The Obama Administration, at this sensitive time, is playing down its expansive regulatory agenda, but some insiders are predicting a new onslaught of costly rules—including the imposition of cap-and-trade schemes on industry.

Although Congress rejected cap-and-trade legislation in 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) remains intent on effectively rationing the use of fossil fuels. A court ruling earlier this year upheld the agency’s “finding” that emissions of carbon dioxide pose a threat to public health. The ruling has only emboldened the EPA’s regulatory impulses. According to Carol Browner, former administrator of the agency, the EPA is now poised for “piecemeal progress on cap-and-trade.”

Browner’s forecast came Wednesday during a panel discussion on “Energy and the Presidency” sponsored by Politico this week. As reported by The Hill, “Browner offered that Obama would use the [Clean Water Act] and the [Clean Air Act] to go even further in his attempts to regulate air pollution.”

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