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  • Morning Bell: Central Planning Coming on Carbon

    Writing from the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Atlantic’s Megan McArdle recounts a Thomas Friedman presentation on global warming where Friedman mused “about how great it would be if we could be China for a day — have the government get in, totally reorganize the energy market, and then go forward from there.” Friedman is spending a little too much time away from Washington. According to the Advanced Notice for Proposed Rulemaking leaked widely last week, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to do just that.

    Using authority derived from the Clean Air Act, the EPA’s plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is unprecedented in scope. Originally a response to states that wanted to mandate stricter fuel-efficiency requirements, the plan reaches far beyond the automotive sector to touch every aspect of our economy.

    A few of the items the EPA wants to regulate: planes, trains, ships, boats, farm tractors, farm and mining equipment, lawn mowers, garden equipment, portable power generators, fork lifts, construction machines, and logging equipment. The EPA plan contemplates not only emission caps, but true central planning features such as mandated equipment redesign and operational changes. And that’s only the beginning.

    The EPA plan also acknowledges that regulating carbon through the Clean Air Act would trigger regulation requirements under both the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) programs. Under the PSD program, any building exceeding 100,000 square feet would be subject to an expensive permitting process for new construction or modification. The EPA conservatively estimates this item alone will bring 1 million new sources under its regulatory regime.

    Just last month the Senate rejected, again, a cap-and-trade plan for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But don’t fear, environmentalists: The EPA claims it can introduce a cap-and-trade plan by fiat. The EPA admits designing a cap-and-trade system “would entail working with a large number of diverse interest groups on difficult issues involving redistribution of wealth on a scale that typically is decided by Congress rather than the Executive Branch.”

    But the bureaucrats at the EPA are undaunted. They fully believe they can and should design a system requiring massive “redistributions of wealth.” Should Congress democratically decide such issues as whether allowances are auctioned or allocated? No. Bureaucrats at the EPA will centrally plan such decisions, thank you very much.

    For her part, the Atlantic’s McArdle was horrified by Friedman’s affection for China’s policymaking methods: “Where to start? Very few people think that China is succeeding because of its awesome industrial policy — China is succeeding very much in spite of its industrial policy.” The Bush administration has done an admirable job fighting EPA’s efforts to centrally plan domestic industrial policy the way China does. Hopefully, the next president will save us too.

    Quick Hits:

    • Iran this morning test-fired nine long- and medium-range missiles. That would put all of Israel, Turkey, the Arabian peninsula, Afghanistan and Pakistan within the missiles’ reach.
    • Over the past seven years, Medicare has been swindled out of as much as $92 million by medical equipment suppliers who billed the government using the ID numbers of dead doctors.
    • U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg signed an agreement establishing a missile defense radar station, a major victory for the Bush administration’s foreign policy agenda.
    • According to Rasmussen Reports, 47 percent of Americans surveyed say it’s most important for tax policy to support economic growth while 44 percent say it’s more important to establish a policy in which everyone pays their fair share.
    • The percentage of voters who give Congress good or excellent ratings has fallen to a record low 9 percent.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Morning Bell: Central Planning Coming on Carbon

    1. Sam Deakins, Richmon says:

      How much longer until we will then have to license our mowers and weed eaters? Then the state can charge us a property tax on the machines and the Feds can make us pay a Carbon Offset tax for the use of these devices. Then we can be allocated a certain number of times per year we can actually use the machines and if we get caught by the Department of Homeland Cap and Trade Security using a device outside of our allotted agreement we can be fined. Such a brave new world order. Al Gore for Emperor of the World.

    2. Harold, Tx. says:

      Congress is soooo busy partying and working on getting reelected that the people in congress, do not put the needs of the USA first, just themselves. Vote them all out of office.

    3. Scott, Oro Valley, A says:

      According to http://www.coloradotrees.org/benefits.htm, one acre of trees in Brooklyn, NY can offset the average American cars CO2 output up to 7200 miles/yr. Where is this documentation in Al Gore's movie? Rather than encouraging plantings, he establishes a monetary penalty for everyone who overuses carbon, while pocketing the money in his company? We should all be planting trees to offset. Maintaining plants…replanting/replacing dead trees…OK, you may call me a 'tree hugger' now. I am anything but a TH. This is just a better way than reverse Robin Hood tactics from a tyrant. Say NO to Cap-and-steal.

    4. Pingback: A Day At The Fair » Blog Archive » Morning Bell: Central Planning Coming On Carbon

    5. Pingback: More on That Leaked EPA Plan » The Foundry

    6. david, wahoo, ne says:

      Liberals and other communists have been trying to establish government control of the economy by political means for years and failed. So, now they are going to accomplish it by using a fake environmental crisis. That's right, I said it, global warming is a scam. As someone said about the green party in Germany, "they are like watermelons, green on the outside and red on the inside." We need to wake up to what Obama will do if elected in '08 and vote, or our freedoms, our economy, and our nation will be nothing more than a footnote in history.

    7. David A. White says:

      One political party is stealing the public blind and the other is sticking their nose into everything except what they need to be working on. We need term limits bad, the airlines make a pilot retire at 60, but in the senate and house,they serve until they die, same for the supreme court, when they reach the age of 70, they need to move out of the way for younger people

    8. TexasProud, Texas says:

      God save us from the religion of "Environmentalism." Don't drink the Kool-Aid!

    9. Rich, Phoenix, AZ. says:

      I am so sick of the EPA I'm about to go postal on them. We took action in Boston over tax on tea, isn't it about time to do something about something much worse and effecting our lives here and now! I'm a truck driver and fuel costs are starving my family, now the EPA wants to charge me a fee to get a dust control number so I can be fined for making dust. Arizona has lots of dust (dust storms), it's a fact of life. Dump trucks make dust, deal with it!

    10. Pingback: Plumb Bob Blog » Energy Oppressors On the March

    11. Dave, laguna niguel, says:

      The entire crop of present senators and congress persons need to be run out of town on a rail! NOW! The American people can no longer afford these jokers who care more about illegals and terrorists so-called rights than they do the people who work, pay taxes and try to raise a family. As the great Professor Williams( a black educator) once said, "we need to march on Washington and bring your farm tools!"

    12. Pingback: Obama’s Undemocratic Plan for Central Planning on Carbon « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

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