Senator John ThuneAfter failing to receive Congressional approval for the controversial cap-and-trade tax in the last session of Congress, the Obama administration has decided to move forward unilaterally with climate regulations.
On January 2, 2011, the administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began enforcing expensive carbon emission regulations, despite bipartisan Congressional opposition to such actions. While these initial regulations only apply to large manufacturing facilities, more and more businesses will be faced with this energy tax as the EPA broadens these rules over the next four years.
Our nation's energy policy should be decided by the American people through their elected officials, not by unelected bureaucrats at the EPA. These job-killing regulations are simply a backdoor national energy tax that will be costly for energy consumers and producers. The administration is now running roughshod over Congress and legislating through regulation.
Eventually, these regulations could impose fines on South Dakota's smallest carbon emitters, like hospitals, dry cleaners, ethanol plants, and even churches. Small businesses are a major source of employment in our state, and keep our economy strong. Up to six million businesses could be covered by these regulations by 2016. The more that the government meddles with the market and raises the cost of doing business, the harder it is for our small businesses to add another employee or make investments for the future.
With unemployment near 10 percent nationally and the economy still wavering, the administration should not push these costly, overreaching regulations on the American people. Now is the time to promote policies that will grow jobs, not jeopardize them.
As the new session of Congress begins in earnest, I will work with my colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle to stop this power grab by the Administration and instead, work to pass policies that strike a balance between protecting our environment and our economy.