Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The EPA throws a wrench into the economy

Just when conservatives were hoping that they'd dodged a bullet on cap and trade because the Senate wasn't going to seriously take up the bill next year and they have hopes that Republicans will make some gains in the 2010 elections and be able to block such a bill after the new Congress got sworn in, now the EPA comes around to unilaterally assert its right to regulate carbon. Just imagine what such regulation of all industry will do to the economy. As James Pethokoukis argues today, it's as if the EPA told the American economy to just drop dead. We're in for a time of more uncertainty for American business as such EPA regulations are adjudicated through the courts.
But now it’s conceivable carbon restrictions would be implemented as early as next year – even though the EPA itself admits its efforts would be more disruptive and less efficient than congressional action. Such an optimistic timetable assumes no legal challenges. But there will be plenty of those. Already, business groups are preparing to file suit against the EPA. It could fall to U.S. courts to determine the future of the nation’s approach to climate policy. This is a nightmare scenario for the private sector when it comes to planning for new expansion or hiring. Note that the big problem with the job market at the moment is not so much job losses and zippo new jobs being created. It will take a year of 4 percent growth adding 250,000 jobs a month to lower the unemployment rate to 9 percent.

Of course, about the only thing worse than regulatory uncertainty would be for the EPA to follow through with its top-down, command-and-control approach to dealing with perceived climate change.
This is the Obama administration's method of blackmailing Congress into passing cap and trade under the theory that such a law would be less bad than letting the EPA regulate every aspect of the economy through their regulation of carbon.
ith cap and trade blown apart in the Senate, the White House has chosen to impose taxes and regulation across the entire economy under clean-air laws that were written decades ago and were never meant to apply to carbon. With this doomsday machine activated, Mr. Obama hopes to accomplish what persuasion and debate among his own party manifestly cannot.

This reckless "endangerment finding" is a political ultimatum: The many Democrats wary of levelling huge new costs on their constituents must surrender, or else the EPA's carbon police will inflict even worse consequences.

The gambit is also meant to coerce businesses, on the theory that they'll beg for cap and trade once the command-and-control regulatory pain grows too acute—not to mention the extra bribes in the form of valuable carbon permits that Democrats, since you ask, are happy to dispense. Ms. Jackson appealed to "the science" and waved off any political implications, yet the formal finding was not coincidentally announced at the start of the U.N.'s Copenhagen climate conference
The Democrats have said that they're going to be all about jobs, jobs, jobs in 2010. Throwing this wrench into the economy isn't going to help them.

But I bet Thomas Friedman is happy. Here's the sort of action that he was yearning for when he deplored our messy democratic system that couldn't accomplish anything as swiftly as that clean Chinese autocracy can do with its top-down orders for the rest of the country. Now we have the EPA substituting itself for that messy lawmaking that goes on in Congress.


redleg said...

The EPA did not do its own science, but relied completely on the IPCC, which, as we know, uses data that are a bit tainted.

Think the Republicans are any better? When they talk about CO2 it is now in terms of a pollutant. Once you get the opposition to think in your terms, you have won half the battle. CO2 is not a pollutant, it is necessary for life.

tfhr said...

Given his incessant reading of teleprompter aided diatribes, Barack Obama probably spews more CO2 than most Americans. The EPA should be present at each Obama speech to monitor CO2 levels, provide protective clothing and breathing apparatus for all in attendance and calculate the exact number of carbon credits required to deliver each syllable uttered.

Congress should have a permanent EPA posting to provide on-site safety assurance through strict enforcement of workplace guidelines pertaining to hazardous materials. The wear of EPA approved protective clothing and breathing apparatus within the Capitol building should be mandatory at all times. Except for Charlie Rangel because laws do not apply to him.

LarryD said...

Since the EPA didn't do it's own research, but depended on the IPCC, which is heavily dependent on the CRU finding, which are now known to be tainted, this could blow up in the warmists faces.

Lawsuits, discovery, pulling the whole shebang in to the courts where "trust us" is not going to cut it. Jones, Mann, Hansen, et al have stonewalled FOI requests, will they dare try that with legal discovery and court orders?

showbiz111 said...

Unfortunately we had McCain running against Obama last year so either one of them would have passed this ruinous regulatory scheme whether by Congress or by fiat in the EPA.
We will be lucky to have two guys working in the private sector at the end of Mr. Obama's first term.
Now, if I were a Senator, I would immediately subpoena Ms. Socialist Jackson, head of EPA, to testify before Congress on her blackmail threats against Congress. If I were a republican I would do my best to put in EPA continuing funding resolution an amendment that EPA could expend no funds to regulate greenhouse gases unless Congress passes a law expressly granting that right and that amendment would also state that the SCOTUS opinion passed last year that interpreted the Clean Air act to provide authority to regulate co2 was in error and that EPA has no authority under the Act to do so. I would also join other Senators in a legal challenge to bar the EPA from implementing any of these regulations because of Climategate and the corrupt science used to implement these policies.