Saturday, March 24, 2012

Obama's EPA Invents New Authority Out Of Thin Air

For the second time in just one week, Obama's EPA has been slapped down by the courts for attempting to seize powers not granted to it by either statute or the US Constitution.

“EPA resorts to magical thinking” to justify nullifying permits issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Arch Coal Inc.’s Mingo Logan mine in West Virginia, wrote U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington, D.C.

Berman Jackson said the EPA’s effort to revoke permits already issued by the Army Corps lacked the backing of any statutory provision or regulation. “It posits a scenario involving the automatic self-destruction of a written permit issued by an entirely separate federal agency after years of study and consideration,” the opinion says.

“Poof! Not only is this nonrevocation revocation logistically complicated,” the ruling said, but it also robs industry of the only way they can possibly measure compliance with the Clean Water Act — a permit.

EPA ignored the effect that granting itself the right to revoke Army Corps permits could cause uncertainty and financial harm to industries dependent on capital credit for projects involving waterways.

EPA brushed these objections away by characterizing them as hyperbole,” the judge wrote. “Even if the gloomy prophesies are somewhat overstated,” the concerns are real, she said.

Berman called the EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Water Act — which she separately lambasts for being poorly written — “illogical and impractical.”


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