Gasp! | Citizens Against Government Waste


The WasteWatcher

In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Massachusetts v. EPA.  The lawsuit’s intent was to force the EPA to regulate CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) as pollutants because of their supposed contribution to global warming.  The basis of the suit was EPA’s contention in 2003 that it lacked the authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2).

The Supreme Court did not force the EPA to change its position but did require the agency to determine under the CAA whether CO2 and other GHGs cause or contribute to air pollution and if they endanger public health or welfare.  The case set up an internal conflict between the President and bureaucrats.  In July 2008, the EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to determine if it should regulate CO2.and other GHGs.  Comments are due by November 28.

While the ANPR is not a final rule, what it contains should send shivers down the back of businesses and all Americans.  It sets up new government controls over the environment, such as mandating certain technologies, engine redesign, and what fuels can be used.  EPA would regulate how businesses should operate, from oil companies to utilities, farms, hospitals, airlines, and even manufacturers of lawn mowers.  Expect the EPA police to make sure everyone conforms. 

For years, Congress has rejected all attempts to control CO2 emissions, understanding that such a decision would have enormous costs to the economy with virtually no improvement to the environment.  No one knows how much EPA regulation of CO2 would cost the nation, but legislation debated earlier in 2008, the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade proposal that would have instituted similar regulations, was estimated to cost $6.5 trillion by 2030.  Most believe the EPA proposal would cost much more, causing the loss of one million jobs a year, raising utility costs by $50 to $100 a month, and making gasoline even more expensive.

Because CO2 can travel long distances, emissions in China and India affects the U.S.  Even if the U.S. followed the proposed EPA standards, CO2 levels would not decrease because our rules don’t apply to their activities.  But zealous EPA bureaucrats don’t care and are eager to control every aspect of the economy.  If they are not stopped, the regulations will create a massive hidden tax on every American.

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