President Obama hopes to change regulations

It has been suggested President Barack Obama wants to secure his place in the history books by forcing a draconian, harmful regime of environmental regulations on Americans.

If he gets his way in Paris during the next few days, he indeed will earn the attention of future generations – for rivaling the worst kings of the past in imperiously doing severe, lasting harm to their subjects.

Obama and leaders of most other countries on earth are in Paris to discuss new limits on carbon emissions. He has proposed rules that would be among the most severe being discussed. Their goal is to shut down as many coal-fired power plants as possible.

That would drive electric bills up for tens of millions of American families. It would put U.S. industries at a disadvantage against competitors in many other countries – including a major economic rival, China.

Obama has signaled he means to sell his plan to others in Paris as a done deal – something not even Congress can prevent.

On Tuesday, he took another giant, imperial step. Obama said the emissions agreements being negotiated in Paris should be made legally binding.

In other words, our president wants to bind the American people forever to enforce emissions rules his administration has written.

Congress – the elected representatives of the people – would not be able to alter that. Changing circumstances – perhaps realization in the future the rules were harming Americans badly while doing little to curb climate change – would not matter.

All that would matter would be Obama’s insistence that on the climate change pact, he get his way.

A majority of members of Congress already are on record in official opposition to the president’s plan. Their votes on resolutions to that effect this week were intended to send a message to Paris – that Obama seems to believe he has kingly powers, but the American people may have something else to say about the subject.

Leaders of any nation signing on to Obama’s grand scheme would do well to understand U.S. history. Americans rejected a king once. We can – and will – do so again.