EPA's Carbon Ruling Puts Heat on Congress

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2009 4:59 PM CDT
A car gives off exhaust in Montpelier, Vt., Monday, March 2, 2007.   (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)
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(Newser) – By issuing its long-awaited “endangerment finding” on carbon yesterday, the EPA is essentially putting a gun to Congress’ head, writes Bryan Walsh in Time. Capitol Hill is loathe to regulate carbon emissions, with Republicans and coal-state Democrats worried about the economic fallout. But by ruling that carbon is dangerous, the EPA has issued an ultimatum: If you don’t regulate, we will.

Says one clean air activist: “If business groups continue to oppose congressional action, they ought to ask themselves, in the immortal words of Clint Eastwood: Do you feel lucky?” But not everyone believes the threat of EPA action will lead to legislation on controversial measures such as cap-and-trade. "Republicans would love for Democrats to regulate carbon and raise energy prices,” said one strategist. “The threat of regulating carbon is actually a suicide threat.”