EPA

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis says sometimes government agencies get a little too powerful for their own good. And ours. Here's one example.

The Environmental Protection Agency hasn't gone overboard; it's run amok.

EPA wants a 50 cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline, and so-called "greenhouse gas" taxes on home heating oil and other products. It wants to establish standards even its own clean air scientific advisory committee says aren't necessary.

As a result, firms could be forced to spend billions on new equipment, motorists would face tougher emission standards, and homeowners might even face limits on burning wood in their fireplaces.

By putting unproved scientific hypotheses about ozone into law, Washington would hit businesses with regulations so expensive that thousands could lose their jobs.

And the new rules won't be voted on by congress. They'll simply be imposed by executive order, reportedly on "national security" grounds.

The states will have to play enforcer, but according to an article in USA Today, few know what it will take to control the problem, and don't have the equipment to monitor air quality. According to one Texas official, "I'm sure every county in Texas will find itself in violation."

He's probably right. But EPA won't be happy until the air is perfect. And everything in America has stopped moving.

Those are my ideas. And at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Tomorrow, Pete du Pont asks what's a military for in the post-cold war world.