Tag Archives: scott pruitt

Gov. Fallin: Oklahoma Will Not Pursue a State-Based Exchange or Medicaid Expansion

Press Release

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gov. Fallin: Oklahoma Will Not Pursue a State-Based Exchange or Medicaid Expansion

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today released the following statement announcing that Oklahoma will not pursue the creation of a state-based exchange or participate in the Medicaid expansion in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA):

“For the past few months, my staff and I have worked with other lawmakers, Oklahoma stakeholders and health care experts across the country to determine the best course of action for Oklahoma in regards to both the creation of a health insurance exchange and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Our priority has been to ascertain what can be done to increase quality and access to health care, contain costs, and do so without placing an undue burden on taxpayers or the state. As I have stated many times before, it is my firm belief that PPACA fails to further these goals, and will in fact decrease the quality of health care across the United States while contributing to the nation’s growing deficit crisis.

“Despite my ongoing opposition to the federal health care law, the state of Oklahoma is legally obligated to either build an exchange that is PPACA compliant and approved by the Obama Administration, or to default to an exchange run by the federal government. This choice has been forced on the people of Oklahoma by the Obama Administration in spite of the fact that voters have overwhelmingly expressed their opposition to the federal health care law through their support of State Question 756, a constitutional amendment prohibiting the implementation of key components of PPACA.

“After careful consideration, I have today informed U.S. Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius that Oklahoma will not pursue the creation of its own health insurance exchange. Any exchange that is PPACA compliant will necessarily be ‘state-run’ in name only and would require Oklahoma resources, staff and tax dollars to implement. It does not benefit Oklahoma taxpayers to actively support and fund a new government program that will ultimately be under the control of the federal government, that is opposed by a clear majority of Oklahomans, and that will further the implementation of a law that threatens to erode both the quality of American health care and the fiscal stability of the nation.

“Furthermore, I have also decided that Oklahoma will not be participating in the Obama Administration’s proposed expansion of Medicaid. Such an expansion would be unaffordable, costing the state of Oklahoma up to $475 million between now and 2020, with escalating annual expenses in subsequent years. It would also further Oklahoma’s reliance on federal money that may or may not be available in the future given the dire fiscal problems facing the federal government. On a state level, massive new costs associated with Medicaid expansion would require cuts to important government priorities such as education and public safety. Furthermore, the proposed Medicaid expansion offers no meaningful reform to a massive entitlement program already contributing to the out-of-control spending of the federal government.

“Moving forward, the state of Oklahoma will pursue two actions simultaneously. The first will be to continue our support for Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s ongoing legal challenge of PPACA. General Pruitt’s lawsuit raises different Constitutional questions than previous legal challenges, and both he and I remain optimistic that Oklahoma’s challenge can succeed.

“Our second and equally important task will be to pursue state-based solutions that improve health outcomes and contain costs for Oklahoma families. Serious reform, for instance, should be pursued in the area of Medicaid and public health, where effective chronic disease prevention and management programs could address the trend of skyrocketing medical bills linked to avoidable hospital and emergency room visits. I look forward to working with legislative leaders and lawmakers in both parties to pursue Oklahoma health care solutions for Oklahoma families.”

Oklahomans Getting Soaked! Tag Teamed by FEMA and OWRB

Kaye Beach

August 30, 2011

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God; and there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence.” —John Adams, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson. July 16, 1814

Last week I wrote about the stories of two Oklahoma residents, David McLain and Margaret Snow, and their  respective experiences with FEMA and the map modernization program (Map Mod) Margaret had no idea her property had been re-designated at all and David caught the FEMA/Oklahoma Water Resources Board in the act and challenged them.  His property remains safely listed as high and dry.    Margaret’s property (located no where near water and previously was classified as “up land”) remains in the newly designated flood zone and has subsequently lost about half of its value.

