Decisions made in Washington that affect every aspect of the lives of Americans, from the kind of cars we can drive to what type of light bulb we can put in our homes, are increasingly being made by individuals that never stand for election. This regulation without representation has concentrated power in the executive branch of the federal government where countless bureaucrats write reams of regulations that not only interpret existing federal law but also add new requirements that were never contemplated by lawmakers in Congress.

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Nowhere is the phenomenon of regulation without representation more evident than at the Environmental Protection Agency. Last week, the EPA announced a regulatory timetable for limiting greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil refineries. The EPA was intentionally vague regarding the stringency of their proposed greenhouse gas emissions limits on power plants and refineries, but their rule-making will invariably lead to higher energy costs for U.S. households and businesses. The EPA is proceeding with regulating greenhouse gases even after Congress has indicated they have no intention of passing cap-and-trade legislation that would have the same effect as the proposed EPA rule — jacking up the cost of energy for recession-weary American consumers and businesses.

The new Congress should make it a top priority to reign in the tyranny being imposed upon Americans through the prolific rule-making of an unaccountable bureaucracy. Voters sent a clear message in November — they are fed up with a large, centralized government that controls every aspect of their lives. Congress would be wise to heed that message.