Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

07/23/2008 (1:00 pm)

Energy Oppressors On the March

The American version of Gosplan, the Soviet Union’s central economic planning agency, was unveiled about two weeks ago by, of all agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency. I’m not kidding.

The EPA released its Advanced Notice for Proposed Rule-Making earlier this month, declaring its intention to regulate… well, everything. Everything that has an engine, anyhow. And buildings. And cows. They’re going to regulate cows.

The story is that the International Center for Technology Assessment, an environmentalist group, petitioned the EPA back in 1999, asking them to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles. The EPA denied their petition based on the claim that EPA lacked authority to regulate greenhouse gases. Several left-loon states took up their petition and marched it to the Supreme Court, where in 2007, deciding Massachusetts v. EPA, that infernal fool Anthony Kennedy joined the Seig Heil brigade of the Court leftists in declaring that yes, CO2 is a pollutant (it’s not — it’s plant food, but we can’t expect poor Anthony Kennedy to grasp this, can we?) and the EPA is authorized to regulate it.

So, now the EPA is unveiling its plans to regulate CO2. They plan to regulate every conceivable source of CO2. They plan to regulate it down to minuscule levels, far below the emissions levels that are currently, technologically possible. And in doing so, they plan to manage the entire US economy.

Here’s the description from the Heritage Foundation:

A few of the items the EPA wants to regulate: planes, trains, ships, boats, farm tractors, farm and mining equipment, lawn mowers, garden equipment, portable power generators, fork lifts, construction machines, and logging equipment. The EPA plan contemplates not only emission caps, but true central planning features such as mandated equipment redesign and operational changes. And that’s only the beginning.

The EPA plan also acknowledges that regulating carbon through the Clean Air Act would trigger regulation requirements under both the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) programs. Under the PSD program, any building exceeding 100,000 square feet would be subject to an expensive permitting process for new construction or modification. The EPA conservatively estimates this item alone will bring 1 million new sources under its regulatory regime.

Just last month the Senate rejected, again, a cap-and-trade plan for regulating greenhouse gas emissions. But don’t fear, environmentalists: The EPA claims it can introduce a cap-and-trade plan by fiat. The EPA admits designing a cap-and-trade system “would entail working with a large number of diverse interest groups on difficult issues involving redistribution of wealth on a scale that typically is decided by Congress rather than the Executive Branch.”

But the bureaucrats at the EPA are undaunted. They fully believe they can and should design a system requiring massive “redistributions of wealth.”

Did you get all that? They’re going to mandate equipment designs. They’re going to dictate operational procedures. They’re going to regulate building sizes. They’re going to institute Cap and Trade by Executive fiat. They’re going to tell us what sort of LAWN MOWER we’re allowed to use.

It’s not law — yet. However, all it will take for this Beast to become the law of the land is for the EPA to issue its final version, and the Chief Executive to refuse to stop it. Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool.

This is the way the American experiment in self-government ends: a President gets coerced into nominating a spineless judge to the Supreme Court (do you really think Robert Bork would be flip-flopping between the left and right the way Kennedy has?), then roughly 20 years later, the Court authorizes central planning in the form of carbon emission control, and then an agency of the Executive branch implements it by fiat. Poof! The experiment is over. Huzzah for the Commissariat!

I’m not convinced that the election of a Republican President can stop this. McCain has showed remarkable gullibility on the subject of carbon emissions; he might just agree to these shackles on American ingenuity. There’s absolutely no question, however, that Obama would allow these regulations to take effect; he dreams about central control at night. This is a neo-Marxist dream coming true — and a nightmare for free people everywhere.

The Bush administration has been fighting diligently on all our behalf to keep the hard leftists in the EPA under control; this is what that ugly Nazi Waxman has been griping about for all these years, the Bush administration preventing the leftists from saying whatever they like through the EPA. He calls this “censorship;” I call it “responsible administration,” noting that the EPA does, in fact, report to the President. However, President Bush’s term is nearly over, and as stressful and unsatisfying as his tenure has been, and if this EPA nightmare comes to pass we may look back and long for it.

Hat tip goes to the Wall Street Journal for bringing this to our attention. We need a groundswell of outrage to stop the American system from being shackled into poverty by bureaucrats. Take it to the streets, people.

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