A federal judge in West Virginia has given the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) less than seven months to review whether its Obama-era policies directly led to job losses in the coal industry, according to an order issued Wednesday. As The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register reported, U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey rebuked the agency for failing to perform such reporting requirements in the past: “EPA can recommend amendments to Congress if it feels strongly enough, but EPA’s clear reticence to comply, coupled with eight years of refusal to comply — even in the face of congressional and public pressure — with the Clean Air Act, justifies an injunction detailed enough to ensure compliance.” “It is time for the EPA to recognize that Congress makes the law, and EPA must not only enforce the law, it must obey it,” he continued. Bailey specified the first month of the Obama administration in 2009 as the starting point for the mandatory study. In addition to recording any past losses, the judge also ordered the EPA to identify any facilities that are at risk of shutting down due to increased regulation. The ruling follows an October 2016 decision in which Bailey said the EPA has a “non-discretionary duty” under the Clean Air Act to monitor the economic effect of regulations made using the law. It also comes in light of rules issued under President Obama’s Clean Power Plan in 2015. The EPA said the plan was supposed to set “the first-ever national standards” aimed at decreasing carbon emissions from power plants. Several states, however, sued the federal government in response over its perceived overreach. The Supreme Court issued a stay last February halting implementation of the Plan. And Oklahoma attorney general and Donald Trump’s nominee to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt, is right in the middle of it. Pruitt was one of the state attorneys general to sue the government over the Clean Power Plan in July 2015. As Bloomberg News writes, he issued a statement saying the rule was “an unlawful attempt to expand federal bureaucrats’ authority over states…in order to shutter coal-fired power plants.” Pruitt is set to appear before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee next week for his confirmation hearing.
That oughtta be fun to watch.. As we’ve been saying from day one here at The Daily Buzz.. The EPA is an out-of-control, bloated, fascist, federal agency that needs to be reduced in size and scope of power…and ultimately dissolved entirely. To be clear, the EPA does NOTHING for the environment whatsoever. If anything, as we’ve documented here on numerous occassions, it has caused damage to our great country. Those of us here in sunny Colorado are well aware of how the EPA screwed up the Gold King Mine..resulting in dumping all of those toxins into a river here…turning it orange. The EPA serves only to bully individuals and small businesses…and in some cases, like the clean coal industry…put whole industries out of business…and passing the costs onto we-the-taxpayers. We all want clean air and clean water. But, we also want our jobs and not have a bunch of EPA thugs breaking down our doors and serving us with warrants because a little puddle developed in our backyard after a big rainstorm…and they want to declare it a “wetland.” And yes, that HAS happened in recent years.