The State of Oklahoma is turning to nullification, as well as the courts, to contend with federal Environmental Protection Agency overreach.
State Sen. Patrick Anderson recently submitted SB1167 to the Oklahoma Legislature. This bill will render void all rules imposed by the EPA and not passed by Congress. It is absolute nullification of that agency’s rulemaking in the state of Oklahoma.
Section 1.A. of the bill, as introduced, reads,
“The Legislature declares that the rulemaking authority of the Environmental Protection Agency is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the founders and ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be invalid in the State of Oklahoma, shall not be recognized by this state, is specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.”
The bill also requires the state legislature to take all steps necessary to block EPA enforcement of its rules.
It shall be the duty of the Legislature of this state to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of rules issued by the Environmental Protection Agency which are not specifically authorized by the Congress of the United States or specifically adopted by the Oklahoma Legislature.
This action is aligned with a lawsuit being filed by Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Scott Pruitt, in which he challenges the legality of the EPA expanding the Clean Air Act. According to newsok.com, Pruitt testified “…the agency continued to stretch its authority beyond the boundaries of the Clean Air Act and was dictating an “anti-fossil fuel agenda” to states. The EPA seems to have the view that the states are merely a vessel to implement whatever policies and regulations the administration sees fit.”
This bill would not affect the state’s own environmental agency, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, and would not preclude Oklahoma from voluntary interstate environmental agreements. It would only block the federal effort to forcibly control Oklahoma’s environmental policies via the EPA.
SB1167 has a long way to go to complete the careful Oklahoma legislative process. Its first reading is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2014. It will then be assigned to a Senate committee.
If you live in Oklahoma, contact your state senator and ask him or her to support SB1167. You can find Senate contact information HERE.