Obama: I’ll veto anything that limits EPA greenhouse-gas authority

posted at 2:55 pm on February 2, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

How disappointed will Republicans be to hear Barack Obama’s veto threat on bills moving through Congress to rein in the EPA?  Not very.  It isn’t the first time the White House has issued the threat, but with one of the bills coming from his own side of the aisle, it’s starting to sound more like a plea to keep from being put in that position:

The Obama administration Wednesday repeated its threat to veto legislation that would curb its ability to regulate greenhouse gases.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson said that the White House continues to oppose any efforts from Capitol Hill to hamstring her agency on climate change.

“What has been said from the White House is that the president’s advisors would advise him to veto any legislation that passed that would take away EPA’s greenhouse gas authority,” Jackson told reporters on Capitol Hill. “Nothing has changed.”

EPA’s climate policies came under attack this week when Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) – backed by a host of co-sponsors – rolled out bills Monday to hamstring EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

A separate bill will come Wednesday afternoon from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and the Senate’s top climate skeptic, Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

Republicans know that Obama will veto the bill.  His strategy in the next two years will be to consolidate his legislative gains from 2009-10 and to expand his agenda through executive-branch regulatory adventurism.  Despite his supposed rhetorical move to the center — which mainly failed to appear in his State of the Union speech — the EPA remains his one tool to crack down on domestic energy production.

In fact, Republicans are counting on a veto.  They want that strategy to get out into the light, rather than occur through the normally dull process of regulatory expansion.  The veto would only be the third of Obama’s term in office and would shine a bright spotlight on his regulatory expansion.  Having a Democrat write one of these bills gives the effort an even higher profile, as well as make Obama look even more radical.  Democrats that stick with Obama on this issue in the House and especially the Senate will do so at their own electoral peril.

Obama wants to stop Congress from sending him the bill in the first place, which is why he’s issuing the threat.  It’s not likely to work, especially not with red-state Senate Democrats looking at 2012 re-election bids.

Update: Barbara Boxer plans to double down on defiance.  According to The Hill, she wants Congressional hearings on climate-change skepticism:

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is issuing a challenge to skeptics of climate change science: Bring it on.

Boxer said Wednesday that she’s expecting hearings on the issue.

She said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who is expected to head the panel’s oversight subcommittee, “is working on getting us going with some hearings.”

“We are going to absolutely look at the science of carbon pollution and its impact on our people, on our planet,” Boxer said at a committee hearing on drinking water safety. “We are absolutely going to keep up with the science.”

Which science?  The science that said snow in Washington DC was a thing of the past?  That the Himalayan glaciers were retreating?  The White House may want to have a chat with Boxer and Whitehouse on the subject of timing.


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What are Al Gore and the Global Warmers afraid of? RISING sea levels and coastal flooding!
Steve Z on February 3, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Search for the word ‘isostasy’ in this link & you will discover one instance (& there ARE more than that around) how it was never taken into account, inregards to melting in Greenland
& W Antarctica.
Isostasy is what every geologist knows & could tell you it IS important to relative sea level changes.
But there are a lot of short-sighted dopes out there.
And yes, MANY of them are scientists.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM

And if bellowing on about “Presidential Veto!” is all they got, they’re screwed, and they probably know it. The entire charade can be shut down pretty quickly by a Skeptical and Republican dominated House, without direct confrontation. Very simply. Because as the saying goes, no bucks, no Buck Rogers. And the House does have the power of the purse. They decline to give Lisa and her green minions at EPA any play money, and they’re pretty well done. And so is Skippy. Because he can veto this that and the other till the cows come home, but that’ll have the same effect as yelling at an ATM – which still ain’t gonna cough up no cash, no matter how loudly he squeals.

The question might become whether the House Republicans want to milk this issue for political gain (take back the Senate and White House) in 2012, or try to force the issue NOW (or soon), so that the economic recovery is not crippled by skyrocketing prices for electric power, as EPA permits for existing plants come up for renewal. During the recession, demand for electric power has stagnated, and existing power plants can handle the demand, but if the economy does start to recover, demand for electric power will increase–will the power companies be able to generate the power if they are hamstrung by greenhouse gas rules?

Coompliance with these “rules” is extremely expensive, and power companies know that a “rule” imposed by executive fiat but not voted into law by Congress can be overturned by a future President. After all, SCOTUS said that EPA had the right, but not the requirement, to regulate CO2 emissions in 2007, but the Bush Administration elected not to impose such regulations. So, power companies are sitting on the sidelines, not willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in CO2 control technology that could be unnecessary two years from now, and just not building new power plants because they can’t afford to comply with the new “rules”. But if the economy starts to expand, will increasing demand for electricity result in rolling blackouts?

IMHO, the Republican-controlled House needs to force this issue very soon (when the “continuing resolution” runs out in March) by de-funding the entire EPA until all “rules” on carbon dioxide are rescinded. We can’t afford to strangle the electric power industry, and saddle customers with skyrocketing power costs, for two years so that Republicans can say “tolja so” in 2012–the economic damage would be far too great.

