Senator Thune: Global Warming Bill Dead, but EPA Rolls On

Senator John Thune (R-SD) spoke to the National Association of Manufacturers’ board of directors at the JW Marriott today, covering health care, Waxman-Markey and the Employee Free Choice. This was the first time we had heard him on the potential for EPA regulation of stationary sources of C02 emissions, and since he’s a member of Senate Republican leadership, we regard his remarks as representative of the minority party’s position.

Cap-and-dead is legislatively dead, at least right now, and the Senate shows no signs of taking the issue up anytime soon, Sen. Thune said. He continued:

In the meantime, the EPA is moving forward with regulating C02 under the Clean Air Act, and that’s equally frightening, because they are going to essentially codify through regulation the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House.

So the emission thresholds that were adopted by the House of Representatives in their cap-and-tax bill are going to be through regulation implemented by the EPA. That should be of great concern for everyone.

We doing everything we can, congressionally right now, to try to stop them from doing that. Furthermore, if Congress wanted to, it could basically say that they don’t have the authority – which they don’t – to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act.

But they’re going to move forward, and they will get sued, and when they do get sued, it will become much worse because the only portal that they have in the Clean Air Act to tie it to is the 250 ton threshold, which I think would capture about a million businesses in the country, about a million stationary sources. So, what we’re looking at, with the EPA moving forward on this, are potential dramatic increases in energy costs, which I don’t think anyone in this room wants.

As we’ve noted before, the EPA wants to use its questionable Clean Air Act authority to regulate stationary sources, but only those emitting 250,000 tons or more of greenhouse gases. But that’s not what the Clean Air Act says, as Thune points out.

It continues to amaze us that any member of the federal legislative branch would support such an gross intrusion from the executive branch into the policymaking function of government.

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