• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Is the Left Now Wary of EPA's Power?

    Politico reports:

    In hearings before the Senate Environment and Public Works committee Tuesday, several moderate Democrats expressed concerns that the EPA is jumping the gun in mandating new curbs on greenhouse gas emissions across a slew of industries.

    EPA estimates that 14,000 major polluters would need to get the permits. Small business, farms, restaurants and other small businesses would be exempt from the regulations.

    Several Democrats said in Tuesday’s hearings that they would like to include language in the legislation that would stop the EPA form implementing a 2007 Supreme Court opinion that would mandate new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions for a slew of industries.

    First of all, EPA’s assertion that they can selectively regulate carbon emissions sources under the Clean Air Act is simply false. Heritage fellow Ben Lieberman explains:

    Once something is regulated as a pollutant under one section of the act, it is automatically regulated under several other sections. Fully applying the rest of the Clean Air Act to sources of carbon dioxide emissions would result in severe adverse economic consequences.

    For example, the stringent New Source Review permitting program applies to any source that emits 250 tons of any regulated pollutant per year, and in some cases as little as 100 tons per year. Most pollutants currently regulated are trace compounds like smog or mercury that are typically measured in parts per billion, so this threshold level sensibly distinguishes between minor contributors and significant ones.

    But carbon dioxide is not a trace compound. Background levels of naturally occurring carbon dioxide alone measure 275 parts per million, and even relatively small usage of fossil fuels could reach 250 tons. Thus, even the kitchen in a restaurant, the heating system in an apartment or office building, or the activities associated with running a farm could cause these and other entities to be regulated–potentially more than a million buildings, 200,000 manufacturing operations, and 20,000 farms.

    New Source Review permitting imposes an average of $125,000 in costs and takes 866 hours to complete. These and other onerous programs would now be imposed, for the first time, on a million or more entities beyond the large power plants and factories that have already been regulated in this manner.

    So what is the left doing in the face of these economy crippling regulations? Saving their own skins. Again from Politico:

    Big livestock interests and Great Lakes shippers won key regulatory concessions from Democrats Tuesday in a double blow to President Barack Obama’s climate change and clean air agenda.

    The Environmental Protection Agency would be effectively barred from mandating the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions generated by large-scale cattle, dairy and hog producers. In addition, 13 Great Lakes cargo steamships won a last-minute exemption from a proposed rule to require lower-sulfur fuel to reduce harmful emissions.

    In each case, the legislative riders will run only for the one-year life of a $32.24 billion natural resources bill that is otherwise very generous in funding the EPA, as well as parks and wildlife programs within the Interior Department. But the back-to-back regulatory fights show the strain on Democratic loyalties caused by the faltering economy.

    No less than House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D-Wis.), backed by maritime unions, was a major player in protecting the Great Lakes shippers. And the agriculture greenhouse gas requirements touched off a revolt among farm state Democrats, who threatened to bring down the entire bill if the legislative rider was included.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to Is the Left Now Wary of EPA's Power?

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      I don't know anyone who has died, due to mouth to mouth resuscitation. THIS IS A SET-UP. With discriminatory acts of pick and choose what company they don't like and accommodate those they favor. THERE IS NO CRISIS. THERE IS NO EXISTENCE. IT IS A DECEPTION AND REPRIMAND IS NECESSARY!


    2. Nicolai Alatzas says:


      Do you need a Crisis to demand that we do things clean and responsibly? The only people crying about a crisis are people fearful of change.

      Bobbie Just let me put solar on your roof get you off grid and save you some money bud. Let you put that savings in the bank.

      This is not a government conspiracy to improve the the environment. It a global awakening on a level never realized before in the history of mankind.

    3. Bobbie Jay says:

      You must have me confused with government. Nobody NEEDS a crisis, except a government that wants to take-over the lives of the people they lead.

      I live in a winter wonderland… in the winter. I've seen solar panels on homes and I've seen them removed. It seems highly unfeasible while damaging the foundation.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.