Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Did Big Green Become So Powerful?

With tax dollars, of course.  This is from the Washington Examiner.
by Mark Hemingway
In 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded that it lacked authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions as the cause of global warming.
Because carbon emissions result from nearly all economic activity, the ruling made sense, as Congress never intended the EPA to regulate the entire economy.
But Big Green environmentalists were outraged. They teamed with allies in state and local governments to sue the EPA to force it to reverse its ruling in a case known as Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency.
The petitioners in the case featured multiple Big Green outfits that specialize in litigating environmental causes, including the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund and the Conservation Law Foundation.
Litigants on both sides were astounded when in 2007, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that the EPA does indeed have the authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. Critics called it a fundamentally flawed decision and predicted its reversal in the near future.
But until then, Massachusetts is probably the most significant legal decision in Big Green's history because it opens the door to the agency using global warming as a threat to justify its regulation of anything that can be remotely linked to carbon creation or use.
Among the least discussed aspects of the case is found in a search of the EPA grants database that shows NRDC, EDF and CLF received federal funding totaling $7,656,829 from the EPA during the past decade.
That meant EPA was in effect using tax dollars to help fund a lawsuit against itself that ultimately resulted in the agency acquiring unprecedented regulatory authority. Whether it will ever actually be able to exercise that authority is very much open to question.
Read more at the Washington Examiner.

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