The Administrative State Moves to Show Who’s Boss on Energy Policy


Francis Menton

Last Thursday, June 30, the Supreme Court issued its decision in West Virginia v. EPA, holding that, absent a further explicit statute from the Congress, the EPA did not have the authority to orchestrate its planned fundamental restructuring of the electric power generation sector of the economy. More generally, the Supreme Court stated that in cases involving “major questions,” including regulations that affect large portions of the economy, the government must demonstrate “clear congressional authorization” to support a sweeping effort to regulate.

Do you think that such a Supreme Court decision might cause the various regulatory bureaucracies to slow down and reconsider a little before plowing ahead with other dubious plans for fundamental economic restructurings? That’s not how these bureaucracies work. And such is most particularly the case with regard to regulators of the energy sector, sometimes known as “climate change” arena, where the bureaucrats are burning with a righteous religious fervor that they believe entitles them to cast the evil sinners into the fires of hell.

And thus, contemporaneous with the Supreme Court’s decision, several agencies promptly doubled down on efforts to strangle the oil and gas industries with regulatory restrictions, essentially daring the courts or anyone else to stop them. Thousands of pages of statutes give them thousands of arguments to claim they have the “clear congressional authorization,” any one of which arguments might stick. They are now out to show who’s boss.

EPA Administrator Michael Regan wasted no time in getting a statement out on the afternoon of June 30. Excerpt:

[W]e are committed to using the full scope of EPA’s authorities to protect communities and reduce the pollution that is driving climate change. . . . EPA will move forward with lawfully setting and implementing environmental standards that meet our obligation to protect all people and all communities from environmental harm.

In other words, we will just have to find other ways to implement the restrictions that we want to implement. The very next day, July 1, David Blackmon at Forbes reported that “EPA Targets Permian Basin, Widening Biden’s War On Oil And Gas.” The Permian Basin is currently the most productive oil and gas region in the United States, providing about 40% of the oil production and 15% of the gas of the entire country. The Permian Basin is also the site of about 40% of the nation’s active drilling rigs. And so it seems that EPA is gearing up to declare the Permian Basin a so-called “non-attainment area” with respect to ozone. Blackmon:

[T]he Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced [this week that] it may soon issue a ruling declaring that vast parts of the Permian Basin are in “non-attainment” status under the agency’s ozone regulations. If such a declaration is made, it will constitute a direct governmental assault on what is by far America’s most active and productive oil-producing region and its second most-productive natural gas area.

What would be the effect of such a declaration on current and future U.S. domestic oil and gas production? Blackmon again:

Placing the Permian Basin in non-attainment status would force a significant reduction in the region’s rig count, severely limiting the domestic industry’s efforts to increase U.S. oil production at a time when the global oil market is already severely under-supplied.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott promptly called on the Biden Administration to back off, saying that an EPA “non-attainment declaration “could interfere in the production of oil in Texas which could lead to skyrocketing prices at the pump by reducing production, increase the cost of that production, or do both.” But Blackmon notes that the plan comes from an office headed by a Biden-appointed anti-fossil-fuel activist, and thus is likely a core element of the administration’s program:

Mr. Biden appointed Joe Goffman, another of the many anti-fossil fuel activists that now hold senior posts at his various agencies, to head up EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation on an acting basis. That appointment might have been made with this specific policy action in mind.

Meanwhile, over at the Interior Department, July 1 was also the day for issuance of a statutorily-mandated five-year off-shore oil and gas leasing plan. Nicholas Groom at Reuters has a summary here. The bottom line is, we’re going to completely shut down leasing off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, but maybe we’ll allow a little in the Gulf of Mexico or the Cook Inlet (Alaska). The number of auctions over the five-year period will be in the range of “zero to eleven,” and supposedly we’ll take public input as to which way to go. But Interior Secretary Deb Haaland in a statement left no doubt as to where she wants and expects this to come out:

“From Day One, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy,” Haaland said in a statement. “Today, we put forward an opportunity for the American people to consider and provide input on the future of offshore oil and gas leasing. The time for the public to weigh in on our future is now.”

There is a 90 day period for public comment. You can be sure that environmental activist groups will flood the zone with thousands of comments to support the approach of the “zero” option of ceasing all further off-shore leases.

Other agencies were eerily silent in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s June 30 decision. Notable among those were the SEC and the Federal Reserve, both of which have recently ventured into adding “climate change” to their missions with only the most questionable of statutory support. Neither has given any indication of an intention to slow down.

And then on July 2, President Biden issued his now-famous tweet blaming the rising price of gas at the pump on gas station owners:

My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.

A bureaucracy-wide campaign is ongoing under this guy’s direction to suppress oil and gas production in any way they can think of, and yet he has the gall to blame high prices on “companies running gas stations,” the majority of which are small independent businesses.

Read the full article here.

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July 9, 2022 2:06 pm

The liberals are so well entrenched we will have to completely gut most of the Feral government in order to stop them.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MarkW
July 9, 2022 5:38 pm

Thomas Jefferson said, ‘Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force.’

Texas Governor Greg Abbott needs to nullify whatever EPA Administrator Michael Regan, or any other of ‘Biden’s’ Deep State puppets, comes up with.

Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2022 12:16 am

The liberals are so well entrenched we will have to completely gut most of the Feral government in order to stop them.

I’m not sure if that’s a typo or not 😂

William Hepfer
Reply to  Redge
July 10, 2022 7:09 am

Yes the administrative state is like a feral cat. It will have to be socialized.

Reply to  Redge
July 10, 2022 7:12 am

I leave that judgement up to the readers.

July 9, 2022 2:12 pm

A parasite never has any concern for the health of its victim.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Philip Mulholland
July 9, 2022 6:16 pm

Well said.

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
July 10, 2022 4:15 am

Well stated to the well said.

Tom Halla
July 9, 2022 2:13 pm

The original problem addressed by the Supreme Court case was that Obama tried to impose CO2 limits administratively after that proposal was rejected by Congress.
I think the Democrats in Congress do not want to take responsibility for their energy policies, so the clowns around Biden are doing the policy without authorization, but approval by his party.
About the only way to deal with this overreach is for Governors like Abbott to sue, and block it anyway. Some judges will, of course, side with the administration despite the Supreme Court.

Rud Istvan
July 9, 2022 2:20 pm

The observations are true. And they will contribute to a red tsunami in November, followed by recapturing the White House in 2024 and sweeping the likes of Haaland and Regan out.

Just to show how ‘off’ these zealots are, it turns out (I just checked) there are NO EPA ozone monitoring stations in the Texas portion of the Permian Basin, and just one in the New Mexico portion. So non-attainment would be an opinion, not a fact.

Mark D
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 9, 2022 3:24 pm

There will be no red tsunami. Do you see dimocrats panicking over horrible polling results? No? Why do think that is?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Mark D
July 9, 2022 3:40 pm

I think you are pessimistically wrong about that, for three separate reasons.
First, the midterms are state by state, and 2021 apportionment changes the balance in favor of red states. CA and NY lost seats, Texas and Florida gained seats. And in FL, Desantis undid a previously unconstitutionally gerrymandered traditIonally black seat across the top of the state along the GA border.
Second, a lot of states have tightened voter rules/cleaned voter rolls and such after the 2020 disaster. Michigan forced by lawsuitto scrub voter rolls for dead people, for example. Too many over 100 ‘voted’ in 2020.
Third, the all out effort to get Trump in 2020 exposed the many ways they cheated. 2000 Mules documents just one of many. We can now guard against them all. As just one example, Wisc. SC just ruled absentee ballot Drop boxes illegal. That has all the Milwaukee mules howling in despair. As another example, Arizona just passed a proof of citizenship requirement that so alarmed Biden that DOJ is suing. DOJ will lose.

