The PJ Tatler

EPA Blackouts Loom

Investors Business Daily weighs in:

It won’t matter which light bulbs we use as the administration’s implementation of cross-state pollution rules shuts down coal plants across the country. Where will the jobs be when the lights go out?

It’s called the Cross-State Pollution Rule, announced last month, and its implementation over the next 18 months will likely result in the loss of a fifth of the nation’s electricity-generating capacity.

The result will be likely power shortages, skyrocketing rates and inevitable brownouts and rolling blackouts.

Based on Bush-era EPA proposals that the federal courts threw out in 2008, this latest example of legislation is designed to usurp state powers to regulate their in-state emissions by making it a federal issue on the grounds pollution crosses state lines.

The rule requires coal companies in 27 states to slash emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide by 73% and 54%, respectively, from 2005 levels by 2014. “Just because wind and weather will carry air pollution away from its source at a local power plant doesn’t mean that pollution is no longer that plant’s responsibility,” says Environmental Protection Agency Chief Lisa Jackson.

The targets are states such as Texas that not only resist federal encroachment on their powers but dare to try to balance environmental quality. The EPA claims huge health gains as its justification, but those claims are in doubt. Poverty and joblessness, which this and other EPA rules will create, carry their own health risks.

Point of fact: What the EPA is doing is not “legislation.” Congress does that. The EPA is rule-making, basically creating its own laws by diktat. But it’s not “legislation,” even while it does carry the force of law unless and until Congress overrides or Obama himself reverses the new rules. It is in how power to do that, but he is of his own free will choosing not to. This is not a case of the bureaucracy getting out ahead of the president, either. It’s a case of the bureaucracy doing pretty much what candidate Obama said he would do.

Not to put too alarming a point on this, but the EPA’s rules will end up costing a lot of jobs, driving prices up, and perhaps even killing people if blackouts strike a particularly inopportune times. Blackouts in Texas this summer would surely have resulted in death as the temperature hung above 105 for days on end.

That the EPA is pushing its onerous new rules even as the White House disingenuously claims that it is clearing red tape to save Americans billions turns that effort into little more than an extremely sarcastic joke. The fact is, the Obama administration has very consistently gone out of its way to kill jobs, in a particular sector, the energy sector, which just happens to power the entire economy. And let’s just call this consistent Obama administration effort what it really is: Oppression. Washington is oppressing the economies of several states, via diktats against the energy industry. If a foreign power came in and took steps to shut down our power grid, we would rightly consider it a hostile act. The EPA is doing exactly that in Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere.