How About A Little More Good News?

Earlier today, I posted some good news about the Republican Party adopting tea party proposals into the 2012 GOP platform. Why not just make this an all-around day for good news with a story about a federal court striking down some job-killing, energy rate-hiking Obama EPA regulations.

What do you do if you are a Democratic president facing a deep recession with rising unemployment and soaring energy prices? Well, you work to make energy prices “necessarily sky-rocket,” of course, rising unemployment even more and hurting poor folks struggling to pay their electric bills.

At least it’s one promise Obama has tried to keep:

Obama said he would bankrupt coal companies when running for office last time around, but was unable to pass his energy tax “cap-and-trade” plan. No problem, just use the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate coal-fire power plants to death.

His EPA has been attacking coal through the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, also called the “transport rule.” It was supposed to go into effect on Jan 1, 2011, but was delayed in court. What Obama has been trying to do is enacting cap-and-trade through executive fiat.

The EPA rule would have which would have required utilities in 28 states to install new pollution controls that they can’t afford and force them into a cap-and-trade system where they would buy and sell pollution credits.

Rising energy prices would stifle industry as well as raise utility rates for everyone, making no one happy except the environmental extremists who vote for people like Obama.

“This would be a tax on everyone, from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich,” as Louisiana Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta puts it.

Only, it’s not going to happen now.

The U.S. Court of Appeals delivered a 2-1 ruling yesterday that the EPA had overreached its authority with an act that was too burdensome for utilities, returning standards to Bush-era regulations. The PSC had filed a parallel suit against the EPA and Skrmetta sent out this press release:

Public Service Commissioner Eric Skrmetta strongly defended the U.S. Court of Appeals’ split decision today vacating the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule in favor of the existing Clean Air Interstate Rule of 2005.

Skrmetta helped lead a September 7, 2011 motion that authorized the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) legal counsel to file actions to prevent the implementation of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (CSAPR), also known as the “Transport Rule”. The LPSC filed an appeal to the rule in the U.S. District Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia circuit on October 7, 2011. On October 11, 2011, the LPSC also filed for a motion to stay the rule which would have gone into effect January 1, 2013.

For more than a year Skrmetta has made numerous public addresses voicing his opposition to what he called “an over-reaching federal mandate.” In a media release earlier this year, Skrmetta noted, “It’s not only a destructive energy policy that’s injurious to residential consumers, but can lead to further out-migration of jobs as goods and services employers will seek to avoid oppressive U.S. regulations. These federal rules are only created to satisfy a political agenda of the radical environmental left to eliminate manmade carbon dioxide.”

Today’s decision by two of three federal judges sided with Louisiana and more than three dozen challengers to the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule (“CSAPR” or “Transport Rule”), which imposes caps on emissions for 28 states. The court ordered the EPA to return to the 2005 rule, known as the Clear Air Interstate Rule (“CAIR”), until a viable replacement to the cross-state pollution rule is made. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals judges renders the EPA’s regulation of interstate air pollution as unlawful. The Louisiana Public Service Commission case was a parallel case stating that the rule put undue financial burden on power producers and threatens electricity reliability by forcing some companies to shut older plants. The rule violates the Clean Air Act, or CAA, by requiring states to reduce their emissions by more than their own significant contributions to downwind states’ nonattainment of air quality standards, according to the decision.

Said Skrmetta, “This decision will protect ratepayers from significant cost increases. In many cases, ratepayers would likely have paid twice as much for electric power had this rule been upheld.” The opinions of Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Circuit Judge Thomas Griffith vacated the rule, with Circuit Judge Judith Rogers dissenting.

Skrmetta knows that the EPA regulations wouldn’t have impacted Louisiana as much as other states, since we are “sitting on a sea of natural gas.” We would have felt a little pain, with residential electric bills going up as much as $100 per-month on average if the new rules would have been kept in place, he said.

The larger issue is what such businesses-killing policies is doing to the nation as a whole. The Obama Administration said today that the “EPA is reviewing the 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturning the Agency’s Cross State Air Pollution Rule. … When that review is complete, EPA will determine the appropriate course of action.”

Let’s don’t give Obama’s EPA another four years to work on the next “course of action.”

Yeah, this has been a day for good news, but I hoping for some really, really good news in about 76 days from now—c’mon Nov. 6.

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