Bingman presses challenge to EPA regulations

Recent efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate new air quality regulations in Oklahoma will kill jobs and competitiveness if not aggressively challenged at every turn, according to Senate President Pro-Tempore Brian Bingman, a Sapulpa Republican.

S.C.R. 13, which Bingman authored with state Representative John Trebilcock, R- a Broken Arrow Republican, was approved by the senate today (Wednesday, April 20). It asks Congress to prohibit the EPA “by any means necessary” from regulating green house gas emissions.
“Let me state emphatically that we want to protect and maintain our clean air and environmental health,” said Bingman, “but EPA regulations are a train wreck of overlapping requirements that will cause more harm than good.”
S.C.R. 13 calls on congress to prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions including, if necessary, de-funding EPA greenhouse gas regulatory activities. Additionally, it asks that a moratorium be placed on new regulations.
“At this time the main goal of government should be to avoid worthless regulations that harm job growth and promote economic recovery, not create new regulations that are designed to replace unpopular Cap and Trade legislation,” stated Bingman.
S.C.R. 13 requires the EPA to provide a cost-benefit analysis to specify how much the regulations are affecting America’s economy and overall economic competitiveness.
“Oklahoma’s economy is doing well in this recession but it is still fragile and I cannot stand by while the federal government imposes harmful regulations on the state that will hurt its citizens.”
State Attorney General Scott Pruitt is also a passionate critic of the EPA’s haze declaration. Last month in a statement to CapitolBeatOK, he said,
“The State Implementation Plan was a thoughtful and well-crafted plan that will achieve greater visibility within the timeline than was mandated by the Regional Haze rule.
“The action taken … by the EPA inappropriately usurps the state’s authority to dictate our own energy and environmental policies.  The appropriate stakeholders to address Oklahoma’s energy and environmental needs are Oklahoma’s citizens, energy producers, industry consumers and policymakers.
“Let the EPA be put on notice, as Attorney General, I plan to do all that I can to protect and preserve the state’s authority and responsibility under the Clean Air Act to craft and implement solutions for our state.”
When the new federal EPA mandate was issued last month, U.S. Rep. James Lankford of Oklahoma City described the new regulations as “irrational and costly environmental standards from the federal government.”
In his statement provided to CapitolBeatOK, Lankford said, “It’s frustrating that at a time when our economy is still struggling to pick up steam, the EPA keeps up their unabated campaign against proven, traditional energy producers.
“Families across the state and the country are already finding it difficult to make ends meet each month, and now their budget will be hit with a dramatic spike in utility costs to comply with these regulations. It is estimated that this latest ruling could total $1 billion in higher prices meaning thousands of dollars passed on to Oklahoma households.
 “This assumption that only bureaucrats in Washington care about air and water quality is thoroughly false and arrogant. No one cares more about clean air and water in Oklahoma than Oklahomans. Our state officials produced a plan that takes serious steps to address environmental problems while not damaging economic growth. The EPA’s rejection of these state-based initiatives implies that the federal government values Oklahoma better than those who have lived and worked here their entire lives.
“I will continue to work with our state to push back on the EPA’s regulatory overreach and call on them to supply reliable data to support this irresponsibly-crafted unfunded mandate. Our families shouldn’t have to pay the price for the EPA’s costly and misguided policy initiatives.”
Note: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.