OPINION: The Feds are messing with Texas
Peggy Venable
01/29/2010
Vol 14, Issue 21 Jan 29, 2009

Texas is the No. 1 energy producer in the country, and a large sector of the Texas job market relies on energy. So do Texas consumers. It is serious business when the federal government sets massive new energy policies. In doing so, the feds are messing with Texas.

Texas consumers: prepare for a body blow. Unless it can be blocked, the feds are set to drop kick Texas’ prosperity in a big way.
 
Cap and trade legislation may be dead or on life support in the Congress but via the Environmental Protection Agency, the Administration has picked up the ball and is running with it. The only question now is whether or not EPA will make it to the end zone.
 
Back in June, the U.S. House passed legislation which would have capped our prosperity and traded our jobs to China.
 
Texans were paying close attention. The Waxman-Markey bill passed the House by a narrow 219 to 212 vote in June with 44 Democrats voting against the bill, among them Texas Congressmen Chet Edwards (Dist. 17), Solomon Ortiz (Dist. 27) and Ciro Rodriquez (Dist. 23). They joined every Texas Republican in the House opposing the bill.
 
The Lone Star Report blog had a good write-up following passage of the House plan which quoted Gov. Rick Perry slamming the legislation, saying that if passed in its current form, it would amount to “the largest tax increase in American history,” and calling it a “pending meteor strike on the Texas economy.”
 
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said the bill would cost Texas farmers up to $5 billion and force the nation to outsource agriculture.
 
Martin Hubert of the Texas Comptroller’s Office reported that 137,000 jobs in Texas would be lost by 2020 alone under the bill, and Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken cited a study indicating that for every “green job” created, 2.2 other jobs are lost in the private sector.
 
Kathleen Hartnett White from the Texas Public Policy Foundation, put it in perspective when she said Texans could pay seven times more in the carbon tax than most other states.
 
The Waxman-Markey bill is a tax, it will cost jobs at a time the feds are claiming they want to create jobs, and it is punishing Texas disproportionately.
 
Fortunately, the Senate isn’t so hot about the global warming legislation.
 
But making an end run on Congress, the unelected and unaccountable Environmental Protection Agency is issuing back-door climate regulations under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
 
In December, Gov. Perry sent a letter to the EPA urging the ruling be withdrawn, especially in light of the recent “Climategate” scandal, which uncovered data had been manipulated and destroyed in order to falsely show a preordained result. He claimed politics had hijacked science.
 
He is right.
 
The issue deserves a full debate. But EPA has sidestepped debate and gone directly to the regulations, declaring that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases are pollutantsthat threaten public health and welfare.
 
The scientific establishment has dropped the ball. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. On the contrary it makes crops and forests grow faster. We exhale carbon dioxide.
 
Americans for Prosperity and numerous other groups are fighting the regulations citing economic impact, and over 17,000 AFP members filed comments to the EPA opposing the regs.
 
What can stop the EPA?
 
There are currently several pieces of legislation that have been introduced in Congress that would preempt EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gasses under the CAA.
 
Another approach being considered by Texas officials is suggested by AFP ally, attorney, and physician John Dale Dunn, who proposes attacking the EPA as a purveyor of bad science under federal statutes that prohibit junk science by agencies. The Rules of Good Science are published by the U.S. Federal Judicial Center in a book called “The Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence.” Dunn points out that the pubic health research and claims of the EPA on greenhouse gas human effects do not meet the basic guidance for good scientific evidence in a federal courtroom.
 
The administrative procedure act provides a mechanism to take legal action against any agency for misconduct in its policy and science conduct. Dunn contends that the EPA consistently, constantly, and consciously engages in cheating on the public health science rules in pushing public policies making alleging public health risk.
 
He says the research results the EPA relies on are not adequate and fail the basic test for good scientific evidence. He also asserts claims that greenhouse gases are a threat to human welfare are not true.
 
Texas is unlikely to roll over, and it is clear the EPA will aggressively move to impose bad regulations.

With the EPA encroaching on the economy and using unsportsmanlike conduct in circumventing debate, it’s about time someone threw a flag. O

 
 
 
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