Well, while Eurosceptics celebrate their victory in the UK’s referendum on leaving the European Union, you probably missed an Obama-appointed federal judge striking down the administration’s regulations on fracking within federal lands. The judge ruled that the Department of the Interior does not have regulatory authority in this matter (via The Hill):
A federal judge appointed by President Obama struck down the administration’s regulation on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands on Tuesday, ruling that the Interior Department does not have congressional authority to regulate fracking.
The decision is a major loss for the administration, which worked for years to update its oil and natural gas drilling regulations to account for dramatic increases and innovations in fracking.
Judge Scott Skavdahl of the District Court of Wyoming agreed with the arguments of industry groups and a handful of Western states that said Congress had expressly forbidden Interior from getting into fracking with a 2005 law, with few exceptions.
“Congress has not delegated to the Department of Interior the authority to regulate hydraulic fracturing,” Skavdahl wrote in his opinion published late Tuesday. “The [Bureau of Land Management’s] effort to do so through the Fracking Rule is in excess of its statutory authority and contrary to law.”
This is one of the many setbacks for the Obama administration’s energy agenda. In February, the Supreme Court issued a stay on the Clean Power Plan’s regulations for power plants. The plan is an ambitious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 30 percent by 2025 from 2005 levels. In the process, the CPP aims to torpedo the home budgets of almost everyone, including fixed-income seniors, due to increased energy costs. The plan seems to target rural Americans and pretty much every state that didn’t vote for Obama in 2012. Over half the states oppose the plan, with Democratic and Republican attorneys general filing a lawsuit over the plan.
To shed light on the massive increase in energy costs, West Virginia, already battered by Obama’s war on coal, is expected to see their bills rise by 20 percent. That’s devastating to any family. For those in the African American and Hispanic communities, the CPP could gut millions of jobs.
On September 6, 2016, states are required to turn over their blueprints for how they will tweak their respective economies to accommodate the CPP’s emissions goal. States that need more time could file an extension on the same day in lieu of a blueprint. States that do neither will be forced to adopt a federal model until they can draft a plan that’s agreeable to CPP.
So, while this is another legal victory against the over-regulatory state that Obama administration wants to impose, let’s not forget that the president is winning the war on coal. He’s forced into bankruptcy Peabody Energy, the largest private-sector coal company in the world due to his stringent regulations. As the legal war over CPP rages, Americans already know that their energy bills are bound to go up if the Obama White House emerges victorious. This underreported aspect of Obama’s regulatory agenda could be far more impactful on the socioeconomic fabric of the country than Obamacare. One thing is certain. If Hillary Clinton is elected in November, this plan will go into effect. Count on that.