States’ Rights Update: AZ Senate Bans Climate Change Rules; FL Introduces Sovereignty Memorial

by Phil on 07/4/2009

Originally it was reported that the great State of Arizona passed legislation meant to be a bulwark against nationalized health care. At the referenced link, I briefly discussed how it’s important to revive the age-old concept of federalism on any given issue that affects us nationally in order to raise the question: Does this issue need to be addressed solely at the federal level, or are we going to allow States to have a say in the debate?

Next, a concerned citizen sent me an email showing that the same State is going up against federal efforts to enforce climate change rules (via AZStarNet.com):

The state Senate voted Monday, 19-10, to bar the Department of Environmental Quality from enacting or enforcing any new rules designed to deal with climate change.

Senate Bill 1147 specifically would block the rules adopted by DEQ last year to set emission standards for new vehicles for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. That measure was pushed through by then-Gov. Janet Napolitano over the objections of automobile manufacturers.

It also would halt further work on any sort of “cap and trade” system of greenhouse gases, which would set new limits on emissions from industrial sources such as power plants. Electric utilities have been at the forefront of fighting this proposal, claiming higher costs.

The measure now goes to the Arizona House of Representatives for consideration.

The full text of bill SB1147 can be found here.

Via the TenthAmendmentCenter.com, the great State of Florida has introduced a 10th Amendment memorial…

Florida State Represenatives Workman and Plakon, along with co-sponsors Dorworth, Eisnaugle, Kelly, Precourt, and Tobia introduced House Memorial 19 (HM19), which “Urges Congress to honor provisions of U. S. Constitution & U. S. Supreme Court case law which limit scope & exercise of federal power.”  (h/t David Reid)

The goal of the memorial is to serve “as a notice and a demand to the Federal Government…to cease and desist, effective immediately, from issuing mandates that are beyond the scope of [their] constitutionally delegated powers.”

Florida is now the 37th state where such a resolution has been introduced.  So far, seven states have had both houses of their legislature approve a sovereignty resolution, while three states have rejected them. …

Florida Groups Supporting State Sovereignty:

A current listing of State-based initiatives can be found here.

-Phil

There are 5 comments in this article:

  1. 07/5/2009GeorgetownJD says:

    Phil,

    Do you actually READ the stuff you post? Arizona Senate Bill 1147 has nothing to do with federal greenhouse gas initiatives. The text of the bill is quite clear that it is aimed at implementation of regulations to comply with state or regional programs. In other words, the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative. This is found, literally, in the language of the bill:

    “The director of the Arizona department of environmental quality shall provide a written report to the governor, the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives and the Arizona corporation commission on each proposed program to address greenhouse gas emissions or motor vehicle fuel economy, including any program that is the subject of a pending or previous rule making proceeding within three months of either the effective date of this act or the release of recommendations by the participants in the western climate initiative for a regional cap and trade or other program to regulate greenhouse gas emissions or motor vehicle fuel economy.”

    The purpose of the report is to provide “a comprehensive analysis of the fiscal impact to the state and the economic, consumer and small business impacts of the proposed program and the legislation required to authorize the proposed program.”

    Moreover, the inference that it is intended to halt “cap and trade” (as the author of the article misconstrued) is mistaken. Rather, S.B. 1147 provides that, notwithstanding Arizona’s execution of the Western Climate Action Initiative, any program proposed to be implemented by the STATE’s Department of Environmental Quality will first require legislative authority. This slows down the process, to be sure, but any suggestion that this legislation is intended to kick sand in the face of the federal government and bring all greenhouse gas initiatives to a screeching halt in Arizona is erroneous.

    Arizona — Phoenix in particular — has long struggled with pollution and dust trapped by thermal inversions, and Arizona local governments have sought to bring us into compliance with EPA standards for reductions in pollutants. Speaking as a native of the state, I assure you that the residents here support the promotion of technologies that will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, harness solar polar, and reduce emissions.

  2. 07/5/2009GeorgetownJD says:

    Ooops. “solar power.”

  3. 07/5/2009Phil says:

    GeorgetownJD,

    Perhaps it’s an issue of interpretation. My read of the actual bill shows that it is up to the State, not the federal government, to have the final say in whatever rules are being bandied about with respect to energy and emissions. This directly makes it a States’ rights issue and something that perhaps other States could similarly consider.

    -Phil

  4. 07/6/2009GeorgetownJD says:

    Phil,

    “A matter of interpretation”? What’s to interpret? The bill is three short paragraphs, and I quoted the bulk of it. The language is quite literal and should require no interpretation. It says, (1)the state agency cannot adopt a STATE or REGIONAL program to regulate greenhouse gas without legislative authority; (2) in seeking such legislative authority to implement the recommendations of the participants in the western climate initiative, the director of ADEQ shall provide a written report describing of such proposed program and the economic impact on consumers and small businesses; and (3) the intent of the legislature that any cap and trade program proposed by a state agency “shall require express legislative authorization following a comprehensive assessment of the state fiscal and other economic, consumer and small business impacts of the program.” Not a ban on cap and trade, has nothing to do with federal initiatives. Nada. Zip. Zero.

    You are rah rah on states’ rights, correct? A state has a right to enter into interstate compacts with other states, and this is precisely what Arizona has done. It has CONTRACTED with other western states and Canadian provinces to initiate efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions, including by implementing a cap-and-trade program. As is its right, the legislature is requiring that any proposal to implement is preceded by an economic impact report and approval by the legislative body. S.B. 1147 is an exercise of a state’s right, but it is by no interpretation a ban on climate-change rules.

    Please, I urge you to read the bill. It is short, concise and easy to understand.

  5. 07/6/2009Phil says:

    GeorgetownJD,

    Please, I urge you to read the bill. It is short, concise and easy to understand.

    Quit making such a mountain out of a molehill. We don’t completely disagree.

    -Phil