Gov. Mary Fallin’s so-called “executive order” last week that informs the federal government Oklahoma will not comply with Environmental Protection Agency rules is yet another example of how she and her fellow Republicans disregard the environment here.
Our planet is facing a major crisis because of global warming caused by manmade carbon emissions. Rising sea levels due to the melting of planet’s ice caps already threaten some coastal communities, but here in land-locked Oklahoma we don’t care, right?
At issue are new EPA rules that seek to curb the carbon emissions at coal-fired energy plants in Oklahoma and elsewhere. These rules, supported by the federal Clean Air Act, aim to cut carbon emissions from energy plants 30 percent by 2030. The rules are hardly draconian and would help the planet, and we do live on a “planet,” not just in Oklahoma.
Here’s part of Fallin’s Obama-bashing statement about the her actions:
President Obama and the EPA are fighting a politically charged war against utility consumers across the country. While the environmental benefits of these regulations will be minimal, the economic devastation of these overreaching and unrealistic regulations will be very real. The order I signed today makes it clear the state of Oklahoma has no intention of implementing new regulations that run directly contrary to the interests of our citizens and our state. We will continue to stand up for Oklahoma families and businesses by fighting this overreach and bad policy in court.
How is disregarding environmental devastation not standing up for Oklahoma families? Fallin’s statement seems backwards to me. The idea that utility rates will soar because of the new rules isn’t feasible because government heavily regulates energy plants, which is a good thing. If rates do skyrocket, it will be because regulators and lawmakers here let that happen, not because we have a cleaner planet.
Fallin’s order also asks Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to “take such action as is necessary to enforce the rights of the State of Oklahoma and its citizens from such federal actions as may impact the freedoms of its people.” In other words, sue the federal government again and again, which is Pruitt’s trademark.
Oklahoma’s ongoing war with the federal government during the Obama era has done nothing for this state in real, tangible terms. It has only cost taxpayers money because of senseless and theatrical lawsuits.
All this anti-federal government nonsense might make some people here feel good momentarily, but it’s dumb and makes the state look bad to the rest of the world. Let’s hope we can restore some sense of reality to our state government here in the future.