Skip to comments.The EPA's Attack On The U.S. Economy
Posted on 07/11/2008 9:33:58 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Opponents of a massive new energy tax and federal bureaucracy breathed a small sigh of relief last month when the Lieberman-Warner climate tax bill went down in flames on the Senate floor, with even 10 Democrats breaking from the party line and saying, in writing, that they would have opposed the bill on final passage. Unfortunately, power-mad bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency are undaunted. Empowered by an activist Supreme Court in the 5-4 Massachusetts v. EPA decision, the EPA is expected today to release a staggering document blueprinting a dizzying array of greenhouse gas regulatory programs under dozens of different provisions of the 1970 Clean Air Act. This document, called an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, will formally begin the process of implementing restrictions more draconian than the Lieberman-Warner bill without a single vote of Congress.
While the Supreme Court decision that opened the door to this mischief was limited to motor vehicle regulation, the EPA blueprint (judging by various leaked versions that have been available for weeks) goes far beyond that, filling over 200 pages (plus over 800 pages of appendices) with a radical plan for reordering the entire U.S. economy.
Not only are motor vehicles regulated - and much more harshly than the already-coming motor vehicles regulations coming from the Department of Transportation because of last year's energy bill - but so are light-duty trucks, heavy-duty trucks, buses, motorcycles, planes, trains, ships, boats, tractors, mining equipment, RVs, lawn mowers, fork-lifts, and just about every other piece of equipment that's got a motor in it. The regulatory requirements in many cases could require complete redesigns, as well as operational changes.
Those are just the mobile sources, and bad as they are, the stationary source regulations could be much worse. EPA hopes to be able to regulate stationary sources by instituting a cap-and-trade scheme - the same massive multi-trillion dollar hidden tax hike scam that the U.S. Senate rejected last month - through a tortured statutory interpretation. If they're unable to do that, we'll end up with (yes, I know this is hard to conceive of) something even worse: Old-style, command-and-control regulation of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
The worst excess here is in the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) program. That program requires permitting for sources that emit as little as 100 tons per year. That threshold may make sense for some air pollutants, but for carbon dioxide it's frighteningly low, and would subject millions of never before regulated entities to an expensive and lengthy EPA permitting process. This is an unprecedented regulatory nightmare, with permitting and expensive control technology (although what it would be for carbon dioxide remains unclear) for most medium to large buildings that use fossil fuel furnaces for heat. Any building over 100,000 square feet would be pulled in, as would much smaller buildings that produce carbon dioxide in their businesses, such restaurants, schools, and hospitals that have commercial kitchens with gas burners.
Not only would the burden of this permitting process be debilitating for businesses across the country, it would also grind state environmental agencies and the EPA to a standstill, inundated by so many permit filings that it would be impossible to pursue any legitimate environmental protections. While the backlog grows, all new construction activity across the country will stop.
The EPA blueprint has a lengthy discussion of how to avoid this outcome, suggesting that they can set their own threshold for permitting. They can't. That's the trouble with making national economic policy through an activist Supreme Court and a rogue regulatory agency - there's nobody in charge. Congress could design a regime with whatever threshold it considered appropriate, but the EPA can only stretch the 1970 Clean Air Act (whose author John Dingell, has stated unequivocally that it should not be forced into service to regulate greenhouse gases) so far. Even if the major environmental groups agreed to look the other way while more reasonable rules were implemented, all it takes is one environmentalist to file a lawsuit and point out that clear statutory language establishes the threshold for PSD regulation. Then the economy stops moving.
The EPA is an agency out of control. A multi-trillion dollar, radical reordering of our economy deserves at least the participation of our democratically-elected, accountable branches of government. Whether or not Congress chooses to establish a regime for greenhouse gas regulation, it must immediately pass legislation to stop the EPA from implementing its devastating vision for the U.S. economy.
Mr. Kerpen is policy director for Americans for Prosperity.
Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.
Still behaving as if man-made global warming were a proven fact...
Osprig, Wasprig, and whatever other state sprig; EPA, Global Warming, Animal Rights, Right to Die, Abortion, ACLU, NEA, National Library Assn., NOW, Same Sex Marriage (actually the entire Homosexual movement) plus a myriad of others have been and are subversive, thus a threat to the viability of our freedoms and the security of the Country’s underpinnings.
Unless we confess our sins, and turn from them, to follow Almightyt God and His laws, we don’t stand a chance of aurviving the above.
What I don’t understand is how the EPA can just do what they want without someone in the administration saying, “Whoa! No you’re not!”
