Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, a frequent critic of the Environmental Protection Agency, said at a Capitol Hill news conference on Tuesday that the reelection of President Barack Obama will make it difficult to defeat some of the regulations under consideration by the agency.
Inhofe joined with leaders of the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based think tank that promotes free-market solutions to social and economic issues, to deliver petitions signed by about 16,000 people. The petitions call on Congress to rein in the agency and say, in part, “Whereas, regulators at the EPA, having lost their war to scare America into giving them legislation that would allow them to seize control of virtually all energy production and use, are perverting the Clean Air law to give themselves unprecedented powers to regulate American society.”
Inhofe said the agency is currently crafting regulations that would regulate oil and gas drilling, the boilers used by manufacturers and farm dust.
The costs of those, he said, would pale in comparison to the costs of rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions. Rules aimed at addressing climate change, he said, would constitute the largest tax increase in American history but accomplish nothing.
Think Progress, a blog that is a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, noted that environmental groups have shown far more support for new rules than the Heartland Institute was able to generate for its anti-EPA petition.
“Over the last two years, as the agency has finalized new regulations for mercury, air toxics, and global warming pollution, groups supportive of such measures have acquired record numbers of comments in favor of the rules,” according to a post on the blog.
“Earlier this year, environmental and public health groups collected and delivered more than 3.2 million comments supporting EPA’s carbon pollution standard for power plants; in 2011, they collected more than 800,000 comments supporting EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standard; and so far in 2012, groups have collected more than 420,000 comments supporting the EPA’s soot pollution standard.
“Environmental organizations say the 3.2 million comments in support of EPA regulation of CO2 is the most of any federal rule, ever.”