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Holtz-Eakin Argues Carbon Dioxide Is Not A Pollutant

By Ali Frick on October 27, 2008 at 5:35 pm

"Holtz-Eakin Argues Carbon Dioxide Is Not A Pollutant"

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Yesterday on CBS’s Face the Nation, top McCain economic adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin insisted that the next president will have to enact “comprehensive policies” to create jobs. After calling for a “real energy policy,” Holtz-Eakin slammed Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) plan to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant:

HOLTZ-EAKIN: And so the question will be: who can most quickly generate jobs in this economy, to keep the unemployment rate from spiking so high? At the heart of that, is having comprehensive policies … that have a real energy policy that would allow us to grow. I mean, you know, Senator Obama has promised that, day one, he would enforce the Clean Air Act, treating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. That runs the economy from the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s a draconian regulatory approach. That’s not a rescue for jobs.

Watch it:

Is Holtz-Eakin suggesting that McCain does not view CO2 as a pollutant? That would be interesting, considering that McCain frequently — as recently as last week — highlights his supposed difference with President Bush on the issue of global warming. But Bush has steadfastly refused to regulate CO2 as a pollutant, strong-arming the EPA into rejecting requests by California and other states to regulate CO2 emissions from cars.

More importantly, Holtz-Eakin seems oblivious to the fact that the EPA is legally required to regulate CO2 emissions, at least according to the United States Supreme Court’s 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA. “Under that decision, the EPA is effectively obligated to begin the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act,” conservative law professor Jonathan Alder explained. “If the law is not amended, and the next Administration fails to act, environmentalist groups will file suit to force their hand — and win.”

Finally, Holtz-Eakin is simply wrong to suggest that tackling climate change is “not a rescue for jobs.” California’s pollution standards have created 1.5 million jobs.

Transcript:

HOLTZ-EAKIN: And so the question will be: who can most quickly generate jobs in this economy, to keep the unemployment rate from spiking so high? At the heart of that, is having comprehensive policies, not just a tax policy that promises great things, but actual policies that don’t spend a trillion dollars — we’ve seen the mistake in the Bush administration. That don’t burden businesses with health mandates. That don’t cut off trade — one in five jobs in this economy are trade related. And that have a real energy policy that would allow us to grow. I mean, you know, Senator Obama has promised that, day one, he would enforce the Clean Air Act, treating carbon dioxide as a pollutant. That runs the economy from the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s a draconian regulatory approach. That’s not a rescue for jobs. We have to do the things comprehensively that’ll help jobs for America.

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