OK, here’s the background. Once upon a time, the Obama administration decided to implement a ruling – without the input of Congress, mind you – that defined ““waters of the U.S.” to include virtually any wet area — even a rain-fed temporary pool — that is close to any other body of water with a physical connection to a navigable waterway.” As you can imagine, this was and is a massive attempt to extend the reach of the regulatory State into areas that they do not traditionally have the ability to go into. By making essentially all waters federal waters, federal bureaucrats are then free to institute regulations and fines and exemptions and all the rest.
This naturally offended people. And more importantly, quite a few state governments, which is why there are multiple lawsuits involving this new rule. A judge in North Dakota had already temporarily shut down the regulation in selected states, but the EPA (read: ‘the Obama administration’) decided that the injunction only applied to the specific states, not the entire thing.
Well, now the entire thing is on hold: “This morning a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay against the enforcement of a regulation issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers defining the scope of the “waters of the United States” subject to federal regulatory jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act (CWA).” As Jonathan Adler noted in that Washington Post link, the fact that there was already a stay in over a dozen states factored into the decision to impose a stay nationwide. Jonathan is too polite to say “and never mind what the Obama administration thinks:” I, of course, am not. Either way, this case will now continue to wend its way to the Supreme Court. Whether or not it makes it there before we have a new President is, of course, another question.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
So, the Volkswagen scandal, in a nutshell: the company rigged its diesel cars sold in America to produce one set of nitrogen oxide emissions when tested, and another set everywhere else. This allowed them to get past the EPA’s emissions tests for years; the EPA is currently freaking out, and trying to work out how to retroactively road-test all the diesel Volkswagen cars currently on the road in the USA right now (something like half a million of them). It is, as they say, quite the scandal.
Let me get this out of the way: bad Volkswagen! Bad! No biscuit! …Also: as The Week noted, it was highly inappropriate for Volkswagen to tout itself as being ‘green’ (and accept federal subsidies accordingly) via the use of this dodge. That is, in fact, a highly legitimate issue. Alas for the EPA, the Week went on to note this: Continue reading Both Volkswagen and the EPA have regulatory woes.
It’s entertaining to see how ABC portrayed this, if your definition of ‘entertaining’ includes ‘being presented with obnoxiously slanted material:’
U.S. District Judge Ralph Erickson of North Dakota issued a temporary injunction against a the rule, which gives the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers authority to protect some streams, tributaries and wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The rule was scheduled to take effect Friday.
“The risk of irreparable harm to the states is both imminent and likely,” Erickson said in blocking the rule from taking effect.
Continue reading Federal judge blocks administration’s ‘Clean Water Rule’ waterways power-grab.
Of course it did. The EPA worries about coastal urban liberals, first and foremost. Native American tribes? Not so much – well, not until EPA incompetence turns a river a color that I normally associate with melted Velveeta. Then they kind of get on the stick. Eventually…
The spill happened Friday when a team of Environmental Protection Agency workers accidentally released 3 million gallons of wastewater containing heavy metals, including lead and arsenic, from the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado, the agency said.
Though EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said at a news conference today that the agency’s slow response was out of caution, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said the slow response is frustrating the Navajo people, who are “weeping every day” and in “dire need of clean water,” not only for drinking, but also to sustain their organic farms and ranches.
Continue reading So, it turns out that that EPA ecological disaster hit the Navajos.
…with a win on the EPA, at least. A bit of a mild win, but at least the scoreboard isn’t empty.
The Supreme Court overturned the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.
Continue reading And we end what was a disappointing Supreme Court term…
And if Scalia writes the EPA decision (there is a remarkable amount of analysis out there trying to figure out who writes which Supreme Court decisions*)… well. They may have to end up encasing it in concrete and shooting it into the Sun. So, there’s that to look forward to, at least.
*I think that the general consensus is that the event that might have suggested that Scalia would not get the EPA case was actually not a triggering event in this case, and at any rate Mars was in Taurus when the white heifer gave birth to a two-headed calf and the Ouija board started spelling out 19th Century British dance hall lyrics. You see: apparently, this is all like Kremlinology, only without the scientific rigor. I’m just impressed that the Court can still keep a secret…
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the IRS share a problem: officials say they cannot provide the emails a congressional committee has requested because an employee’s hard drive crashed.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.
The hard drive in question was assigned to Philip North. And this is the part… this is just the part.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
The last sentence in the excerpt from this article (‘Despite low coal use, La. must reduce CO2 by 40%’) is inaccurate.
When the Obama administration announced its new plan to cut carbon dioxide from power plants to combat climate change, Louisiana found itself on the hook for a 40 percent reduction over the next 15 years or so — one of the bigger decreases demanded in the state-by-state goals.
The size of the proposed cut surprised many because Louisiana doesn’t rely heavily on coal, which generates more carbon dioxide than most other fuels.
Neither state regulators nor the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can provide a clear reason for why Louisiana’s reduction is so large.
It is more accurate to say that neither wants to provide said clear reason. But we’re all adults here, right? Louisiana got hit by this because of three things. Continue reading Apostate Louisiana singled out for EPA’s punishment.
Jack, and… well, this is a family website.
Some labor unions, groups generally considered loyally Democratic, rebelled on Monday after the EPA released its new regulations, which studies have suggested will carry hefty economic costs.
United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) president Cecil Roberts blasted the proposal, saying it would leave tens of thousands of the union’s members unemployed.
“The proposed rule … will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions,” Roberts said in a statement.
According to a UMWA analysis, Roberts said, the rule will cause 75,000 job losses in the coal sector by 2020, rising to 152,000 by 2035.
Continue reading The UMWA discovers that supporting Democrats got them two things.