Environmental Protection Agency

Carbon Rationing By Other Means

After Congress fails to regulate greenhouse gasses, the president hands the job over to the EPA


Plan A was to get a massive cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme adopted by Congress. The scheme aimed at imposing mandatory cuts on U.S. emissions of the greenhouse gases, chiefly carbon dioxide, that are thought to be warming the atmosphere. Six months after President Barack Obama's inauguration, a cap-and-trade bill managed squeak through the House of Representatives—once it was larded up with billions in pork barrel goodies. Attempts to get cap-and-trade through the Senate foundered in July 2010 when Democratic majority leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) admitted that he could not muster the votes. The "shellacking" of the Democrats in the mid-term elections, in which the Republicans took control of the House and increased their membership in the Senate, has shoved Plan A off the table.

Now onto to Plan B. At his press conference after the election, President Obama declared, "Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end. And I'm going to be looking for other means to address this problem." The president has handed this particular cat skinning job over to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which seeks to impose limits on greenhouse gas emissions by means of regulations under the Clean Air Act. Not surprisingly, this attempt at atmospheric central planning has engendered considerable opposition.

A bit of history: Back in 1999, a bunch of environmental advocacy groups filed a petition with the Clinton administration's EPA asking the agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. The activists claimed that climate change endangers human health and the environment. The Clinton-era EPA issued a legal opinion asserting that the agency did have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions. In 2003, the EPA under the Bush administration denied the activists' petition for a rulemaking on the grounds that the Clean Air Act does not give the agency the authority to regulate greenhouse gases. The activists pursued their case and were joined by several state attorneys general who managed to get the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2007, in the case Massachusetts v. EPA, the high court ruled 5 to 4 that the agency did have the power to regulate greenhouse gases if the agency had reason to conclude under the Clean Air Act that they were a form of "air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare."

In 2009, the new EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson instituted an endangerment proceeding on greenhouse gases. In December 2009 the agency issued an endangerment finding [PDF] in which "the Administrator finds that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may reasonably be anticipated both to endanger public health and to endanger public welfare." This finding triggered the EPA rulemaking process under the Clean Air Act. Traditionally, the EPA set national ambient air quality standards for a list of six criteria pollutants, including ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, particulates, and lead. Under the Clean Air Act, operating permits were required for any entity emitting more than 100 tons of these air pollutants per year or any new facility with the potential to emit more than 250 tons per year. Before obtaining their permits, new facilities would have to persuade regulators that they were installing the best available control technology before being allowed to operate. While the limits were set by the federal Clean Air Act, state environmental agencies generally administer the air pollution permitting programs.

The EPA acknowledged that millions of facilities emit as much as 100 tons of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide annually, e.g., small dairy farms, large apartment buildings, hospitals, schools, or churches. The agency also recognized that it would be "absurd" to try to impose greenhouse gas permitting requirements on this many facilities because the effort would overwhelm state and federal regulators. The solution to this absurdity? Tailor the regulations to fit what the agency could handle.

So in May 2010 the EPA issued a "tailoring rule" which requires that as of January 2, 2011, all new projects must use the best available control technology if they would increase greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. Essentially any new industrial facility or one that plans to expand must show that they have reduced their proposed emissions by some amount that regulators deem to be acceptably cost effective and technically feasible before they can obtain an operating permit. This rule will likely make it very difficult to get a new coal-fired electric power plant or oil refinery approved unless it uses some kind of carbon capture and sequestration technology. By July, all industrial facilities that emit more than 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide must obtain operating permits. The EPA promises that no facilities that emit less than 50,000 tons will be regulated before 2016.

Over the summer, the EPA demanded that each state agree to adopt state implementation plans to meet the permitting requirements of its new greenhouse gas regulations. If they failed to do so, the EPA threatened that the agency would issue the permits itself. As the EPA regulatory juggernaut forged ahead, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV.) proposed a resolution that aimed to rescind the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. It was defeated in June by a vote of 53 to 47. In August, Texas State Attorney General Greg Abbot sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson flat out refusing [PDF] to comply with the new EPA regulations. 

