policies are so bad that Obama’s friends and political allies need waivers to get around them, then perhaps they shouldn’t be in place at all. And perhaps the Obama administration should learn something about the rule of law, rather than the rule of whim — or as the rest of us call it, The Chicago Way.