Tag: Regulations

Federal Appeals Court Bitchslaps Obama Regime Over Water Regulations

Sixth Circuit Blocks EPA Water Rule Nationwide – Hot Air

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Several weeks ago, a federal court issued an injunction against EPA enforcement of a new rule based on the Clean Water Act, arguing that the Obama administration had exceeded its Congressional authority. The ruling only applied in the thirteen states party to the lawsuit, however, but the administration still argued that the North Dakota court did not have the jurisdiction to rule on the issue, and that only an appellate court could hear the case. Regardless, the EPA announced shortly afterward that it would continue to enforce the new rule in all other states.

Be careful what you wish for. The Sixth Circuit handed down its own injunction against the rule today, and broadened its effect to all 50 states:
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A federal court ruled Friday that President Obama’s regulation to protect small waterways from pollution cannot be enforced nationwide.

In a 2-1 ruling, the Cincinnati-based Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit delivered a stinging defeat to Obama’s most ambitious effort to keep streams and wetlands clean, saying it looks likely that the rule, dubbed “waters of the United States,” is illegal.

“We conclude that petitioners have demonstrated a substantial possibility of success on the merits of their claims,” the judges wrote in their decision, explaining that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new guidelines for determining whether water is subject to federal control – based mostly on the water’s distance and connection to larger water bodies – is “at odds” with a key Supreme Court ruling.

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The court called into question both the rule itself and the process by which the EPA promulgated it. The opinion notes that the EPA apparently ignored Rapanos in its zeal to seize more federal authority:
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Petitioners first claim that the Rule’s treatment of tributaries, “adjacent waters,” and waters having a “significant nexus” to navigable waters is at odds with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Rapanos, where the Court vacated the Sixth Circuit’s upholding of wetlands regulation by the Army Corps of Engineers. Even assuming, for present purposes, as the parties do, that Justice Kennedy’s opinion in Rapanos represents the best instruction on the permissible parameters of “waters of the United States” as used in the Clean Water Act, it is far from clear that the new Rule’s distance limitations are harmonious with the instruction.

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Furthermore, the court expresses concern over what appeared to be a bait-and-switch in the comments process, and that the EPA simply cannot substantiate the rule with any solid science – a point made by the North Dakota court in August, too:
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Moreover, the rulemaking process by which the distance limitations were adopted is facially suspect. Petitioners contend the proposed rule that was published, on which interested persons were invited to comment, did not include any proposed distance limitations in its use of terms like “adjacent waters” and significant nexus.” Consequently, petitioners contend, the Final Rule cannot be considered a “logical outgrowth” of the rule proposed, as required to satisfy the notice-and-comment requirements of the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 553. See Long Island Care at Home, Ltd. v. Coke, 551 U.S. 158, 174 (2007). As a further consequence of this defect, petitioners contend, the record compiled by respondents is devoid of specific scientific support for the distance limitations that were included in the Final Rule. They contend the Rule is therefore not the product of reasoned decision-making and is vulnerable to attack as impermissibly “arbitrary or capricious” under the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2).

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Remember, though, that this is a temporary injunction. The issues raised by the judges in this 2-1 decision are not fully established in an evidentiary process. Even the initial ruling in August was a pretrial injunction, not a final decision on the merits. However, in both cases the courts decided that the states have a substantial likelihood of establishing these facts in the eventual trial, and that the enforcement of the rule would create at least some unnecessary harm. The Sixth Circuit’s decision doesn’t agree that it would be irreparable harm, but also doesn’t see the need to rush into enforcement of a flawed rule either:
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There is no compelling showing that any of the petitioners will suffer immediate irreparable harm – in the form of interference with state sovereignty, or in unrecoverable expenditure of resources as they endeavor to comply with the new regime – if a stay is not issued pending determination of this court’s jurisdiction. But neither is there any indication that the integrity of the nation’s waters will suffer imminent injury if the new scheme is not immediately implemented and enforced.

What is of greater concern to us, in balancing the harms, is the burden – potentially visited nationwide on governmental bodies, state and federal, as well as private parties – and the impact on the public in general, implicated by the Rule’s effective redrawing of jurisdictional lines over certain of the nation’s waters…

A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of Executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law. A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new Rule and whether they will survive legal testing. A stay honors the policy of cooperative federalism that informs the Clean Water Act and must attend the shared responsibility for safeguarding the nation’s waters.

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Still, the plaintiffs are clearly delighted with the injunction:
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The National Federation of Independent Business, one of the groups that sued to stop the rule, cheered Friday’s decision.

“Small businesses everywhere this morning are breathing a sigh of relief,” Karen Harned, executive director of the group’s legal foundation, said in a statement.