In September, a coalition of industry and farm groups, along with a number of state attorneys general filed a joint motion in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to stay the implementation of the new EPA rules until a full court could assess their legality. On December 10, the D.C. Circuit declined to issue the stay [PDF]. On December 23, the EPA announced [PDF] that it was implementing its new greenhouse gas permitting plans. It accepted the state implementation plans of 42 states and gave itself the authority to issue permits in seven states until they can revise their regulations. The agency will issue permits in Texas until further notice.

Besides implementing these operating permit plans, on December 23, the EPA doubled down and announced under a settlement agreement [PDF] with a number of states and environmental lobbying groups that by the end of 2012 it would set actual limits on how much greenhouse gases electric power plants and oil refineries can emit. Emissions from these facilities constitute about 40 percent total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. It is likely that the new EPA limits on carbon dioxide emissions in the power sector will lead to scrapping coal-fired plants and replacing them natural gas-powered plants because burning natural gas produces half the carbon dioxide that burning coal does.

The state and industry lawsuits against the EPA regulations are still wending their stately ways through the courts. The chief concern of critics is that the new regulations will boost the cost of energy and delay the construction of new factories and facilities.

The new Republican chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton (R-Mich.) asserted in a joint Wall Street Journal op-ed with Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips on December 27 that the new EPA regulations represent "an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs." Upton and Phillips argue, "The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright." If that can't be done, they suggest that the regulations be delayed until courts have sorted out the ongoing lawsuits against the agency's regulations. Nice suggestion, but just exactly why congressional Democrats or the Obama administration would accede to this kind of regulatory bipartisanship is unclear.

Most economists agree that this top-down scheme rife with uncertainty about what regulators will accept as the best available control technologies is less than ideal. It is an absurdly expensive way to address any greenhouse gas problem.

My suspicion is that the Obama administration is strategically rushing these EPA regulations as a way of ratcheting up the pressure on the Republicans in Congress to adopt the lesser of two evils—something like a cap-and-trade carbon rationing scheme that failed last summer. The real Plan B is to make Plan B look so odious that Plan A looks good by comparison. It might just work.

Ronald Bailey is Reason's science correspondent. His book Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution is now available from Prometheus Books.

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  1. Oh awesome. The FCC doesn’t get Net Neutrality laws passed by Congress, so it issues its own laws. The FDA doesn’t get Cap-n-Tax passed by Congress, so it issues its own laws.

    Lawmaking through regulatory diktat needs to come to an end.

    1. L’etat, c’est moi!!

      1. “L’etat, c’est moi!!” Yes indeed, but so long as the Democrats have power in Congress, will Obama ever be impeached? Nixon was impeached for far less…

        It seems that the two horses having joint power have the bit between their teeth. Time for a Constitutional Convention? Maybe one with limited powers for their delegates?

    2. I’d like to think that one of these overreaches is going to result in some real restructuring of government.

      I’d like to think that.

    3. And it seems to be in overdrive under Obama, which probably means that his administration is encouraging it. That fucker can’t get neutered by the House fast enough.

      1. My BIL is a director at a Fortune 500 outfit, and he told me last night that the NLRB is busily making new mandatory posting regs that favor – surprise! – unions, and have zero force in statute.

        Utterly lawless.

      2. “That fucker can’t get neutered by the House fast enough.”


        1. “You’re black on one side and white on the other.”

          “I am black on the right side.”

          “I fail to see the significant difference.”

          “Obama is white on the right side. All of his people are white on the right side.”

    4. It’s good to be king.

      1. “Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.” –Clinton presidential aide Paul Begala, July 1998

    5. And why the fuck shouldn’t that happen, asshole? Go suck Ron Pual’s cock!

    6. They should pass a law banning it.

      Well, yeah, but seriously — they should pass a law that criminalizes any willful attempt by an executive branch official to usurp legislative power, and grants Congress the authority to investigate and prosecute under its impeachment power. Even if they don’t succeed with their cases, it will make officials more careful about what they do.

      1. That law wouldn’t mean squat here since Congress created the agencies that the executive is using to create an end-run around Congress.

        The only way for Congress to fix the problem is to get rid of these agencies.

      2. The only effective redress I could see would be to make it illegal to implement a regulation to which either House of Congress or the President, objects. Currently, slowing or stopping an edict of the federal autocrats requires a law as formal and difficult as the one that created it.