We fight, they lose.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 9, 2022 5:48 pm

Democrat machine politicians in Blue cities may be able to ‘swing’ (i.e., cheat) state-wide elections, e.g., Senators, Governors, Presidents, but I do’t think they can’t stop a Red tsunami in the House of Representatives.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
July 9, 2022 8:28 pm

Wherever electronic voting machines connected to a network are in use, intervention can be done.
The courts apparently don’t want to hear about it, no matter how egregious.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  AndyHce
July 10, 2022 7:52 am

The Wisconsin Supreme Court just ruled against drop boxes.

Ty Hallsted
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 9, 2022 7:48 pm

I think the only thing that declaring the ballot boxes illegal will do is send the mules to mailboxes instead.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 9, 2022 10:31 pm

Rud, I hope you are right. But the Republicans can still snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
July 10, 2022 8:03 am

This is true. Especially of the “Old Guard” Republicans, but Trump is putting a lot of MAGA Republicans in office in the next election and they are a different breed than the RINO’s.

Donald, on a personal note, using foul language at your political rally is stupid. It just gives your enemies more ammunition, and makes people like me cringe when I hear you talk like that. Stop it! It will cause you to lose support, one way or another. We need you. Stop doing useless, stupid things. Concentrate on what’s important, not on ingratiating yourself to some group of people who like profanity. I don’t think that group is very large. I’m not one of that group. Thus, my little speech. Stop it! The nation needs you to Stop It! Don’t give your enemies ammunition. They are our enemies, too. Don’t help them with your words. That’s what you do when you curse like a sailor.

Come January, we are going to do a thorough investigation of the Biden Crime Family and the corrupt Biden administration.

I can hardly wait.

The new Republican Congress may find so much evidence against Biden and cronies that even the RINO’s in the U.S. Senate (if there are any left) will vote to remove him from office.

One can hope.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 10, 2022 8:57 am

I hope you’re right. However, I have never ceased to be amazed by the gullibility of the American voter in my 68 years. Admittedly, I have been duped as well, and voted for three RINOs as well as one lying Democrat.

Mark D
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 10, 2022 10:00 am

Rud I hope your outlook is correct.

My intention was not to be pessimistic but realistic based upon the fact elected GOP members don’t seem to be interested in stopping the democrats. NONE of what happened would have been possible w/o the tacit if not active approval of the GOP.

The left seems to be much better at maneuver warfare than the right.
Mules and Dominion are old news. We are fighting past battles…
What new assaults are in store and do we have any agile generals to counter them? IMO Sun Tzu and Col. John Boyd ought be required reading for anyone on the right.

The feds have already made clear they will ignore WEST VIRGINIA v. EPA
How how many divisions do the Courts have?
Heinlein wrote about a man pretending to help an old woman out of a mud puddle in the street when In fact he was maliciously pushing her back in.
That seems describes the GOP….

John Bell
July 9, 2022 2:25 pm

Good grief, where is this all going? Scary stuff!

July 9, 2022 2:26 pm

Biden did say he was going to destroy the fossil fuel industry at least six times during his 2020 campaign, yet a supposed 80 million people voted for him and these policies that are, in turn, destroying our way of life. Don’t blame Biden. Blame the people who voted him into office.


Rud Istvan
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
July 9, 2022 2:51 pm

It wasn’t people voting. Biden’s numbers are not possible based in indicator counties, on voter enthusiasm, on the fact that Trump, not even Obama, got more votes second time than first. The election was stolen.

It was Dominion machines bogus SW (their SVP promised so on video, plus Antrim County, Michigan proof that he knew what he was talking about), plus 170k forged ballots via ‘indefinitely confined’ later declared illegal loophole in Wisconsin, via hidden suitcases full of ballots for Ruby Freeman in Fulton County, GA, via 2.5 million mails ins counted in PA versus only 1.8 million requested as required by law, via two vans illegally delivering nearly 50 boxes of ballots to the Detroit counting center at 330 in the morning when no one was there….

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Rud Istvan
July 9, 2022 7:10 pm

That is nonsense. Even Bill Barr knew that Trump lost and that there was no widescale fraud. And given that Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 against the most unpopular women in the USA, and had presided over the unneccessary deaths of 100’s of thousands due to COVID while suggesting that people drink bleach why is anybody surprised that he lost the election in 2020. Furthermore he was behind in almost every opinion poll from February 2020 until the election.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 9, 2022 7:27 pm

1) Barr never liked Trump.
2) Give the level of fraud that’s been proven in the 2020 election, the claim that Hillary won the popular vote is not provable.
3) It’s quite interesting how the most “unpopular” woman in America easily won the Democrat nomination for president. Like most leftists, you feel free to re-write history to support the narrative you are trying to sell now.
4) There was nothing more that Trump could have done. When Trump did close the borders, you Democrats were screaming that Trump was a racist.
5) Trump never once suggested that people should drink bleach. You just can’t let go of that lie. Can’t you at least come up with a new one?
6) Media polls, by the same media that celebrated when Biden one and openly took credit for helping him win? Are you talking about polls that over sampled Democrats by 10 to 20%.
7) Pre-election polls always underestimate total Republican vote by 3 to 5 percentage points.

paul courtney
Reply to  MarkW
July 15, 2022 10:50 am

Mr. W: Agreed on every point, but 6 points too many for I zuck (not for me). Barr and anybody else who concluded, in November ’20, that the election was CERTAINLY not stolen, were guilty of not seeing it then and are now willfully blind. Their opinion strikes me as similar to folks like Fauci and Collins, telling you where covid came from when we KNOW they don’t know.
Barr may have his good points, and I’d love to give him some credit, someday. For the last few years, I can’t get past this- the day he was sworn in, Barr could have called a dozen top DOJ and FBI people onto his office carpet, asked about ten hard questions, and taken steps against the Hillary hoax (I don’t like to be unfair to Russians, it could be racist again someday!) the first week in office. He had it in his grasp to restore some integrity to both agencies, but he chose institution protection instead. I lost all respect for Mr. Barr when he failed to do anything about the Hillary hoax (Durham makes glaciers appear swift).

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 9, 2022 7:43 pm

Will you still believe all that rubbish when the power is out, the heat don’t work, it’s 20 below zero, and you can’t find enough blankets to keep the feet from freezing, no water, the pipes are frozen, The toilet tank just cracked?

But for the time being, and a great imagination life is swell.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 9, 2022 10:34 pm

Yhe active word being “widescale”. Anyone who states that “… there was no widescale fraud” is admitting that there was fraud.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
July 9, 2022 10:54 pm

Of course there were incidents of fraud. See
for instance. But they were isolated and not part of a coordinated campign to steal the election.

