For months now, Heritage has warned against any effort by the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide or other so-called greenhouse gas emissions on the grounds that they would lead to an extremely costly and burdensome Pandora’s Box under the Clean Air Act.

Even though EPA’s action would at first deal only with motor vehicles any finding that carbon dioxide is a harmful pollutant would spark onerous constraints on perhaps a million or more businesses and farms that use energy or generate greenhouse gas emissions. The costs would be well in excess of any benefits.

Today these concerns were raised at a House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Peter Glaser, partner with the law firm of Troutman Sanders LLP laid out the concerns quite well.

But it was a pleasant surprise to see that EPA administrator Stephen Johnson also raised these concerns. Up til this point it was not clear whether EPA understood the economic ramifications of a regulatory crackdown on these emissions, but it appears they are well aware of the pitfalls.