    7. So what?? We Feds are not bound by your constitution or some set of laws, morals, etc. It is you who must follow the laws we make, however we choose to make them.


    8. I agree. If you don’t we’ll have creeping Socialism or worse. Watch what’s happening to Hungary. The president of Hungary has issued a diktat that all private pension funds be nationalized. Freedom? Hardly.

  2. The efforts underway are a prime argument that the original Clean Air Act needs to be re-written, and the EPA needs to be seriously re-structured if not eliminated altogether, removing its ability to federally enforce guidelines. There is a sufficient amount of ‘environmentalism’ at the state and local levels to address those in a state by state manner, instead of creating a national bastion of virtually un-assailable zealotry. The current set-up isn’t a path to a Fallen Angels future, it’s a super highway.

    1. Why do you hate Mother Earth?

      1. I love the earth. Detest some of the morons on it. Take you, for example. . .

        1. I hope the externalities kill you first.

  3. Plan A for the GOP should be to defund the operations of the EPA.

    1. They should go for it all.

      Ask not what should be defunded; ask what should get funding in the first place.

    2. That would take a mediocum of balls…not going to happen!

  4. Umm, apparently you guys missed the news. Ever hear of Massachusetts vs the EPA? SCOTUS already ruled on this matter.

    No, you can’t dump your garbage on my property without proper compensation.

    Period. End of story.

    Hmm, just for fun, I plan to charge one billion dollars for every molecule of your CO2 that enters my property, just because I hate you. The policy starts in five minutes. I’d recommend you stop what you are doing right now, and turn off every electrical device you own. Otherwise, you will be my slave within seconds.

    1. Does that include the CO2 I’m exhaling right now, Chony? That “garbage?”

      1. Nope. I am kind enough to exempt any recently-fixed CO2, and only charge for net CO2 changes. Not all environmentalists are so kind.

        Now, why the heck is your garbage still on my property? Don’t you believe in property rights anymore?

        1. That’s so very generous of you, comrade, but does the statute allow you to be so lenient to someone dumping garbage on everyone’s property, not just yours?

        2. Now, why the heck is your garbage still on my property? Don’t you believe in property rights anymore?

          As below, prove “I” did it, and then prove some actual harm and you would have a claim. You can’t do either, so fuck off and die.

          1. Marshal, for a civil lawsuit, I only need the preponderance of evidence. I don’t think you realize how many molecules of CO2 you spew every year.

            A typical American emits around 3e29 CO2 molecules per year. There are about 5e14 square meters on earth, implying that you are putting about 6e14 molecules on every meter square I own. The odds of you placing zero molecules on my property are obviously insignificant.

            I am sorry. Your garbage is on my property, and I demand that you cease and desist immediately.

            1. …roughly 0.000000009 grams, which in units an American jury can understand is… ::bust out slide rule and works furiously:: diddley over squat.

              // Apologies to Berkeley Breathed from whom I shamelessly stole the punch line.

              1. It’s irrelevant how much. I do not want your trash on my property, in any amount, and I have the right to defend my property. If not in court, then with force.

                GET YOUR GARBAGE OUT NOW.


                Why don’t you respect my property rights?

                Why don’t you respect my property rights?

                Why don’t you respect my property rights?

                Oh, because having to do so would be a problem for your ideology.

                1. Chad your damn trees are producing oxygen that is on MY property. Don’t you know too much of that shit is deadly? Cut ’em down NOW!

                2. Get YOUR garbage off the lawns of others, first, Chad. Or remain a hypocrite.

                3. Chad, you put some retard words on my computer screen, so according to my policy you owe me all the money on earth.

                4. Oh, because having to do so would be a problem for your ideology.

                  Chad, I think you honestly believe you’ve stumbled onto some kind of ingenious argument here, so let me give you an honest explanation for why you haven’t.

                  I believe in property rights.

                  I live on a city street, and my lawn abuts the public sidewalk.

                  Occasionally I find dog shit on my lawn which I find gross and irritating. My dog didn’t put it there; I don’t own a dog.

                  I have not made any attempt to make dog ownership or dog walking illegal in my city, and if any one else did so, I like to think that I would fight it.

