Wall Street Journal editorial, “An Inconvenient Democracy“:
With cap and trade blown apart in the Senate, the White House has chosen to impose taxes and regulation across the entire economy under clean-air laws that were written decades ago and were never meant to apply to carbon. With this doomsday machine activated, Mr. Obama hopes to accomplish what persuasion and debate among his own party manifestly cannot.
This reckless “endangerment finding” is a political ultimatum: The many Democrats wary of levelling huge new costs on their constituents must surrender, or else the EPA’s carbon police will inflict even worse consequences.
The Journal concludes: “The White House has opened a Pandora’s box that will be difficult to close, that is breathtakingly undemocratic, and that the country, if not liberal politicians, will come to regret.”
Charles Krauthammer, Fox News All-Stars:
Look, it’s blackmail. It is a way of saying to Congress: Either you do cap-and-trade or we will do cap, no trade. We will regulate every aspect of American life if the EPA now has in its power — and perhaps it will enact it over time — to intrude on every aspect of American life. Essentially what it can do is to regulate emissions from any institution, any enterprise, any apartment block that emits more than 250 tons of CO2 in a year, which is a very low level.
It [EPA] says it will raise that higher but it doesn’t actually have the authority to actually raise it. …
It really is what Vaclav Klaus, the president of the Czech Republic, said: Environmentalism is the new socialism. It is a way for the feds — for the best and brightest in the federal government — to regulate all aspects of life. It used to be in the name of socialism, which was social equality. Now it’s in the name of the planet.
It is a smart strategy on the part of the left, but it is a hell of a way to do it. If you want to do it, at least you do it by the consensus of Congress. If you do it by regulation, there will be a revolution on the administration’s hands.