Post by Henderson
There is so much science and technology news out there, it is literally making my head spin.
In recent news, AT&T is buying T-Mobile USA (good news for iPhone devotees, bad news for relatively cheap service), the NRDC found 42 disease clusters in 13 states, and the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a bill to teach creationism alongside evolution.
While each of these stories is monumental in its own right, the two biggest stories may have been buried with all the coverage of the impending government shutdown. FYI, it didn’t shut down — but the next two stories were major reasons why there was so much contention about the budget in the first place.
On Thursday, in a 255 to 172 vote, the House of Representatives decided that the E.P.A. does not have the right to regulate emissions coming from industrial facilities. A slap in the faces of the Supreme Court and the Obama Administration in one vote.
2007: In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court found that carbon dioxide and other emissions are “air pollutants” as defined by the Clean Air Act. Therefore, the regulation of these emissions falls under the jurisdiction of the E.P.A.
2009: Congress passed the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill.
2010: The E.P.A. released new rules requiring that new or upgraded facilities use the best technologies for controlling the release of CO2 into the environment.
Central to the Obama Administration’s environmental policy is the curbing of greenhouse gas emissions and moving the US in a more “green friendly” direction.
Sources have said that the legislation won’t pass. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has done his best to block this in the Senate, and President Obama has stated that he would veto any such legislation that passed his desk.
What is most important is the rhetoric coming from opponents of greenhouse gas regulation. Texas Republican Ted Poe defended the bill by saying that the “E.P.A. is on a mission to destroy American industry.” Really?
On Friday, the House of Representatives voted to overturn the F.C.C.’s net neutrality rules passed last year.
“The rules prohibit phone and cable companies from favoring or discriminating against Internet content and services, including online calling services such as Skype and Web video services such as Netflix that could compete with their core operations. They require broadband providers to let subscribers access all legal online content.”
At issue is one question: who has the right to regulate the internet?
Furthermore, with regulation, what does it mean to sustain an open and free internet?
Check out FCC Chairman’s Julius Genachowski’s discussion of a free and open internet: