Friday, December 11, 2009

Avoiding those inconvenient checks and balances

Charles Krauthammer notes how the real agenda behind the environmentalist movement is to transfer money from the wealthier countries to the poorer ones.
One of the major goals of the Copenhagen climate summit is another NIEO ["New International Economic Order] shakedown: the transfer of hundreds of billions from the industrial West to the Third World to save the planet by, for example, planting green industries in the tristes tropiques.

Politically it's an idea of genius, engaging at once every left-wing erogenous zone: rich man's guilt, post-colonial guilt, environmental guilt. But the idea of shaking down the industrial democracies in the name of the environment thrives not just in the refined internationalist precincts of Copenhagen. It thrives on the national scale, too.
And this isn't some plan that depends on some massive international agreement. The Obama administration is working to make sure that the United States does its bit to stagnate our own economy in hopes that this will somehow help poorer countries. And they don't need no stinkin' congressional action to accomplish their goal.
On the day Copenhagen opened, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency claimed jurisdiction over the regulation of carbon emissions by declaring them an "endangerment" to human health.

Since we operate an overwhelmingly carbon-based economy, the EPA will be regulating practically everything. No institution that emits more than 250 tons of CO2 a year will fall outside EPA control. This means more than a million building complexes, hospitals, plants, schools, businesses and similar enterprises. (The EPA proposes regulating emissions only above 25,000 tons, but it has no such authority.) Not since the creation of the Internal Revenue Service has a federal agency been given more intrusive power over every aspect of economic life.

This naked assertion of vast executive power in the name of the environment is the perfect fulfillment of the prediction of Czech President (and economist) Vaclav Klaus that environmentalism is becoming the new socialism, i.e., the totemic ideal in the name of which government seizes the commanding heights of the economy and society.

Socialism having failed so spectacularly, the left was adrift until it struck upon a brilliant gambit: metamorphosis from red to green. The cultural elites went straight from the memorial service for socialism to the altar of the environment. The objective is the same: highly centralized power given to the best and the brightest, the new class of experts, managers and technocrats. This time, however, the alleged justification is not abolishing oppression and inequality but saving the planet.

Not everyone is pleased with the coming New Carbon-Free International Order. When the Obama administration signaled (in a gesture to Copenhagen) a U.S. commitment to major cuts in carbon emissions, Democratic Sen. Jim Webb wrote the president protesting that he lacks the authority to do so unilaterally. That requires congressional concurrence by legislation or treaty.

With the Senate blocking President Obama's cap-and-trade carbon legislation, the EPA coup d'etat served as the administration's loud response to Webb: The hell we can't. With this EPA "endangerment" finding, we can do as we wish with carbon. Either the Senate passes cap-and-trade, or the EPA will impose even more draconian measures: all cap, no trade.

Forget for a moment the economic effects of severe carbon chastity. There's the matter of constitutional decency. If you want to revolutionize society -- as will drastic carbon regulation and taxation in an energy economy that is 85 percent carbon-based -- you do it through Congress reflecting popular will. Not by administrative fiat of EPA bureaucrats.

Congress should not just resist this executive overreaching, but trump it: Amend clean-air laws and restore their original intent by excluding CO2 from EPA control and reserving that power for Congress and future legislation.

Do it now. Do it soon. Because Big Brother isn't lurking in CIA cloak. He's knocking on your door, smiling under an EPA cap.
Don't hold your breath waiting for the Democrats in Congress to deny the EPA this unilateral power and executive overreach. They're probably thrilled, like Thomas Friedman, that the Obama administration has found a way to get around all those inconvenient Constitutional checks and balances.

6 comments:

Frederick said...

As thrilled as any Bush supporter was with what he was doing with all those "all those inconvenient Constitutional checks and balances" I'm sure.

ic said...

Correction: transfer money from the wealthier countries to the connected rich few in the poorer ones.

Same here with the "Stimulus", no?

$6million to Mark Pence to tell the American people that they will watch digital instead of analog TV's.

Nothing to see, move along. Frederick, the generous, may say, just a few measely millions or billions, who cares?

Michael said...

Green is the new Red. Any excuse for funneling money and power to the academic/media/bureaucratic elite. (See USA Today on government versus private sector salaries.)

equitus said...

So, Frederick, in other words.. it's all good. Right?

Pat Patterson said...

I think I see a pattern in that the Democrats will blame, without citation of course, all sorts of extralegal shortcuts on the Bush Administration. This is simply because they would take those shortcuts themselves and ascribe their acts to everybody else. Much like defending shoplifting because, "...everyone does it."

tfhr said...

Frederick,

Which of your Constitutional rights were violated by the Bush administration?