Green Room

EPA’s “sue and settle” scam

posted at 11:38 am on February 7, 2013 by

Earlier this week, I wrote about a new lawsuit by Arizona in an attempt to fight “regional haze” regulation by the EPA.  Sean Hackbarth follows up at the US Chamber of Commerce with a look at how the EPA uses the courts to push the boundaries on regulation, in a scam Sean calls “Sue and Settle”:

With “Sue and Settle,” EPA, in cahoots with environmental groups, outflanked state environmental agencies. Here’s what happened: In a federal court in California, EPA settled a suit with environmental groups (Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, Environmental Defense Fund, and others) over regional haze rules that committed it to “various deadlines to act on all states’ visibility improvement plans.”

Here’s where it gets interesting (emphasis mine):

On the eve of the deadlines that EPA had set for itself in the Consent Decrees, the agency found that it could not approve the states’ submissions due to alleged procedural problems, such as inadequate cost estimates…. EPA claimed that it had no choice but to impose its preferred controls in order to comply with the Consent Decrees.

In Arizona, it would cost the Apache, Cholla and Coronado coal plants over $1 billion to adhere to EPA’s regional haze rules. That would mean higher electricity costs and possibly higher water costs if the rule is extended to the Navajo Generating Station which powers water delivery in the state. And since other states like Montana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming are also covered by these consent decrees, expect EPA to institute rules on those states that target coal-fired power plants.

And there you have it. Just like something straight out of Hogwarts, regional haze rules, an effort to protect national parks’ views, is magically transformed by the “Sue and Settle” process into an arrow used by the administration to attack coal-fired power plants. It joins Utility MACT (the “Blackout Rule”) and proposed greenhouse gas standards in the “War on Coal” quiver. The results are power plants shutting down, people losing their jobs, and and increased electricity costs.

Be sure to read it all.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Somebody tell me again how it was better to have Obama reelected than to “settle” for Romney. Thanks again to all the idiots who stayed at home and let Obama win. THIS is why it mattered!

cicerone on February 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Thanks again to all the idiots who stayed at home and let Obama win. THIS is why it mattered!

cicerone on February 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

.
. . . . . Only one of MANY good reasons. : (

listens2glenn on February 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

cicerone on February 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Agreed.
The cherry on top of the sour milk sundae will be down the road when he appoints 2 far left wingnuts to SCOTUS.

Yeah…thanks a lot.

Mimzey on February 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

In Arizona, it would cost the Apache, Cholla and Coronado coal plants over $1 billion to adhere to EPA’s regional haze rules. That would mean higher electricity costs and possibly higher water costs if the rule is extended to the Navajo Generating Station which powers water delivery in the state. And since other states like Montana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Wyoming are also covered by these consent decrees, expect EPA to institute rules on those states that target coal-fired power plants.

excerpt: Sean Hackbarth

.
Seems to me, I recall some famous notorious politician stating:

“Under my plan, of course … energy rates will … NECESSARILY SKYROCKET . . . . .”

listens2glenn on February 7, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Mimzey on February 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

listens2glenn on February 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

cicerone on February 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

You stupid Rombot GOP slaves are in chains.

We had to send a message to the GOP Ayatollahs that WE WILL NOT BE MOVED.

YARGHGHHGHGHHHGHGFHYEEEEAJAJAJJAJJA!

/TRU CON 4 LIFE

CorporatePiggy on February 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

cicerone on February 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

.
Agreed.
The cherry on top of the sour milk sundae will be down the road when he appoints 2 far left wingnuts to SCOTUS.

Yeah…thanks a lot.

Mimzey on February 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

.
For myself, that reason trumped all others in voting for Mitt Romney.

There’s NO VALIDITY to “sitting-out” in protest … none.

The loss of these next two SCOTUS picks are the biggest negative fall-out, of this past election. : (

listens2glenn on February 7, 2013 at 12:48 PM

So, these lawsuits actually requirethe government to initiate action? That seems… illegal. Seems to me a lawsuit can require them to cease and desist or it can require them to adhere to regulations/laws already in effect, but it can’t require them to write new laws/regulations. That’s what the legislative process is for.

If there was a judge involved, seems s/he needs to be impeached for violation of the separation of powers. If there wasn’t (oh, heck, even if there was), it seems the EPA folks involved need to lose their jobs (possibly along with a bit of a vacation in the gray bar motel).

