EPA Poised to Declare CO2 a Public Danger

I contend that this has absolutely nothing to do with the environment. It is nothing more than a (very large) tax increase, and greatly increases government’s power. It is a necessary part of the War on Capitalism.

:rolleyes: Ah, the old “Obama is a socialist” nonsense. No, this isn’t about any nonexistent “War on Capitalism”; Obama is a member in good standing of the Church of Capitalism Worship. Nor is it an expansion of government power for a government agency tasked with regulating the release of pollutants to regulate pollutants. And it has everything to do with the environment.

I agree that it will vastly increase the reach of the EPA to glom onto the effort to reduce CO2 by declaring it a public danger and that therefore the EPA gets to direct efforts to reduce it.

Since those efforts are doomed to failure, what we’ll see (in my view) is a lot of banana-republic style posturing that pins Important Person on assorted beaurocrats and their bureaus, but capitalism always wins over the long run. If we do get too carried away here in developed countries actually crippling ourselves, capitalism will simply win in countries which ignore the fate of the world for the short-term benefit of themselves.

But frankly, I’d be startled if developed countries do anything substantive enough to reduce their carbon output, much less anything that actually hurts their economies. Don’t forget most politicians are wealthy, and every wealthy person one both sides of the aisle is a closet capitalist. Taxes and income redistribution are for the masses. One doesn’t become wealthy in the first place by sharing. Moreover, wealthy folks have no intention of disrupting their own lifestyle, and as a consequence, CO2 amelioration is going to be things like carbon credits or cap and trade; such measures will have fairly direct costs on the masses, and those masses are not going to retain politicians who live large personally but want the masses to live smaller.

Since you offer no actual policy content for debate and speak instead in slogans, I will address the politics of your post.

This move was mandated by the Supreme Court in a decision compelled by the wording of the 1970 Clean Air Act. So your blame rests squarely on the shoulders of…wait for it…Richard M. Nixon. Dastardly Socialist!

Obama has correctly stated that it would be much preferable to pass a statute to regulate CO2 using market-based mechanisms, but EPA will be forced to act in a much more ham-handed manner because of Republican obstructionism on cap and trade (a carbon tax being out of the picture, also because of the modern GOP). So I suppose you could blame the contemporary GOP instead of Nixon, if you prefer.

You’re wrong.

Nixon. It’s always Nixon. First he comes back from the dead and possesses the mind of that nice George Bush kid and makes him fight unwinnable wars in far off countries, and now this.

Um…Nixon ended Vietnam. It was JFK and LBJ who started Vietnam.

Will the EPA regulate CO2 to level that will have an actual effect on climate? If not, then it is just a power play.

So your argument is that an independent group, unaffiliated with tax collection and governmental budgeting, chose to advance an initiative for the express purpose of getting more money for some other guy?

Now that’s not to say that the President might not have had that goal in mind for himself and leaned on them to do it, but that would fall on the President’s shoulders, not the EPAs.

It never ceases to amaze me on the blind, rabid partisan bizarro-world of the SDMB that Republicans get the blame for all the problems of Congress even when they’re the minority party. By that same token the Democrats should have had an equal power, and responsibility, for all the years they were the minority party. Think I’ll see any Democrats admit that on here? (crickets chirp) It’s hard enough getting folks to admit that not one, single Democrat voted for the Kyoto treaty in the Senate. :dubious:


It’s true that the power has been given to the EPA in what I think was an incorrect decision by a conservative, mind you, Supreme Court. I am unconvinced that the intent of Congress at the time was to include GHG emissions, both in 1970 and the 1990 Amendments. That doesn’t mean that I think the EPA shouldn’t have the power to regulate GHG emissions, I merely think that it was not clearly in their mandate under the law. I predicted that the case would go the other way, and clearly it did not.

Oh well, I was also wrong on the NSR Supreme Court Case as well; at least I’m one of the vanishingly few people on here who is brave enough to admit they were flat-out wrong in their predictions.

