Planet Gore

Climate Policy Crash

I have an article up today explaining how the EPA is required to begin regulating greenhouse gases as a consequence of Massachusetts v. EPA. Of potential note, the new EPA Administrator agrees, telling EPA staff in a memo that she will fulfill the agency’s “obligation” to regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act while the Obama Administration develops new climate legislation.

Regulating greenhouse gases under existing law will be a disaster, but what’s the alternative? I’ve endorsed the idea of a revenue-neutral carbon tax. My friend Chris Horner thinks this is preemptive surrender, but what’s his alternative? Absent new legislation, EPA is poised to regulate cars, trucks, factories, power plants, and much, much more. The number of facilities covered by the PSD program alone will increase ten-fold or more without a legislative fix.  I know Horner would like a clean Clean Air Act revision, simply excising greenhouse gases.  But assumig that’s impossible–or, perhaps, once that measure fails–what is his Plan B?

Jonathan H. Adler — Mr. Adler is an NRO contributing editor and the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. His latest book is Marijuana Federalism: Uncle Sam and Mary Jane.


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