Indiana Legislative Folly….Rinse and Repeat…

Remember House Bill 1082? The “No Stricter Than” measure that would prohibit Indiana’s environmental agency from acting to combat local environmental threats if the proposed action was “stricter” than EPA standards?

I am not the only observer pointing to the real dangers--not to mention absurdity– of that measure, which has been moving inexorably through the legislative process.

The utter hypocrisy of the GOP on the EPA and environmental regulation was on vivid display last week in a Congressional hearing called to address the water crisis in Flint, Michigan:

In a House hearing last week, GOP lawmakers focused their outrage on the weakness of EPA regulations and actions that contributed to the Flint disaster. However, The New Republic has detailed their consistent opposition to its regulatory actions.

Republicans in Washington and Indianapolis constantly complain about EPA “overreach.” In one of the recent GOP debates, Jeb Bush called for sending EPA authority back to the states, and he is hardly alone. Indiana Governor Pence has been an ardent foe of virtually all environmental efforts, and has made the EPA a special target, despite the fact that Indiana’s air and water rank among the country’s most polluted.

For years, at the urging of well-heeled industry lobbyists and donors, Republicans have done everything they can to neuter the EPA and eviscerate its regulatory power— and now, when faced with an environmental crisis, Congressional Republicans have the gall–the chutzpah–to blame that crisis on “weak” EPA regulations.

At the very same time, back home in Indiana, Republican state legislators —still singing the lobbyists’ song—are insisting that EPA regulations are so strong that we shouldn’t allow state government to supplement them. Ever. No matter what.

You really can’t make this shit up.