The Edmond Sun

Opinion

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 (www.ocpathink.org), a free-market think tank. Jonathan, his wife Kristina and their four daughters live in Edmond.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at www.edmondsun.com show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • 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

Poll

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

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results