All I need is the air that I breathe …

posted at 11:33 am on February 19, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Sources within the Obama administration tell its favorite leak recipient that they will have the EPA start to regulate carbon dioxide emissions in the next few months.  The decision will hit the energy and transportation sectors at a time when both will be needed for an economic recovery.  Get ready for even more nationalization:

The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to act for the first time to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists blame for the warming of the planet, according to top Obama administration officials.

The decision, which most likely would play out in stages over a period of months, would have a profound impact on transportation, manufacturing costs and how utilities generate power. It could accelerate the progress of energy and climate change legislation in Congress and form a basis for the United States’ negotiating position at United Nations climate talks set for December in Copenhagen.

The environmental agency is under order from the Supreme Court to make a determination whether carbon dioxide is a pollutant that endangers public health and welfare, an order that the Bush administration essentially ignored despite near-unanimous belief among agency experts that research points inexorably to such a finding.

Well, you have to love how the New York Times has decided to become the spin masters of the Obama administration.  Take a look at the second paragraph of the article, in which John Broder breathlessly informs us that regulating carbon dioxide could “accelerate the progress of energy and climate change legislation in Congress and form a basis for the United States’ negotiating position at United Nations climate talks”.  It could do all that, but what Broder doesn’t mention is that it will also rapidly increase energy costs, making it costlier to produce goods and services inside the US while foreign competitors gain an advantage.

How long does it take for Broder to mention the fact that increased regulation and imposition of controls will “significantly increase costs”?  Paragraph 15, of 26.  He only mentions it in reference to expected opposition from Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), whom Broder helpfully casts as a “champion” of the auto industry.  Funny, though, that the New York Times didn’t bother much with describing people as “champions” of this industry when covering the auto-industry bailouts, which will now apparently go to waste, thanks to this new regulatory push that will make both the manufacturing and products of the industry obsolete.

In fact, in the entire 26-paragraph article, only two paragraphs speak at all about the opposition to such an approach.  The rest almost fawningly describe the effort in glowing, even heroic tones.  It’s quite the piece of propaganda, and I’m certain the Obama administration will bless the NYT with even more scoops like this in the future.  It’s far below Broder’s usual standard.

Interestingly, the Most Transparent and Accountable Administration in World History will not ask Congress to pass these new regulations.  Getting the People’s Branch involved apparently is too time-consuming and tiresome.  Instead, the EPA will just start issuing regulations, and will ask us to trust them to be reasonable.  No, I’m not kidding:

She also said that while Mr. Obama supported Congressional action on climate change, he was also committed to using the regulatory authority of the executive branch to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming.

Mr. LaBolt said the White House would not interfere with the agency’s decision-making process.

If the environmental agency determines that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant to be regulated under the Clean Air Act, it would set off one of the most extensive regulatory rule makings in history. Ms. Jackson knows that she would be stepping into a minefield of Congressional and industry opposition and said that she was trying to devise a program that allayed these worries.

Remember all those on the Left that complained about George Bush’s “imperial” approach to the Presidency?  Do you suppose they’ll complain about this?  Neither do I.


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