July 15 2013
President Obama’s Environmental Assault on the States
Vicki E. Alger
President Obama has been busy battling climate change (here and here)—and the Constitution, federalism, and individual liberties are apparently just collateral damage. A new article from the American Spectator explains how the EPA has been the president’s dutiful handmaiden:
Congress had a vision for national environmental policymaking when it created the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970. This vision was cooperative federalism, where the EPA and states would work together to effectively balance economic progress with environmental protection. During President Obama’s first term, however, the EPA initiated an outright regulatory assault on the American standard of living.
Under both the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act, the EPA has the authority to “disapprove” a state’s strategy to meet national environmental standards. A regulatory disapproval is no small matter as state officials spend countless hours and taxpayer resources crafting plans to comply with a newly finalized EPA regulation. When the EPA issues a regulatory disapproval, the agency effectively throws all of this work out the window.
Since President Obama took office, the number of regulatory disapprovals has skyrocketed. Previously, the EPA issued 44 disapprovals during President Clinton’s second term, 42 during President George W. Bush’s first term and 12 during Bush’s second term. But during President Obama’s first term, the EPA issued an unprecedented 95 disapprovals — more than a 190 percent increase from the average number of disapprovals during the previous three four-year presidential terms.
Remind me—when is the federal government due to start its slim down plan? All this overweight, overbearing government is getting to be a real drag.