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Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LANKFORD. Madam Chair, apparently the other side assumes most Americans are corrupt; they're corrupt people who cannot be trusted, and they must be babysat at each moment. Company leaders, company owners, many company employees, city and State leaders have to be supervised at every single moment, because if we don't have a Federal bureaucrat standing over the top of them, goodness knows what they'll do.

Well, I happen to trust the American people. The people that I live around and that I work around and that I meet as Americans are great people who drink that water, who eat that food, who interact with their neighbors in an honorable way. And when someone violates and does something criminal, they should be treated in a criminal way.

Most Americans are greathearted people that just want to do what's right, and they're just trying to figure out every day what the Federal Government is doing to them, rather than what the Federal Government is doing for them.

This bill begins to deal with limiting the regulations so each and every day Americans don't have to wake up and worry about what the Federal Government did to them last night while they were sleeping.

Let me give you an example of that. In Oklahoma, we're asking the question, What authority does a special interest group have over our State government?

In January of 2009, several environmental groups sued the EPA to force them to review the regional haze standards. The EPA had wide latitude in its response, but it chose to settle with the environmental groups in a private agreement, just the environmental groups and some individuals from the EPA. That private agreement created a way for the Federal Government to take from the States the right to enforce regional haze requirements. The original law clearly gave the authority to the States, not the EPA and the Federal Government to realize regional haze.

Let me give you an example. This is in my own State in Oklahoma. Regional haze is not a health issue. It is not a health issue. The way the law is written, it's only a visibility issue. It has nothing to do with health issues. So our own State has a State implementation plan.

On one side of this is the picture of our State implementation plan, what it would look like with our restrictions. The other side is the Federal implementation plan, well over $1 billion additional in costs.

No one could step up here with confidence and tell me which one's which.


Mr. LANKFORD. This is what happens when the EPA makes a private agreement, overshoots a State agreement, and says we're going to go in and step in and take over: over $1 billion of additional costs to the ratepayers in Oklahoma, with no difference in the two, other than who controls it.

This is an issue where there is no public-comment period, no stakeholder involvement, nothing. It is time to resolve how we do our regulations and to make sure stakeholders that are affected are also at the table helping make the decisions on how things will be affected for the good of our country as a whole.


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