Obama’s rogue EPA takes aim at Texas jobs

Posted on November 17, 2010 by Donald Ferguson

Kathleen Hartnett White is former chairman of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and a senior fellow at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.  Mario Loyola directs the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

They also support clean air legislation.  But Barack Obama’s radically out-of-control EPA has gone too far for them.  They air their grievances in a guest column in today’s Washington Examiner.  They write, in part:

…today’s EPA is far more like an activist for whom no standard is too high, no burden too onerous, no risk too low, and no science too speculative. Despite being a world center of energy production, Texas has dramatically improved air quality. Yet it is disproportionately burdened by EPA’s actions.

Houston, long among the nation’s most polluted cities, attained the nationally applicable ozone standard last year. If the real goal is “ending the era of fossil fuels in our generation,” as President Obama has repeatedly declared, Texas is a good place to start. The Texas model of limited government and economic freedom, which has created more jobs than the rest of the country put together in the last 12 months, is also a threat to Obama’s statist agenda.

Last July, EPA invalidated the 16-year old Texas Flexible Permitting Program. A strategic mechanism for achieving huge emissions reductions, the flexible permits impose tight emission caps for industrial facilities, while leaving plant operators some flexibility to innovate.

Now, purportedly because of concerns about specificity in the language of the permits, EPA has thrown the operating authority of more than 120 of the largest facilities in Texas into legal limbo.

EPA has yet to explain how the state permitting rules should be changed to satisfy these newfound concerns, but it has now imperiously decreed the Texas rules fall short of federal requirements. The affected facilities are in full compliance with state-issued permits, but EPA views them in violation of the Clean Air Act and subject to enforcement.

As an alternative to full-blooded EPA enforcement or revocation of their permits, EPA has offered a “voluntary” audit to conclude with an enforcement decree — a coercive fist hidden inside a velvet glove. EPA has apparently invented a new method of rulemaking through the threat of enforcement — entirely outside the constraints of the Administrative Procedures Act…

ATP will pursue legislation in Congress next year stripping out-of-control, unelected bureaucrats of their unquestioned authority to simply make up their own regulations, and restore control of federal agencies to the elected Congress.

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/OpEd-Contributor/EPA-is-offended-by-Texas_-successful-permit-rules-1586290-108598184.html#ixzz15YpdFMXB

Big Green plans to kill job growth in Texas, Colorado, Dakotas

Posted on November 14, 2010 by Donald Ferguson

While Big Green is busy killing jobs in energy production and manufacturing, shale oil is providing working families in Texas, the Dakotas and Colorado with good-paying jobs.

And where capitalism is working, Big Green isn’t far behind with a plan to shut it down.  Armed with a faked documentary, Big Green activists are spreading misinformation about “fracking” intended to terrorize residents into opposing economic development.

ATP is committed to protecting these families from the devastating agenda of Big Green elites.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

KARNES CITY, Texas—A surge in oil drilling is transforming this rural south Texas community—and with it, American energy production.

Drawn by high oil prices and new technologies that make it possible to extract oil from the dense rock that lies beneath much of the region, major energy players are raining cash on the county and its residents.

A similar wave is beginning to visit parts of North Dakota, Colorado and west Texas. The surge in onshore oil exploration is helping reverse the decades-long decline of domestic oil production, which increased slightly in 2009 for the first time in more than 20 years…

…The shale boom won’t begin to end American dependence on imported oil, but industry experts say it is driving a significant and potentially enduring shift in the way oil is produced domestically.

“It’s a game-changer for U.S. oil production,” said Bill Durbin, head of global markets research at Wood Mackenzie. “The U.S. has always been perceived to be a very mature oil province with relatively little prospect for growth. Now we’re seeing the declines in production being arrested by the increase in unconventional oil.”…

…”Oil & Gas Boom!” reads a flyer advertising an estate-planning session, taped to the door of the county courthouse in Karnes City. The message is apparently intended for people like Paul Bordovsky, a retired druggist who netted a sum “well into the six figures” after a well on his 642-acre ranch produced nearly 34,000 barrels of oil in its first 40 days before it was temporarily capped—far more than he ever made raising purebred Charolais.

The courthouse itself teems with scores of industry hands researching land titles. Their arrival—along with rig workers—is swelling demand for lodging. Telia Diaz, the enterprising owner of the “New Wave” hair salon in town, converted an empty lot into an RV Park three months ago. The campers now provide more income than her salon clients, Ms. Diaz said, and she is planning to open a second park.

