Some things defy reasonable explanation. In the vernacular from the Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas region, that means some things just don’t make sense. Such is the case with the latest from the wonderful government agency charged with making sure you and I do not kill our planet with pollution. I really thought they could get no worse than trying to regulate runoff water from rainfall or bovine flatulence, but the EPA may have just outdone themselves. They are accusing Texas of polluting Illinois. Go figure that one out. Now that you have picked your jaw up off the floor, let us examine, as best we can, this latest batch of stupidity from the halls of big government.
The EPA has the authority, as granted to them by their own rulings and upheld by the Supreme Court, to regulate cross-state pollution. I suppose I can understand this, to a certain degree. In recent years, there was a court battle between Arkansas and Oklahoma, wherein it was asserted that pollution from chicken and hog farmers was getting into the Illinois River and crossing from Arkansas to Oklahoma. That makes sense, given the way the river flows. But blaming Texas for pollution in Illinois really stretches the boundaries of common sense.
Human Events – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is blaming power plants in Texas for Illinois air pollution and is using the accusation to justify restrictions on Texas power plants. EPA claims its cross-state pollution rule, intended to protect communities in one state from pollution drifting from other states, justifies placing restrictions on Texas power plants EPA claims are polluting Granite City, Illinois.
EPA’s assertion Texas power plants are causing Illinois pollution raised eyebrows for several reasons. Granite City is approximately 500 miles from the Texas border and even farther away from Lone Star State major metropolitan regions. Granite City is northeast of Texas, with prevailing winds rarely trekking in that direction from Texas. In addition, a local steel mill, which has been an important source of the town’s prosperity since the 1890s, has long been recognized as a primary source of air pollution in Granite City.
EPA, however, claims it has devised computer models that indicate some sulfur dioxide from Texas power plants may reach Granite City, which has a population of 30,000.
“Texas was only included in portions of the rule based on the projected impact on a single county in Illinois. And the air quality monitor in Illinois which EPA claims had the fingerprints of Texas pollution on it was located right next to a smelter. On this thin legal reed the EPA is imposing restrictions on Texas several times as severe as states with much more significant interstate pollution problems,” said Kathleen White, director of the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) agreed, saying EPA failed to account properly for the steel mill’s influence on Granite City’s air pollution. Of the three air pollution monitors in the town and surrounding Madison County, the only one allegedly linked to Texas is the one downwind of the steel mill.
Even if the appellate court finds Texas does contribute to Granite City’s air problem, the TCEQ says EPA is requiring emissions cuts significantly greater than the state’s contribution to the pollution problems.
Remember when I stated this makes no common sense? Well, it makes perfect sense in the eyes of the EPA. If you consider President Obama’s plan to bankrupt the coal industry, you will realize exactly what the EPA is doing. Following Obama’s game plan, they are working towards a single goal; to make certain kinds of energy so expensive that they are not affordable. They want to make what they consider dirty energy so expensive that the plants producing it will have to comply with costly regulations or shut completely down. That is their ultimate goal and when you take that into consideration, you will realize how it all comes together.
There is one thing to remember about the liberal agenda, of which the EPA plays an important part. They are patient and have a single-minded purpose. When they set their eyes on a particular goal, they seldom deviate from that goal. Look back at the past several years and you will see how this all plays a part in directing America towards the goal of destroying conventional energy sources, in favor of clean energy. Clean energy that is expensive and does not fit the needs of many Americans. But, the EPA doesn’t care about that. They know what is best for us, whether we like it or not. So, Texas, you had better shape up and stop polluting Illinois. The sheriffs at the EPA are on their way.