In 2020 there was over 150 million votes cast in the presidential elections. Only a fool would say that there was no fraud. But at the
same only a liar would claim that it altered the result or was widespread.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 10, 2022 2:39 am

Despite the evidence from 2000Mules.

But you are correct, it wasn’t widespread, systematic fraud was confined to critical swing states. No point in trying it in overwhelmingly red states.

Reply to  HotScot
July 10, 2022 7:13 am

Izaak believes whatever the party tells him to believe.

paul courtney
Reply to  HotScot
July 15, 2022 10:54 am

Mr. Scot: It was almost as if dems knew where to strike! And it looks like the last spark of intelligence emitted by dems, have they made one right move since Brandon’s swearing in?

George Daddis
Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 10, 2022 7:12 am

Read Mollie Ball’s TIME magazine article about the year long “cabal” (her word) of weekly meetings across business, activist and political groups to “save democracy” (translated: defeat DJT) especially in light of what has transpired over the last year (including J6).

Then reinforce that with Rigged by Mollie Hemmingway and watch 2000 Mules. Then tell us our concerns are unfounded.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 10, 2022 2:35 am


So what you’re saying is that Biden is the rightful POTUS and the looming disaster (picture Sri Lanka on steroids) is 100% the fault of loony Democrat voters.

If you’re happy to take responsibility for the current and future disasters then I guess the whole country will be happy to make you personally pay for their misery.

I suggest you change your yard signs from Biden to Trump el pronto.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 10, 2022 10:26 am

I know people who were poll watchers in Philadelphia. Why were they chased out late at night when Trump was ahead by 100’s of thousands of votes and 99% of the vote in, and then miraculously 100’s of thousands of votes showed up for Biden, if there was no fraud? Your gullibility is showing.

lil mule pepe
Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 10, 2022 1:30 pm

It takes a “special” kind of reasoning to believe that Biden was the fair-and-square winner of that travesty claimed by some to have been an election.

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
July 9, 2022 2:51 pm

“policies that are, in turn, destroying our way of life.”

BT…I’m afraid you’re right. It’s the same in Canada. All jurisdictions are on board with reducing emissions as a means to fight the imagined, stinky hobgoblin of doom called AGW.

They have absolutely no evidence. All they have is faith in a political narrative.

“Net zero”…what a pathetic joke. Emissions are the result of energy production and energy production is the primary cause of human wealth and prosperity.

Pete Bonk
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
July 9, 2022 3:07 pm

Blame both Biden AND the foolish voters who didn’t want mean tweets. Blame, like credit, is infinitely divisible.

Reply to  Bob Tisdale
July 9, 2022 5:07 pm

You can also blame the oil, gas, and electric generation industries who played along with “climate change” for years and the Republican Congress & Trump who did not withdraw the GHG Finding of Endangerment or pass legislation banning the Federal government from regulating CO2 or any other compound as a GHG when they had the chance.

One side worked had to get Green New Deal, the other side was never serious in opposition.

Reply to  tgasloli
July 9, 2022 8:34 pm

The split personalities of the one and only Party are not nearly so out of touch with each other as they sometimes pretend in public.

Eric Vieira
Reply to  Bob Tisdale
July 10, 2022 8:17 am

The people ? Do you mean the dead, the non-americans, the phantom voters, the enormous amount of voters whose ballots were without chain of custody .. If we blame those “people”, I don’t think there will be many to investigate …

July 9, 2022 2:45 pm

China and Russia must be laughing as they profit from the West’s decline.

Reply to  Robber
July 9, 2022 5:11 pm

Not just profiting. They are driving the west’s decline.

Somehow, the fossil fuel industry has to rediscover its spine and (a) stop producing in the areas under attack, and (b) make sure that the Biden government’s attack on those areas gets the blame. Alternatively, (c) make sure that in all power failures the public understands that wind and solar were the first failure.

I had a conversation with a committed green recently, and pointed out that every power failure now begins with a lack of wind and solar. Also that a gas or coal power station failure can simply be replaced by neighbouring gas or coal power until the failure is fixed. But a wind and solar failure is final until the wind or sun resumes. The reply: Rubbish, there’s storage. Look how well South Australia is doing.

I think that South Australia, California, and others, are going to have massive blackouts before the narrative can be changed.

July 9, 2022 3:03 pm

Here is my fun take on the SCOPUS decision:

But yes EPA and other agencies are putting on an insane full court press. The Highway Admin just issued preposterous proposed rules requiring States to start reducing CO2 emissions on their highways, aiming for zero. The Courts are going to get very busy.

Reply to  David Wojick
July 9, 2022 3:09 pm
Curious George
Reply to  David Wojick
July 9, 2022 3:39 pm

The States will be forced to sell their highways 🙂

BTW, how much ozone does Permian oil contain?

Reply to  Curious George
July 9, 2022 5:10 pm

Being in nonattainment for ozone means you have to have a State Implementation Plan for reducing NOX & VOC emissions (or EPA will create a plan for you).

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  David Wojick
July 10, 2022 6:18 am

The People’s Republic of Massachusetts is already pushing hard to stop carbon emissions on highways. This state is fanatic- I suggest the worst of all. The state legislature is something like 95% Democrat. Virtually nobody in Mass. will dare openly suggest maybe there is no climate crisis. Even the few Republican politicians go along with this scam.

Jeff L
July 9, 2022 3:03 pm

How can they say “energy transition” at all? There is nothing to transition to today, except higher prices due to lack of supply. They are doing everything in their power to destroy our energy security and to destroy energy affordability.

Show me one study they have done on how this so-called transition will work? How we will all still have the energy we need at a price we can afford. It isn’t happening.

This is either incompetence at a scale never seen before or deliberate effort to destroy our Country. In either scenario, it is completely inexcusable and all of these people need to be voted out of office as soon as possible before they destroy us all.

John Bell
Reply to  Jeff L
July 9, 2022 3:34 pm

Liberals are so stupid they think that there MUST be something else that WORKS, because what we have now is so RACIST (they think) and they see themselves as riding high white horses. How far does this have to go before they change their minds?

Reply to  John Bell
July 9, 2022 10:38 pm

But isn’t it racist to be riding a white horse?

Reply to  John Bell
July 10, 2022 7:17 am

Liberals are trained to believe that if government orders something it will happen.
Anyone who questions that belief is a denier and will be cancelled.

Joe Wagner
Reply to  Jeff L
July 9, 2022 3:38 pm

A transition from something to zero is still a transition, even if its one I do not want to contemplate.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Jeff L
July 9, 2022 5:04 pm

They hang traitors…

Reply to  Gregory Woods
July 9, 2022 8:17 pm

They used to. Now the Democrats make them president.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2022 8:45 am

That was a good one! 🙂

Old Man Winter
July 9, 2022 3:15 pm

Sri Lanka- riots broke out & they stormed the presidential palace, forcing the government to
resign. It was time for them to get rid of bad governance.

Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 9, 2022 11:59 pm

Largely because organic farming was imposed by ignorant politicians.

Reply to  Keitho
July 10, 2022 2:42 am

Not ignorant.


Steve Richards
Reply to  Keitho
July 10, 2022 3:36 am

Largely Wholly because organic farming was imposed by ignorant politicians. /fixed

Reply to  Steve Richards
July 10, 2022 10:11 am

And you’ll search the BBC, for hours, and days, before finding even a tangential reference to that!


