Reps. Steve Scalise, John Fleming, Bill Cassidy, and Charles Boustany, all Republicans and all but Scalise physicians, joined other House members in adding their voices to those of several senators three months ago, including fellow Louisianans David Vitter and Mary Landrieu, in protesting new EPA ozone attainment standards. The letter transmitted complained about how the move to change standards subverts the Clean Air Act which by law is to be reviewed no sooner than every five years. That was last done in 2008 and new standards proposed.
But not all of the review was implemented because activists who wanted an even lower standard, which was supposed to have gone from 84 to 75 parts per billion, wanting a level according to studies done commissioned by the EPA which asked for a standard of 70 or lower even though questionable science was involved in coming up with that number and the assumptions from it have strayed even further from reality since. As such, they claim they can introduce new standards now because of non-implementation, even though the law does not consider non-implementation as a failure to follow the revision timetable.
Thus, if any final rules are issued, they would be illegal and immediately challenged in court. This explains in part why the EPA has missed two dates announced as to the issuance of the final rules, because as a politicized agency it pays close attention to the political environment which is becoming increasingly unfavorable for this plan as the 2010 midterm elections demonstrated.
EPA’s increased politicization has led to its recent unprecedented amount of regulatory activity as the Pres. Barack Obama Administration tries to do by fiat what it could not do through representative democratic processes. Unneeded regulation fits the strategy of bringing more under the control of government and allowing those who desire to exercise power and to obtain privilege through it, such as those in the environmental movement who rely upon the questionable data to assert the newest standards are needed for health reason, to achieve them.
Louisiana has been a leader in fighting against these attempts utilizing the EPA, about a year ago joining other states in trying to block related, unconstitutional measures. As well it should – at almost a million jobs, the unnecessary new standards would make Louisiana the third-largest loser of them of all the states and the largest per capita.
Both state and federal policy-makers in Louisiana have shown great responsibility in opposing this road to serfdom, and are to be commended as such. Let’s hope the efforts of theirs and others pay off with the EPA backing down or being forced by Congress to move away from its dystopian vision.