by Steve Milloy, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow and Junkscience.com Founder
As appearing in The Washington Examiner
As climate activists wail in the wake of the setback to their agenda recently delivered by the Supreme Court in its West Virginia v. EPA decision, the rest of us should be grateful that the costly and out-of-control federal bureaucracy can now be reined in earlier and more easily.
The court ruled the Obama administration’s EPA did not have the authority from Congress to issue its Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations essentially placing the EPA in charge of how electricity is generated in the United States. The court gave voice, for the first time, to the “Major Questions Doctrine,” under which federal agencies must have clear congressional authorization before issuing rules having major societal impacts.
It’s just too bad this doctrine and decision didn’t come seven years ago, when the Clean Power Plan was first issued. It was costly then, and we are still paying the price today for essentially illegal and unconstitutional regulation.
The Clean Power Plan was a key part of the Obama administration’s war on coal, the rest of which could also use a Supreme Court review under the “Major Questions Doctrine.” As such, it played a role in the destruction of about 50,000 high-paying coal industry jobs and tens of thousands of other support industry jobs, causing severe collateral damage to families, communities, state tax revenues, and the coal industry itself, most of which was forced into bankruptcy.