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Business Review Board / October 19, 2016

EPA Couldn’t Care Less About Coal Job Losses

Judge finds that the agency didn’t care to calculate its regulatory impact.

Murray Energy Corp. scored a victory this week — albeit probably a minor one — thanks to District Judge John Preston Bailey, who ruled that the EPA failed to calculate the number of job losses resulting from its regulatory avalanche on America’s energy infrastructure, particularly coal. Judge Bailey said, “Congress unmistakably intended to track and monitor the effects of the Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations on employment in order to improve the legislative and regulatory processes.” Furthermore, “EPA cannot redefine statutes to avoid complying with them. Nor can EPA render them superfluous or contrary to their original purpose by simply defining them to be.”

There is a catch, however, as Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw explains: “This ruling may indeed force someone at the agency to go dredge up their projections for job losses, collect the data for actual mine closures and layoffs and publish all of it. But that doesn’t mean that they will then turn around and modify any of their regulatory policies with an eye toward saving jobs. They can dump that task in the lap of Congress, deciding internally that such losses are simply one of the costs of doing business.” In any case, Judge Bailey’s smackdown further elucidates the absurdity of Barack Obama’s claim to lead the most transparent administration in history. The EPA clearly didn’t want to take job losses into consideration. Now it’s up to Congress to show that it cares.

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