Map Mod have transitioned into what FEMA calls Risk Map.  The Risk Map program provides tools and incentives for communities to focus more on reducing risk which you can bet translates into more areas being required to pay for flood insurance and more areas where development is off limits or severely restricted.  You can check and see if your area has been remapped (DFIRM Digital Flood Insurance Map) by zip code at FEMA’s website

Why is this happening?   In a nutshell-the National Flood Insurance Program NFIP (administered by FEMA) is in debt to the tune of about 20 billion dollars due to Hurricane Katrina, Rita and other storms and FEMA is including property in flood zones that have no reason being there in order to gain funds  in order to pay this debt.  Property owners in certain flood zones are practically required to buy flood insurance.  If you have or want a loan backed by the federal government and your property is in a flood zone- you must buy flood insurance from FEMA.  Otherwise, many are being pressured to buy it.

FEMA was in  trouble before Katrina and Rita though.

After Katrina and Rita struck in 2005, the NFIP was more or less insolvent, without the capacity to pay the huge volume of claims those hurricanes created. Congress reacted by increasing the NFIP’s borrowing ability from the U.S. Treasury more than 13-fold, to a level of nearly $21 billion. link

FEMA Map Modernization Status OKLAHOMA

Here is a story published today about the National Flood Insurance Program’s insolvency;

Irene sends floundering flood insurance program further under water

Congress authorized FEMA to update the nation’s flood maps making them digital and other improvements however in 2006 FEMA issued a “mid course adjustment” which means FEMA basically said ‘Hey.  We are going to do this Map Modernization thing a little differently’  What they have done differently is causing lots of problems for property owners.

“In August and September 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused unprecedented destruction to property along the Gulf Coast, resulting in billions of dollars of damage claims to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” GAO 2006

About 2006 FEMA begins issuing flood zone maps with a whole lot of people and their property in it that are not historically or practically at risk for flooding.

The FEMA flood maps determine who must buy insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.  The money collected from the NFIP goes to paying off the FEMA administered NFIP’s debt.  You do the math.

It’s no secret anyways, FEMA freely admits that part of this new approach is prompted by the burden of debt carried from other disasters.

“The escalating cost of emergency relief aid has prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to focus its priorities toward mitigation. This is a dramatic shift from FEMA’s traditional charter of responding to disasters and being prepared to respond.” The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan

We are essentially being taxed to pay for other people’s losses.  The reason that this is considered necessary now is because “climate change” is a certainty and the federal government expects the unprecedented disasters of recent years to continue.  Redistribution of wealth  is the accepted manner in which to deal with these certainties reminiscent of the thinking behind nationalized health care.  This is also known as “legalized plunder“.

In Oklahoma, the Water Resources Board administers the NFIP for FEMA.

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) administers the NFIP in cooperation with FEMA and acts as the State Floodplain Board. The Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act requires the OWRB to establish regulations to assist floodplain boards in mapping floodplains and 100-year flood elevations in Oklahoma. link

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board is in charge of all Flood Plain Management as authorized by the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act.(Title 82, O. S. 2001, §1601-1618)

All NFIP participating communities must have a floodplain management plan which follows the dictates of FEMA.

“The Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act, effective May 13, 1980, and revised and updated in 2001, 2002, and 2004, enables Oklahoma communities to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).” link

This means that if your community is participating in the NFIP, then your communities development must conform to FEMA’s regulations and land use policies

The federal government has no authority to control local land use policy but with the lure of federal funds and the threat of withholding federal funds in the event of a true disaster, FEMA wahoo’s your local government to do their bidding.

“Since the Federal Government does not have land use authority, the NFIP is based on the Federal government’s power to spend under the Constitution rather than any Federal authority to regulate land use.”

“Under the NFIP regulations, participating NFIP communities are required to regulate all development in SFHAs. [Special Flood Hazard Areas]”

National Flood Insurance Program

Similarly, the state passes the buck to it’s agencies to implement unpopular growth limitations on local development plans.  Water management agencies are empowered by the state to regulate population growth and development.

