News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories. This edition is all about the efforts of Obama’s EPA to make their own laws via extra-constitutional regulations and shenanigans;
Brief 1: The headline says it all; “Reckless and lawless EPA: Running on empty.” The EPA mandates that refineries purchase a certain percentage of cellulosic biofuels to support sustainable energy. The not-so-funny thing is that cellulosic biofuels do NOT exist yet not only did EPA levy fines, but upped the ante by increasing the percentage for 2013. You could argue that this is how big government works, but you’d have to ignore the fact that the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the EPA “exceeded its authority” in the original case.
Brief 2: There may be a cover up, but it appears that EPA’s Administrator and Obama appointee, Lisa Jackson, had set up and used private email accounts to conduct EPA business. That may sound harmless enough except for the big fact that it is ILLEGAL! What are the Obama Administration officials trying to hide. So much for the most transparent administration ever.
Brief 3: As reported by National Review on-line;
“Lisa Jackson’s EPA has executed a breathtaking power grab by changing CAFE without congressional authorization. Drafted by Congress in 1975, CAFE authorized NHTSA to administer the law…Now with its 54.5 mpg-by-2025 diktat, EPA has discarded Congress altogether. It has drafted a number without any congressional oversight — and forced it down the throats of U.S. automakers. Rushing adoption of the standard while two of the government-funded Detroit Three feel compelled to stay quiet, EPA’s power grab is a first step in solidifying the agency’s power over all economic activity in the country.”
Brief 4: in another attempt at gaining control over citizens Obama’s EPA again overstepped its authority by trying to regulate water. That is an oversimplification of the issue, but here is the news quote from the Examiner;
“A Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va., found that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had exceeded its authority in an effort to enforce the Clean Water Act. EPA had tried to expand the scope of its congressionally appointed water quality jurisdiction to include limits on the quantity of water allowed to flow into a stream.”
Brief 5: “Sue and settle” was not a phrase known to me, but to EPA it has become a common business practice as explained by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce;
“It works like this: Environmental and consumer advocacy groups file a lawsuit claiming that the federal government has failed to meet a deadline or has not satisfied some regulatory requirement. The agency can then either choose to defend itself against the lawsuit or settle it. Often times, it settles by putting in place a “court-ordered” regulation desired by the advocacy group, thus circumventing the proper rulemaking channels and basic transparency and accountability standards. This tactic is called “sue and settle,” a name coined by Rep. Colin Peterson (D-MN).”
Brief 6: Oh and don’t forget Obama’s War On Coal. There are plenty of articles out there to read, but here is one from a local paper The Altoona Mirror;
“In January 2011, the EPA took an outrageous, unprecedented action. It revoked a surface mining permit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had granted four years previously. The mine in southern West Virginia is owned by the Arch Coal Co. EPA officials took the action despite the fact the Corps of Engineers had reviewed Arch’s plans and determined they safeguarded water quality adequately. This March, U.S. District Judge Amy B. Jackson ruled the EPA did not have the power to rescind the permits. In doing so, the agency exceeded the authority granted it by Congress, Jackson decided.”