                  So clearly that means I’m not *really* a property rights true believer?

                  No, I just think people’s right to own and walk their dogs is more important than my own desire not to get an occasional piece of shit on my lawn.

                  I’ll gladly breathe other people’s CO2 emissions if that means those other people are free to do what they want with their cars and their light bulbs, etc. It will be a pleasure for me to know I’m doing my part!

                5. Chad,
                  Stupid little socialist you have no property rights….or rights to air….or rights to the “compensation” you think your going to get from other peoples “garbage” on your lawn.

                  But maybe you forgot that commrade …

                6. Hey Choad,

                  Ever heard of Coase’s Theorem? It is cheaper for you to move than for anyone to stop breathing. So why don’t you fuck off somewhere else?

            2. You go first, Chad. Live by example!

            3. CO2 is a gas that would diffuse into the atmosphere well before it reached your property even if I stood at the edge of your property and exhaled directly at your property. Despite the fact that the CO2 cannot be proven to have ended up in your property, the CO2 is not harmful to your property or you. CO2 is only harmful to human life if it is highly concentrated and has no way to diffuse into the atmosphere. Now if I sealed you into a small box and began breathing into a tube injecting my CO2 into your box, you would eventually die, but that is already considered murder so you can take your fines and go fuck yourself.

              Also, if any of my CO2 is finding its way onto your property, you will be glad to know that it is helping your grass, trees and plants to grow and thrive. The plants, grass and trees use my CO2 for growth and emit oxygen. So if my CO2 is helping to make your grass grow, I would like compensation.

        3. I anxiously await your forthcoming nuisance lawsuit against everybody in the world for ONE BILLION DOLLARS in alleged damages.

        4. Actually Chad makes a good point. If you emit something into the environment, you should have to clean it up. This is entirely consistent with libertarian principles.

          1. If by “makes a good point” you mean “spewed some utter bullshit”, then yeah.

          2. I can get behind that unless, of course, the emission is entirely innocuous, as in the case of CO2.

          3. If you emit something into the environment, you should have to clean it up.

            If the term ‘you’ covers everyone and the term ‘something’ covers everything, then there might be some merit to this, as the government would need to be eliminated as its own existence qualifies as immediately unsustainable.

            But it’s nice of you to point out that the actual practice is simply to take money from those who aren’t in power, which is why it’s not going anywhere.

            1. Also, if you’re ugly and you let your image of yourself get into my eyeballs ugly you should pay damages for that. Your face does more damage to me than your CO2, so it only stands to reason. Please, ugly people, stay off the public streets, and for gods sake, stay off my personally owned television.

          4. Everyone knows CO2 is good for plants and prevents the Earth from turning into a lifeless snowball. Learned all about it in science class, and no amount of East Anglian climatologists have ever proven otherwise.

            If you are admitting your trees are enjoying my CO2, then I’m going to have to send you a bill.

        5. Chad gets eaten first in the post apocalyptic world this policy will create. His lawyer next.

          Cmon, fatten yourself up Chad.

          1. And who do you think Judge Judy will favor?

            1. Obviously, you can counter sue, and I would concede that we should subtract my emissions onto your property, and only charge you for the difference.

              Now we just have to do this pair-wise for every individual and organization on earth, and the “market” will finally work.

              Or we could just have a carbon tax, which may just be a wheeeeee bit cheaper than a few quintillion lawsuits.

              1. “Obviously, you can counter sue”

                Or we could just kill you and dispose of your worthless carcass down some rat hole.

                Kind of like those ranchers who have ways of dealing with “protected” species like wolves who are killing their cattle.

                Shoot, shovel and shut up.

              2. Nice strawman, the fact is you cannot sue because you cannot prove the CO2 damaged your property. Nor can you prove CO2 is harmful, because here is a wheeeeee bit of a fact for your wheeeeee brain, ITS NOT !

                1. Yes, I can. Apparently you could not follow my math above.

                  Even if you emitted a tiny fraction of the norm for an American, trillions of CO2 molecules that you have recently emitted are on my property right now.

                  1. You can also sue for peoples sweat causing water vapour going onto your property. Therefore using your logic there should be a sweat tax. Also lets create a photon tax, because using your logic its cheaper than suing ones neighbours for all those excess light particles.

