Usually it takes an act of Congress to change an act of Congress, but Team Obama isn't about to let democratic"”or even Democratic"”consent interfere with its carbon extortion racket. To avoid the political firestorm of regulating the neighborhood coffee shop, the EPA is justifying its invented rule on the basis of what it calls the "absurd results" doctrine. That's not a bad moniker for this whole exercise.
The EPA admits that it is "departing from the literal application of statutory provisions." But it says the courts will accept its revision because literal application will produce results that are "so illogical or contrary to sensible policy as to be beyond anything that Congress could reasonably have intended."
Well, well. Shouldn't the same "absurd results" theory pertain to shoehorning carbon into rules that were written in the 1970s and whose primary drafter"”Michigan Democrat John Dingell"”says were never intended to apply?
It is interesting to see the Obama administration using the exact same logic to limit the reach of the Clean Air Act vis a vis Co2 emissions as the Bush Administration did to say the Clean Air Act should have not applicability to CO2 emissions.
Yet one not-so-minor legal problem is that the Clean Air Act's statutory language states unequivocally that the EPA must regulate any "major source" that emits more than 250 tons of a pollutant annually, not 25,000. The EPA's Ms. Jackson made up the higher number out of whole cloth because the lower legal threshold"”which was intended to cover traditional pollutants, not ubiquitous carbon"”would sweep up farms, restaurants, hospitals, schools, churches and other businesses. Sources that would be required to install pricey "best available control technology" would increase to 41,000 per year, up from 300 today, while those subject to the EPA's construction permitting would jump to 6.1 million from 14,000.
So the Bush Administration argues that the Clean Air Act applies to 0% of CO2 sources and they are accused of breaking the law. But the Obama Administration argues the Clean Air Act applies to 0.2% - 0.7% of sources and this is somehow a vastly superior legal argument? The courts rejected 0.0% as non-compliant but they will accept 0.2%?