The Supreme Court this week ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to limit power plant emissions.
In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that the agency “unreasonably” failed to consider the cost of the regulations to regulate emissions from coal and oil-fired plants. This rule would have added to the unemployment lines by killing an industry that keeps the cost of energy down for American families and keeps domestic manufacturing competitive.
Writing for the court, Justice Antonin Scalia said it is not appropriate to impose billions of dollars of economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits. Scalia went on to say that the “EPA refused to consider whether the costs of its decision outweighed the benefits. The Agency gave cost no thought at all, because it considered cost irrelevant to its initial decision to regulate.”
Justice Scalia is right. The current administration has not been shy about its desire to kill the fossil industry. If this administration has its way, Americans would be unable to mine, burn coal, or export coal.
The Heritage Foundation analyzed the phase-out of coal, thanks to the EPA’s regulations, between 2015 and 2038. By the end of 2023, they project employment would fall by nearly 600,000 jobs and a family of four’s annual income would drop more than $1,200 per year due to increased costs.
While the Supreme Court decision should be celebrated, this Administration’s over regulation doesn’t end at the EPA. During President Obama’s first term in office, he enacted 157 new major regulations that increased the regulatory burden by nearly $73 billion. In 2013 alone, regulators published $112 billion in net regulatory costs. They also added 157.9 million paperwork burden hours. I am working hard in Congress to rein in all job-killing regulations and ensure major rules are justified.
From our nation’s Capitol
Monday, June 29: For many years business and community leaders in North Bryan County near Pembroke would gather for a meal during the summer to catch up with friends and discuss the politics of the day. After a break of about 10-12 years, one of the organizers of the yearly event, former Judge Herman Butler, decided to start the tradition back up this year by hosting a Lowcountry boil at his Road Kill Café. Although many of the original organizers have passed on to greater glory, Judge Butler, along with the help of Sheriff Clyde Smith and others, hosted myself and others this weekend to enjoy some fine food and even better company.
I also had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Florida Pharmacy Association in St. Augustine this weekend. As the only pharmacist currently serving in Congress, I have a unique perspective that I am able to bring to the national health care discussion and I feel it is important for me to communicate that perspective to state and national organizations as well as share with them the importance of their participation in the process.
Today, I have the honor of addressing attendees at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) statewide meeting in Savannah. As a former mayor, I feel a special connection with this group as I have served where they are now serving and understand first hand many of the issues that they are facing in their jobs. I also worked very closely with GMA while I served in the state Legislature and enjoyed catching up with the staff and members today.
Later that afternoon, members of our district staff honored one of our co-workers who will be leaving soon to pursue other career opportunities. Brooke Childers, who worked with my predecessor, Jack Kingston, for many years and has worked with us for the past seven months, will be leaving next week and will be sorely missed. Brooke has been our field representative for the northern portion of the district and, while her expertise particularly with the military will be difficult to replace, her enthusiasm and love of her district will be missed most of all.
Tuesday, June 30: It’s always good to be in Wayne County and Jesup, especially when I have the opportunity to be the guest on the world famous Butch and Bob radio show. These great guys do a wonderful job of keeping their listeners informed of local and national news and always ask relevant and enquiring questions. Later, I have the opportunity to meet with Screven County farmer and former Washington staffer Stephen Meeks. Stephen and his wife Joy both worked in Washington and now Stephen runs his father-in-laws’ farming business, FMR Burch Farms. Because of their diverse backgrounds, Stephen and Joy are great resources for me and my staff, helping us to better understand the needs of the farming community.
After a morning tour of their impressive farming operation, I head to Waycross where I meet with local businessman Patrick Jones whose company, Flash Foods, is one of the true success stories of this area. Next, I have the opportunity of speaking to the Waycross Rotary Club at their weekly meeting, after which I head to one of the local McDonald’s restaurants owned by my good friend Brian Fey. Brian and the McDonald’s corporate office have invited me to work in the restaurant today and, after meeting the friendly staff, I learn how to make a couple of Big Macs and work the drive thru window as well as the front counter. Although I thought I did a pretty good job, I did manage to break the machine that makes the new frozen strawberry lemonade drink and noticed that they were eager to get me on the other side of the counter after that.
Afterwards, I head to Blackshear where I have the opportunity to meet with my good friend Royce Carter, along with Pierce County Commission Chairman Neal Bennet and County Manager Paul Christian, before heading to Tindall Enterprises for a tour of their lab. Founded by a fellow University of Georgia College of Pharmacy graduate, Merrill Tindall, the company provides environmental services such as water and wastewater.
Next, I travel to Waycross to meet with local ophthalmologist and good friend Dr. William Clark before heading to the monthly meeting of the Okefenokee Medical Society where I am the guest speaker.
Wednesday, July 1: I am honored today to be able to attend the swearing in ceremony of my good friend, Tom Cole, as the newest Juvenile Court judge for Chatham County. Tom has been an active member of the Savannah community for many years and I am sure he will do an outstanding job in this new role.
Next, I travel to the Bull St. Library in Savannah where I have a chance to witness the local Summer Meals program. This is part of the U.jS. Department of Agriculture Summer Meals program, one of the Child Nutrition Programs that is currently up for reauthorization before the Committee on Education and the Workforce in Congress, of which I am a member. I’m joined by Mary Jane Crouch, Quentin Martin and others from America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia as we greet the kids and I have the opportunity to serve some meals.
Afterwards, I attend the monthly meeting of the Savannah Area Republican Women, where state Sen. Ben Watson and state Rep. Jesse Petrea bring us up to date on the accomplishments of the recently completed state legislative session. Most of my afternoon is spent in the Savannah office meeting with constituents before I head to Pembroke for its 5th annual celebration of the 4th on the 1st with the 3rd. This is always one of my favorite events as we are entertained by the outstanding music of the 3rd ID band. Recently retired news anchor Sonny Dixon, who does his usual outstanding job, is looking refreshed and younger than ever as he introduces the Lo! Krawl, a smaller version of the larger band that has many soldiers deployed at this time.
Thursday, July 2: I’m headed to Valdosta this morning to tour one of our four military installations in the First Congressional District, Moody Air Force Base. As is the case with almost every visitor to the base, we are personally greeted on our arrival by Parker and Dr. Lucy Greene, two of the most dedicated community volunteers of any military installation in our country.
Parker served as the original chairman of military affairs for the Lowndes-Valdosta Chamber of Commerce in the early 1970s, and his and Dr. Lucy’s support of the base over the years has been invaluable. In fact, the consolidated support center at Moody is named the Parker Greene Base Support Center in recognition of this great couples’ work at Moody.
We are then briefed by Col. Chad Franks, the commanding officer of the 23rd Wing that organizes, trains, and employs the combat ready A-10, HC-130, HH 60, pararescuemen and force protection assets that includes almost 6,000 military and civilian personnel. After the briefing, we are led on a tour of the helicopters, boats, robots and other impressive equipment by Col. Thomas Dorl of the 347th rescue group.
Later, we are led by Col. Eric Trychon of the 93rd ATOF and Col. Mike Ross of the 820 BBG to watch troops parachute into a mock village where they secure the area and eliminate the insurgents. The professionalism, skills and dedication of our troops never ceases to amaze me.
After my visit today, I am even prouder of the work being done by our military, particularly at Moody Air Force Base.