Lame: D.C. Circuit court seems to think collusion between green activists and EPA is A-OK

E&E LEGAL’S STATEMENT RE: D.C. CIRCUIT COURT’S DECISION TO DENY BRIEF ILLUSTRATING EXTENSIVE COLLUSION BETWEEN EPA AND GREEN GROUPS IN WRITING CLEAN POWER PLAN

collusion-guys

So, guys, here’s the plan…

The Energy & Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal) is extremely disappointed that the DC Circuit three judge panel refused to consider whether the EPA was improperly influenced by so called ‘green’ groups when the agency put forth the Clean Power Plan (CPP) that intended to “bankrupt” coal power plants and eliminate coal miners jobs throughout the country. We have painstakingly gathered evidence of improper ex parte contact between these outside groups and key EPA employees while the rule was being drafted, yet the Court has decided not to look at it in this case. The ex parte contact was extreme and included meetings at coffee shops across the street from EPA, extensive use of private e-mail servers by agency officials, and the ‘green groups’ clear involvement in the drafting and editing of the CPP.

“I spent thirty-three years of my life at the EPA, and never witnessed the level of illegal collusion and outside influence that occurred with the drafting and release of the CPP,” said E&E Legal General Counsel David Schnare. “This rule is tainted from the beginning, must be remanded to the EPA for a do-over, and E&E Legal will not stop pursuing this line of argument until a court hears it.”

E&E Legal intends to fight to present this evidence before other courts. We will work to introduce it when the DC Circuit considers the EPA’s rule limiting new coal power plants. We have also submitted a petition for reconsideration to EPA based on these improper contacts and if the Agency fails to do its duty to act on the petition in a timely fashion, we will sue to enforce the EPA’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.


Meanwhile, while some of the same eco-groups involved cheer, Peabody Energy warns they may be declaring bankruptcy

69 thoughts on “Lame: D.C. Circuit court seems to think collusion between green activists and EPA is A-OK

  1. Was the current nominee to the Supreme Court involved in the circuit court’s decision in ANY way?

    • You must be joking. Lobbying has been part of the process of lawmaking in the United States ever since the Constitution was signed.

      • Chris,
        You are of course joking or confused. As you said lobbying is an appropriate part of lawmaking so that the lawmakers understand the consequence of the laws they pass and the people have the right to inform them of the implication of a tax, etc. Collecting personal favors from lobbies is wrong. Lobbying of the courts or an Administration that coordinates secretly with lobby groups is another matter especially when they try to hide their communications.

      • Yes, but the judicial process must be open and fair otherwise it doesn’t work well. All evidence that isn’t malicious or perverted (according to societally agreed counts) should be admitted, considered and judged. Otherwise, why have open courts? The more openness and transparency the better.

  2. There is no need to overtly collude when you belong to the same religion. They all know what to do. They have all submitted to the will of Landru. “I hear and obey the words of Landru.”

  3. I doubt if the current nominee to the Supreme Court was involved in the panel’s decision. After all the main stream media has described him as moderate. SARC

    • Strange the media fails to report whether the current Nominee was involved or not. Media manipulation to keep us uninformed

  4. Corruption and collusion is the new normal. The Rule of Law was just in the way too much of the time.

  5. What does it take for a DC judge to question an official agency?

    What about the Supreme Court? (illegal NSA wiretapping)

  6. probably a good thread for this:

    21 Mar: Fox News: Jennifer G. Hickey: Strange Bedfellows: Obama, fossil fuel industry unite against kids’ climate suit
    President Obama and the fossil fuel industry at last have found common cause: fighting a lawsuit brought by kids and teenagers over the administration’s alleged inaction on global warming…
    Yet to supporters of the plaintiffs, the bedfellows are not quite as strange as they sound.
    “If you look at some of Obama’s speeches, like when he offered praise for the oil and gas industry in 2012 while speaking in Oklahoma, it is clear they are both on the same side,” said Phillip Gregory, one of the lawyers arguing the case on behalf of Our Children’s Trust on a pro bono basis.
    “The administration has done an inadequate job in getting where we need to be [in protecting the environment] and contesting this case is just another example of how [Obama] is supporting the fossil fuel industry,” Gregory told FoxNews.com…
    Some believe the lack of scientific evidence is the reason why groups like Our Children’s Trust are using children as plaintiffs – a strategy that has come under fire.
    “This step towards having kids [file lawsuits] is just a way to make it more emotional and more political and less challenging to where the science is,” Jim Steele, an ecologist and self-described climate skeptic who spent 25 years as director of the San Francisco State University Sierra Nevada Field Campus, told Watchdog.org…READ ON
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/03/21/strange-bedfellows-obama-fossil-fuel-industry-unite-against-kids-climate-suit.html

  7. Only when the rolling blackouts begin will most people realize the magnitude of the deception, but alas it will be too late by then to limit the damages.

      • The people will never accept bills quadrupling. So the uneconomic faux-electricity will always be proposed up directly from public subsidies to hide it. That has the added benefit of propping up the “competitive with coal” lie.

  8. Peabody Energy warns they may be declaring bankruptcy….

    3 tons of coal mined per second…From one mine…

    Once you account for the energy lost during the conversion of coal to electricity, the mine yields the energy equivalent of about 300,000 barrels of oil per day. Solar and wind energy production, meanwhile, provided the United States with 333,000 megawatt-hours of electricity per day in 2011—the equivalent of 203,000 barrels of oil. The point isn’t merely that a single mine produces about 50 percent more energy on an average day than all the country’s solar panels and wind turbines combined. It’s that the mine covers just 80 square miles, while domestic wind projects now cover about 9,400 square miles—an area approximately the size of Maryland.
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/coal-comfort-13488.html

  9. (“)……this case is just another example of how [Obama] is supporting the fossil fuel industry,”
    Well, you could have fooled me!
    Do some of these lawyer advocates even listen to themselves?

    • Yes they do. They realise if they keep saying Black is White, some people will accept and they will get away with all their Grey lies.

  10. I guess there is no substitute for zero tolerance vigilance of the government and civil service and massive reaction to it when it steps out of line. ‘When the cat’s away, the mice will play’. Wake up America before your governance is outsourced to the UN and fellow NGOs. Everyone is bemoaning Trump’s successes when just such a guy is essential before it’s too late.

  11. If any of these green groups accepted one dime of funding from any foreign entity, and they then collided with a us federal agency to craft this rule, I would say there are serious national security implications.

    What sort of personnel regulations are in place for epa employees regarding contact with foreign entities?

  12. There is that tape of Obama addressing the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board in 2008 vowing to bankrupt the coal industry. The EPA is just following adminstration policy. Hilary is running as Obama’s third term QED.

  13. Friday I sat in on a Clean Power Plan webinar hosted by Power Engineering magazine. (BTW I’ve worked in power generation for 35+ years and have actually downloaded and reviewed the reg.) The two CPP panelists were an environmentalist and a legal expert.

    If a Republican becomes president, CPP will simply be dismantled and tossed. If a Democrat becomes president, CPP still has to survive the legal challenges which the legal expert considers unlikely. If CPP does survive, its schedule will be set back the time between the stay and the final ruling, at this time that appears to be at least two years, so:

    The states have until September, 2018 to submit their plans, NLT 2026 to initiate compliance, 2032 for the final ruling to take effect, breaking the 2030 COP21 promise. That’s four more administrations any one of which could “spike” it.

    There seems to be a great misunderstanding that CPP spells the end of coal fired electric power. Not so. Traditional coal fired Rankine plants produce about 2,100 lb CO2/MWh. It’s chemistry and math, fuel composition and efficiency. The same Rankine plant firing natural gas will produce about 1,100 lb/MWh. The CPP FF (coal & NG) 2030 standard is 1,305, no way for coal, piece of cake for NG. Simple cycle gas turbines, the Brayton cycle, will also produce about 1,100 lb/MWh. Can’t meet 771, but they are peakers. A combined cycle, combustion turbine Brayton cycle, with the exhaust generating steam in a HRSG to power a steam turbine Rankine cycle will produce about 650 lb/MWh (standard is 771).

