About that EPA pronouncement…

I’ve been thinking about the EPA’s decree from earlier this week — the one where they threatened Congress over new legislation on climate change:

The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn’t move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a “command-and-control” role over the process in a way that could hurt business.

…”If you don’t pass this legislation, then … the EPA is going to have to regulate in this area,” the official said. “And it is not going to be able to regulate on a market-based way, so it’s going to have to regulate in a command-and-control way, which will probably generate even more uncertainty.”

Here’s my question: if the EPA can regulate in “this area,” then hasn’t Congress already acted to allow it? There has to be a law, right? A law authorizing the EPA to act?

And if Congress hasn’t passed any such law, then the EPA has no such authority. They can’t act.

Or am I just being naïve about this?

One more thing: this reminds me of a court case from some years ago. I can’t remember what the subject was, but the judge in the case said something in the vicinity of: the court was “forced to act” because the legislature (or Congress) “failed to act.”

This, obviously, raised some hackles. Judges aren’t supposed to “act” in lieu of a legislative body. If the legislative body hasn’t “acted,” then they haven’t. A court can’t act in their stead.

This EPA thing reminded me of that — your average sparation of powers sort of thing. For the life of me, though, I can’t remember what the court case was. Help?

(The TrogloPundit, a.k.a. Lance Burri, blogs at The TrogloPundit)

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