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Morning Bell: An Offer We Can Refuse

Posted By Conn Carroll On October 20, 2008 @ 9:24 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

Barack Obama’s energy adviser Jason Grumet told Bloomberg last week that an Obama administration would not “insert political judgments to interrupt the recommendations of the scientific efforts [1].” His promise was made in reference to the Environmental Protection Agency’s impending decision on whether or not to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Later in that same interview Grumet also said: “The EPA is obligated to move forward in the absence of congressional action. If there’s no action by Congress in those 18 months, I think any responsible president would want to have the regulatory approach.”

Apparently, Grumet either doesn’t understand the regulatory process or he has a peculiar definition of what “insert political judgments” means. Either the science dictates EPA must regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act or it does not. Nowhere in the Clean Air Act does it say that the EPA can choose not to regulate a dangerous pollutant if Congress passes some other measure to regulate carbon.

As the Wall Street Journal [2] summarizes: “Well, well. For years, Democrats — including Senator Obama — have been howling about the ‘politicization’ of the EPA, which has nominally been part of the Bush Administration. … Now it turns out that a President Obama would himself wield such a finding as a political bludgeon. He plans to issue an ultimatum to Congress: Either impose new taxes and limits on carbon that he finds amenable, or the EPA carbon police will be let loose to ravage the countryside.” Or as Don Corleone might say: “I’ll make them an offer they can’t refuse.”

The American people ought to refuse both the Obama-EPA carbon regulations and a congressional-enacted cap-and-trade program. The European Union’s cap-and-trade program has been a complete failure [3]. Not only has it failed [4] to actually [5] reduce carbon emissions [6], but even if they were met it would have no impact on world temperatures [7]. Worse, cap-and-trade programs are job killers. Don’t believe us? Just ask the Europeans. Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said last week, “Does it make sense to ask companies for such a large sacrifice, and risk hitting citizens’ pockets at such a delicate moment, all for environmental policy whose efficacy is questionable? [8]” Prestigiacomo’s skepticism was joined by both Germany’s largest trade bodies and the German Mittelstand — the small and medium-sized businesses that form the backbone of the economy [9]. Or just ask the United Nations’ top climate official, Yvo de Boer, who explained international rejection of carbon capping to the AP last week: “You can’t pick an empty pocket [10].”

Obama’s EPA approach would be just as disastrous for the U.S. economy. Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis will soon release a study based Global Insight’s U.S. Macroeconomic Model of the American economy that shows EPA’s plans to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act would [11]: reduce aggregate gross domestic product by $6.9 trillion by 2029 and reduce employment in the manufacturing sector by 2.9 million jobs by 2029, including machinery manufacturing by 57% and durable manufacturing by 28%. The EPA plan would touch every aspect of Americans’ lives. Once carbon is classified as a pollutant, EPA can regulate lawnmowers [12], hotels, restaurants, churches [13], and even set speed limits [14].

Obama’s 18-month window for congressional action is a completely fabricated 100% political timeline. The EPA has already begun the regulatory process. You can tell them what you think at Stop the EPA. [15]

Quick Hits:


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/10/20/morning-bell-an-offer-we-can-refuse/

URLs in this post:

[1] insert political judgments to interrupt the recommendations of the scientific efforts: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a2RHIj_6hvV0&refer=home

[2] Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122445812003548473.html

[3] complete failure: http://www.openeurope.org.uk/research/etsp2.pdf

[4] failed: http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/society/environment/eu+climate+change+plans+a+failure/281657

[5] to actually: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120715961005983677.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_news

[6] reduce carbon emissions: http://www.businessgreen.com/business-green/news/2207994/eu-plans-fail-spark-carbon

[7] would have no impact on world temperatures: http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=8725

[8] Does it make sense to ask companies for such a large sacrifice, and risk hitting citizens’ pockets at such a delicate moment, all for environmental policy whose efficacy is questionable?: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122411508399938601.html

[9] the small and medium-sized businesses that form the backbone of the economy: http://

[10] You can’t pick an empty pocket: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/10/13/MNO313EQ65.DTL

[11] EPA’s plans to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act would: http://www.foundry.org/2008/10/16/regulations-of-mass-job-destruction/

[12] lawnmowers: http://www.foundry.org/2008/07/14/epa-could-regulate-lawnmowers-speed-limit/

[13] hotels, restaurants, churches: http://www.foundry.org/2008/09/16/if-you-eat-sleep-or-pray-then-the-epa-is-coming-for-you/

[14] set speed limits: http://www.foundry.org/2008/07/14/epa-could-regulate-lawnmowers-speed-limit

[15] Stop the EPA.: http://www.stopepa.com/

[16] protectionist Obama policies: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122445840565148489.html

[17] killed about 30 of them: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/19/AR2008101900458.html

[18] was not exactly free: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/19/AR2008101901416.html

[19] deficits appear to be cool again: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/business/economy/20cost.html?ref=todayspaper

[20] Freddie Mac secretly paid a Republican consulting firm $2 million to kill legislation: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/10/19/politics/p093616D96.DTL

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