Nationally, the balance between oil and gas exploration onshore has tilted heavily toward oil. The number of oil-seeking rigs has nearly tripled since June 2009, and now makes up 42% of all rigs in use, a prevalence not seen since 1997, according to data compiled by oilfield-services company Baker Hughes Inc.

Among states, Texas has seen the greatest increase of rigs in the past year, adding 300, a 73% increase. North Dakota added 83 rigs in the last year, Oklahoma gained 71, and Colorado picked up 30. Analysts at IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates have identified 20 significant shale prospects across North America…

…To be sure, natural-gas drilling in shale formations has increasingly drawn opposition from some environmental groups, who fear the process will pollute the air and contaminate drinking-water supplies—and that backlash could extend to shale-oil drilling. If state or federal regulators crack down on drilling operations, it could drive up costs for companies.

But here in south Texas, there has been little opposition, and the unexpected rise in economic activity has been welcomed.

Mr. Bordovsky, for one, couldn’t be happier with ConocoPhillips, the company that drilled the well on his ranch. “They’ve been very, very super-good to me.”

Read more at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704865704575610734039395358.html.

Washington Examiner: New EPA regs would kill jobs, stall economy

Posted on by Donald Ferguson

D.C.’s premiere newspaper, The Washington Examiner, offers its input on Big Green’s “Best Available Control Technology” plan to downsize America’s economy.

It sounds innocuous enough. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued new guidelines Thursday requiring state and local authorities that issue pollution permits based on federal standards to use the “Best Available Control Technology,” or BACT. The stated goal is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020…
…Achieving that level of reduction in greenhouse gases won’t be easy or cheap. This immense new burden on the private sector comes at precisely the wrong time for an economy still struggling to create new jobs and reduce near double-digit unemployment. One of the skeptics is University of Mississippi professor William Shughart II, whose op-ed elsewhere in Friday’s Examiner notes that many jurisdictions across the country can’t meet the present greenhouse gas standard, much less reach the lower threshold anytime soon. “If a county or city is not in compliance, its economy won’t be able to grow, so the EPA’s proposal would spell economic stagnation for many communities,” Shughart contends…
…Without the proper pollution permits, existing facilities and new construction projects across the country either will grind to a halt or never get started. The cost estimates are indeed staggering, according to an econometric study by the Manufacturers Alliance that projects more than 7.3 million lost jobs by 2020. The hardest-hit states include Texas, which would lose 1.7 million jobs, and Louisiana, with 938,000 positions lost. Others include California (846,000), Illinois (396,000) and Pennsylvania (351,000). Total losses would reduce the nation’s gross domestic product by $1.7 trillion, according to the Manufacturers Alliance…

Boehner’s plan to put Big Green in control of the House

Posted on November 12, 2010 by Donald Ferguson

Dear friend,

One minute he’s voting to outlaw lightbulbs.

The next, John Boehner is asking him to lead the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Don’t you agree there’s something seriously wrong here?

Big Green crony Congressman Fred Upton (R-MI) is all but certain to be the man in control of the House committee that directs the nation’s energy policy.

And there’s plenty to be concerned about:

* An ally of Big Green, Upton sponsored the bill to outlaw incandescent lightbulbs, in favor of dimly-lit, mercury-filled “CFL” bulbs.

* He believes in the unscientific hoax that humans, specifically job creators, are causing the planet to heat up.

* He has spoken out in support of banning drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rush Limbaugh calls Upton’s radical green agenda “nannyism” and even “statism.”

That’s a huge problem.  In the next Congress, we’ll have to deal with an out-of-control EPA seeking to impose the most radical elements of the green agenda through regulatory fiat, as well as Obama’s promise to pass Cap and Tax in “chunks.”

We need an Energy Committee chairman who stands with citizens and job creators, not a “statist” ally of Big Green.

Liberal Fred Upton is not that man, but John Boehner is hell-bent on installing him.

Call John Boehner at 202-225-6205.  Tell him to drop Fred Upton from consideration as Energy and Commerce Committee chairman.

Rush Limbaugh’s comments on Upton are below.


