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EPA as regulator?

Given the gridlock in Congress over the climate bill, is the Obama administration's fallback strategy to let EPA regulate greenhouse gas emissions a good idea?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on February 22, 2010 3:48 PM

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (23)

dalearmstrong Author Profile Page :

As an EPA retiree, I know well that the agency is staffed by many, many dedicated people who are committed to their work. I can't say that for congress. EPA should be allowed to do its work. The results will be much better than trusting those who buy and pay for congressional votes.

gstutaford Author Profile Page :

Is this not more important ?

gstutaford Author Profile Page :

Is this not more important ?

chatard Author Profile Page :

Going a step further, if they can't pass cap & trade, and they can't regulate greenhouse gases, should they just go ahead and form the Civilian National Security Force and start rounding people up who they catch using incandescent light bulbs?

considered_opinion Author Profile Page :

I cannot believe there are people out there stupid enough to deny global warming and the effects of our actions on the environment. It's not a matter of belief like a religion, it is a scientific fact.

The EPA should regulate until Congress can get it's act together and pass constructive legislation which addresses the most vital issue facing the US today - saving the environment and living sustainably.

This isn't the first time a president will have used the administrative route over the legislative route. In fact, every president in modern times, Republican and Democrat has done so, on issues from civil rights to military interventions.

There's is a massive industry in green products and energy. And perhaps it's time America faced the fact that economic growth is not sustainable, we need sustainability and to live in greater harmony with the planet that is our home.

We're lagging behind the rest of the developed world on this issue and it's a matter of national security that we decrease our reliance on oil and find cleaner alternatives.

Here's an opportunity for Congress to put the greater good above silly partisanship and self interest. Until they can do that, the EPA must act.

serban1 Author Profile Page :

I don't understand why is there even a debate about this. If Congress does not pass appropriate legislation there is no alternative to the EPA taking action to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. It is not the preferred solution but doing nothing is the worst choice.

katie6 Author Profile Page :

When are you delusional people going to wake up. There is NO global warming. This is all about green money. Carbon is not a poison. Co2 levels are less now and it was warmer in the Middle Ages. All normal. Take a look at how Spain wrecked the economy and put it's people in long term debt and unemployment by jumping on this myth in the nineties.Conservation is good. Gore's fantasy is not. We need to use our own resources and get nuclear power plants up and going. The last thing we need is any nonsense to cause more job losses.

alance Author Profile Page :

For the sake of accuracy, whenever you encounter the terms carbon, CO2 or greenhouse gas on this website - just substitute the letters BS.

The climate scare propaganda machine wants to cripple the American economy over the issue of BS. Why on earth should the EPA regulate BS?

jerry_mayeux Author Profile Page :

Consider the Connection to:
It depends on who is in the White House, since the EPA is controlled by the
White House.

hit4cycle Author Profile Page :

Of course unelected bureaucrats should not regulate greenhouse gases.

revolutionary1 Author Profile Page :

The people voted for change when they elected Obama. Reconcilliation is being used on Health Care legislation to facilitate change. The EPA needs to exercise its full powers for the good of EVERYONE.

mike_midwest Author Profile Page :

ArnoArrak: It is not all about you. The link is to the source to the paragraph below the link.

Submit your self published book to a journal or academic press.

ArnoArrak Author Profile Page :

MIKE_MIDWEST cites me and gives a URL as source. That document is a 72-page review of the history of General Circulation Models and I cant find a citation to me in it. GCM is huge boondoggle that eats up plenty of supercomputer time without giving any useful results. A big chunk of the billions spent on climate research by Uncle Sam goes for funding projects like this.I presume MIKE's info comes from that article. "While global warming was observed at the Earth’s surface, satellite and balloon measurements showed essentially no warming at middle levels of the atmosphere..." says MIKE. Wrong. Satellites show no warming at the lowest level of the troposphere, the one in contact with the ground. The claim that global warming was observed at Earth's surface is false because the temperature curves showing that warming are cooked. See my other comment on how that was done. And then he finds that balloon measurements were inaccurate and wants to write off satellite measurements based on data from balloons. Weird science, wrong claims, bad language too: who does he think he is to talk about "Contrarians" when the subject is science?

oracle2world Author Profile Page :

Can we cut to the chase? China and India said they could care less about CO2 emissions. China is now the largest emitter.

And if China isn't on board, anything the US does to regulate CO2 is just ... relieving oneself into the wind.

I hope that is clear to everyone.

mike_midwest Author Profile Page :

quackers1: The U.S. Supreme Court ordered the EPA to follow the law. Do you think at all before you hit Submit?

John1263 Author Profile Page :

Not only should EPA be doing this, they are required by existing law to do something about it. Benighted bush argued that EPA shouldn't but the courts -- the ultra conservative courts stacked with republicons --- said EPA has a legal responsibility to regulate carbon emmissions. So get on with it. If congress won't act EPA needs to get on it now.

quackers1 Author Profile Page :

Letting the EPA make an end run around the legislature to regulate CO2 is blatent disregard for the legitimate representative U.S. government. We have a constitution, we have a judicial branch, a legislative branch and an executive branch of government. We, as yet, don't have a king or a king's court that will exersice its will on the serfs of the kingdom.
EPA needs to regulate pollution not the American economy or industry. The EPA has even proposed to regulate or block the construction of all dams in the US because it has decided that warming water is an effect on its quality. They would block all new ponds and reservoirs on the basis that any water flowing into a pond will warm due to the sun's energy.

