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Business Review Board / May 14, 2016

Rules, Rules and More Rules to Combat Climate Change

This new rule came out on the day ObamaCare lost in court.

EPA head Gina McCarthy announced first-ever standards to reduce the amount of methane the oil and gas industry releases into the air. The announcement this week was days away from a supposed mid-May deadline to pass rules for the Obama administration, one last-ditch attempt to slow the economy down. The rules are yet another push by the Obama administration to further cement its climate change fighting chops — in other words, expand federal control. In her announcement, McCarthy claimed the rules are supposedly to help make the oil and gas industries safer, but that’s a transparent attempt to make the regs easier to stomach. Kyle Isakower, a vice president of policy at the American Petroleum Institute, said, “The industry is already leading the way on methane reductions, because it is good for the environment and good for business. Imposing a one-size-fits-all scheme on the industry could actually stifle innovation and discourage investments in new technologies that could serve to further reduce emissions.” But Obama is living out the twilight of his time in the White House, so what’s he got to lose?

Speaking of losing, this new rule came out on the day ObamaCare lost a big court battle. Lose one battle, begin another one, Obama says. Toss down a pile of regulation and let the bureaucrats in Washington sort it out. Maybe some of it will survive challenges in court. It’s a terribly cynical way of “fundamentally transforming America.”

Speaking of energy, the Senate passed its first normal appropriations bill since 2009 — funding energy and water development. But it’s not a conservative bill. Being generous, the Senate gave $261 million more than what the Obama administration asked. Hello, fiscal conservatism?

(Edited.)

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