July 11, 2008

July 11, 2008 | News Releases on Regulation

EPA's CO2 "Regulatory Roadmap" Way Off Base, Says Heritage Foundation

WASHINGTON, July 11 2008--The Environmental Protection Agency today unveiled a sweeping proposal to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions under the authority of the Clean Air Act.

The Heritage Foundation warned that, if the proposal goes forward, the EPA would have vastly expanded powers to regulate virtually all commerce in the United States. "It sets the stage for federal regulation of virtually everything that moves, from cars, trucks and ships to lawn mowers and tractors," the Washington, DC-based think tank observed. 

Moreover, said Heritage analyst Ben Lieberman, the "over-reaching plan unveiled today would extend the agency's regulatory reach to intrude on the operation of hospitals, restaurants and millions of commercial buildings as well."

The proposal is seen as especially controversial since it comes just a month after lawmakers shelved legislation by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and John Warner (R-VA)  that would have had very similar effects.

Calling the new proposal "Lieberman-Warner on steroids," Heritage warned the EPA's suggested approach could "grind the entire economy to a halt."

"What the EPA is trying to do is in many ways worse than the legislation the Senate wisely rejected last month," Lieberman says. "This is a prescription for substantial economic pain for little or no environmental benefit."

Heritage defense analyst Mackenzie Eaglen said the proposal could undermine military training and national defense.  "It's a blueprint for regulations that will interfere with the military's ability to conduct live fire training, test equipment, move weapons systems around the country and operate its bases," she said. "Taxpayers could end up paying extra every time a military jet, ship, tank or truck fires up."

Heritage's Lieberman argued that "regulating carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act is a misguided approach to reducing emissions." He applauded steps by the Administration to "rein in" the agency and said "an issue of this magnitude, which will dramatically affect the lives, livelihoods and day-to-day practices of all Americans, should be determined by the people's elected representatives, not by a massive command-and-control regulatory framework ginned up by unelected bureaucrats."

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