“The Obama administration has publicly admitted that the intent of the CPP (Clean Power Plan) is to ‘transform’ the generation of electricity in the United States — in the face of a statute that nowhere talks about granting such a power,” writes Francis Menton in the Manhattan Contrarian.
In over 300 pages of nearly incomprehensible regulatory newspeak, the CPP effectively requires closure of all or nearly all coal-fired power plants in the country, and their replacement with new facilities that must include large amounts of far-more-expensive and hugely unreliable “renewables” like wind and solar. Coal-fired power plants currently provide about 35% of all electricity in the country, with high reliability and rock bottom cost. Some states (such as West Virginia) get nearly all their electricity from coal. The CPP, in defiance of basic principles of federalism, simply orders those states, against the will of their elected officials, to start imposing these enormous costs on their citizens. And, until the Supreme Court granted its stay, EPA would have required the states to comply on a schedule which could only be met if multi-billion dollar decisions were made and funds committed before the legality of the rule could be tested in court.
The big question is, does the Clean Air Act, let alone the Constitution, give EPA authority to do what it has done?
… it’s clear that the courts are highly polarized on this one. The Supreme Court’s order granting the stay was 5 to 4, with the usual “conservatives” in favor and the usual “liberal” judges dissenting. It’s clear to me that the latter four are committed to the cause of “saving the planet,” and that to them that cause trumps any and all other considerations like: whether the statute gives EPA this authority, whether EPA’s action is constitutional, how many billions this might cost, whether electric bills of the poor might be doubled or tripled, whether there is actually any evidence that increasing CO2 has warmed the atmosphere, whether even if CO2 is warming the atmosphere this rule would make any measurable difference, and anything else.
Read more from Mr. Menton here.