Susan Brown's column is nationally syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. E-mail her at email@example.com.
An eleventh-hour ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. to delay an Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, saved the day for Americans who are doing their best to make ends meet in this struggling economy and cannot afford higher electricity bills.
The cost of CSAPR is extremely high, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which released a Dec. 31 statement, claiming, had the ruling not been blocked, CSAPR combined with other current and pending EPA regulations, would have raised consumers' electricity bills and jeopardized up to 1.6 million jobs –– at a consumer cost of nearly $21 billion annually.
Very much like the administration's "jobs saved or created" verbiage, the administration makes "lives saved" or illnesses "prevented" claims on its EPA web site. One can make a case for anything until, over time, facts prevail.
The delay buys Americans some time, and one can only hope it is enough time to get a new president in office to change the atmosphere in Washington.
After all, don't we have more pressing matters to attend to? Iran's recent threat to seal off the Strait of Hormuz could, in effect, interrupt the shipment of nearly one-fifth of the world's oil supply.
And while Iran's threat will likely remain just that, there is no time like the present to ratchet up domestic oil drilling and explore cleaner ways to produce energy from our own natural resources.
But it won't happen on Obama's watch. Nor will it happen until the EPA's power is either reduced or nullified altogether. The Gulf Oil spill was a dream-come-true for many, in that the crisis gave the administration an excuse to tighten regulations and put a choke-hold on future production.
There is no doubt that, when it comes to matters that truly matter to him, President Obama is an uncompromising ideologue. I recall no one, save a minute percentage of Americans, who wanted Obamacare, but we got it anyway –– because the Democratic-controlled Congress handed it to him on a silver platter. Not to mention the Stimulus plan and the government takeover of banks and the automobile industry.
He promised "fundamental change" and he meant what he said.
And here we stand at the precipice of what could become a real energy crisis, and we have an ideologue at the helm and an EPA on steroids. Consider the words spoken to the Governor's Ethanol Coalition in 2006, when then-Senator Obama said "...for all of our military might and economic dominance, the Achilles heel of the most powerful country on Earth is the oil we cannot live without."
There is a lot of truth to Obama's statement, and it would be one of those seminal moments if followed up by an inspirational call to sensible action. But most understand that the green energy movement is not a call to sensible action, but rather to irrational policies and irresponsible spending at our expense. Think: Solyndra.
Liberals love to argue that Republicans are anti-environmentalists who are in bed with the oil industry. Not true; they instead typically provide a more measured response to issues. In the case of this ruling, the GOP looked out for "the folks." In a Dec. 31, 2011 press release, House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said there must be "a more sensible approach to regulations" to make rules "achievable in the real world."
Attorney General Pam Bondi (R-Fla.) concurred in a similar press release saying, "We cannot allow Floridians, many of whom are already suffering financial hardships, to bear the brunt of costly federal regulations."
In stark contrast, an empty Air Force One touched down in Hawaii the other day, and then the President stepped out. This man, who is more in love with his self-image than America, and more occupied with his re-election campaign than the health of our republic, is chronically AWOL when it comes to doing the right thing by the American people, and in particular, repressive EPA regulations.
Susan Stamper Brown is an opinion page columnist, motivational speaker and military advocate who writes about politics, the military, the economy and culture. Reach Susan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.