President Obama has always said that if the Congress does not create economy killing greenhouse gas regulations, he will go around Congress and the American people by having the EPA regulate emissions. Now that Cap and Trade is dead, the EPA is following through on the President’s threats.
Just as the health care bill regulates the way you make personal choices about your body, the EPA will be adding energy consumption taxes to regulate what were once personal and corporate choices about the way energy is consumed. It doesn’t matter whether global warming is real or a hoax, the EPA will force you to act if its real with regulations that will essentially be a back door energy tax that will kill jobs, tax every American who turns on a light drives a car or warm their house, drive up the cost of consumer goods and move jobs overseas, as the new regulations will increase the cost of manufacturing products in America.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said her agency’s inaugural regulations on automotive greenhouse gas emissions announced four months ago were only “the first” of such regulations, promising that her agency would move “deliberately” to institute regulations in other areas of the economy as well.
“These are the first regulations that cover greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” she said. “Certainly it shows that it can be done, but I think it shows more than that.”
Jackson noted that the Clean Air Act says that additional regulations are coming because the GHG emissions are labeled as a pollutant. She added, however, that the EPA would move “rather slowly” to allow states to deal with the impact of increased federal regulations “when and if they come.”
Well, according to the Washington Post, here they come.
The Environmental Protection Agency will soon begin regulating greenhouse gases factory by factory, power plant by power plant. That could be unwieldy, expensive and unpopular — even President Obama has said it’s not his preferred solution.
But for now, it’s his only option.
The next few months could bring a climax to the long-running debate over how to combat climate change, with the EPA trying to implement its rules and industry groups and opponents in Congress seeking to block it with lawsuits or legislation.
The administration will cite a mandate from the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases could be regulated like other air pollutants. But opponents will say it has chosen an approach that stretches the law and could impose serious economic costs.
The result of their fight could be the first limits on greenhouse gases from American smokestacks — or a significant defeat for the White House and environmental groups.
The administration “wanted to be able to hold out the threat of clean-air regulation [by the EPA], as a way to . . . try to get people to the table,” said Jeffrey R. Holmstead, an EPA official under the Bush administration, who now works for the law firm Bracewell & Giuliani. “They’re now faced with the kind of unenviable task of trying to make it work.” Great hopes dashed
Fasten your seat belts and save your money because prices will skyrocket.
Starting in January, under EPA rules new permits will require the largest factories and power plants to show they have installed the “best available” technology to curb emissions. Smaller sources of greenhouse gases like shops, apartment buildings and bakeries are exempt.
That might mean upgrades to make plants burn fuel more efficiently or perhaps to switch from coal to cleaner-burning natural gas.
These are “pretty modest steps, and it’s not much compared to what legislation was set out to accomplish,” said Joshua Freed, who directs the clean energy program at Third Way, a centrist think tank. “For the overwhelming majority of stationary sources [like power plants and factories] nothing’s going to change for a while.”
Not quite say others. The regulation will lead to higher costs for industry, which of course will be passed along to the consumer.
Some industry groups say that if the EPA requires aggressive cuts, the result could be crushing costs for businesses. So even before it begins, the EPA effort is the subject of lawsuits, from plaintiffs questioning both its science and legal underpinnings. At particular issue is the “tailoring rule” that limits regulation to the largest emitters: Opponents say it deviates from standards written into the 40-year-old Clean Air Act.
Joe Stanko, a lobbyist at Hunton and Williams who represents several greenhouse gas emitters, said the EPA’s reasoning has “some basis in rationality if you had a blank piece of paper and you’re designing a permitting program. But you don’t, you have a statute.”
There is a movement in Congress to stop the EPA from acting, but it is doubtful that it will be passed over the Democratic party majority.
In Congress, some senators have worked to stop the EPA in its tracks. In June, a resolution from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) narrowly failed. Another bill from Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), which would suspend the effort for two years, awaits a vote.
A White House spokesman said that Obama would veto Rockefeller’s measure if it passed. But more attempts could be made.
The EPA action is just another example of the Obama Administration ignoring the will of the people, the only for our voice to be heard is to elect a GOP majority this November.