Why is the EPA set for a show down with Congress in 2011?



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    There are a few answers to this question.  First, congress has dramatically cut the EPA’s budget by about 16 percent or 815 million dollars.  This effects the ability of the agency to perform environmental research at a critical time when hydro-fracking and tar sands development are being pushed by industry.  However, the main point of contention, is whether the E.P.A. has the right to enforce regulations of greenhouse gases as a pollutant under the clean air act.  Many Republican lawmakers, specifically from the state of Texas, have argued that strict enforcement of the clean air act will cost jobs.  The regulations require permits for new facilities that emit over 100,000 tons of CO2 per year.  Seems reasonable right? Well, Texas has actually refused to enforce these regulations which led to the EPA seizing industries that fell outside of the regulations.  The clash continues both in congress and in the courts.  It is likely that cuts to EPA budgets will limit the resources that are available to enforcing the clean air regulations.

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