10.01.2008 0

Day 28: In Pursuit of a “Do-Nothing” Congress and a “Do-Nothing” Court

  • On: 10/21/2008 22:33:07
  • In: Energy Crisis, Global Warming Fraud, and the Environment
  • The American people are all up in a frenzy right now in a valiant attempt to force one particular branch of the government, the Legislative Branch, to get its act together and do something regarding the ongoing energy crisis. The voice of the people has been made clear time and time again, demanding that Congress pursue an “All of the Above” strategy on energy in order to alleviate the pain at the pump. This, of course, includes a measure for increased drilling.

    On the other hand, another branch of the government needs to keep its hands off of energy. In fact, they ought to steer way clear of any matters concerning emissions, “global warming,” pollution, regulation and any other issue the falling under the grand umbrella category of “energy.”

    That branch, of course, is the Judiciary.

    As with many other issues that should never have strayed into the realm of the courts, judicial activism has begun to creep into matters concerning energy and its usage. The deluge of such judicial activism arguably began last year in the aftermath of a Supreme Court case regarding Carbon Dioxide.

    In a close 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court decided in Massachusetts v. EPA that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and therefore the Environmental Protection Agency has the right—and duty—to regulate its emission. As the Court ruled:

    “Because greenhouse gases fit well within the Clean Air Act’s capacious definition of ‘air pollutant’, we hold that the EPA has the statutory authority to regulate the emission of such gases from new motor vehicles.”

    Besides the obvious fact that CO2 is not a pollutant and is actually a rather essential component to the cyclical balance of life on this planet, this case demonstrates the degree to which environmentalists have exploited the courts in an attempt to obstruct energy. Unfortunately enough, similar cases are not hard to find.

    Environmental groups in Georgia, for example, have recently carried their anti-power plant crusade into the state’s court of appeals. Their aim is to use the courts to force an economically-debilitating cap on the plant’s CO2 emissions.

    Additionally, twelve states are now suing federal environmental regulators regarding the greenhouse gas emissions from oil refineries. As New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the individual spearheading the suit, declares:

    “The EPA’s refusal to control pollution from oil refineries is the latest example of the Bush administration’s do-nothing policy on global warming.”

    Obviously not satisfied with the President’s or Congress’ efforts to deal with the “pollutant” CO2, this new suit seeks to force the EPA to act on its Massachusetts v. EPA granted authority and control oil refinery emissions. As the Boston Globe editorial explains, however:

    “EPA spokesman Tim Lyons said time and money would be better spent by encouraging Congress to take action on sound environmental legislation rather than introducing law suits.”

    Mr. Lyons has a great point. Issues regarding energy, whether actually credible or based on dubious “global warming” data, ought to be decided by the people, not the courts.

    While it is all-too-important for Congress to remain vigilant in pushing the American Energy Act forward, they likewise must remember to push the courts back as well. There is an urgent need to limit the jurisdiction of the nation’s courts, and the leaders in both the House and Senate ought to recognize this.

    The green-movement has had too much leeway in their ability to bog down important energy issues in senseless lawsuits. If the American Energy Act passes in Congress, it must not fall victim to the same treatment.

    Judicial activism has mangled too many issues already. Activist judges should never decide the fate of our nation’s energy policies. And the message Congress should send the federal courts, under the authority of Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution, is: “Do nothing.”

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