**UPDATE December 7, 2009
When asked about the recent Environment Protection Agency’s endangerment finding of CO2, Senator Webb told the Washington Times and others today on Capitol Hill, “I think we need to go back and look at the Supreme Court decision in which the EPA asserts that it has that authority, because it is a derived power based on legislation, and it is a limited power. I don’t think the administration can agree to anything, for instance, in Copenhagen on an endagerment finding that was based on one piece legislation in a Supreme Court decision.”
December 2, 2009
Looks like a fellow Democrat has concern with the president’s handling of the the cap and trade issue upon Mr. Obama’s trip to Copenhagen. Senator Jim Webb (D - Va.) wrote to the administration last week warning President Obama that the White House does not have unilateral power to commit the United States to any standards agreed upon at the upcoming climate change conference in Denmark.:
Dear Mr. President:
I would like to express my concern regarding reports that the Administration may believe it has the unilateral power to commit the government of the United States to certain standards that may be agreed upon at the upcoming United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of Parties 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The phrase “politically binding” has been used.
Although details have not been made available, recent statements by Special Envoy on Climate Change Todd Stern indicate that negotiators may be intending to commit the United States to a nationwide emission reduction program. As you well know from your time in the Senate, only specific legislation agreed upon in the Congress, or a treaty ratified by the Senate, could actually create such a commitment on behalf of our country.
I would very much appreciate having this matter clarified in advance of the Copenhagen meetings.
United States Senator
Senator Webb’s office told the Washington Times Water Cooler the president has not replied back in writing, and the decision to write the president a letter on this issue comes from Mr. Webb’s concern about issues of constitutional checks and balances.
Related TWT articles:
*UPDATE on Spokeswoman quote
A spokeswoman for Mr. Webb said, “If we’re going to make binding commitments, the Senate needs to be an obligatory player in that process.” The spokeswoman also noted Mr. Webb’s concern with the vague commitment from China and India on the issue of cap and trade.