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Fiscal Policy &Junk Science Richard Falknor on 27 Sep 2008 01:30 pm

The Other Economic Menace: Green Statism

ADD-ONHere is a handy list detailing how the greenhouse-gas regulation would affect lawn mowers, string trimmers, portable power generators, recreational marine spark-ignition vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, and snowmobiles.

In early August here, we wrote about a “Greenhouse-Gas Regulation Nightmare” that could become a reality if the EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on regulating carbon-dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act here and here were finally promulgated.

Last Tuesday, Marlo Lewis, Jr. of the Competitive Enterprise Institute in his prepared testimony here warned the Senate Environment and Public Works committee (EPW) —

“As EPA’s July 2008 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR)
documents, because of the Act’s multiple interconnections, setting greenhouse gas emission standards for new motor vehicles under Section 202 could trigger massive, economy-chilling regulation under the New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration (NSR/PSD) and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) programs. Few Members of Congress would vote to regulate carbon dioxide under the PSD and NAAQS programs, especially in these perilous times of financial chaos and high energy prices. It is inconceivable that those who drafted and enacted the Clean Air Act intended for it to undermine the economy and jeopardize environmental enforcement. Yet economic devastation and administrative paralysis are real risks if EPA attempts to pound the square peg of climate policy into the round hole of the Clean Air Act.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Analyst Lewis goes right to the heart of the matter:

“The ANPR reminds us of what should have been obvious from the start. Despite appearances, Massachusetts v EPA was not really about emission standards for new motor vehicles. Rather, the case was meant to tee up regulatory dominoes to bring about wholesale changes in U.S. environmental programs, energy systems, and the economy. However, changes of such magnitude should not depend on lawyerly disputations over the definition of ‘air pollutant.’ Rather, such changes should only be made in full view of the public by the politically accountable branches of government.” (Underscoring Forum’s.)

Lamentably, the Bush Administration allowed this ANPR to go to the Federal Register. Reportedly, the White House wanted to avoid conflict with Democrat-controlled Congressional committees and an ‘environmentalist’ MSM.  The tactical question is whether the well-organized Green Governmentalists will flood EPA with favorable comments on the ANPR or whether the conservative grass-roots will weigh in sufficiently with their own objections by November 28.

Meanwhile senator James Inhofe has just released here an updated “Political Activity of Environmental Groups and Their Supporting Foundations” which NRO’s Greg Pollowitz calls “good stuff.”  Inhofe, among our strongest pro-energy voices, highlighted findings in his staff report here:

“Senator Inhofe said during a floor speech today presenting the new report. ‘Environmental organizations have become experts at duplicitous activity, skirting laws up to the edge of illegality, and burying their political activities under the guise of non-profit environmental improvement.’ ‘Take this ad for example, displayed on the League of Conservation Voters, or LCV, website. This is LCV’s standard text used to raise money for the nonprofit organization. In turn, LCV takes these donations, given to ‘save the environment’ and uses them to fund ads for Democratic Candidates such as Ben Lujan from New Mexico. LCV, similar to other groups I’ll highlight later, disguises itself as an environmental group dedicated to saving the environment, yet, as shown by this political ad, it is simply an extension of the Democratic political party.'”

See the entire report here.

Last week, ranking EPW minority member Inhofe also warned here about the greenhouse gas-regulation nightmare:

“As more and more analysis is done about the potential implications of regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the more alarming the consequences become.
. . . . .

My concern with the potential disastrous effects of this issue [is] not just mine alone. Several other Members, on both sides of the Capitol and on a bipartisan basis, have already expressed concern publicly with the Massachusetts case, and with the potential regulation of greenhouse gases under the Act. John Dingell, the Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in a recent hearing even called the situation a ‘glorious mess’ and that this has the ‘rich potential for causing a fine economic mess and a splendid manufacturing and industrial shutdown.'”

Maryland and Virginia conservatives are encouraged to file their comments here on the EPA’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on regulating carbon-dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act by November 28  – – and, equally important, to engage their respective Congressional delegations in a discussion of whether any greenhouse-gas regulation should be decided through the legislative process, as opposed to administrative fiat.



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