Congress intervenes, every building larger than a single-family dwelling likely willbecome subject to carbon controls in the near future.
EPA’s administrative cap-and-trade power grab.
The EPA plans to proposegreenhouse gas emissions control technology standards for power plants in July2011 under the Clean Air Act. One of the primary options the EPA is reportedlyconsidering is a cap-and-trade program. The fact that even the Democratic-controlled 111
De facto moratorium on American oil and gas production.
Political decisions byInterior Secretary Ken Salazar and his appointees have led to a steep decline indomestic oil and gas production on federal lands and offshore areas. Production isalready down and will almost certainly decline further. The extent of thesecancellations is not fully apparent because they have been done piecemeal. Aninvestigation is needed to put all the pieces together and thus show the damagedone—and being done—to America’s domestic oil and gas industry.Congress refused to enact a cap-and-trade program appears not tomatter to Climate Czar Carol Browner or EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The EPA’sauthority under the Clean Air Act requires clarification and the agency’s unilateralactions require investigation.
Attack on Appalachian coal mining.
On April 1, 2010, the EPA announced andimmediately implemented rules for regulating a new “pollutant” under the CleanWater Act in order to stop new (and even existing) surface coal mining projects incentral Appalachia. This is already a huge threat to West Virginia and Kentucky andwill also probably impact Virginia and Pennsylvania. However, there is no reason tobelieve that the new salinity standards can be confined only to central Appalachia orapplied only to block surface coal mines. The fact that any surface disturbance canincrease salinity in nearby streams means that environmental pressure groups andNIMBY activists can file suit in federal court, under the Clean Water Act, to requirethe new standards to be applied nationwide. Thus, a threat to one region will almost certainly spread if Congress does not act to stop it.
Locking up federal lands.
The amount of federal land managed under the MultipleUse and Sustained Yield Act has been shrinking since the 1960s, as lands have beenplaced in one category of special environmental protection or another. Many of these withdrawals have been done by Congress through the creation of newWilderness Areas, new National Wildlife Refuges, etc. However, more and morelands are being designated administratively without any Congressional involvement or by abusing existing laws such as the 1906 Antiquities Act. Huge productiveresources—hard rock minerals, oil and gas, timber, coal—are thereby being placedoff limits. Inventories of the resources that have been removed from potential useneed to be undertaken and hearings should be held.
CAFE gone wild.
The 2007 anti-energy bill mandated higher Corporate AverageFuel Economy (CAFE) standards for new cars and light trucks. The Obamaadministration granted California’s request for a waiver under the Clean Air Act andimplemented the new CAFE standards on a faster schedule than Congress hadrequired. But even before the 35.5-miles-per-gallon fleet average takes effect in the