AFP Releases Paper Detailing How EPA Could Force Cap-and-Trade
WASHINGTON, DC?The free market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) today released a working paper engaging the debate over whether the EPA can use the Clean Air Act to enact a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases (GHGs). The paper?entitled: Of Elephants and Mouseholes: How EPA Could Revive Cap-and-Trade?examines the statutory structure of the Clean Air Act and identifies two existing programs that EPA could contort to enact a GHG cap-and-trade program. The paper also includes a discussion of how cap-and-trade allows the EPA?s regulations to reach much further and accomplish more expansive goals than the Clean Air Act was ever designed to cover. The paper is online here.
?It?s really quite offensive to the democratic principles that should be controlling how government functions. This isn?t some obscure regulation that EPA is moving; the Congress has been actively debating a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program for a decade and has consistently failed to pass the program,? said the paper?s author and AFP Director of Government Affairs James Valvo. ?Enacting cap-and-trade has become almost an obsession for its proponents and they don?t seem to care that Congress never gave them the authority to do it.?
AFP is releasing the paper amidst a spate of EPA actions to move GHG regulations under the Clean Air Act. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson remains resolute about regulating large stationary sources beginning in January 2011, despite numerous legal challenges to both the endangerment finding and tailoring rule, both of which EPA is relying on to support its GHG regulations. EPA has yet to issue compliance guidelines for BACT or NSPS, two vehicles AFP?s paper explains could be hijacked to house a cap-and-trade program.
Americans for Prosperity has undertaken several projects over the past few years to educate citizens about the economic impacts of a cap-and-trade program. AFP?s Hot Air Tour has made more than 100 stops with a 70-foot tall hot air balloon informing citizens that cap-and-trade would mean lost jobs, higher taxes and less freedom. Additionally, AFP held dozens of rallies on its Regulation Reality Tour to bring the issue of closed-door EPA regulations to public attention. Finally, more than 750 lawmakers and candidates have signed AFP?s No Climate Tax pledge, stating that they oppose using climate fears as a guise to increase the size of government.