                    Perhaps you should learn what private property is about, its not about protecting beyond absurd “problems” like CO2 molecules. Its about being free from the whims of idiot nosy parkers like you, that history actually has factually shown is a real problem, not your hypothetical unicorn dung problems.

                    1. You’d be wrong about the sweat, NotSure, because water vapor is in fast equilibrium with the oceans. No matter how much you dump into the atmosphere, the level of water vapor will quickly go back to whatever it was before.

                      Now, will you be so kind as to get your trash off my lawn, before I have to respond with force?

                      How many times do I have to warn you?

                  2. Maybe….but you can try and collect while pushing up dasies ….vermin like you are just about good enough for fertilizer ….

              3. CO2 is not a pollutant.

        6. Now, why the heck is your garbage still on my property?

          Because it’s not garbage.

          1. I’m sure if we seal his property in a chamber and suck out all the CO2 he will not be so happy with the results. All his plants and trees would die.

            While we are at it, why dont we suck all the water vapor out of the atmosphere too, as it has a considerably stronger greenhouse effect than CO2. Oh, but carbon is the culprit of the day because it is more closely associated with industry and energy. If we wanted to prevent water vapor from happening, we would have to seal up all of the earths surface water, a task I am sure some future POTUS will recommend as a shovel ready jobs program.

    2. Only you are stupid enough to believe that Massachusetts v. EPA was a vindication of property rights.

      1. He doesn’t believe in property rights, it’s just concern trolling.

        1. Property rights only matter if it can be used to suit the argument of the day. This is one of those “the ends justify the means” situations. Its just too bad CO2 is not a pollutant and therefore the argument has no merit.

    3. “I’d recommend you stop what you are doing right now, and turn off every electrical device you own.”

      You first, prick.

      1. This is unneccessary. They’ll all go off when the power station shuts down.

        1. Just pointing out the huge logic gaps in Chad’s anti-existence diatribes…

          1. I too was anti-existence until I realized that others who were anti-existence did not want me to exist.

    4. Ever hear of Plessy vs. Ferguson or Dred Scott? The Supreme Court fucks up, and those fuckups get reversed. These fuckups happen to pushing us farther down the path to technocracy, and farther away from “consent of the governed.” That’s as historically important as any shift to a completely new form of government, whether democracy, monarchy, theocracy, feudal aristocracy, or military dictatorship, and I can guarantee there will be pushback, though I have no idea how strong.

    5. You have no claim. A property owner should expect that atmospheric gasses will freely drift on and off the property. If you don’t want those molecules, it is up to you to construct some barrier.

    6. I see you haven’t turned off your electrical devices. Not only are you intellectually dishonest but you are an idiot also.

  5. But…but…we must do SOMETHING! We can’t allow the neanderthal global warning denialists to stand in the way of SAVING THE WORLD! It’s for everyone else’s own good. They are mostly too stupid to understand the complexities involved, but they’ll thank us later.

    1. Oh well, why didn’t you just say you were saving the world. In that case, by all means proceed.

  6. I plan to would try to charge one billion dollars for every molecule of your CO2 that enters my property, just because I hate you am an absolute imbecile.

    Prove that it is mine and not your own CO2, for starters, shit-for-brains.

  7. Zero tolerance! CO2 should be banned outright and all violators subject to immediate death!

    1. Oh, they don’t have to add a death penalty. Simply enforce the ban, and they’ll get the results they want.

      1. What about the CO2 produced by organisms that are decomposing the now-dead humans?


    2. Yeah and H2O also!

  8. Just think about how many fires are caused by oxygen. And fires create CO2. Let’s go to the root of the problem and ban O2.

    Down with O2! Save the Earth from Itself!

    1. Clearly, the underlying problem is matter itself.

      1. Fuck matter. I say that for every atom of matter, there should be one atom of antimatter to balance it out. Then the government can create a blue ribbon panel to figure out how best to introduce the matter to the antimatter so that we can totally annihilate the universe. This will save the world from all disease, poverty, crime and yes global warming.

        1. Fuck matter.

          I think we’ve found the slogan for CO2 regulation.

          1. and it fits on a bumper sticker too.

