Browner: Tom Delay to blame for EPA greenhouse gas regs

But where should the idea for EPA regulation of greenhouse gases have come?

Former Obama environment and energy czar and Clinton EPA administrator Carol Browner said at a forum today, according to Environment and Energy Daily:

“We should thank [former House Majority Leader] Tom DeLay for the fact that there are greenhouse gas standards for the first time,” she said.

When she headed EPA during the Clinton administration, Browner said she was asked by the Texas Republican whether she thought EPA had the authority to regulate heat-trapping emissions under the Clean Air Act. To answer his question, Browner said, EPA completed a memorandum that eventually helped form the premise for Massachusetts v. EPA, the lawsuit that led to Clean Air Act greenhouse gas restrictions.

But of course, the real issue is whether Congress intended such regulation when it amended the Clean Air Act in 1970, 1977 and 1990… and the answer is clearly no as it set the threshold for criteria pollutant regulation at 100 tons of emissions from a source annually — a level that would regulate about 6 million emitters across the U.S.

The Obama EPA estimated that it would take 230,000 employees about 3 years and $63 billion to write the 6 million permits. That’s why the broke the law and issued its “tailoring rule” to set the emissions threshold at 75,000 tons.

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