Milk and B.S.

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 26 2011 11:35 AM

Milk and B.S.

Earlier this week, Kate Sheppard put up a list of less-than-true things Republicans say about the EPA to make the case that its over-regulation is throttling freedom like Dustin Hoffman on one of the Irish burglers in Straw Dogs . One of the phony claims is that Obama's EPA has regulated spilled milk -- spilled milk! Alas:

At the heart of this claim is the EPA's Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure rule, which requires oil and gas companies to develop a plan for preventing spills. Because milk contains animal fat, an oil, milk has been included since the rules were first drafted in 1973. The rules were updated in January 2009 and took effect at the end of February, which appears to have prompted the new outrage on the right... but here's the thing: Contrary to how the agency's foes spun the update, the EPA's proposed new rules explicitly proposed excluding milk storage tanks from the spill prevention program. In April, the agency followed through with a permanent exemption .

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Did Sheppard kill the meme? Well, at a presser announcing the House GOP's Plan for America's Job Creators (a combination of free trade promotion, tax reform, spending cuts, etc.), the party's conference chairman, Jeb Hensarling, made an illustration of just how stupid EPA regulation was getting. Exhibit A: Regulating spilled milk!

"As one farmer told me," said Hensarling, "'I'll just call the kitty!'"

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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