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Did FreedomWorks Lie or Are They Clueless?

On Sunday, I received a forwarded newsletter from FreedomWorks. It advised readers to contact their congressman to support important legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, which “would push back against the EPA’s unconstitutional, outrageous rules and regulations that raise energy prices for consumers, destroy jobs and increase our dependence on foreign sources of energy.”

Sign me up for that! Seriously, the jackbooted heel of President Nixon still undermines America through EPA regulation and abuse of producers.

However, the proposed silver bullet of the TRAIN Act fails to achieve the goals promised by FreedomWorks:

The TRAIN ACT would:
– Fight back against EPA regulations that would raise energy prices for consumers and destroy jobs
– Reject the EPA’s attempt to shut down coal as one key source of our energy needs
– Ensure that America continues to be able to use its own natural resources for energy, as opposed to relying more on foreign sources of energy

What does it actually do? Let me allow the Congressional Research Service explain it:

Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act of 2011 – Requires the President to establish the Committee for the Cumulative Analysis of Regulations that Impact Energy and Manufacturing in the United States to analyze and report on the cumulative and incremental impacts of covered rules and actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning air, waste, water, and climate change for each of calendar years 2016, 2020, and 2030.

Requires such analysis to include: (1) estimates of the impacts of the such rules and actions on the global economic competitiveness of the United States, electricity prices, fuel prices, employment, and the reliability and adequacy of bulk power supply in the United States; and (2) a discussion and an assessment of the cumulative impact on consumers, small businesses, regional economies, state, local, and tribal governments, local and industry-specific labor markets, and agriculture.

Includes among “covered rules” specified national standards for air quality and air pollutants and hazardous and solid waste and other rules promulgated under specified provisions of the Clean Air Act on or after January 1, 2009.

Defines “covered action” as any action on or after such date by the EPA, a state, a local government, or a permitting agency as a result of the application of specified Clean Air Act (CAA) provisions with respect to an air pollutant that is identified as a greenhouse gas.

Amends the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to increase and extend appropriations for FY2012-FY2016 for diesel emissions reduction.

So the solution to abusive federal regulations is to form another committee, require that the EPA do some math, and create another report that the Congress will fail to act upon? Really?

What would real reform look like? Instead of listing statutes and actions that trigger additional reporting, the proposed legislation would repeal those statutes or specific statutory authorities granting overly broad regulatory discretion. Seems so simple that it requires a massive evasion to consider the proposed legislation as a real check on the EPA.

That giant sucking sound that you hear….it is the Republicans in the House sucking at their jobs as the Obama Administration continues to suck the life blood out of America’s economy.

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  1. It sounds like the idea is to counter the EPA’s listing of “advantages” of environmental rules with a counter-list of costs.

    If an official listing of costs can be a requirement, then I’d also like to see a law that says that any time the costs are above some number (say $10 billion) the rules cannot be passed by the EPA alone, but require a Congressional vote. While this might sound like too little, in the current state of public opinion such a law might be as ambitious a law as could pass.

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  2. Sorry Jim. I can’t get through this wordy post. But thanks to you for trying to sort it out. I sure need this kind of posting so I don’t have to go to source material all the time and still keep informed.

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