Filed under: Domestic Policy, Energy, Law, Regulation | Tags: Enviromental Zealots, Michiga v EPA, Supreme Court
In the case of Michigan v. EPA, the Supreme Court addressed a matter that is genuinely outside of voter’s control, the way-too-rapid expansion of the regulatory state. The problems all began with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The problem seemed simple to Congress. We want clean air and clean water, and that’s what the EPA should be doing.
But the EPA is an agency filled with environmental activists and zealots, fully in line with Obama’s unwarranted belief in a dangerous global warming, and sure that the correct answer is to get rid of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and carbon in general. The answer is to force Americans to want to rely clean energy sources like solar and wind, with no understanding that solar and wind do not produce enough energy to be a significant source of power.
The EPA wants to force all coal-fired power plants to either shut down or do a lot or retrograding to eliminate any emissions from that nasty fossil fuel. Around 40 percent of our electricity is supplied by coal-fired power plants. The EPA’s new regulations would cost $9.6 billion annually, but the EPA claimed that it was appropriate to consider only public health risks. Well, nobody seems to know if there actually are any public health risks. They always put asthma at the top of their list of future childhood death, but the medical profession does not currently know what causes asthma, so that is a complete canard. By some estimates the cost of electricity would go up by as much as $1,200 per year for every American household.
The majority opinion, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, found that the EPA “unreasonably” interpreted the Clean Air Act to constitute a vehicle by which the environmental regulatory agency could institute new guidelines that were all but overtly aimed at shuttering “dirty” power plants. “EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants,” the opinion read. That’s significant; contrary to the wealth of shallow emotionality that suffices for modern political commentary, profits matter. Individual livelihoods and the economic health of the nation are still protected by the Constitution, and they should not be subordinated to environmental sustainability in the zero-sum game that has become America’s regulatory culture.
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