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 near the road and provides water for his livestock, as it has for prior … 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.

It is almost never “rational, never mind ‘appropriate’” to ignore regulatory costs

Today’s Supreme Court decision in Michigan, et al. v. EPA (consolidated with Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA and National Mining Assoc. v. EPA) invalidated EPA’s regulation on electric power plant hazardous air pollutants for not taking its enormous costs … Continue reading

President’s weekly report — June 26, 2015

The physical invasion of the raisin snatchers — a property rights victory at the Supreme Court  In a week marked by several major Supreme Court decisions that were quite disappointing to advocates of limited government and the rule of law, there was one … Continue reading

ICYMI: Capitol Hill event on the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

On Tuesday, June 2, 2015, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) and Competitive Enterprise Institute held a joint event on Capitol Hill to discuss the constitutional limits of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). With U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and U.S. Rep. … Continue reading

Is the Constitution a paradox?

In defending the constitutionality of the Utah prairie dog regulation, the government makes a paradoxical claim. Conceding that federal intrusions into areas of traditional state authority are unconstitutional, the government nonetheless argues that the Necessary and Proper Clause allows the … Continue reading

Watch Ted Hadzi-Antich’s Testimony on EPA Accountability

UPDATE: View Ted Hadzi-Antich’s testimony on EPA accountabiliy during a hearing entitled, “Oversight of Scientific Advisory Panels and Processes at the Environmental Protection Agency.” The panel discussion begins on May 20th, at 9:30 AM EDT.

I’ve been invited to testify next week before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight) regarding ways in which EPA is violating the statutory requirement to obtain peer review of regulatory proposals from the Science Advisory Board.

In 2009, when EPA issued its first regulation governing greenhouse gas emissions, it failed to submit the regulatory proposal to the Board.  Several subsequent greenhouse gas emissions standards went down the same wrong path.  Those EPA failures to obtain peer review of the science underlying the greenhouse gas regulations were bald statutory violations, so PLF sued EPA to enforce the peer review requirements.  Look here for more information regarding our challenge to the greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, and here for trucks,  It looks like Congress is paying attention to these case.

Upcoming PLF-Heritage public event on unconstitutional “Waters of the U.S.” rule

On Thursday, Pacific Legal Foundation and The Heritage Foundation are co-sponsoring a panel discussion on a draft regulation that would vastly expand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction to regulate the nation’s water and … Continue reading