Aug 04 2010
And that is no overstatement Â â€“ I *strongly* recommend you go to this link and read this official response from Bryan Shaw, head of the TCEQÂ (the State regulatory body) and Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, to Lisa Jackson and the EPA.
I have *never* read an official government document that is thisÂ bitter and contemptuous of the Federal level – I never thought I would!Â Â This is damn close to a new Declaration of Independance.
I’ll reprint a few excerpts, because William Travis himself would be proud of these words:
“In order to deter challenges to your plan for centralized control of industrial development through the issuance of permits for greenhouse gases, you have called upon each state to declare its allegiance to the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently enacted greenhouse gas regulations — regulations that are plainly contrary to United States law.”
“On behalf of the state of Texas, we write to inform you that Texas has neither the authority nor the intention of interpreting, ignoring, or amending its laws in order to compel the permitting of greenhouse gas emissions.
The letter contains a number of very well reasoned legal points detailing why the EPA’s order to Texas is in violation of current law, including:
Instead of acknowledging that congressionally set emission limits preclude the regulation of greenhouse gases, you instead re-write those statutorily-established limits.”
Â But they save their best shots for the end:
Each of theseÂ objectionsÂ to EPA’s demandÂ forÂ a Loyalty Oath from the State of Texas would suffice to justify our refusal to make one.Â Indeed, it is an affront to congressionally-established judicial review process for EPA to force states to pledge allegiance to its rules (or forfeit their right to permit) on the final day by which states must exercise their statutory right to challenge those same rules.Â Texas will not facilitate EPA’s apparent attempt to thwart these established procedures and ignore the law….Â Â Those objections will now be resolved in litigation now pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.Â
William Yeatman has a good, brief rundown of the environmental law at issue here and what the EPA is trying to do here:
In a nutshell, the administration wants to pick and choose which sections of the Clean Air Act apply to greenhouse gases, but thatâ€™s not how the legislation works. In fact, the Clean Air Act is written such that one provision tripwires another, which tripwires another, and so on and so forth, until the whole Act applies. When the Congress created this of belt-and-suspenders approach to regulation, in the 1970s, it was trying to limit particulate pollution that causes smog. Greenhouse gases, however, are emitted in much greater quantities than particulate pollution. As a result, the Clean Air Act, if applied literally to greenhouse gases, would result in the regulation of every mansion, apartment building, and office complex.That is, it would be a regulatory nightmare. To avoid having to regulate the entire economy, the EPA wants to rewrite the Clean Air Act. Of course, this is legally dubiousâ€“the executive is not allowed to play the roll of the legislature.
This administration has been using the EPA as a threat to try and scare the Senate into voting for job killing climate legislation; however, that effort has now failed and they are left with trying to use the EPA to make good on their threats.Â Â This is the opening salvo in that war.Â Â I believeÂ the dems have vastly overestimated the ability of the EPA toÂ achieve their ends, because the biggest problem is that *everything* the EPA does is going to reduce manufacturing jobs in the affected areas! Imagine how it will play for the Feds to be actively killing jobs while unemployment is still near 10%!!!
The new Congress is not going to be nearly as sympathetic to Ms. Jackson’s efforts as this one has been, and they will haveÂ a very effective tool â€“ they donâ€™t need to pass anything that could get vetoed, they just need to slash funding for the EPA by 75% and see how long it takes to get their attention. A Republican house may not be strong enough to dictate specific policy changes, but in a deficit obsessed, budget cutting world they can play hell with the EPAâ€™s day to day operations.
I think we’re about to see a 2 year long civil war in which various parts of the government do everything they can to sabotage and undermine other parts, depending on who controls the respective power centers.Â Â Some would say that’s been going on for some time already, but those have just been skirmishes – this conflict is about to break wide open.Â Â Â Â Lord help us all,Â we’re in forÂ one hell of a mess.