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  • The Second Coming of Cap and Trade?

    The Obama Administration, at this sensitive time, is playing down its expansive regulatory agenda, but some insiders are predicting a new onslaught of costly rules—including the imposition of cap-and-trade schemes on industry.

    Although Congress rejected cap-and-trade legislation in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remains intent on effectively rationing the use of fossil fuels. A court ruling earlier this year upheld the agency’s “finding” that emissions of carbon dioxide pose a threat to public health. The ruling has only emboldened the EPA’s regulatory impulses. According to Carol Browner, former administrator of the agency, the EPA is now poised for “piecemeal progress on cap-and-trade.”

    Browner’s forecast came Wednesday during a panel discussion on “Energy and the Presidency” sponsored by Politico this week. As reported by The Hill, “Browner offered that Obama would use the [Clean Water Act] and the [Clean Air Act] to go even further in his attempts to regulate air pollution.”

    Such talk is certainly bad news for the energy and manufacturing sectors, which have borne the brunt of Obama’s regulatory hyperactivity. But revived prospects for cap-and-trade might well hearten the environmental lobby, which has criticized President Obama for (supposedly) ignoring global warming despite his declaration that the 2008 election “was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

    While the President may appear to avoid direct reference to the global warming issue, his regulatory record bespeaks allegiance to drastic and unwarranted cutbacks in emissions of carbon dioxide—the supposed source of looming environmental cataclysm.

    For example, the consulting group ICF International estimates that 20 percent of America’s coal power plants could be retired as soon as 2020 because of the Administration’s regulatory actions. Indeed, the EPA’s newest mercury and air toxics rule alone could cost as much as $100 billion per year, according to the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council.

    Whether the President overtly pursues a costly cap-and-trade scheme remains to be seen. But there’s no question that his Administration is aggressively imposing regulations that have much the same effect—i.e., inflating the cost of fossil fuel energy in order to reduce some of the disadvantages of solar and wind power.

    One might hope that today’s disappointing jobs report—and all the others like it during the previous three years—would persuade Obama that his regulatory agenda is doing more harm than good. But hope for such wisdom from this Administration appears to be in vain.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to The Second Coming of Cap and Trade?

    1. Tom Nassar says:

      Whether the President overtly pursues a costly cap-and-trade scheme remains to be seen. But there’s no question that his Administration is aggressively imposing regulations that have much the same effect—i.e., inflating the cost of fossil fuel energy in order to reduce some of the disadvantages of solar and wind power.

    2. Toledotim says:

      Most other countries allow pollution that really is killing their children. Our businesses go overseas for profit and other countries work for food to survive and most workers don't know their leaders allow pollution. We have a choice of purchases as Americans and I am grateful for out EPA that chooses health over money.

      • Todd says:

        But there has to be a healthy balance. Putting businesses out of business for over-bearing regulations will only hurt this country. And then, as Americans, we will not have choices. And from what I can see, the EPA has over-stepped its regulatory bounds and is out of control in regulating almost all aspects of American business and daily life.

        We compare where America was in the 70's to where we are today and any objective person will see how much better off we are. But going too far will damage this country with the unintended consequences.

      • KAHR50 says:

        Cost: Benefit
        Risk: Reward

        These all have to be weighed before you pontificate your iealistic "Garden of Eden" view of the world.

        Look at the history of Industry in the United States – we have come a long way and continue to make strides in cleaner air and water – we do not need an unelected, unregulated, unchecked bureaucracy making random and extremely econimically devastating decisions on our industry especially during a huge recession.

        A balance that has driven us to where we are is working quite well. Collapsing our economy with unrealistic goals means that all industry will be run under near zero regulation across the world and will have an overall net loss to health and clean resources globally while the econmy of the US becomes third-worldly.

      • Nick Shaw says:

        Though we all work for food to survive (well, most of us anyway) I take your meaning to be that some in foreign lands earn barely enough for food, correct?
        Well then, I sure hope you enjoy being in that position yourself. We might indeed have sparkling clean air and water but, with no one working, that's not much of a consolation is it?
        The US already has the most draconian of environmental laws which have served to make the country one of, if not the, cleanest industrialized countries. Much of it was due to market forces and capitalism, not because of rule making by the EPA. A case in point is the current CO2 output of America which has dropped to near 1990 levels!
        Children are not dying in the streets from pollution, nor have they for a very long time (if ever) in America.
        The EPA needs to be reined in, as most government agencies do.

      • Dan Poole says:

        You're gonna want to think twice about the connection between environmental regulations and environmental quality:

      • Bobbie says:

        silly, the EPA IS IN IT FOR THE MONEY! "health" is a "fool" word for manipulation. There's such a thing as regulating and another thing, over regulating. EPA is over regulating as the reason for cap and trade is proven counterintuitive and doesn't justify it's intent. If it's a government entity take into considerations all special interests and all matters of fact and the interesting fact this government has been removing freedoms and liberties for government control by abuse of their power and violating America's constitution…

        EPA is filled with people just as wise or dumb, good willed or ill willed as anybody but the EPA is given authority over the people that aren't EPA and are in position to fool the masses when they want. Tell me none of cap and trade costs any monetary means to anyone with no money going into the hands of government and I'll believe it's for health over money!

        American businesses doesn't allow that "pollution" obviously or there would be a history of dying children here but over regulating the businesses existence out of the country, hopefully they will continue to run as pollution free as they can in the foreign countries they take residence?

      • Buster says:

        to what end though? How much are we supposed to cripple our economy for supposed unproven environmental benefits? The employment and health of the people is the most important issue.

      • Bobbie says:

        you must be unaware you have been mentally abused. Please get help. Jesus is an outstanding source of esteem.

      • Bill Lee says:

        Problems is CO2 is not a pollutant, just a theory that it causes global warming. Which is in dispute, by many scientists. Witness the ice layers in Greenland that showed evidence of warming periods every 150 years. EPA is gong to require new lower air emissions that are not possible to be met. That is there is no known technology of scrubbers that can reduce the CO2 to the level demanded by EPA. So EPA told the industries to plan on shutdown! At first EPA set a date of 2012 as when it would be required this was in 2010, Later Obama figured out most of the industrial jobs would be gone for the election so he had them to delay the requirement till 2013 after the election.

    3. Paul Terry Stone says:

      It seems strange that this administration concentrates to a large extent on preventing a future environmental problem that probably does not exist while ignoring a spending problem whose consequences very much does exist .

    4. John Snidow says:

      Our businesses go off shore because because we have become over burdened with costly and complex regulations that increase our costs and make it difficult to comply with conflicting requirements. We are falling in our ranking in world competitiveness. Business will continue to be forced to look offshore and at an accelerating rate with the EPA and many other agencies planning ever increasing regulation in spite of industry having made tremendous strides in cleaning up the air and water.

    5. Wesin the midwest says:

      This country's greatest danger from pollution is coming from thte White House.
      Once your wonderful EPA shuts down all the coal-fired power plants and you are sitting in
      the dark waiting for the windmills and solar panels to kick in, maybe you will open your eyes.

    6. ruel borders says:

      martial law by election day or shortly afterwards.that will wake the voters up that put him back in office.i doubt that the voters will have changed enough to accept losing their freedom.this being the case watch this gov.start shooting the american people.

    7. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      After Romney takes the oath of office in January 2013, will he rescind all of these unconstitutional and unlawful bureaucratic orderds, dictates and regulations? That is part and parcel to an economic recovery.

      Down with the federal administrative state!

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