Green mandates would devastate economy

Freedom New Mexico

President-elect Barack Obama’s new environmental team may bode ill — trillions of dollars of ill — if they are true to their green colors and implement administratively what even the Democratic-controlled Congress has refused to do legislatively, all in the name of saving America from global warming.

Congress, which is restrained at the ballot box, has been loath to implement Draconian proposals to curb manmade greenhouse gases, supposedly the cause of global warming. But it’s not because the temperature gains of the last 30 years were entirely erased by recent declines that Congress was dissuaded. Nor was it that temperatures have fallen while greenhouse gas emissions have risen, the opposite effect of global warming theory.

No. Congress has been restrained from implementing economic horrors such as last year’s proposed American Climate Security Act because of the widespread and deep economic damage it would cause. The Heritage Foundation estimated the climate security bill would have increased gasoline prices 29 percent, thrown hundreds of thousands of people out of work and reduced gross domestic product as much as $4 trillion by 2030. After only three days of debate, Congress shelved the obviously destructive proposal, global warming or no global warming.

But the new Obama environmental team may be a less restrained ensemble of global warming alarmists. These left-leaning bureaucrats will be empowered by a 2007 Supreme Court decision that determined, for the first time ever, that nationally occurring, ubiquitous carbon dioxide is now to be considered a pollutant. That opens the door to using the Clean Air Act, intended to fight pollution, to administratively enforce what Congress has been unwilling to do legislatively.

And remember bureaucrats can be much less restrained than politicians.

The EPA already has begun steps to bypass the legislative process and regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. Its proposal is “nothing less than the most costly, complicated and unworkable regulatory scheme ever proposed,” comments Ben Lieberman, senior energy and environmental analyst at the Heritage Foundation.

The cost of EPA actions, Lieberman estimates, “would likely exceed that of the legislation rejected by Congress, reaching well into the trillions of dollars while destroying millions of jobs in the manufacturing sector.” Under EPA plans, “nearly every product, business and building that uses fossil fuels could face requirements that border on the impossible,” Lieberman writes.

Change may well be coming under President Obama.