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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 03:34 AM
Bob4x4
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Obama Ultimatum, EPA Proposed CO2 Rules,

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Obama Ultimatum,


"Obama's Carbon Ultimatum" -

From the Wall Street Journal - October 20, 2008


"For years, Democrats -- including Senator Obama
-- have been howling about the 'politicization' of

the EPA, which has nominally been part of the Bush

Administration.

The complaint has been that the White House blocked
EPA bureaucrats from making the so-called
'endangerment finding' on carbon.

Now it turns out that a President Obama would
himself wield such a finding as a political
bludgeon.

He plans to issue an ultimatum to Congress:
Either impose new taxes and limits on carbon
that he finds amenable, or the EPA carbon
police will be let loose to ravage the
countryside." -- The Wall Street Journal



"Obama's Carbon Ultimatum"

Wall Street Journal Editorial -- October 20, 2008

Liberals pretend that only President Bush is
preventing the U.S. from adopting some global
warming "solution." But occasionally their mask

slips. As Barack Obama's energy adviser has now

made clear, the would-be President intends to
blackmail -- or rather, greenmail -- Congress into

falling in line with his climate agenda.

Jason Grumet is currently executive director of an

outfit called the National Commission on Energy

Policy and one of Mr. Obama's key policy aides. In

an interview last week with Bloomberg, Mr. Grumet

said that come January the Environmental
Protection Agency "would initiate those
rulemakings" that classify carbon as a dangerous

pollutant under current clean air laws.

That move would impose new regulation and taxes
across the entire economy, something that is usually
the purview of Congress. Mr. Grumet warned that "in

the absence of Congressional action" 18 months
after Mr. Obama's inauguration, the EPA would move

ahead with its own unilateral carbon crackdown
anyway.

Well, well. For years, Democrats -- including
Senator Obama -- have been howling about the
"politicization" of the EPA, which has nominally

been part of the Bush Administration.

The complaint has been that the White House blocked

EPA bureaucrats from making the so-called
"endangerment finding" on carbon. Now it turns out

that a President Obama would himself wield such a

finding as a political bludgeon.

He plans to issue an ultimatum to Congress: Either
impose new taxes and limits on carbon that he finds
amenable, or the EPA carbon police will be let loose
to ravage the countryside.

The EPA hasn't made a secret of how it would like

to centrally plan the U.S. economy under the 1970

Clean Air Act. In a blueprint released in July,
the agency didn't exactly say it'd collectivize

the farms -- but pretty close, down to the "grass

clippings."

The EPA would monitor and regulate the
carbon emissions of "lawn and garden equipment" as

well as everything with an engine, like cars,
planes and boats. Eco-bureaucrats envision
thousands of other emissions limits on all types

of energy.

Coal-fired power and other fossil fuels
would be ruled out of existence, while all other

prices would rise as the huge economic costs of

the new regime were passed down the energy chain

to consumers.

These costs would far exceed the burden of a
straight carbon tax or cap-and-trade system
enacted by Congress, because the Clean Air Act was

never written to apply to carbon and other
greenhouse gases.

It's like trying to do brain surgery with a butter knife.
Mr. Obama wants to move ahead anyway because
he knows that the costs of any carbon program will
be high. He knows, too, that Congress -- even with
strongly Democratic majorities -- might still balk at
supporting tax increases on their constituents, even
if it is done in the name of global warming.

Climate-change politics don't break cleanly along

partisan lines. The burden of a carbon clampdown

will fall disproportionately on some states over

others, especially the 25 interior states that get

more than 50% of their electricity from coal.

Rustbelt manufacturing states like Ohio, Michigan

and Pennsylvania will get hit hard too. Once
President Bush leaves office, the coastal
Democrats pushing hardest for a climate change
program might find their colleagues splitting off,

especially after they vote for a huge tax increase

on incomes.

Thus Messrs. Obama and Grumet want to invoke a
political deus ex machina driven by a faulty
interpretation of the Clean Air Act to force
Congress's hand.

Mr. Obama and Democrats can then
tell Americans that Congress must act to tax and

regulate carbon to save the country from even
worse bureaucratic consequences. It's Mr. Obama's

version of Jack Benny's old "your money or your

life" routine, but without the punch line.

The strategy is most notable for what it says
about the climate-change lobby and its new
standard bearer. Supposedly global warming is the

transcendent challenge of the age, but Mr. Obama

evidently doesn't believe he'll be able to
convince his own party to do something about it

without a bureaucratic ultimatum.

Mr. Grumet justified it this way: "The U.S. has to
move quickly domestically ... We cannot have a
meaningful impact in the international discussion

until we develop a meaningful domestic consensus."

Normally a democracy reaches consensus through
political debate and persuasion, but apparently

for Mr. Obama that option is merely a nuisance.

It's another example of "change" you'll be given

no choice but to believe in.

###

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