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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Coal Industry 1, EPA 0

Is the federal Environmental Protection Agency omnipotent?

America's environmentalists - and Obama - wish it were so.

But a U.S. District Judge in Washington D.C. has decided otherwise.

It's about time:
Judge slams EPA for axing coal permit
By Erica Martinson, Politico

A federal judge slammed an Obama administration gambit to revoke mountaintop mining permits Friday, saying the EPA invented authority where there was none. “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.” Arch Coal spokeswoman Kim Link said the company is happy with the ruling. “We’re pleased the district court has ruled in our favor — confirming that our Spruce No. 1 permit remains valid,” Link said. [link]
You may recall that Obama, before he decided he was against higher energy costs, was very much in favor of higher energy costs.

This ruling by a United States District judge will certainly disappoint one of those two Obamas.

Maybe now America can get back into the business of business. And set this Leftist-tortured land straight once again.

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It doesn't get any clearer than this.  Barack Obama, in 2008:

"Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

His plan is to make electricity rates skyrocket.

The American people have a different plan, pal.  Come November ...