Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Will EPA Write "Cap-N-Tax"?

It's clear that Obama doesn't have the votes for Cap-n-Tax in the Senate, or he would not have hinted that it's off the table late last week.

Perhaps that's because Browner's gang will simply regulate us to the Promised Land instead.

...In an obvious administrative overreach, EPA wants to rewrite the 1970 Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gases. The agency just released a proposed rule that would allow them to “tailor” the Act to regulate greenhouse gases from stationary sources that have the potential to emit more than 25,000 tons per year. This rule is a clear violation of the black letter law of the Act, which states that major stationary emitters are classified as “stationary sources with the potential to emit 250 tons or more of any pollutant.”

EPA is in a bind because if they enact their long-sought greenhouse gases regulations as the Clean Air Act actually instructs, they will have to regulate 1.2 million businesses, manufactures and farms, this according to a study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This regulation would place a crippling burden on the country ...

...Ever since the Supreme Court ruled in Massachusetts v. EPA that the agency had to make a greenhouse gas determination based on the language in the Clean Air Act, EPA has been trying to find a way to bend over backwards to shoehorn it in. But what Massachusetts v. EPA and today’s EPA backflips really show is that the Act is poorly suited for greenhouse gases regulation...

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the author of the original Act, has been clear that he never envisioned it being used for greenhouse gases. The fact that EPA has to illegally ignore the plain language of the Act to avoid regulating churches, schools, farms and warehouses all across the country is evidence to this point.

Congress is engaged in a healthy and heated debate over the proper role of the federal government in regulating greenhouse gases. The House has already passed a cap-and-trade scheme and Senators Boxer and Kerry released their version of the bill this week. It is an unthinkable administrative overreach for EPA to issue new regulations that are in clear violation of their statutory authority while Congress is in the midst of addressing the issue...

Even if one ignores the "greenhouse gas is destroying the Earth" fallacy--i.e., that the thesis is scientifically erroneous--it is simply preposterous to allow EPA to extend its regulatory tentacles to the extent they propose. There are 50 States which regulate emissions. Overlaying a new Federal scheme on those regulators (and extant regulations) will be a nightmare, and duplicate expenses for several years to come.

But the most important discussion IS the 'greenhouse gas' fallacy, which is properly the domain of Congress. Allowing EPA to get into this game absent legislation is ruinous.

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