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  • SCOTUS shoots down EPA mercury rule!

    Supreme Court deals blow to Obama's green agenda

    The court’s decision on a power plant mercury rule could bode ill for EPA’s upcoming climate regulations.


    By Alex Guillén
    6/29/15

    The Supreme Court dealt President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda a major setback on Monday, ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency had erred in writing its 2012 limits on mercury pollution from power plants.

    The decision could alter the administration’s strategy for rolling out an even grander environmental initiative — EPA’s first-ever regulations on power plants’ greenhouse gas emissions, which had been expected later this summer. Monday’s ruling capped a session that delivered mixed signals regarding how the court will judge the inevitable challenge to that landmark climate rule.

    [...]

    The ruling, which greens had hoped would bolster the legal case for Obama’s upcoming climate change rules, saps some of the president’s momentum after last week’s crucial rulings supporting Obamacare and gay marriage.

    The 5-4 decision, written by Justice Antonin Scalia, found that EPA had erred in not considering costs earlier before deciding whether to write the rule. Although EPA ultimately did calculate the costs at nearly $10 billion a year, it determined the public health benefits far outweighed them, putting the figure at $37 billion to $90 billion in 2016 alone. But the court wasn’t willing to give the agency enough latitude to keep the rule in place.
    Scalia said EPA’s thinking was akin to a consumer not considering all costs associated with purchasing a high-end sports car.

    “By EPA’s logic, someone could decide whether it is ‘appropriate’ to buy a Ferrari without thinking about cost, because he plans to think about cost later when deciding whether to upgrade the sound system,” Scalia wrote.

    [...]

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/0...#ixzz3eTeWIZVC


    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

  • #2
    The EPA's use of "public health benefits" cost analysis generally, if not always, appears to simply be a lie. The EPA states the public health benefit will be greater than whatever the cost of the regulation is. They consistently do this.

    For example, the upcoming ozone regulation reduces allowed ozone pollution by just 5 parts per billion. A near infinitesimal amount. The agency says the cost will be between $50 and $90 billion a year but the "public health benefit" will be more than $100 billion because 35,000 asthma sufferers will avoid major hospitalization or even death per year.
    They just made the numbers up. A 5 ppb reduction is literally nothing. This is the same as removing about 1 person from the population of the United States (about 320 million) and claiming that will make a huge difference in something.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
      The EPA's use of "public health benefits" cost analysis generally, if not always, appears to simply be a lie. The EPA states the public health benefit will be greater than whatever the cost of the regulation is. They consistently do this.

      For example, the upcoming ozone regulation reduces allowed ozone pollution by just 5 parts per billion. A near infinitesimal amount. The agency says the cost will be between $50 and $90 billion a year but the "public health benefit" will be more than $100 billion because 35,000 asthma sufferers will avoid major hospitalization or even death per year.
      They just made the numbers up. A 5 ppb reduction is literally nothing. This is the same as removing about 1 person from the population of the United States (about 320 million) and claiming that will make a huge difference in something.
      Agreed. If it comes from the EPA, it's total BS from beginning to end.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

      Comment


      • #4
        You may not like the EPA but the need for something like it is self evident.



        Like all Federal agencies the EPA suffers from the forest for the trees syndrome. My experience with regulatory agencies is that they are well intentioned even imaginative at the policy research level but have no concept up what is practical or desirable on the enforcement end and are often the victims of political manipulation at the upper end of policy mandates. I think you can see the same sort of thing play out in the DEA although it could be argued that it is reversed.

        Anyone familiar with the code of federal regulations quickly comes to realize that federal agencies are writing law. Same is true at the state level. It's our legislature's failure to address issues efficiently that often leads to agencies exceeding their mandate. It is equally true that the criminal disregard for public safety on the part of private institutions insured that agencies would have more extensive powers than would be reasonably expected.
        We hunt the hunters

        Comment


        • #5
          You are literally all the same people bashing SCOTUS in another thread. You realize this correct? Seems like "judicial activism" is helping you too.
          First Counsul Maleketh of Jonov

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Delenda estRoma View Post
            You are literally all the same people bashing SCOTUS in another thread. You realize this correct? Seems like "judicial activism" is helping you too.
            Judicial activism?
            Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes or legislation from the bench. Whatever you guys like to call it. You cry murder on one decision, but this one serves your interests so you're quite happy with it.
              First Counsul Maleketh of Jonov

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, the bastards got one thing right, at least.
                Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Delenda estRoma View Post
                  You are literally all the same people bashing SCOTUS in another thread. You realize this correct? Seems like "judicial activism" is helping you too.
                  I'm bashing them elsewhere because they are allowing expansion of the federal government, far beyond constitutional bounds. Here they shot down regulations by a government agency that overreach. That's a good thing.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                    You may not like the EPA but the need for something like it is self evident.



