Documents released recently reveal that the Environmental Protection Agency may have delayed publication of its New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) rules in order to help Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections, according to the Western Caucus Bull Report.
The agency waited until November 25, 2013 to submit their rule to the Federal Register, two months after it releasing it to the public. Due to this late submission, the Federal Register was not able to publish the rule until January 8, 2014. This means that the earliest Congress can hold a vote to repeal the rule is January of 2015.
The NSPS rules will have a devastating effect on the economy, especially states that have abundant coal resources. The proposed rules regulate future coal-fired power plants, requiring them to install Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology that is not readily available or economically viable. The rules will cause a drastic increase in energy prices across the country and will eliminate thousands of jobs related to the coal industry—a massive tax increase on the poor and middle class.
In testimony before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy claimed that the rules were submitted to the Federal register right after the proposal was released. In reality, the rules were submitted 66 days after the proposal was released. This delay stands in stark contrast to the usual one-to-five day delays that the agency has used for other important rules.
The 66 day delay by the EPA was a direct attempt by the agency to protect vulnerable Democrats in the 2014 midterm elections. The agency stalled the submission of the rules due to the harmful effects that the rules will undoubtedly have on the economy. By delaying the rules, the EPA aimed to shield Democrats from coal rich states that are facing tough elections in 2014. Delaying these rules for purely political reasons earns the EPA and Administrator McCarthy three and a half bulls.