The Pryor Times

Opinion

June 15, 2014

Letter to the Editor: EPA standards

PRYOR, OK — Dear Editor.

As a corporation commissioner, my constitutional duty is to regulate our public utilities.  So why is it that the federal government, through the un-elected employees at the EPA, are inserting themselves into this role, and usurping the role of a constitutionally-created commission?

The EPA has announced tougher standards on coal emissions.  On its face, that seems harmless enough.  As the President, and his bureaucrats touted the health benefits, many people shook their heads politely and went on about their daily lives.  Unfortunately, the EPA did not see fit to also tell the American public that this single move will increase utilities rates across the country.  They did not point out that states like Oklahoma will be penalized to a greater degree than other states, and could see an exponential rise in rates.

Consistently, through my tenure on the corporation commission, I have been confronted with regulation after regulation implemented by the EPA.  These regulations affect our Oklahoma families.  I voted NO in a case where the EPA basically asked us to open up the checkbooks of Oklahoma families to pay for new policies that were claimed to have the benefit of beautification of our air.

I support clear air and clean water.  After all, my family and friends live here and breathe the air and drink the water.   But there is no common sense used by the EPA in their equation.  When they proudly announced their new tough standards, their justification was that America needed to lead the way.  To what?  Oklahoma families suffering because they can’t pay their utility bills while China builds coal plants faster than you can say “take a deep breath?”

Oklahoma can govern Oklahomans.  EPA, stay out.

Patrice Douglas

Oklahoma Corporation Commission

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