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What life will look like if Republicans win the House, Part III

Environmental edition:

Right now, Lisa Jackson's EPA is the country's last defense against endlessly rising carbon emissions. Thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court decision, the agency is supposed to start regulating greenhouse gases as soon as next year. That's not a perfect substitute for cap-and-trade -- realistically, agency officials estimate they could only cut emissions 5 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 -- but it's a start. (Here's my primer on what EPA action would entail.) What's more, the EPA is unfurling a number of rules on pollutants like sulfur-dioxide and nitrogen-dioxide, all of which could force utilities to shut down their oldest, dirtiest coal plants in the coming years.

That is, unless Republicans can stop the EPA. And they'll certainly try. Yesterday, the likely head of the House energy committee, Fred Upton, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Times declaring war on the new pollution rules. For one, Republicans will try to pass resolutions stripping the EPA of its authority over greenhouse gases; Kit Bond, for one, has promised to attach just such a rider to every new bill that moves through the Senate.

By Ezra Klein  | October 25, 2010; 9:20 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change  
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Comments

I believe that global warming is real, but thank God cap and trade didn't pass. It's not like we don't have conclusive evidence in energy trading and and CDS trading that Wall Street is too smart and too well paid for regulators to control!

Posted by: 54465446 | October 25, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

"Right now, Lisa Jackson's EPA is the country's last defense against endlessly rising carbon emissions."

ROFLMAO.

Now THAT is REALLY funny!

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 25, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

one of my children is an environmental justice attorney. i have watched him fight and win cases that have changed legislation, and have made the world a safer place, in the most tangible ways.

also, having lived in california now, for almost thirty years, our qir quality is visibly better than it was, many years ago.

watching how difficult the struggles have been, and how the health and well being of people are affected, i just cant believe that democrats can remain apathetic in this election, and watch our progress being jeopardized.

i am still hoping that at the last minute, democrats and people who care about our freedom, health and wellbeing will flood to the polls.

Posted by: jkaren | October 25, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

sorry...in my comment, that was "air quality."

Posted by: jkaren | October 25, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Cap and Trade is like the Public Option: it's a tool to address a problem, not an end in and of itself. Cap and Trade was supposed to be a market-based solution representing a compromise with conservatives that didn't like top-down regulatory systems. That evidently didn't work as a political compromise, so we'll just have to try something else or wait until the phrase "Cap and Trade" isn't so toxic before trying to reach a compromise again.

Unfortunately, as long as the Republican Party is running against anything and everything that Dems see as good, I don't think we'll get anywhere on a carbon tax, EPA regulation, or any other way of reducing our dependance on carbon-based fuels.

Posted by: MosBen | October 25, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

You mean the Senate will become bogged down by insider deals and arcane rules??

Oh NOS!!!

Posted by: klautsack | October 25, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Will Democrats have the stones to be unrelenting obstructionists?

Will Obama use his veto power to block legislation aimed at gov't inaction?

If the answer to either of these is "Yes," then a Republican House and Senate will look just like a Democratic House / Senate without a supermajority.

Posted by: will12 | October 25, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

will12, well, the difference will be if the Republicans actually follow through with attaching riders to every piece of legislation. If they do, I wonder how that affects the chances of another government shutdown. I think there's a fair chance of one already, though here's to hoping that it doesn't come to that.

Posted by: MosBen | October 25, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks to a 2007 Supreme Court decision, the agency is supposed to start regulating greenhouse gases as soon as next year."

Can you be more specific about that?

Posted by: bgmma50 | October 25, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

I just found a 2007 case entitled Massachusetts et al vs. the EPA, but it apparently only applies to the transportation sector.

Posted by: bgmma50 | October 25, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"Kit Bond, for one, has promised to attach just such a rider to every new bill that moves through the Senate."

You mean, retiring Senator Kit Bond? Sounds like a pretty hollow threat -- I don't think there are going to be many new bills between now and January.

Posted by: mnteng | October 25, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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