The NY Times has a story about EPA’s climate change regs that doesn’t contain anything newsworthy but does get the facts right. The key facts are these:
1. EPA has little choice about regulating given the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act in 2007.
“With Mr. Obama’s hand forced by the mandates of the Clean Air Act and a 2007 Supreme Court decision, his E.P.A. will impose the first regulation of major stationary sources of greenhouse gases starting Jan. 2.”
2. The initial regulation are limited in scope and will probably be mild in application. “The immediate effect on utilities, refiners and major manufacturers will be small, with the new rules applying only to those planning to build large new facilities or make major modifications to existing plants.”
3. Nevertheless, the GOP, the tea party and the fossil fuel industry are incensed. “But the reaction in Congress and industry has been outsized, with some likening the E.P.A. to terrorists and others vowing to choke off the agency’s financing for all air-quality regulation.”
4. No matter what EPA does, it will get a fierce response from opponents.
“If the administration gets it wrong, we’re looking at years of litigation, legislation and public and business outcry,” said a senior administration official who asked not to be identified so as not to provide an easy target for the incoming Republicans. “If we get it right, we’re facing the same thing.”
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.