“The State of Oklahoma does not have adopted ordinances regulating areas of population growth or future development per se. Oklahoma agencies representing the state under authority granted to them by the legislation adopt rules/regulations regarding Storm Water Management or Stream Water Management”

The first thing you ought to know is that floodplain management is more about protecting the environment from you, than protecting you from the environment. (More about Sustainable Development here)  As we know, Oklahoma’s high percentage of private property ownership is considered to be contrary to sustainable development.  (Private Property Ownership in Oklahoma Barrier to Sustainable Development)

It has been this way for some time. As far back as 1996, floodplain management has incorporated conservation into its management duties.

OKLAHOMA’S COMPREHENSIVE WETLANDS CONSERVATION PLAN

“To integrate wetlands conservation with Oklahoma’s flood plain management program and create more wetland greenbelt/riparian areas.”

Oklahoma has a  “net gain” policy for state owned wetlands and a “no net loss” policy for “wetlands”on state funded projects.

“To establish a net gain wetlands policy for state-owned lands and a no net loss policy on state funded projects to encourage the restoration, enhancement, and creation of wetlands.”

Incorporating wetlands construction or enhancement in urban/suburban areas as part of greenbelts, riparian zones, parks, and stormwater management systems is encouraged.

http://www.okcc.state.ok.us/Publications/OK_Comprehensive_Wetlands_Conservation_Plan.pdf

Certified Floodplain Managers

Members of Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association have the acronym CFM by their names.  That means Certified Floodplain Manager.

So  when you see CFM by your floodplain managers’ name…

Members of Oklahoma Floodplain Managers Association:

Bill Smith, PE, CFM, Team Leader; Amy Brandley, CFM, Volunteers Coordinator. Team Captains: Phillip Beauchamp, CFM, Gavin Brady, CFM, Dan Carey, CFM, Jessica Yeager, CFM, Leslie Lewis,
CFM, Barend Meiling, PE, CFM, Omeed Mollaian, PE, CFM, Ken Morris, CFM, Bill Robison, PE, CFM, Carolyn Schultz, CFM, Ellen Stevens, PhD, PE, CFM, Ana Stagg, CFM, Laura Story, Anna Waggoner, CFM, Ruth Walters, CFM, Clark Williams, CFM link

. . .understand that CFM (Certified Floodplain Manager) means ASFPM certified floodplain manager.   And if your floodplain manager is ASFPM certified, you need to be checking your city ordinances for “No Adverse Impact” floodplain management techniques.

**Here is a list of all state Floodplain Managers.  Look for your county and see if they have a “CFM” by their name.**


If you want to know more about the role and duties of an Oklahoma Floodplain Manager-click the pic.

“The ASFPM CFM Program recognizes individuals who become certified, who pass the ASFPM exam, or an exam prepared ASFPM chapters that certify floodplain managers.” link

The National Association of Flood Plain Managers or ASFPM is a non-governmental organization (meaning unelected and not officially a part of government).   As with many non-government agencies, ASFPM seeks to be extremely influential in policy making.  It seems that they have met their goal.

ASFPM is part of a 6 NGO partnership that includes

•The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

•The Coastal States Organization (CSO), The National Association of Counties (NACo),

•the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) and

•The American Planning Association (APA).)

link

As I mentioned in my previous post—–The ASFPM has some very interesting new management techniques that really got my attention while researching water management issues a few months ago.  This new water management technique is called No Adverse Impact or NAI.

ASFPM says that NO ADVERSE IMPACT is “A New Direction in Floodplain Management Consistent with the Concept of Sustainable Development”

A new direction?

It is only as new as the 1987 Brundtland Report which is the basis for No Adverse Impact. (More about Sustainable Development here)

We all understand that we cannot do anything on or with our property (or our rights) that will harm the rights of another.

The No Adverse Impact approach begins with a solid and lawful premise, that our right to swing our fists stops where the nose of our neighbor begins, but then twists that premise by the manner in which what constitutes an adverse impact in determined.

“The No Adverse impact philosophy can shape the default management criteria: a community develops and adopts a comprehensive plan to manage development that identifies acceptable levels of impact, specifies appropriate measures to mitigate those adverse impacts, and establishes a plan for implementation.” link

So the community defines what constitutes an adverse impact and as we have seen time and again, the “community” is a group of people who are usually manipulated into “consensus” by community organizers to meet sustainable development goals.  But don’t be distracted from the truth.  No one, no group can define and thus take away your God given rights.  This is a dangerous road to travel and one that the Founders of this country explicitly avoided.  We are NOT a democracy.

