(Freedom.news) The first shots have been fired in states’ legal fight against broad new rule issued by the Obama Environmental Protection Agency last year, with opponents calling the regulations a “breathtaking expansion” of federal power that should never become law of the land.
In federal court Friday, dozens of states led by coal-heavy West Virginia that are battling the rule filed their initial briefs, The Hill reported, which laid out the merits of their case.
The EPA rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, is currently on hold as it is, thanks to a surprise order from the Supreme Court earlier this month that said, essentially, the people – via their state governments – deserved to have their day in court prior to the rule’s implementation.
Opponents still have to make their case on its merits, however, a process that begins in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where the brief was filed. Arguments contained in the 192-page document focus heavily on the position that the EPA has dramatically overstepped its legal parameters under the Clean Air Act to limit the amount of air pollution.
“EPA’s audacious assertion of authority in this Rule is more far-reaching than any previous effort by the agency,” the litigants wrote.
“If upheld, the rule would lead to a breathtaking expansion of the agency’s authority. The rule’s restructuring of nearly every state’s electric grid would exceed even the authority that Congress gave to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the federal agency responsible for electricity regulation,” litigants said.
“EPA’s newly-discovered authority threatens to enable the agency to mandate that any existing source’s owners in any industry reduce their source’s production, shutter the existing source entirely, and even subsidize their non-regulated competitors.”
Finalized last year, the rule was long sought by President Obama and represents his crowning [phony] climate change agenda. If it stands, it will require each state to submit a plan of compliance to the EPA for cutting 32 percent of the power sector’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Industry experts have the rule is liable to cause the closure of several coal-fired power plants which would result in higher electric rates – just as Obama predicted when he was running for his first term in 2008.
The D.C. Court of Appeals has requested that the Obama administration respond to the allegations of opponents by March 28, which the White House is sure to do. Following the filing of numerous other briefs by interested parties, a three-judge panel of the appeals court will hear oral arguments June 2; judges can decide the case at any time after the arguments.
Whoever loses is likely to appeal to a now-evenly-divided U.S. Supreme Court. If the high court accepts the case and it results in a 4-4 split, having been decided before a new justice can be approved by the Senate and sworn in to replace recently-deceased Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, then the lower court decision would stand.
The thing to remember here is that Obama, with Harry Reid’s help when he was majority leader in the Senate, has been working hard to stack the D.C. Circuit with liberal appointees; the D.C. Circuit is the court that hears all cases related to rules and regulations issued by the federal bureaucracy.
It’s impossible to say at this point whether the president will get his way and foist higher electric rates on an already overtaxed, over-burdened nation, or whether enough judges in the right places will rule on what is actually written in U.S. statutory law and end the regulatory madness.
The below video featuring Obama’s grand “hike electric rates” scheme ought to be Exhibit 1 in this case; notice how he so nonchalantly seeks to impose greater economic hardship on the vast majority of Americans who struggle every month to pay bills, including their electric bill:
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