Friday, October 31, 2014

Schmidt notes silver lining in Supreme Court ruling on EPA

By The Herald Staff | 6/23/2014

TOPEKA — While the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a majority of the Obama Administration’s new Environmental Protection Agency regulations Monday, Derek Schmidt was celebrating a portion of the rules that was struck down.

Schmidt, Kansas attorney general, announced Monday the Supreme Court sided with Kansas and blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from proceeding with “illegal greenhouse gas regulations,” according to Schmidt’s office.

TOPEKA — While the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a majority of the Obama Administration’s new Environmental Protection Agency regulations Monday, Derek Schmidt was celebrating a portion of the rules that was struck down.

Schmidt, Kansas attorney general, announced Monday the Supreme Court sided with Kansas and blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from proceeding with “illegal greenhouse gas regulations,” according to Schmidt’s office.

In a 5-4 decision, the justices confirmed that greenhouse gases blamed for global warming are pollutants. But the court concluded that the EPA could not completely extend its regulatory authority for limiting the expansion or building of new facilities like power plants, according to media reports.

Schmidt’s office applauded the Supreme Court for saying the EPA exceeded the statutory authority given by the U.S. Congress. The State of Kansas had argued that EPA tried to shoehorn regulation of greenhouse gases into parts of the Clean Air Act that were not meant to regulate such emissions.

“This is an important victory for Kansas jobs, our state’s economy, and the rule of law,” Schmidt said. “The bottom line is that EPA cannot rewrite federal statutes to pursue a regulatory agenda that is beyond its statutory authority.”

Schmidt led a group of six states in support of the legal challenge to the EPA regulations. The effort began in Texas.

“This ruling is about basic civics: Those who seek additional government controls on greenhouse gases need to engage the United States Congress, where issues like these can be fully debated—not bypass Congress and attempt to stretch existing laws beyond all recognition,” Schmidt said. “To ensure that any regulatory action EPA pursues stays within the law, Kansas stands ready and willing to challenge any regulation that exceeds EPA’s authority.”

The proposed EPA rule had been expected to cost billions of dollars in administrative and permitting costs, which in turn would have driven up electric rates for consumers, Schmidt’s office said. The regulations could have eventually required stationary sources such as Kansas schools, churches, shopping centers and small businesses to get expensive greenhouse gas permits.

“EPA is getting almost everything it wanted in this case,” Justice Antonin Scalia said from the bench, according to media reports. “It sought to regulate sources it said were responsible for 86 percent of all the greenhouse gases emitted from stationary sources nationwide. Under our holdings, [the] EPA will be able to regulate sources responsible for 83 percent of those emissions.”

comments powered by Disqus