How Much Power Should the E.P.A. Have?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Aerial view of the Columbia Generating Station in Richland, Washington state on March 21, 2011. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty)

Today the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case Environmental Protection Agency vs. EME Homer City   Generation. The case examines the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, also known as the "good neighbor" provision of the Clean Air Act, which grants the E.P.A. power to regulate states that contribute to the pollution of their downwind neighbors. 

At the heart of the case is the question of who has the power to act on issues of controlling environmental hazards. Is Congress the supreme authority, or the Environmental Protection Agency created by Congress back in the 1970s?

Four years ago the E.P.A. declared that it had the power to regulate carbon dioxide because of the scientific consensus over its role in contributing to global warming. To some members of Congress, the move was seen as a declaration of war—a war on Congress.

Jeff Holmstead is a former assistant administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency who is now an attorney with the firm Bracewell and Giuliani. While the Obama Administration defends the E.P.A.'s right to regulation, Holmstead, who served under President George W. Bush, disagrees. 

Guests:

Jeff Holmstead

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Editors:

T.J. Raphael

Comments [2]

CAROLINE from NJ USA

Holmstead is lauf-f-fable! Bush's administration tried to strip the EPA to nothng, and Tea Party continues trying to get rid of it all together.

Duh - to Mr. Holmstead you seem to have little to no concern for carbon emissions or environmental protection. Red-tape, is your goal.

Holmstead's statement, "both administrations take clean air act seriously" is correct - it's laughable though since Bush "seriously" wanted to get rid of regulations, and narrowly interrupts so nothing is accomplished to safe guard our planet.

While Obama "seriously" cares about clean air, and non-polluting forms of energy, with regulation protecting individuals - NOT just Big Business, and polluters.

I'm glad Bush lives in Texas, for neither he nor Jeff Holmstead are "good neighbor" types. But - ha! just thought - maybe they'd like to move to NJ and put down roots next to a Dupont Chemical Plant tha's been there for years - have a sip of H2O from your own well, guys. Maybe you'd sing a different tune.

Dec. 12 2013 10:46 AM
Maret Shura from Bay Area

Re: "How Much Power Should thr EPA Have?"

Thank you so much for the pointed questions you asked your former Bushie on this program. I was heartened to hear someone asking their guest serious-minded, tough questions and attempting to them accountable for their words and deeds.

Gratefully,

Maret Shura

Dec. 11 2013 12:16 PM

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