Perhaps the Obama appointees at the burgeoning U.S. Environmental Protection Agency didn’t believe they’d ever hear such a statement.
But U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Judge John Preston Bailey said in a ruling earlier this week the EPA must follow the law.
It’s a shocker, we know, considering the overreaching federal agency has consistently been acting as if the law applies to anyone else — primarily the energy companies, farmers, manufacturers and others for whom the agency regularly promulgates more costly and burdensome regulations with no consideration for the economic impact to the ones being regulated.
Bailey gave the EPA 14 days to submit a plan for completing a study of both the general jobs impact of air pollution rules and specific effects of such regulations on the coal industry, reported the Gazette-Mail’s Ken Ward Jr.
In a 64-page opinion, Bailey cited a section of the Clean Air Act that states the EPA “shall conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement” of the law, including, “where appropriate, investigating threatened plant closures or reductions in employment allegedly resulting from such administration or enforcement.”
“This is a great day for coal miners in the United States, and for all citizens who rely on low-cost electricity in America,” said coal operator Bob Murray, who, with his company Murray Energy and others, sued the agency.
“We will continue to vigorously pursue this lawsuit, and all of our litigation initiatives, in order to protect the lives and livelihoods of coal miners and their families, to defend the rule of law and to preserve reliable and low-cost electricity in our country.”
Opined MetroNews and Daily Mail columnist Hoppy Kercheval, “In making his ruling, the judge swatted away the EPA’s weak argument that the agency really didn’t have to say whether their regs caused anybody to lose their job, and even if it did, that information would not be public.”
Continued Kercheval, “Judge Bailey made it clear the EPA is not above the law. ‘EPA cannot redefine statutes to avoid complying with them,’ he wrote.”
It’s unfortunate it takes judicial rulings instead of smart agency management to make the massive regulatory agency understand that it, too, must comply with the law, and must do so in a transparent manner.
See the article here.
- On October 24, 2016