When the Obama administration failed in its bid five years ago to have the Democrat-controlled Congress create an unconstitutional cap-and-trade regime targeting carbon dioxide to fight “global warming,” it waited a few years, then imposed the radical scheme by executive decree. Rather than foisting it directly on businesses and individuals, Obama’s new presidential edicts purport to commandeer state governments for the purpose. The “regulations” even “graciously” offer states what the anti-CO2 zealots in the administration and its EPA describe as a “menu” of “policy options” they can “choose” from to comply with the decrees. The battle to stop the abuse, though, is now underway.
The “climate” regulatory regime unveiled by the EPA last month calls for massive reductions in emissions from power plants. Under the scheme, described as “ObamaCare for the atmosphere,” emissions of what scientists refer to as the “gas of life” — exhaled by humans and required for plants — must be slashed by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. Obama explained the economic effects of his plot in a 2008 interview: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” At least in that instance, he was telling the truth. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimated that the scheme could cost $50 billion per year in lost GDP and over 200,000 jobs annually, in addition to a plunge in household disposable income of over half a trillion dollars a year.
If states refuse to submit to the administration’s widely ridiculed edicts, the EPA claims it has the power to step in and create its own “plan.” More than a few state governments, however, are already fighting back — or at least pretending to in an effort to appease the groundswell of opposition — against what elected officials say is brazen anti-constitutional federal and executive overreach. Multiple avenues to stop the plot are being pursued, ranging from congressional action and federal lawsuits to state nullification efforts. Some analysts also suggested forcing the agency to prepare a legally required “impact statement” outlining and justifying the human devastation set to be wrought on America under the scheme.
With the GOP-controlled House of Representatives complicit in the administration’s scheming — the House has the constitutional power to cut off all funding for Obama’s “climate” antics, yet has refused to do so for reasons that remain unclear — attention is increasingly shifting to state capitols. Shortly after the latest EPA plot was unveiled, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, citing higher energy costs, lost jobs, and lost business, promised to “oppose these regulations using every means possible.” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett vowed to “fight these regulations every step of the way.” Other governors and state lawmakers offered similar rhetoric, but many of those same states are already working on their own plots to needlessly reduce emissions of the essential-to-life gas.
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