Barrasso: Ozone regulation proves president obama is still focused on the wrong problem
December 5, 2014
U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) spoke out Dec. 2, against President Obama's recently proposed ozone regulation that will put more Americans out of work and make it even harder for our economy to grow.
Excerpts of his remarks:
"Last Wednesday Americans all across the country were preparing for Thanksgiving.
"They were traveling, many of them going to visit friends and family, places around their communities, their state, or their country.
"So what did the Obama Administration do, when it thought nobody was actually paying attention?
"It snuck out a huge new regulation that imposes job-crushing environmental restrictions.
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"'Politico' ran an article of it later that day.
"The headline was 'The Most Expensive Regulation Ever'.
"'Obama rolls out a major E.P.A. Rule'.
"Why would the president do that?
"Why would he put out a major rule from the Environmental Protection Agency affecting millions of Americans – and do it right before a holiday?
"If these regulations are such a good idea, you would think that the Administration would put it out in a way that people would be paying attention.
"I want to know why the Administration did this in a way to hide the regulations from the American people.
"Well, president Obama actually didn't say a word about it that day.
"Instead – he pardoned a Turkey.
"The turkey got a better deal than the American people did last week.
"They're the ones who are going to be paying for the president's expensive and destructive regulation.
"Here's what's happening.
"The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a new rule that would dramatically slash the limits of ground-level ozone.
"In 626 pages, then you add on the appendix, another over 500 additional pages in the appendix, so here's what the 'Wall Street journal' had to say about the new rule.
"They had an editorial on it Friday with a headline 'Highway to the danger ozone.'
"It says, 'like so many other such rules, this one twists decades old air pollution laws to restructure the U.S. energy industry and gradually ban fossil fired power.'
"So you have fossil fuel fired power gradually being banned as this Administration tries to restructure the U.S. Energy industry.
"It says coal is the first target, the article also adds but natural gas is next.
"The current limit on ozone is 75 parts per billion.
"The Environmental Protection Agency wants to cut that number down to 70 or 65 or 60 parts per billion.
"The Agency estimates the new rule could cost nearly $17 billion every year.
"$17 billion a year in costs.
"Most of the country would fail to meet Washington's tough new standards if they were in place today.
"As much as 95% of the country would be unable to comply with the new regulations if they go down to 60 parts per billion.
"States, counties, cities, they'd all have to curb their energy production and limit manufacturing, it would mean less economic growth, fewer people working, it would raise the cost of everyday living, it would destroy middle-class jobs.
"There's no question about it.
"This rule will undermine energy reliability, it will stall manufacturing investment, it will smother economic opportunity for middle-class families.
"It costs too much and there is very little benefit.
"It doesn't matter the extreme environmentalist wing of the Democratic party who support it.
"The Obama Administration is once again turning a deaf ear to the American people, people who want Washington to focus on jobs.
"That's what we saw in the election earlier this past month, the people of this country want the Administration to focus on jobs.
"The Administration claims that its tough new rule will lead to health benefits.
"What about the health damage done to people who lose their jobs because of the rule?
"In March of 2012, the Committee of Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety issued a report titled 'Red tape making Americans sick.' A new report on the health impacts of high unemployment.
"According to the testimony and scientific research reviewed by the Subcommittee, unemployment caused by excessive regulation, like the new ozone rule, increases the likelihood of hospital visits, illnesses and premature deaths.
"Well that raises health care costs.
"It hurts the health of children and the well-being of families.
"The Obama Administration doesn't want to hear it and certainly doesn't want to talk about it.
"Bipartisan majorities in Congress have rejected the president's energy policies.
"Senate Democrats wouldn't even bring up his cap-and-trade plan for a vote in this body.
"So what does the president do?
"Does he learn the lesson that the American people don't want his enormously expensive job-crushing policies?
"Does he listen to the voters in the most recent elections?
"People who sent a clear message that they weren't happy with the direction the country is headed.
"No, not president Obama.
"He goes ahead and does it anyway.
"People are concerned about jobs.
"They're concerned about the economy.
"The president is focused, though, on making it tougher for the private sector to create jobs and tougher for the economy to grow.
"He purposely is going around the American people and their representatives in Congress and taking this drastic step on his own.
"Because he knows even Democrats in Congress don't support him.
"So what do the Democrats who control the Senate right now going to do about it?
"If history is any indication, they're not going to do anything.
"Democrats in Congress are just going to roll over and accept another destructive policy by president Obama.
"That's what they did with the health care law, a terrible law.
"And Democrats in Congress pushed it through anyway because president Obama told them to do it.
"Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House at the time.
"She said, first you have to pass the bill before you get to find out what's in it.
"Well, now even Democrats are admitting it was a bad idea, as their learning more and more what was in this bill that they voted for.
"The senior senator from New York said the other day that the health care law 'wasn't the change we were hired to make.'
"He said, with the economy in bad shape, it was a focus on 'the wrong problem'.
"Now, that's from a senator who voted for the health care law.
"Today the senator is right when he says it was a focus on the wrong problem.
"With this new ozone regulation, the president is still focused on the wrong problem.
"He should still be looking for ways to grow America's economy, not ways to tie it up with more red tape.
"President Obama has made the wrong choice time and time again, adding more regulations, more rules, more bureaucracy.
"He continues to push extreme policies that he knows the American people reject.
"The president is using unelected and unaccountable czars to go around Congress and the public.
"His latest executive action show his presidency is failing and floundering.
"President Obama is not even waiting to try to work with Republican Congress when the Republicans take the majority in January.
"He's acting on his own right now
"In January, Republicans in Congress will listen to Americans and focus on the priorities of the American people.
"We will hold the Obama Administration accountable for its destructive overreach.
"We will listen to people struggling under Obama red tape and suffering because of it.
"We will do everything possible to stop this regulation and help Americans have better job opportunities in the future." F