The EPA acts as though it has the legislative authority to re-engineer the nation’s electric generating system and power grid. It does not.
by Laurence H. Tribe • The Wall Street Journal
As a law professor, I taught the nation’s first environmental law class 45 years ago. As a lawyer, I have supported countless environmental causes. And as a father and grandfather, I want to leave the Earth in better shape than when I arrived.
Nonetheless, I recently filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency urging the agency to withdraw its Clean Power Plan, a regulatory proposal to reduce carbon emissions from the nation’s electric power plants. In my view, coping with climate change is a vital end, but it does not justify using unconstitutional means. Continue reading
by Tom Steward • Daily Signal
Nothing strikes fear into developers and property owners more than a new critter on the federal list of endangered species.
Case in point: The northern long-eared bat, found in 39 states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service probably will place it on the list in April.
The logging industry is worried.
“The economic loss to the entire state of Michigan would be devastating, if timber harvesting were to be restricted to the winter months in their habitat area,” said Brenda Owen, executive director of the Michigan Association of Timbermen. “This is not a viable solution to the bat’s decline, and it’s never a solution that the Timbermen would stand by and let happen.” Continue reading
The famous adage that nothing is certain in this world but death and taxes should probably be amended. At least insofar as politics and policy are concerned, there is a third inevitability: lawsuits.
Before they even know the details of a major environmental regulation, affected industries start looking for ways to get it thrown out in court. That’s definitely the case for President Obama’s newly proposed regulation on CO2 emissions from existing power plants. Republican-controlled states will be joining the legal assault too because the power-plant rule, like Obamacare, would impose mandates on state governments. Continue reading
by Ramesh Ponnuru
This isn’t a case where the executive branch has simply gone beyond its authority. It’s a case where officials in all three branches of government have found a way to achieve their policy goals while shielding themselves from accountability.
Congress sends bills to the president and the president signs them: That’s how major policy changes are supposed to work. But Congress has never passed large-scale regulations to combat global warming. It has never even voted to authorize such regulations. Continue reading
President Obama has called inequality “the defining challenge of our time.” But on June 2 he will announce new “cap-and-trade” environmental regulations that will make the poor a lot poorer and the rich a little less rich.
Obama said in his January State of the Union Address: “Wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”
But these steps without legislation will reduce opportunities for the poorest Americans. Those in the lowest fifth of the income distribution spend 24 percent of their income on energy, compared with 4 percent for those in the top fifth. Mr. Obama’s new proposed cuts in carbon emissions, in the form of “cap-and-trade” proposals that were rejected by the Democratic House and Senate in the first two years of his presidency, will raise the cost of energy, particularly electricity, and hit the poor hardest. Continue reading
by CJ Ciaramella
Emails between the Sierra Club and the EPA produced through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit show the green group and senior officials at the nation’s top environmental enforcer met and corresponded frequently about the agency’s work on new coal regulations.
The EPA published its long-awaited New Source Performance Standards for new coal-fired plants on Wednesday, four months after the agency announced their creation.
The EPA has repeatedly said the regulations on coal-fired power plants will not be a death blow to the industry. However, the agency was working closely behind the scenes with the Sierra Club, an environmental organization that was pushing the agency to adopt standards that would be impossible for power plants to meet. Continue reading
by George Landrith
It is said that those who respect the law and enjoy sausage, should not see how either are made. Too often the farm bill is exhibit A for this adage. Too often such bills include a little something for everyone, or a lot of taxpayer cash for a privileged few. Such legislation picks the pocket of the taxpayer, and distorts the marketplace.
Part of the farm bill is invariably an energy provision which again all too often is simply a grab bag of taxpayer provided cash for energy or chemical projects that managed to lobby hard for the taxpayer-provided benefits. But it is doubtful that such programs actually benefit the nation as a whole. The Senate’s version of the farm bill is sadly yet another Exhibit A in wasteful spending and its energy provisions are simply more of the same.
The bipartisan House farm bill is different from the usual farm bill. It isn’t perfect, but it is a big step in the right direction. Continue reading
Some time ago, the politicians in Washington decided that mandating the use of so-called renewable fuels in the nation’s energy portfolio would accelerate their development and production on a commercial scale.
It was a large scale test that has failed, for the most part. The Renewable Fuels Standard is based on the assumption that forcing energy producers to utilize corn-based ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, wind power, solar technology and other so-called alternative energy sources would create a market for them. As a result they would be more plentiful and, therefore, cheaper.
It hasn’t worked out that way. The RFS has resulted in increased costs all across the energy sector. Now, with that same sector focused on what the United States Environmental Protection Agency will announce is its proposed RFS for 2014, it’s time for Congress to consider getting rid of it altogether. Continue reading
The Hon. Rob Wittman
2454 Rayburn HOB
United States House of Representatives
Washington. D.C. 20515
Dear Representative Wittman:
On behalf of the members and supporters of Frontiers of Freedom, let me say that we welcome the introduction of your legislation H.R. 3063, the Healthy Fisheries through Better Science Act.
Your leadership in this vital area will help in the effort to extend property rights as a tool for species conservation and sound environmental management over the now-discredited command and control approach still practiced by many parts of the United States government.
If enacted, your legislation will produce improvements in stock assessments through the increased involvement of fishermen and non-federal partners. Fisheries science will be enhanced and the costs of compliance and monitoring will be reduced. Continue reading