  9. i guess they’ll be cuttin’ down all the forests now because don’t they give off CO2 at night? or isn’t it all plants?
    …and just then he broke wind. he turned to the Devil and said catch that.

  10. So USEPA will issue permits to Texas which refuses to comply. But aren’t permits created and issued to ensure compliance? How can non compliance be legitimized with a permit? Isn’t USEPA violating it’s own directives by issuing a permit to a non compliant?
    My head hurts.

    1. They just like to issue permits. Its like giving a two year old a fake cell phone, he likes to play with it, but it does absolutely nothing.

  11. We do not need carbon rationing. We need to put a stop to the stupid ideas of the left and the sack of shit with big ears.

  12. I propose again that all regulatory agencies be constitutionally changed to advisory agencies, submitting proposed regulation packages for congress to vote on. That’s a minimal start to getting our democracy back.

    1. I’m with you. But.

      As a matter of practice, at least at first, congress will just act as a rubber stamp, because they are no more equipped to deal with the shear amount of regulation and the arcane language it is coached in than anyone else.

      If the voters, then hold them accountable it might improve. But I won’t hold my breath.

      1. But I won’t hold my breath.

        That’ll be 1billion dollars, payable to chony.

      2. Congress and the Press are not up to the task of dealing with actual science. They only deal with science the same way Star Trek writers deal with science, they take whatever study sounds like it supports their cause and then act as if it is gospel.

  13. What people don’t realize is that central planning is planning every aspect of our lives. When government determines how people may transfer their property they determine what gets transferred and who owns what. A person may not buy drugs, buy guns, buy fatty food, happy meals, etc, etc, and etc. It essentially determines how we are to live our lives.

    1. And there’s supposed to be a downside to this?

      1. The government cannot do what it wants to you without using force.

        Lets say government thinks having children is bad for the environment. Tell me how this situation ends well and tell me how it is any different than the government telling you not to do anything else you want to do so long as you do not cause direct harm to another person?

        Just because you happen to agree with the things the government is telling you not to do, doesn’t make it right. The government can find any justification to ban any activity it wants given the right circumstances. Computer viruses are a threat to the financial infrastructure therefore you cannot access the internet without a license and all your web traffic has to be monitored.

        Self defense is a natural right. If the government comes to take away a natural right, I will resist. If they use force, I will return force in kind. If they attempt lethal force, I will return lethal force in kind. Yes, I just said that if the government tried to fuck with me I would fight back and i would not hesitate to use lethal force. Should my post be blocked by the government?

        1. You’re not forced to stay in this country or any other (well, most other)

          And property rights involve force, unless you think property defends itself

          1. Property rights do not require violence unless you are dumb enough to violate my property. My private property is not violent. On the other hand, enforcing CO2 regulations requires the government to use force to keep people from doing something that is not infringing on the freedoms of another. Again, CO2 is not a pollutant and since it is a critical component of our ecosystem, it is not scientifically credible to call it dangerous or harmful.

            You’re not forced to stay in this country or any other (well, most other)

            I stay in this country because of all my options, the USA provides more CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED liberties than any other country. The EPA cannot rout the congress and just write any goddamn rule they want because that is not constitutional. I am not going to leave the country because government cannot keep its promise to uphold the constitution, I am going to stay here and force them to keep their promises by participating in the political system and yelling loudly at those who are fucking us over.

            1. you’re not getting it einstein. You keep claiming that the government uses force and that you’re against force. But defending property is an act of force. And the property-defender would be the one initiating it. Objects are not people. Someone using your car or your house is not harming anyone. To stop him, you’d be the one starting with violence. So you’re just as willing to do violence as the state.

              1. You missed the point. Property rights are a NATURAL right. I have secured my property through labor, my property is the fruit of my labor and therefore should be defended like any other natural right with violence. I am not anti violence when it comes to defending NATURAL rights. My “objects” belong to me and if you are using my car without my permission, you have stolen it and force is justified in the effort to return my property to me.

                When the government bans something or creates regulations concerning actions that do not effect anyone such as regulating the emission of CO2 or only harm the person doing the action, such as smoking pot, they must use violence to enforce this and since these rules have nothing at all to do with protecting a natural right, violence IS NOT JUSTIFIED. In fact, it can be easily argued that many regulations and bans actually violate natural rights.

