Cap-N-Trade Tax Update ***UPDATE***

So, the last of the pillars of the radical Leftist takeover — the energy sector — is now under assault, with a vote coming in the Senate before too long. We’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s recap some of the most wonderful tenets of the enviro-wacko movement that is pushing this energy takeover.


These lovable folks are the very same ones who endorse the enforcement of limits to the number of children any family can have, too. What happens if you accidentally get pregnant with more? Well, don’t think too hard about that.

Naturally, Green High Priest Al Gore is so concerned about the rising waters due to the melting ice caps due to *ahem* man-made global warming that he just dropped $9 million on a new vacation home…overlooking the ocean, of course. Never mind the fact that only 1/3 of U.S. meteorologists actually believe that humanity is the cause of global warming. You’re also supposed to ignore the fact that this planet is not, in fact, running out of oil, which provides cheap, reliable, and safe energy to everyone. But for those of us who lack a personal fortune with 7 or more digits, the costs of energy legislation like this will be crippling.

Interestingly, one of the primary alternatives to this horrible use of oil is wind power. Aside from the rather obvious fact that the wind doesn’t always blow everywhere, people live close to windmills always seem to find them objectionable. Shucks, that’s too bad.

The bottom line is that the environmentalist movement has been exposed as a bunch of suckers who’ve been taken in by a hoax and a lie, and simply refuse to acknowledge reality in their quest to serve their self-appointed cause. In fact, it won’t be long until they declare food to be hazardous to your health. Oh wait…they’ve already done that.

But let’s address the current legislation, whether the latest cap-n-tax bill or the EPA regulations being kicked around (they both do essentially the same thing in the end). As with everything these radical Leftists are doing, beware…all is not as it seems. It’s a full-blown legislative Trojan horse, in fact:

The basis of the EPA’s regulatory efforts is the agency’s finding that carbon dioxide is a “pollutant” that supposedly “endangers” us by causing global warming. Once the EPA made this unprecedented and unsupported endangerment finding under the Clean Air Act, it put the enormous regulatory machinery of the federal government in gear to generate rules regulating CO2, rules that will damage every aspect of the U.S. economy. Thankfully, substantive legal challenges to the endangerment finding and the rules the EPA is generating have been filed.

One rule the agency has already issued, something known as the tailoring rule, seems, at first glance, different than its economy-stifling kin. The tailoring rule was supposedly designed to exempt smaller CO2 emitters from the new regulations until 2016. While the Clean Air Act itself states that pollutant emissions of 250 tons or more must be regulated, EPA’s tailoring regulation simply contradicts the law, stating that for now the agency will only regulate CO2 sources emitting 50,000 tons or more.

How, you may ask, can a federal agency just overturn a law by regulation? Good question. The reality is that the EPA is well aware that the tailoring regulation contradicts black-letter law; consequently, it knows legal challenges have high prospects for success. So why would an agency like the EPA that has no trouble flexing its regulatory muscles exempt tens of thousands of potential regulatory targets with such a rule? Quite simply, in addition to recognizing the regulation’s tenuous legal grounds, the EPA realizes that as the number of individuals aware of the pending regulatory burden grows, the stronger the backlash against its CO2 rules will be. Crafty bureaucrats also know that the biggest hurdle they now face is beginning the process of regulating CO2 — striking out against our national economy from the regulatory beachhead of the EPA’s very questionable endangerment finding.

The reality is that with or without the tailoring exemption, the Clean Air Act is already festooned with complex and expansive regulatory mechanisms. The EPA’s extension of its grip to CO2 will be another unparalleled regulatory bonanza for this government agency. Once done — like virtually every other federal regulatory effort — the scope of the agency’s CO2 powers will only continue to expand. While a small business, family farm, or ranch might escape the EPA’s direct regulatory burden and a particular permitting process with the tailoring rule (perhaps only temporarily), they will still suffer from this unlawful aggregation of power by a federal agency. At the end of the day, the enormous economic costs of job losses, reduced GDP, and dramatically higher energy prices from the impact of the EPA’s rules will punish all of us.

