What a difference a year makes. A year into Obama’s presidency we were suppose to have universal government-run health care, an energy tax (Cap-and-Trade), and a slew of other intrusive programs, mandates, and decrees. The thing is, Americans don’t want their lives turned upside-down at the whim of Washington politicians. But Democrats refuse to listen. They talk themselves into thinking that they know better than thou; that the American people don’t know what they really want. It is this tragic example of groupthink that is the impetus for all of the Democrats’ political tactics.
Instead of passing healthcare reform through conventional means, Democrats have dragged the country through a convoluted sausage packing that may manifest itself in a reconciliation vote. Cap-and-Trade passed the House last June by the slimmest of margins, 219-212, only to stall in the Senate – Harry Reid never had the votes. During simpler times Cap-and-Trade would be dead, but no. Unable to pass cap-and-trade through traditional legislative measures, the Obama administration has called upon the EPA to do its dirty work, to unilaterally instate a national energy tax. In a February 22, 2010 letter to Senator Rockefeller, EPA Director Lisa Jackson wrote:
“I expect that EPA will phase-in permit requirements and regulation of greenhouse gases for large stationary sources beginning in calendar year 2011… In any event, EPA does not intend to subject the smallest sources to Clean Air Act permitting for greenhouse-gas emissions any sooner than 2016.” –EPA Director Lisa Jackson
Subverting the will of Congress and the American people, the EPA has decided that it will dictate America’s energy policy. Luckily, this move has received substantial scrutiny. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas), in their respective chambers, each introduced legislation that would bar the EPA from regulating (taxing) greenhouse gases. Americans for Tax reform sent out the following letters urging Members to sign on to Sen. Murkowski and Rep. Barton’s resolutions of disapproval. Americans for Tax Reform also sent out this letter to the White House asking for President Obama and Lisa Jackson to yield to the will of Congress. This is an important fight. If the EPA is allowed to enact what Congress couldn’t, it would open the floodgates to a new era of governance, one dictated not by Representatives of Congress but by bureaucratic appointees.
Below is the letter Grover Norquist sent to the Senate:
On behalf of Americans for Tax Reform, and millions of taxpayers nationwide, I am writing to urge you to support Senator Murkowski’s submission of disapproval regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon dioxide endangerment finding. Senator Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval is an attempt to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Unable to pass greenhouse gas regulations through Congress, members of the current administration have attempted to shape American energy policy via the EPA. In a February 22, 2010 letter sent by EPA Director Lisa Jackson to Senator Rockefeller, she wrote:
“I expect that EPA will phase-in permit requirements and regulation of greenhouse gases for large stationary sources beginning in calendar year 2011… In any event, EPA does not intend to subject the smallest sources to Clean Air Act permitting for greenhouse-gas emissions any sooner than 2016.”
Unabashedly stating her intentions to begin issuing carbon permits next year, Lisa Jackson looks to enact controversial cap-and-trade like legislation on her own. This administrations attempt to subvert Congress, and the will of the American people, by enacting backdoor carbon regulations is reprehensible. The EPA should not act as chief regulator of America’s economy, it was never intended to.
Acting as a safeguard for the American people, Senator Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval would ensure that the EPA could not overhaul America’s energy industry, and subsequently the American economy. With the American economy still sluggish and unemployment hovering around 10 percent, any carbon regulation would be disastrous.
Facing carbon regulations, energy producers would have no choice but to raise energy prices, passing the cost of EPA’s regulations to consumers. Undoubtedly, higher energy prices would result in lost productivity and jobs while reducing America’s global competitiveness. Energy taxes divert money from the most productive sectors of the American economy to less efficient energy sources. Companies considering investing in the U.S. already must weigh America’s inexplicably high corporate tax rate. Compounding an energy tax to an already high business taxes would certainly deter foreign investment — further prolonging the current downturn.
Action against the EPA’s imminent carbon regulation is necessary. I urge you to proactively fight this measure and support Senator Murkowski’s resolution of disapproval.
Grover G. Norquist