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The EPA's friend: It has a loyal ally in Shea-Porter

May 17. 2013 1:22AM

In a May 6 editorial, we criticized U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter for taking Washington’s side in the controversy surrounding the EPA’s nitrogen emissions standards for the Great Bay. Shea-Porter responded in a column we published on Monday, which we thought proved our point perfectly well.

The EPA has set a stringent nitrogen standard that will cost municipalities hundreds of millions of dollars, all told, to meet. Several municipalities have sued the EPA, saying the standard is far too restrictive. They want one that will reduce emissions, but not quite as much as the EPA demands.

We pointed out that Shea-Porter has not taken the local communities’ side in this dispute. Instead, she sides with the EPA, as she made clear during a forum on the issue in Greenland. In her response, she wrote, “I share concerns about the cost of these projects for local communities, and I have consistently fought for increased federal resources to address challenges surrounding environmental and water protection.”

She went on to blame Republicans in Congress, saying that if they had not banned earmarks, she could have secured some federal money for the towns and cities to help defray the costs of meeting the EPA’s standards.

With that clever rhetorical trick, Shea-Porter dodges entirely the real issue: The EPA’s bullying. The EPA’s science is questionable, as the suing communities have shown. The issue is whether its tough nitrogen standards are necessary at all. Shea-Porter ignores that central question and pretends that the real matter at hand is the Republican ban on earmarks.

By dismissing the suing municipalities’ contention, Shea-Porter makes clear that she sides with Washington, not New Hampshire.

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