Rick C
Reply to  Old Man Winter
July 10, 2022 8:40 pm

Yes, we owe Sri-Lanka a debt of gratitude for volunteering as crash test dummy for woke agriculture. By simply restricting the use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides, they crashed their farm productivity followed by their economy in less than a year. Now they lack food, money and fossil fuels. They have followed Venezuela into the abyss by a slightly different route. This is the fate the green socialists and Marxists want for the entire Western world.

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

July 9, 2022 4:00 pm

When will demonising of CO2 be viewed as criminal negligence. The way that this nonsense has infiltrated governments is now having serious detrimental consequences. There is a humungous waste of resources directed at “fixing” something that does not exist.

Everywhere between 60S and 60N will have increasing solar intensity over an annual cycle from now till 3000. The Northern Hemisphere is going to continue to warm and it has nothing to do with CO2.

The northern hemisphere will continue to warm, the Southern Ocean will continue to cool and the Equatorial zones will remain stuck near the 30C limit.

Reply to  RickWill
July 10, 2022 7:19 am

Are you under the impression that if you repeat the same post enough times, people will start agreeing with you?

Giordano Milton
July 9, 2022 4:32 pm

The court ruling says that people / companies will not be convicted for ignoring the bureaucrats.

Reply to  Giordano Milton
July 9, 2022 5:18 pm

If the fossil fuel companies can use that ruling across the board, they could rescue supply. But it still won’t rescue the politics. I think it may still be best to have massive power failures so that people power can change the politics. It’s tough already, but I think it’s going to have to get tougher. Not a nice prospect, but what else can you do with this level of bureaucratic and media insanity.

Reply to  Giordano Milton
July 10, 2022 7:20 am

That presumes the DOJ doesn’t just ignore this ruling as well.

Geoff Sherrington
July 9, 2022 5:03 pm

At least some of the officials leading the action against fossil fuels should be aware that the ‘Science’ is far from settled and that SCOTUS has made a judgement that it is illegal to disobey. They must know that there are significant personal risks in continuing their net zero pushes.
Yet, they persist as if.bad consequences do not exist.
I cannot imagine a motivation for such persistence other than fear, as in somebody is threatening them with bad things if they fail to press on,
Another proposed motivation to carry on regardless is said to be religious zeal. I can understand a few officials being so zealous, but not the near 100% acceptance by officials that there is an existential threat (with no evidence of harm yet, it all being future projections).
So, is fear the driver? Is there evidence of harm to those who stray? Yes. There is widespread reporting of career loss, job loss, isolation from peers, difficult to get papers accepted. Who is exerting this retribution that causes fear?
The matter cannot be corrected until the actors are identified. A lot more work needs to be done to identify key drivers. At present, we have only unsupported assertions, for example, that the World Economic Forum is one driver, if it is, why is it and where is the evidence that can lead to its examination of means and motive?
Where are the authorities like anti-trust bodies, CIA etc that were created to combat harm to citizens by exploiters? Geoff S

No one
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 9, 2022 5:41 pm

How far astray does an entity have to be before the best course of action is to treat it like a mad dog?

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 9, 2022 8:47 pm

Yet, they persist as if.bad consequences do not exist.

How many CCP members resigned when the tanks rolled in Tiananmen Square?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
July 10, 2022 6:25 am

‘Where are the authorities like anti-trust bodies, CIA etc that were created to combat harm to citizens by exploiters?’

Assuming the premise that such ‘authorities’ were ‘created to combat harm to citizens by exploiters’ sounds like a classical example of the “Begging the Question” fallacy.

CD in Wisconsin
July 9, 2022 5:59 pm

The fossil fuel industry does not create the demand for fossil fuels, and they do not burn them for the needed energy. Solar panels and wind turbines have had decades to demonstrate that they can meaningfully displace fossil fuels, but do not seem to be able to do so. The reasons for this are not some great hidden secret. Those reasons are found in the physics, engineering and economics of energy generation.

These and other quaint facts seem to have escaped the brilliant light bulbs in the Biden Administration and in the environmental movement. Right now, I will suggest that the biggest threat to the U.S. is not Russia, China, Iran, North Korea or any other external adversary. The biggest threat is within our own borders, and it is us.

Don Perry
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
July 9, 2022 9:05 pm

Yes, Pogo!

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Don Perry
July 10, 2022 8:05 am


Dave Fair
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
July 11, 2022 7:15 am

Read more.

Reply to  Dave Fair
July 11, 2022 11:44 am

It’s a pretty dated reference.

Dave Fair
Reply to  MarkW
July 11, 2022 2:16 pm

Syndicated comic strips through November, 1993 in about 500 papers in 14 countries. By Walt Kelly himself from 1948 to 1975.

About 50 books through 2002.

The complete syndicated comic strips published in 2011.


Tom Abbott
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
July 10, 2022 8:54 am

“The biggest threat is within our own borders, and it is us.”

The biggest threat within our borders is the lying Leftwing Media. Their lies fool enough of “us” to put leftwing candidates in office.

The Democrat Party would cease to exist as a political force if the Media told the truth about them. The only way they survive is for the Media to present the Democrat Party as beneficial instead of what it really is: A Destructive Force that will take away individual freedoms.

Sane people would never vote for Democrats if they knew the truth.

July 9, 2022 7:22 pm

[W]e are committed to using the full scope of EPA’s authorities to protect communities and reduce the pollution that is driving climate change. . 

I read that as “we’re going to ignore the Supreme Court when it comes to CO2 emissions anyway”.
Forced resignations aren’t enough….there needs to be some jail time metered out…

July 9, 2022 8:13 pm

While the courts don’t have the power to stop this, I think the solution will come in November when the Republicans take control. They will not have a 60 majority in the senate but they don’t need it. All they have to do is cut the EPA budget to the bone. Reduce its size to 1/4 it’s current size and they will get the message. The budget is one of the things that can be passed with a simple majority and the Republicans will have that. All they need to do is to get the RINOs to vote correctly or at least have enough votes so the RINOs don’t matter. That should put the fear of god in the other government agencies that have exceeded their authority. Biden may try to veto it but it will be his action that shuts the government down. Either way, the EPA will get the message.

Reply to  Dena
July 9, 2022 8:21 pm

The Republicans could do this.
Then Biden will veto the budget and start screaming about how the evil Republicans are willing to starve grandma in order to advance their extreme agenda.
The media will take up the charge and within a week the Republicans will cave, as they always do.

Reply to  MarkW
July 9, 2022 8:30 pm

Three points.

  1. The word would get out that Biden was the one that vetoed the budget.
  2. Biden’s word becomes less valuable by the day. Even the the left is dropping him like a hot potato.
  3. People are starting to disbelieve the media and are switching to conservative news sources.

You may still be right but there is a fighting chance and after getting 3 conservative Judges, it’s looking better all the time.

Reply to  Dena
July 9, 2022 9:48 pm

1) Doesn’t matter. The Democrat have pulled the same stunt every year for at least the last 70 years. Why do you believe that this year is the first year it won’t work.
No matter whether it’s a Republican congress that refuses to send a Democrat budget that he can sign, or it’s a Republican president that refuses to sign the budget that the Democrat congress sends to him. It’s always the Republicans fault, and the Republicans always cave in the end.