“The court very properly acknowledged that the WOTUS rule has created a ‘whirlwind of confusion’ and that blocking its implementation in every state is the practicable way to resolve the deep legal question of whether it can withstand constitutional muster.”

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The Hill calls this “a stinging defeat,” but it may be more of a “stinging delay” at this point. At the very least, the EPA’s power grab has been put on hold, and that’s a welcome breather at this stage of the Obama administration.

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Federal Judge Blocks President Asshat’s Fracking Regulations

Judge Blocks Obama Administration’s Fracking Regulations – Washington Free Beacon

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A federal judge Wednesday blocked the Obama administration from implementing new regulations on hydraulic fracturing, saying that the administration does not appear to have the statutory authority to do so.

The rule, finalized in March by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM), is the federal government’s first major attempt to regulate the innovative oil and gas extraction technique commonly known as fracking.

Fracking is generally regulated at the state level. BLM sought to impose additional restrictions on the practice for oil and gas wells on federal land.

Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming said that the agency appears to lack the statutory authority to do so and issued a preliminary injunction blocking BLM from implementing the rule.

“At this point, the Court does not believe Congress has granted or delegated to the BLM authority to regulate fracking,” Skavdahl wrote in his opinion.

In fact, BLM “previously disavowed authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing,” the judge noted.

The Environmental Protection Agency previously had the authority to regulate the fracking-related practices that the rule targets, but the 2005 Energy Policy Act stripped the agency of that authority.

“It is hard to analytically conclude or infer that, having expressly removed the regulatory authority from the EPA, Congress intended to vest it in the BLM, particularly where the BLM had not previously been regulating the practice,” Skavdahl wrote.

The ruling marks a major setback for Obama administration efforts to crack down on fracking, which has spurred unprecedented increases in U.S. oil and gas production since 2009.

The ruling does not scuttle the regulations, but rather prevents their implementation while a lawsuit brought by Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, Utah, and the Ute Indian tribe makes its way though the federal courts.

Two industry groups, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Western Energy Alliance, have also sued to block the rule.

“Today’s decision essentially shows BLM’s efforts are not needed and that states are – and have for 60 years been – in the best position to safely regulate hydraulic fracturing,” said IPAA spokesman Jeff Eshelman on the ruling.

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New Obama Regulations Will Close Hundreds Of Coal Plants, Block New Ones, Increase Electricity Costs 80%

EPA Regs Will Close Hundreds Of Coal Plants, Block New Ones, Increase Costs 80% – Independent Sentinel

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Obama is to fossil fuels what locusts are to crops.

The administration is coming up with Draconian regulations on coal plants Monday and they are worse than originally planned.

A government official promised on Tuesday that regulations will cost taxpayers as much as 80% more for electricity but the New York Times said the “administration argues that the rules will save the average American family $85 annually in electricity costs and bring additional health benefits.” You read that correctly.

This is the government engineered unFree Market at work. Read on.

We were promised a savings of $2500 a year in our health insurance premiums but they are skyrocketing. This energy debacle appears to be going down the same road. All of this is to control us. Coal is not bad enough to warrant this overreaction but the president wants his ideology in place.

On Tuesday, Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s oversight board that regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80%, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

“The precise number will vary, but for first generation we project $70 to $90 per ton [on the wholesale price of electricity],” Friedmann said. “For second generation, it will be more like a $40 to $50 per ton price. Second generation of demonstrations will begin in a few years, but won’t be until middle of the next decade that we will have lessons learned and cost savings.”

In other words, prices are anticipated to go up, then come down as the technology develops but they will never be inexpensive as they were.

The problem is mainly that the CCS technology they are forcing on the coal plants is not ready for prime time and the people will have to shoulder the costs of the premature regulations and the immature technology. The lowered future costs are reliant on their betting on the technology they admit is not ready for use.

Friedman said coal plants would not install the CCS technology without the mandate and the government will subsidize them. That’s another cost to taxpayers so the government can force the technology through quickly.

If the technology is not ready for use, how can it be mandated and how do we know it will work?

Laura Sheehan, senior vice president of communications for the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity accused the Obama administration of trying to drive up energy costs and put Americans out of work.

“Today’s hearing shed further light on how grossly underdeveloped CCS remains and revealed the staggering cost increases American consumers and manufacturers will face if future power plants are forced to operate under EPA’s inane regulations,” Sheehan said. “DOE and EPA are wasting valuable taxpayer dollars by pursuing policies that will do nothing to build economic confidence and create jobs but everything to drive up energy costs and put hardworking Americans out of work.”