Steve Z on February 3, 2011 at 12:55 PM

I’m still also not sure what the big problem would be if the earth did warm a couple of degrees on average. Longer growing seasons, milder winters, probably more arable land worldwide.

I’m not sure that global warming -if it were happening – would not be a net benefit for humanity.

Monkeytoe on February 3, 2011 at 2:21 PM

“Do you understand that the Arctic freezes and melts every year?”

That simple question will keep them thinking quietly about the topic for the remainder of the day.

blink on February 3, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Well let’s not confuse them even more with this reality.
There are still people out there who think that heat from volcanism does not affect sea ice or sea temperatures enough to melt sea ice.
Remember water has a high specific heat.
It’s slow to heat up & equally slow to cool down.
And magma is hot.
Basaltic magmas avg about 1200 or more degrees C.
That’s pretty warm.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Longer growing seasons, milder winters, probably more arable land worldwide.

I’m not sure that global warming -if it were happening – would not be a net benefit for humanity.

Monkeytoe on February 3, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Wouldn’t that be nice?
Here in ND for the last 3 years we’ve had ‘wintery’ weather like 5 months out of the year.
That is hard on crops, animals, people, & other vegetation.
CO2 is good for plants, ergo it is good for animals that eat plants.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 2:24 PM

So, what they admit is that CO2 emissions can’t cause any serious harm unless the earth’s climate system is unstable – a preposterous notion.

blink on February 3, 2011 at 3:30 PM

This leads back to the Gaia hypothesis, whether they admit it or not, in that the whole Earth is some kind of gian interconnected system like a string of dominoes. If you push one, they all will fall.
Many people believe in this.

Badger40 on February 3, 2011 at 5:11 PM

blink on February 4, 2011 at 1:25 AM

I’m keeping a copy of your numbers. Isn’t it funny how these magnificent men of SCIENCE have different data. In fact, not one set of numbers matches very closely.

Don’t you think they could get together and at least make sure their stories match a little better?

Squiggy on February 4, 2011 at 5:31 AM

blink on February 4, 2011 at 1:25 AM

I still ask, 1998 was the warmest year since when? ever? 1900? 1930? 1940? Since temperature data was first reliably recorded? Since man first walked upright? Since the supercontinent broke apart?

Where are the unadjusted data sets for years before, say, 2005 coming from? From what I have read, every one of those other institutions relied on CRU’s “adjusted” data sets for their calculations and conclusions. And, of course, CRU lost the raw, unadjusted, data.

Monkeytoe on February 4, 2011 at 8:27 AM

blink on February 4, 2011 at 1:25 AM

ZING!
I think Watts is very good, along with the guy at JunkScience, in poking holes in these people’s work.
We need more of this & it is happening.
I appreciate their inclusion of the papers they are dissecting, as well as the well thought out analyses.
I use these guys sometimes as jumping off points for more in depth sleuthing on this issue.
Their masks are slipping off & they scream very loudly & irrationally when we point it out.

Badger40 on February 4, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I’ve had several of these conversations.

blink on February 4, 2011 at 12:12 PM

I’ve had many of these conversations, also.
It is maddening when you talk with people who think that everything they believe is shaped by websites that simply state something is true without anything else to prove that it is true.
I work very hard with my students in my HS science classes to overcome this.
I am constantly asking them to explain where they get their information & how do they know it is reputable information etc.
Just bcs Greenpeace or Sierra Club or the Wildlife Federation says it’s true does not mean it is.

Badger40 on February 4, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Badger40 on February 4, 2011 at 1:16 PM

I have these conversations too, with extremely well educated people. The problem is, they buy the claim that “the science is settled” and/or “there is a concensus of almost all the scientists”.

They have no independent knowledge of the issues, have read nothing about any of the claimed “science”, and know nothing about the controversies. As far as they are concerned, it is “settled” b/c some liberal icon (Al Gore, Michael Moore, etc) told them it was settled.

In what other area of life or knowledge would these people simply believe what they are told like this? Only religion. And you cannot argue with them – they don’t want to hear it. I actually got into a heated argument with a guy with a Phd asking him to name any stuides or scientists that supported his view. He couldn’t of course, but said – I don’t need to, all the scientists believe this is true, therefore it is, they are the experts.”

And they say we are close-minded and anti-science.

Monkeytoe on February 4, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Do scientists from other fields of study really give away cross-discipline endorsements this stupidly?

blink on February 4, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I think many of them were either too timid & scared for fear of retribution to do anything, many were excited by the new gravy train in GW funding, many were too self absorbed to pay attention.
I can remember as a geology undergrad at UWYO in the mid 90s talking about the upcoming AGW storm.
Many of these professors were very well known in their fields.
They seemed unconcerned bcs they dismissed it as total crap & admitted it was crap to all of us as their students.
I think they took it for granted that it would be debunked so soon.
I think they underestimated the dishonesty & propaganda that soon followed & failed to see the politicians jumping upon the cash bandwagon,like GOre.

Badger40 on February 4, 2011 at 2:46 PM

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