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February 3, 2011
Lisa Jackson's EPA sandbox
EPA chief Lisa Jackson is not pleased that Congressional Republicans aim to halt the EPA's regulation of greenhouse gases, The Hill reports.
Bills have been floated in both Houses of Congress that would curtail the EPA's foray into limiting emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases.
EPA Administrator Jackson counters that the President would "veto any legislation ... that would take away the EPA's greenhouse gas authority."
On the House side, Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), he of the curlicue light bulbs, is introducing narrowly targeted legislation that would prevent use of the Clean Air Act to create a "cap-and-trade energy tax." Fox News notes
The bill would nullify all of the steps the EPA has taken to date on the issue, including a threshold finding that greenhouse gases constitute a danger to the public health and welfare.
Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is expected to introduce a similar bill in the Senate, and Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) has introduced a broader measure blocking the federal government from imposing any greenhouse gas regulations or backdoor cap-and-trade measures.
Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) advocates a two-year moratorium on greenhouse gas rules, and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) famously shot a hole through a cap and trade bill in a campaign commercial.
While the Republicans argue that "the EPA has its foot ‘squarely on the neck of business,'" liberal Democrats trot out the usual canard:
Democrats such as Sen. Barbara Boxer of California say the EPA is seeking to reduce pollution that damages the health of families and children.
Carrying the Boxer logic one-step further, the collective CO2 exhalation every four or five seconds or so by 300 million Americans counts as pollution that damages the health of children.
Always "the children;" little do the children know the burdens this generation of Democrats is laying on them.
We reached this point with the EPA courtesy of a 2007 Supreme Court decision, legislating from the bench that the EPA must determine if CO2 qualifies as a ‘pollutant' under the Clean Air Act, as The Wall Street Journal describes.
The Obama EPA ran with the bait, determining that carbon emissions were indeed a ‘hazard to human health' and thus must be regulated. The Journal noted at the time of the 2009 endangerment finding that
This so-called "endangerment finding" sets the clock ticking on a vast array of taxes and regulation that EPA will have the power to impose across the economy, and all with little or no political debate.
Well it is safe to say the American electorate has noticed the Obama administration's skullduggery, environmental and otherwise, and the EPA is being put on notice.
The Republicans now pose a threat to Lisa Jackson's EPA sandbox and the dreams of the environmental zealots.
As with ObamaCare repeal, the Republican blowback on CO2 emissions may not make it past the Senate, never mind the President's veto desk, but the stage is being set for 2012.