Thursday, June 07, 2012

Obama EPA about same as all the rest, expert says

Contrary to much political rhetoric, the Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama has had pretty much the same approach as EPA under George W. Bush, a law professor who has written extensively on EPA enforcement testified yesterday before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Power.

Joel A. Mintz, professor of law at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., testified on behalf of EPA and "told the subcommittee that the Obama EPA has been quite ordinary," reports Todd Neeley of DTN/The Progressive Farmer. "Though other witnesses criticized EPA for what they said was the agency's failure to work with them on a number of issues, Mintz said his research found that the current EPA has provided little contrast in how it enforces regulations compared to other recent administrations."

Under Bush, EPA's civil penalties averaged $117 million per year, and were about $115 million a year in the first three years of the Obama administration. That drop could be the result of better compliance, not weaker enforcement. Mintz testified, "Although there may well be good explanations for these declines, they do support the overall conclusions of my historical research: EPA's enforcement work during the Obama period has been similar in nature to its work in nearly every administration since the agency was established, regardless of the party affiliation of the president." (Read more)

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