The Environmental Protection Agency can’t win in modern culture – the left thinks they are shills for Big Frack while the right complains they try to end-run Congress and the public by implementing business regulations rather than environmental ones.
One lesson they should learn; unless you can get into the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, broadly-drafted regulations are going to fail, whether the left or right loves them. It’s a problem of the modern ‘we have to do something, so let’s write bad policy’ mindset that got us headaches with health care and other aspects of the environment. Have more confidence, EPA, your guy is going to win the election in November. Even if aliens invade, the political party that has overwhelming belief in UFOs says the president is the best guy to deal with it, so there is time to write clean rules and therefore good legislation.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton in Washington ruled that the EPA infringed on its authority by setting up water-quality criteria for coal mining operations in Appalachia. How can that be? Isn’t that what the EPA does? Well, sure, except that is what I mean about drafting terribly written policies designed to promote an agenda rather than protect the environment. It was so broad as to kill every job in the state and the state has rules – and authority. Insisting that people in the EPA, who have never been to West Virginia, care more about West Virginia than the people who live there, including scientists working for the Democratic state government, is the kind of patronizing thing we get too much of from the political science majors who create science policy at the EPA.
Walton wants to be on their side, saying the court “is not unappreciative of the viable interests asserted by all parties to this litigation.” But writing goofy, vague rules that are designed to penalize one thing the EPA does not like (evil fossil fuels) is not the way to do it, so a judge is forced to be a judge and knock it down. ”How to best strike a balance between, on the one hand, the need to preserve the verdant landscapes and natural resources of Appalachia and, on the other hand, the economic role that coal mining plays in the region is not, however, a question for the Court to decide,” he wrote.(1)
And the EPA should not be picking winners and losers in the marketplace. Democratic Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear called the ruling “a victory for coal miners who have seen mines close and their jobs put in jeopardy due, in part, to the actions of the federal EPA” and noted the regulations had halted three dozen pending coal permits in Kentucky. Democrat U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin filed a similar lawsuit against the EPA when he was West Virginia governor and called it “a great day for West Virginia.”
I can’t say it’s a great day for West Virginia but the EPA needs to get a little less political. Another federal judge ordered the EPA to actually investigate wells in Texas before declaring fracking as the culprit. Yet even when they do investigate, activists don’t believe the results. They claim that the EPA finding of no gas company contamination in a Pennsylvania town is a Big Business conspiracy and the EPA are shills for the right.
(1)The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals would have let the EPA rules go. That is why they lead the country in overturned verdicts, with 19 of the 26 decisions examined last year reversed or vacated by the Supreme Court. 12 of those were unanimous, so even the ‘liberal’ justices thought they were bonkers.
One famous local example; a Sacramento rapist raped a 72-year-old woman. It was clear, he was convicted. The 9th overturned the verdict because they felt like the jury selection process was ‘racially biased’ – something both prosecution and defense do. The Supreme Court called it “as inexplicable as it is unexplained” when overruling them and putting the criminal back in jail.