The Environmental Protection Agency today pushed “the start button on a process that if allowed to run its full course, will impose economy-chilling regulations on the whole United States.”

That’s according to Marlo Lewis, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who talked about the issue of regulating greenhouse gases with Greg Corombos of Radio America/WND. The audio of the exchange is embedded here:

The federal agency said it would begin governing greenhouse gases – specifically carbon dioxide – because of the grave danger posed to the planet and the human health.

USA Today noted the regulation would have broad economic and social impact and demand new emissions limits for vehicles as well as emission limits for virtually any sizeable building.

“What it means is if someone wanted to build such a building … you have to get a permit from the EPA. You have to go through the long and tortuous process of figuring out what is the best available control technology for your source, then bring your facility into compliance,” Lewis said.

“On average a permit costs $125,000 … just to do the paperwork. That doesn’t include technology,” he said.

Lewis said what it means is that every business could be hit, from stadiums and car dealerships to convention halls and shopping malls. Their additional costs, of course, would be passed on to consumers.

But worse yet, is the possibility that instead of processing 200-300 such permits every year, the EPA would be blasted with demands for 10,000.

On a USA Today forum, one reader suggested: “Be prepared for the taxes/penalties.”

Another said, “I hope Obama fulfills his promise to legalize marijuana, it will make it easier to laugh at this insanity.”

“Remember!!! YOU voted him in… and the EPA has license, therefore, to exercise all their power… which they shouldn’t ever have had in the first place. Liberalism ‘out of control,'” said a third.

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