By Jaye Ryan, January 30, 2014.
Apparently, the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency has royally irritated Okies one time too many: Between a lawsuit and legislation, Oklahoma is actively working toward nullifying the EPA‘s presumptuous reach and alleged authority that impacts the state.
Oklahoma State Senator Patrick Anderson has submitted for State Congressional consideration SB1167 recently. This legislation will not completely obliterate all of the EPA’s action but focuses tightly on those rules and actions not passed by Congress or authorized by the U.S. Constitution.
Section 1.A. reads,
“The Legislature declares that the rulemaking authority of the Environmental Protection Agency is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the founders and ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be invalid in the State of Oklahoma, shall not be recognized by this state, is specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.
It also notes a requirement of the state legislature to take all necessary action to block EPA’s enforcement “authority” if the conditions above are not met:
“It shall be the duty of the Legislature of this state to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency which are not specifically authorized by the Congress of the United States or specifically adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature.”
SB1167 is closely tied to a lawsuit either pending filing or just filed by Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. The lawsuit challenges the EPA’s expansion of the Clean Air Act. Mr. Pruitt testified to the U.S. Congress about th EPA, and his comments included,
“The EPA seems to have the view that the states are merely a vessel to implement whatever policies and regulations the administration sees fit, regardless of the wisdom, cost or efficiency of such measures.”
This lawsuit is not the first time Pruitt has directly challenged the EPA in court. He has taken on another battle regarding regional haze.
SB1167 would have no impact on operations and guidelines of its own agency, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality.
Since the Senate Bill has just been introduce, it still has a long journey ahead to vote procedures.
Good luck, Oklahoma!We’re pulling for you!
Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn (Creative Commons)