Donald Ferguson
Executive Director

P.S.  Here’s what Rush Limbaugh has to say about Fred Upton as chair of the House’s top energy committee.  Call John Boehner at 202-225-6205 and tell him to drop his plans to name Upton as Energy and Commerce Committee chair.

“Representative Fred Upton, Republican, Michigan, wants to be the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Well, it’s not a good thing because Fred Upton, Republican, Michigan, was a cosponsor with Jane Harman, Democrat, California, in 2007 to coauthor the legislation that effectively banned indoor incandescent lightbulbs in the United States.  Fred Upton wants to chair the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and this is a guy who believes in man-made global warming, and he is a Republican.  He and Harman “teamed up again to offer new legislation that would extend the ban on incandescent lightbulbs to outdoor lighting.”  So now these compact fluorescents, these spaghetti lightbulbs, what is the year, is it 2012 that the ban goes into effect?  I know they started reducing supplies.  A lot of people are starting to hoard incandescent lightbulbs.  This is not gonna happen.  I’m not gonna put these little curlicue things in my house.  I’m not going to do it.  And a lot of people aren’t, either.

“‘In 2007, Jane Harman and Fred Upton introduced bipartisan legislation –’ that’s bipartisan, coauthored.  Actually the legislation was written by a liberal Democrat, Jane Harman.  That’s all you need to know.  “It became law as part of the Energy Independence and Security Act — that bans the famously inefficient…” what do you mean famously inefficient? “…100-watt incandescent light bulb by 2012, phases out remaining inefficient light bulbs by 2014, and requires that light bulbs be at least three times as efficient as today’s 100-watt incandescent bulb by 2020. Last year, after George Will wrote a column criticizing Upton’s and Harman’s proposal to extend the incandescent-bulb ban to outdoor lighting, the two House members sent a letter to the Washington Post complaining about the column and defending their legislative campaign against the incandescent bulb.”

“Now, this would be a tone deaf disaster if the Republican leadership lets Fred Upton ascend to the chairmanship of the House energy committee.  This is exactly the kind of nannyism, statism, what have you, that was voted against and was defeated last week.  No Republican complicit in nannyism, statism, can be rewarded this way.  But seniority may rule the day.”

Plan B from Big Green

Posted on November 9, 2010 by Donald Ferguson
Dear friend,

There’s no way around it.  The midterm elections last Tuesday were a bloodbath for Big Green, and a romp for candidates who support ATP’s “people, property and prosperity” agenda.

And now Democrats are blaming Big Green for costing them the House.

“41 Democrats who voted for the House [Cap and Tax] bill who lost, retired or saw their seat fall into GOP hands,” POLITICO reported Thursday.

That means nearly two out of every three Democrats who lost voted for Cap and Tax.  And it was an issue in nearly every race.

“Virginia Rep. Rick Boucher, for example, lost his campaign in part because he couldn’t get any traction trying to explain his work negotiating key details of the climate bill, said Andy Wright, a former Boucher chief of staff. Boucher also didn’t get any help from Sen.-elect Joe Manchin, his Democratic neighbor in West Virginia, who ran campaign ads on the same local TV stations firing a rifle at the climate legislation,” POLITICO reported.”‘When you’ve got a Democrat literally shooting the bill, it implies there’s some damage,’ said one environmental advocate.”

Big Green is attempting to defend itself, claiming Cap and Tax wasn’t a liability because many Democrats who voted with ATP to kill the bill also lost.

Not so fast, say environmental policy experts.

“‘…Jim Connaughton, former top White House environmental adviser under President George W. Bush, said greens are missing an important lesson by shining the spotlight on the Democrats who won another term. Many of those were safe seats compared with the seats of losers, who had always been nervous about how their climate vote would sell back home,’ reported POLITICO

“‘The point is the races at the margin,” he said.

“Connaughton said environmentalists are also mistaken if they think the 27 Democrats who opposed the House bill and lost on Tuesday would have had better luck if they had voted the in other direction.

“‘Who did they lose to? They lost to Republicans who are also against it,’ he said. ‘But they were tagged as being part of the agenda that was being advanced.’

But don’t think for a moment Big Green is backing off.  In a show of their power over the still-in-place Democrat House majority, they’re pushing two plans to pass Cap and Tax and preserve their iron grip on the House.

On the one hand, they’re still going to push to put Cap and Tax into the Senate energy bill during a “conference committee” in which leaders of both houses combine their bills to create one bill.  Cap and Tax radical Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) has openly declared he will put “the full cap and trade” program into the Senate bill that will be sent to President Obama, even though the Senate never voted on it.