EPA needs to get a life and get out of the business of micromanaging the entire country.

The president needs to realize that we did not elect him King or Tzar or Ceaser.

Imarkex Author Profile Page :

It is another scam to steal money.It has been hotter.It has been colder.NONE of it is mans fault.THEIVES

Indpnt1 Author Profile Page :

What the real question is not "Should EPA regulate greenhouse gasses?" but should America abandon our representative democracy in favor of a totalitarian style government that governs through a bueracracy instead of through it's elective representatives.

To this Democrats/Socialists say yes. Republicans say no.

mike_midwest Author Profile Page :

ArnoArrak: “But satellites have been measuring global temperature for the last thirty years and they simply cannot see it.”

It was also disturbing that modelers had trouble calculating a correct picture of the temperature structure of the atmosphere. While global warming was observed at the Earth’s surface, satellite and balloon measurements showed essentially no warming at middle levels of the atmosphere, which was not at all what the models predicted. "Contrarians" who insisted that global warming was a myth seized on this discrepancy, claiming it proved the public should disbelieve all expert opinion on climate change. A few meteorologists buckled down to more rigorous inspection of the data. In 2004 and 2005, they described errors in the set of observations (for example, the observers had not taken proper account of how instruments in the balloons heated up when struck by sunlight). The mid-level atmosphere had been warming up after all, and just about the way the models predicted. Meanwhile the high stratosphere was getting cooler, as modelers had predicted would result from the increase of greenhouse gases, but not from other possible warming forces.

Imarkex Author Profile Page :

Only if they want to usher in a new Ice Age.Greenhouse gas is what keeps this planet from freezing.

ArnoArrak Author Profile Page :

Absolutely NOT! To do so would be a denial of reality. The greenhouse effect is not affecting our climate and the hype about it is based on falsified temperature records. Let's start from the beginning. We first heard of warming when James Hanson stood up in front of the Senate in 1988 and testified that global warming had arrived and that its cause was carbon dioxide we were putting into the air. Official temperature records from NASA, NOAA, and the Met Office do indeed show a steady increase of temperature during the eighties and nineties. But satellites have been measuring global temperature for the last thirty years and they simply cannot see it. And if that is correct then Hansen's testimony is false and all climate control institutions from IPCC to Kyoto to Copenhagen that are built upon his testimony are built upon a false premise and should be abandoned. Because of the importance of this it behooves us to go into technical details of warming curves. What satellites do see in place of warming is a multi-year temperature oscillation, up and down by half a degree for twenty years, until the super El Nino of 1998 shows up. There were five such cycles during this time period and they are caused by the warm El Nino and cool La Nina phases of the ENSO system in the Pacific. To resolve the discrepancy you have to put the satellite temperature record side by side with the official temperature record and compare the two. If you do this with say, HadCRUT3 from the Met Office, you will discover that they start by cherry-picking the high El Nino peaks and then raise up the intervening low La Nina temperatures. This way a horizontal temperature graph becomes a rising temperature graph. But this works only with the first four El Ninos. The fifth one is too low and is simply raised up. The super El Nino is next and is gratefully incorporated even though its cause is not carbon dioxide but Indian Ocean overflow. Its aftermath is the twenty-first century high - a run of six warm years, likewise not of carbonaceous origin. Even though their temperature was near El Nino maximum that was not enough and an entire section of the curve gets raised up. NOAA is worse: while HadCRUT3 at least maintains the much-reduced La Nina valleys NOAA stays with the peaks, jettisons all lower values in between and raises up the twenty-first century high as well. NASA's Land-Ocean starts out the same way as HadCRUT3 but they don't have the nerve to change the peaks so they are all in place and so is the twenty-first century high. Only the super El Nino is off because they can't measure it too well and the temperature point for 2005 is much too high. I show all this graphically in "What Warming?" available on This is not what should be done with basic data that is supposed to describe the real climate. It is called scientific fraud and should be investigated. And since three organizations are involved it is also a criminal conspiracy to deceive the public. I knew about this before Climategate came out and was not surprised. Climategate is only the tip of the iceberg when you compare it to the sustained effort needed to fake these curves. I place the start of this into late seventies. If satellites had not come on line in 1978 it never would have been discovered. Bottom line: the warming is human-caused all right and carbon dioxide is just an innocent bystander.

siegead1 Author Profile Page :

As scientific research informed us that CFCs (mainly from refrigerants) were creating a serious threat by damaging the Ozone layer, industry (and (often paid) allies) warned of utter economic disaster if regulation went into place. There were warnings that refrigeration would be so expensive that only Rockefellers would have cold drinks in summer. Well, don't know about you, but my refrigerator is working pretty well even as we've pretty much kicked the CFC habit.

When it came to Acid Rain, there were those warning that cutting sulphur emissions from power plants would lead to skyrocketing electricity prices, to the level that Americans wouldn't be able to afford lighting their homes. Don't know about your neighborhood, but mind is pretty lit up at night and no one seems to have a problem paying the costs of powering up their TVs.

EPA has been able to navigate a successful path in regulation to create a path to reduce pollution that endangers Americans while enabling business to survive -- actually, to thrive.

Those screaming about how regulating carbon will hurt the American economy are showing that simply lack faith in American ingenuity.

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