    While the standard set for fossil fired EGUs, 1,305 lb/MWh, is impossible for both existing and new coal plants to meet without expensive CCS, that’s not how it really works.

    The states have to inventory the generation under their jurisdiction and develop a plan that will meet the states performance standard, for Colorado that’s 1,374. So by shifting baseload generation toward natural gas through co-firing with coal, a common practice, or converting coal boilers to NG, another common practice when that ability is not already included, and building CCPP plants, the state can in aggregate meet the standard without wholesale demolition of coal plants. NG CCPPs are especially popular due to the low NG prices, robust designs, fast track environmental approvals, siting advantages, and quick erection. Excel’s Cherokee 5, 6, 7 is an excellent example. So older, less efficient coal plants will be retired, SC or CCPP installed, some might be converted/co-fire NG (NOT what EPA had in mind), newer coal units/designs might be dispatched less, but will press on. Old NG Rankine stations will be refurbished, new NG Rankine units built (but why not just do CCPP?). And no guarantee of significant renewables

    So the state’s overall, collective, aggregate generation mix plans are what matter, not the individual units. Wyoming’s got a problem, others no so much so.

    And what is CPP supposed to accomplish? A 32% reduction in CO2 output from US power generation (not just coal). The US is responsible for about 16% of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 output (anthro CO2 is 2/3rd fossil fuel and 1/3rd land use changes). Power generation represents about 31% of US CO2 production. Therefore – 16% * 31% * 32% = 1.6%. CPP will reduce the global anthropogenic C2 output by 1.6%. China and India will cancel that out with their next dozen coal fired power plants.

  14. Congress can stop this insane and suicidal EPA, but it will take a President who is not a devotee of the Climate Cult to sign the bill. The only true skeptic among the current Presidential candidates is Ted Cruz.

    /Mr Lynn

  15. This illustrates why there’s no point going to court against climate alarmists to expose the scam. Even though the evidence is all on the side of the skeptics, the judge will rule against them anyway.

    • And on the other side you have attorney generals who refuse to contest lawsuits, then insist on appealing the rulings to higher courts where they again refuse to contest the lawsuit, hoping to establish irrevocable judicial precedent on the friendliest possible terms.

      • as i recall of the Nurmberg Trials, it was acknowledged that the 3 commonest rationalisations
        used by agents of the state to justify violating the rights of individuals
        were completely unacceptable and carried no weight.
        and these 3 excuses for evil were:
        1- i was just following orders
        2- if i didn’t do it somebody else would have
        3- i thought i could save a few
        let reason defeat cowardice about now.
        it’s gone on just too long.

  16. Doesn’t surprise me. After Goldman Sachs avoiding prosecution of fraud in 2008, this is peanuts. The Constitution used to apply to everyone, but now it only applies to most.

  17. Bank of England predicts more lawsuits from the CAGW side at progressive think tank IPPR meeting:

    21 Mar: ClimateChangeNews: Ed King: Bank of England regulator warns of growing climate risks
    Risk to financial system lessened by companies’ disclosure of their exposure to fossil fuel assets, says Paul Fisher
    The financial impacts of climate change could hit global markets hard and at any time, a senior Bank of England official has warned.2
    ***Vulnerable companies include those holding long term high-carbon assets and businesses who could face legal action for their contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions
    “As climate change evolves those responsible for causing it or not mitigating it are likely to get sued,” said Paul Fisher, deputy head of the Bank’s regulatory body.
    Better levels of transparency were now essential to guide investors through the transition away from fossil fuels, he told a meeting in London hosted by the IPPR think tank…ETC
    http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/03/21/bank-of-england-regulator-warns-of-growing-climate-risks/

    • Not surprised about this situation. Thanks for the link. Ed Clark form Canada where the elite are up to their eyeballs in climate hysteria.

