Like it or not

Patrick Gibbons

Whether or not Congress approves cap and trade legislation may not matter. It won’t even matter that cap and trade might be costly or ineffective. Cap and trade may come whether you like it or not.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may have just signaled its intent to regulate greenhouse gases, even without Congress approving cap and trade. The Cato Institute has been warning us constantly of this threat to American liberties.

Unfortunately our Supreme Court has failed to protect us from an unconstitutional encroachment upon our rights. Congress has empowered the EPA “protect the public health” with “an adequate margin for safety.”

Of course, how much regulations should we suffer in order to feel safe? This is an important question considering greenhouse gasses occur naturally and can be harmful at any level above 0.

The power to regulate anything at anytime for the health, welfare, and safety of the American people is a dangerous power if wielded unchecked.

What would happen if Homeland Security was given a blank check, like the EPA, to “protect the public health” with “an adequate margin for safety”? Permanently locking away “enemy combatants” foreign or domestic, without trial would be an unquestionable power of the department. They could even round up non violent religious minorities, like Muslisms, and imprison them for life – a clear violation of civil liberties. A violation that the political left would undoubtedly demand be rectified.

Government agencies should not have the power to act unchecked. The laws of our land should be written by the elected officials, not from appointed and unaccountable bueracrats.