A Florida congressman is drafting legislation to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and looking for fellow lawmakers to co-sponsor the effort.
“Our small businesses cannot afford to cover the costs associated with compliance, too often leading to closed doors and unemployed Americans,” Rep. Matt Gaetz wrote in an email to Republican colleagues that was obtained by the Huffington Post.
“It is time to take back our legislative power from the EPA and abolish it permanently,” Gaetz wrote.
Gaetz says the EPA under Republican and Democratic administrations have overreached, violating state sovereignty and addling businesses with costly regulations. Gaetz’s bill would close EPA at the end of 2018 and give states primary control over environmental laws.
“As conservatives, we must understand that states and local communities are best positioned to responsibly regulate the environmental assets within their jurisdictions,” Gaetzwrote in his email.
“This legislation abolishes the EPA effective December 31, 2018, to allow our state and local government partners to implement responsible policies in the interim,” Gaetz wrote.
Gaetz’s bill resembles a provision of the Republican Party platform released last summer. The GOP platform suggested turning EPA “into an independent bipartisan commission, similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, with structural safeguards against politicized science.”
President Trump promised to eliminate the “Department of Environmental Protection” on the campaign trail, but walked back this position and said he’s refocus EPA to its core mission of protecting air and water quality — not fighting global warming.
Trump promised to repeal President Obama’s Climate Action Plan and Waters of the U.S. rule, both of which require scaling back EPA’s authority. Trump appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, a long-time EPA opponent, to head the agency.
Democrats largely opposed Pruitt’s confirmation, but that may not matter if the GOP is somehow successful in getting rid of the EPA altogether. That may be a longshot though.
EPA finalized 192 regulations, imposing $344 billion worth of costs since 2009, according to data compiled by the right-leaning American Action Forum (AAF).
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