Oil Spill Reaches Washington

Oil from the leaking Macondo site in the Gulf of Mexico has meandered up the Potomac and spilled over into the Senate chamber, as legislation intended to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse emissions under authority of the Clean Air Act was defeated today.


S. J. Res. 26, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), was a “resolution of disapproval” designed to stop the Obama Administration from imposing greenhouse gas emission limits on carbon emitting industries by enacting regulations prepared by Janet Jackson, his appointed head of the Agency, and her minions.  These regulations, referred to by some in the Senate as “back door taxes,” were suggested after it became clear that “cap and trade” legislation would not survive the Senate.  Unlike “cap and trade,” this resolution was not subject to filibuster, thus only required 51 votes to pass or fail rather than 60.


It failed, despite bipartisan support that included Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and West Virginia’s Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), with Landrieu rightly concerned about what’s left of the oil, gas and chemical industries in Louisiana, and Rockefeller equally aware of the devastating effect the regulations will have on the coal industry in his state.


The door to these new regulations was opened by the Supreme Court in 2007 when they ruled that greenhouse gases could be classified as pollutants under the Clean Air Act, as a means of mitigating man-made global warming (which has been disproved in the minds of most informed people).   The Bush administration chose to ignore the ruling, but the Obama administration jumped on it as a way to pressure Democrats into supporting the passage of climate change legislation.  When it became clear that such legislation would not pass anyway, the EPA issued an endangerment finding that said “the current and projected concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) — in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.”  This proclamation was made in conjunction with the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December.


The regulations are now slated to go into effect in 2011.


The EPA did attempt to protect smaller emitters by adjusting the language of the Clean Air Act and raise the emissions threshold at which point the regulations take effect.  So not only is an agency, chaired by a political appointee, now empowered to enact energy policy in this country, they are also apparently empowered to rewrite legislation!


Though the regulations and the resolution of disapproval have nothing to do with the crisis in the Gulf, Senator “don’t call me ma’am” Barbara Boxer (D-CA) ended her remarks in opposition to the resolution by displaying a picture of a Louisiana brown pelican covered in oil.  This had nothing to do with the oil spill, and everything to do with “never let a crisis go to waste.”


No, this has nothing to do with the oil spill, but it has everything to do with the larger agenda of destroying the fossil fuel industry in this country, and it will go a long way in accomplishing that as conventional fuel prices escalate to pay the taxes or fines imposed by the regulations, and as US industries shutter their facilities rather than invest the capital required to meet the regulations, and transfer their high-wage jobs to more carbon friendly countries.  For as Duncan Currie pointed out today in his column at National Review Online,


 …when set against the backdrop of surging GHG emissions in developing countries such as China and India, the current U.S. climate debate seems almost trivial. Whether or not America embraces a strict new EPA regulatory regime, global emissions are poised to balloon. Consider the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) projections, which were released in November: On current government policies, the IEA estimates that energy-related carbon-dioxide emissions will jump from 28.8 gigatons in 2007 to 40.2 gigatons in 2030, an increase of nearly 40 percent, with “all of the projected growth” coming from non-OECD countries, principally China and India. Since 2006, notes energy expert Robert Bryce in his book Gusher of Lies, China has been “burning more coal than the U.S., E.U., and Japan combined.”


So, what this means is that today, Congress has delivered still another blow to the Louisiana economy, they have granted federal agencies the authority to enact policy, they have condoned federal agencies adjusting the wording of legislation, they have increased our costs of obtaining fuels, they have increased our dependence on foreign oil, and they have increased the flow of our currency to countries that despise us – all in the name of reducing carbon emissions which, on a global scale, they didn’t achieve.



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