2) If the choice is supporting Biden or allowing the Republicans to gut their anti-capitalism … excuse me, anti-AGW agenda, they will back Biden as if he was the second coming of Christ, and nobody will pay any attention to the blatant hypocrisy.

3) The news media has been losing the trust of the American people for the last 40 years. Yet in 2020, the media managed to bury any story that didn’t help Biden and they got away with it.

Judges play no role in the budgeting process.

Reply to  MarkW
July 9, 2022 10:56 pm

Newt Gingrich showed us how to do it. Clinton’s numbers were also in the tanks and he decided to do his famous pivot and work with congress. Doing so earned him a second term.
At this point Biden has two options. He could pivot but that is very unlikely because as part of the deal to become president, he made a deal with the devil – Bernie Sanders “BIDEN-SANDERS UNITY TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS”.
So that leave his only other option and that is to deal with high gas prices, inflation and shortages. By the end of the first term, he will be lucky to have a rating that is in the teens. People know that Biden is causing these problems however Inflation isn’t really all Biden’s fault. Both sides have contributed to that.
The next two years should be interesting and hopefully we will see an end to rule by bureaucrats.

I know judges are not a part of the budget process however the unity that put the judges in place might give the Republicans some backbone to do what needs to be done.

I thought it was likely we would see bloodshed in the form of a revolution to take back our country however what I see happening is give me hope that we can regain control of the government without bloodshed.

Reply to  Dena
July 10, 2022 12:36 pm

Biden at best has half Clinton’s IQ. His closest advisers are only average IQ. They are not smart enough to learn anything. The doctrine is everything.

Republicans aren’t much better. They are still politicians. I exempt Trump from this rant because… he’s not a politician. He’s exactly the kind of man the writers of the Constitution assumed would be elected to office.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2022 8:49 am

80-90% of what the ‘Feral’ government does is not Constitutional. If the Republicans want to cut 25% or so, but Joe & Co. want to cut 100%, I say let them.

Mark D
Reply to  Dena
July 10, 2022 10:20 am

We gave the Republicans all three branches of gvt and what did they do with that authority?

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Mark D
July 10, 2022 12:58 pm

Mostly caved in to the left, plus a couple of decades and a lot of blood and treasure spent trying to convince foreigners to act like Ozzie and Harriet. But hey, no one is perfect!

July 9, 2022 11:04 pm

It should be obvious now to even moderate Democrats and RINO’s that this is all premeditated anarchy on a multi dimensional level, starting with messing up energy security which collapses the whole shebang. All the rest of the chaos and anarchy such as the open southern border and the CRT race issues, destruction of the nuclear family and the LGBQWERTY Trans et al issues is full blown Marxism designed to rot us from within.

Castro said exactly what he would do to the West with the abuse of our own freedoms and promoting these things that we will do to ourselves, as did Nikita Khrushchev in 1960 at the UN when he took his shoe and pounded his desk with it saying they (Communists) would destroy the West from within without firing a shot. This is coming to a head now after 100+ years…Looking like a possibility unless we get this ship turned around real quick.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Earthling2
July 10, 2022 2:10 am

It is a little known fact that both the communist manifesto and Das Kapital are full of plans for the LGBQT community to take over the world. The idea of giving political power to the working man rather than the rich was just a cover.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 10, 2022 3:40 am

Idiot. Even your attempt at sarcasm fails. Buzz off, freak.

Reply to  Pflashgordon
July 10, 2022 7:26 am

Whoever is paying Izaak, isn’t getting their money’s worth.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 10, 2022 7:24 am

Pathetic, totally pathetic.
Do you believe that the plans were laid out in detail from the beginning ala Hari Seldon?
Or are you just so desperate to deflect attention from reality that you are willing to make yourself look even dumber than before?

BTW, I see that you are willing to push the lie that socialism/communism gives power to the working man. That has never happened and never will. The bigger government gets, the more power the rich have. The only way to give power to the working man is to gut government to the smallest level possible. That’s the only way individuals can ever have freedom.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2022 9:31 am

Indeed, the failures of socialism / communism are complete and universal. In fact, if one were to write up a comparison of all the national economies that went down this path vs. those that didn’t, e.g. North vs. South Korea, and submit these results as one might submit the results in an undergraduate engineering lab course, you’d probably get hauled-up before the Dean of Engineering on charges of falsifying your data.

Reply to  Frank from NoVA
July 10, 2022 10:31 am

An example…

July 10, 2022 4:04 am

For what it’s worth, it looks like Biden is panicking, not that he can’t inflict huge damage in the meantime, but he knows his days are numbered.

Politically, the mood is changing in the UK. Two of the candidates standing for Boris Johnson’s job are overt climate sceptics.

One, Steve Baker, is a member of the GWPF and has organised a group of back bench MP’s to form a NetZero monitoring group.

Steve didn’t actually declare his intention to run but instead pledged his support for Suella Braverman, the current Solicitor General, another out and out ‘climate denier’.

Suella won’t win, Richi Sunak, Boris’ Chancellor before he resigned, is the runaway favourite at the moment however, what it does demonstrate is that there is considerable overt political resistance to the green lunacy.

It also means that Baker is quite likely to get a Cabinet job. He’s known to be a clever guy and a good organiser. He also had a life before politics in the RAF and business, so not a PPE career politician. He’ll be in a position to impose huge political pressure to bury NetZero. Jingoistic, grand political gestures like NetZero have a habit of being blown into the weeds in the UK when a new government is appointed.

This all might seem inconsequential to America’s woes, but it’s a signal that NetZero and everything associated with it is now a political hot potato.

And whilst we fret about the media failing to report on global events which contradict the narrative, our politicians are well aware what’s going on in the likes of Germany and Sri Lanka.

As Rud points out, the mid terms should be a bloodbath as most states are alert to voter fraud. I would be surprised if Biden wasn’t impeached on numerous charges come the New Year.

Larry Fink of Blackrock has walked back his enforcement of ESG and Stuart Kirk’s (HSBC) speech on the risks of climate change has reverberated around the financial world, as has his resignation.

And to be fair to the general public, when Biden repeats his intention to eliminate all fossil fuels, they don’t need much imagination to understand how unrealistic that proposition is. He might just as well have said ‘I’m going to eliminate your means of earning a living and leave you shivering in the dark.’

Biden has done more for the ‘deniers’ cause in 18 months than we have managed in 40 years.

There is still a lot of pain to come, but in a few years the term ‘climate change’ will be as politically abhorrent as the ‘N’ word.

Reply to  HotScot
July 10, 2022 7:28 am

Declaring that Biden is aware of anything, is dubious at best.
Better to say that his handlers see the writing on the wall and are starting to organize a changeover to whichever puppet comes next.

Reply to  MarkW
July 10, 2022 10:01 am

Fair comment.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  HotScot
July 10, 2022 9:07 am

“As Rud points out, the mid terms should be a bloodbath as most states are alert to voter fraud. I would be surprised if Biden wasn’t impeached on numerous charges come the New Year.”

