Fighting EPA Overreach

As anyone who runs a business or owns a farm or ranch in Texas knows, President Obama has been using the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enforce an anti-business agenda. For the past six years, our economy has limped along, hampered by job-killing policies promoted and enacted by big-government supporters. The Administration’s policy is exactly what Reagan said of President Carter’s economic policies: “If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” That’s no way to run a country.

This week, I took three major steps to put a halt to the EPA’s ongoing overreach. New EPA regulations—called “CAFE standards”—would raise the average price of a new car by $3000 and push 7 million people out of the automobile market. I signed on to cosponsor legislation sponsored by another Texas conservative, Rep. Roger Williams of Weatherford, which will stop the arbitrary increase in fuel-efficiency standards for automobile companies. Buying a car is a major decision, and families need all the options they can get. This bill will take the EPA out of the process so that consumers can decide what is best for them.

I also joined with Congressman Duncan Hunter of California in supporting legislation that would force the EPA to open their regulatory process so that it is transparent and business can comment on proposed regulations before they are put in place. This will allow businesses and other stakeholders could review and fight against guidelines that harm their communities.

Finally, I successfully fought off a particularly egregious amendment to a bill on the floor of the House this week. Currently, the EPA is allowed to regulate navigable water. This amendment would have defined “navigable water” as any water that eventually flows into a river or the ocean. Since water typically flows into bigger and bigger streams, the EPA would have effectively been able to regulate all water—from raindrops to fish ponds to mud puddles—on private land. I spoke against this on the floor of the house, and I am pleased to report the amendment failed on the floor.

Texans know the key to economic success. We see this every day — low taxes, smart and limited regulations, and robust American energy production are the keys to economic growth. Above all, just get government out of the way and America will prosper. The policies that President Obama and the EPA are promoting will raise the price of electricity and natural gas, which will drive up costs on everything from air conditioning to groceries. As your Congressman, I will do everything in my power to fight burdensome EPA regulations and ensure that our successful, common-sense Texas policies are implemented nationally.

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