Tom Borelli

Next week, the Senate will determine whether it sides with “we the people” or if our elected “representatives” support a drastic expansion of government that will trample our liberties for no measurable environmental benefit.

On June 10, the Senate is expected to vote on a resolution offered by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would block the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act.

Rush Limbaugh

Formally known as Resolution of Disapproval, Murkowski’s effort would negate EPA’s so-called “Endangerment Finding” that effectively gives the agency regulatory authority over manmade greenhouse gases in the name of combating global warming.

If Congress does not step in to block EPA, the agency can use the Clean Air Act as a blunt tool to widen its jurisdiction into almost every nook and cranny in our lives. Every sector of our economy -- transportation, power generation and manufacturing -- would be subjected to EPA’s bureaucratic reach.

Indeed, every business that uses fossil fuels to heat, cool, light or run its manufacturing operations or emits greenhouse gases would need permits from EPA to function.

Ironically, even EPA recognizes that the size and scope of this regulatory monstrosity is too much for it to handle. Accordingly, the agency was forced to issue a “Tailoring Rule” to initially exempt facilities that emit less than a threshold level of greenhouse gases for six years.

Unless the scope of the regulatory scheme is limited, EPA readily acknowledges that agencies involved in the permitting process would be overwhelmed with applications. For example, EPA says, “state permitting authorities would be paralyzed by permit applications in numbers that are orders of magnitude greater than their current administrative resources could accommodate.” EPA estimated it could cost over $15 billion to process just one type of permit nationwide.

Now we are being treated to the bizarre, and legally questionable, spectacle of EPA trying to limit its authority under the Clean Air Act, because it knows its own regulatory scheme is unmanageable.


Tom Borelli

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow with FreedomWorks.

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