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We knew this was coming. Now the only debate is whether the EPA will get authority to write the regulations governing the amount of carbon dioxide any business, equipment or vehicle can emit, or whether congress will write it’s own cap-and-trade style regulations. Congress has authority to take the lead. Either way you can bet that your power bill, the cost of transportation and the cost of running equipment is going to go up.
For those of you who haven’t followed the issue, the EPA up until a supreme court ruling late last year, was limited to regulating toxic material: lead in paint and gasoline, mercury in power plant emissions, factory discharges into waterways…that sort of thing. With the new ruling the EPA can now pretty much set industrial policy and potentially make or break the economy depending on what they do. This is a huge expansion of their powers and a heavy hand here could cripple the economy for decades to come.
Even so, I’d prefer to see the EPA write the reg, rather than Congress. There’s a least a chance that the EPA will be objective about who has to pay. If Congress asserts it’s legislative prerogative they’ll be handing out carbon credits like the Medieval Church handed out indulgences. You help them get elected, you get your carbon sins forgiven.