The EPA has made a lot of power grabs of dubious legality over the last year, from forcing unpopular regulations through over the objections of Congress to illegally using social media to promote Obama’s policies. So without further ado, here are the top 5 EPA attempts to grab power through quasi-legal means.
1: The Clean Power Plan
The Clean Power Plan (CPP) is an attempt by the Obama administration and EPA to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over one-third to fight global warming. It was fully published in October and promptly hit with a tidal wave of lawsuits from 26 different states.
“The Clean Power Plan is one of the most far-reaching energy regulations in the nation’s history,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey wrote in a statement. “EPA claims to have power to enact such sweeping regulations … but such legal authority simply does not exist.”
The state lawsuits allege that the Plan is an illegal federal overreach which will drive up the price of electricity and undercut the reliability of the electric grid. A professor of constitutional law at Harvard Law School wrote a Wall Street Journal opinion piece which argued that the Plan was unconstitutional.
The legal basis for the plan has also been questioned by the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, which believes that the EPA doesn’t have the legal authority to implement the plan without explicit authorization from Congress.
President Obama has stated that he intends to use “executive authority” in order to institute CPP over the objections of Congress.
2: Cap-And-Trade Without Congressional Approval
EPA issued a carbon dioxide emissions cap-and-trade scheme in October, claiming that it is authorized by the Clean Air Act. The scheme establishes state limits on carbon dioxide emissions, and requires the EPA to punish states that resist.
However, Congress already rejected a similar program in 2009, meaning the regulation contradicts the express will of Congress and that a simple reinterpretation of the Clean Air Act isn’t enough to justify such a drastic change.
Additionally, new analysis of an existing New England cap-and-trade scheme showed that it failed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Even environmentalists dislike cap-and-trade schemes. Executive Director of Greenpeace Annie Leonard has called cap-and-trade a “multi-trillion dollar carbon racket” which creates “real incentives to cheat.” The fraction of environmentalists who support the idea of cap-and trade admit that previous attempts to implement it “fall short of creating real price pressures due to its closeness to baseline emissions.”
Read more: Daily Caller