Perhaps it’s time for Biden to retire for medical reasons, if the Republicans win control of the House of Representatives. That would seem like an apprpriate time for Joe to leave office if he wants to avoid an investigation. He probably should try to avoid being investigated if he knows what’s good for himself and his family. If Joe goes home, maybe the Repubicans will leave him alone.

Think about it, Joe (handlers). Let’s see what November brings.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 10, 2022 12:53 pm

If the Republicans do gain enough numbers to impeach Joe, his handlers can invoke the 25th amendment to ease him out of office before the Republicans can do anything.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 10, 2022 1:33 pm

I think we will see Joe resign before November, which was the plan all along, the rationale being that Kamala would then get 2 full years and a chance to win 2 more general elections on her own steam. Now even the Democrats know that will never happen, and even the two years to 2024 would probably sink their ship even deeper with Harris at the helm. But Joe probably still resigns, or gets the 25th if he doesn’t. (if the MSM decide to blow up the Hunter/Jim/Joe Biden corruption) Then Kamala either picks Hilliary, Bernie or maybe even someone more desirable for VP. My crystal ball starts getting a little fuzzy after that, but I am sure Joe is gone one way or the other before the mid terms. That probably had to be the plan all along since it is obvious he is/was not in good health, mentally or physically. The Democrat’s are in a pickle, so maybe the left flank just now do as much maximum damage as possible. I don’t know why they do this, as they will just alienate voters for a generation.

Reply to  Earthling2
July 10, 2022 5:02 pm

If Joe resigns before the end of January, this term will count as Kamala’s first. She has to serve less than half the term for it to not count.

Reply to  MarkW
July 11, 2022 10:15 am

Yes, you right. I got that backwards. In any event, you probably right they all impeach him after January, unless he goes willingly. But I don’t know how all the crimes of the Biden family et al can simply be ignored. After their mid term defeat, the Democrats will have to have someone to blame and Joe will probably be gone. If he doesn’t drop from jet lag first and have another aneurysm/stroke.

George Daddis
July 10, 2022 7:00 am

“..EPA’s authorities to protect communities and reduce the pollution that is driving climate change….”
Until the EPA finds a way to enclose the atmospheres above those communities, “reducing pollution” in those areas will have NO impact on the global CO2 emissions they claim is “driving climate change”.
They’d be much better off writing strongly worded letters to China and India.

William Hepfer
July 10, 2022 7:05 am

The EPA like all the other alphabet agencies has no authority, They are all UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Eric Vieira
July 10, 2022 8:08 am

The EPA will have trouble pushing their agenda through, it the concerned companies take it to the courts. The SCOTUS decision is quite a precedent. They can’t just talk that away …

David Elstrom
July 10, 2022 9:18 am

What’s the surprise. The administrative state was created by Progressives to unconstitutionally delegate legislation to the executive branch. It violates separation of powers—housing law making, enforcement, and administrative judges in each bureaucracy. Plus, the entire design is to give the illusion of due process while ensuring that the people can’t get in the way of DC masterminds. Now it openly defies courts. Finally, the bulk of these pushy bureaucrats operate outside enumerated powers. Taken together, this makes the unrepresentative federal bureaucracies lawless, despotic, and tyrannical.

Christopher Chantrill
July 10, 2022 11:48 am

Brexiteers, Gilets jaunes, Canadian truckers, Dutch farmers, Sri Lankan hunger rioters.

But our rulers still have No Clue what is just round the corner.

July 10, 2022 11:26 pm

What about it Minister?
Labor asked to reassess decisions about coal and gas projects made by previous governments – ABC News
You talked big in Opposition now walk the talk or we’ll do some political lawyering.

July 11, 2022 2:22 am

A severe dose of energy poverty will go a long way to restoring order.

Beta Blocker
July 11, 2022 1:18 pm

West Virginia versus EPA is Not an Impenetrable Barrier Against Aggressive Carbon Regulation

In this long commentary, I argue that the Supreme Court’s decision in West Virginia versus EPA isn’t necessarily an impenetrable barrier against highly aggressive government regulation of America’s carbon emissions.

The goal of Biden’s economic and energy policies is to quickly and completely transform America’s economy according to the vision outlined in the WEF’s ‘Great Reset’ and ‘Build Back Better’ agendas.

Within the larger context of Biden’s Extended War on Carbon (BEWoC), the recent SCOTUS decision is only one lost skirmish for the administration and for the climate activists. It is a speed bump along the Biden administration’s road towards a much-downsized carbon fuels industry in the United States.

A lawfare-based battle plan for conducting a war against carbon doesn’t particularly require that the Biden administration win in the courts. It only requires that the regulatory environment for the carbon fuels industry remains highly uncertain for the foreseeable future, thus keeping fossil fuels highly risky as a current and future financial investment.

The Biden administration can simply ignore the precedent set by West Virginia versus EPA and proceed forward with a blizzard of new anti-carbon regulations in the expectation that years of litigation will be necessary from the carbon fuels industry to keep the administrative state’s regulatory agencies at bay.

* BEWoC Topic #1: Background to the Legal Issues of West Virginia versus EPA *

As background to the legal issues of the court’s decision, the basic points of contention in West Virginia versus EPA concern the validity of: (1) the “major questions doctrine” as it applies to America’s regulatory administrative state; and (2) the definition of what constitutes a “best system of emission reduction” for power plants within the Congressional intent of, and the EPA’s own past practice interpretation of, Section 111 of the Clean Air Act.

The majority opinion of West Virginia versus EPA (6-3) begins by noting that the Clean Air Act contains three primary regulatory approaches for dealing with atmospheric pollutants from fixed sources; e.g. power plants and industrial facilities. These are:

— setting a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for each of six listed criteria pollutants: carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. The NAAQS approach uses Sections 108-110 of the Act. The Clean Air Act contains provisions and a process for adding new criteria pollutants to the original list. None have been added since the original list was established fifty years ago.

— the New Source Performance Standards program of Section 111. That section also contains little-used provisions applying to existing fixed sources. These additional provisions are the ones at issue in West Virginia versus EPA.

— the Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP) program, set out in Section 112. Hazardous air pollutants, also known as toxic air pollutants or air toxics, are those pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse environmental effects. 187 of these toxic air pollutants are currently carried on the EPA’s list of HAPs.

The Clean Air Act also contains provisions for controlling pollution from mobile sources, e.g. cars, trucks, heavy mobile equipment, etc. Note that the EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon is a Section 202 endangerment finding which applies to mobile sources of air pollution.

The 2009 finding was a test case document for use as a prototype in publishing other subsequent endangerment findings, the most important of which would have been a Section 108 finding, thus triggering the NAAQS process for controlling emissions of carbon GHG’s from fixed sources.

But the Obama administration never went forward with a Section 108 finding and with a NAAQS-based GHG reduction strategy. Obama’s EPA published the Clean Power Plan instead, an approach which was, in my opinion, designed from the beginning to fail in the courts.

Why would the plan fail? Because it singles out coal while leaving other major sources of GHG emissions alone. This makes the plan vulnerable to court challenges even in the absence of the major questions doctrine.

Why would Obama ignore the environmental law community’s long-held preference for a NAAQS-based anti-carbon scheme? Most probably because of its immediate and widespread impacts on America’s economy and on the American voting public. Obama did’t want to risk the backlash.

