Environmental Protection Agency
The GOP's Anti-EPA Campaign vs. Public Opinion
February 17, 2011
House Republicans have voted to slash 80% of the budget from the E.P.A. department collecting emissions data from corporations: House lawmakers voted Wednesday evening to drastically reduce the budget of an Environmental Protection Agency program that collects data on greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S.
Show Me the Money
February 15, 2011
President Obama’s 2012 budget contains an impressive array of spending cuts: Pell Grants, EPA state water infrastructure programs, and housing for the elderly, just to name a few. I, like many other writers at TNR, am unhappy with some of these cuts. Deep cuts were probably inevitable, given the professed determination to balance budgets. But these cuts would have been more tolerable had the Obama administration put an equal emphasis on increasing revenues. Thatt’s not to say that Obama didn’t try at all—he clearly did.
Is This What The Climate-Change Debate Has Come To?
February 10, 2011
Spend enough time listening to doubters and deniers of climate science speak, and you start to recognize certain familiar tics and tropes. There's the personal conversion story, for one. The skeptic explains how, once upon a time, he, too, blindly accepted everything climatologists have to say about how human activity is heating the planet.
No Love Gained
January 27, 2011
Cliff Stearns wanted answers. Just not, mind you, complicated answers. Stearns, the Florida Republican who now chairs the House energy and commerce oversight subcommittee, decided to hold a hearing Wednesday on Barack Obama’s promise to snip away outdated federal regulations. In theory, Stearns had the ideal witness: Cass Sunstein, the White House’s "regulatory czar," who, in his past life as a law professor (and frequent TNR contributor), seemed like he published a new book on subjects like cost-benefit analysis every few months.
January 25, 2011
In tonight's State of the Union, President Obama will propose to freeze discretionary, non-defense spending at current levels for five years. I believe ABC News' Jake Tapper was the first to report the story. Administration officials are now confirming it, via statements like this: As a down payment toward reducing the deficit, the President is calling for a five-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending. In areas outside the freeze, we also will be looking for cuts and efficiencies.
Obama’s Cost-Benefit Revolution
January 22, 2011
Tuesday, the president issued a new executive order on cost-benefit analysis and regulation. Already, the right has denounced it as a paean to collectivism and the left has declared that Obama has sold out to business groups. In fact, both sides are incorrect. The surprising reality is that cost-benefit analysis, as it will likely be practiced under the Obama administration, is not nearly as threatening as its detractors suggest. Then again, neither is it as revolutionary as its supporters like to imagine. Long ago, cost-benefit analysis was a rallying cry for conservatives.
Obama's Review of Regulations: Useful, But Not in the Way He Intends
January 20, 2011
[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:] On one level, it’s hard not to see the regulatory review Barack Obama announced this week as a bit of a stunt. The idea, after all, isn’t to revisit the regulations his administration has supported in areas like health care, finance, or the environment. (Not something I’d like to see, to be sure.) The idea is to root out regulations from earlier eras that have either outlived their usefulness or contradict one another. This is all perfectly fine, and it could be effective politically.
Who Opposes Carbon Regulation?
January 14, 2011
One of the biggest fights in Congress this term will center around preventing the Environmental protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions through the Clean Air Act. Energy lobbyists sound confident: At least 56 senators — just four short of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster — will most likely support measures to hamstring climate rules, and an additional eight votes may be in play this Congress, a POLITICO analysis shows. Any congressional attempt to limit regulatory authority is always difficult to achieve, an industry lobbyist told POLITICO.
Get Used To It
January 06, 2011
We’ve all heard that Democrats are in for a very difficult two years. The new GOP majority in the House of Representatives will wage a campaign to disable health reform, financial regulation, and the EPA; stonewall executive and judicial appointments; slash nondefense discretionary spending (thus undermining the economic recovery); gut Social Security and Medicare; and launch investigations into every possible White House indiscretion—potentially leading to a vote for impeachment.
Is The EPA Ignoring Congress with Its Climate Rules?
December 27, 2010
Last week, shortly before Christmas, the EPA posted a quick item on its website announcing a timetable for new climate regulations on power plants and petroleum refineries. This, in turn, provoked all sorts of outrage and confusion. Industry lobbyists blasted the move. James Inhofe predicted Armageddon and pledged to do whatever it took to thwart the agency. And some commenters framed this as a fresh power grab by the Obama administration. What was harder to find, though, was an explanation of what the EPA was actually doing. So let's roll tape.