That means we’ll need to organize opposition to defeat the compromise bill during the “lame duck” session,

But they’ll also be pulling a dirty trick they hope will guarantee Cap and Tax becomes law.

And this time they won’t even bother holding a vote.

That’s why I’m writing to you.

You see, with their defeat last week, Big Green is going with Plan B…

…simply imposing Cap and Tax on Americans through a declaration of the EPA.

Big Green will now simply have the EPA declare Cap and Tax to be a federal regulation, not subject to approval by Congress.

That means your utility bills will “skyrocket” and as many as 2.5 million jobs will be lost each year, simply because radical greens in the EPA bureaucracy declare it to be.

There’s only one way to stop them.

Passage of legislation stripping federal agencies of the power to make up major regulations.

That’s why WTP is pressuring returning and incoming legislators to support a bill in Congress requiring that any federal regulation with a fiscal impact over a certain threshold can only be passed by an affirmative, stand-alone vote of Congress.

Our message is as simple as it is right – No Regulation Without Representation.

Can I count on you to help us not only defeat Cap and Tax in the lame duck session, but to pass new legislation blocking Big Green’s EPA “declaration” scheme?

Please click here or go to https://secure.westerntradition.org to rush me your best gift of $35, $500, $100, $250, $500 or $1000?

Any gift in any amount will help.  Please give whatever you feel you can afford.


Donald Ferguson, Executive Director

P.S.  Election Day was a bloodbath for Big Green.  Cap and Tax was the deciding issue that led to the loss of scores of Democrats.

Big Green is still pushing for a lame duck plan that slips Cap and Tax into the Senate energy bill, but faced with the blame for costing Democrats the House they’re now pushing a “Plan B” that avoids a vote on Cap and Tax entirely — simply having the EPA impose Cap and Tax as a new federal regulation.  They are already drawing up the regulations, and it’s simply a matter of when they pull the trigger.

Only one thing can stop them, ATP’s proposed legislation stripping federal agencies of the authority to impose regulations that have a fiscal impact over a certain threshold. This “No Regulation Without Representation” stops the EPA cold.

Can you help us make that possible by clicking here or go to https://secure.westerntradition.org to rush me your best gift of $35, $500, $100, $250, $500 or $1000?

A look at the election results

Posted on by Donald Ferguson

Dear friend,

Right now I’m sitting in a McDonald’s in Mesquite, Nevada looking at last night’s election results.  I didn’t get to bed until 4:00 a.m. this morning, so I haven’t had time to look at the full slate of races in Congress and state legislatures.

Many candidates who opposed ObamaCare won, but many lost.  Many candidates who opposed “stimulus” won, but many lost.

But one thing is perfectly clear — last night was a massacre for candidates who were backed by Big Green.

In Congress, Cap and Traitors like Betsy Markey, Harry Teague, Tom Perreillo, Frank Kratovil, Paul Kanjorski, Baron Hill, Carol Shea-Porter, Ron Klein, Phil Hare, etc. were destroyed.  Virtually every candidate listed in our website, http://capandtraitors.org went down to defeat.

Big Green didn’t fare much better at the state level.  Montana, for example, looks to be a killing field for radical environmentalists.  It’s amazing that in a state where Big Green controlled everything, a League of Conservation Voters endorsement is now like tying a steak around your neck and jumping into a bear pit.

Apparently, nothing marked a politician for political death last night quite like voting with Big Green.

But it wasn’t a total rout.  Harry Reid’s union boss controllers delivered the race to him — and he has vowed to impose Cap and Tax on Americans in the lame duck session.  Obama and his allies still control Congress until January, and with the elections behind them many politicians no longer fear voters — and others will be looking for revenge.  And in Obama’s press conference today he flatly stated he wasn’t going to back off on his radical agenda.

Last night it appears radical environmentalism was even more poisonous than ObamaCare or “stimulus,” but Obama and Big Green are willing to use even more of their puppet politicians as cannon fodder — because they know they can still win Cap and Tax.  I’ll keep you up-to-date on ATP’s final battle of 2010 — stopping Big Green’s well-crafted plans to pass Cap and Tax during the lame duck session.

Thank you for your friendship and support.


Donald Ferguson, Executive Director