Feature:Opinion

U.S. Senate votes for American unilateral economic disarmament

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George Allen
Former US Senator
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      George Allen

      George Allen is a former governor and U.S. senator from Virginia. He serves as Reagan Ranch Presidential Scholar for the Young America’s Foundation.

With a narrow 53-47 majority, the U.S. Senate appallingly voted for American economic unilateral disarmament. They voted against American jobs and coal-related jobs, manufacturers and business, our competitiveness, and affordable electricity and for ceding legislative responsibility to unelected judges and bureaucrats.

In the midst of a struggling economy, 53 U.S. Senators forfeited their legislative authority to the Environmental Protection Agency’s bureaucracy. They ceded their constitutional right and responsibility to enact a positive and reasonable American energy policy by allowing the EPA to dictate, with draconian regulations on greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, without specific Congressional authority. This is an abdication of responsibility to “We the People” in our representative democracy.

Senator Murkowski’s S.J. 26, a Resolution of Disapproval of the EPA’s endangerment finding, under the Congressional Review Act, was an attempt to restore the constitutional separation of powers and democratic accountability that had been compromised by EPA’s massive power grab through this regulation. More importantly, it was an attempt to hold off any more government intrusion into a free enterprise system that is trying to stand itself back up after the financial meltdown of 2008 and subsequent recession.

Because of this vote, EPA will be able to proceed with new regulations that will impose upon millions of small businesses, farms, thousands of schools, churches, and manufacturers by mandating an economy wide regulatory cap over carbon dioxide emissions. Several economic studies from the left and right have concluded that this regulatory action will significantly raise the cost of transportation fuels, electricity, food, heat and air conditioning of homes and businesses across America at a time when the nation can least afford it.

These regulations under the endangerment finding will be used to price and force our American coal industry out of business with a result of skyrocketing electricity prices for us all. They will push us in the direction of seeking fuel from foreign countries rather than accessing our own abundant and plentiful resources. For our national security and balance of trade, we cannot continue to allow Americans to be vulnerable to the whims of hostile dictators, oligarchs and cartels.

How many more jobs will have to go overseas before the majority in Congress understands that high energy costs deliver nothing but high unemployment rates?

No other country is willing to impose such economic harm upon their citizens. America now stands alone and will be hobbled in our ability to compete with China, India, Brazil and other countries in the global marketplace. America needs a rational energy policy that provides affordable and reliable electricity and transportation fuels to bring jobs back to our people and restore our nation’s economic strength.

The vote against the Resolution of Disapproval was a vote for one of the single largest power grabs by the unelected bureaucracy in American history. It will be recorded as the day the U.S. Senate turned its back upon the American people, free enterprise and voted for U.S. economic unilateral disarmament.