GOP all set to wimp out on EPA?

December 28, 2010

A key Republican is already laying the groundwork for the 112th Congress’ surrender on the EPA’s climate rules. More surprising is the complicity of a tea party group.

Rep. Fred Upton, the chairman-designate of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, co-authored an op-ed in today’s Wall Street Journal with the promising title, “How Congress Can Stop the EPA’s Power Grab.”

Now that we face the prospect of flagrantly illegal, arbitrary, expensive and pointless regulation of greenhouse gases by the EPA, I was eager to read how the new Congress was going to, say, slash the EPA’s budget to prevent it from implementing the climate rules or perhaps shutdown the federal government if the Obama administration proceeded with its plan to dictate energy policy in order to control the economy.

Instead, Upton offered a mere two sentences of action that are better described pusillanimity rather than pugnacity:

The best solution is for Congress to overturn the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright. If Democrats refuse to join Republicans in doing so, then they should at least join a sensible bipartisan compromise to mandate that the EPA delay its regulations until the courts complete their examination of the agency’s endangerment finding and proposed rules.

Earth to Upton, it will be impossible to overturn or delay the EPA rules because:

  • There will likey be more than 40 Democrat senators to filibuster any effort to overturn or delay the rules. Likely filibuster-ers include Begich (AK), Feinstein (CA), Boxer (CA), Bennet (CO), Lieberman (CT), Blumenthal (CT), Carper (DE), Coons (DE), Nelson (FL), Akaka (HI), Inouye (HI), Durbin (IL), Harkin (IA), Cardin (MD), Mikulski (MD), Kerry (MA), Levin (MI), Stabenow (MI), Franken (MN), Klobuchar (MN), Tester (MT), Reid (NV), Shaheen (NH), Lautenberg (NJ), Menedenz (NJ), Bingman (NM), Udall (NM) ,Schumer (NY), Gillibrand (NY), Hagan (NC), Brown (OH), Merkley (OR), Wyden (OR), Casey (PA), Reed (RI), Whitehouse (RI), Johnson (SD), Leahy (VT), Warner (VA), Webb (VA), Cantwell (WA), Murray (WA), and Kohl (WI). Most of these senators already voted last June against the Murkowski amendment to rollback the EPA rules under the Congressional Review Act.
  • Even if a bill to overturn/delay the rules managed to get out of Congress, President Obama would veto it — and it’s unlikely that Republicans could muster the two-thirds majorities needed to overturn the veto.

The wimpiness, here is breathtaking. Aside from the total ineffectiveness of the plan, Upton fails to support his preferred solution (overturning the rules) with a more aggressive, less-palatable-to-Democrats alternative (defunding the EPA or shutting down the government). Instead, Upton’s alternative course is weaker (delaying the rules) and is offered from the position of a supplicant (“at least” do the “sensible, bipartisan compromise” — pretty please?).

I hope EPA administrator Lisa Jackson doesn’t hurt herself rolling on the floor.

Upton expresses high hopes, if not expectations, that ongoing litigation will curb the EPA. But an appellate court recently held that the EPA can wreak its havoc on our economy while the litigation is ongoing. And who knows how long it will take to get a final ruling from the Supreme Court? Keep in mind that the current Court is philosophically unchanged from the one ruling in 2007 that EPA could regulate greenhouse gases.

Moreover, while the portion of the EPA’s climate rules that is flagrantly illegal is likely to be overturned (i.e., the so-called “tailoring rule” under which EPA unilaterally amended the Clean Air Act to  limit regulation of greenhouse gases from 100-ton emitters to 75,000-ton emitters), it is unlikely that the Court will overturn the EPA’s so-called “endangerment funding” (which declares that greenhouse gases are a threat to the public welfare). Under the 1984 Supreme Court case Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, it is extremely difficult to show that an agency has acted arbitrarily and capriciousily in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act.

No profile in courage, Upton is wishing for a litigation miracle so that he doesn’t have to get down in the mud and wrestle with the Obama administration.

Also of note is Upton’s co-author, Tim Phillips of Americans for Prosperity (AFP) — a nationwide conservative grassroots group that has tried to blend in with the tea party movement. But AFP may be risking its tea party credentials by signing on to Upton’s exercise in bipartisan futility  —  where liberal/socialist Democrats get what they want and the rest of us get the shaft. That may be standard Washington, DC fare, but it is not what tea partiers voted for in November.

I’m not surprised by Upton’s wimpiness — that’s why conservatives wanted Joe Barton (R-TX) to be chairman of Energy and Commerce, not the light-bulb-banning Upton — but I am surprised by AFP’s. Shame on them.

Here’s the bottom line. Since the new Congress will not rubber stamp Obama’s socialist legislative agenda, the President will seek to socialize us via regulation — regardless of legality. The EPA’s climate regulation plan is unconstitutional on its face (only Congress, not federal agencies, can change laws). Another example of the coming socialization-by-regulation is the Federal Communications Commission’s recent party-line vote to implement net neutrality rules despite the a federal appellate court ruling that it lacks the statutory authority to do so.