GWB on February 7, 2013 at 12:50 PM

you mean “severely conservative” romney? this was just one more issue where his current position was diametrically opposed to his previous work as governor. he had trust issues, likability issues, etc. if they GOP is concerned about bringing back lost votes they should support candidates that represent the voters values instead of trying to shift principles to what they think voters want.

chasdal on February 7, 2013 at 12:50 PM

of course, I always thought the Constitution said the government couldn’t make me buy certain things, too. Boy, was I wrong on that one.

GWB on February 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM

You stupid Rombot GOP slaves are in chains.

We had to send a message to the GOP Ayatollahs that WE WILL NOT BE MOVED.

YARGHGHHGHGHHHGHGFHYEEEEAJAJAJJAJJA!

/TRU CON 4 LIFE

CorporatePiggy on February 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

.
Because of your “sit-down protest”, we’re ALL in jeopardy of ending up in chains.

Yourself and others ARE going to regret that decision, before Obama’s second term is up.

listens2glenn on February 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM

of course, I always thought the Constitution said the government couldn’t make me buy certain things, too. Boy, was I wrong on that one.

GWB on February 7, 2013 at 12:53 PM

.
Nonsense. You don’t have to buy health insurance.

You just have to pay the IRS a “deference-fee”. See? No problem.
(yes, that was sarcasm)

listens2glenn on February 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

And let’s not forget the oyster farming company that lost its government lease because their building interfered with the “natural” view that is soooo important.

Haze, views–any excuse will do to shut down human life.

PattyJ on February 7, 2013 at 1:53 PM

This is not new. I think John Stossel covered how the EPA actually encourages these eco-fascists to sue it in order to get what they want. This agency has been out of control for at least 20 years.

woodNfish on February 7, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Somebody tell me again how it was better to have Obama reelected than to “settle” for Romney. Thanks again to all the idiots who stayed at home and let Obama win. THIS is why it mattered!

cicerone on February 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

You stupid Rombot GOP slaves are in chains.

We had to send a message to the GOP Ayatollahs that WE WILL NOT BE MOVED.

YARGHGHHGHGHHHGHGFHYEEEEAJAJAJJAJJA!

/TRU CON 4 LIFE

CorporatePiggy on February 7, 2013 at 12:46 PM

You guys had plenty of warning about what was going to happen and you forged ahead with Romney anyway. You are the mirror image of the people who gave us O’Donnnell in Delaware. You aren’t entitled to peoples’ votes, and maybe next election you’ll run someone the party base is interested in voting for. But you’ll probably run Jeb Bush or someone like him instead.

Doomberg on February 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM

Doomberg on February 7, 2013 at 2:52 PM

From the sounds of it, there will not be a “next election”…as we continue to destroy all parts of the bill of rights and constitution, we will move back to the monarchy. As long as Obama stays off the Newports and cuts back on the cheeseburgers, he’ll be king for decades.

Now on a cynical note, the Fed’s target the big bad corporations…big bad corporations don’t pay the fines, they simply pass them on. It’s what we call “redistributuon”.

teejk on February 7, 2013 at 3:10 PM

You just have to pay the IRS a “deference-fee”. See? No problem.
(yes, that was sarcasm)

listens2glenn on February 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Thats right. It worked well for the Islamists as they butchered their way across the continent. “Jizzya”? You could be non Muslim as long as you paid them a fee. A fee that went up in price until it was easier to just submit to them.

Mimzey on February 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

woodNfish on February 7, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Yes, EPA doesn’t mind if it gets sued, because it can say, “The courts made us do it” when there’s opposition.

seanhackbarth on February 7, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Somebody tell me again how it was better to have Obama reelected than to “settle” for Romney. Thanks again to all the idiots who stayed at home and let Obama win. THIS is why it mattered!

cicerone on February 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

John Holdren, Obama’s science Czar, and esteemed Malthusian human hater was Romney’s environmental adviser.
As governor Romney stood in front of a coal fired power plant and said he would not support companies that kill people, and while pointing at the coal plant followed up with, and that plant kills people.
As governor he wrote that he would push push to stop all offshore energy production.
Romney instituted the first in the nation cap and trade on carbon. He also created the first in the nation Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a carbon cap by another name.

I dunno, are you sure we are significantly worse off? Remember, at least in the end we can blame the other team for the suffering. With Romney, we would have the media non stop attacking us on Romney’s failures and “failures”.

Due to the lack of actually difference between Obama and Romney on executive action, I for one was not really looking forward to a Romney presidency. I voted for the turd, or more precisely, against Obama’s DHS’ multiple billion rounds of citizen legal killing bullet purchases… Outside of that, I am willing to suffer through what Obama does.

astonerii on February 7, 2013 at 4:24 PM