Obama’s Mission to Save Planet From Global Warming Could Violate Constitution
December 18, 2009
President Obama’s mission to save the planet from global warming could end up trampling on the U.S. Constitution, critics say.
When Obama arrives in Copenhagen Friday, he is hoping to cut a deal on a new global-warming agreement. Even though the conference is not likely to produce a legally binding deal, critics say if the president signs an international climate treaty pledging reductions in carbon emissions, he will violate the Constitution.
“President Obama cannot bind the American people to job killing international agreements on climate change without the advice and consent of the United States Senate,” former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich wrote Wednesday at the conservative Web site Human Events.
The Constitution states that the president cannot sign treaties without the approval of two-thirds of the Senate.
But with climate change legislation stuck in the Senate after the House passed its version earlier this year, the White House is flirting with the possibility of taking action without Congress.
Last week, on the day the climate summit opened in Denmark, the EPA formally declared that greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide are a danger to human health — a finding that could pave the way for massive new regulations under the Clean Air Act for cars, power plants, crude-oil refineries and chemical plants.
While administration officials have said they would prefer Congress take action on regulating greenhouse gas emissions, Republicans fear the EPA, buoyed by its latest finding, is prepared to act unilaterally.
Democratic Rep. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, co-author of the House climate change bill, told Fox News that the Obama administration has the power to act without Congress through the EPA.
“It’s no longer a question of legislation or no legislation,” he told Fox News’ Chris Wallace. “It is now a question of legislation or regulation. The EPA can act.