In fact, if you look objectively at the numbers, it’s not only going to drastically increase costs of just about every good or service in the country, it’s a proven job-killer. And, amazingly enough, as with all of these massive, unread, undebated, constructed-in-secret, freedom-destroying bills we’ve seen in the past year and a half, it’s also a thinly disguised payoff to liberal Democrat special interests.

Another way to put it would be that it’s an egregious power grab, but there’s a chance to stop it:

The Senate will vote Thursday on Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s S.J. Res. 26, which would forestall the EPA’s efforts to give itself authority to impose sweeping new regulations on greenhouse gases. U.S. code lays out Congress’s power to review new rules promulgated by federal agencies to enforce existing laws. Congress can overturn these rules by issuing a “joint resolution of disapproval.”

In the Senate, such resolutions are privileged and thus not subject to filibuster. S.J. Res. 26 already has 41 cosponsors, including three Democrats. A fourth, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W.V.) is heavily leaning toward supporting the measure. But even if the resolution gathers enough additional Democratic votes to pass and makes it to the president’s desk, the Obama administration announced today that it will likely face a veto.

This latest wrinkle adds a level of boldness to the Executive’s blatant attempt to circumvent separation of powers and legislate from the White House. Even if administration can’t goad enough Democrats in Congress to yield their constitutional authority to the EPA; even if they cannot pass a version of Kerry-Lieberman, the White House will have its cap-and-trade. One way or another.

Of course, even if that resolution succeeds, the battle is not completely over:

We also shouldn’t forget that the Democrats don’t need Kerry-Lieberman to get the grab-bag of green subsidies and the new conservation mandates they want. The editors make the case today that the Democrats really don’t need Kerry-Lieberman at all: They can pass the Bingaman bill — which contains all the new subsidies and mandates, but lacks cap-and-trade — and just let the EPA do the dirty work of rationing carbon. This is looking increasingly like their default strategy.

And things will be miserable along the way…by design. Remember:


And,
keeping in mind the fact that well over half of our nation’s energy comes from coal:

The bottom line is that the radical Leftists in charge of the government right now will stop at nothing to gain control over every possible aspect of the nation in order to control as many people as possible. They don’t care how badly they damage this nation, how much havoc they wreak, or how miserable they make life for peons like you and me during their greedy quest for power.

The only thing that will truly stop them is to force them out of the positions of authority that will allow them to dictate policy this way. Start by placing a call to your Senators today.

There’s my two cents.

Related Reading:
Stopping the EPA’s CO2 regulations
Window dressing cap-and-trade won’t make the costs go away
Subsidized green jobs still destroy jobs elsewhere

***UPDATE***
The Senate voted Murkowski’s bill down, 53-47. Some analysis to keep in mind:

Don’t cry too hard over the vote. For one thing, there was zero chance of it passing the House (although watching purple-district Democrats agonize over whether to vote for it would have been fun) and The One would have vetoed it even if it had. For another thing, consider this a trial run on the viability of cap-and-trade. If Reid can’t get 60 to agree that, yes indeed, carbon is very dangerous, he’s not getting 60 for a much broader regulatory regime like C&T. Nor, given the latest polling from Nevada, will he want to even try. Exit quotation from Dan Foster: “I don’t want to hear a liberal bemoan executive supremacy ever again. This is Congress abdicating its own authority because the Democrats know they can’t get the votes to pass cap-and-trade.”

Unfortunately, this allows the EPA to declare things like dirt and air to be deadly to your existence. Good luck with the coming cost increases…

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I'm a gun-owning, Bible-thumping, bitter clinger conservative in the heartland. You can disagree with me if you want (you do, after all, have a right to be wrong)...just don't be rude or stupid and we'll get along just fine! :)

Posted in Economy, Energy, General Politics, Leaning Left, Liberal Hypocrisy

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