Kill Millions Of Jobs”
Fred Upton (R-MI), the brand new chairman of the Home Vitality and Commerce Committee, is everywhere in the information lately with his calls to block steps by the Environmental Safety Company (EPA) to curb dangerous pollution from soiled power plants and other massive polluters.
In actual fact, since last fall Congressman Upton has staked out positions against steps to curb virtually each sort of pollution spewing from energy plants and different massive industries, which is unfortunate as Michigan ranks 5th within the nation for premature deaths brought on by power plant pollution. But, Congressman Upton is in opposition to updating the smog pollution standard, in opposition to chopping mercury and other toxic pollutants from 1000’s of coal-fired industrial boilers, and against cutting the power plant and oil refinery carbon pollution for which there are currently no limits of any sort.
More not too long ago, the Chairman has joined with polluter front-teams as well, such because the Koch Industries-backed Individuals For petroleum refining for the nontechnical person pdf mac Prosperity (AFP). In a widely publicized joint op-ed with AFP president Tim Phillips within the Wall Avenue Journal final week, Upton claims that EPA’s plans to limit international warming pollution are “an unconstitutional power grab” that may “kill millions of jobs.” Collectively they wrote:
The best petroleum refining for the nontechnical person pdf mac resolution is for Congress to overturn the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gasoline rules outright. If Democrats refuse to affix Republicans in doing so, then they need to no less than be a part of a smart bipartisan compromise to mandate that the EPA delay its regulations till the courts full their examination of the agency’s endangerment discovering and proposed guidelines.
We’ve by no means seen an power committee chairman literally lend his name to the large polluters’ agenda like this before. Particularly when the agenda is being pushed by a Koch-funded astroturf group which the Washington Post just lately revealed is using Tea Social gathering activists as mute Television props.
That aside, there are simply so many issues flawed with what Chairman Upton and AFP’s chief said in their op-ed.
“Unconstitutional” “Power grab” The Supreme Court docket dominated in 2007 that by passing the Clear Air Act, Congress itself gave EPA authority and responsibility to curb air pollutants, including carbon dioxide and different greenhouse gases, if they’re harmful to our health and welfare. There’s no constitutional situation here — not even dissenting Justice Scalia thought so.
So the EPA is doing simply what the Supreme Court ordered, beneath the regulation that Congress itself enacted. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson found, based on overwhelming scientific proof and after enter from every quarter, that these pollutants are already harming our health – by contributing to killer heat waves, more harmful storms and hurricanes, making it harder to fulfill smog requirements, and in lots of other ways. So she set standards to curb carbon pollution from new automobiles – standards which might be supported by your entire auto business! And she set in motion the primary steps to place achievable, inexpensive limits on carbon pollution from the largest new power plants and factories.
“Kill thousands and thousands of jobs” The Wall Street Journal experiences in the present day that the U.S. auto trade is again on its feet and – this time – is ready as fuel costs creep up, Why Because they’ve revamped their fleets with cleaner, extra gasoline environment friendly cars – cars that meet the brand new standards set final yr. People who buy those new vehicles are going to save as much as $3,000 as a result of they use much less gas – and emit much less pollution.
And what about their proposal to routinely stop the laws whereas the courts consider the polluters’ authorized arguments Nicely, there’s already a possibility for the polluters to cease EPA rules whereas petroleum refining for the nontechnical person pdf mac the court docket instances are pending. That’s by asking the courts for a “stay” – equivalent to a short lived injunction. To get that, you could have to indicate that implementing the requirements immediately would trigger “irreparable harm.” Certainly, killing loads of jobs would qualify – if you possibly can show it.
Properly, the coalition of polluters and the great state of Texas went to not one, however two courts and threw all the pieces they’d at EPA, making an attempt to again up Upton’s and the Koch brothers’ claims of economic hurt and job loss. However they did not persuade either one. (Not to mention they misplaced in the court of public opinion too, with the Dallas Morning News and Houston Chronicle each criticizing the polluter’s and Texas’ makes an attempt.)
Not surprising, since as Dallas Burtraw, a noted economist at Assets for the future, put it: “it is unattainable to show now that the costs of these necessities shall be extreme for the sources or burdensome – and even noticeable – for the overall economic system.” The Courts of Appeals in each Washington and New Orleans sent them packing.
Now Upton and Phillips want Congress to present the polluters the keep that the courts discovered they don’t deserve. Truly, that may wreak havoc with the auto makers – a constituency that a Michigan Congressman ought to care particularly about. But they’ve rebuilt their plans and reengineered their fleets around the EPA clear automotive standards. That’s why the automotive corporations opposed the polluter coalition’s request for a stay. The very last thing they need is to have Congress put these requirements in limbo for one more yr or two, with who-knows-what final result.
Not solely is the “power grab” assertion complete hogwash, but this anti-EPA posture places Upton at odds with most Americans – even Republicans. Public opinion polling by Opinion Analysis Company shows that 83% of Americans – together with 83% of Republicans – assume that the scientists and consultants on the EPA must be making selections about safeguarding public health from pollution, slightly than Congress.
Till recently, Upton had a fairly average approach to environmental points typically and local weather issues specifically. As Mom Jones reported yesterday:
AFP’s curiosity in thwarting EPA laws is clear. But Upton is one other story. Lower than two years ago he declared, “Climate change is a severe problem that necessitates severe solutions,” and he praised a wind vitality program back house Natural-Gas Processing Equipment in Michigan. Whereas Upton has staunchly opposed cap-and-commerce laws, through the years he’s partnered with Democrats on numerous payments that will help reduce emissions-including one to spur the event of carbon-seize and storage technology for coal-fired energy plants, one other to improve lighting efficiency, and one more to increase funding for a Department of Energy mortgage program to assist automakers retool factories to create more environment friendly automobiles. Whereas other members of his caucus pledged to wage on compact fluorescent lightbulbs, Upton stood out as a voice of cause.
The typical wisdom is that Upton has needed to line up with polluters on climate and environmental issues with the intention to seize his Home chairmanship in a period where the Tea Social gathering is in ascendancy. But we hope that Congressman Upton will find a path back to the Fred we once knew, who served as a moderate and rational voice on environmental and health points.