      On the Keystone XL continuation, the recorded congressional vote in late 2014 almost all of the Democratic members voted no and 31 senators voted no. Passed in the House but failed in the Senate.

      All 3 of Vermont’s Congressional delegation voted no on Keystone XL and now Vermont has its hand out to Canada to get Canadian hydro-power. Run an “extension” cord from Quebec to accomplish this.

  18. Another circular firing squad be environmentalist. Now that the president has been set for POTUS to make regulations not based on laws passed by congress, the next POTUS can collude with the coal industry to put solar out of business.

    • It will take the next president to KEEP solar in power; by themselves, they’d be out of business immediately. Let’s hope the next POTUS will have the economic sense to get the “crony” out of “capitalism”.

      • The power indusblem try is not a free market and you should be happy about that. We we charged what you would pay for a cup of coffee, we in the industry would be rich. Profits are regulated.

        I do not have a problem with promoting alternatives. I have a problem with attacking a large segment of the industry based on junk science.

      • Kit

        You cant be serious about regulated pricing, the only industries in the world that don’t decrease cost to customers over time are the regulated ones. The more regulated the higher the cost increases. i.e. medical, educational, transportation, agriculture, housing and so on, all of these are out of control because of regulations, funny thing too is that most of them are not calculated in in the consumer price index for inflation, gee I wonder why that is?
        The only reason utilities in the past could drive up cost on their own was because they were sponsored monopolies do to government intervention again another form of government regulations. if the company you were working for tried to drive up pricing in a competitive market they would go out of business.
        Heck if it was up to the government my gas prices for my car would be over $5.00 a gallon it was only the fact they couldn’t stop people from drilling on private lands that drove the prices back down. remember all those politicians telling us that the cost of oil had nothing to do with supply and that we could never “drill our way out of it”?

  19. You know, I’m trying to see all of this – the whole thing – in a positive light, like it’s a learning curve for humanity, but it’s hard to do that when I cannot be sure if we’re actually going to learn anything.

    There are ways out of this mess, but it involves manning up on so many levels (I’m definitely excluding Mann on this one, even in jest). Instead all players with green in their veins seem determined to go for the whole train wreck, not caring a dang that they’ll be sitting smack bang in the middle of it.

    Then again, maybe the complete train wreck will be the learning experience they need.