The government and their environmental group partners refused to listen to requests for more realistic cost ranges.

The New York Times reported that on Monday, EPA head Gina McCarthy will announce the toughest Obama regulations to date, regulations which will possibly shut down hundreds of coal-fired plants and freeze construction of new coal plants. This is part of the administration’s fundamental transformation of the energy sector which he has basically seized via the EPA.

He is fighting global warming which he sees as an existential threat though many believe his nationalization of every U.S. sector is more of an existential threat.

The NY Times reports, “the most aggressive of the regulations requires the nation’s existing power plants to cut emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, an increase from the 30 percent target proposed in the draft regulation.”

They added, “That new rule also demands that power plants use more renewable sources of energy like wind and solar power. While the proposed rule would have allowed states to lower emissions by transitioning from plants fired by coal to plants fired by natural gas, which produces about half the carbon pollution of coal, the final rule is intended to push electric utilities to invest more quickly in renewable sources, raising to 28 percent from 22 percent the share of generating capacity that would come from such sources.”

The administration could not get a cap and trade bill passed so the president took out his pen and phone and is putting through a cap and trade bill that will probably negatively impact the lives of the middle class Americans he purports to help. If the president wins in court, it will force every state to implement his cap and trade.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell comes from a coal state and has told governors to refuse to follow the mandates.

The NY Times added that “experts”, who were left unnamed in the article, say that emissions could level off enough to prevent the worst effects of climate change. They are referring to the global warming that is in its 21st year of not warming.

Taxpayers can take small solace in the fact that this is for Mr. Obama’s legacy and he’s ramping up in time for his term’s end.

The administration says this will save the average taxpayer $85 a year but they might be using Common Core math because that’s not what Mr. Friedman said on Tuesday.

Leftist think tanks like ThinkProgress predict lower energy bills but that is not what Barack Obama promised in January 2008.

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2014 Federal Register: A 26-Foot-Tall Stack Of Neo-Fascist Regulations

The 2014 Federal Register Is A 26-Foot-Tall Stack Of Regulatory Overreach And Growing – Independent Journal Review

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You do want a joyous, prosperous, and fully-federally compliant 2015, right? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news for you. And we have the Competitive Enterprise Institute to thanks for the heads up.

The good news: The government puts together an annual Federal Register of all the rules and regulations that are currently in force.

The bad news: It’s 78,978 pages long.

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On a positive note, this year’s register is a mere pamphlet when compared to the behemoths of 2010 and 2011.

So what exactly is it? From the intro page:

The FEDERAL REGISTER provides a uniform system for making available to the public regulations and legal notices issued by Federal agencies. These include Presidential proclamations and Executive Orders, Federal agency documents having general applicability and legal effect, documents required to be published by act of Congress, and other Federal agency documents of public interest.

There are 3,591 new rules and regulations contained therein. 2014 brought us new regulatory rules and clarification on existing rules in almost every area of business, both small and large:

The Agriculture Department saw 1,095 documents published with rules and regulations applied or clarified on everything from outreach to crop insurance to food stamps and meat inspection.

The Commerce Department weighs in with a whopping 2,694 new documents, the majority of which deal with international trade rules.

The Energy Department begins 2015 with 2,203 new documents. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has a lot to study this year.

Unsurprisingly, Obamacare implementation means that the Heath and Human Services Department tops the list with 3,714 new documents containing regulation, rules, and clarifications on rules and regulations.

These rules and others make for some heavy reading material. For perspective, 78,978 pages is 158 reams of paper. A ream is about 2″ thick, that means the entire register would yield a 26-foot-tall stack of standard letter paper.

And it doesn’t look like this administration plans to slow down its rule making in 2015. There are 2,375 more proposed rules that are pending but have yet to receive final Congressional approval.

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Obama EPA Regulations Contain Nearly 25 Million Words

New EPA Regs Issued Under Obama Are 38 Times As Long As Bible – CNS

Since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued 2,827 new final regulations, equaling 24,915 pages in the Federal Register, totaling approximately 24,915,000 words.

The Gutenberg Bible is only 1,282 pages and 646,128 words. Thus, the new EPA regulations issued by the Obama Administration contain 19 times as many pages as the Bible and 38 times as many words.

The Obama EPA regulations have 22 times as many words as the entire Harry Potter series, which includes seven books with 1,084,170 words. They have 5,484 times as many words as the U.S. Constitution, which has 4,543 words, including the signatures; and 17,088 times as many words as the Declaration of Independence, which has 1,458 words including signatures.