It is often said that we are a nation of laws, not men.  This is what protects us from an arbitrary and capricious government.  Laws restrain men but in ASFPM’s view men should have the ability to restrain law.

This is the problem; what constitutes an “adverse impact” under ASFPM’s plan, is defined by the community not the law.

FEMA, the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and Oklahoma Floodplain Managers have adopted the ASFPM’s No Adverse Impact management technique and it is being implemented in this state to the detriment of Oklahoma land owners.

ASFPMA and FEMA-working ten regions

FEMA REGIONS

ASFPM’s Regions

The term favored by FEMA is “wise use” but you will also see “no adverse imapct” used as well.  Both share the same problem-who defines what “wise use” or “no adverse impact” means?

Now  “Hazard Mitigation”  for FEMA has broadened considerably and it dovetails nicely with conservation efforts.  Now it is all about prevention of future disasters.  One great way to prevent property losses is to makes sure there is no property to lose in the first place.

The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan 2011

“Property Acquisition -This is the State’s most favored, and usually most cost effective, voluntary option because the people and property are totally and permanently removed from the path of flooding and danger.” (page 39)

Oklahoma’s declares in the state’s  2011 Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan, that FEMA’s mission is our mission.

The FEMA mission is: “Reduce the loss of life and property and protect our institution from all hazards by leading and supporting the nation in a comprehensive, risk-based emergency management program of mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.”

The Oklahoma State Hazard Mitigation Plan was written following this same precept. FEMA programs were reviewed and were integrated with the state mitigation planning process. The State of Oklahoma Hazard Mitigation Planning process aligns exactly with FEMA programs (page 33)

This is because in order for Oklahoma to qualify for these federal program, the state must conform.

“This Plan [The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan]is designed to fulfill the requirementsof the following programs available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)”
♦ Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM);
♦ Post-disaster assistance through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP);
♦ Flood Mitigation Assistance Program (FMA),
♦ Community Rating System Floodplain Management Planning (CRS);
♦ Severe Repetitive Loss Program (SRL);
♦ Repetitive Flood Claims Program (RFC).

I wish I had good news for you new floodplain dwellers but I don’t .  Although the plan is technically voluntary, there is a catch or two.

“The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Participation in NFIP by municipalities, counties, and tribal organizations is voluntary” (2011 Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan)

If a community does not participate residents cannot get flood insurance and in the event a presidential disaster declaration is made, non participating communities will not be eligible for federal assistance. Source:About the National Flood Insurance Program: Community Participation

What makes it worse is that when a community agrees to participate in the NFIP they have to accept all of the regulations on development that FEMA imposes.  Those regulations are detrimental to property values.  Often property owners just give up in disgust and leave.  It is apparent that FEMA and those at the local level charged with implementing FEMA’s directives have  rolled sustainable development principles into hazard mitigation policy.

Planning for a Sustainable Future: The Link Between Hazard Mitigation and Livability” (FEMA 364) illustrates how communities, whether planning for hazard mitigation before a disaster or initiating recovery planning after a disaster, can integrate the concepts and principles of sustainable development into each phase of mitigation planning.  FEMA 364 also shows how disaster resistance can be a catalyst to help communities incorporate sustainable development practices into their day-to-day planning and development functions.

FEMA and the NFIP creating “Economic Dead Zones

“The National Flood Insurance Program is, in both its design and execution, the worst federal program that I have encountered in my time in the United States House of Representatives.
Once vibrant neighborhoods…in which flood insurance is mandated are effectively economic dead zones, because this program provides perverse disincentives to home ownership and to home improvement, which, over decades have effectively turned whole swaths of formerly vibrant urban neighborhoods into virtual ghost towns. …communities across America pay this mandatory flood tax and see no benefit…  —U.S. Representative Brian Higgins (D) New York, April 20, 2009 at a congressional hearing on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood map modernization program

If you want to know more, I recommend scanning over  The Oklahoma Standard Hazard Mitigation Plan 

It is a daunting read but I found the first several pages manages to encapsulate enough information to give a good idea of what is going on.  You can also search the document for key words like “FEMA”, “sustainable”, “all-hazards”, “land-use”, “relocation” or any other keyword that strikes your fancy.

