The Edmond Sun

Opinion

May 9, 2014

San Jose Mercury News: EPA can legally fight climate change

SAN JOSE — The Supreme Court decision handing the Environmental Protection Agency an important clean air victory Tuesday was refreshing in every sense of the word.

The court’s 6-2 ruling upheld the EPA’s authority to limit power-plant emissions that blow across state lines. It’s a crucial step forward for President Barack Obama’s effort to improve the air quality of states downwind from polluting coal-fired plants.

Better still, the ruling sets the stage for the EPA’s new climate change regulations, which are expected to be released in June.

Critics argue that the rules will be just one more attempt to reduce the nation’s reliance on its 600 coal-fired power plants. They’re right. The sooner the better.

Power plants estimate the costs of implementing the EPA rule at about $800 million a year. But emissions from burning coal force states to spend tens of billions of dollars every year in health and environmental costs.

The court’s ruling, in effect, says power plants in 28 states in the East, Midwest and South have a responsibility to reduce the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide pollution that goes into the air and drifts to other states.

Downwind cities and states have argued for years that pollution from coal-fired plants outside their jurisdictions has prevented them from meeting air pollution standards. The court validated this claim, laying to rest the contention that the EPA had placed an unfair economic burden on polluters.

Coal-fired plants are the single largest source of the nation’s carbon emissions, responsible for about 40 percent of the total.

The president ordered the EPA last year to issue new regulations to fight global warming this June. He has confidence that this nation’s innovators can find ways to make cleaner, renewable sources of energy more practical and affordable, and so do we. The Supreme Court ruling provides the legal backing needed to move forward.

The EPA is expected to direct states to craft their own plans for meeting clean air standards. That could include reducing energy demand by requiring greener buildings and implementing more cap and trade programs like California’s. And thanks to the court, the EPA and downwind states will have leverage to force power plants to take responsibility for their emissions.

President Obama recognizes the obligation to fight global warming for the sake of future generations — and perhaps even our own: The latest peril disclosed this week is growing acidity in the world’s oceans, harming sea creatures in a food chain.

The fear has been that a divided Congress and a right-leaning Supreme Court would prevent the president and the EPA from acting to curb pollution. The court laid that notion to rest Tuesday. Now it’s up to the EPA to set effective regulations that spur innovation to meet our energy needs without destroying our world.

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Opinion
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    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
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    July 24, 2014

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    July 23, 2014

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    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

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    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

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    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
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