The Environmental Protection Agency has said new greenhouse gas regulations, as proposed, may be “absurd” in application and “impossible to administer” by its self-imposed 2016 deadline. But the agency is still asking for taxpayers to shoulder the burden of up to 230,000 new bureaucrats — at a cost of $21 billion — to attempt to implement the rules.
The proposed regulations would set greenhouse gas emission thresholds above which businesses must file for an EPA permit and complete extra paperwork in order to continue operating. If the EPA wins its court battle and fully rolls out the greenhouse gas regulations, the number of businesses forced into this regulatory regime would grow tremendously — from approximately 14,000 now to as many as 6.1 million.
That’s just the EPA’s cost. Estimated. You can imagine the compliance costs this will impose on industry. The upside is that it will at least create some jobs.
Just a reminder of the background — the EPA is trying to use the Clean Air Act to bypass Congress and impose their own regulatory structure on greenhouse gases. So their problem is not that Congress has given them an unworkable regime; the problem is that they can’t possibly meet their own outside-the-law regime.
Even as someone who accepts AGW, this is absurd. It’s a massive “break glass in case of emergency” burden that will result, if everything works out, in lowering the temperature of the planet by an amount that can’t be measured. I don’t agree with the current push to abolish the EPA. But Congress should put the kibosh on this immediately, preferably as part of a larger bill that will forbid them from going beyond their existing mandate.
Let Obama veto it if he wants. He can explain to the American people why he’s imposing such a gigantic burden during a recession.
Update: Mother Jones clarifies, from the actual filing, that what EPA is trying to do is avoid such a massive expansion (which they will never get) and limit their restriction to the large CO2 emitters. They are essentially arguing that the current mandate (their own) is impossible.
This does not change the basic problem: EPA has dug a hole for themselves by asserting, and getting court authority for, more power than they should have. They are already illustrating why a complex cap and trade scheme will almost certainly fail. I didn’t think such a huge expansion of EPA would actually happen. But it illustrates the scale of runaway regulation.