The King of Coal

Apparently, the EPA wasn’t kidding around with that carbon regulation nonsense. AEP, a major energy company, now has to close five coal plants to comply with EPA regs:

This development, or lack thereof, conjures up a still-memorable quote:

“When I was asked earlier about the issue of coal…under my plan, of a cap and trade system,* electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” – Barack Obama


Others have picked up on this quote and tied it to the EPA’s bullying of other companies, namely LG&E:

*Since cap-and-trade legislation is yet to be passed, the EPA has seized legal authority to “regulate” carbon emissions, which was actually affirmed by the federal courts.

Ninth circuit ruling:

Massachusetts vs. EPA (read Roberts’ dissent):

Lead quote from Justice Stevens‘ majority opinion:

“A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Respected scientists believe the two trends are related.”

Apparently, this “belief” that the rise in carbon emissions correlates to a temporary rise in global temperatures (1998-2008 data from four satellites show flat or insignificant rise in lower troposphere temps over that decade; though there was a spike in 2010, truly unexpected low sunspot activity has contributed to colder winter temperatures in some parts of the world, particularly in Europe) has our non-scientific jurists placing their imprimatur on one side of a scientific controversy (see Global Warming Petition Project, and particularly, qualifications of the MMGW hypothesis heretics; excellent list of sources from a “denier”point of view).

Finally, an interesting upcoming case in the SCOTUS regarding a coal company’s objections that taxing coal exports from one state to another violates Art. 1, Sec. 9, Clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution (yes, it still exists):

Art. 1, Sec. 9, Clause 5:

No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

Recalling the debates regarding the U.S. Constitution, and the trade wars that marred the Articles of Confederation, how can states prohibit the trade of any legal good or service (including insurance) across state lines?  In other words, where does the governments’ authority to prohibit, not “regulate” (or to “make regular” in original usage), the trade of a legal good or service across state lines (let alone within state lines) derive?


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