An Environmental Magna Carta

The US Constitution guarantees a separation of powers, but cannot prevent the three distinct branches from jockeying to be top dog. We saw this writ large when President Barack Obama publically voiced his resentment towards how the US Supreme Court used its constitutional prerogative in the Citizens United Case. We see this conflict play out more subtly as the House of Representatives prepares a new Clean Air Act for passage and Presidential signature.

If the behavior towards the USSC is indicative, President Obama jealously husbands his executive powers. Should he seek to continue doing so successfully, he should view this new Clean Air Act with a healthy, detached skepticism. Perhaps he should follow the old adage popular among real estate principals and scratch golfers; “Watch what you sign!”

According to The US Senate’s Committee on Energy and Public Works, powerful Democratic Congressional Representatives are preparing legislative language to curtail the ability of the USEPA to regulate CO2 as a pollutant. Fulsome and scurvy details of the Blue on Blue engagement follow below.

A trio of House lawmakers yesterday introduced a bill to block U.S. EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gases, marking the latest in a string of bipartisan attacks against forthcoming climate rules.

The measure from Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Missouri Reps. Ike Skelton (D) and Jo Ann Emerson (R) would amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit EPA from regulating greenhouse gases based on their effects on global climate change.

The bill would also advance several of the farm state lawmakers’ other priorities by stopping EPA from calculating land-use changes in foreign countries for determining U.S. renewable fuels policy, and broadening the definition of renewable biomass.

I would love to walk around believing that Representatives Emerson, Skelton, and Peterson all felt motivated by common sense, decency and a genuine desire to spearhead a gargantuan US economic recovery. Ok, you can stop laughing now, I’ll admit that would only seem logical after I’d finished drinking the bong water.

These legislators want power. They grow tired of executive power running rampant in US governance first with GW Bush’s War on Terror and now with Barack Obama’s war on economic sanity. They intend this measure to remind the POTUS he ain’t no Pater Noster. Like the Barons at Runnymede, they are serving Barack Obama his environmental Magna Carta.

Energy and environmental legislation has become the logical battleground for a good, nefarious, backroom separation of powers fight. These laws directly or indirectly dictate who can own, access, and use land and resources. They are as close as modern republican government can get to dividing out the privileges in a manner reminiscent of Merovingian monarchs at a drunken feast on pheasant.

The House Cap and Trade Bill, that Nancy Pelosi dragged kicking and screaming to passage last year, demonstrates the baronial arrogance of Collin Peterson. The bill originally deigned to ration carbon combustion by creating an artificial market to sell scarce rights to carbon emissions. This would have economically allocated combustion to the most lucrative bidders, while presumably limiting pollution as the numbers of permits for sale was reduced.

Then the farm lobby became a reliable voice in the interests of Oligarchy. Once they successfully raised ruckus, Peterson then defined shares of permits that members of congress could allocate to farmers by district. Soon afterwards, every other industry got on the horn to the Aristocracy of Pull.

By the time the bill passed the HOR, 85% of the permits were to be allocated by Congressional fiat. The Congressmen could then go back home and decide who got access to electrical power and combustion. “That’s quite a nice farm there, Mr. Pickens. It would be a shame if someone else got the carbon credits you need to keep it running. Why don’t your people talk to mine and we’ll come to some mutually beneficial arrangement. You do want to be reasonable, right Mr. Pickens?”

With the Cap and Subinfeudate Bill dead in the US Senate, President Obama saw a crisis he could believe in. He knew exactly how to make sure it wouldn’t go to waste. It took about five minutes of profound scientific genius for The President to direct the EPA to “scientifically prove” that CO2 was a pollutant and that the public interest just compelled them to promulgate regulation.

Now ownership of the nation’s energy and land would flow through Versailles Upon The Potomac. No longer would the power reside in the feudal demesnes of Lady Pelosi and her peers noble and true. In the same overriding public spirit that determined where James Hansen put GISS temperature stations, President Obama’s EPA regulators would have to decide carefully where they massed their enforcement efforts.

So, this potential loss of power and revenue forces three disingenuous congress-hacks to do what is noble and right for the American People. Like the power-jealous barons at Runnymede, they now prepare to serve Barack Obama with an environmental Magna Carta. Thus with great pleasure I anticipate the carnage. Nothing is better for our fragile environment than having the ravenous jackals commence to eating one another.