Obama, EPA to expand regulatory regime for climate change

posted at 11:36 am on December 22, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

After initially appearing to retreat in the face of the midterm onslaught, Barack Obama and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson have decided to pursue an end-run strategy to impose regulation on energy producers regarding greenhouse-gas emissions.  The move sets up a confrontation between the White House and Congress, which has already signaled a willingness to play hardball with Obama on regulatory innovation:

The Obama administration is expected to roll out a major greenhouse gas policy for power plants and refineries as soon as Wednesday, signaling it won’t back off its push to fight climate change in the face of mounting opposition on Capitol Hill.

The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a schedule for setting greenhouse gas emission limits, known as “performance standards,” for the nation’s two biggest carbon-emitting industries, POLITICO has learned.

Under the schedule agreed to by EPA, states and environmental groups, the agency will issue a draft greenhouse gas performance standard for power plants by July 2011 and a final rule by May 2012. The agreement – which comes after states and environmentalists challenged the George W. Bush administration’s failure to set the standards – requires EPA to issue a draft limit for refineries by Dec. 2011 and a final rule by Nov. 2012.

The White House Office of Management and Budget has signed off on the schedule, according to a litigant in the legal fight.

Earlier, it appeared that the White House had backed away from the regulatory approach, at least for the next year or so.  This change comes at an unusual moment when Obama had started to win some bipartisan cooperation from Congress on his other priorities, notably START and DADT.  Whatever momentum and trust Obama built with that and the tax deal will rapidly dissipate if the EPA starts operating outside authority granted or desired by Congress.

The incoming Congress has many tools to block or slow the regulatory growth, one of which Harry Reid handed to Republicans this week.  The GOP will have the ability to shape funding for the EPA for the final six months of this fiscal year.  Congress can either mandate that no funds be spent from EPA’s budget for the purpose of creating or enforcing greenhouse-gas emissions, or they can defund the agency entirely after March 4th.  The latter will almost certainly set up a government-shutdown confrontation, but the former probably wouldn’t, especially since a few red-state Senators would likely join the Republicans in reining in Jackson.  Jay Rockefeller already proposed a two-year moratorium on EPA regulatory expansion to prevent just this scenario.

Alternately, Congress could undo the regulatory changes by using the Congressional Review Act.  That law gives Congress the power to undo regulations by executive branch agencies, and more importantly, bypasses the filibuster in the Senate.  However, that would require Barack Obama’s signature, which means that the GOP would have to garner two-thirds of each chamber to override a veto — not terribly likely.  That would still be a worthwhile exercise, especially with a presidential election approaching, as a way to frame Obama as an out-of-control regulator.  The House could also drag Jackson to the Hill as often as they want to demand explanations under oath, and to make the process as uncomfortable as possible for the White House.

If Obama wants to play hardball, Republicans have lots of options.  They just need to play hardball as well.  We’ll see if this inspires them to do so.


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Apparently this isn’t to take effect until the little woman takes her separate private jet flight to Hawaii. Not that that would matter to the Poly Sci type that thinks someone flying coach to Cancun is the cause of global warming cooling climate change George Moonbiots @$$ boils.

MNHawk on December 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM

I propose we create a Cabinet-level gummint department to regulate the Enviro Industry.

Onerous, expensive, draconian regulations and oversight should be forced on the following groups – including, but not limited to, The Pew Environmental Group (ironically funded to the sum of billions by SUNOCO Oil Corp of Radnor, PA), The Ocean Conservancy, Sierra Club, Environmental Defense, Save The Manatee Club (the founding of which was aging stoner Jimmy Buffet’s successful attempt to get out of community service after a drug & booze DUI), World Wildlife Fund, Sea Shepherds, Coastal Conservation Association, Teddy Roosevelt Conservation Coalition, PETA, ASPCA, The Audubon Society, The Tides Foundation, etc Etc ETC.

