President Sets Sights on Re-election

by Myron Ebell on May 21, 2011

in Blog, Features

Post image for President Sets Sights on Re-election

The 2012 presidential election is starting to bend some of the Obama Administration’s environmental and energy policies.  I have noted previously that the White House realizes that gas prices are a huge threat to President Barack Obama’s re-election.  Consequently, the President is trying to shift the blame to oil companies and speculators while at the same time talking up what his Administration is doing to increase domestic oil production.  The reality, of course, is that the Obama Administration has moved across the board to decrease oil production in federal lands and offshore areas.

Another sign of the Administration’s focus on the President’s re-election is that the Environmental Protection Agency has suddenly started paying attention to the concerns of industry.  The timetables for new regulations of coal ash disposal and of surface coal mining in Appalachia have been extended.  EPA announced last week that it was reconsidering, but not delaying, some parts of its new Clean Air Act rule for cement plants.  This week EPA suspended indefinitely a similar rule for industrial boilers that it had promulgated in February.  EPA said that it will conduct more analyses and re-open the public comment period for the boiler rule.

EPA is also considering acceding to requests from Congress and electric utilities to extend the public comment period for its proposed Clean Air Act rule for coal-fired power plants. A good excuse for extending the comment period is that a simple mathematical error in EPA’s calculations has been pointed out by the Utility Air Regulatory Group, a utility industry coalition.

The boiler MACT (which stands for Maximum Achievable Control Technology), cement MACT, and utility MACT rules would limit air emissions of mercury and approximately 70 other metals and other substances.  The delays in finalizing and implementing these three rules may postpone the considerable economic damage that each of them will do until after the election.  Environmental pressure groups are naturally not happy with anything that delays shutting down the U. S. economy, but there are rumors that they have been told by the White House to shut up until after the election.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: