On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate correctly rejected a legislative initiative that would have stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its court-confirmed power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. However, yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives passed the so-called "Energy Tax Prevention Act" by a vote of 255-172, which would also prevent using the Clean Air Act to regulate GHGs. In both actions, Republicans were firmly aligned against the EPA (no surprise there), but regrettably some usually-reliable Democrats also voted against the EPA.
Enough! The right of the EPA to use the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions through the Clean Air Act has made its way through the federal courts and it has been upheld. Sure, we know that agency regulation isn't the best way to get the intended result of reducing GHGs, but since there's been legislative failure on cap-and-trade (and a carbon tax doesn't even get a mention), it's what we have at this point to drive business behavior in an environmentally-friendly direction (when the marketplace doesn't). Businesses, admittedly many of whom oppose regulation, want certainty so that they can plan and act accordingly. Leave the EPA alone.