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Editorials

Slapping the EPA: Rogue & lawless

| Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, 9:00 p.m.

POW! BIFF! BONK! SUH-LAPPPPP!

No, it's not a rerun of a fight scene from the old “Batman” TV series from the 1960s; it's the bottom line of a federal court panel's ruling that fully exposes the Environmental Protection Agency for what it is ­— a serial perverter of the rule of law.

In a 2-1 decision sure to be Supreme Court-bound, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the EPA exceeded its statutory authority with its Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. The year-old rule was designed to limit sources of upwind pollution, primarily from coal-fired electricity generation, that supposedly caused downwind states to be in noncompliance with clean-air laws.

The EPA exceeded its congressional warrant in two ways. First, it arbitrarily forced upwind emissions reductions in excess of the nonattainment of downwind “victims.” Second, it hijacked remedies reserved to the states.

Given the onerous costs associated with “compliance,” juxtaposed with the Obama administration's clearly stated War on Coal, it's clear that the EPA's illegal rule was designed to shut down those power plants and, in doing so, not just raise consumers' bills but threaten the very integrity of the electric grid and national security itself.

“EPA seems reluctant to acknowledge any textual limits on its authority,” the court ruled. And that makes it a rogue and lawless outfit, one whose very charter should, come January, be revoked by a Republican Congress.

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