Sire! The peasants are revolting!

The Environmental Protection Agency is getting kicked around quite a bit these days, with one state after another rejecting the government mandates to drastically reduce carbon emissions from power plants along with other Stop Global Warming initiatives. The latest entrant into this particular battle is New Jersey, where Chris Christie is demanding a stay on the rules until the process makes its way through the courts and can be subject to further scrutiny. There’s something of a revolution going on here, folks. (NorthJersey.com)

The Christie Administration Wednesday launched an attack on President Obama’s sweeping plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants, arguing that the federal rule punishes states such as New Jersey that have already made significant reductions.

Governor Christie formally requested an administrative stay and reconsideration of the new rule by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

The new emissions rule “is yet another example of the Obama Administration inappropriately reaching far beyond its legal authority to implement more onerous and more burdensome regulations on businesses and state governments alike,” Christie said in a statement. “This is a fundamentally flawed plan that threatens the progress we’ve already made in developing clean and renewable energy in New Jersey without the heavy-handed overreach of Washington.”

The clumsy swipe that the EPA has taken at various states was never well thought out to begin with. There are already efforts in place across the nation to modernize the power grid and emissions are coming down without the EPA’s intrusion. But goals for reductions have to make sense for each state’s unique circumstances. Places where there are a lot of coal plants can definitely schedule them for conversion to natural gas when they reach their projected end of life… and quite a few are doing just that. But what of places like New Jersey?

The Garden State is getting hit with a demand that they reduce carbon emissions by 26% in fifteen years. The big problem here is that New Jersey is already one of the lowest carbon producers in the country. They get a lot of their power from nuclear plants which produce zero carbon. They also generate hydroelectric power. (Again… no carbon.) Some of the few coal plants they have left have already undergone conversions to burn natural gas at least part of the time, further cutting their output. Demanding a 26% reduction above and beyond the 33% cut they’ve already made in the past decade, and doing so in such a relatively short time frame, is like trying to get blood from a stone.

Christie needs to simply stonewall the EPA at this point and wait for the courts to sort it out. Many of the new regulations are simply fanciful political grandstanding to please the green energy lobby and the environmentalists. (For just one example, the latest ozone emission standards would be violated by a half dozen national parks.) Perhaps the Environmental Protection Agency should spend a bit more time cleaning up the toxic rivers they’ve polluted and less dreaming up new political grandstanding schemes.