The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said it will take control of carbon-emission rules in Texas after Governor Rick Perry rejected new federal regulations intended to combat climate change.
The EPA will decide directly on greenhouse-gas permits for companies seeking to build or upgrade power plants and oil refineries in Texas, the agency said today in a statement. The EPA’s nationwide carbon rules, imposed under the Clean Air Act, take effect Jan. 2.
Texas is the only state that has refused to implement the new rules. President Barack Obama is pressing ahead with the regulations after Congress failed to pass legislation capping carbon emissions. Perry, a Republican, calls the rules overreaching by the federal government that will cripple his state’s economy.
“The EPA’s misguided plan paints a huge target on the backs of Texas agriculture and energy producers by implementing unnecessary, burdensome mandates on our state’s energy sector, threatening hundreds of thousands of Texas jobs and imposing increased living costs on Texas families,” Katherine Cesinger, a Perry spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.
The Obama Administration couldn't get cap-and-tax or any other significant environmental bill passed in the 111st and is even less likely to get any passed over the next two years, as the Republicans gain control of the House and get stronger in the Senate. So, they are trying to do the next best thing, which is to force it through by any means necessary.
Of course, just as they did with the new "end-of-life incentives", they tried to hide this story from us by coming out with it, while Santa was coming down the chimney and when we were too stuffed to care about politics. I agree with Ed Morrissey as he questions the timing of it all:
The timing is certainly interesting. The EPA made this move two days before Christmas, when most people had stopped paying attention to political news. The EPA’s move thus got missed by most of the national media, even though it demonstrates well the Obama strategy in 2011 to win through regulation what it could not win through legislation. And by focusing on Texas, where Republicans have a chance to redistrict with practically no interference from Democrats, the move will certainly incentivize the GOP to limit as much as possible the representation of Democrats in their Congressional delegation as the Republican-controlled House attempts to stymie the EPA’s regulatory innovation.
This also will vault Rick Perry to the highest level of national politics, even as he continues to insist that he won’t run for President. With a third term as governor in hand and a perfect political battle opening in front of him, though, the opportunity may be too much to resist for a man who could possibly unite conservatives and the GOP for a big run against a stumbling Obama in 2012.
I don't know about the wisdom of this, if Obama puts his foot down on this. It'll definitely invigorate the Republican base against him going into the 2012 elections. Obama and his fellow Democrats will be having enough trouble as it is getting re-elected. They don't need any more controversies surrounding their policies.
Of course, I believe that Democrats ultimately care more about furthering their own liberal agenda that no one wants more then they care about getting re-elected. Although, they obviously care about it some, which is why they chose Christmas to release some of the more controversial regulations. They know that the more people know what it is that they are doing the more that they won't like it. So, it's better for them to try and do it, when they think that most people aren't looking.