U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials enjoy enormous power, granted by Congress. They can decide unilaterally that individuals, families and businesses must do certain things to comply with the EPA’s definitions of clean air, water and soil.
But there are some limits. The agency does have to explain the justification for its mandates, as well as their impact on Americans.
During the past eight years, the agency’s explanation for new rules has amounted to this: Because we said so.
It just won’t do, as U.S. District Court Judge John Preston Bailey recognizes.
Ruling in a lawsuit against the agency, filed by Murray Energy Corp., Bailey has ordered the EPA to identify specific impacts of its Clean Air Act mandates on the coal industry. EPA officials have until July 1 to comply.
During President Barack Obama’s tenure, he has made no secret of his plan to wreck the coal industry and shut down coal-fired power plants. At the same time, he and EPA officials insist their orders are not to blame for the decline of mining. Competition from natural gas is the culprit, they claim.
That is nonsense amounting to a bald-faced lie.
The EPA is required to provide reports on the impact of its initiatives. It has not done so.
That explains Bailey’s annoyance with the agency. As he wrote in his order, “It is time for the EPA to recognize that Congress makes the law, and EPA must not only enforce the law, it must obey it.”
For many years, under not just Obama but other presidents, the EPA has been moving toward environmental dictatorship. Bailey, whose jurisdiction includes the Northern District of West Virginia, is far from the only federal judge to have recognized that.
Bailey’s order, then, is about more than coal miners and families paying higher electric bills. In a very real sense, it also is about reminding many in the executive branch of government that Americans did not revolt against imperial rule once, only to tolerate an attempt to revive it.
See the article here.