Using the Regulations.gov website and the Federal Register itself, CNSNews.com found 2,827 distinct rules published by the EPA since January 2009 covering, among other things, greenhouse gases, air quality, emissions and hazardous substances.

The Federal Register publishes documents, including proposed rules, notices, interim rules, corrections, drafts of final rules and final rules. The CNSNews.com tabulation included only final rules from the EPA.

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To get an approximate word count for each EPA rule in the Federal Register, CNSNews.com evaluated a few random rules from the 2,827 EPA regulations published since Obama took office, and calculated an approximate average of 1,000 words per page. From this, CNSNews.com calculated that the 2,827 final EPA rules that have been published in the Federal Register so far take up 24,915,000 words.

This is only an approximation because some pages in the Federal Register carry more words than others, and some regulations end in the beginning or middle of a page. For example, one of the regulations was five-pages long and totaled 5,586 words, an average of 1,117 words per page.

Another regulation was three-pages long and 3,150 words, which averaged to 1,050 words per page. another rule was four-pages long and 4,426 words, or an average 1,106 words per page.

“The broader question of whether the Obama Administration’s EPA is “overreaching” in its regulatory effects has not gone away. Critics both in Congress and outside of it regularly accuse the agency of overkill,” states a Congressional Research Service report, EPA Regulations: Too Much, Too Little, or On Track?

“EPA’s actions, both individually and in sum, have generated controversy,” the CRS report states. “Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have expressed concerns, through bipartisan letters commenting on proposed regulations and through introduced legislation that would delay, limit, or prevent certain EPA actions.”

Yet, EPA proponents are fighting for more rules. “Environmental groups and other supporters of the agency disagree that EPA has overreached. Many of them believe that the agency is, in fact, moving in the right direction, including taking action on significant issues that had been long delayed or ignored in the past. In several cases, environmental advocates would like the regulatory actions to be stronger,” said the CRS report.

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As Promised, Obama To Impose New EPA Regulations That Will Cause Energy Prices To Skyrocket (Video)

Obama Declares War On Poor & Middle Class; New Rules Will Force Energy Prices To Skyrocket – Gateway Pundit

We were warned…

In January 2008 Barack Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle:

“Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that cost onto consumers.”

He promised that his plan would cause electricity rates to skyrocket.

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He wasn’t kidding.

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On Monday the Obama administration unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants.

FOX News reported:

The Obama administration on Monday unveiled the first-ever national limits on carbon emissions from existing power plants, a controversial regulation aimed at fulfilling a key plank of President Obama’s climate change agenda.

The Environmental Protection Agency wants existing plants to cut pollution by 30 percent by 2030, under the plan.

The draft regulation sidesteps Congress, where Obama’s Democratic allies have failed to pass a so-called “cap-and-trade” plan to limit such emissions. The EPA plan will go into effect in June 2016, following a one-year comment period. States will then be responsible for executing the rule with some flexibility.

They are expected to be allowed to require power plants to make changes such as switching from coal to natural gas or enact other programs to reduce demand for electricity and produce more energy from renewable sources.

They also can set up pollution-trading markets as some states already have done to offer more flexibility in how plants cut emissions.

If a state refuses to create a plan, the EPA can make its own.

Obama’s energy policies will disproportionately harm the poor, middle class and minorities.

Real Clear Energy reported:

A study by Eugene M. Trisko for American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity reviewed the disproportionate impact of higher energy costs on differing income groups from 2001 to 2011.

The study found that the amount of money spent on energy for half of American households that make less than $50,000 almost doubled rising from 12 percent in 2001 to 20 percent in 2011.

Minorities with lower average incomes than white households are disproportionately harmed by rising energy prices.

For example, in 2009, 67 percent of black households and 62 percent of Hispanic households had average incomes below $50,000 in contrast with only 46 percent of white households.[4]

Since minority households have lower incomes than white households, rising energy prices will take a larger share of their family’s disposable income leaving fewer dollars for housing, medicine and clothes.

Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, new greenhouse gas regulations from the EPA and discussions of a carbon tax provides more evidence that Obama’s anti-fossil fuel agenda will force energy prices higher.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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Check Out Senator Lee’s Picture Of The 80,000+ Pages Of Obama Regime Regulations Issued In 2013

Pic: The 80,000+ Pages Of Regulations Issued By The Obama Regime In 2013 – Weasel Zippers

That tiny stack on top are the laws passed by Congress during the same time period.

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Via Senator Mike Lee:

Behold my display of the 2013 Federal Register. It contains over 80,000 pages of new rules, regulations, and notices all written and passed by unelected bureaucrats. The small stack of papers on top of the display are the laws passed by elected members of Congress and signed into law by the president.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

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