For an excellent overview and more information on FEMA’s re-mapping efforts, see OK-SAFE’s recent newsletter

Has Your Non-flooding Property Been Re-Mapped as Flood Zone?

OK-SAFE advises;

If you have had your non-flooding property (in Oklahoma) designated as flood zone/flood plain by either the Oklahoma Water Resources Board and/or FEMA (or FIMA), the Attorney General of Oklahoma may be interested in your situation.

Two people have agreed to be the contact persons for this effort.  Please have your paperwork together and organized, including any notes you may have taken about your conversations with OWRB, FEMA, or city officials.  Get names, titles, and contact information from everyone you have spoken with regarding this flood zone designation.  Include any before and after property assessments you may have.

  1. Northeast Oklahoma contact: Margaret Snow, email: msnow14@netzero.net  - this area includes Washington County, Rogers, etc.
  2. Rest of Oklahoma: Keith Shankle, email: kshankle@gmail.com

This past Sunday I had the honor of visiting with Amanda Teegarden and Don Wyatt on their weekly internet radio program “America in the Balance” about this issue.

My advice; Ask questions, demand answers and know your rights!

Oklahoma vs the Green Giant

Kaye Beach

June 1, 2011

The Tulsa World reports today that AG Scott Pruitt sued the EPA saying that the agency improperly rejected Oklahoma’s plan to reduce emissions from three of the state’s coal-fired plants.

But a bigger fight is brewing.

Did we really think that Cap and Trade was dead?  Anyone following the course of policy making closely for the last several years has to have noticed that no matter what the states do, no matter what policies are blocked or killed or in the legislative process, no matter what, by hook or crook the fed gov will have it’s way.  Here is just one more example.

State sues EPA over regional haze plan

The Attorney General says that  “It is estimated the federal implementation plan the EPA is proposing for the state of Oklahoma could potentially cost the state $2 billion to $2.5 billion where we will be required to place scrubbers on every coal-fired plant in the state of Oklahoma,” Pruitt said. “If that occurs, our utility rates it is projected in the state of Oklahoma will go up 13 to 20 percent in a three-year period.”

The EPA wants these plants to switch to natural gas or install scrubbers in order to meet the Federal Clean Air Act requirements of a 95% reduction in sulfur dioxide emissions to reduce haze.

McAfee & Taft, an Oklahoma-based law firm has written a fairly short, easy to understand  article on the issue.

Oklahoma’s proposed regional haze
SIP revision rejected by EPA

McAfee & Taft notes that in February the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) submitted a revised state implementation plan (SIP) provisions  that would have allowed the plants to convert to natural gas so as to prevent  sulfur dioxide  emissions and say that this portion of Oklahoma’s proposal was rejected by the EPA in March when the agency decided to substitute its own federal implementation plan  that imposes limits on sulfur dioxide emissions from six Oklahoma sources.

The EPA’s Regional Haze Rule was issued in 1999 and it’s purpose is to improve visibility of the air over national parks.  It is not a health rule per se.

On May 23, 2011 The Sierra Club submitted their recommendations to the EPA on exactly how the state should go about meeting the Federal Implementation Plan.  The Sierra Clubs recommendations closely mirror the demands of the EPA.

The Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians (hereinafter “Sierra Club”) respectfully submit the following comments on the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or “USEPA”) regional haze Federal Implementation Plan (“FIP”) for the State of Oklahoma.

Sierra Club prepared these comments with technical expertise from Camille Sears, Paul Chernick of Resource Insight Inc. and John Plunkett of Green Energy Economics.

