President Barack Obama put a halt to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed air-quality standards just before the Labor Day weekend. The Wall Street Journal opined that the president cited the struggling economy as his main reason for not wanting to tighten ozone regulations at this time:
Come January 2010, the Obama EPA said it wanted to lower the ozone standard more, to between 0.060 and O.070 ppm. Problem is, this would have put 85% of monitored U.S. counties (628 out of 736) into “non-attainment” status. And the problem with that is that under current law, non-compliance effectively forces many utilities, businesses and agricultural operations in those counties to shelve expansion plans.
Translation: no new jobs.
WSJ called the president’s decision a “rebuke” of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson:
whose decision to tighten the standard was based on an advisory-board recommendation that the Bush administration had rejected. In a statement, Ms. Jackson said the agency would “revisit the ozone standard,” but she pointedly stopped short of endorsing the president’s decision.
But the president’s decision is also be a rebuke of Governor Bill Ritter, Colorado lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, environmental special interest groups, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Xcel Energy, Public Utilities Commission and industry that all employed the EPA regulation scare tactic as a reason to pass HB 1365, the fuel switching bill, and HB 1291, the State Implementation Plan (SIP). And this isn’t the first time that the federal government has blown the justification that Colorado lawmakers used to ram through the disastrous energy legislation.
Energy policy analyst William Yeatman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute and contributor to this blog, pulled no punches in this exclusive interview on the Amy Oliver Show on News Talk 1310 KFKA. Yeatman says lawmakers got duped. Obama cites economic reality of the job killing regulations while Colorado lawmakers and the CDHPE cite the bogus excuse of “reasonably foreseeable” air-quality standards that never materialized. Other points from the Yeatman interview:
- The PUC cited bogus deadlines due to “reasonably foreseeable” regulations and compressed the “accelerated Electric Resource Plan” from 18 to 30 months into 3 months.
- Rush was also to ensure Ritter’s environmental legacy
- The “big lie” was “obvious” and not the first for CDPHE
- Xcel ratepayers are the big losers because they will pay $1 billion for an unnecessary energy plans.
- Ritter won’t be hurt by any of this because he isn’t “encumbered by the truth.”
Basically Colorado lawmakers bought into these phony deadlines and threats of EPA usurping state authority, while Xcel ratepayers got stuck with bill. We’d like to say we enjoy the annoying chorus of “we told you so, we told you so!” But vindication is bittersweet because some of us are Xcel ratepayers.