CatchAll on December 22, 2010 at 2:08 PM

SHUT IT DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!

lilium on December 22, 2010 at 2:13 PM

Step one: Enact legislation that funds the Rational Environmental Protections Agency.
Step two: Strictly limit their mandate to exclude CO2 and water vapor (and anything else that shouldn’t be a Federal issue). Limit the employees to those who have never been employed at the EPA.
Step three: “Forget” to fund the EPA.
Step four: The grim REPA approacheth…..

cthulhu on December 22, 2010 at 2:15 PM

We NEED to reach at least 500PPM. Those idiots don’t have a clue that we’re overdue for the next glaciation. The paper that studied CO2 levels in the past via plant stomata said (kind of as an aside) that they found no glaciation had occurred with CO2 levels above 500PPM.

Another paper (on the ‘warming Arctic’) said that for the next 4000 years, the earth will be farther and farther away from the sun for northern hemisphere summer.

When the snow that falls during the winter does not fully melt in the summer we’re off to the races.

MaggiePoo on December 22, 2010 at 2:43 PM

BTW, the papers I mentioned above were both peer-reviewed and NOT written by skeptics. In fact the authors of the Arctic paper were the cream of the cream of the ClimateGate emailers.

MaggiePoo on December 22, 2010 at 2:45 PM

“… or they can defund the agency entirely after March 4th.”

SHUT…

… IT

DOWN…!!!

Seven Percent Solution on December 22, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Good luck with getting that 2nd term, Obama.

I swear, he’s either up trying to set something up, or he’s completely thick in the head. My instincts tell me….he’s up to something, and as always…it’s not good!!!

capejasmine on December 22, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Obama had started to win some bipartisan cooperation from Congress on his other priorities, notably START and DADT. Whatever momentum and trust Obama built with that and the tax deal

Republicans have lots of options. They just need to play hardball as well.

Having failed at analysis, HotAir opts for edgy, over-the-top sarcasm ….

IceCold on December 22, 2010 at 4:23 PM

There is no rule that says the Congress can’t cut the EPA’s budget by a 1/3, then if they continue this non-sense by a 1/3 again and so on until the lesson took hold.

thmsmgnm on December 22, 2010 at 4:31 PM

This is all legal under the Commerce Clause don’t ya know. Or maybe the Necessary and Proper Clause.

There is no limit to the Federal Gubmints authority.

-crr6

BierManVA on December 22, 2010 at 4:40 PM

It is time to drive a wooden stake through the EPA. Nobody would have disagreed with clean air or clean water. But no one expected an agency of 100,000 drones running around the country looking for something to regulate. I would like to see the green weenies try their protest shtick in China and see what it gets them.

Geoffrey de Bouillon on December 22, 2010 at 4:45 PM

There is no rule that says the Congress can’t cut the EPA’s budget by a 1/3, then if they continue this non-sense by a 1/3 again and so on until the lesson took hold.

thmsmgnm on December 22, 2010 at 4:31 PM

I’m thinking more like cutting 9/10ths and if they don’t get it, close the agency.

clement on December 22, 2010 at 5:34 PM

The Obama administration is expected to roll out a major greenhouse gas policy for power plants and refineries as soon as Wednesday, signaling it won’t back off its push to fight climate change in the face of mounting opposition on Capitol Hill.

So what happens if the people refuse to back off also?
They want to double down, we double down.
The left is filled with cowards. They’ll stab you in the back, sneak through your trash or steal your house while your sleeping. They can’t be trusted, but there’s nothing brave about any of them. They’re all cowards. Dangerous, spiteful, corrupt.. cowards.

We have no choice as a people if we want to remain a free nation. There is no where to run and hide. This is, as Reagan so well said, the last stand for liberty on the face of the earth. We must protest all the more. We must campaign, we must continue to educate our selves, staying watchful and vigilant. We need ever larger rallies! Ever larger protests! Ever more determined vigilance.

JellyToast on December 22, 2010 at 5:46 PM

There is no rule that says the Congress can’t cut the EPA’s budget by a 1/3, then if they continue this non-sense by a 1/3 again and so on until the lesson took hold.

thmsmgnm on December 22, 2010 at 4:31 PM

Exactly. This will be interesting to watch.
What would a good Marxist do if the budget for one of his private little bureaucratic armies is cut?
I still remember some time this past year, or maybe it was back in 2009, I remember reading a story about a billion dollars or so of the Tarp money was missing. It just disappeared. I wouldn’t be surprised if Obama came up with money somewhere out of the blue to fund his continued attack on the American people.

