As Barbara Boxer makes clear, Democrats don't think they need no stinkin' bill to push their climate change agenda.
"A lot of you press me . . . on: 'Where is the bill on climate change? Where is the bill?' There doesn't have to be a bill," Mrs. Boxer explained in a briefing the day after Mr. Obama's speech. "I'm telling you right now, EPA has the authority in the transportation sector, the electricity sector, and the industrial sector under the Clean Air Act" to do everything that legislation might otherwise do.
In other words, with the election over, all pretense is gone. Democrats won't waste political capital on a doomed cap-and-trade bill. Yet they'll get their carbon program all the same, by deputizing the EPA to impose sweeping new rules and using their Senate majority to block any GOP effort to check the agency's power grab. The further upside? Brute regulation is not only certain and efficient, it allows vulnerable Democrats to foist any blame on a lame-duck administration…
Just as notable, Mrs. Boxer gave the clearest sign yet that Dems intend to simultaneously pursue the new holy grail of climate control: a carbon tax. The left has been ginning up enthusiasm for this energy tax, not only as a means of cutting fossil-fuel use, but as a way of generating enormous revenue to cover their spending ambitions.
“The Democrats' political problem, however, is that the tax remains hugely unpopular.”
In other words: This is what over-reach looks like.
Except maybe not. And here is the sobering part:
Republicans might recollect that the Obama administration has a practiced method of winning controversial legislation like ObamaCare and Dodd-Frank. To wit, it uses a combination of bribes and threats to get pertinent sectors of the business community to back its efforts.
Consider what the mighty oil-and-gas lobby might be co-opted to do—either out of gratitude for the president's backing or fear that he might turn on it. Consider how the political environment might change if the industry threw its weight behind a carbon tax or the EPA climate scheme
So, could 2016 pit a populist conservative movement against the Big Government,-Big Business-Big Labor nexus?