The View From 1776
Monday, January 03, 2011
Liberal-Progressive Regulatory Goons
The Democrat/Socialist Party’s frantic rush to push the United States over the precipice into economic oblivion by imposing crippling socialistic policies was repudiated in the recent Congressional elections. Undeterred, liberal-progressives (definition: we know what is best for you individualistic boobs) now are relying upon illegal, arbitrary, and authoritarian action by quasi-judical regulatory agencies.
One of the latest liberal-progressive regulatory outrages is covered by the following Wall Street Journal editorial, dated January 3, 2011.
The EPA’s War on Texas
The agency punishes the state for challenging its anticarbon rules.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon regulation putsch continues, but apparently abusing the clean-air laws of the 1970s to achieve goals Congress rejected isn’t enough. Late last week, the EPA made an unprecedented move to punish Texas for being the one state with the temerity to challenge its methods.
To wit, the EPA violated every tenet of administrative procedure to strip Texas of its authority to issue the air permits that are necessary for large power and industrial projects. This is the first time in the history of the Clean Air Act that the EPA has abrogated state control, and the decision will create gale-force headwinds for growth in a state that is the U.S. energy capital. Anyone who claims that carbon regulation is no big deal and that the EPA is merely following the law will need to defend this takeover.
Since December 2009, the EPA has issued four major greenhouse gas rule-makings, and 13 states have tried to resist the rush. The Clean Air Act stipulates that pollution control is “the primary responsibility of states and local government,” and while the national office sets overall priorities, states have considerable leeway in their “implementation plans.” When EPA’s instructions change, states typically have three years to revise these plans before sending them to Washington for approval.
This summer, the 13 states requested the full three years for the costly and time-consuming revision process, until the EPA threatened economic retaliation with a de facto construction moratorium. If these states didn’t immediately submit new implementation plans to specification, the agency warned, starting in 2011 projects “will be unable to receive a federally approved permit authorizing construction or modification.” All states but Texas stood down, even as Texas continued to file lawsuits challenging the carbon power grab.
Two weeks ago, EPA air regulation chief Gina McCarthy sent the Texas environmental department a letter asserting that the agency had “no choice” but to seize control of permitting. She noted “statements in the media” by Texas officials and their “legal challenges to EPA’s greenhouse gas rules,” but she cited no legal basis.
And no wonder. The best the EPA could offer up as a legal excuse for voiding Texas’s permitting authority last Thursday was that EPA had erred in originally approving the state’s implementation plan