Giving the EPA more powers does not threaten the Constitution

Some folks in the United States of America are getting upset about measures which are proposed to give the Environmental Protection Agency (the EPA) more authority to grant permits and regulation greenhouse gas emissions. It is claimed that not only would these measures bring an end to economic activity as we know it, but that they would also threaten the constitutional separation of powers.

The essence of society is that we need some regulation because without regulation the strong would oppress the weak, the rich would steal from the poor and some businesses would damage the environment in which we all need to live and die. It is perfectly clear that even with regulation these things happen. The deep sea oil extraction industry is highly regulated and needs permits but that did not prevent the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It is apparent that if there were no regulations for deep sea oil drilling oil spills would be far more frequent than they are; the only thing preventing a spill would be whether the cost of oil lost was greater than the cost of the measures to prevent oil spillages.

Now I agree that much of the regulation that we are faced with on both sides of the Atlantic is unnecessary and a complete waste of time and money. However environmental regulation is still quite modest. When regulations were introduced to ban lead free petrol and fit cars with catalytic converters the auto industry did not collapse. If we were to introduce regulations to limit or control greenhouse gas emissions the economy would not collapse. If regulations are brought into being which have the effect of making energy more expensive it would inevitably affect the poor more than the rich but if you subscribe to the theory of anthropogenic climate change you know that you must choose between the lesser of two evils: which is worse more expensive energy or an irretrievably damaged environment.

Of course if you do not subscribe to the theory of anthropogenic climate change and believe that more environmental is unnecessary then you may, in your prejudice, resort to claims that environmental protection threatens the separation of powers, but perhaps upon reflection you will appreciate that it no more threatens the America Constitution than the creation of a US Army, Navy and Air Force did.

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