Legislation Would Block EPA’s CO2 Regulations

Posted on Tue 01/12/2010 by


By Nick Loris

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to do what Congress couldn’t: regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases because allegedly “greenhouse gases threaten both the public health and the public welfare, and that greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles contribute to that threat.” To prevent this backdoor policy that would grant the EPA unprecedented authority over American economy, Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) introduced legislation on Friday that would prohibit the agency from implementing national greenhouse gas emissions standards. In his press release, Congressman Pomeroy said,

Regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the current provisions of the Clean Air Act is irresponsible and just plain wrong. That is why I introduced the Save Our Energy Jobs Act which would stop the EPA from moving forward with its proposal. I am not about to let some Washington bureaucrat dictate new public policy that will raise our electricity rates and put at risk the thousands of coal-related jobs in our state.”

Regulating carbon dioxide would unnecessarily drive up the costs of energy. Because we use vast amounts of energy daily, in both personal use and the production of goods and services, those costs would spread like a virus throughout the economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce outlines a laundry list of businesses and entities that would potentially be affected under Clean Air Act regulations including schools, farms, restaurants, hospitals, apartment complexes and more.  And anything with a motor, beginning with vehicles but ranging all the way from lawnmowers, jetskis and leaf blows could be subject to price-boosting regulations.

The EPA is proposing a rule change so the regulations would only affect businesses that emit 25,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions would prevent some of the smaller businesses from being directly targeted, but most would still be indirectly hit through higher energy costs.

As a result, higher energy prices force production cuts, reduced consumer spending, increased unemployment, and ultimately a much slower economy. And since low-income households spend a larger percentage of their income on energy, GHG regulations would impact the nation’s poor the most.

Having EPA bureaucrats micromanage the economy, all in the name of combating global warming, would be a chilling and massively expansive shift towards a top down regulatory environment. EPA regulations would essentially assure that a great deal of such economic activity would be held up for months, if not years. These problems have even state regulators up in arms:

Regulators from around the U.S., including Kansas, Pennsylvania, Florida and California, are calling on the EPA to go slowly with its new rules, and in some cases warning that they lack funding to regulate some of the new emissions sources that would be covered.

The states’ warnings vary in urgency, with some saying the EPA’s proposal can be easily tweaked and others urging the agency to reconsider the proposal, predicting dire consequences. South Carolina regulators, in a letter to EPA dated Dec. 23, said the proposal will cause chaos and warned that many construction projects — and jobs — are at risk.

In a Dec. 24 letter to the EPA, the California Energy Commission, which oversees energy policy in the state, said the EPA’s proposal “will likely retard, rather than facilitate,” reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions from its electricity sector.”

Congressman Pomeroy’s bill is an essential one if we don’t want unelected officials destroying jobs or sending them overseas because it’s too expensive to conduct business at home. In a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal emphasized that “We need sensible solutions to the environmental and economic challenges ahead.” The EPA’s actions are anything but sensible.

TonyfromOz adds …..

Well! What do you know? A Democrat standing up against the Party Line. I suppose North Dakota has a large constituency centred around some pretty big coal mines, so it looks like he might be trying to preserve his Mid term chances, but I seriously wonder how long it will be before he gets tapped on the shoulder by Nancy, with a short, sharp ‘Ahem!’.

Contributing Author Nick Loris writes at The Heritage Foundation and he is a Research Assistant at The Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.

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