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June 2012 | See all news in this issue

Reining in the EPA

Amid all the shouting and finger-pointing that surrounds the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there’s also a good deal of calm and rational discussion about the proper role of EPA in protecting the environment. Put another way, not everyone who opposes what EPA is doing thinks the agency should be eliminated.

Take for example the recent testimony of Richard Trzupek, a chemist and environmental consultant, before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. He noted that the majority of his clients are small to mid-sized companies that do not have full-time environmental professionals on staff but must still try to cope with constantly changing EPA rules. “We pay a price in terms of jobs lost, in terms of reduced productivity and in terms of opportunities not realized,” Trzupek said.

He went on to say that EPA should be “redefined” rather than eliminated “to reflect the fact that the environment in America in 2012 is nothing like what the environment was in 1970” when the EPA was created. “As the law stands today, the EPA has the ability to continually redefine its mission in many areas and it does so regularly, no matter the administration is in charge at the time. By continually moving the goalposts…and offering increasingly dubious economic justifications for doing so, the Agency creates the illusion that ever more heavy-handed regulation are necessary and worth the cost.”

To see his complete testimony, click here.

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