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Herald-Zeitung Online

REP. LAMAR SMITH: Transparency needed at the EPA

Posted: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 10:15 pm

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), just like every other government institution, should be held accountable to the American people. Everyone agrees that we need to protect our environment, but we should do so in a way that is open and honest.

The EPA is moving forward with new, multi-billion dollar air quality regulations that are expected to be some of the most costly in U.S. history. Among the EPA’s new rules are strict limits on the ozone, which will cost taxpayers $90 billion per year.

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  • rooster posted at 2:53 pm on Thu, Aug 15, 2013.

    rooster Posts: 330

    I received this from friend today, once again BHO thumbs his nose at congress

    EPA chief Gina McCarthy said Wednesday that the Obama administration is finished waiting for Congress to act on climate change and plans to bypass the legislative branch in developing a federal response.

    Ms. McCarthy, who was confirmed last month as Environmental Protection Agency administrator, cited President Obama's June 25 speech at Georgetown University, in which he unveiled his Climate Action Plan and vowed to make combating climate change a priority of his second term.

    Mr. Obama gave "what I really think is a most remarkable speech by a president of the United States," said Ms. McCarthy in remarks at the University of Colorado Boulder.

    "Essentially, he said that it is time to act," she said. "And he said he wasn't going to wait for Congress, but that he had administrative authorities and that it was time to start utilizing those more effectively and in a more concerted way."

    She insisted that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions could be accomplished without harming economic growth, calling the tension between the two priorities a "false choice."

    "We're going to do this this year, next year, the following year, until people understand these are not scary things to do, these are actions we can all do, they're actions that benefit everybody, that will grow the economy, and they're actions that will protect the health and safety of individuals," Ms. McCarthy said.

    The president's Climate Action Plan has come under criticism from Republicans, led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who said in June the plan amounted to a "war on coal" and a "war on jobs."

    "It's tantamount to kicking the ladder out from beneath the feet of any Americans struggling in today's economy," Mr. McConnell said.

    In 2009, Congress rejected a bill to establish a cap-and-trade system designed to discourage greenhouse-gas emissions. That measure, known as the Waxman-Markey bill, passed the House but was defeated in the Senate at a time when Democrats controlled both houses.

    Mr. Obama's plan comes after years of criticism from environmentalists who have faulted him for a lack of attention to global warming. The plan includes reducing carbon pollution from power plants, accelerating green-energy permitting, and increasing fuel-economy standards.

    Ms. McCarthy said Colorado and Boulder are examples of jurisdictions that have taken positive action.

    "[The president] told us to start paying attention to what's going on in states and cities like Colorado and Boulder, and to start learning what you have already learned and to start getting the federal government to take the responsibility that it must take to face the challenge of climate change," she said.

    She didn't list specific actions, but in June the Boulder City Council voted to enact a one-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, a procedure used to extract petroleum and natural gas from the ground.

    The Colorado legislature passed a bill earlier this year to double the renewable-energy standard on rural communities, prompting a backlash against what critics have dubbed "the war on rural Colorado" and launching a movement by lawmakers in a dozen northern counties to explore forming their own state.

    Ms. McCarthy's remarks came prior to a panel discussion featuring former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Colorado Oil and Gas Association President Tisha Schuller, and Brad Udall, director of the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment at the University of Colorado School of Law.


  • brtexn posted at 11:47 am on Thu, Aug 15, 2013.

    brtexn Posts: 441

    Mr. Roberts, while I will agree with you regarding Representative Smith's support of Medicare Part D, you are propagating misinformation regarding Mr. Smith's position on global warming. The San Antonio Express-News is a very left leaning newspaper and skews their reporting in a partisan way.

    From the website ClimateProgress, a very left leaning climate change website, Mr. Smith is reported on and quoted as follows: "Smith is a climate skeptic who has taken to the House floor to rant against scientists and journalists “determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming.” Here’s Smith in a 2009 speech after scientists’ emails were hacked from a server at the University of East Anglia:
    BIG difference from what you assert.

  • Paul Roberts posted at 9:07 am on Thu, Aug 15, 2013.

    Paul Roberts Posts: 523

    I noticed earlier this year a San Antonio Express editorialist wrote a story about how Mr. Smith denied the existence of global warming. He said there was no scientific evidence that proved global warming existed.

    I believe most reasonable people could not deny the existence of global warming today. All one has to do is to read about the receding ice caps or newly exposed mountainous areas where the human eye is seeing ground for the first time ever in areas previously capped by snow year round. Science has confirmed the existence of global warming and Mr. Smith denied its existence. Now if one wants to debate whether global warming is natural or induced by man, that's a debatable topic.

    Now, Mr. Smiths seems to place great value on obtaining scientific reports. Why Mr. Smith, it's obvious you place no value on science?

    Wait, I can answer that question myself. You are one of the most partisan politicians to ever go to congress. Anything dealing with the present democratic administration you oppose. I have personal proof to my claim.

    When the republican "W" led administration wanted to pass the senior's drug plan (medicare part D) you came to Smithson Valley for a town hall meeting. You spoke on the program at that meeting. I asked you where the money was going to come from to pay for the program and you responded, "I don't know where the money will come from, but it's much too valuable a program not to pass. Our seniors need it and I will support it."

    Ever since Obama came up with the Affordable Care Act you have voted against it and even today after its passage, you continue to fight it because you claim we don't have the money to pay for it! Why is your logic different today about funding when it comes to much needed healthcare for Americans...whether senior or younger?

    Your logic rests entirely on what party proposed the healthcare legislation. Just like today, the value of scientific information is important to you only when needed to fight the opposing party. Science means nothing to you, so get off your horse and start speaking the truth instead of throwing out falsehoods on why you want the scientific information from the EPA Mr. Smith.

    By the way, I do agree with you about the reports this time Mr. Smith. Your committee needs whatever scientific information that is out there to better help your committee make informed decisions. It's just that I know you really want the reports to fight the Obama administration tooth and nail to the bitter end on everything. After all, I know that's your primary motive Mr. Smith....partisan darned with the country.