It is curious that although America generally has pathetically poor voter participation in elections, a couple of state primary elections are more than sufficient to distract the public’s attention from extremely important news. Tuesday night, or Wednesday, were no different and while people were intent on the results of one small state’s primary results, they missed the news that the Koch-surrogates on the Supreme Court issued a ruling that reveals their contempt for the Earth’s population; like typical Koch Republicans.
In a five to four decision, the conservatives on the High Court put an immediate stop to President Obama’s restrictions on new coal plants. The President’s action was an important step toward combatting climate change that experts in several disciplines attest it necessary to preserve the human race. The conservatives’ “orders” were particularly telling about their service, obedience, and devotion to the Koch brothers’ fossil fuel industry because they went outside of normal federal judicial system procedure to give the Koch brothers what they likely paid for during the latest “secret Koch policy seminar.”
Apparently the conservative jurists were not impressed that the EPA’s regulations were intended specifically to, besides ameliorate the effects of climate change, “avoid thousands of premature deaths and thousands fewer asthma attacks and hospitalizations within 10 years and every year beyond.” What likely did impress the 5 Republican justices was that those new regulations are highly regarded as “representing the most significant thing America has ever done to combat climate change.” Since the Koch brothers and their Republican puppets say climate change is a liberal hoax, and campaign vigorously on neutering the Environmental Protection Agency, the Conservative Court stepped in and got proactive for the Kochs and their fossil fuel cohorts.
The High Court’s intervention is contrary to a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington D.C. Circuit that has already denied several motions to stop the Clean Power Plan. This is following two months of briefings and several weeks of “careful painstaking review of the fossil fuel polluters’ claims.” It is important to consider that the conservative Court’s decision does not, and did not, address the merits of the Clean Power Plan; that is what Court of Appeals is considering, on an expedited basis no less.
In fact, the High Court butted in within a day of the “fossil fuel industry and its allies filing their final legal attacks on reply.” The industry wanted it stopped and no federal Appeals Court was going to interfere with the Koch’s plans leaving the High Court’s Republicans no choice but do exactly what the Kochs tell them to do.
Instead of just telling the EPA that the fossil fuel industry said no more regulations, the Court’s conservatives gave no insight or purpose behind its order. It just issued this command;
“The Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units,’ is stayed pending disposition of the applicants’ petitions for review in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and disposition of the applicants’ petition for a writ of certiorari, if such writ is sought.”
What that means is that exactly as Senate Mitch McConnell predicted, Republicans would task the states to appeal to the conservative High Court do what the proper federal appellate court refused to do and suspend the rules until after President Obama leaves office. Republicans want to have more time to defund and completely break the EPA’s ability to protect Americans’ air and water before it can enact any new regulations. Republicans will never allow those “life” and “climate” saving rules to go into effect and the High Court has no intention of waiting for an Appellate ruling challenging the Clean Power Plan because the fossil fuel industry only challenged the new regulations to get the case before the Kochs’ conservative Justices. Tuesday’s order all but fulfilled the industry’s wish without going through the normal appellate procedures.
Apparently, some dreamy-eyed environmentalists errantly believed that because Republican Anthony Kennedy abandoned the Koch Justices in a 2007 case Massachusetts v. EPA, that he would let the appeal system play out, listen to the merits of the regulations, and possibly rule in favor of the climate and Americans’ lives. In the 2007 case, the Court ruled that the Clean Air Act permits the EPA to “regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles.” However, that was before Americans elected a President concerned about the Earth’s climate, and millions of Americans’ health and lives, and took action to preserve the environment. It was also before the High Court’s conservatives began openly and actively working for the fossil fuel industry, corporations, the Vatican, and American patriarchy.
If any American thought for even one nano-second that Republicans or their Koch-surrogates on the High Court would offer any hope to the people whose lives would be lost by upholding the environmental regulations, they now know they were dreaming.
There is no telling how Justice Kennedy will ultimately vote when the case gets to the Koch Court, but if he joined the four activist Justices and butt into the case before the Appeals Court was finished hearing arguments, it is likely the Koch Republicans will make certain the United States of America is incapable of taking steps needed to mitigate climate change; regardless how many Americans’ lives are lost and how badly the American economy will be decimated.