So, hold your breath folks, both literally and figuratively. A week ago Friday, we learned that that the EPA has declared carbon to be a “dangerous pollutant” that endangers the public, and thus, needs to be regulated. That, of course, includes carbon dioxide. In passing, I wonder why all of these important decisions affecting all of us always seem to magically appear only on Friday’s. But, that’s a question for another day.
Of course, all mammals exhale carbon dioxide, but, I suppose out of necessity, the government will still let us do so. However, the effect of this ruling may make us wish otherwise.
The EPA has issued no regulations with its decision as it typically would do. Rather, it is waiting for Congress to act on the Cap and Trade energy bill pending before it. Al Gore appeared before Congress last Friday to speak in favor of the bill likening it in importance to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. With that statement, it is little wonder why our friends in Tennessee refer to Mr. Gore as, “the State Tree”.
As with the universal health care issue, debate on the issue of global warming seems to be frowned upon by Congress. The Republicans had invited Christopher Monckton, former science advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to speak, but when the Democrats found out who would be speaking with Gore, Monckton was “disinvited”. Said Monckton,
[Congressman Henry Waxman (D. Ca) and coauthor of the bill] knows there has been no ‘global warming’ for at least a decade. Waxman knows there has been seven and a half years’ global cooling. Waxman knows that, in the words of the UK High Court judge who condemned Gore’s mawkish movie as materially, seriously, serially inaccurate, ‘the Armageddon scenario that he depicts is not based on any scientific view.
However, on this bill, there has been push back from many high ranking Democrats who are fearful that Cap and Trade will cripple major economies in their states. Michigan isn’t happy as it would hurt the auto industry when it can least afford it, and, coal, steel and cement producers aren’t thrilled either. States that produce large amounts of electricity are concerned about the effect, and, of course, anyone who has paid attention to this bill is concerned about the massive tax increase it will impose on all Americans.
Under the [compromise] proposal [now being negotiated], electric utilities would get free permits to emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for as long as ten years.
To court the centrists, Mr. Waxman has already added a provision to commit $10 billion over ten years for development of technologies that would allow coal to be burned cleanly. That’s important to Virginia Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat who represents a coal-producing region and now a key figure in the debate.
Mr. Waxman also agreed to protect such trade-sensitive industries as cement and steel by granting them some permits without cost, the better to compete with rivals in other countries with less stringent rules. The measure is a priority of Rep. Mike Doyle, a Pennsylvania Democrat.
So, we are finally seeing the tip of the bipartisan “cooperation” and compromise that has not existed for the past 3 months. But, don’t be fooled folks. What Congress can’t legislate the EPA will regulate. Yet another Pandora’s Box has been opened. This administration certainly gets high marks on that score.