The Corner

The EPA Power Grab

I have a piece in the Washington Times today on the EPA’s attempts to seize power from Congress, backed by a massively increased budget. An excerpt:

By granting California the power to ignore federal fuel-economy standards, the EPA created a regulatory patchwork that imposes significant burdens on the auto industry.

This led to the White House brokering a deal whereby the EPA muscles in on the NHTSA’s statutory authority to regulate fuel-economy standards, something for which the EPA has no statutory authority.

The EPA claims this then compels it to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, thereby making it the effective arbiter of national climate policy – even as Congress debates what to do about the issue.

Even the EPA seems to recognize the absurdity of the resulting regulations under the language of the Clean Air Act – which would lead to the EPA having to issue permits for fast-food franchises and large apartment buildings to emit greenhouse gases – so the agency took upon itself the power to tailor statutory language, thereby playing lawmaker, to avoid the regulatory debacle which it itself had put in motion.

Fortunately, some lawmakers have caught on to what the EPA is up to. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican, was so concerned that she wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, asking 13 simple questions about the proposed course of action. The reply she received was so evasive that it answered only two of the questions – and partially at that.

It’s bad enough that the EPA is wasting more of our money; doing it unconstitutionally adds insult to injury. ”Power Grab” is the right term.

By the way, you may also have seen the link in the Web Briefing to my piece on coal mining in IBD. Like London buses, my print articles all seem to turn up at once.

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