According to a Washington Examiner that cites an anonymous source inside the US Environmental Protection Agency, Obama’s EPA is finalizing major anti-coal regulations to be released post-election at the end of November.
Specifically, the paper says, more than 50 EPA staffers are finishing greenhouse gas emission standards that will, for all intents and purposes, prohibit construction of coal-fired power facilities.
It is the first time, the source adds, that this level of EPA resources has been focused on a single regulation.
Estimates from the independent, non-partisan Manhattan Institute are that the federal environmental agency’s greenhouse gas coal outlines will carry a $US700 billion price tag for the US economy. The report called the move a “major sign of panic” for the administration’s environmentalists.
The crux of the problem is that the laws could possibly see the light of day regardless of who emerges victorious in the November 6 elections. Of course, the EPA will have four full years to implement the latest anti-fossil fuel plan should Obama win re-election.
However, should Romney become the next US president, the EPA’s opportunity to enact the regulations will be very small and cause the agency to select a few regulations that would be hard for the new commander in chief to reverse.
As the Examiner report asks: what is the point of the last-minute haste? It has already worked – as recently as two administrations ago.
In fact, the EPA did the same thing in 2000, when the exiting Clinton administration released a finding just before Election Day that mercury emissions from power plants were a growing public health threat.
While the finding did not regulate power plants itself, the Bush administration subsequently opened a lengthy regulatory process to review it.
The Obama EPA, the report says, has estimated the economic cost of this regulation alone at $10.9 billion annually.
The Examiner asks Mitt Romney’s campaign what will happen if he wins the election and the regulations are sent through during the transition time.
“President Obama won’t tell the voters of the Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania the truth about his plans to shut down the coal industry,” campaign spokesman Ryan Williams tells the report’s author.