State Obstruction Underway on EPA Regs

Read this and tell me if this isn’t a very familiar tune (via Politico‘s Andrew Restuccia):

In at least eight states, lawmakers have approved symbolic anti-EPA resolutions based on a model approved by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group that has shaped controversial state measures on issues like Stand Your Ground gun laws and opposition to Obamacare exchanges.

Kentucky has gone even further, enacting a law this spring that could block the state from complying with EPA’s rule. West Virginia and Kansas have new laws taking aim at the regulation one way or another, and states like Ohio, Louisiana and Missouri are considering similar measures.

The resistance in state capitals is a pre-emptive strike for conservatives — and yet another sign that Obama’s opponents are plotting a long-term strategy to try to deny him and his liberal allies a long-sought victory on climate change.

This is happening just a few days after the regs came out, and almost certainly before the sponsors of state legislation had digested any of the actual content. But that’s really beside the point, since conservatives aren’t aiming at substance here, but simply putting as much wreckage in the road as possible. And there’s little question conservative state efforts to disable Obamacare are a model:

If the anti-EPA trend catches fire, it would force the agency to write a greenhouse gas reduction plan for every state that refuses to submit its own. That would bring renewed accusations of federal overreach, mirroring what happened when HealthCare.gov wound up becoming the health care exchange for 36 states, and it would thwart EPA’s hopes of letting each state choose its own strategy for reducing power plants’ carbon pollution.

Ah yes, that’s the ticket: demand input and implementation authority for a federal initiative, then refuse to take advantage of them, then complain of “federal overreach” and a big bureaucratic mess. The corporate lobbyists who effectively run ALEC must be very proud.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.