Cap-and-tax: The game plan to make it a reality
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decided it has waited long enough for Congress to do something about greenhouse gasses (GHG). So the unelected bureaucracy has decided it will take matters into its own hands and regulate GHG itself:
Starting in July 2011, new sources of at least 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases a year and any existing plants that increase emissions by 75,000 tons will have to seek permits, the agency said.
In the first two years, the E.P.A. expects the rule to affect about 15,550 sources, including coal-fired plants, refineries, cement manufacturers, solid waste landfills and other large polluters, said Gina McCarthy, the agency’s assistant administrator.
She said the rule would apply to sites accounting for about 70 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. “We think this is smart rule-making, and we think it’s good government,” she said.
Now you can call it “smart rule-making” or “permitting” or any of a number of nifty things, but in reality the cost of regulatory compliance and the cost of permitting will increase the cost of operation – a cost that will be passed on to the consumer.
Of course, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, the unelected administrator making this decision, is pretty sure that this is a wonderful way to “spark clean technology innovation” and save the planet “for the children”:
“After extensive study, debate and hundreds of thousands of public comments, EPA has set common-sense thresholds for greenhouse gases that will spark clean technology innovation and protect small businesses and farms,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “There is no denying our responsibility to protect the planet for our children and grandchildren. It’s long past time we unleashed our American ingenuity and started building the efficient, prosperous clean energy economy of the future.”
Question: Does anyone think “American ingenuity” hasn’t been “unleashed” on the clean energy problem? With the potential payoff, obviously it has. Instead, what this does is what the President said he wanted to do prior to taking office during an interview – it begins the process of raising conventional power generation to a cost level that makes “clean power” seem less expensive by comparison. And if Congress won’t do it, hey, that’s what activists turned “administrators” are for – interpret the Clean Air Act as it has never been interpreted before and serve the agenda.
Of course you don’t have to “question the timing” at all – consider it all part of the orchestration plan for providing the impetus necessary to pass the Kerry-Lieberman. Manufacture a “crisis”, provide a government solution:
Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat and one of the two sponsors of the climate bill, seized on Thursday’s announcement to argue for the urgency of passing it. “Today we went from ‘wake-up call’ to ‘last call,’ ” he warned in a statement.
Heh … nothing obvious about this at all. Make the case that the EPA is usurping the prerogative of Congress and you’re sure to attract bi-partisan support on that. But, of course, that can’t mean just passing simple legislation stripping the EPA of that power can it? Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has actually introduced a disapproval resolution to do that, but with 35 Republican and only 3 Democrats, it has little chance of passing.
Murkowski says this will cause “an economic train wreck” if allowed to go into effect. With it targeting what’s left of “big manufacturing” and, of course, the majority of conventional power generation – in the middle of a deep recession – it’s hard to argue she’s incorrect.
More of your government at work trying to lessen the economic impact of the recession and create more jobs. /sarc