Some eyebrows were raised late last week on word that a senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee had told people of a curiously early agreement involving an add-on to the expected Spring Continuing Resolution funding the government for the rest of FY 2011. That is, inclusion of Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s two-year delay of the Obama EPA’s devastating set of ‘global warming’ regulations. These rules that just took effect January 2, described by the regulated community simply as “the train wreck”, are the administration’s main ‘other way to skin the cat’ of the failed cap-and-trade legislation.
If this pact supposedly struck by this senator from the Tennessee Valley is true, by begging a legislative deal to replace cap-and-trade as opposed to killing the regulatory enterprise, this would stitch-up a win for the Democrats, taking the wind out of the sails of an effort by House Republicans to return the Clean Air Act to the way it was interpreted for 35 years before a 5-4 Supreme Court unleashed the current regulatory crisis (on April Fool’s Day, 2007). That opinion in Mass. v. EPA said that EPA can regulate anything as an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act, including pure oxygen. This will disappoint many House Republicans and Tea Partiers.