Hugh Hewitt

Rolling back Obamacare will be at the top of many to-do lists for 2011, but a far more significant power grab is underway at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and blocking it should be the first priority of incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Fred Upton.

The good news is that Upton agrees and has already begun planning to stop the EPA before it can begin the process of asserting effective control over every business and many millions of households in the United States.

In an op-ed Upton co-authored with Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, in Monday's Wall Street Journal and again on my radio show yesterday, Upton promised vigorous action by his committee to halt the EPA's attempt to accomplish via backdoor regulation what the Congress could not pass in 2009 or 2010 --a global warming-inspired, job-killing array of federal rules and commands on any operation or system that emits carbon dioxide.

This is cap-and-trade or cap-and-tax by another name and via an extraordinary power grab sanctioned by President Obama and his environmental "csar" Carol Browner and being executed by one of the most determined of all of Team Obama's big government disciplines, Lisa Jackson, administrator of EPA. The Obama-Browner-Jackson plan is to talk moderately and act radically using the thinnest of legal rationales --a 5-4 2007 Supreme Court decision that did not even present the question of whether EPA had authority to regulate the carbon dioxide emissions of refineries and power plants, which is phase one of the EPA's enormous regulatory plan.

EPA has declared that carbon dioxide endangers the health of Americans, and the agency is using this "finding" to justify regulating anything that emits carbon dioxide. As Upton and Phillips note in their piece, many businesses have recovered from their shock at such a naked grab for power and are fighting back in the courts, but EPA is rushing forward with regulations to try and put its radical overlay on America's private sector before the courts can even respond to the claims. President Obama gets no questions on this somewhat complicated subject from his cheerleaders in the White Hous e press corps and so the largest grab for regulatory control unsupported by explicit legislation in our nation's history moves forward.

Obamacare is a malignancy, yes, and it was a jam down done in defiance of easily recognized voter opinion.


Hugh Hewitt

Hugh Hewitt is host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Hugh Hewitt's new book is The War On The West.