Take shouldn’t be a strict liability offense

PLF has filed a motion to intervene on behalf of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, New Mexico Federal Lands Council, and the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau in a case that threatens to radically expand criminal liability under … Continue reading

Another Clean Water Act power grab for the Court to consider

Last Friday, the Supreme Court extended the deadline for the American Farm Bureau Federation to file a petition for certiorari in its case challenging the EPA’s interpretation of the Total Maximum Daily Load or “TMDL” provision of the Clean Water … Continue reading

The lesson of the Animas River spill

In the Wall Street Journal, attorney and former high-ranking EPA official Bill Wehrum has an op-ed [$] arguing that the Animas River spill shouldn’t lead to criminal punishment, but neither should similar accidents caused by private companies. As you’ll undoubtedly … Continue reading

EPA meatheads: Dead from the neck up

What else can one say about the authors of the so-called Clean Power Plan?  On August 3, 2015, EPA promulgated a sweeping new regulatory scheme to control virtually all aspects of energy generation, distribution, and use in the United States.  The rules require power plants to curtail carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 30% over the next fifteen years.  The Plan was promulgated in violation of the structure, plain language, and historical context of the Clean Air Act, as well as in violation of the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Among other things, EPA’s Clean Power Plan seeks to drastically change the mix of fuels available in energy markets from fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, to renewables, such as wind and solar.  The rules establish a system in which the grid will not be able to support electricity demand.  The most benign expected results are blackouts and spiking energy costs.

Legal challenges to the Plan are being mobilized by broad coalitions of individuals, businesses, and states that will suffer the adverse consequences of such a drastic change in the energy sector of the nation’s economy.  But it’s not only the economy that is being threatened.  So is liberty.

Should Congress step back and let the courts handle the WOTUS rule?

Liberty Blog readers know that the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule issued earlier this summer is not only a brazen power grab by the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers that will create additional costs, risks, and … Continue reading

Orwellian language in the Clean Water Act

Recent press coverage of PLF’s challenge to the compliance order that Andy Johnson received from the EPA has highlighted some of the Orwellian language in the Clean Water Act. As you’ll recall, EPA is threatening Andy with tens of millions … Continue reading

PLF challenges EPA’s threat of massive fines against innocent property owner for improving the environment

Andy Johnson owns eight acres of land in Fort Bridger, Wyoming, where he’s made his family’s home and raises livestock. A small stream crosses his property and provides water for his livestock, as it has for prior owners going back … Continue reading

Constitutional outrages and power outages

Those are EPA’s gifts to the nation under the so-called Clean Power Plan.  On August 3rd, EPA unveiled the Plan as a set of Clean Air Act regulations.  Among other things, the Clean Power Plan dictates the mix of fuels that may be used to generate electricity throughout the nation, heavily favoring solar and wind over coal and natural gas, thereby furthering EPA’s goal of saving the planet from carbon dioxide.  The power grid will come under enormous pressure if and when the Clean Power Plan is implemented.  Power outages and substantial increases in electricity costs are virtually guaranteed.  Moreover, the Clean Power Plan is unconstitutional.

For decades, there has been a “bright line” divide between federal authority over wholesale sales of electricity in interstate commerce and state authority over planning, siting, and providing generation resources to local customers.  According to the Supreme Court, the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from disrupting that traditional constitutional balance between state and federal authority unless it is “abundantly clear” that a federal statute “compels” the intrusion into state sovereignty.  Here, just the reverse is true,  It is “abundantly clear” that the Clean Air Act does not give EPA the authority to dictate to the states the specific way in which electricity must be generated within their borders.  Federalism is a central component of our constitutional system of government, and the Clean Power Plan ignores it.  Look for legal challenges from states (and others) against this federal attack on the 10th Amendment.