Who needs Congress to pass laws regarding carbon emissions when you've got an EPA? From today's Washington Post:
The Obama administration moved closer Monday to issuing regulations on greenhouse gases, a step that would enable it to limit emissions across the economy even if Congress does not pass climate legislation.
The move, which coincided with the first day of the international climate summit in Copenhagen, seemed timed to reassure delegates there that the United States is committed to reducing its emissions even if domestic legislation remains bogged down. But it provoked condemnation from key Republicans and from U.S. business groups, which vowed to tie up any regulations in litigation.
In Monday's much-anticipated announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency said that six gases, including carbon dioxide and methane, pose a danger to the environment and the health of Americans and that the agency would start drawing up regulations to reduce those emissions.
In a way, the administration can claim, the Supreme Court made 'em do it. The move
was also a belated response to an order from the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in April 2007 that carbon dioxide should be considered a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. As a result, the court said, the EPA had not only the power but the obligation to regulate the gas. (In that case, Massachusetts v. EPA, the Bush administration was fighting against regulating carbon dioxide from vehicle tailpipes.)
Live by the courts, die by the courts? The Competitive Enterprise Institute is already suing:
CEI announced that it will file suit in federal court to overturn the endangerment finding on the grounds that EPA has ignored major scientific issues, including those raised recently in the Climategate fraud scandal…..
"Today's decision by EPA will trigger costly and time-consuming permitting requirements for tens of thousands of previously unregulated small businesses under the Clean Air Act," said Marlo Lewis, CEI Senior Fellow. "A more potent Anti-Stimulus Package would be hard to imagine….
EPA's action today is in response to the Supreme Court's 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA that required EPA to consider whether greenhouse gases should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.