In America, as our founders intended, the states are where the rubber meets the road.
VIEW FROM COPENHAGEN
The full scope of what Obama, Browner, and the EPA intend to do without any congressional authorization was on display at the United Nations climate conference I attended in Copenhagen in December 2009.
At a side event hosted by Greenpeace called “Yes, he can! How Obama can deliver stronger emissions reductions,” the Center for Biological Diversity presented a paper titled : “Yes, He Can: President Obama’s Power to Make an International Climate Commitment Without Waiting for Congress.”45 The center laid out a frightening blueprint for precisely how the president could negotiate and enforce an agreement with just a simple majority of Congress instead of the 67 Senate votes our founding fathers required for treaty ratification, or, if he so chooses, he can instead bypass Congress and the Constitution entirely and simply rely on EPA action under the Clean Air Act for enforcement. If the administration is allowed to get away with this reprehensible tactic, it would set an ominous precedent for international promises and bypassing Congress to enforce them in other policy areas.
THE CZAR BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Driving the implementation of the EPA’s massive power grabs and circumvention of the legislative branch was a key White House official who avoided Senate confirmation by being installed as White House Energy Czar: Carol Browner.
The potential Senate confirmation fight Obama sidestepped by creating a czar position for Browner would have likely centered on her membership on the board of the Socialist International Commission for a Sustainable World Society.24 Browner was listed as one of 14 members of the commission on its website as recently as January S , 2009-the day she was named Obama’s White House energy czar.25 This commission pursues an openly socialist agenda of centralized control under a regime of global governance that would enforce extreme environmental political correctness globally. The commission’s views on global warming are, to say the least, extreme. Commission statements from the time Browner served include:
THE TRAIN WRECK: THE EPA’S MANY WAYS TO ‘SKIN THE CAT’
Two weeks after the 2010 election and Obama’s “skin the cat” comment, a leading D.C.-based, left-wing advocacy group, the Center for American Progress, published a 53-page report called The Power of the President: Recommendations to Advance Progressive Change, detailing a sweeping far-left agenda that flies directly in the face of what voters made clear they wanted. 16 The report was coauthored by the president of the Center for American Progress, John Podesta, who was the chairman of Obama’s transition team, and who has direct influence over the president and his key advisers.
REWRITING THE CLEAN AIR ACT OF 1970: A BACK DOOR TO SOARING ENERGY PRICES
Just to show you how unfazed the Obama administration was by the political defeat of cap-and-trade, consider what’s on page 146 of Obama’s 2012 budget: ‘The administration continues to support greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the United States in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 .”10 Those just happen to be the same levels required by the failed Waxman Markey cap-and-trade bill . Obama is telling the EPA to just pretend the bill passed and regulate away. In fact, Obama’.s EPA was already moving full-steam ahead to implement a global warming regulatory scheme that could be even more costly than cap-and-trade-without the approval of the American people and without so much as a vote in Congress. On December 7, 2009-right in the middle of the media firestorm over the Climategate scandal, which leaked e-mails from leading global warming alarmists that called some of the basic science into question-the EPA issued a so called “endangerment finding” for greenhouse gases, paving the way for onerous greenhouse gas regulations to be shoehorned into the 1970 Clean Air Act, despite the fact that Congress had considered and decisively rejected-adding such regulations in 1990, when the Clean Air Act was amended .11 It is such an ill-fitting vehicle to ad dress greenhouse gases that in order for this strategy to succeed, the EPA must, illegally, rewrite the law to suit its purposes.
For decades, environmental extremists have been stymied when their doomsaying predictions collide with the reality of an ever-improving environment, driven by the enormous wealth created by our market economy. The “problem” they describe is always something different, but the “solution” is always the same: draconian restrictions on economic activity, vastly expanded government power (usually internationally), and greatly diminished individual freedom.