Here in the year 2022, the Biden administration has no qualms about pushing strong anti-carbon measures, regardless of the impacts on America’s economy or the risk of political backlash. IMHO, Biden’s EPA will give new consideration to going with a NAAQS-based regulatory strategy.

* BEWoC Topic #2: A Closer Look at the Clean Power Plan *

The Clean Power Plan as originally rolled out in 2015 by the Obama administration used Section 111(d) to implement a “generation shifting” type of GHG reduction strategy. Coal-fired power generation would be replaced with a combination of less emissive gas-fired generation and then eventually by wind and solar generation.

The original plan considered a power generation facility as a whole as representing a “system” of pollution control within the meaning and intent of the Section 111. It then follows that choosing the “best system of emission reduction” might include replacing a coal-fired plant in its entirety with a gas-fired plant, or with a wind farm, or with a solar farm, or with some combination thereof in other locations near or far from the shuttered plant site.

In other words, the Clean Power Plan is a “generation shifting” type of GHG reduction strategy for the power grid taken as a whole.

The plan went into hibernation while Donald Trump was president. Upon assuming control of the federal government, the Biden administration expressed a desire to rewrite and update the Clean Power Plan to reflect current administration priorities.

It is probable that a new version of the plan would by-pass gas-fired generation as an interim transitional tool and go directly to wind and solar as the preferred “best system of emission reduction” for the nation’s power grid as a whole. West Virginia versus EPA was filed as a preemptive strike against its return.

* BEWoC Topic #3: a Closer Look at West Virginia versus EPA *

The majority ruling in West Virginia versus EPA is founded on these three arguments, summarized here:

— First, the Congress has declined to pass legislation which would explicitly enable a generation shifting approach to reducing carbon pollution, an approach which would involve a major policy issue with sweeping impacts. Since the Constitution grants “all legislative powers” to the Congress, administrative agencies can’t undertake a complete transformation of the economy on their own authority.
— Second, as the EPA’s own past practice interpretation of Section 111 of the Clean Air Act demonstrates, the term “system” as used in Section 111(d) refers to systems installed on power generation equipment located at an individual plant site. Extending the definition to include the entire power generation facility as a whole is beyond the intent of Congress when it enacted the law. Further, expanding the term “system” has the collateral effect of transforming the EPA’s rule into a major policy issue with sweeping impacts.
— Third, a central constitutional principle states that Congress alone has legislative authority to decide major policy issues with sweeping impacts. A related legal doctrine, the “Major Question Doctrine” (MOD), holds that federal agencies must point to clear authorization from Congress before exercising new significant and transformative regulatory powers. The majority opinion says that Section 111(d) does not contain such clear authorization.

The minority opinion in West Virginia versus EPA directly contradicts the majority opinion, and is founded on four other arguments, summarized here:

— First, the Congress does not have the technical expertise to be deciding questions concerning which systems and technologies are the best available for reducing pollution. Congress has intentionally left the implementation details to the administrative agencies.
— Second, the wording of Section 111 embodies the clear intent of the Congress to grant authority to the EPA to go as far as is necessary to reduce emissions of harmful pollutants. And so the “major questions doctrine” has no applicability to the issue in dispute.
— Third, Section 111, most naturally read, authorizes EPA to develop the Clean Power Plan. In other words, to decide that generation shifting is the “best system of emission reduction” for power plants producing carbon dioxide, even if this has the practical effect of forcing a major transformation of America’s economy.
— Fourth, climate change is an existential crisis caused by humankind’s carbon emissions, one which demands immediate government action to resolve, action which is within the Congressionally-authorized authority of the EPA to determine and to implement.

As Francis Menton observes, the differences between the two constitutional philosophies behind the majority and the minority SCOTUS opinions in West Virginia versus EPA could not be more stark. One view places defined limits on the power of the administrative state, the other view imposes few if any restrictions on the power of the administrative state to govern and transform America’s economic and social life.

* BEWoC Topic #4: Biden’s Extended War on Carbon will Continue *

White House national climate advisor Gina McCarthy said that the Supreme Court didn’t bar the EPA from pursuing President Biden’s climate goals and vowed, “We will see the transition to clean energy, regardless of the Supreme Court.” And that “We’re going to keep moving forward, even though the Supreme Court would like to look backwards and hold us back.”

In an interview with CNN about the president’s low approval numbers in the polls, White House director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, said in defense of Biden’s anti-carbon policies that transitioning away from fossil fuels remains central to the administration’s energy and economic policies. High gas prices and the transition away from fossil fuels is essential to preserving the liberal world order.

It is already abundantly clear that Biden’s economic and energy policy advisors don’t particularly care about public opinion and will not change course in response to Biden’s negative poll numbers regardless of where these go. But will these policy advisors care about the legal opinions delivered by the US Supreme Court, past, present, and future?

We are on notice. Biden’s war on carbon will go on by fair means or foul regardless of West Virginia versus EPA. Moreover, it will go on regardless of what future decsions the Supreme Court might render in revisiting Massachusetts versus EPA, the 2007 SCOTUS decision which directs that the EPA regulate carbon emissions; and eventually, in revisiting the SCOTUS decision upholding the EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon.

* BEWoC Topic #5: The Role of Lawfare in Bypassing Supreme Court Decisions *

It’s reasonable to assume that Biden’s climate advisors and the EPA’s legal staff have anticipated that the Clean Power Plan would be struck down and have already come up with alternative means for using Executive Branch regulatory authorities in new and creative ways to bypass the SCOTUS ruling, means which will employ a lawfare strategy as their legal modus operandi.

Lawfare is a form of legal warfare which weaponizes the law and the courts in pursuit of progressive-agenda political, economic, environmental, and social justice goals. Lawfare is also a tactic for imposing crippling legal costs on any person, organization, corporation, or industry which opposes the progressive agenda, thus discouraging that opposition.

In the absence of Congressional buy-in for the Green New Deal, lawfare is the means through which Biden’s advisors and their allies in the progressive legal community and inside the federal government’s administrative state will operate in pushing their anti-carbon agenda, doing so in the face of any and all adverse Supreme Court decisions.

A lawfare strategy for bypassing or thwarting any decisions SCOTUS makes concerning regulation of carbon might embody several tactical elements:

— Publish a blizzard of new environmental and financial anti-carbon regulations from a variety of federal agencies, regulations which are seemly small in their individual impacts but which in sum total add to up to a greatly expanded system of regulation for America’s carbon fuels industry.
— Issue these many smaller regulations in a steady stream which will be very expensive and time-consuming for the carbon fuels industry to deal with on an individual basis, with the goal of deliberately inviting numerous drawn out court challenges which will take years to resolve.
— Employ stealth mode co-regulation of pollutants produced in the extraction, production, and burning of fossil fuels (e.g. ozone, methane, and particulates as prominent examples) by setting allowable limits at levels nearly impossible to economically attain.
— File civil lawsuits against strategically-targeted corporations identified as being carbon polluters in a bid to strongly discourage investment in fossil fuel extraction and production.

In summary, using threats of ever more aggressive environmental and financial regulations — in addition to aggressive enforcement of existing regulations — can be an effective lawfare strategy for adding substantially more financial and project risk to any investments which might be made in the continued production of carbon energy in the United States.

