02.20.2012 0

Economy Will Not Recover Until After Environmental Regulations are Curtailed and Congressional Accountability Restored

By Kevin Mooney — Even if Washington D.C. politicians manage to balance the budget and resolve the current fiscal crisis, the economy is not likely to recover within the current regulatory environment, Myron Ebell, the director and of energy and global warming policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) told listeners at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Instead of assuming responsibility over the “well-meaning green laws” that were passed, Congress delegated this authority out to federal agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that are not as accountable to the public as the elected branches of government, Ebell explained.

“There are a lot of important issues but I think the one that gets the least attention is the regulatory onslaught that is being conducted by the Obama Administration and the Democrats in the Senate,” he said. “Congress should set the standard, the EPA should come to Congress.”

Ebell also challenged President Obama’s worldview.

“We have a president who wants to turn the heartland of America into something that looks a lot like New England or California,” Ebell said. “He [Obama] thinks we can all be lawyers or financial analysts, or sit at a screen at all day. He has very little clue that our economy also depends on digging stuff up, growing stuff and making stuff. He is waging war on the heartland of  America.  His model is California and if you want to look at a state that has gone down the tubes look at California.”

The extra-constitutional power grabs of the Obama Administration are not limited to the EPA, Fred Smith, the CEI president said. But there are of paramount concern so they are so widespread at the state, national and local level, he warned. Smith served as moderator for the panel entitled:

“The Obama EPA’s Assault on Green Energy Jobs.” Other panel participants included Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow with CEI and Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado.

America’s free market economy is in jeopardy because “regulations are being manipulated off stage” beyond the orbit of constitutional checks and balances, Smith said.

Bill Wilson, president of Americans for Limited Government (ALG), noted that has organization has called attention to the various “green czars” that now populate administrative agencies that operate beyond congressional scrutiny.

“Obama has elevated attacking traditional domestic energy solutions that actually work through a combination crippling regulations, proposed tax changes and a failure to issue exploration leases so they can find and develop the oil fields that will fuel to an art form.  His EPA is as close to a rogue agency as you will ever find,” according to Wilson.

Although “cap and trade” schemes have failed to pass through Congress, the Obama Administration continues to work through the EPA to implement large-scale policy changes, Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow with CEI, observed.

“My main gripe in all of this, and I think it should be yours too, is that it represents the theft of your rights to govern yourself under the Constitution of the United States,” Lewis said. “The Obama Administration has gone around the separation of powers and taken these big legislative policy decisions out of the legislative arenas where there can be some political accountability.”

Obama has not been shy about revealing his true intentions, Lewis added.

Under the “cap and trade” scheme, Obama favored, the president acknowledged that “electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket,” Lewis explained. After his party lost control of the House in the 2010 mid-term elections partly because of “cap and trade” Obama decided to accelerate regulations as a substitute for legislative action, Lewis said.

Ebell took the opportunity to credit Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, for leading the charge against anti-energy policies in the U.S. Senate. He described Inhofe as the “indispensible figure” in the U.S. Senate in the battle against “cap and trade.”

Inhofe has a new book coming out called “The Greatest Hoax.”

Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government. You can follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinMooneyDC.

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