Tag: carbon dioxide

EPA’s Regulatory Rampage Does Not Make the Case for Legislation

Reuters, “US EPA issues rules on biggest carbon polluters“:

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – The Obama Administration finalized greenhouse gas rules for big factories and power plants on Thursday, giving momentum to the troubled climate bill in the Senate.

We see this argument a lot, but the logic fails:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is circumventing the policy-making branch of government, Congress, by effectively rewriting the Clean Air Act to arbitrarily target CO2 emitters of its own choosing.
  • The EPA’s actions demonstrate a contempt for the separation of powers and the rule of law, and would impose huge burdens on the economy.
  • Therefore, Congress must pass legislation to enact the same things the EPA is attempting to accomplish through regulation.

Shorter version: Congress must punish the EPA’s excesses by doing what the EPA wants!

P.S. Carbon polluters? Talk about perverting science — and language — for political purposes. Makes you dread getting out of bed: Drew my first breath this morning, polluting the world as I exhaled.

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State of the Union: Good Comments, Tough Decisions

From the President’s State of the Union address:

[To] create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. (Applause.) It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. (Applause.) It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. (Applause.) And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. (Applause.)

 

Very positive words on nuclear power. Now let’s see the permitting and political muscle from the Administration to move those “safe, clean nuclear power plants” to reality.

As for a comprehensive climate bill, passage seems increasingly unlikely in 2010. What is possible is a power play by the imperial EPA — the Administration — to impose a regulatory regime to limit greenhouse gas emissions, a policy decision that correctly belongs with Congress.

The President did not mention the EPA in his speech last night.

President Obama is certainly right in saying it’s time for “making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.”

And yet, the Minerals Management Service just signalled that the agency would delay action on Outer Continental Shelf energy development 50 miles beyond Virginia’s coast. From Reuters, “Virginia senators slam delay in offshore drilling:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Virginia’s two U.S. senators on Wednesday urged the Obama administration to carry out a previous plan to lease almost 3 million acres (1.2 million hectares) in federal waters off the state’s coastline to oil and natural gas companies.

The lawmakers said in a letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar that recent comments by a department official that the Virginia lease sale originally planned for late 2011 would be delayed until 2012 at the earliest are frustrating given that drilling creates jobs and needed energy supplies.

President Obama clearly acknowledged the critical economic importance of energy development in his State of the Union address on Wednesday. To demonstrate his seriousness, to stimulate economic growth and create jobs, it’s time to actually make and implement “tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.”

UPDATE (5:15 p.m.): Jane Van Ryan at the American Petroleum Institute has reaction from Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and more on the possible delay of OCS energy development, “Will DOI delay Virginia’s offshore drilling?

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EPA Sends Carbon Dioxide Endangerment Finding to White House

Because you can’t spell “imperial” without EPA.

Reuters, “EPA C02 endangerment finding to White House

UPDATE: WSJ Environmental Capital blog, “Climate Fight: EPA Sends Global Warming Finding to White House

 

 

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Mother Nature, Global Warming Denier

From George Will’s column today:

Plateau in Temperatures
Adds Difficulty to Task
Of Reaching a Solution
     — New York Times, Sept. 23

In this headline on a New York Times story about the difficulties confronting people alarmed about global warming, note the word “plateau.” It dismisses the unpleasant — to some people — fact that global warming is maddeningly (to the same people) slow to vindicate their apocalyptic warnings about it.

The “difficulty” — the “intricate challenge,” the Times says — is “building momentum” for carbon reduction “when global temperatures have been relatively stable for a decade and may even drop in the next few years.” That was in the Times’s first paragraph.

In the fifth paragraph, a “few years” became “the next decade or so,” according to Mojib Latif, a German “prize-winning climate and ocean scientist” who campaigns constantly to promote policies combating global warming. Actually, Latif has said he anticipates “maybe even two” decades in which temperatures cool. But stay with the Times’s “decade or so.” By asserting that the absence of significant warming since 1998 is a mere “plateau,” not warming’s apogee, the Times assures readers who are alarmed about climate change that the paper knows the future and that warming will continue: Do not despair, bad news will resume.

And from Bloomberg, “U.S. Northeast May Have Coldest Winter in a Decade“:

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Northeast may have the coldest winter in a decade because of a weak El Nino, a warming current in the Pacific Ocean, according to Matt Rogers, a forecaster at Commodity Weather Group.

When the climate crime trials come, Mother Nature will be sitting in the dock. And Mr. Sunspots will be waiting his turn.

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Endangerment of the Rule of Law, Too

Wall Street Journal editorial, “Terms of ‘Endangerment’,” with the sub-headline, “The EPA’s anti-carbon rule is an admission that CO2 limits hurt the economy.”

Cap and trade may be flopping around like a dying fish in Congress, but the Obama Administration isn’t about to let the annoyance of democratic consent interfere with its climate ambitions. Almost as bad is the new evidence that it understands how damaging its carbon regulations and taxes will be and is pressing ahead anyway.

The White House is currently reviewing the Environmental Protection Agency’s April “endangerment finding” that as a matter of law CO2 is a pollutant that threatens the public’s health and must therefore be subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. Such a rulemaking would let the EPA impose the ossified command-and-control regulatory approach of the 1970s across the entire economy, even if Democrats never get around to passing a cap-and-tax bill.

Yet a curious twist is buried in the EPA’s draft rule. The trade press is reporting that the agency thinks it enjoys the discretion to target the new rules only to major industrial sources of carbon emissions, such as power plants, refineries, factories and the like. This so-called “tailoring rule” essentially rewrites clear statutory language of the Clean Air Act by bureaucratic decree.

On Monday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters that a formal endangerment finding would probably “happen in the next months.” The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

“Legislation is so important, because it will combine the most efficient, most economy-wide, least costly (and) least disruptive way to deal with carbon dioxide pollution,” Jackson said. “We get further faster without top-down regulation.”

But Jackson insisted the EPA would continue on a path that began when the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases qualified as pollutants and could be regulated if the government determined they threatened the public.

“Two years is a long time for this country to wait for us to respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling,” Jackson said.

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PBS NewsHour, Its Segment on EPA Endangerment

On Friday, the PBS NewsHour program’s lead report was a piece on the EPA’s proposed finding of endangerment from the major greenhouse gases, save for water vapor. Featured in the discussion was Keith McCoy, vice president of energy and resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers.

The transcript of the segment is here. Excerpt follows (David Bookbinder is from the Sierra Club):

JEFFREY BROWN: So what are the stakes? I mean, what specific areas of tension do you think now as this — as it moves forward? What do you see happening?

KEITH MCCOY: Well, I think this is going to force Congress to act and do something. We would argue that this needs to be a robust and transparent debate, and we certainly hope that that’s what takes place.

But if that doesn’t take place, there’s real concern about using the Clean Air Act as a blunt instrument to regulate carbon, which could potentially impact the entire permitting process for manufacturers.

JEFFREY BROWN: The Supreme Court case from two years ago really was focused on auto emissions.

DAVID BOOKBINDER: That’s correct.

JEFFREY BROWN: But this goes potentially much further.

DAVID BOOKBINDER: Yes, it does.

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