23 States File Court Challenge To New Biden EPA Attack On Coal Energy Plants

P. Gardner Goldsmith | May 13, 2024

On April 25, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan and his tax-fed tyrants at the Environmental Protection Agency released their “Final Suite of Standards” – i.e. threats – targeting coal-based electricity generation plants. It’s a cozy-sounding name for the mandates that will, in all likelihood, see Joe Biden “make good” on his years-old promise to shut down coal plants “all across America.”

In other words, it’s a “suite of standards” that stands on the invalid assumptions: A) that, somehow, mankind is causing a catastrophic climate disaster, B) that carbon dioxide emissions are the cause of said so-called “climate change,” and C) that the feds have any constitutional power to foist these mandates on anyone.

This “suite of standards” will “go into effect” on July 8, and it’s an attack that just inspired 23 states fight with a challenge filed May 8 in the Washington DC. Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

The April 25 EPA press release is full of flowery cover-terms, and even claims to be helping the coal, natural gas, and oil energy production sector by laying out set dates by which their plants have to comply with the federal edicts.

Kind of like a mobster telling you the date by which you will have to make your corner store compliant with his “rules.”

“Nice power plant ya got here…” the Biden mafia might be saying.

In fact, they offered this, in part:

“By developing these standards in a clear, transparent, inclusive manner, EPA is cutting pollution while ensuring that power companies can make smart investments and continue to deliver reliable electricity for all Americans.”

So, one can see their self-congratulatory “we’re helping everyone” lingo and the sleight of hand in calling their government threats a form of "help" for power companies, but what, exactly, do they mean by “pollution”?

Well, part of their focus is  mercury in fumes. Mercury is a toxin, and, if emission levels were high enough to cause harm, people could bring tort suits for injury if they WERE harmed. But the plants already have lowered emissions, and this is the federal government circumventing that traditional legal standard and applying even more strangling prohibitions on mercury emissions than already stand. In fact, as the Institute for Energy Research (IER) reported in 2023 when many of these EPA plans were announced:

“Most of the existing coal plants have already paid off their capital costs, but these regulations could make them pay for costly pollution control equipment, even though the U.S. has a remarkable record of clean air and clean-burning energy.”

Ahh, but the focus of the new edicts really isn’t mercury. It’s the Climate Cult’s favorite mis-named bogeyman, “Carbon Emissions.”

Which actually means carbon-dioxide, and CO2 is not a detriment to people. It also has not been proven to be driving up global temperatures, something on which I have written extensively for MRCTV.

Moreover, the Biden Administration attack on coal is a continuation of his dark work as Vice-President. Throughout the Obama years, MRCTV diligently worked to expose the federal government attack on coal as an energy source and its attack on the people who mine, ship, and burn the coal to provide cheap, reliable energy to millions of Americans. MRCTV’s documentary, “Collateral Damage: Forgotten Casualties of the Left’s War on Coal” is a must-watch for people who care about the fates of those who already have been attacked by Obama and Biden, by the EPA, and by numerous politicians who back the federal Climate Cult.

As IER noted in 2023:

“In 2007, coal supplied about half of all generation on the U.S. power grid. In 2022, that figure dropped to 20 percent, behind natural gas and renewables when combining the generation shares from hydroelectricity, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. This year nuclear power is also expected to overtake coal, dropping coal’s share to fourth place. Most projections, however, expect coal to occupy a small share of the market through 2030 and beyond despite U.S. climate envoy John Kerry’s declaration at climate talks in Glasgow in 2021 that ‘by 2030 in the United States, we won’t have coal.’” Analysts expect that challenges associated with bringing new power sources online will help keep some coal plants operating, despite cost and climate considerations.”

And those challenges to new power sources are monumental, ranging from the problems associated with unreliable and resource-eating wind farms to environmentally disastrous, storm-vulnerable solar farms, the panels for which mainly come from China, because the Chinese interests get cheap energy from COAL plants.

Related: Bloomberg: 'Coal's Days are Numbered'

Indeed, what have Chinese interests been doing while Obama and Biden embarked on their quest to kill coal-based energy?

Since 2022, they have built six-times the number of coal plants than the rest of the world, combined, with CNN reporting that over the course of 2022, the nation was approving an average of two coal plants per week. In a perfectly timed April 14 piece, CNBC reported that Chinese sources accounted for two-thirds of new global coal plant energy capacity in 2023.

Biden and his EPA want to hobble what is left of U.S. coal exploration, recovery, and energy-creation, and the new mandates pile on expenses for everything from mandating that coal, oil, and gas-fired plants “control 90 percent of their carbon pollution” (again, the canard that carbon-dioxide is a pollutant), to “a 70 percent reduction in the emissions standard for mercury from existing lignite-fired sources,” to wastewater, to deposits of coal ash in the ground.

These all are potential risks that can, and, constitutionally, should, be handled by private interests, private property, and tortious claims for personal damage. The complicating factors of state-run, or multi-state-run, energy grids, of state-granted energy-provision licenses, even of state-granted monopolies handed to energy corporations, all are problems to consider when looking at how easily private parties can seek damages for emissions from such energy providers should the providers cause damage.

But putting the federal government into a position of overseer means that we all fall under their control, that their pie-in-the-sky fascist plans to impose a “green agenda” on us will harm our wallets and the capacity of energy providers to do what the market actually wants, and we can see, already, that these diktats put U.S. business interests at a disadvantage compared to nations such as China.

Biden appears to be fulfilling a pledge. But it is a dark pledge, and unless these 23 states can stop the EPA, it will continue to dismantle a sector of energy supply that, if he would abide by the Constitution and keep the feds out of it, could offer us cheap, plentiful power for centuries.

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