GOP Gearing up for Assault on EPA

With Republicans poised to take control of the House, and perhaps even the Senate, environmentalists are preparing for an all-out assault on the Obama administration’s environmental policies. Senior Republicans are ready to “declare war on the regulatory state,” according to Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Since Obama took office in 2008, the administration and its emboldened EPA have stepped up regulatory pressure on carbon fuel emissions, oil and gas drilling, vehicle and utility emissions. With control of one or both houses of Congress, the GOP would enjoy the power to launch investigations—as the Democrats did after 2006—that can have the effect of paralyzing the work of a government agency saddled with legal pressures. In anticipation of a GOP onslaught, the administration is considering bringing more attorneys into the Office of Legal Counsel to defend its activities and its record.