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EPA Regulations in GOP Crosshairs

Jeff Siegel | Wednesday January 5th, 2011 | 1 Comment

Last year, after successfully being vilified as “Cap-and-Tax,” Cap-and-Trade was defeated.

Not that I was particularly upset about it. . .

After all, cap-and-trade was a very complex solution to an easily rectifiable problem.

That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have worked; a similar scheme to cap sulfur dioxide back in 1990 proved successful…

Initiated by former president George H.W. Bush, the program enabled power plants to decrease emissions of sulfur dioxide by 64 percent, saving $120 billion in pollution and health costs over the past 20 years.

Though I would argue that had President Bush tried something like that these days, he would’ve been stopped in his tracks by special interest influence and media-manipulated “patriots” who still haven’t figured out that those who wish to protect the environment are not all “crazy treehuggers” with socialist agendas…

Of course, anyone who thinks the environment should be nothing more than an afterthought should spend a few days on the streets of Beijing in the summertime. There’s a reason Beijing traffic cops don’t typically live past 50 — and it ain’t job stress!

Regardless, the final nail was put in the cap-and-trade coffin last year. And as we venture into 2011, some republicans are making their first order of business to take aim at the EPA’s attempt to regulate emissions.

A new game of chicken

The incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Fred Upton, has called the EPA’s emissions standards a “power grab that will kill millions of jobs.”

Of course, Upton doesn’t have an ounce of objective data to back up this “job-killing” claim…

But the Michigan congressman was correct when he said the Obama administration and the EPA had imposed these regulations because they couldn’t accomplish their goals through legislation.

While it was clear the current administration would’ve preferred legislation over EPA regulation, there really was little chance that a cap-and-trade bill would have made it to the president’s desk.

And the EPA regulations were in the president’s back pocket the whole time, labeled “Plan B.”

So a new game of chicken is now emerging: an army of chest-pounding Republicans on one side and the EPA on the other.

The question now is Who will flinch first?

Jobs = Votes

While the Republicans are starting off optimistically aggressive, there’s no way the President or the EPA is going to roll over on this one…

But both sides have an opportunity here to claim victory.

One way or another, new pollution controls will emerge over the next two years. And if both sides play their cards right, these controls won’t come in the form of burdensome regulations — but in the form of support for alternatives to highly pollutive power generation.

In other words: less focus on new schemes to limit greenhouse gas emissions, and more focus on power-generation sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal — all which offer immediate results, as none carry with them the heavy burden of greenhouse gas emissions.

And while many are concerned that a new wave of conservatives roaming the halls of Congress is bad news for alternative energy, consider that a sizable portion of new solar and wind manufacturing is happening (and growing) in red states.

And don’t think for a second that town hall screamers waving Gadsden flags will ever be loud enough to drown out the bureaucratic boasting of job creation.

Doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you call home… jobs = votes!


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  • Kahley

    Jeff – Good article. It’s nice to see some one promoting the civilized discourse