                    Like all Federal agencies the EPA suffers from the forest for the trees syndrome. My experience with regulatory agencies is that they are well intentioned even imaginative at the policy research level but have no concept up what is practical or desirable on the enforcement end and are often the victims of political manipulation at the upper end of policy mandates. I think you can see the same sort of thing play out in the DEA although it could be argued that it is reversed.

                    Anyone familiar with the code of federal regulations quickly comes to realize that federal agencies are writing law. Same is true at the state level. It's our legislature's failure to address issues efficiently that often leads to agencies exceeding their mandate. It is equally true that the criminal disregard for public safety on the part of private institutions insured that agencies would have more extensive powers than would be reasonably expected.
                    Where the EPA is a fail is that they have lost sight of their mandate just as any advocacy agency will eventually. It plays like this:

                    * In any bureaucracy the number one purpose of it is to allow those in it to have jobs and reach retirement. That is, first and foremost the bureaucrats want to look out for their jobs and themselves.

                    * To ensure they get the above they try to make their jobs as important and wide reaching as possible. The more things they control and do, the more people they supervise, the more likely their job is "safe."

                    * This leads to a need to continuously expand the bureaucracy. Even as it becomes irrelevant it will try to expand. An excellent example is The March of Dimes. That charity was established specifically to eradicate polio. Polio is now eradicated.
                    Did the March of Dimes go away? Hell no! It reinvented itself with an entirely new mission and wants more money to expand so it can go on doing good work!

                    * A bureaucracy will also move towards total control and "zero tolerance" as it matures. That is, the bureaucracy has to regulate or do "stuff." But, if it stops making new regulations, stops demanding regulations expand, get tighter, or the like it violates the above self-imposed mandates.

                    * The result is that a bureaucracy will expand in size, scope of control, and then seek to move to "Zero tolerance" of whatever they deal with.

                    So, in the EPA's case they no longer are seeking to regulate pollution at some reasonable level. They seek, like the March of Dimes, to eradicate all pollution everywhere they can gain control over.
                    It doesn't matter if they wreck the economy. It doesn't matter how many lives are ruined. All that matters is the bureaucracy survives and its members have meaning in their jobs for themselves and that they reach retirement.

                    That last becomes a major issue for most government employees over time. It almost consumes them. When can I retire? How much will I get? How can I get more? The government gives employees training seminars on it.

                    This is what needs to change.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Delenda estRoma View Post
                      Yes or legislation from the bench. Whatever you guys like to call it. You cry murder on one decision, but this one serves your interests so you're quite happy with it.
                      They didn't legislate anything. The EPA was not following the law. They remanded the case back down to a lower court.

                      No laws were overturned. No rights were fabricated. They didn't void Article IV, Section 4 and Amendment X of the US Constitutiion along with the constitutions of 38 states... The law, as it is written, was enforced.
                      Last edited by The Doctor; 30 Jun 15, 06:52.
                      Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                        Where the EPA is a fail is that they have lost sight of their mandate just as any advocacy agency will eventually. It plays like this:

                        * In any bureaucracy the number one purpose of it is to allow those in it to have jobs and reach retirement. That is, first and foremost the bureaucrats want to look out for their jobs and themselves.

                        * To ensure they get the above they try to make their jobs as important and wide reaching as possible. The more things they control and do, the more people they supervise, the more likely their job is "safe."

                        * This leads to a need to continuously expand the bureaucracy. Even as it becomes irrelevant it will try to expand. An excellent example is The March of Dimes. That charity was established specifically to eradicate polio. Polio is now eradicated.
                        Did the March of Dimes go away? Hell no! It reinvented itself with an entirely new mission and wants more money to expand so it can go on doing good work!

                        * A bureaucracy will also move towards total control and "zero tolerance" as it matures. That is, the bureaucracy has to regulate or do "stuff." But, if it stops making new regulations, stops demanding regulations expand, get tighter, or the like it violates the above self-imposed mandates.

                        * The result is that a bureaucracy will expand in size, scope of control, and then seek to move to "Zero tolerance" of whatever they deal with.

                        So, in the EPA's case they no longer are seeking to regulate pollution at some reasonable level. They seek, like the March of Dimes, to eradicate all pollution everywhere they can gain control over.
                        It doesn't matter if they wreck the economy. It doesn't matter how many lives are ruined. All that matters is the bureaucracy survives and its members have meaning in their jobs for themselves and that they reach retirement.

                        That last becomes a major issue for most government employees over time. It almost consumes them. When can I retire? How much will I get? How can I get more? The government gives employees training seminars on it.

                        This is what needs to change.
                        Everything you say is true but it applies universally.

                        If you are a CEO all you care about is what financial package you get and your golden parachute. The same attitude even applies to medium size businesses. I have seem many businesses ran by people who are surprisingly disinterested in growing the business they have and direct most of their energy to outside investments. The last company my wife worked for the owner acquired the business by marriage gutted it and took the money.