  20. Friday I sat in on a Clean Power Plan webinar hosted by Power Engineering magazine. (BTW I’ve worked in power generation for 35+ years and have actually downloaded and reviewed the reg.) The two CPP panelists were an environmentalist and a legal expert.
    If a Republican becomes president, CPP will simply be dismantled and tossed. If a Democrat becomes president, CPP still has to survive the legal challenges which the legal expert considers unlikely. If CPP does survive its schedule will be set back the time between the stay and the final ruling, at this time that appears to be at least two years, so:
    The states have until September, 2018 to submit their plans, NLT 2026 to initiate compliance, 2032 for the final ruling to take effect, breaking the 2030 COP21 promise. That’s four more administrations any one of which could “spike” it.
    There seems to be a great misunderstanding that CPP spells the end of coal fired electric power. Not so. Traditional coal fired Rankine plants produce about 2,100 lb CO2/MWh. It’s chemistry and math, fuel composition and efficiency. The same Rankine plant firing natural gas will produce about 1,100 lb/MWh. The CPP FF standard is 1,305, no way for coal, piece of cake for NG. Simple cycle gas turbines, the Brayton cycle, will also produce about 1,100 lb/MWh. Can’t meet 771, but they are peakers. A combined cycle, combustion turbine Brayton cycle, with the exhaust generating steam in a HRSG to power a steam turbine Rankine cycle will produce about 650 lb/MWh (standard is 771).
    While the standard set for fossil fired EGUs, 1,305 lb/MWh, is impossible for both existing and new coal plants to meet without expensive CCS, that’s not how it really works.
    The states have to inventory the generation under their jurisdiction and develop a plan that will meet the state’s performance standard, for Colorado that’s 1,374. So by shifting baseload generation toward natural gas through co-firing with coal, a common practice, or converting coal boilers to NG, another common practice when that ability is not already included, and building CCPP plants, the state ca, in aggregate, meet the standard without wholesale demolition of coal plants. NG CCPPs are especially popular due to the low NG prices, robust designs, fast track environmental approvals, siting advantages, and quick erection. Excel’s Cherokee 5, 6, 7 is an excellent example. So older, less efficient coal plants will be retired, SC or CCPP installed, some might be converted/co-fire NG (NOT what EPA had in mind), newer designs might be dispatched less, but will press on. Old NG Rankine stations will be refurbished, new NG Rankine units built (but why not just do CCPP?).
    So the state’s overall, collective, aggregate generation mix plans are what matter, not the individual units.
    And what is CPP supposed to accomplish? A 32% reduction in CO2 output from US power generation (not just coal). The US is responsible for about 16% of the world’s anthropogenic CO2 output (anthro CO2 is 2/3rd fossil fuel and 1/3rd land use changes). Power generation represents about 31% of US CO2 production. Therefore – 16% * 31% * 32% = 1.6%. CPP will reduce the global anthropogenic C2 output by 1.6%. China and India will cancel that out with their next dozen coal fired power plants.

    • Pollution control technology is often based on Best Available Technology (BAT). Natural gas is not BAT, it is the second worst. Nuke plants are BAT when CO2 is considered.

      This is why I do not think Obama is serious about climate change and is just anti-coal.

  21. We’ve had this problem in the UK for a long time, with Greenpeace and FoE being invited to act as consultants in forming government energy policies, in spite of their being funded by the windturbine industry.

    Meanwhile, there have been cases of energy ministers having directorships in wind and solar companies.

    Thing is, under normal circumstances it would be forbidden for a government minister to have business interests which depend for their success on policies taking a particular direction. For some unknown reason, this prohibition of vested interests is being overlooked where renewables are concerned.

    • Let us (in the UK) never forget that the price English Lit graduate, Bryony Worthington took for leaving FOE and joining Ed Miliband to write the UK’s CCA, was elevation to be Baroness Worthington of Cambridge and a seat in the House of Lords. She single-handedly condemned this country to generations of fuel poverty and compromised security. The UK Civil Service is awash with advisors and such like who have been drafted in from FoE or Greenpeace.

      She reminds me of the young blonde secretary who was asked by her boss if she wold join him for a dirty weekend if he gave her £10,000. “Oh yes”, she said, “I’d love to”. “Well” her boss replied, “Would you come away for £5?” The young blonde was horrified: “What kind of girl do you take me for?” she said. “Well, we’ve already established that” said her boss, “now we’re just haggling the price”.

  22. If some of those green groups are/were funded by the American-way hating Rockefeller foundation, then doesn’t this mean that possibly this rich leftwing organization is influencing those green groups and hence, the EPA?

  23. Obama’s SCOTUS nominee is Obama’s secret weapon because he is anti-coal. Jobs gone – for what reason? His acceptance would kill the coal industry totally because he could support the EPA when this case comes to his court, methinks.

  24. Building blocks, emissions credit swapping, aggregation of EGUs, flexibility and autonomy in meeting the state’s goals all lip stick on the Federalist pig attempting to disguise its overreach. The states should take the initiative and EPA at its word and manipulate its EGUs as needed to meet their performance standard. WECC, ERCOT and the western states should get together and manipulate both existing and new generation to achieve their aggregate performance standards. Once the numbers fall chances are the impact on coal would be minor, certainly not fatal.

