Friday, March 4, 2022

How Big Is This SCOTUS Case About EPA's Svengali-Like Powers? Huge.

How Big Is This SCOTUS Case About EPA's Svengali-Like Powers? Huge.


When Richard Nixon conceived of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to clean the nation’s air and water in 1970, he probably never imagined it would become the 800-pound gorilla of government. Yet, 52 years of mission-creep later, here we are. Now the Supreme Court will decide if unelected EPA bureaucrats have more power than Congress to dictate key elements of the U.S. economy.

The case of West Virginia v EPA pits the coal state, North Dakota, and several other Republican-dominated, energy-producing states against the Left Coast, Messed Coast states of California, Washington, and Oregon, along with several energy companies that have bought into the EPA’s Obama-era Clean Power Plan that requires states to cut power-plant emissions by 2030. That rule has never gone into effect due to a 2016 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 2019, the Trump administration repealed the Clean Power Plan and installed another policy, the Affordable Clean Energy Rule (ACE), that gave states more latitude in setting power plant and greenhouse gas standards. Indeed, under the Trump Administration policies and market forces, the original Clean Power Plan emissions standards were already being met.

But the deep state moved into action. SCOTUSblog relates that on Trump’s last full day in office, “the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit vacated the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, vacated the ACE Rule, and sent the issue back to the EPA for additional proceedings.”

Now the fight over this power play is at the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the energy states, the lower court gave the EPA unchecked authority to dictate policy, subsuming what is supposed to be Congress’s power under the “major questions” and “non-delegation” policies.

The court heard arguments on Monday about who should make decisions that can change huge swaths of industry and the U.S. economy: the people we elect to Congress or EPA bureaucrats.

Steve Milloy, who is the founder of and a former Trump transition team member, said in an email he was encouraged that “the justices seemed in agreement that Congress has not expressly allowed EPA to regulate greenhouse gases under that section, although Justices Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor seemed inclined to find a way to shoehorn EPA into authority under broad and vague language in the Clean Air Act.”

Some power companies have taken the EPA’s — and Biden Administration’s — side in the case. And it comes down to sticking with the bureaucrats they’re used to instead of the wildcards in Congress. An executive with the Edison Electric Institute told CNN that dealing with Congress “would be chaos.” “Instead of EPA utilizing its world of expert authority to craft regulations, our members would be thrown into a world of tort and nuisance suits,” according to the company’s general counsel Alex Bond.

The case couldn’t be any bigger. When Donald Trump left office, America was energy independent for the first time in 70 years. Joe Biden destroyed that in the first few days of office. Biden closed the Keystone Pipeline and threw thousands of people out of work, declared the country would cut emissions by 50% by 2030 forcing the use of more expensive so-called “green” energy, halted drilling in Alaska’s plentiful ANWR reserves, and just last week, as Americans were confronted with near $5.00 a gallon gas, he stopped all drilling on federal reserves. And now Russia has invaded Ukraine in a war that is over energy in large part.

Everything, everything costs more as a result of Biden’s choices and ineptitude. In a country reeling from prolonged COVID shutdowns, supply-chain back-ups, and firings of the unwashed unvaccinated, Americans could use a break from this authoritarian regime.

Biden’s fellow travelers are embedded like ticks in the EPA. One can only hope that Americans would have someone fighting for them instead of putting the proverbial green millstone around their necks. Congress is answerable to the working stiffs who vote.

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