Tuesday the Washington Court of Appeals gave the EPA a blank check to run roughshod over U.S. industry without Congressional input. This breathtaking affirmation of an agency’s power over the U.S. economy is a timely reminder (in this week of Decision Obamacare) of how a narrow 5-4 Supreme Court ruling can profoundly change America’s economic landscape.
Just five years ago, in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, five judges gave the EPA the power to regulate inert, non-toxic, non-particulate carbon dioxide (the gas human beings exhale) as a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act — a clear violation of the intent of the Congressional legislation.
The Obama EPA since has jumped at the chance, ignoring Congressional reluctance to pass cap-and-trade legislation and establishing itself as a rogue agency tasked with fighting phantom global warming by dictating industrial CO2 emissions levels.
The EPA’s first victim was the auto industry — which the agency hit with an arbitrary 54.5 mpg fuel efficiency standard by 2025 intended to force the industry to adopt electric vehicles (just as similar energy standards were meant to eliminate the common light bulb). This alarming development mobilized a broad national coalition — including states from Virginia to Texas and major industries including chemical, energy, utility, agriculture, and mining companies — to bring suit out of fear that the EPA would strike them next (indeed, utilities and mining are already under the jackboot as EPA has targeted coal for elimination with new power-plant CO2 rules).
A spokesman for the National Association of Manufacturers denounced the ruling as “a setback for businesses facing damaging regulations from the EPA.”
A unanimous three-judge-panel of Green religious disciples ignored scientific evidence and economic good sense and ruled in favor of the Obama administration’s global warming crusade. The ruling, thrilled New York Times reporter Matthew Wald, dealt “a decisive blow to companies and states that had sued to block agency rules.”
Oh, joy. Another decisive blow to a country struggling through a recession already elongated by draconian regulation.
Wald further warned the plaintiffs against an appeal to the Supreme Court “given the emphatic nature of the decision.”
“This is a slam-dunk victory for EPA,” cheered a spokesman for the radical green group, Clean Air Watch.
“This is how science works,” the judges wrote. “The EPA is not required to reprove the existence of the atom every time it approaches a scientific question.” So a scientific theory that has been crippled by the scandal of Climategate — not to mention the collapse of computer model predictions in the last decade — now has the credibility of atomic science according to the judges?
Never mind that the world’s top climatologists say that the EPA’s rules will have no effect on global temperature even if Green Church doctrine were correct. Never mind the plaintiffs’ challenge that EPA timetables make no sense. Never mind that thousands of jobs are at risk.
“The court said it did not have the jurisdiction to block (EPA rules),” reports the Times. Hail the all-powerful EPA.
How total was the defeat for the forces of science and Constitutional law? Consider that the unanimous verdict included a Reagan appointee joining two Clinton appointees. And who brought the original 2007 suit demanding that the Supremes grant EPA power over carbon dioxide? The administration of then–Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
The appeals court, after all, was only bowing to that fateful decision. Notably, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers did not join the suit against the 54.5 mpg rules estimated to cost its industry billions. Automakers have decided resistance against the Green Church is futile — and instead are now pouring millions into Washington lobbying firms to game the system in its favor.
In an America in which the EPA has limitless power, and the courts ignore the law, only corporate money speaks. As usual, the American consumer will pay the bill.