EPA may try cap-and-trade on its own

January 6, 2011

… and everyone thought cap-and-trade was dead. Sen. John Kerry said so. West Virginia Senate candidate Joe Manchin shot it in a campaign video.

Now comes news that the EPA may resurrect cap-and-trade via regulation under the Clean Air Act.

Carbon Control News (CCN) reported today that,

… EPA air chief Regina McCarthy has said that any [greenhouse gas] trading program using existing air law authority would have to be established under the [Clean Air Act Section 111(d) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)] rather than other sections.

While McCarthy denied taking steps to advance this idea, CCN reports,

“The agency sought $5 million in its fiscal year 2011 budget ‘to assess and potentially develop NSPS regulations for major industrial sectors and seek, where possible, market-oriented mechanisms and flexibilities to provide lowest cost compliance options’ for reducing GHG emissions, according to EPA’s FY11 Annual Performance Plan. Sources have said EPA’s mention of market-oriented mechanisms is likely a reference to cap-and-trade programs.”

A limitation of cap-and-trade under the NSPS would be that,

… it can only operate within specific industry sectors, rather than operate economy-wide like the trading program that would have been established under legislative proposals for a climate cap-and-trade program introduced in the 111th Congress.

But you can bet that the first industry sector to be regulated would be electric power generators, which would have economy-wide impacts.

Let’s hope that the Republican-controlled House zeroes out any funding the EPA requests for bringing a cap-and-trade Frankenstein to life.

One Response to “EPA may try cap-and-trade on its own”

  1. higley7 Says:

    I find it very interesting that our fearless leader finds and uses so many ways to work around Congressional processes and implement “law”/regulations which do what he wants against the will of Congress and the people.

    He calls the Republicans the party of NO, but he is relying on his ability to veto to block any attempts by Congress to undo his work-arounds.

    The EPA is just another of his work-arounds, just as the Card-Check failure might become real by being imposed by non-Congressional routes, the FCC takes oversight of the Internet only because there is no law that says they cannot – it never was part of their mission statement, the imposition by the FCC of regulations on radio that will squelch conservative talk shows.

    I love creativity, but his job is not to impose his will on the people just because he can and wants to. He has no restraint.

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