Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency released its endangerment finding on carbon dioxide (you know, that stuff you exhale), declaring it harmful to public health and welfare. According to the Associated Press:

The announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency was clearly timed to build momentum toward an agreement at the international conference on climate change that opened Monday in Copenhagen, Denmark. It signaled the administration was prepared to push ahead for significant controls in the U.S. if Congress doesn’t act first on its own.

The price could be steep for both industry and consumers. The EPA finding clears the way for rules that eventually could force the sale of more fuel-efficient vehicles and require plants to install costly new equipment – at a cost of billions or even many tens of billions of dollars – or shift to other forms of energy.

A few problems:

  1. This seems to be the executive branch legislating (which it is obviously not permitted to do), points out Iain Murray over at National Review Online.
  2. It is based upon flawed science revealed in the Climategate emails, explains Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).
  3. It will come at the expense of economic growth and kill jobs, as the Heritage Foundation shows.

Should action be needed on emissions, the problem should be thoroughly debated in the public sphere. The American people deserve better than an agency’s unilateral, undemocratic, untransparent decision.

Our friends at the Competitive Enterprise Institute released a video a few years ago on this very topic that seems to be applicable again (watch it here.) The tag line: “They call it pollution. We call it life.”