Crucial Vote to Block the EPA’s Power Grab Fails

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Well here we have once again Congress giving authority to an agency that the Constitution doesn’t allow them to do…but what the heck , it’s just a piece of paper.

Crucial Vote to Block the EPA’s Power Grab Fails

Today, the Senate did vote on whether or not to concede lawmaking authority to the EPA. Coming to the floor is “Senate Joint Resolution 26,” also called the Murkowski Resolution for its lead sponsor, which would block and overturn the EPA’s global warming regulations.

Unable to tax or sufficiently regulate greenhouse gases through traditional legislative means, Democrats have turned to the EPA to do their dirty work for them. Conceding this point, EPA Director Lisa Jackson writes about an EPA plan that sounds an awfully lot like cap-and-trade:

“I expect that EPA will phase-in permit requirements and regulation of greenhouse gases for large stationary sources beginning in calendar year 2011… In any event, EPA does not intend to subject the smallest sources to Clean Air Act permitting for greenhouse-gas emissions any sooner than 2016.”

Senator Murkowski’s resolution is nothing more than an attempt to stop the EPA’s power grab. Senator Jay Rockefeller, a longtime advocate for stringent carbon regulation, best explains SJ Res 26:

I have long maintained that the Congress – not the unelected EPA – must decide major economic and energy policy. EPA regulation will have an enormous impact on the economic security of West Virginia and our energy future.

I intend to vote for Senator Murkowski’s Resolution of Disapproval because I believe we must send a strong message that the fate of West Virginia’s economy, our manufacturing industries, and our workers should not be solely in the hands of EPA.

To echo Senator Rockefeller, allowing the EPA to set economic policy for the country – powers never delegated to the agency – is a clear subversion of the democratic process. Constituents elect senators to represent their interests, whereas, the EPA is a far removed board accountable to no one. So while some on the left are willing to use any means necessary to enact preferred policy, more responsible legislators will see the problems in this shrewd logic.

EPA Green Police Mount Assault on Energy and US Automakers & Citizens

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Get ready for the green police. Today, the Environmental Protection Agency will commit itself to becoming an environmentalist Big Brother, like a not-so-jolly green giant.0

EPA Green Police Mount Assault on Energy

Updated April 01, 2010

This afternoon, the EPA is expected to announce new, more stringent fuel efficiency targets for automakers. The regulations are bad enough—they force people to buy smaller cars, which results in increased vehicular fatalities—but it gets worse. The EPA’s announcement will mark the first time that it has used its authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a big deal, because the Clean Air Act is written such that regulation triggers more regulation. Thus, today’s announcement on fuel efficiency is like reaching critical mass in a regulatory chain reaction, and the result is a weapon of massive economic destruction.

Here’s how it works. Once the Clean Air Act applies to mobile sources, like cars, it must also apply to stationary sources, like buildings. These regulations, in turn, engender stringent National Ambient Air Quality Standards. And so on and so forth. You get the idea.

But the Clean Air Act was written in 1970 to fight smog, not global warming. Greenhouse gases are much more prevalent than smog forming emissions, so the thresholds for what constitutes a polluter are all out of whack. If the EPA adheres to the text of the legislation, then it would have to regulate everything larger than a mansion—your apartment building, your office complex, your small business. It would be a nightmare.

Even the EPA admits that regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act is “absurd.To avoid having to shackle the entire economy, the EPA wants to increase the threshold for the regulation of greenhouse gas “pollution” under the Clean Air Act, from 250 tons a year, to 25,000 tons a year. Otherwise, the EPA argues, it will be forced to regulate almost everything, which would be, the EPA concedes, “absurd.”

But it’s not that simple. The EPA is part of the executive branch of government, and it is unconstitutional for the executive to legislate. The EPA’s attempt to alter the text of the Clean Air Act flies in the face of the separation of powers, one of America’s founding political principles. Environmentalist litigation groups undoubtedly will sue to ensure the full implementation of the Clean Air Act, and if they win, then the EPA will be forced to impose an unprecedented regulatory straightjacket on the American economy.

