Skip to comments.Court Strikes Down EPA’s Abuse of Power
Posted on 08/23/2012 11:45:33 PM PDT by CaptainKrunch
A major component of the Obama Administrations regulatory crackdown on fossil fuels was struck down Tuesday by a federal appeals court panel that ruled the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule transgressed statutory boundaries. The decision vacates a measure that otherwise jeopardized thousands of jobs and the reliability of the nations electricity supply.
The regulation at issue, also known as the Transport Rule, involves power plant emissions (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, in particular) that waft across state lines and contribute significantly to other states noncompliance with national air quality standards. Finalized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in August 2011, the rule was stayed shortly thereafter in response to dozens of legal challenges from states, utilities, trade associations, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
Derived from the so-called good neighbor provisions in the Clean Air Act, the regulation mandated reductions of sulfur dioxide emissions by 73 percent (below 2005 levels) and nitrogen oxides by 54 percent (below 2005 levels) in just two years. Analysts warned that the requirements, which would necessitate retrofitting some 575 coal- and natural-gas-fired power plants, were unaffordable and unachievable in the allotted timeframe. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation estimated that companies would be compelled to retire 3 GW to 7 GW of electricity generation (the equivalent of powering 2.25 million to 5.25 million homes).
In other words, the rulealong with more than a dozen other costly regulations imposed in the past three yearswent a long way toward realizing President Obamas 2008 campaign declaration that electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket under his energy platform.
I got yer’ back!
About time the courts started doing their real jobs.
The EPA has reached the point of diminishing returns. (That point was actually reached years ago, but I digress.)
The big environmental efforts of the past have paid off. Our air and water are cleaner now than they’ve been in generations. (I live near the Merrimack River in central New England, and it used to smell so bad that nobody went near it! Now the river is just gorgeous and is a hotspot for wildlife and recreation.)
But the follow-up to those big victories have been abysmal. EPA now writes rules and regulations by the bushel that might bring a marginal improvement to the environment, here and there, but at enormous costs in jobs lost and productivity destroyed. We no longer need the Toxic Avenger wiping out businesses and ruining our lives.
I’d suggest slashing the EPA budget to 10 percent of its current level, with a congressional committee established to determine which existing regulations need to be taken off the books. The enviro-whackos will howl, but don’t they always howl?