This is the last in a seven part series detailing our objections to plans by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to claim unlimited power over the life of every American. Those plans were laid out in an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), dated July 11, 2008. The EPA is inviting comments to this advance notice. This article explains the sixth of our six major objections to the EPA plans. The total of our objections, including our letter, our comments, and a link to the EPA website, may be accessed at: http://www.classicalideals.com/EPA_Ruination.htm
Comment Number Six: The Descent into Dictatorship
We oppose these measures on political grounds. These measures will elevate a federal agency into an unaccountable, autocratic institution with unlimited power over every individual. This is a declaration of war against the fundamental right to liberty recognized in America’s Declaration of Independence.
The provisions of this ANPR grant virtually unlimited power to the Administrator of the EPA. This is a monstrous subversion of the very foundations of the independent American Republic, and the universal values it upholds: life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
Government officials know that the rules in this ANPR will have massively deleterious effects on American life and the economy. Yet because government officials and the lobbyists pushing them both accept the same moral premises–that man must be stopped from destroying “The Environment,” that a climate crisis is imminent, that the wealthy owe compensation to the unwealthy, and that producers are somehow exploiting the non-producers–they are undeterred by these disastrous economic and political consequences.
There is no need to reproduce here what is plainly spelled out in the ANPR, beyond this summary statement:
We are concerned that attempting to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act will harm the U.S. economy while failing to actually reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. . . . the U.S. economy would be subjected to a complex set of new regulations administered by a handful of people with little meaningful public debate and no ability to consider benefits, costs, risk tradeoffs and feasibility.”
The expanded EPA authority will interject the EPA into local decisions, and place local businesses and their customers under the direct control of a federal bureaucracy. This “could require case-by-case EPA permitting” for “office and residential buildings, hotels, retail stores and other similarly-sized projects.” With regard to vehicles, “An effective mobile source emissions compliance and enforcement program is fundamental to ensuring that the environmental benefits of the emission standards are achieved.” In other words, we may look forward to a takeover of building permit authority and vehicle emissions testing by the federal government, among many other newly-minted EPA powers.
Cartoon by Cox and Forkum
To cite a blatant example of this unprecedented power over our lives, the EPA will have the power to ration food production in America. Farm machinery, processing plants, and trucks, railroads, and ships transporting food, would operate only with the permission of the EPA. Even basic agriculture and the biological functioning of animals will not be exempt. The Department of Agriculture notes in ANPR that:
many of the emissions are the result of natural biological processes that are as old as agriculture itself. For instance, technology does not currently exist to prevent the methane produced by enteric fermentation associated with the digestive processes in cows and the cultivation of rice crops; the nitrous oxide produced from the tillage of soils used to grow crops; and the carbon dioxide produced by soil and animal agricultural respiratory processes. The only means of controlling such emissions would be through limiting production, which would result in decreased food supply and radical changes in human diets.
The EPA will have the power to ration food production, to determine its content, and to regulate its transportation.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) analyzed legislation to reduce emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and 70 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. The EIA concluded that “achieving those emission targets would reduce manufacturing employment by 10 percent below currently projected levels in 2030. . . . [and] would reduce the output of key energy-intensive manufacturing industries, such as food, paper, glass, cement, steel, and aluminum, by 10 percent and the output of non-energy intensive manufacturing industries by nine percent below currently projected levels in 2030.”
The ANPR summarizes the effects on energy: “The effects of broad based, economy-wide regulation of GHGs under the CAA [Clean Air Act] would have significant adverse effects on U.S. energy supplies, energy reliability, and energy security.” Electricity costs, for instance, will rise 30%-90%.
The EPA itself notes the historical context of such emissions reductions, which strongly suggests that these estimates of economic and industrial losses are far too conservative:
To provide context, it is useful to note that a 60 percent reduction in U.S. emissions from 2000 levels would result in emissions levels that were last produced in the United States during the 1950s (see chart on next page). In 1950, the population in the United States was 151 million people