Wasn’t like he was exactly in a hurry about it, though. The 1972 Christmas bombings were, according to Wikipedia, “the largest heavy bomber strikes launched by the US Air Force since the end of the Second World War.” That’s the sort of war he was waging in Vietnam, four years after taking office.

I fail to see what this has to do with my post. Which of my contentions do you dispute? That a carbon tax is a non-starter because of the GOP, or that cap and trade has been primarily hindered by that party?

Say for example that President Bush was an incompetent and lousy leader. During President Bush’s term in office, he started a war and was unable to achieve any practical ends.

Now you’ve just come in as president and have inherited this war. The war might be inherently unwinnable, or it might be the victim of an incompetent and lousy leader. Are you de facto in the wrong if you decide to see what can happen with someone effective in the leadership position rather than just ending the war immediately?

This is ignorance. Time to fight it.

If you’d been paying attention, you would have noticed that, this year, the Senate GOP Caucus has filibustered everything, pretty much automatically. This means the Senate majority needs 60 votes to so much as blow their noses. Since there are 40 Republicans in the Senate, that meant that the Senate majority could do essentially nothing while Ted Kennedy was dying (and after he passed, but before he was replaced), and while Robert Byrd’s been sick. And even with Franken and Ted Kennedy’s replacement have been seated, and even during those times Byrd’s healthy, anytime a marginal Dem such as Lieberman or Nelson or Bayh or Conrad feels less than positive about a bill, it comes to a stop.

The Dems certainly filibustered bills while they were in the minority, but they did not do so routinely; they were fairly selective about it, which used to be the norm. I’d be delighted to give you a partial list of bills that the GOP passed with less than 60 votes in the Senate while the Dems were in the Congressional minority in 2003-06.

Maybe the Dems should play the same sort of hardball, but for whatever reasons, they don’t. If they had been doing so during the Bush years, your argument would be valid.

Party A supports a good policy. Party B strongly opposes it. In fact, opposition to that policy is part of their ten core principles.

Even assuming Party A has a legislative majority, which party is more deserving of blame if the policy does not become law?

To my mind, you might criticize Party A for being weak, or insufficiently unified, or whatever. But when discussing whose fault it is that the policy hasn’t passed, the majority of the blame should be placed on the party that is deadset against it and is spending millions to prevent the majority party from succeeding in efforts to pass it.

It was a humorous jape or jest. I don’t really believe that Nixon possessed Mr. Bush. Also, please note that I said “fight unwinnable wars” not “start”. Nixon certainly fought the hell out of it, and it was on his watch that it was…ahem…not won.

On an unrelated note, some believe the Nixon library to be haunted.

So your rebuttal is essentially the shopworn SDMB “Republicans are a bunch of meanies.” If the Democratic Party is unwilling or unable to stand up and do the right thing in the Senate when they have filibuster power, whose fault is that? Will anyone have the decency and honesty to admit that yes, the Democrats are complicit in the abuses of the Bush Administration if they could have filibustered specific legislation, but refused to?

Do you think that cap and trade in general has nothing to do with the environment, or just CO2-based cap and trade? Or this specific legislation? Cap and trade worked pretty damned well with SO2 and NOx, after all (although critics are probably correct that it gave out too many allowances too early on, something which the current cap and trade bill also seems guilty of. I mean, really, 85% of the allowances provided for free? No one has any problems with that?) In fact, SO2 and NOx cap and trade is working too well, such that SO2 allowance prices are in the toilet, and NOx allowance prices soon to follow.

Don’t let this be an indication, however, that I favor cap and trade. I would much prefer a direct carbon tax, on every gallon of gasoline and diesel, every ton of coal, every barrel of fuel oil, and every MCF of natural gas. And I’d make a much stronger commitment to improving energy efficiency than apparently either political party has the backbone to do.

Is there US carbon tax level that would have a measurable effect on the climate? What are the details of the tax?

Yeah, screw doing things as cheaply as possible. That’s too much work and it makes my brain hurt. Much better to impose an inflexible mechanism across the board. Fuck the market, it can’t get shit right. Big government is better, much more efficient than private enterprise.