This is why the Congress never voted to subject greenhouse gases to the Clean Air Act. In fact, the Senate actually stripped greenhouse gas provisions from the 1990 Amendments to the Act. Michigan Rep. John Dingell, who authored the Clean Air Act, said that, “This [regulating greenhouse gases] is not what was intended by the Congress.” Despite this legislative history, the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that the EPA could regulate greenhouse gases.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the EPA could regulate greenhouse gases, not that the EPA must regulate. Former President George W. Bush had the good sense to let sleeping dogs lie. President Obama, on the other hand, thinks he can leverage the Supreme Court’s decision into a political victory.

He had campaigned for the presidency on a promise to deliver a “cap-and-trade” program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but he is having trouble getting it through Congress. So the President devised a high-stakes game of chicken. He is threatening to unleash the EPA in order to coerce climate legislation out of Congress. Today’s California waiver announcement is the consummation of Obama’s threat.

These are hyper-partisan times, but both parties in Congress agree that they don’t like being pushed around by The White House.(I’m going to add here then that’s their fault, because the Constitution doesn’t allow the executive branch to push them around. Congress has abrogated some their Constitutional duties in the past to the executive branch and now they don’t like it….they can stop it if they have the guts to go against the president. And they have the Constitution and founders to back them. Allowing the “commerce clause” to be interpreted too broadly is part of the problem as well.) In the Senate, Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has joined with Democratic colleagues Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to sponsor legislation, known as a Resolution of Disapproval, which would strip the EPA of the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Due to a procedural quirk, this Resolution of Disapproval (S.J. 26) cannot be filibustered, so it only needs a majority to pass in the Senate. There is a legally mandated time limit before which the bill must be considered, so the Senate will address S.J. 26 shortly after returning from the Easter recess. The vote is expected to be very close.

If it fails, get ready for the green police.

William Yeatman is an energy policy analyst at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and editor of

Obama Administration Announces Stalinist Environmental Tactics

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If Obama follows through with this and I”m sure he will, this should be considered treason and/or an impeachable offense. First his unconstitutional czars and now using the EPA to confirm a agreement/treaty at Copenhagen which bypasses the Constitution’s demand of 2/3 ratification by the Senate.

Obama Administration Announces Stalinist Environmental Tactics

The Obama Administration plans to bypass Congress to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. According to Fox News, a top White House economic official warned Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not wait for Congress to pass legislation on climate change.

The official said that if Congress does not take action, “the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area. And it is not going to be able to regulate in a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way.” He explained that legislation would provide compensation for small businesses hit hard by new rules, which EPA action alone could not provide.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson confirmed the threat at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen on Wednesday, saying regulators would frame new rules to complement cap-and-trade legislation pending in Congress. During her speech, she also bragged about the Obama Administration’s new environmental policies. The New York Times quoted her saying, “In less than 11 months … we have done more to promote clean energy and prevent climate change than happened in the last eight years.” She highlighted the EPA’s recent declaration that six greenhouse gases are a menace to public health and welfare, a move allowing the agency to tighten emissions restrictions on automobiles and industries.

The EPA’s sudden increased power gives credence to Jackson’s claims that the agency will be able to keep promises made at Copenhagen with or without Congressional approval.

House and Senate Republicans disagree and are planning a GOP delegation to Copenhagen to refute the Obama administration’s totalitarian boasts. Fox News reports that Senators Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, and John Barrasso of Wyoming will join U.S. Representatives Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, Joe Barton of Texas, and Darrell Issa of California at the conference next week. They plan a press conference to remind Copenhagen delegates that the United States cannot make any binding emissions agreements without Congressional approval. They also plan to give voice to skeptical views of global warming during official meetings of the conference.

Already this week the U.S. negotiator at Copenhagen has denied developing nations’ calls for climate-change reparations. Delegates from poor countries claim America owes a debt for supposed damage to their ecosystems, public health, and economies from greenhouse gas emissions. The New York Times reports that Todd Stern, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, scoffed at the idea during a press conference this week. “I actually completely reject the notion of a debt or reparations or anything of the like,” he said. “For most of the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution, people were blissfully ignorant of the fact that emissions caused a greenhouse effect. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon.” Stern did, however, express plans to enact measures to cut emissions and to grant foreign aid to developing countries.