The Heartland Institute delivered to the U.S. Congress a petition signed by more than 16,000 citizens demanding Congress rein in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) accepted the petitions in a Nov. 27 gathering at the U.S. Capitol.
At the Capitol event, Inhofe warned the EPA is poised to accelerate the imposition of costly, job-killing regulations in President Barack Obama’s second term.
Obama had “said just give me a chance to get reelected” and then EPA would move full-steam ahead with new environmental regulations, Inhofe noted.
On Oct. 18, Inhofe, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, released a report showing pending EPA regulations could add nine cents per gallon to the price of gasoline, add $500,000 to the cost of each oil and natural gas fracking well, and kill 800,000 jobs.
“Everything EPA does has a cost,” said Heartland Institute senior fellow James Taylor at the Capitol Hill event. “We need to make sure that the costs are in line with the benefits.”
Heartland Institute president Joseph Bast added that Congress has the power to rein in EPA through funding legislation. Legislation stating EPA cannot use taxpayer funds to implement or enforce some planned or existing regulations would effectively thwart the agency’s plans, said Bast.
Unprecedented Scare Campaign
The petition states EPA has undertaken an unprecedented campaign to scare Americans into accepting unnecessary restrictions on the nation’s economy and way of life.
“For decades an unprecedented campaign has been waged to scare the American people into believing that their health, safety and even survival was at stake because of manmade global warming,” the petition observes.
Unwilling to accept Congress’ decision not to pass global warming legislation, EPA is perverting existing laws to grant itself the power that Congress refuses to wield, according to the petition.
EPA officials have “lost their war to scare America into giving them legislation that would allow them to seize control of virtually all energy production and use, [and] are perverting the Clean Air law to give themselves unprecedented powers to regulate American society,” states the petition.
According to Dr. Jay Lehr, science director of The Heartland Institute and a leading authority on water pollution and environmental protection, the solution is to rein in EPA through deep cuts in the size, power, and cost of the agency. This can be done by Congress through its control over the government’s purse, or by a president willing to put sound science and a strong economy ahead of the demands of environmental extremists.
Lehr says EPA’s budget could safely be cut by 80 percent or more without endangering the environment or human health in any way. Most of what EPA does today, Lehr says, could be done better by state government agencies, many of which didn’t exist or had much less expertise back in 1970 when EPA was created.
Congress can explicitly forbid EPA from regulating carbon dioxide in the name of “global warming,” and it can demand cost-benefit analysis be applied to all environmental regulations, Lehr notes. He recommends Congress demand EPA reform its politicized and unreliable scientific research program and return to the use of sound science and common sense.
The Heartland Institute is still collecting online signatures and may return to the U.S. Capitol to present additional signed petitions.
Below is the text of the petition:
Citizen’s Petition to Rein in the Environmental Protection Agency
Whereas, for decades an unprecedented campaign has been waged to scare the American people into believing that their health, safety and even survival was at stake because of manmade global warming;
Whereas, we were told that CO2, which makes up less than one-half of one-tenth of one percent of our atmosphere, is acting like a blanket, keeping the heat in, and it was going to cause the baking of the Earth;
Whereas, the hard scientific data now show that the predicted rise in global temperatures just plainly did not happen;
Whereas, sea ice in the Arctic is rebounding and continues to expand in the Antarctic, despite predictions of the opposite, polar bears are thriving, and sea levels are not rising;
Whereas, deaths due to extreme weather are radically declining and global tropical cyclone activity is at near record lows;
Whereas, it is now clear that the global warming alarmists are wrong and a large majority of Americans now understand it was a hoax;
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;