Stopping the Ever-Expanding Power of the EPA
Most radical environmentalists would like nothing better than to dismantle all carbon-emitting industries in America. If they see a smokestack, they want it regulated by their allies at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Today, the United States Supreme Court will hear challenges to an EPA greenhouse gas regulation. The regulation in question is the EPA’s permitting process for industry sources, which includes coal-fired power plants, chemical facilities and oil refineries.
The EPA maintains that back in 2010 its emissions standards for passenger cars “triggered” a need to regulate greenhouse gas pollutants under permits for new facilities because the gases were deemed an endangerment to “public health or welfare.”
Of course, only the EPA can say that since in this case they were judge, jury and executioner, so to speak. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is allowed to review permits in order to determine if necessary technologies that would help limit pollution are being used in the construction and powering of plants.
The Supreme Court will take up the question today, examining whether the EPA has the power to extend its authority over the regulation of greenhouse gases and include it to the list of pollutants that it can regulate.
Of course, environmental group think that the EPA has the authority to issue new regulations for greenhouse gases. They say that the challenge to the EPA’s authority if found to be illegal would push industry in the “wrong direction.”
In other words, anything that the EPA wants to do when it comes to regulating greenhouse gases is fine because it’s one phase in the war on climate change.
Meanwhile, onerous EPA regulations are being challenged because, as one group led by Michelle Bachmann, says: the regulations in question are “an intolerable invasion of Congress’s domain that threatens to obliterate the line dividing executive from legislative power.”
If the EPA’s power were allowed to expand, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.) said, it would “reflect an unprecedented expansion of regulatory control over the U.S. economy.”
“The agency has been expansively construing its legal authorities under the Clean Air Act, and this ever-growing web of regulations has the potential to be the most complex, far-reaching and expensive in the agency’s history,” said Whitfield, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Energy and Power.
The EPA’s regulations have added billions of dollars in cost to American industry which in turn has passed on a huge burden on American taxpayers. Couple with the new regulations on coal-fired electricity-generating power plants, they have the ability to cripple the U.S. economy that is already well on its way to a double-dip recession.