The PJ Tatler

Hail EPA! Hail Caesar! When You've Lost Larry Tribe...

… you know something is radically wrong with the American system of government:

EPA ‘burning the Constitution’ with carbon rules, Harvard scholar says

As President Obama forges ahead in his fight against climate change, a leading Harvard Law School scholar says a central piece of the president’s strategy is akin to “burning the Constitution” merely to advance an environmental agenda.

In testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday, Harvard constitutional law professor Laurence H. Tribe said the Environmental Protection Agency’s plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants is built on a shaky legal foundation. The proposal, Mr. Tribe argues, far exceeds EPA’s authority under federal law and strikes a blow to the 10th Amendment by essentially making states subservient to Washington on energy and environmental matters.

Mr. Tribe’s testimony — with which other legal scholars strongly disagreed during Tuesday’s hearing — comes about a month before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in a case that challenges EPA’s so-called “Clean Power Plan,” which would limit pollution from both new and existing power plants and is designed to reduce coal use across the country.

“EPA’s proposal raises grave constitutional questions, exceeds EPA’s statutory authority and violates the Clean Air Act,” said Mr. Tribe, who has argued before the Supreme Court dozens of times and represented Al Gore in the case that ultimately decided the 2000 presidential election.

“EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta — usurping the prerogatives of the states, the Congress and the federal courts all at once,” he continued. “Burning the Constitution of the United States … cannot be a part of our national energy policy.”

The EPA and the other “regulatory” agencies are nominally creatures of Congress but in practice they are wholly subservient to the executive branch, which especially under Barry Hussein has unleashed their full force against the American economy. It’s hard to recall today that the EPA — protecting the environment! — seemed like a harmless, perhaps even good idea back when president Nixon established it via executive order and Congress approved it. Today, we see what happens to good intentions when the Left gets their hands on them.