April 22, 2015

PUNCH EPA BACK TWICE AS HARD:  The Obama Administration’s EPA has recently discovered, buried in obscure language (section 111(d)) of the Clean Air Act, that it has authority to demand drastic reductions in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants.  The net effect of its demands would be the shut-down of many of the nation’s coal-fired electricity plants, which are by far the most common and cost-effective means of generating our nation’s growing electricity needs.  The Obama Administration’s goal of shutting down coal-fired plants is no secret, and the EPA Administrator has admitted that its proposed rule is not designed to reduce pollution, but in fact to kill America’s coal sector by “investing” in the Administration’s favored “renewable” energy sources, such as its disastrous solar energy “investment” in Solyndra.

As part of EPA’s 111(d) rule–set to be finalized this summer– the EPA is bullying States to completely alter existing plant-to-plug energy regulation, which will not only shut down most of nation’s coal-fired plants, but require dependency on much less reliable forms of electricity generation, including solar, natural gas and nuclear– at a cost of between $41 to 73 billion per year.

Writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, the director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority urges States to refuse compliance with EPA’s unreasonable, expensive, and dangerous demands:

While the short-term effects may be painful, the long-term consequences of submitting to this federal power grab are far worse.

For one, compliant states will enter into a “Mother may I?” relationship with the federal government. Not only will the initial SIP require the EPA’s blessing, so will any future modifications. This gives the EPA de facto veto power over any proposed state energy regulations, thus centralizing all energy decisions in Washington.

Compliance also would absolve the federal government of accountability once the disasters of this regulation begin to unfold. The regulation is designed so states will share blame with the EPA when electricity rates skyrocket. If federal regulators want to raise Americans’ electricity bills by thousands of dollars each year, they can do that. State lawmakers would be wise to let them walk that road alone.

The more states that refuse to give in to the EPA’s demands, the more likely it is that the agency will be forced to hold back the most burdensome elements of its Clean Power Plan. This could mean anything from nonenforcement to amending provisions of the regulation to mitigate their impact.

Amen.  States should simply refuse to play ball with the EPA, and force the Obama Administration to own all of the cost increases, reliability decreases (brownouts; blackouts) that their “climate change” agenda will create.  It’s a dangerous game of chicken, admittedly, but sometimes you have to stare a bully in the eye.  Chief Justice John Roberts put it in the Obamacare decision, NFIB v. Sebelius, “The States are separate and independent sovereigns.  Sometimes they have to act like it.”   Refusing to cave into the Obama Administration’s outrageous Clean Air Act demands is a good way to start.

RELATED:  In addition to the possibility of refusing to implement EPA’s 111(d) rule, several States have filed lawsuits (with more expected to come) in an attempt to stop the madness before it can become reality.  Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has stacked the D.C. Circuit with liberals/progressives (and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid employed the “nuclear option” and abolished the filibuster rule in order to make this happen).  So any legal success will likely have to come from a lawsuit filed outside the D.C. Circuit.

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