Consumer think tank The Heartland Institute has collected more than 15,000 signatures on a petition demanding Congress rein in a “rogue” Environmental Protection Agency, which the group says spends billions on senseless regulations and compliance costs.
The petitions ask Congress to repeal EPA's authority to regulate carbon dioxide in the name of "global warming" and demand cost-benefit analysis be applied to all environmental regulations. It also insists EPA reform its "politicized and unreliable scientific research program and return to sound science and common sense."
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., and the Institute will present the petitions to Congress on Tuesday.
The Heartland Institute says the EPA, which was created in 1970 to protect the air, land, and waterways of the U.S. from harmful pollution, is doing its job of promoting a cleaner environment. But, it says also, EPA has become a "rogue agency grasping for ever-more illegitimate power that does little or nothing to protect the environment."
In 2012, the EPA spent approximately $9 billion imposing regulations. The Heartland Institute says compliance with its unnecessary rules cost hundreds of billions of dollars more, and "today's EPA bureaucrats spend their time and our money imposing regulations that destroy jobs, cut off America's vast energy resources from exploration, harm our economy, and suppress freedom and property rights," the group says.
"The toll our EPA is taking on the country is staggering, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work at a time when millions of people are unemployed and our reliance on foreign sources of energy threatens to compromise the nation's security. More than 15,000 Americans have signed a petition demanding Congress rein in this rogue agency," says Joseph Bast, president of The Heartland Institute.
Dr. Jay Lehr, science director of The Heartland Institute said EPA's budget could be cut by 80% or more without endangering the environment or human health.
"Most of what EPA does today could be done better by state government agencies, many of which didn't exist or had much less expertise back in 1970, when EPA was created," Lehr says.
See a copy of the petition here.
Check out Farm Futures blogger Gary Baise's entry this month for an interesting opinion on the EPA: Defending Agriculture: A Post Election Warning