After Congress fails to regulate greenhouse gases, the president hands the job to the EPA.
Ronald Bailey from the April 2011 issue
Plan A was to get Congress to adopt a massive cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme. The idea was to impose mandatory cuts on U.S. emissions of the greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, that are thought to be warming the atmosphere. Six months after President Barack Obama’s inauguration, a cap-and-trade bill managed to squeak through the House of Representatives—once it was larded up with billions in pork.
But attempts to get cap and trade through the Senate foundered last July when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) admitted he could not muster the votes. The midterm elections, in which the Republicans took control of the House and increased their membership in the Senate, ensured that Plan A was off the table.
Now on to Plan B. At a press conference after the elections, Obama declared: “Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.” The president then handed the cat-skinning job over to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is imposing limits on greenhouse gas emissions by means of regulations under the Clean Air Act. Not surprisingly, this attempt at atmospheric central planning has engendered considerable opposition. (Reason)
Energy Tax Prevention Act: The Only End to Cap and Trade
by Sen. James Inhofe
The evidence is in: The Obama Environmental Protection Agency’s cap-and-trade agenda is destroying jobs and decreasing domestic energy supplies. That agenda is slowing our economic recovery. It will mean higher gas and electricity bills for consumers.
Congress can stop this attack on jobs and affordable energy by passing the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. The bill would stop EPA’s cap-and-trade regulations, which are designed to make the energy we use more expensive.
They will also strangle economic growth. As the National Association of Manufacturers wrote, “At a time when our economy is attempting to recover from the most severe recession since the 1930s, [EPA] regulations, with no guidance from Congress, will establish disincentives for the long-term investments necessary to grow jobs and expedite economic recovery.” (Human Events)
Senator Rockefeller fiddles while the coal industry burns
By Deneen Borelli
A plan to block the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions is gaining momentum, but Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is playing the spoiler to the growing bi-partisan effort to stop the federal agency’s power grab.
With the exception of Rockefeller, all of the members of the West Virginia congressional delegation — Republican and Democrat — support the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011. It would limit the EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Obama ordered the EPA to regulate them, based on a Supreme Court ruling, after his cap-and-trade proposal failed on Capitol Hill.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee recently voted 34 to 19 in favor of the act, but Rockefeller criticized a similar amendment to small business legislation offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying, “I won’t support a total dismantling of the EPA, and I am disappointed with Republican efforts to bring up this legislation, which has no chance of ever becoming law.”
Rockefeller is offering an opposing amendment with a similar EPA prohibition, but only for two years — kicking the can past the 2012 elections.
The obvious goal of Rockefeller’s political gamesmanship is to provide political cover for lawmakers feeling the pressure from constituents concerned about the economic consequences of the EPA’s actions. (Daily Caller)