Chalk one up for the good guys, even if the media is trying to portray the rule as being all about “pollution”
(The Hill) The Supreme Court overturned the Obama administration’s landmark air quality rule on Monday, ruling the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of the regulation.
In a 5-4 ruling, the justices ruled that the EPA should have taken into account the costs to utilities and others in the power sector before even deciding whether to set limits for the toxic air pollutants it regulated in 2011.
The case, Michigan v. EPA, centers on the EPA’s first limits on mercury, arsenic and acid gases emitted by coal-fired power plants, known as mercury and air toxics (MATS). Opponents, including the National Federation of Independent Business, say it’s among the costliest regulations ever issued.
The EPA estimated its rule, which took effect for some plants in April, would cost $9.6 billion, produce between $37 billion and $90 billion in benefits and prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths and 130,000 asthma cases annually.
But the agency concluded that its regulatory impact analysis should have “no bearing on” the determination of whether regulations are appropriate, as set forth in the Clean Air Act.
In the majority ruling, Justice Antonin Scalia concluded that the EPA “unreasonably” interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided not to consider industry compliance costs and whether regulating the pollutants is “appropriate and necessary.”
While the agency is afforded a certain level of power to interpret the law, the court wrote, “EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants.”
The reality of the EPA regulation is that it was about reigning in, and eliminating, coal power plants and stopping “climate change”, not any sort of real protection from real pollutants (funny thing is, these same Warmists aren’t concerned with mercury poisoning from Compact Fluorescent Lighbulbs). The EPA has become an advocacy group for the Cult of Climastrology, and is more interested in accumulating, and using, power for their narrow agenda, rather than any real concern over the environment. The pollutants are important to remove, but, the EPA has to follow the law in designing them, so, this SCOTUS ruling gives the EPA a chance to come up with the rules in a proper manner, rather than a targeted political one.
There’s some serious liberal hand-wringing and insanity going on at the Washington Post, as well as other leftist outlets. See, they are allowed to get upset over a ruling they disagree with. Conservatives, on the other hand, are just supposed to accept ruling not in our favor as “settled.” Wait till the Warmists lose when the 30% reduction in greenhouse gases rules are knocked down. Then they’ll really be upset.