The Most Powerful Regulatory Agency in the History of the World

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Environmental Protection Agency, which plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions no matter what the elected, policy-making branch of government does.

New York Times, “E.P.A. Proposes Rule on Greenhouse Gas Emissions“:

WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposed rule Wednesday to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions from thousands of power plants and large industrial facilities.

The proposal, long anticipated and highly controversial, marks the first government move toward controlling the emissions blamed for the warming of the planet from stationary sources. The E.P.A. has already proposed an ambitious program to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, expected to take effect early next year.

From the EPA website:

EPA proposes to focus first greenhouse gas permitting requirements on large industrial facilities
September 30, 2009 – EPA proposed new thresholds for greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that define when Clean Air Act permits under the New Source Review and title V operating permits programs would be required. The proposed thresholds would tailor these permit programs to limit which facilities would be required to obtain permits and would cover nearly 70 percent of the nation’s largest stationary source GHG emitters—including power plants, refineries, and cement production facilities, while shielding small businesses and farms from permitting requirements.

Think Progress, a blog of the left-leaning Center for American Progress, explains the regulatory process:

Today’s proposed rule — which allows public comment until December — technically is a “tailoring rule” to limit regulation of global warming pollution to emitters of 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, instead of the automatic statutory amount of 250 tons. This 250-ton standard would cover about four million businesses and homes — the “glorious mess” President Bush used as an excuse for his inaction. The EPA plans to raise the pollution limit to 25,000 tons, so that only 14,000 industrial pollution sources nationwide would be covered by the regulations, 11,000 of which are currently covered by the Clean Air Act permitting requirements already. Each stationary source covered would be required to apply for a title V operating permit, and all new sources would require a new source review permit.

Just a mere 14,000 industrial pollution sources, and 11,000 are already familiar with the process. So it’s no big deal, right? No additional costs, no effect on U.S. competitiveness, and certainly no negative impact from a more powerful, intrusive and ideologically driven federal government extending its control over economic activity.

After all, think of all the green jobs created when the EPA hires more enforcement personnel.

Leave a Reply