Monday, December 7, 2009

EPA Issues Carbon-Emissions Rule, Giving Obama Copenhagen Tool

I read that headline from Bloomberg and couldn't help thinking of this quote from Ben Bernanke:

From Climateer "Quote of the Day" Federal Reserve Edition:

I have two problems but only one tool.

-Ben Bernanke
Testimony to the House Budget Committee
Jan. 16, 2008

From Central Banks to "Flood" Markets with Liquidity:

I won't bring up the Copenhagen hookers today, maybe next week.
Here's the instastory from Bloomberg:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared carbon dioxide a health hazard today, paving the way for new regulation of emissions from sources such as power plants, factories, cars and trucks.

The decision allows the agency to issue rules to govern heat-trapping pollution that many scientists say may lead to irreversible climate shifts. The EPA announced the decision in a statement that said the science “overwhelmingly” supports the finding....MORE

So you don't think all I do is try to run a business, here's an important angle from Environmental Capital:

Tailor Made: The EPA Prepares to Regulate Greenhouse-Gas Emissions

All the buzz about climate change is in Copenhagen. The action may be in Washington.

The Environmental Protection Agency is set today to finalize its ruling that greenhouse-gas emissions endanger public health and welfare, opening the door to executive-branch regulations of emissions. All year, the specter of EPA action on climate has jockeyed with congressional action. But with the energy and climate bill hung up in the Senate, the EPA is moving ahead. More on all that here.

UPDATE: Here’s the official EPA announcement....

...One aspect of the EPA decision in particular could prove a battleground: The so-called tailoring rule.

That is, the EPA says it will regulate greenhouse-gas emissions under the existing Clean Air Act, which is meant to regulate much smaller emissions of harmful things. (Here’s the EPA’s “plain English” guide.)

To avoid having to regulate every chainsaw and lawn mower in the country, the EPA plans to unilaterally “tailor” the Clean Air Act for greenhouse-gas emissions, only covering big emitters who churn out at least 25,000 tons of gases a year. The EPA plans to revise those thresholds after five years....

...In other words, in seeking to make executive regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions feasible, the EPA could open itself up to legal challenges. Those could come from environmentalists, who want to see wider regulation of emitters. They could also come, paradoxically, from the business community: Any legal challenge that upends EPA authority to regulate emissions as planned could throw a giant wrench in the works....MORE

I did a driveby:
Climateer wrote:

The tailoring rule could work.
All we need is for every advocacy or pressure group to pledge to never ever sue the EPA.
Whether the party in power was Republican, Democrat, Whig, whatev, they would have to agree to honor their solemn pledge.
On to peace in the middle east, then a light lunch.