We’ve probably said a hundred times that if you control people’s use of energy—through motor fuel taxes, vehicle mileage mandates, energy efficiency standards for light bulbs and building design, regulations rigged to artificially inflate the cost of using fossil fuels—you gain significant control over every aspect of their lives.
It was therefore refreshing to hear Governor Walker in last week’s state-of-the-state message saying he and Attorney General Schimel are preparing a legal challenge against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed regulations aimed at shutting down fossil-fueled power plants and discouraging the construction of more efficient new ones.
Many states have already challenged the EPA’s authority to issue these regulations; numerous lawsuits are pending. Meanwhile, Wisconsin has stood aside. The state’s last involvement in the issue was to withdraw four years ago from a suit left over from the Jim Doyle-Peg Lautenschlager era alleging that power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions are a public nuisance and seeking unspecified monetary damages. (See under: “shake down.”)
The newly assertive stance is as timely as it is welcome. Last week the Obama administration announced a fresh regulatory assault on energy use through an EPA plan to demand a 45 percent cut in methane emissions from natural gas production.
Make no mistake, this is the EPA’s long-anticipated attack on the hydraulic fracturing industry that’s making the U.S. the world’s natural gas leader and deflating the pump price of gasoline. The administration hates those things, even as it tries to claim political credit for them.
The real agenda has always been to use the trumped-up climate pretext to destroy the otherwise unbeatable economic advantages of fossil energy—in order to appease the administration’s environmentalist constituency and enrich its green-energy billionaire donors.
Okay, fine. Now we’ll see them in court.