December 12, 2009

WH ‘Command and Control’ EPA Threat Confirms C of C Head’s Prediction, Gets Almost No Establishment Media Coverage


Has anyone else noticed how chilling it has been during the past few days? Not chilly (though it’s been that too). Chilling.

On Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared, in the Associated Press’s words, that “greenhouse gas emissions are a danger and must be regulated.”

The AP, in the item just linked, and many other news outlets carried U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donahue’s warning that regulations based on EPA’s declaration could lead to “a top-down command-and-control regime that will choke off growth by adding new mandates to virtually every major construction and renovation project.”

Two days later, in an item carried at that says it was the result of contributions by Fox’s Major Garrett and The Associated Press, a White House official confirmed the legitimacy of Donahue’s stated fear (bolds are mine):

Administration Warns of ‘Command-and-Control’ Regulation Over Emissions

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn’t move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a “command-and-control” role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

The warning, from a top White House economic official who spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity, came on the eve of EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson’s address to the international conference on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.

…. while administration officials have long said they prefer Congress take action on climate change, the economic official who spoke with reporters Tuesday night made clear that the EPA will not wait and is prepared to act on its own.

And it won’t be pretty.

“If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area,” the official said. “And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

Climate change legislation that passed the House is stuck in the Senate, but the EPA finding Monday was seen as a boost to the U.S. delegation in Denmark trying to convince other countries that Washington is capable of taking action to follow through with any global commitments.

The economic official explained that congressional action could be better for the economy, since it would provide “compensation” for higher energy prices, especially for small businesses dealing with those higher energy costs. Otherwise, the official warned that the kind of “uncertainty” generated by unilateral EPA action would be a huge “deterrent to investment,” in an economy already desperate for jobs.

“So, passing the right kind of legislation with the right kind of compensations seems to us to be the best way to reduce uncertainty and actually to encourage investment,” the official said.

It seems to me that an administration threatening “command and control,” with its echoes of authoritarian regimes throughout history — an approach that an opponent predicted would occur, and which has now been promised — might be, well, I don’t know, know, news at establishment media outlets other than Fox. But, with rare exceptions, it’s not (and spare me the prattle about sourcing to a single anonymous person, which the establishment press employs whenever it sees fit).

At the New York Times, the only relevant result of an advanced search on “command and control” (not in quotes) is a December 8 editorial referring to Donahue’s quote.

At the Associated Press, a search on “command and control” (also without quotes) comes back with nothing relevant besides the industry reaction item mentioned at the beginning of this post.

A Google News Search on [EPA "command and control"] (typed exactly as indicated between brackets) for December 9-12, sorted by date, comes back with 50 items. Other than two items in the Wall Street Journal from Kim Strassel and James Taranto, plus editorials in the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail and New York Post, no establishment media outlet has recognized the existence of Fox’s Major Garrett-AP “command and control” report.

It almost goes without saying that if a Bush 43 or Bush 41 “White House” official had promised “command and control” regulation of any aspect of American life, anonymously sourced or not, that phrase would have been all over news outlets everywhere. But when an official of this administration makes a specific promise that a type of regime normally associated with tyrants will be imposed on the entire economy if Congress doesn’t impose its own version of that type of regime, there’s stone silence from the establishment media’s self-styled defenders of freedom.

Oh, and I almost forgot to note that an APB has gone out on the far left for any and all information that might discredit the Chamber’s Donahue.

It’s going to take more than adding another sweater to do something about this government-driven, media-complicit chill.

Cross-posted at



  1. [...] Cross-posted at [...]

    Pingback by WH ‘Command and Control’ EPA Threat Confirms C of C Head’s Prediction, Gets Almost No Establishment Media Coverage | Conservative Blog Watch — December 12, 2009 @ 10:13 am

  2. Of course Congress could just strip the EPA of the power to regulate CO2 by legislation. The SCOTUS ruled the EPA could regulate CO2 in the absence of a specific mandate by stretching the definitions of pollution. Congress has the authority to ban the EPA from doing anything. So if the Congress doesn’t want to get blamed for the idiocy of bureaucrats and Green Radicals that OBAMA installed in the EPA they can easily put a stop to it.

    Any idea that Congress can simply point the finger at EPA and say they did it won’t fly with the public, CONGRESS needs to STRAP on a pair. That means, the Dems who control Congress have to give up the issue of Global Warming and finally after 50 years drop the pretense of being for the environment as a campaign issue. Be prepared for Brinksmanship on the issue. Whether they pull a fast one hinges entirely on the public blaming Obama and the Dems for playing games. Sounds like another Tea Party rallying point to me.

    Comment by dscott — December 12, 2009 @ 6:11 pm

  3. Doesn’t surprise me. No personal right is too precious to be sacrificed to the gods of social justice climate change.

    Comment by zf — December 13, 2009 @ 7:30 am

  4. I’m going to keep saying it: ECONOMIC TERRORISM.

    Comment by Joe C. — December 13, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  5. Let me fix that comment #3, it should say:

    Doesn’t surprise me. No personal right is too precious to not be sacrificed to the gods of social justice and climate change.

    Comment by zf — December 13, 2009 @ 9:46 am

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