First Congressional Test of EPA’s Endangerment Finding Expected June 10Alan Carlin | June 8, 2010
As explained in a recent paper, there are only a few ways in which the US Environmental Protection Agency can be prevented from rewriting the Clean Air Act and issuing sweeping regulations to attempt to control emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. These regulations are not based on good science but rather largely on something called an “Endangerment Finding” issued late in 2009, which in turn is based on a US Supreme Court decision of 2007 that effectively expanded the reach of the Clean Air Act beyond anything mentioned in the Act. In other words, EPA is attempting to greatly expand its power and authority without any Congressional approval of what it is doing. The result is an EPA-initiated expansion of its already vast power over the economy and will result in very large adverse economic costs to the American public (especially “necessarily skyrocket”[ing] energy costs in the words of Barack Obama in the related context of cap and trade) with very little if any economic benefits.
This state of affairs is scheduled for its first real Congressional test on Thursday, June 10, when the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Murkowski Disapproval Resolution (S.J.Res.26), which uses the Congressional Review Act to dispprove the Endangerment Finding. Although further Congressional action would be needed to make the disapproval effective, its approval by the Senate would be a major first step towards this end. As of June 7 the vote was expected to be very close. Those who believe as I do that it is very important to prevent EPA from unilaterally vastly expanding its authority over the economy without approval by Congress can best influence the outcome of the vote by contacting their senators on June 8 or 9 and urging them to vote yes on S.J.Res.26.