                        The what's in it for me mentality is prevalent and few people really care about doing a good job and it's not just a problem in government.

                        If you say the free market weeds out the problem of indifferent owners it's not been my observation. I think Enron is an excellent example of how you can manipulate markets, make huge profits, and provide little or no real services if you are sufficiently indifferent to the future of the industry you are involved in. All you really have to know is when to get out and move on to the next opportunity to be successful. What makes the system work at all is that reputation is still important to some degree.

                        Of course you can't paint all businesses, government agencies or managers with the same brush. Just as laws are meaningless if the people that enforce them are corrupt ultimately you have to rely on character or what they call moral fiber in any human enterprise. Most people including bureaucrats have some conscience and that is what keeps us bobbing along.
                        We hunt the hunters

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wolfhnd View Post
                          Everything you say is true but it applies universally.

                          If you are a CEO all you care about is what financial package you get and your golden parachute. The same attitude even applies to medium size businesses. I have seem many businesses ran by people who are surprisingly disinterested in growing the business they have and direct most of their energy to outside investments. The last company my wife worked for the owner acquired the business by marriage gutted it and took the money.

                          The what's in it for me mentality is prevalent and few people really care about doing a good job and it's not just a problem in government.

                          If you say the free market weeds out the problem of indifferent owners it's not been my observation. I think Enron is an excellent example of how you can manipulate markets, make huge profits, and provide little or no real services if you are sufficiently indifferent to the future of the industry you are involved in. All you really have to know is when to get out and move on to the next opportunity to be successful. What makes the system work at all is that reputation is still important to some degree.

                          Of course you can't paint all businesses, government agencies or managers with the same brush. Just as laws are meaningless if the people that enforce them are corrupt ultimately you have to rely on character or what they call moral fiber in any human enterprise. Most people including bureaucrats have some conscience and that is what keeps us bobbing along.
                          The only difference in a private business is you have to be successful. That is, you have to make a profit. In government you don't. You can fail miserably and continue to fail indefinitely even and still be funded.

                          Therefore the restraint on private business is the profit motive. Government has no such restraint. Not enough money? Borrow, print, or tax more.

                          As of late with the EPA and some other government agencies there has been an influx of what you might call "True Believers." There are many bureaucrats that believe ardently in Gorebal Warming or some other environmental issue like that. These people are dangerous on two levels. Not only are they bureaucrats, but they believe religiously in a cause for which they will do whatever it takes to complete. They are on a crusade to save us from ourselves.
                          That bunch is insanely dangerous because they have no objectivity.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
                            The only difference in a private business is you have to be successful. That is, you have to make a profit. In government you don't. You can fail miserably and continue to fail indefinitely even and still be funded.

                            Therefore the restraint on private business is the profit motive. Government has no such restraint. Not enough money? Borrow, print, or tax more.

                            As of late with the EPA and some other government agencies there has been an influx of what you might call "True Believers." There are many bureaucrats that believe ardently in Gorebal Warming or some other environmental issue like that. These people are dangerous on two levels. Not only are they bureaucrats, but they believe religiously in a cause for which they will do whatever it takes to complete. They are on a crusade to save us from ourselves.
                            That bunch is insanely dangerous because they have no objectivity.
                            Again you are absolutely right but many people in private business have no moral compass making the profit motive a licence for exploitation.

                            That government employees exploit their positions to promote what I would agree is an almost religious zeal for personal ideologies is undeniable. It is equally true however that a free market system that operates without a moral code is likely to not be in the objective interests of the society it functions in.

                            Many people fail to realize that morality is objectively justifiable as a necessary part of any social organization. I would argue that it is the immorality of imposing their will on others that make the fanatical bureaucrats dangerous more so than their lack of objectivity. The same could be said about those who exploit the markets. In the end though immorality is never objectively justifiable but requires a subjective perspective.

                            In the case of the bureaucrats they are simply misinformed about the nature of morality. Imposed morality is a contradiction in terms as moral agency is sacrificed to force. Societies are fundamentally cooperative enterprises and require compromise. Moral agency however is a property of individuals not organizations and it is the character of the individuals that make up an organization that determines if it is moral or otherwise.

                            In the case of the EPA they have a mandate to protect the environment but have arbitrarily decided that stockholders and managers are not part of the society they are protecting. In a similar manner stockholders and managers subvert the social mandate of the EPA by labeling bureaucrats as not included in those to which they have a social contract. Not until both parties see the other as moral agents to whom they have a responsibility can the issues be resolved.
                            We hunt the hunters

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Arnold J Rimmer View Post
                              Well, the bastards got one thing right, at least.
                              Now they're half-as-right as a broken analog clock...
                              Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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