While EPA is furloughed, Republicans hold hearing to bash it
You would think that the Republicans in Congress would dedicate every waking minute to figuring out how they can end the budget standoff and government shutdown. But, then, you don’t think like a Republican in Congress.
Last Thursday, while 94 percent of the EPA was furloughed and the country continued edging ever closer to a debt default, House Republicans dillydallied with an EPA-bashing hearing that repeated worn-out talking points.
The name of the hearing offered clues to its content: EPA vs. American Mining Jobs: The Obama Administration’s Regulatory Assault on the Economy. And the opening statement [PDF] by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), chair of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, did not deviate from the predictable course:
The Obama Administration’s “war on coal” can be felt throughout the country, from Logan County, West Virginia to Farmington, New Mexico. Now it has seemingly expanded to an all out “war on mining jobs” threatening workers from Chicken, Alaska to Superior, Arizona.
The Natural Resources Defense Council has more on the hearing:
Three of the four witnesses chosen to testify expounded on the Obama Administration EPA’s “burdensome red-tape, onerous federal regulations, and abusive actions” — Edmond Fogels, Deputy Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Sheldon Maier, President of the Fortymile Mining District in Alaska, and Chris Hamilton, Senior Vice President of the West Virginia Coal Association. Norman Van Vactor, CEO of the Bristol Bay Economic Development Corporation, was the sole witness who voiced support for the agency that works hard every day to implement the laws and regulations that protect our public health and natural resources.
So, while global economic leaders warn that deadlock over the debt ceiling threatens not just America’s economy but the world’s, Republicans are accusing the EPA of ruining the economy. That’s some gall.