                The reason why CO2 cannot be regulated is because CO2 is NOT A POLLUTANT or even dangerous to humans under ANY scientific standard.

                1. you can bullshit about mystical “natural rights” bullshit all you want, but the fact of the matter is that defending your property is the beginning, the intitiation, of force. That is the actual reality of the situation. You cannot change reality by just changing definitions – hell, you can’t even change definitions, those words ALREADY have meanings.

                  If you can magically claim that defending property ISN’T initiating violence, then I can magically claim that disobeying the law is initiating violence. Neither of us would be actually correct.

                  The point of all this is you’re just as willing to do violence as all the other “statists” – you’re just childishly opinionated about when you think the context is correct.

                  1. If you can magically claim that defending property ISN’T initiating violence, then I can magically claim that disobeying the law is initiating violence.

                    If I am DEFENDING my property, then by DEFINITION, I am not initiating violence.

                    You also assert that property rights are “mystical,” to this I say use your brain. Here is an example of why property rights are real and important.

                    I work 40 – 60 hours a week providing a service to my employer. At the end of the month, my employer compensates me with money. Down the street, there are a few construction workers who gather resources and use tools and their specialized skills to build a house. When the house is completed, lets for simplicity sake say that it belongs to the construction workers. I walk by the house and I decide I want to live in it. Can I just go into the house and start moving all my shit into it because I like it? NO I CANNOT. The construction workers worked hard to build that house. They contributed time and resources and so the house has intrinsic value to it. I can offer the construction workers compensation for their work and if the deal is agreeable, the house becomes mine. If someone comes along and denies me the property (the fruits of my own labor) then they are violating my natural right to keep that which I obtained through sacrifice. Without property rights, all labor becomes slavery since you cannot have COMPENSATION WITHOUT PROPERTY RIGHTS.

                    The point of all this is you’re just as willing to do violence as all the other “statists” – you’re just childishly opinionated about when you think the context is correct.

                    The appropriate context for using violence is ONLY in defense of natural rights and only if other non-violent means have failed. If you do not understand natural rights, then you are either extremely stupid or not a human being. If you do not think that natural rights exist, then tell me how you would feel if I took the food off your plate. Do you think that your right to the food you secured for yourself came from the government? If so, then what do you think people believed about the food they procured before government? Do you think that most people would all of a sudden freely allow thieves to take the food off their plate because the government doesnt say its a right? Of course not. Individuals and groups of people completely outside of government would be compelled to protect property because they have bonds and friendships and they know that being able to secure things like food and shelter are important.

              2. Yor lodgic is flawed…If some one is “using” my car or house with out my premission they are the ones who started the problem. And if violence is nessecary to make them stop “using” my things then that is their doing not mine. One and only one warning need be issued. after that the ‘users” life id in thier own hands.

                Is that clear enough for you?

        2. “Self defense is a natural right”

          So, can I use “self defense” to stop you from putting a number of known pollutants and toxins on my property?

          1. Yes. If you can prove that I am doing you harm or otherwise harming your private property by “polluting” your property, then you can defend yourself, but keep in mind that the difference between self defense and assault is that the violence or action used is the minimum needed to prevent harm. You cannot kill me for dumping a truck load of shit on your front lawn, but you can if I am about to kill you.

  14. Instead of “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!” The EPA has made their regulation, now let them enforce it!” Just say fuck off.

  15. God Bless Texas

  16. Before some “environmental advocacy groups” petitioned to limit CO2, Al Gore and Ken Lay (Enron) got together to discuss the obscene profit potential for trading carbon credits.

    Cap & Trade is NOT about limiting CO2 for the good of the environment. It’s about lining rent-seekers’ pockets with extra billions extracted from the unwashed masses.

    Gore wasn’t just hit with a bout of environmental awareness. He suffered from good old fashioned greed. Eh voila! Global warming, served up with just the right amount of fear to make it sell. Cue the environmentalists (so gullible) to take the crusade from there. Rub hands in anticipation of $$$$$$$$$$$$.

    1. http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/0081908
      Eric Janszen made a prediction in Feb 2008 that the next bubble-and-crash would be in government-endorsed alternative/green energy.

