OPINION: Investors Business Daily Editorial "Stop EPA's Energy Tax"
Federal Authority: At a contentious hearing on legislation to keep the EPA from regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, Republicans rightly called global warming a power-grabbing hoax that is all pain for no gain.
The assertion came at a Wednesday hearing before the House subcommittee on energy and power on the "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011." The measure is designed to reassert the authority of Congress to levy taxes on the American people and direct public policy -- powers that are being usurped by the unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency.
In a power grab that rivals ObamaCare in audacity and job-killing effects, the EPA has claimed unto itself the power to regulate carbon dioxide, a byproduct of human and animal respiration and the basis for all life on earth, as a pollutant. At least with ObamaCare, Congress -- our representatives -- voted to pass it.
The EPA claims science has given it the justification, and the Supreme Court has given it the authority, to regulate CO2 as a pollutant and impose regulations governing virtually every aspect of American business and our daily life almost down to our lawn mowers.
Leading off the witness list was Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., ranking member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a co-author of the legislation with House Committee Chairman Fred Upton.
Inhofe rightly noted that Congress deliberately did not regulate so-called greenhouse gases with the Clean Air Act, a bill that was designed to deal with air quality, not climate change.
He also observed that EPA Director Lisa Jackson herself has acknowledged the Clean Air Act "is not specifically designed to address greenhouse gases." The House-passed Waxman-Markey did, but it died with Senate inaction and the election of a new Congress, an election in which it was an issue. Along with Obama-Care, the American people also rejected the idea of taxing and regulating carbon dioxide.
Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., pointed out to Jackson, who was also called to testify, that Congress had rejected federal regulation of greenhouse gases on no fewer than three occasions. "Do you object to an up or down vote in Congress?" he asked her.
"I would not presume to tell Congress what to do," Jackson answered, saying she was acting under the authority of a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling that let the EPA enforce the Clean Air Act, including heavy carbon emissions.
Inhofe disputed this, saying that while the Supreme Court said the EPA had the discretion to "decide whether greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare," it did not authorize draconian regulations based on flawed science, regulations that would impose an economy-crushing hidden tax on businesses, energy producers and American consumers.
Inhofe said he was there to question EPA's authority, not the science. But he did point out that the agency's own analysis found that its regulations covering CO2 from cars would by 2100 reduce global temperatures by 0.006 degree Celsius, an amount almost too small to measure or matter.
In his opening remarks, Inhofe also noted that Dr. Tom Wigley of the National Center for Atmospheric Research found that even full implementation of the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases, including action by the U.S., Europe, Canada, Russia and others, would reduce global temperatures no more than 0.21 degree Celsius by 2100.
Not along ago Inhofe related on a YouTube video: "Lisa Jackson, Obama's EPA administrator, admitted to me publicly that EPA based its action ... (issuing its CO2 endangerment finding) in good measure on the findings of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC. She told me that EPA accepted those findings without any serious, independent analysis to see whether they were true."
The EPA's dangerous policy is based on flawed science that contradicts the intent of Congress and usurps its power, and its authority must be stopped. We count ourselves among those yearning to breathe free.
Read the editorial online HERE.