In the current GOP 2012 presidential debates, all the Republican candidates have voiced the need to drastically re-structure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the current EPA director, Lisa Jackson, the Obama administration is unleashing on the country the most comprehensive and far-reaching environmental regulations ever seen.
Framed around the need to fulfill job growth in conjunction with cleaning up America’s portion of the planet, Jackson disseminated $ 6.2 million for Brownfield clean up jobs in July this year. This benign sounding program was advertised as an environmentally “friendly” job plan that would clean up old gas stations, smelter plants, and industrial properties. Of course what is not mentioned during the high-blown rhetoric about saving Mother Earth by uniting government and environmentalism is that businesses that find themselves in ideological conflict with the ever growing list of “Green initiatives” will face a monstrous State apparatus that is all too eager to unleash “green justice” on all violators. Herein lies the economic quandary for Kansas.
Unfortunately for Kansas, its cattle industry, oil and gas development, and even the growing of crops are directly in the stomping path of the EPA. Through increased regulations and government manipulation, oil drillers are finding it harder to drill oil in Kansas, and even drill for natural gas, a highly abundant energy opportunity in the state. Building coal burning power plants that have the potential to create hundreds if not thousands of new Kansas jobs is like pulling teeth. The environmental regulations and the misguided Green mentality that the current Obama administration embraces and allows to flourish has become an EPA monster with Lisa Jackson in full charge going full throttle.
The EPA monster was recently spotted in Western Kansas where is was battling the rural cooperative, Sunflower Electric, now at risk of having to charge higher rates to customers or not supply services at all to rural areas of the state due to a new thrashing “sea of regulations.” I had a chance to interview on my radio program, Conscience of Kansas, Congressman Tim Huelskamp, a native to the First District of Kansas. He is attempting to combat EPA aggression against free market initiatives within the state. Huelskamp is the co-sponsor of the TRAIN-Act, Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation. The Act would require an impact analysis to determine the cumulative effect that EPA regulations are having on the economy.
In my interview, Huelskamp made clear his concern. It is a concern that is on the minds of many Americans, namely, that the EPA is overregulating business and industry in the country. In Kansas alone, Huelskamp said that the EPA treats farm “spilt milk as if it is an oil spill.” The Congressman is also aware of new EPA regulations that make the common practice of transporting fuel, over 119 gallons, a violation of Federal law without a hazardous materials permit. Obviously the bureaucrats that are crafting EPA regulations have never worked on a farm. But, is it simply ignorance that brings about such terrible regulations or is there another agenda still?
In reality, the EPA monster is motivated by a mentality that opposes the capitalistic free market foundations of traditional America. On the subject of the chasm that exists between big Green governmental ideology and the free market Kansas mentality, Huelskamp commented that a business owner in Kansas told him that liberals in Washington see all business as nothing more than a “bunch of crooks.” They are bad guys that need to be taken down a notch. I feel that the current administration’s hostility toward free market initiatives in places like Kansas goes far deeper. There appears to be anger in Washington toward the American spirit that fights for individualism and against becoming part of the collective, even when that collective is touted as being beautifully “green.” It has become all too apparent when we watch the EPA monster grow larger each day and the idea of the individual becomes ever more endangered that without the American people adjusting the leadership of this country, the American economy remains at great risk. What is the EPA’s goal? The monster wishes to gorge on both the innovators and free marketers in Kansas and elsewhere.