From Atlantic’s online website, “Energy Czar Raises Possibility Of EPA Implementing Cap-And-Trade“:

Carol Browner, the former Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) administrator who now serves in the Obama administration’s newly created role of energy czar, floated the possibility today of the EPA implementing cap-and-trade energy policies, during an interview at The Atlantic’s First Draft of History symposium in Washington, DC.

“We also have the reality of EPA, under current law, moving forward…to start the traditional regulatory clock,” Browner said when asked, during an interview with Atlantic Media Political Director Ronald Brownstein, about the difficulties of passing the stalled energy/climate bill–which would implement a cap-and-trade carbon emissions scheme–through the Senate.

Except it’s not the regulatory clock that EPA is starting, but rather full-blown policy making. The “tailoring” rule that EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson unveiled this week claims the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act but simply ignores the act’s requirement that such regulations, when applied to pollutants, affect facilities that emit 250 tons. EPA is proposing that the law apply just to facilities emitting 25,000 tons or more of carbon dioxide. In other words, Jackson, the agency and the White House want to rewrite the statute.

But represent the executive branch of the federal government. Congress writes the laws.

As NAM Vice President Keith McCoy said in a statement:

The EPA’s legal authority to exempt small manufacturers and businesses from permits mandated by the Clean Air Act is unclear at best. This new rule is a slippery slope that could lead to costly economy-wide regulation of “stationary sources” such as small factories, hospitals and farms. Congress, not the EPA, is the appropriate authority for amending the Clean Air Act.

And if Congress chooses not to, that’s a policy decision, too.

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