* BEWoC Topic #6: Direct Regulation of Carbon GHG’s as Criteria Pollutants using a NAAQS-based Strategy *

The clean Air Act contains provisions for adding new criteria pollutants to the original list from fifty years ago. Those provisions were enacted by Congress.

As long as the process the EPA follows for adding new criteria pollutants scrupulously complies with the provisions of the Act, the addition of carbon GHG’s could be claimed to be in compliance with Congressional intent and thus would not be subject to the major questions doctrine.

Establishing a comprehensive system of carbon pollution regulation employed as one component of a larger and more broad-scope lawfare-based strategy for discouraging investments in the carbon fuels industry might be done like this:

— Publish a Clean Air Act Section 108 Endangerment Finding which avoids the procedural process issues of 2009’s Section 202 finding.
— Classify carbon emissions as new ‘criteria pollutants’ according to the procedures described in the Clean Air Act.
— Establish National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for those carbon GHG’s identified in the Section 108 Endangerment Finding as being ‘criteria pollutants’.
— Explicitly acknowledge that attainment of the NAAQS for each new criteria pollutant requires international cooperation. Argue that establishment of these NAAQS for the United States is a necessary prerequisite for obtaining the necessary international cooperation.
— Use the NAAQS for carbon GHG’s as America’s formal tie-in to international climate change agreements.
— Declare certain targeted carbon GHG emissions as Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs) under CAA Section 112.
— Publish a comprehensive regulatory framework for carbon emissions under Clean Air Act sections 108, 111, 112, 202, and other CAA sections as applicable.
— Establish cooperative agreements with the states to enforce the EPA’s anti-carbon regulations.
— Establish a system of carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon.
— Establish the legal basis for sharing the revenues collected from these carbon pollution fines among the federal and state governments.
— Actively and aggressively defend the EPA’s comprehensive system of carbon pollution regulations in the courts

The argument is made that CO2 is a well-mixed gas on a global scale and therefore establishing a NAAQS for each carbon GHG identified as a Section 108 criteria pollutant would make no sense from either a regulatory perspective or from a scientific perspective, given the very substantial international cooperation which would be necessary to attain the NAAQS standards.

On the other hand, if the counter-argument is made that establishment of these NAAQS is a necessary prerequisite for obtaining the needed international cooperation, then the NAAQS would represent America’s firm commitment to international climate change agreements, thus (in theory) incentivizing China and India to come on board with their own aggressive GHG reduction commitments.

That China or India or any of the other developing nations might actually reduce their carbon emissions in any substantial way would seem to be preposterous on the face of it. However, from a lawfare strategy perspective, that is neither here nor there. Simply establishing the credible threat of a comprehensive system of carbon pollution regulation would serve to discourage further investments in America’s carbon fuels industry.

* BEWoC Topic #7: Energy Conservation as the EPA’S Preferred ‘Best System of Emission Reduction’ *

Biden’s GHG reduction strategy envisions replacing coal-fired and gas-fired power generation with a combination of wind and solar backed by grid scale batteries, plus an aggressive program of incentivized energy conservation.

Biden would attempt to by-pass gas-fired generation as an interim transitional tool and go directly to wind and solar as the preferred means of transforming the nation’s electric power grid as a whole.

Nothing in the way of a credible plan has been presented by the Biden administration as to just how America will get from here to there in achieving his announced schedule for his Net Zero goals.

What is clear, based on any rational technical analysis, is that Biden’s emission reduction targets for 2030, 2035, and 2050 are impossible to achieve without a massive commitment to energy conservation.

A doubling of the price of all forms of energy is one reliable means of incentivizing the necessary conservation measures. The process of greatly increasing the price of energy while simultaneously reducing its supply through aggressive financial and environmental regulation is now well underway, and with predictable consequences.

Under the philosophy that a kilowatt of electricity saved is a valid substitute for a kilowatt of electricity produced, we should expect to see that the EPA’s new and revised carbon regulations will cite energy conservation as the preferred “best System of emission reduction” for controlling carbon GHG’s.

* BEWoC Topic #8: An Example of a ‘Blizzard of Regulations’ Anti-carbon Lawfare Strategy: the Notional SSCECP *

The goal of Biden’s economic and energy policies is to quickly and completely transform America’s economy according to the vision outlined in the WEF’s ‘Great Reset’ and ‘Build Back Better’ agendas.

Back in March 2022, I posted a comment/essay on the ‘Watts Up With That’ science blog which uses the conceptual framework of the ‘Supply Side Carbon Emission Control Plan (SSCECP)’ as a vehicle for examining the following question: How far could Joe Biden and his allies in the lawfare legal community go in quickly reducing America’s consumption of fossil fuels using his own authorities as President — authorities already granted to him under current law?

If you have control of America’s energy, then you have control of America’s economy. The notional SSCECP represents a no-holds-barred regulatory offensive against carbon emissions; and as such, it also represents a no-holds-barred regulatory offensive against our current economic system.

The SSCECP is the most extreme example of a coordinated lawfare strategy for issuing a blizzard of new environmental and financial anti-carbon regulations from a variety of federal agencies — regulations which are seemly small in their individual impacts but which in sum total add to up to a greatly expanded system of regulation for America’s carbon fuels industry.

With but one exception, every program element of the notional SSCECP has a prior historical precedent of Executive Branch action which has undergone successful judicial review at one time or another in one court or another.

As analytical constructs go, the SSCECP is specifically designed to be the mother of all test cases for judicial application of the major questions doctrine. Especially for use in overturning previous Supreme Court decisions.

A Supreme Court dominated by Gorsuch clones would reject most of the SSCECP’S program elements as being administrative overreach according to the major questions doctrine. A Supreme Court dominated by Kagan clones would accept each and every SSCECP program element as being within the authorities granted by the Congress to the Executive Branch agencies of the administrative state.

It would seem that one sure means of reversing West Virginia versus EPA would be packing the Supreme Court with four new Kagan Clone Justices (KCJ’s). If the Democrats retain control of the Senate after the 2022 mid-terms, packing the Supreme Court will be a top item on their political to-do list.

But is packing the Supreme Court even necessary? Probably not.

Issuing a blizzard of new and revised regulations in a steady stream is a lawfare strategy which will be very expensive and time-consuming for the carbon fuels industry to deal with on an individual basis. The numerous court challenges spawned by a blizzard of new regulations will take years to resolve, buying time for the administrative state to gain full control of America’s energy and therefore full control of America’s economy.

* We are on notice. Little will change after West Virginia versus EPA. *

A lawfare-based battle plan for conducting a war against carbon does not particularly require that the Biden administration win in the courts. It only requires that the regulatory environment for the carbon fuels industry remains highly uncertain for the foreseeable future, thus keeping fossil fuels highly risky as a current and future financial investment.

Biden’s war on fossil fuels will go on by fair means or foul regardless of West Virginia versus EPA. It will go on regardless of public opinion. It will go on regardless of the major questions doctrine and regardless of what future decisions the Supreme Court might render. It will go on regardless of which party controls the Congress after the 2022 mid-terms.

The only question remaining to be answered is whether or not Biden’s great reset of America’s economy will be permanent and irreversible by the time he leaves office.

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