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.
You can be the judge regarding whether the term blackmail should be attributed to the actions of government officials in the following two stories.
The first story features local politicians in the City of Pittsburgh. As a little background, the City of Pittsburgh has been in state receivership for a number of years because city officials cannot control their spending. One of the biggest factors is their underfunded pension funds. Pittsburgh’s Democrat boy mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, has quite a scheme to raise taxes (it always seems to be about raising taxes) without really ticking off his constituents. He has decided to impose a one percent tax “tuition” tax on all students attending institutions of higher educations within city limits. His position is that they receive “services,” but do not pay anything towards them.