Read the Sierra Clubs recommendations

More Regulations ahead

McAfee & Taft writes;

However, while EPA’s rejection of Oklahoma’s regional haze SIP for SO2 has been quite controversial, EPA’s bases for rejecting this portion of the proposed SIP gets a bit lost in the upcoming rules that will significantly impact the utility industry.

Soon, in addition to EPA’s upcoming July 2, 2011, “Phase II” greenhouse gas permitting rules for major stationary sources, EPA will be implementing its “Clean Air Transport Rule” (replacing the remanded Clean Air Interstate Rule or CAIR), “Utility Boiler MACT” (replacing the previously vacated Clean Air Mercury Rule or CAMR), new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for SO2, as well as nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM2.5), and ozone, and also new water and waste rules impacting cooling water intake structures (CWA 216(b)) and coal ash disposal, respectively.

The Clean Air Act/Cap and trade and Global warming

Background

THE U.S. CLEAN Air Act (CAA) was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1963 and strengthened with amendments passed in 1970, 1977, and 1990.

A larger revision occurred with the CAA amendments of 1990. Most significantly, a new market-based cap-and-trade system was implemented as an approach for meeting air quality goals.read more

2007-In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the gases that cause global warming are pollutants under the Clean Air Act. The court also found that the U.S. government has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping gases.

Update (12/7/2009) – Setting the stage for U.S. action on climate change, EPA formally determined today that global warming pollution imperils human health, as required by the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in 2007

read more

 

EPA Global Warming Regulations Could Send Economy Back Into Recession, Report Says

Monday, March 21, 2011

(CNSNews.com) – Regulation of greenhouse gasses by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could reverse the very modest economic recovery and even send it back into a recession, a report from the National Center for Public Policy Research finds.

“These regulations,” author Dana Joel Gattuso wrote, “will have a more severe impact on energy costs, U.S. jobs, household income, and economic growth than cap-and-trade legislation would have had. Furthermore, the regulations could reverse the economy’s direction toward recovery and push us back into an economic slump.

EPA has considered regulating the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses under the Clean Air Act, which the Supreme Court gave the agency the power to regulate greenhouse gasses in the name of fighting air pollution.

EPA has not yet enacted the types of greenhouse gas regulations Gattuso’s paper warns of, but the agency has announced that it plans to do so in the near future.

. . .The report also analyzes Republican and Democratic legislation that would attempt to stop the EPA from issuing GHG regulations during a period of economic hardship and a fragile recovery.

The first bill Gattuso reviews is the joint effort from Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) that would bar the EPA from using its newfound authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate GHGs.

“Many members of Congress — Democrats as well as Republicans — are supporting legislation to prevent Obama from expanding the Clean Air Act and imposing more economic costs on Americans,” Gattuso reported.

The Inhofe-Upton bill would completely prevent the EPA from ever using its Clean Air Act authority to regulate greenhouse gasses.

. . .Gattuso concluded that the Inhofe-Upton effort was the only legislation that would successfully prevent the EPA from enacting economically damaging regulations.

“The Energy Tax Prevention Act would rein in the EPA, put Congress back in control, and steer our economy toward a complete and healthy recovery — not for two years but permanently.”

Read More

H.R.910 – Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011

To amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.

The Energy Tax Prevention Act passed the House on April 7, 2011 but none of the measures that would have limited the EPA’s power made it past the Senate.

A Majority of the House and Senate Vote to Limit EPA’s Regulations

April 13, 2011

Last week the Senate voted on a number of proposals to limiting EPA’s authority, but none passed.  The closest any measure came to passing was Sen. Inhofe and Sen. McConnell’s amendment to nullify EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations altogether. That amendment failed on a 50 to 50 vote. But there were a number of other amendments considered which limited EPA’s regulatory authority in some way. All told, 64 senators voted against the administration’s policies including 17 Democrats who broke with their party for one vote or another.

The stated goal of the Obama administration and various cabinet members is to increase the price of energy. EPA’s regulations are a tool the administration is using. But gasoline prices are already too high for many Americans and some people are already being forced to cut back on their transportation use.