What is a sprig? I’ve heard of PIRGs (public interest research groups), but not sprigs.
LOL! You are right! My stupid error!
The administration could say, “Oh, no you don’t!” But guess what, the envirowhackos will sue the administration based on the Supreme Court ruling that mandates the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Acts.
Let ‘em sue and keep everything tied up in litagation.
Here is another example of how badly our government is broken. The Founding Fathers wanted the Congress to be the legislative body. Instead, some decades ago, Congress couldn’t be bothered doing the job we elected them to perform, so they abdicated their responsibilities and created agencies such as the EPA with the ability to create their own legislation via “agency-specific regulation”.
In this example, they can point to the EPA and say “I didn’t vote for it”, even though they refuse to acknowlege that they did nothing to either stop, control, or block the EPA (among others) from these draconian regulations.
As I have stated before, if all of the laws currently active on the books could be enforced, we would be the most oppressed nation on earth - NOT the perceived beacon of freedom we are supposed to be!
I have been saying for decades that the EPA as well as the ESA, the ADA and a few others were sold as radically different proposals than what we are living with, thanks to the ineptitude and scientific ignorance of our judges, and the judicial system generally.
Perhaps the best description of the problem is in a related controversy, the process of degeneration of a "good idea" is identical with the current global warming hoax. But the 60s Environment "concerns" validated the process and we are all losers as a result.
The description of this degeneration goes something like this:
It was to advise governments on these and related issues, such as the impact of very large public projects spanning several states and huge watersheds that the study of the "environment" was initiated in the late 60s, when it became evident that, politically, caring about something "environmentally" critical was the most efficient means of controlling the normal progress of society.
Essentially, the EPA and the ESA and ADA neither carry out research nor monitor the results of their limitless "rulemaking". Their role was simply to advise the lawmakers, and it was up to them to decide whether anything needed to be done, on a case by case basis. Allowing projects to proceed in spite of 'negative impacts' was always assumed to be an option. In practice, this has never happened.
No serious enough national crisis (up to now) has ever snapped our leadership out of their apparent stupor .
Remember, the original purpose was to provide a synthesis of what was happening in the field, and to inform the governments (lawmakers) of what the facts are so they can choose to adopt appropriate legislation.
Here's where there was a large left turn into socialist fascism.
Despite the very real dangers inherent in giving any organization a "national" quasi-monopoly of official scientific and social advice, on balance it was a sensible step to take. Unfortunately, in most important respects the resulting bureaucracies (a dereliction of duty of congress, and an illegal transfer of legislative power) have become seriously flawed. This should be obvious to everyone who traces the evolution of these alphabet-soup federal agencies.
The problem stems in part from the fact that what was intended as fact-finding and analytical exercises to inform legislators at all levels, mysteriously mutated in the minds of those who head them into something more like politically correct alarmist pressure groups, implementing legal requirements astronomocally expensive in comparison to the returns, and totally insentitive to reason, perspective and necessary compromise.
In that universe, the words "compromise" or "trade offs" don't exist!
Perhaps now we have an opportunity to slap our incompetent Congress back to reality, and to practice the responsible leadership so sorely needed.
With credit for the observations made in An Appeal to Reason, by Nigel Lawson, Duckworth Overlook, 2008, ISBN 978-1-5902-0084-1
What are the ADA and the ESA in this case (since these terms appear to mean something other than “Americans with Disabilities Act” and “Endangered Species Act”)?
I remember when I was young, and thought the guys at the top were the Smart and Good People. Now, sometimes it seems they couldn’t be doing more bring us to ruin. Why not just flat-out admit it? “Enjoy your excrement sandwich, it tastes good and it’s good for you. Really, it is.”
That's exactly what they mean and althought they were both great ideas when introduced, they degenerated into rule-making bodies with no restraint, no accountability and no sense of limits.
You must not have heard the horror stories...
From the living document once known as the Constitution of the United States:
Article 1 Section 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States. . .
Scotus reviewed and found no problem with Congress-critters sloughing off their responsibility. It's a great system. Unelected and untouchable bureaucrats make the hated rules, constituents call the congress-critters to complain. Congress-critters look like heroes and get reelected.
Thank G*d for that. At least until January 20.
The EPA is a creation of the Nixon Administration. Nixon is the most liberal Republican president we’ve ever had. He implemented wage & price controls. He declared that, “We’re all Keynesians now,” reflecting a high degree of economic ignorance.
McCain is to the left of Nixon.