The Edmond Sun


June 30, 2014

EPA positioning as assailant

EDMOND — At least since the beginning of the millennium, the assaults by the federal government on freedom and opportunity are relentless. Multiple billion and even trillion dollar deficits, unaccountable expansions of Medicare and Medicaid, creation of new entitlements, expansive growth of federal agencies, growth of the surveillance state, the IRS’ targeting of US citizens, over-criminalization and so many other actions stalk us all.

With all of the various scandals, it’s no surprise that many may be distracted from an ever-growing assailant on all families’ budgets, the Environmental Protection Agency. During the past few months, recent court decisions have resulted in the guaranty that all will pay more for electricity, all due to the EPA’s religious devotion to reduce emissions and climate change.

For example, the US Supreme Court refused to review a case where Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt and Oklahoma Gas and Electric Company tried unsuccessfully to challenge the EPA’s plan for reducing regional haze. In keeping with President Barack Obama’s promise to make electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket,” his EPA is insisting that OGE make massive and costly capital investments installing coal scrubbers at two plants instead of allowing OGE to utilize a form of cleaner burning coal. OGE has rightly noted that these changes insisted on by the EPA will cost more than $1 billion and much of it will be borne by utility customers. Given Edmond Electric’s participation in this area, utility cost increases are coming to Oklahomans, including Edmond residents.

In another decision released this week by the Supreme Court, the court granted the EPA most of the latitude it wanted in regulating the emissions of many existing facilities. The court issued a warning, cautioning the EPA against expanding its attempts to regulate whatever the EPA deems to cause global warning but its decision will allow the EPA to practice significantly its climate change religion.

Utility costs have real impacts on family budgets. What’s sad is that the proposed changes by the EPA although ideologically driven and significantly costly to families, lack a basis in sound science and the reality that the earth is actually cooling. Previous climate change zealots and their models predicting doom and gloom have failed miserably.

But this latest assault by the EPA is a valuable lesson for Oklahoma policymakers and the electorate. Decades ago, states began taking money from the federal government, blindly implementing federal programs and mandates, thus giving up the ability for states to resist bad federal policy and force the federal government to enter states which the federal government is not sufficiently staffed, designed or positioned to do. A great example of states declining the federal government’s offer of funds to implement its bad policy is the number of states that have declined the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. This decision by states to decline the ACA’s Medicaid expansion has saved their state budgets the fiscal pressure, ballooning enrollments and pour outcomes now happening in many states which expanded Medicaid as allowed by the ACA. The greatest way to stop the wild expansion and overreach of the federal government is for state lawmakers to stop taking more federal funds for more federal programs.

It’s clear: The EPA is positioning itself as a chief assailant on the budgets of millions of families across the United States. AG Pruitt is to be commended for leading the effort to challenge the EPA whenever possible. One can only hope that other states’ attorneys general and federal lawmakers join the efforts of AG Pruitt and Oklahoma’s congressional delegation in fighting back against the EPA and its assault on family budgets and freedom.

JONATHAN SMALL, a certified public accountant, is vice president for policy at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (, a free-market think tank. Jonathan, his wife Kristina and their four daughters live in Edmond.

Text Only
  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

  • Remembering lessons from 1974

    This week marks the 40th anniversary of an important milestone in America’s constitutional history. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court voted 8-0 to order the Nixon White House to turn over audiotapes that would prove the president and his close aides were guilty of criminal violations. This ruling established with crystal clarity that the executive branch could not hide behind the shield of executive privilege to protect itself from the consequences of illegal behavior. It was a triumph for the continued vitality of our constitutional form of government.

    July 25, 2014

  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    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.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    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

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    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


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

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
     View Results