FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
EPA Calls Compliance with Own Law “Absurd or Impossible” and Requests 230k New Employees
You may have read my recent post reporting that the EPA will be responsible for over 1.4 million job losses over the next 7 years. In that environment, I suppose bureaucratic hires is the closest one can get to good jobs news when it comes to that big government dream agency known as the Environmental Protection Agency.
DailyCaller: The EPA is asking taxpayers to fund up to 230,000 new government workers to process all the extra paperwork, at an estimated cost of $21 billion. That cost does not include the economic impact of the regulations themselves.
“Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year,” the EPA wrote in the court brief.
So while the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) as well as Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR) rules are going to wreak havoc on places like Texas, destroy the coal industry, and ultimately force power bills to increase almost as quickly as energy sector jobs are shed, the United States government will be embarking on its own jobs initiative: 230,000 freshly minted pencil-pushing bureaucrats!
As stated above, these new jobs would serve the purpose of enforcing all of the new regulations under the Clean Air Act which was created by the EPA in 2009. So why are courts involved? Because the EPA is deliberately violating the very Clean Air Act they are intending to enforce.
The Institute for Energy Research documented excerpts found in the EPAs brief:
EPA studied and considered the breadth and depth of the projected administrative burdens in the Tailoring Rule. There, EPA explained that immediately applying the literal PSD statutory threshold of 100/250 tpy (tons per year) to greenhouse gas emissions, when coupled with the “any increase” trigger for modifications…would result in annual PSD permit applications submitted to State and local permitting agencies to increase nationwide from 280 to over 81,000 per year, a 300-fold increase…Following a comprehensive analysis, EPA estimated that these additional PSD permit applications would require State permitting authorities to add 10,000 full-time employees and incur additional costs of $1.5 billion per year just to process these applications, a 130-fold increase in the costs to States of administering the PSD program….Sources needing operating permits would jump from 14,700 to 6.1 million as a result of application of Title V to greenhouse gases, a 400-fold increase.…Hiring the 230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required to address the actual increase in permitting functions would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year. [Bold added.]
In summary, they can’t keep up with regulating something that they volunteered to regulate, so rather than reconsidering the law, they are just breaking it. And while they’re breaking it, they are requesting that taxpayers (you know, the people who don’t have the option to simply break laws that are overly burdensome) have to fork over $21 billion so the EPA can hire enough bureaucrats to handle the absolutely ridiculous hours it would take to regulate all of the carbon dioxide in America.
Even the EPA acknowledges that it’s all pretty insane:
While EPA acknowledges that come 2016, the administrative burdens may still be so great that compliance at the 100/250 tpy level may still be absurd or impossible to administer at that time, that does not mean that the Agency is not moving toward the statutory thresholds. To the contrary, through this regulatory process “EPA intends to require full compliance with the CAA applicability provisions of the PSD and Title V programs….”…(explaining that EPA will implement the tailored approach “by applying PSD and Title V at threshold levels that are as close to the statutory levels as possible, and do so as quickly as possible….”).[Bold added]
And yet, they are pushing forward, requesting enough employees to process the 6,085,300 new permit applications from companies needing to stay in compliance by hiring enough people to fill 1.4 billion hours of work with every single hour financed by the very tax payer they themselves seem to admit they are overburdening.
Here’s hoping that the EPA’s inability to comply with its own standards will create some type of a wake up call within the Central Bureaucracy. Somehow I doubt it.