From the New York Times, E.P.A. Clears the Way for Regulation of Warming Gases

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that threaten public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that for the first time in the United States will regulate the gases blamed for global warming.

I thought the Obama administration and Congress were supposed to be addressing this:

As the E.P.A. begins the process of regulating these climate-altering substances under the Clean Air Act, Congress is engaged in writing wide-ranging energy and climate change legislation that could pre-empt any action taken by the agency. President Obama and Ms. Jackson have repeatedly said that they much prefer that Congress address global warming rather than have the E.P.A tackle it through administrative action.

Really?  Keep reading and then decide if the President means what he said.

It represents a huge boost in EPA power:

“The proposal, once finalized, will give E.P.A. far more responsibility than addressing climate change,” Mr. Martella said. “It effectively will assign E.P.A. broad authority over the use and control of energy, in turn authorizing it to regulate virtually every sector of the economy.”

And they can start wielding it soon.  From Law and the Environment,

The US Environmental Protection Agency has forwarded an “endangerment finding” under the Clean Air Act that would lay the foundation for EPA greenhouse gas emission regulations under the Act.  Under the Massachusetts v. EPA case in which the US Supreme Court remanded an EPA decision under the Bush Administration to not regulate greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles, EPA may use the endangerment finding, that greenhouse gas emissions as a pollutant are a risk to human health and welfare, to move forward with restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions if Congress does not pass greenhouse gas legislation this year or early next year.

My emphasis.

So Congress and the President can forestall any EPA regulations.  But will they, with the possibility that the EPA will do their dirty work?  Is this a way for Congress and the President to avoid the wrath of the voters when electricity prices go through the roof?  It’s possible, says Megan McArdle.

They don’t need no stinkin’ pitchforks aimed at them.  Feel the leadership.

Via Instapundit