Shellacked Obama Readies His Regulatory Runarounds
Goals and tactics.
December 22, 2010 - 10:31 am
On another front, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is getting set to target your light switch on January 2. The EPA is gearing up to impose regulations that Congress hasn’t approved or even discussed much, other than to attempt to halt the EPA from doing any such thing.
The Obama administration is expected to roll out a major greenhouse gas policy for power plants and refineries as soon as Wednesday, signaling it won’t back off its push to fight climate change in the face of mounting opposition on Capitol Hill.
The Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to a schedule for setting greenhouse gas emission limits, known as “performance standards,” for the nation’s two biggest carbon-emitting industries, POLITICO has learned.
…Starting Jan. 2, EPA will begin regulating large stationary sources of the heat-trapping emissions, but those requirements only apply to new and upgraded facilities and will be determined on a case-by-case basis, so it’s unclear how deeply they will slash emissions. The forthcoming standards would set industry-specific standards and could require some of the oldest, dirtiest facilities to clamp down on carbon dioxide.
Even Democrats like Sen. Jay Rockefeller have tried to stop this, but it fulfills another of Obama’s far left visions of imposing onerous regulations on business in the name of dubious environmental effects by whatever means necessary. Congress failed to implement his insane cap and trade scheme, so he’ll use the EPA to impose as much of it as possible anyway, and dare Congress to stop him. The EPA’s move all but guarantees more court battles with energy exporting states like Texas, which won’t help the already reeling Texas Democrats, and more importantly won’t help the national economy anywhere. In fact, it’s not out of bounds to view the EPA gambit as a direct economic attack on the energy producing states.
Watching the patterns that have developed over the two years since Obama became POTUS, it’s clear that he is every bit the devious far left ideologue that some of his most vocal critics claim, and the mid-terms haven’t changed that a bit. The same holds true for the Democrats as a party. The shellacking only changed his tactics, not his goals. He’ll bow on the Bush tax cuts fight, knowing that being seen as willing to compromise will buy him a little goodwill and a bump in the polls, while the Senate Democrats pushed that last-minute omnipork and the DREAM Act and the START treaty and DADT to flood the zone, while Obama uses his appointees within the executive branch to jack up taxes and grow the leviathan state in other ways anyway. Obama’s Democrats haven’t moderated at all, and they’re still on the warpath for more government power and against economic growth.
The incoming House Republicans will find themselves facing war with the administration on several fronts, which also seems to be by design. They’re already pledged to de-fund ObamaCare, and now will be squaring off against the FCC and the EPA. None of these stands by Obama enjoy mainstream support, but the evidence says that he doesn’t care. If he wanted broad support, he would use the bully pulpit to seek it. He hasn’t. He will do what he believes he can get away with, forcing the Republicans to fight him in ways that will allow him to cast them as either fighting for dirty air and water or for big business. In other words, the “post-partisan” president is setting up 2012 to be every bit as partisan and nasty as the first two years of his presidency have already been.
Oh, and while some of Obama’s appointees show that if nothing else they’re shrewd and effective bureaucratic fighters, Obama’s top national security officials remain national embarrassments. That tells us which tasks President Obama sees as more important: He put his most talented troops to work growing the regulatory state, while handing the unimportant task of keeping the nation safe to his cronies and hacks.