A very important U.S. Senate vote is set to take place as early as tomorrow afternoon. It would end the EPA’s authority to regulate carbon dioxide, which it began doing this past January. And this means the fate of America’s future economic and energy security hangs in the balance. Specifically, senators will cast aye or nay on an amendment to the small business bill now being debated. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell’s amendment would prevent the EPA from enacting its overly-burdensome regulations under the Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970. Recall that when the courts ruled that the EPA could regulate carbon dioxide, they said, “Unless the Congress does not allow that.” It is therefore essential that McConnell’s amendment passes.
I had the pleasure of interviewing with Dan Collier this past Monday on WDIS-AM in Norfolk, where I spelled out why passage of the amendment is imperative. Namely, passing this measure prioritizes American jobs and economic growth over more EPA bureaucratic red-tape. If you look at the data, you can see why EPA’s further regulatory overreach will be so painful. An economic study found that the cap-and-trade programs introduced previously by the U.S. House would cost Massachusetts’s gross state product up to $227 million per year by 2020 and $1.9 billion by 2030. Americans soundly rejected nationwide cap-and-trade last year, and rightly so. Now, however, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has admitted that her agency’s regulations under the CAA would be even more costly than cap-and-trade.
We cannot afford this, and it is pointless. It’s time for the regulators to consider the American people, and how to carry out their environmental mission cost-effectively. With AAA releasing new reports showing that U.S. gasoline prices have already jumped 50 cents this year, and our state’s unemployment rate still at 8.2 percent, it is my hope that Sen. Brown joins Sen. McConnell in passing his amendment. There are other pending EPA amendments, too, but they fail to provide the certainty that consumers and businesses need during this time of economic recovery. Supporting them will only result in more regulations and higher energy taxes.
A vote for McConnell’s amendment is a vote for job growth. And I’m confident that Sen. Brown will cast another vote for America’s future prosperity, not more job-killing, investment-draining mandates handed down from unelected bureaucrats.