Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill.
regulations that are adversely affecting us here at home.
"Washington’s problem with over regulation means that all of us in Kern County are pitching in to pay a $29 million fine for violating an air standard that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) already revoked. EPA replaced this standard, known as the 1-Hour Ozone Standard, in 2005 with the current standard, known as the 8-Hour Ozone Standard. However, a federal court subsequently reinstated the penalties of the 1-hour standard, meaning that we're paying a fine for the old standard while also working to comply with the current standard.
"And now EPA is trying to move the goal posts by proposing to tighten this standard so much it could end up banning cars, trucks, tractors and new businesses in the Valley. This regulation fails to take into account our unique topography, weather and natural ozone levels, which Valley residents have no control over. My bill repeals the 1-Hour Ozone standard and fine, as well as prevents EPA from implementing any changes to the current 8-hour standard for five years until a Local Advisory Committee can report to Congress on compliance feasibility. It’s just common-sense to have one reasonable air standard to comply with so we can all breathe easier.
"Public access to Federal lands is another area that needs some common-sense. Decades ago, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service conducted studies on their Wilderness Study Areas and
Inventoried Roadless Areas to determine their suitability for wilderness. The agencies concluded that a combined nearly 43 million acres were not suitable for wilderness. However, Congress never acted
on these recommendations so these lands have been managed under restrictive practices similar to those reserved for wilderness.
"My bill changes this by releasing these lands for multiple use, meaning more recreational and responsible resource development opportunities. It also reinforces local control and management of these lands. I
believe we need to protect and preserve our natural wonders, but I also believe when lands have been deemed unsuitable for wilderness they shouldn’t be kept under lock and key.
"This notion of common-sense is even something that is starting to permeate the fiscal culture of Washington. Our Path to Prosperity budget takes a fact-based approach to our fiscal crisis and faces head-on what is driving our out-of-control debt and deficit. In fact, the Path to Prosperity will start to reverse our debt clock while also reforming our vital health and retirement security programs in a way that upholds the integrity of the programs while putting them on a path to sustainability.
"I will continue to work to keep up the common-sense solutions and welcome any suggestions to that end.