2011-01-21

Rolling back the job-destroying (greenhouse gas) regulations

A McClatchy Newspapers article [LINK] suggests that the House republicans are going to move on to the Clean Air Act now that they've "repealed" the health care act. It's actually a really nice article, so I recommend taking a look. The idea is that the republicans don't like that the EPA is going to try to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, so they want to re-write the Clean Air Act to make sure that is not in the EPA's purview.

The argument seems to be that (a) the Congress should pass regulatory legislation, (b) carbon dioxide shouldn't be considered a "pollutant," (c) regulating carbon dioxide will "kill" jobs. Who is making this argument? Well, it seems like Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is fully on board, but Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is the one who introduced the so-called Free Industry Act and she has 96 co-sponsors who are all Republicans except Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK).

In terms of the points above, I think there are some obvious problems. (a) There is no legislation that is going to regulate emissions that is going to get through congress. That ship sailed last year, even before that commercial in which Joe Manchin literally shot the bill [YOUTUBE]. So the republican position seems to be, "let's do nothing." (b) The EPA went to court to determine whether CO2 is a pollutant, and it is. Case closed, literally. [WIKIPEDIA] (c) Just asserting that reducing carbon pollution will "kill" jobs does not make it true. One of the reasons that Barack Obama was so overwhelmingly elected was because he championed the idea of reducing our dependence on foreign oil by moving toward a renewable energy infrastructure, creating thousands of "green jobs." There are a number of arguments for moving in this direction to create jobs and move the USA into a leadership position in green technology that can be used (read: sold) to other countries [LINK]. I think this point is one where there could be actual debate, but there are so many reasons to move away from fossil fuels that they overshadow possible short-term economic implications. In the long-term, I think everyone agrees that fossil fuels are bad for everyone.

One last point. Just like in the case of health care, there is not enough support to move any of this legislation through the Senate, much less through the White House. It is an exercise in futility, a symbol of the frustration that the Republicans feel and the animosity they have toward environmental regulation. It is also a waste of time in Congress and a waste of taxpayer money. It will make headlines, though, and confuse the American public, who I'm pretty sure now believe that the healthcare bill has really been repealed.

1 comment:

MickeyWhite said...

Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade,

U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations,

Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start

Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent

Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extention.

Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations,

Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan.

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :
http://mickeywhite.blogspot.com/2009/09/tn-congressman-marsha-blackburn-votes.html
Mickey