I think we are going to see greater attacks on our freedoms than we ever had thought possible. I seriously believe some of the things this President will attempt during the next two years will be breathtaking.

JellyToast on December 22, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Clearly he’s gonna moderate, just like Clinton.

txhsmom on December 22, 2010 at 6:50 PM

BTW, the papers I mentioned above were both peer-reviewed and NOT written by skeptics. In fact the authors of the Arctic paper were the cream of the cream of the ClimateGate emailers.

MaggiePoo on December 22, 2010 at 2:45 PM

1) Any scientist who isn’t a “skeptic” isn’t a good scientist, is he/she?

2) Why do you not provide references to these articles?

oakland on December 22, 2010 at 8:22 PM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/20/AR2010122005874.html

Sierra Club is going to fight new power plants being built in 45 states. Will O and the EPA side with Sierra or with Americans who need electricity, heat, AC at a reasonable rate?

journeyintothewhirlwind on December 22, 2010 at 8:57 PM

2) Why do you not provide references to these articles?

Good question. The stomata paper was discussed in one of several Dr. Svalgaard threads at Climate Audit. I put the info in my notes when I read all those threads two-three years ago.

The Arctic paper was written up by Andy Revkin (New York Times) perhaps two years ago (time flies and I still can’t believe it’s been over a year since climategate). I don’t have the link. Sorry. And as I remember the specific info I mentioned about northern hemisphere summer may not have been IN the paper but was told to Andy by one of the authors for the article.

I have read neither paper in full. And even without links I wanted to share the info. Yeah, I know, it makes it difficult for you to share without the links. So if I don’t have them perhaps I should keep it to myself.

MaggiePoo on December 22, 2010 at 11:53 PM

Just as long as we don’t have to count on the GOP squishes in the Senate to forestall this insanity.

Mormon Doc on December 23, 2010 at 1:40 AM

In order to play hardball, someone needs to have balls. Forgive me if my faith in the GOp on that account is a tad shakey.

bitsy on December 23, 2010 at 9:49 AM

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/20/AR2010122005874.html

Sierra Club is going to fight new power plants being built in 45 states. Will O and the EPA side with Sierra or with Americans who need electricity, heat, AC at a reasonable rate?

journeyintothewhirlwind on December 22, 2010 at 8:57 PM

Between this and EPA regulation, citizens will die next winter because of blackouts and higher energy costs. Has anyone noticed how brutal our winters have become?

Environmentalists are declared enemies of humankind. They want nothing less than our extinction.

theCork on December 23, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Under the schedule agreed to by EPA, states and environmental groups, the agency will issue a draft greenhouse gas performance standard for power plants by July 2011 and a final rule by May 2012. The agreement – which comes after states and environmentalists challenged the George W. Bush administration’s failure to set the standards – requires EPA to issue a draft limit for refineries by Dec. 2011 and a final rule by Nov. 2012.

So, by trying to speed up the process, the Obama Administration will have to defend this 6 months BEFORE the 2012 election! Rolling brownouts during a Presidential campaign, anyone? Brilliant!!!

The House GOP needs to defund the EPA totally until they agree to rescind ANY rule having to do with restricting carbon dioxide. Not only “performance standards”, but also the rule imposing Best Available Control Technology which was published in April 2010. The power plant construction industry has DIED since then, and those rules need to be rescinded URGENTLY !!!

Let’s change the meaning of GOP to Generation Of Power!

Steve Z on December 23, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Is it me, or does Lisa Jackson look like a Cabbage Patch doll?

Geronimo on December 23, 2010 at 11:27 AM

Lisa Jackson couldn’t run a kool-Aide stand.

These people are absolutely in the dark and or actively working against the U.S.A..

esnap on December 23, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Why do all 0bama’s female appointees look alike? Janet Incompetano, Sodomayor, Elena Pagan and now this wench.

Yephora on December 23, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Carbon dioxide, the stuff that helps plants grow — to feed a burgeoning world population which is what they are trying to quash. There is no question about the insidiousness of the elite’s plans.

elvis on December 24, 2010 at 9:10 AM

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