Court nails Obama EPA for failure to follow the law

Power Line:
In 2014, Murray Energy Corporation and several of its affiliates sued EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, alleging that the EPA was in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 7621, § 321(a) of the Clean Air Act, which requires the agency to “conduct continuing evaluations of potential loss or shifts of employment which may result from the administration or enforcement of the provision of [the Clean Air Act] and applicable implementation plans, including where appropriate, investigating threatened plant closures or reductions in employment allegedly resulting from such administration or enforcement.”
The case is venued in West Virginia, and U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presides. In 2016, the parties filed cross motions for summary judgment. On October 17, 2016, Judge Bailey denied the government’s motion and granted Murray Energy Corporation’s motion. This means that Murray won the case. Judge Bailey ordered the EPA to comply with the Clean Air Act, as follows:
The Defendant is ORDERED to file, within fourteen days of the date of this Order, a plan and schedule for compliance with § 321(a) both generally and in the specific area of the effects of its regulations on the coal industry.
The EPA apparently responded with a filing that said it never carries out the sort of economic assessments specified in § 321(a), and it would take two years for it to devise a methodology to do so. That caused Judge Bailey to unload on the agency, in an order that apparently is not yet online:
A judge has ordered federal regulators to quickly evaluate how many power plant and coal mining jobs are lost because of air pollution regulations.
U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey in Wheeling made the ruling after reviewing a response from outgoing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy.
McCarthy had responded to the judge’s previous order in a lawsuit brought against her by Murray Energy Corp. that the EPA must start doing an analysis that it hadn’t done in decades.
According to Wednesday’s order, McCarthy asserted it would take the agency up to two years to devise a methodology to use to try to comply with the earlier ruling.
“This response is wholly insufficient, unacceptable, and unnecessary,” Bailey wrote.
Like many federal agencies, the EPA is a scofflaw. It is quick to bring criminal charges against individuals who unintentionally violate pollution laws, but it views its own compliance with the law as strictly optional.
...
There is more.

During the entire time of this administration this agency has acted like it is on a mission from God with not even a modicum of self-restraint.  It tends to look at the law as a menu to pick and choose from rather than a coherent statement of what is required of all parties including the EPA.

The Trump administration's selection of a lawyer who has tried to get the agency to follow the law is a good start.

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