Rep. Ed Whitfield letter to President Obama rips EPA as a “rogue agency”

In an October 15th letter to President Obama, Representative Ed Whitfield (KY), Chairman of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee tore into the EPA for what Whitfield termed “costly freelancing beyond the bounds of existing laws.”

Whitfield’s letter charged EPA with implementing a “regulatory agenda that regularly exceeds the scope of the agency’s statutory authority.” Whitfield, however, did not rely on his opinion to demonstrate these overreaches. He quoted extensively from several recent court cases that have stopped the EPA from carrying out its plans to restrict the mining and use of coal across the country. Some of the selected texts included,

“EPA pursues its reading of the statutory text down the rabbit hole to a wonderland where EPA defines its target after the States’ chance to comply with the target has already passed.”  — D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ August 2012 decision vacating EPA’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule

“To explain how this would be accomplished in the absence of any statutory provision or even regulation that details the effect that EPA’s belated action would have on an existing permit, EPA resorts to magical thinking. It posits a scenario involving automatic self-destruction of a written permit issued by an entirely separate federal agency after years of study and consideration. Poof! Not only is this non-revocation logistically complicated, but the possibility that it could happen would leave permittees in the untenable position of being unable to rely upon the sole statutory authority touchstone for measuring their Clean Water Act compliance: the permit.”  — Spruce Mine decision March 2012

“[The EPA] cannot expand [its] congressional delegated power based on ad-hoc and general assertions of a state program’s complexity.” 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on EPA disapproval of Texas’ “Flexible Permit Program” August 2012

“In essence, the EPA contends that Congress’s statutory mandate is subservient to EPA’s regulatory review process, and as such this Court has no authority to require the Administrator to comply with this statutory requirement … How absurd!”   — Avenal case May 2011

Whitfield closed out the letter stating that “these and many other examples reflect the action of a rogue agency that is making up authorities it does not legally possess.” He then informed the President that although the EPA’s actions were eventually overturned, they had already done “irreversible economic damage” due to stalled investments and reduced hiring/layoffs.

Click here to download the full letter (Whitfield_Letter_to_Pres_Obama_re_EPA).

23. October 2012 by Jason Hayes
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