EPA Climate Change Hearings Will Require Photo ID

Robert Jonathan

The Obama administration's Environmental Protection Agency will reportedly require a photo ID for individuals as a condition to attend hearings next month on new carbon emission regulations that have been proposed in the name of fighting climate change.

This is notable if not ironic in that the Obama Justice Department is suing a number of states which have passed laws requiring American citizens to produce a photo ID to vote in a state or national election. A member of the public also needs a photo ID to enter the Justice Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.

On Monday, in bypassing Congress the EPA released regulations that would limit carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants by 30 percent over 15 years. The proposed regs due to take effect in June 2015 after a lengthy comment period face opposition from both sides of the political aisle and will likely face legal challenges if they even get implemented down the line. Critics claim that outcome -- which would only reduce carbon emissions by 1.8 percent at the endpoint -- will be more than 200,000 jobs lost along with the economy taking an annual hit of $51 billion, along with sharper higher electricity rates for consumers.

In a statement, United Mine Workers of America President Cecil E. Roberts declared that "The proposed rule issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions."

Moreover, expanding economic giants such as China and India have evidenced no inclination thus far to follow suit with similar regulations, calling into question how US-based restrictions alone will improve global pollution levels.

As far as the photo ID requirement for the upcoming climate change hearings in Atlanta, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Washington, the EPA explained that "Because these hearings are being held at U.S. government facilities, individuals planning to attend the hearing should be prepared to show valid picture identification to the security staff in order to gain access to the meeting room," The Blaze reports.

Voting also takes place in US government facilities

Most (but not all) Democrats and their allied groups from the Obama administration on down consider government-issued photo identification, usually in the form of a driver's license, as a voting requirement to be almost the equivalent of waterboarding. On the other hand, the Democrat-controlled legislature in Rhode Island passed a voter ID law to combat voter fraud, and there were apparently no problems at the polling places during the 2012 presidential election.

Throughout the world, photo ID to vote is the norm.

According to a recent Fox News poll, 70 percent of Americans across all demographic groups support voter ID laws.

In February, participants in a march to protest against North Carolina's voter ID law were required to have a photo ID to join in.

Putting aside ideology or mythology, to function successfully in day-to-day life as a practical matter, you need a photo ID.

No one seems to have a problem showing ID to get on a plane, opening up a bank account or cashing a check, picking up a package at the post office, UPS, or FedEx, applying for government assistance, giving blood at the Red Cross, checking into a motel, getting a tattoo, completing a credit card transaction, getting a beer at the ballpark, buying cigarettes (for those foolish enough to still smoke), and even to vote in a union election. You even need a photo ID to buy recreational or medical marijuana in those states where it is legal, and there have no reported problems in that regard.

So even stoners or potheads have the wherewithal to obtain a government-issued photo ID.

Do you think the EPA is engaging in voter suppression and/or discrimination by requiring a photo ID to attend the climate change hearings?

[image credit: Wknight94]

Added: The state of Mississippi tried out is new voter ID law on June 3, and apparently the world did not come to a end:

"Mississippi's new voter ID law got its first run in the June 3 primary, and the sky did not fall. Despite the tiresome and disproven claims by opponents that such laws cause wholesale voter disenfranchisement and are intended to suppress votes, Mississippi 'sailed through' its first test of the new ID requirements, according to The Clarion Ledger, the newspaper of Jackson, Miss. Aside from being able to use any form of government-issued photo ID, like every other state with ID requirements, Mississippi provides a free ID for anyone who does not already have a government-issued photo ID. Contrary to the claims of those who say large numbers of Americans don't have an ID, Mississippi estimated that only 0.8 percent of Mississippians lacked an ID. In fact, even that may have been an overestimate since the state had to issue only about 1,000 voter ID cards. All those who forgot their ID on Tuesday also could vote by an affidavit as long as they returned and showed an ID within five days. The Clarion Ledger reported how few problems there were in the implementation of the new requirement."