    California with a lot of NG could swap with Utah allowing intermountain, Huntington, Hunter, et al. to press on with little real change. Colorado and Nebraska trade with Wyoming and the Dakotas. Vermont has no coal fired EGU’s, but it does have other EGUs and should have a standard like every other state it could use to play in the credit swapping game.

    Different standard for different states violates the equal protection clause. There should be one lb CO2/MWh which achieves the national goal of a 32% reduction and applied to ALL including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Guam. All states with EGUs start with the same number of chips which they can then trade, swap, sell, negotiate to achieve the national goal.

    • Chris

      The government is not supposed to be making regulation for political purposes, environmentalist are clearly political in nature. For there to be equivalence in your argument the environmentalist should be taking legal action. Instead they are making the policy, crafted for political purposes that directly damages the people whom they government is supposed to act for.

  25. You cant be serious about regulated pricing…”

    Bob B your reading skills need improvement. I said power company profits are regulated. This is because generally you only have a choice of buying electricity from one power company. You do have the choice to make your own power but you will not save money. If your power company makes better choice, then you may have your rates set lower than those who live in a different location.
    The price of coal, natural gas, and uranium are not regulated.

    • Kit

      Did you read the article at all? Its about the government using regulation to drive the coal industry out of business!
      All forms off energy are highly regulated and the monopolies that exist are a direct result of government intervention. You are correct I could generate my own electricity but I would have to by my fuel from someone, have you ever notice what level of taxation there is on private purchase of fuels? I do use propane for much of my household needs because I can shop that around some and have saved quite a bit, but the taxes on this are still ridiculously above any thing a utility would pay for the same fuel.

      Did you ever wonder why Big business supports politicians that actively advocate for more regulations? Its quite simple big corporations have the resources to absorb the cost incurred by regulation but smaller to mid size companies do not, this tends to drive competition down for the big corporations. Look at the auto industry they don’t appose any regulations forwarded by the government, in fact they actively support more regulation, they get the double benefit of making sure that competition is held down and that prices are held high, a 3% profit on a $25,000 car is a lot better than a 3% profit on a $12,000 car. Why do you think no one tries to enter the market any more with a cheep car for everyone?

      Ask your self when and where is the government working to get cheaper energy for the people? That answer is quite simply no where, do you really think that the energy companies have a problem with all of the green issues, the answer is no they love them they drive up cost and there for eliminate competition cementing their position for ever by government mandate.

      Sanders and Trump are opposed by the establishment because both the democrats and republicans know that if either of these guys wins they won’t be beholden to corporations that have financed their campaigns and this risks the future money going all to the other side. This has totally panicked all of the bought and paid for politicians. Corporate money is used for one purpose to ensure that corporations face the least amount of competition possible, without competition costs become no longer relevant and generating a profit becomes almost a sure thing and there is no longer a fear of someone coming along with a new process or innovation that threatens your entire business.

  26. There are four types of electric power generators: 1) investor owned utilities granted a franchise and service territory with their ROI/profit regulated by a PUC, 2) Municipals and co-ops that are customer “owned” and regulated at most by FERC but not a PUC, 3) For profit merchant plants regulated by FERC but not a PUC, 4) Industries such as mining and smelting with their own power plants.

    Depending on the local rates it is quite possible to produce your own electricity at a lower rate, but the noise, maintenance, and reliability are now your problem. Home Depot, Graingers, Northern Equipment, the internet all have engine generator sets that are little more complicated than a lawn mower or snow blower. Fuels pricing might not be “regulated,” but are most certainly “manipulated.” Coal pricing might not be regulated, but I understand the railroad transportation is.

  27. The CPP reg notes that there is no state performance standard for Vermont because it has no coal generation. Vermont does have oil and NG “fossil” fired generation so it should have a standard same as other states. So, yeah CPP is all about an anti-coal & pro NG enviro-political agenda.

  28. Oh, and another observation. Internal combustion engine driven electric generators are not included in the CPP, they stay in CAA, even though they are FF fired CO2 producers. Some of these can be 2 to 3 MW in capacity.

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