December 8, 2014

Fossil-Fuel Lobbyists, Bolstered By GOP Wins, Work To Curb Environmental Rules

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December 7, 2014 | The Washington Post | Tom Hamburger

The war against the Obama Administration’s perceived green agenda has begun, and the biggest target for conservatives is the Environmental Protection Agency itself. On the heels of a recently published NYT review of state Attorneys General and their ties to the energy industry, the Washington Post reports on a concerted and coordinated effort by lobbyists to curtail, impede and rescind the Obama Administration’s environmental agenda.

The Post reports that, at a recent meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative group that pushes legislative action on the state level, oil and gas industry lobbyists met with state legislators to draft a strategy to stall or block EPA rules to clean up the nation’s air and reduce carbon emissions.

There is widespread anger at the EPA among conservative legislators, including Matt Mead, the Governor of Wyoming. The incoming chairman of the Senate Environmental and Public Works committee, Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-OK) recently sent a letter to the Obama Administration demanding that the EPA withdraw it’s new regulation aimed at power-plant emissions. Inhofe is a prominent climate change denier. Environmentalists are concerned that if the tactics for delay are successful, and new carbon regulations are put on hold, a Republican president could eventually reverse the limits.

A broader agenda at the ALEC conference was evident in various proposals that would shift environmental policy away from the federal government and back to the states. An ALEC “working group” was formed after the conference to look at ways state legislators could support replacing the EPA.

Inside Energy will be reporting on this battle in a series of stories over the next few weeks, including one that looks specifically at Wyoming’s long-standing conflict with the federal agency.