The EPA as Super-Legislature

Main St. Agenda by from National Review, June 2, 2014

Having failed to get the Democrats’ cap-and-trade scheme through Congress, President Obama intends to create it through fiat, with the Environmental Protection Agency scheduled to issue today what amounts to a bill of attainder against coal-fired electricity generators. The regulation will set a national limit on greenhouse-gas emissions from coal plants and then offer states a phony menu of choices for meeting that standard, stacking the policy deck in such a way as to force them into cap-and-trade programs administered by multistate cartels.

It is far from obvious that the Obama administration has anything like the legal authority for this; until quite recently, the White House seemed to think that it was necessary for Congress—remember Congress, the lawmaking branch of government?—to pass a law creating a cap-and-trade program, but, having lost that vote, President Obama is pressing on in rule-by-decree mode, apparently having mistaken himself for Charles de Gaulle.

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