“Every battle is won before it is fought,” said Sun Tzu. Upton, according to his op-ed, has already surrendered to Obama. Oh well, at least election night was fun.

16 Responses to “GOP all set to wimp out on EPA?”


  1. […] Republicans are well on their way to proving themselves to be the wimps and sellouts we worried abou… […]


  2. […] at the Green Hell Blog (h/t Blue Ridge Forum), Steve Milloy posits that a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Rep. Fred Upton, incoming head of the House Energy and […]

  3. iheartagw Says:

    One other thing. Get active with your federal representatives. Our local Tea Party and State Tea Party coalition has taken on the task to confront our Senator Lamar Alexander over his inane idea to build 100 nuclear power plants to combat “climate change”. His reasoning: Well, you buy homeowners insurance just in case you have a fire. I kid you not folks. That was his official response back to us. Build 100 nuclear power plants, “just in case”. Recently he has gone on record as supporting a cap-and-tax form of regulation so long as it is tied to nukes. How reckless and irresponsible especially considering the current state of extreme uncertainty of the science.

    We are currently formulating ideas to make this a public media matter, if not only on the local level. We plan to publicly expose this fool hearty and irresponsible thinking on his part.

  4. iheartagw Says:

    Mr. Milloy is spot on with his analysis. EPA is re-writing plain CAA statutory language. We now have the Executive Branch amending law. EPA claims it has precedence and a Supreme Court ruling that grants them the authority to do so provided EPA determines an “endangerment finding”. The Court gave EPA three options: find that motor vehicle greenhouse gas emissions may “endanger public health or welfare” and issue emission standards, find that they do not satisfy that prerequisite, or decide that climate change science is so uncertain as to preclude making a finding either way

    I am sure EPA was overjoyed on that ruling. After all, since AGW science is all made up, an “endangerment finding” can be just as easily made up.

    EPA relied heavily on the U.N. IPCC Assessment Report which was subsequently found to contain significant errors and exaggerations which had to be struck from the report (Mann’s Hockey Schtick, Himalyan Glaciers, etc.). Then there is ClimateGate and the current media push by warmists to explain away stabilized temperatures of the past decade (excluding NASA’s extreme extrapolations).

    Why the hell then, is EPA not required to revisit its so-called endangerment finding? Also, how is it that EPA must not be forced to do its own research and provide its own conclusion instead or relying essentially solely on an international political document?


  5. […] So what about the new, 112th Congress and particularly the GOP-led House of Representatives?  “No profile in courage, [Energy & Commerce chairman-designate Fred] Upton is wishing for a litigation miracle so that he doesn’t have to get down in the mud and wrestle with the Obama administration.”  – – Steve Milloy […]


  6. […] GOP all set to wimp out on EPA? They better do what we want or we’ll bounce them out of office too. […]


  7. […] Massive fraud–That’s all Carbon Trading is. And our new Republican House majority is jus… […]

  8. ontherata Says:

    Upton wimping out? Why am I not surprised?

  9. cnuge33 Says:

    You got your insane tax break for the rich. Now shut up and let us fight climate change!!

    • adrianvance Says:

      “…insane tax break for the rich?” “The rich” are already paying most of the income tax as well as creating all the jobs you are carping about losing. “Climate change” is a fraud. CO2 is a trace gas in air, insignificant by definition and a poor absorber of IR energy from sunlight. Water vapor is seven times better per molecule and has 80 times as many molecules for 560 times the heating effect of CO2. Water vapor is responsible for 99.8% of all atmospheric heating and if anything more CO2 will cause an ice age, as appears to be the case.

    • michaelwsmith Says:

      1) Leaving tax rates where they are does not constitute a “tax break”.

      2) The top 1% of income earners in this country earned about 19% of all the income last year, but paid nearly 40% of all the Federal individual income taxes. The percentage of federal taxes paid by this group has actually gone up since the “Bush tax cuts”, meaning the income tax has become still more progressive than ever before, despite the small cuts in *tax rates* that occured under Bush.

      3) The bottom 47% pay no income taxes at all, while the bottom 40% get a tax “refund” even though they’be paid nothing in.

      4) The thing that is truly insane is the environmentalist’s desire to see us return to the stone age or worse.

    • vholford Says:

      Here’s a better idea. Defund the EPA. Make their budget $0.00 Then they can enjoy the unemplayment they have inficted on so many others.

  10. adrianvance Says:

    This should be no surprise: The Elected Ruling Class, ERC, knows the control and taxing of carbon will give them more power than anything they have found or created in 795 years. That transcends science, party and principle.

    Carbon is 84% of petroleum and even more of coal the two of which generate 80% of all our power and perhaps that much of the ERC’s.

    Free conservative thought, science and humor at: http://adrianvance.blogspot.com The Two Minute Conservative for radio/tv hosts, opinion page editors and conversationalists. Also on Kindle.


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