EPA Anti-Energy Regulations Killing Jobs; Bogus Green Schemes Harm Americans

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Byline: Paul Driessen, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

More and more, daily decisions are made less by responsible citizens than by nanny-state government, especially powerful, unelected, unaccountable executive branch agencies in Washington. Among the worst is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Under Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, EPA seeks not merely to regulate, but to legislate; not merely to protect our health and environment against every conceivable risk, however far-fetched, but to control every facet of our economy, livelihoods and lives.

Instead of following laws and policies set by our elected representatives, EPA is determined to impose regulatory edicts that reflect President Obama's promises to bankrupt coal and utility companies and radically transform our economy, society and free-enterprise system.

The agency's actions make it increasingly expensive to fill gas tanks, heat and cool homes and offices, operate hospitals and factories, and buy food and consumer goods. EPA now is better described as the Employment Prevention Agency, with $100 billion diktats that are killing countless jobs, making America more dependent on foreign sources of energy and raw materials that we have in abundance right here at home, and endangering our economy, national security and people's health and welfare.

Mrs. Jackson's agenda seeks to relegate fossil fuels to the dustbin of history and force America to get its energy from intermittent renewable sources, not when they are needed but when they are available. Regulations on greenhouse gases and other emissions are to make non-hydrocarbon energy appear cheaper by comparison, paving the way for crony-corporatist alternatives like wind, solar and ethanol.

Only rarely have our courts delayed or blocked EPA's worst excesses. In one recent case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected EPA's cross-state air pollution rule, which would have controlled power plant emissions on the grounds that computer models predict pollutants might harm families hundreds of miles away.

In far too many other cases, EPA has been allowed to regulate as it sees fit. A key pretext is the 1970 Clean Air Act, as amended by Congress in 1977 and 1990. The act deals primarily with six common pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, particulates (soot), ozone, lead and carbon monoxide. It never mentions carbon dioxide, the plant-fertilizing gas essential for all life.

As EPA itself acknowledges, those six criteria air pollutants declined by an average of 63 percent between 1970 and 2010. They will continue to do so under existing regulations and technologies. Moreover, those dramatic reductions occurred even as coal-based electricity generation increased 180 percent, overall U.S. energy consumption rose 40 percent, miles traveled soared 168 percent and the nation's population increased by 110 million. Regardless, EPA intends to go much further to advance its radical agenda. …