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EPA Considering Implementing Cap and Trade Without Congress

Morgen on March 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

From Bloomberg:

The existing Clean Air Act “could enable us to include emissions trading” within agency regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide and other gases that scientists have linked to climate change, Anna Marie Wood, a senior policy analyst at the EPA, said at an event in Washington hosted by the American Bar Association.

“We’re considering all that right now and thinking about what might make sense,” Wood said. While the agency “strongly prefers” that Congress pass new laws dealing with greenhouse gases, “we think that there’s a lot of progress that can be made using certain tools under the Clean Air Act.”

I am not at all surprised they are considering this, but fortunately I think the likelihood of the EPA carrying this out is virtually nil. Democrats are already facing a wipe-out in November without the Administration taking action which will raise energy costs and eliminate jobs. Plus, there is already bi-partisan opposition within Congress to this sort of unilateral action by the EPA, and Congress could very well seek to defund the EPA if they decided to proceed with this.

Most likely this represents a further bluff by the EPA to pressure Congress into taking legislative action. However, it is pretty clear at this point that climate legislation will be one of the casualties of the attempt by Democrats to ram healthcare reform through using reconciliation. Regardless of whether they succeed or fail, it is hard to imagine that there will be any motivation for Senate Republicans to work with Democrats on this prior to November.

Of course the White House is well aware of this: so does anyone think the EPA is laying the groundwork to actually go through with this?

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Category: Climate Change & Environment |

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