I’ve been preoccupied with Climategate issues today (of which more later), so I turn for commentary on President Obama’s drilling announcement about the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to my colleague Will Yeatman, who says:
President Barack Obama deserves credit for his political savvy: On the same day that he has the EPA initiate a regulatory chain reaction that will shackle the American economy, the President announces that the Department of the Interior will facilitate expanded offshore drilling. Talk about a slight of hand.
Environmentalists are outraged that Obama gave some ground on offshore drilling, but it was a long time coming. In 2008, the Congress partially lifted a moratorium that had prohibited even exploration. Now, almost 2/3 of Virginians — including Governor Bob McDonnell and virtually the entire Congressional delegation — support drilling offshore in the state’s waters. Obama’s plan would allow leasing off the Old Dominion, but that’s about all. Unfortunately, Obama’s drilling strategy isn’t as aggressive as, say, Fidel Castro’s, who is leasing Cuban waters to Russia and China.
And while all the talking heads are chattering about Obama’s supposed pragmatism, the EPA will release today its final rule to allow California to regulate greenhouse gases from automobiles under the Clean Air Act. That’s the real story, because once a “pollutant” (remember, we are talking about carbon dioxide, the stuff we exhale) is regulated under the Clean Air Act, it becomes subject to further and further regulation. The President will have the power (the obligation, according to well funded environmental lawyers) to regulate anything larger than a mansion — your small business, your office complex, your apartment building.
Get ready for the green police.