As one stares at all the proverbial government regulation trains barreling down the proverbial tracks, there’s a new development from California that offers us a critical lesson in how dangerous both federal and state government “regulations” are.
First, some recollections.
Fact: California’s government-imposed electric system is so bad, the main supplier, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), cannot handle the demand, already asked electric car owners to cut back on their charges, has acknowledged that its use of government land for power lines increases the risk of wildfires, and sees the state desperately trying to get other inputs of electric power from places like Arizona, and a power project running into conflicts with American Indian tribal rights.
Fact: Gavin Newsom’s pet “high-speed rail” project, designed to connect “northern California” with “southern California,” is nowhere near completion, is titanically over-budget, and represents one of the biggest state boondoggles in US history.
Fact: The federal Environmental Protection Agency, started under Richard “I-Am-Not-A-Crook” Nixon has no real constitutionally enumerated justification, is a big, authoritarian bully, prevents innumerable peaceful activities by imposing prohibitions on our use of private property, and punishes citizens and business owners for engaging in peaceful activity that has not harmed anyone.
And with those facts established, we see more idiocy from the feds and California.
As Jeremy Lott reports for The Washington Examiner, “Amtrak-Ridin” Joe Biden is allowing his EPA bureaucrats to engage in a deft dance with Newsom’s California “Air Resources Board” (CARB) to let the state government impose “regulations” on train engines that are even more stringent than the EPA.
Meaning… California is going to push Deisel trains off the tracks, and use its CARB regulatory thuggery to impose more “electric trains” – in a state that can’t fulfil its population’s current electricity demand.
“President Joe Biden's White House has again inserted itself into a dispute involving America’s railroads. This time, the Environmental Protection Agency has made it easier for California to require railroads to replace diesel-powered locomotives with electric locomotives or other lower-emission alternatives.”
Indeed, and, despite the excitement of politicians and bureaucrats who aren’t involved in the rail-carry industry, this new development has many actual business owners and operators quite worried and more than a bit upset.
“’The California locomotive regulation is unreasonable, based on flawed assumptions and mandates technology that is not viable or commercially available today, particularly at scale,’ Ted Greener, spokesman for the Association of American Railroads, told the Washington Examiner.”
And Lott adds:
“The railroads’ trade group has been fighting the law in court. The EPA’s preemption waiver, which goes into effect on Dec. 8, is making railroad lawyers’ jobs that much harder. Democratic California Attorney General Rob Bonta has already filed for a dismissal of the suit, citing the Biden administration’s action.
Previously, federal law had preempted state law on railroad emission regulations for reasons of interstate commerce. The federal government had held that much of railroad regulation, including emissions, must happen at the federal level.”
Of course, that’s like two mafia bosses arguing over turf, while the innocent victims wait to see which thug is going to engage in the punching.
The US bureaucracy and the politicians who support it try to claim that their “malleable as clay” so-called “Interstate Commerce” clause of the Constitution (Article One, Section Eight) allows them to control any commerce that goes over state borders. But, as James Madison wrote in 1829, the clause was supposed to be a remedial method for Congress to manage State-on-State tariff disputes.
Thus, the contemporary misuse of the clause sees the feds claiming so-called “regulatory” power over trains/rail and the Nixon EPA steps in to add insult and injury by claiming to be able to tell rail users what their train engines have to be like.
This, despite no US citizens claiming in court that the train engines are harming them.
The EPA does the same kind of thing in its attack on car engine makers, of course, and, as it does with the California auto-market, it allows the state of California to impose even MORE stringent “emissions standards” on car engines there than what the EPA imposes on the rest of us.
Which leads to the new, impending imposition of more stringent California “emissions standards” on train engines – something that the fantasy-minded California leftists appear to want as a way to push the train system towards full electric.
In other words, towards a less reliable, more expensive, and more dangerous power system in a state that already cannot handle the electricity demand.
And this is a “camel’s-nose-under-the-tent” situation for both the California Climate Cultists and the federal Cultists in Biden’s administration. They want to keep using “regulation” to regulate away our freedoms and our choices.
“The EPA waiver here is consistent with a larger push by the Biden administration across many agencies to cut down on carbon emissions and switch American vehicles over from combustion engine-driven to electric.
‘President Biden has set an ambitious U.S. goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than 2050,” the White House’s website says.’”
Sounds grand, doesn’t it…? A “zero emissions economy…”
Of course, there is no such thing. The electricity they want has to be created, and the most reliable ways to create the electricity are not via wind farms (which require a lot of energy and natural resources to create them and which are unreliable, then lead to massive pollution for the old parts every time one is repaired or decommissioned), not via “solar” (which require a lot of natural resources, again, to make them, take up massive amounts of ground space, are unreliable, and lead to vast heat-mesas), but come from things like the burning of coal and natural gas, or from nuclear plants.
The way to decrease costs is to stop pushing the fraudulent “Climate Catastrophe” canard, stop stretching the Interstate Commerce Clause, and stop pushing around private energy suppliers, train/rail businesspeople, and consumers.
Of course, the politicians in DC and California who are pushing these disastrous plans aren’t listening. They seem too busy singing their songs of “carbon-free” futures.
As the legendary sounds of train whistles die sad and bureaucratic deaths.
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