Townhall - This week President Obama announced, "I have requested that Administrator Jackson withdraw the draft Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards at this time." Just hours before, the worst jobs numbers in a year were released. Coincidence? Or campaign strategy? Business and industry groups have been beating the drum regarding the EPA's excessive regulations and their impact on the struggling American economy. The EPA has already backed down from their foolish attempt to apply oil-spill regulations to spilled milk on dairy farms. Now common sense and economic necessity can chalk up another win. At Townhall, we have been alerting the public to the disastrous impacts these over-reaching regulations will have on energy costs--which will have an adverse effect on the overall economy and raise personal energy bills for consumers. High energy prices disproportionately hurt the poor as they increase prices on all basic necessities. We've been encouraging people to contact their local, state, and federal elected officials to express their ire over the EPA's actions. Obviously, the push back is making a difference. Read full column here: News New Mexico
Daily Caller - President Barack Obama has told his Environmental Protection Agency to back down from new ozone level standards the agency has been pushing. The EPA had aimed to reduce the acceptable level of ozone in any given region from 75 parts per billion to between 60 and 70 parts per billion. If they were implemented, the regulations would have forced local governments that fail to attain this goal to develop their ozone-reduction plans. On Friday, however, Obama announced that he doesn’t support the regulations. “The President has instructed me to return this rule to you for reconsideration,” Obama’s regulatory czar Cass Sunstein wrote to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson. “He has made it clear that he does not support finalizing the rule at this time.”
Sunstein wrote that Obama has told him to “work closely with all executive agencies and departments” to “implement” the president’s executive order aimed at cutting back on regulations. “The President has instructed me to give careful scrutiny to all regulations that impose significant costs on the private sector or on state, local or tribal governments,” Sunstein’s letter explains. The EPA ultimatum comes mere hours after August jobs numbers came out showing a net total of zero new jobs in August. “This letter is perfectly timed with today’s announcement that the economy produced zero jobs in August, the first time this has occurred since the end of WWII,” Rick Manning of Americans for Limited Government told The Daily Caller. “The letter details a litany of job killing actions by the EPA during Obama’s presidency while delaying the issuance of one more economy-destoying rule. If the President was serious, he would fire Lisa Jackson and rescind her regulatory war on coal and other fossil fuels.” As additional reasoning for why Obama shot down the EPA rule, Sunstein cites critics’ existing complaints: the Bush administration’s new standards in 2008, and the Clean Air Act’s lack of a requirement for the EPA to revisit standards until 2013. “The Act explicitly sets out a five-year cycle for review of national ambient air quality standards,” Sunstein wrote to Jackson. Issuing new standards before 2013, Sunstein says, “would be problematic in view of the fact that a new assessment, and potentially new standards, will be developed in the relatively near future.” Read full story here: News New Mexico
The Nation - On the eve of a Labor Day that will mark the unofficial launching place of his 2012 re-election campaign, on the eve of an address to Congress that could be the most important of his presidency, there is no good economic news for Barack Obama. A net total of zero jobs were added in the month of July, for which economic data was released Friday morning. In addition, Friday’s report revealed, the number of hours worked by the average American has begun to decline. And hourly earnings have dropped. So even if Americans are employed, they are working less and making less. “These numbers, with no net job creation at all—and 14 million people officially unemployed—show that the economy is dead in the water.” says Roger Hickey of the Campaign for America’s Future. But that’s not the scariest part of the story. While the official unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent—almost twice the level that former US Senator Hubert Humphrey and former US Congressman Gus Hawkins identified as a unacceptable when they were pushing their Humphrey-Hawkins full-employment bill in the 1970s—the real rate continues to grow worse.
The broad measure of unemployment—the Department of Labor’s U-6 figure, which includes the long-term unemployed and under-employed—rose to 16.2 percent (from 16.1 percent in June). That’s the highest level this year. The 16.2 percent figure is, by any honest measure, the real unemployment rate. And it is ticking upward. Why? Because the United States has failed to create jobs at a rate to keep up with population growth. How big a failure are we talking about? Consider these facts: The number of employed Americans in July 2011 was 139,296,000. The number of employed Americans in July 2004, 139,556,000. So there are 260,000 fewer people working today than when George Bush was in his first term as president. Yet, the US population grew during the period from 2004 to 2011 by almost 20 million—from 292,892,000 in July 2004 to 312,150,000 today. Read full column here: News New Mexico
Townhall - Last year, President Barack Obama came to the Bay Area to tout "green jobs" at an event at solar panel manufacturer Solyndra's Fremont plant. Quoth the president: "The true engine of economic growth will always be companies like Solyndra." On Wednesday, Solyndra announced it was shuttering its remaining Fremont factory, laying off 1,100 workers and filing for bankruptcy. It was a sorry day for the Bay Area. I remember the day Obama came, May 26, 2010, vividly. Then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger came to greet the president and wave to the hard hats. Venture capitalists preened. Just to show how brainy and farsighted the solar crowd is, Obama reminded the audience that his energy secretary, Steven Chu, is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.
Rube that I am, I didn't understand what Obamaland was thinking. Solyndra had not turned a profit since it was founded in 2005. The plant in which Obama stood was bankrolled with a $535 million federal loan guarantee. Two months before, PricewaterhouseCoopers questioned Solyndra's "ability to continue as a going concern." If the president wants to send a positive message on the U.S. economy, I wondered, then couldn't his people have found a California company that doesn't rely on a federal loan and actually makes money? Bad advance work, I figured. A month later, Solyndra canceled a planned $300 million public offering. In November, Solyndra closed its older plant and cut its workforce. Today Solyndra's lights are out. Now I am wondering: Isn't there some graybeard in the White House who -- knowing that the president won't look good if the tax-funded solar plant folds -- does some digging to make sure the president's choice of venue will not come back to haunt him? Read full story here: News New Mexico
Inside the Capitol - SANTA FE -- The Labor Day weekend usually is the kick off for the following year's major political campaigns. This year may be a little different however. The state legislature's special session on redistricting undoubtedly will grab many of the headlines for a few weeks. That likely means no major announcements by the candidates but it won't stop behind-the-scenes jockeying. The wide open U.S. Senate race to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Bingaman picked up four major candidates very quickly last spring but has been rather quiet since then. Read full column here: News New Mexico
Special Session and U.S. Senate race compete for attention