  17. I only have three words; defund, defund and defund.

  18. If Obama is to have any chance at re-election he cannot aloow the economy to stall at no growth because EPA regulations severely inhibit construction of new industrial facilities. There is no pressure whatsoever on Repulicans to pass any kind of Cap and Trade bill, especially given all the snow and frigid weather prevailing everywhere. This will be as fun to watch as the effort to get the Feds to bail out the States. Bill Clinton would know how to play this… but the more ideologically oriented Obama might not.

    1. If Obama is to have any chance at re-election he cannot aloow the economy to stall at no growth because EPA regulations severely inhibit construction of new industrial facilities.

      True. But if Obama wants to get out of the primary, he’s got to keep the base happy and thinking that he’s been sufficiently leftist enough. They care about climate change. A lot.

      By doing it this way, Congress will eventually shut it down and Obama can just say, “I tried to do what you wanted. Those neanderthal deniers wouldn’t let me.” Win-win for the big man.

  19. Well now, since CO2 is a “pollutant,” shouldn’t we be regulating who breathes, and who does not?

    Or perhaps we’ll all be required to wear personal CO2 scrubbers . . .

    1. Wouldn’t this regulation of who breathes turn into who is allowed to be born? If CO2 is a pollutant, then should all people be outlawed? That would really “save the planet”, eliminating all humans… Wonder if that is what the Democrats want.

      1. China is years ahead of us in this department, that’s why they do not have to adhere to the Kyoto treaty.

    2. For the amount of BS smelling hot air that Chad and Tony spew maybe they should stop breathing first then fixing the rest of the CO2 problem will be easy.

    3. For the amount of BS smelling hot air that Chad and Tony spew maybe they should stop breathing first then fixing the rest of the CO2 problem will be easy.

  20. The good news about global warming is that when nothing happens people will give up on environmentalism outright. Or at least the more esoteric, the-natural-earth-is-valuable-for-its-own-sake kind.


  22. and precisely why would Republicans yield on cap-and-trade when the entire job-killing, exhorbitantly expensive, energy-restricting and burdensome mess could be tied so directly to the progressives, liberal justices and yet another heavy-handed Obama appointed agency administrator. I want these fools to stand up front and center to defend this nonsense, preferably approaching November, 2012.

  23. The only sure way to eliminate this federal regulatory dictatorship is to restore the Constitution’s original allocation of power to the States. Unfortunately that constitutional framework has been so misconstrued and abused by over 70 years of progressive control of the Supreme Court and other branches of the federal government that legislative action to devolve power from the federal government is not enough. We need to promote amendments to the Constitution to restore its original meaning and structure, thereby locking in this moment of constitutionalist resurgence.
    Only this will permanently constrain federal overreach of the sort rejected by the people in November. See http://www.timelyrenewed.com

  24. Actually, I think Chad *should* sue. That is, after he either demonstrates that he attempted to secure his property from roaming CO2 or demonstrates how the specific CO2 in question is directly affecting the use or enjoyment of his land.

  25. I see a lot of posts from people saying that I shouldn’t be allowed to “pollute” their private property. First of all, it seems odd that some of the people who are making a private property stand on this matter have never before indicated that private property is something worth protecting. I wont name names, but we all know who they are. You cant all of a sudden become a defender of property rights because it suits your argument. But that said, lets say I give the benefit of the doubt that you have come to Jesus regarding property rights. I have yet to hear an explanation of exactly how CO2 is a pollutant. Just because the EPA THINKS its a pollutant, doesn’t mean they are right. And if you accept the standards by which the EPA considers CO2 a pollutant, then WATER VAPOR must also be a pollutant and since water vapor is a considerably stronger greenhouse gas, it should be illegal. Lets see you make water vapor illegal.

    1. Every now and then some jokesters do just that with the old,” Can you sign this petition to ban Diydrogen Monoxide?” bit.

      1. Shouldn’t we also ban O2? O2 fuels deadly fires and kills perhaps thousands of people each year.

  26. Hi! I’m new here. First impression: This “Chad” guy seems to have WAY too much time on his/her hands. Brevity is the soul of wit and all that.

  27. Dihydrogen.

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