On June 2nd, the Obama Administration announced new EPA regulations on existing coal-fired power plants. Earlier this year, the rule for new power plants was rolled out, and it attempts to force use of carbon capture and storage (CCS), a new technology that is not yet ready for industrial use. It is only in the experimental stages. The Obama Administration wants to force this technology on the power industry. We don’t even know if it will work or what the true costs will be.
Now some argue the point is moot, since natural gas is cheaper and it doesn’t make a lot of sense to build a new coal-fired power plant right now. Fine.
The rule coming out tomorrow will hit EXISTING coal-fired power plants, and we don’t know yet what sort of rules the EPA has written.
WAIT A MINUTE! How can an agency just “come up” with a policy without some involvement by Congress? Doesn’t Article I, Section 1, say, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States…”? Right you are! Then how can the EPA simply IMPOSE a rule? Oh yeah, that’s right. Congress GRANTED them that power. But how is that constitutional? Can one branch transfer a constitutional duty to another branch through a piece of legislation such as the Environmental Protection Act? I would argue it cannot. A law that destroys the separation of powers between the branches by attempting to assign legislative authority—the power to make laws or rules—to an executive agency is an unconstitutional law. Making agency rules with NO congressional approval violates the separation of powers. It is unconstitutional and anyone who supports this model is just wrong.
Obama and his fellow-travelers control the executive branch and they intend to impose this tyrannical behavior on the rest of us. We must find new ways to challenge this arrogant assault on our freedom.
Jim Jess is a board member of the Georgia Tea Party Inc.