Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Day of Infamy

The EPA announced that greenhouse gasses are a threat to public health, preparing the way for EPA regulation of the sources of greenhouse gasses. It is ironic that this announcement fell on December 7--the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the day President Roosevelt called it a day which will live in infamy. EPA Administrato Lisa P. Jackson is quoted in the release, "These long-overdue findings cement 2009's place in hitory as the year when the Unted States Government began addressing the challenge of greenhouse-gas pollution and seizing the opportunity of clean-energy reform." As an editorial in the Wall Street Journal today notes, seizing is the correct verb. The EPA is seizing the political process and taking on the role of the legislative branch.

I am sure the EPA would dispute this claim, and would argue that their decision is legitimatized by past acts such as the Clean Air Act. But a policy as controversial as climate change policy has been should surely be handled through the legislative process. Instead, democratic principles are ignored in favor of administrative fiat. Perhaps Ms Jackson is so convinced in her rightness that grabbing power is justified in her mind. It may be the same attitude as displayed by the scientists whose e-mails have been released and indicated that they were trying to keep any dissenters to the climate change "consensus" from publication. They may be right, but in lands where the rule of law is supposed to apply and in which democratic procedures and institutions exist, the route taken is simply wrong.

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