This Week in Fossil Fuels

By Christopher B. Daly 

Thanks a lot, SCOTUS! In an otherwise welcome flurry of decisions, the Court issued a ruling that means continued emissions from coal-fired power plants and continued release of mercury into the environment. Isn’t it obvious that Congress created the EPA to protect the environment and the people who live in it?

From the Times:

Writing for the majority, in the 5-to-4 decision, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “It is not rational, never mind ‘appropriate,’ to impose billions of dollars in economic costs in return for a few dollars in health or environmental benefits. Statutory context supports this reading.”

If possible, Scalia has topped himself here in being not only wrong but also belligerent and hypocritical. He has done no cost-benefit analysis himself, so he does not know if the EPA’s action would cost “billions” while yielding only “a few dollars” in benefits. What is the long-term, total cost to society of all that pollution? Does he know? No, he does not. Plus, he justifies his view on the basis of “statutory context.” How about that? In other recent rulings, he has lectured his colleagues on the importance of ignoring “statutory context” in favor of what he calls “originalism” or (when it suits his purposes) something he calls “textualism.”

2 Comments

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2 responses to “This Week in Fossil Fuels

  1. David

    The media has focused too much on his supposed briliiance; joviality; and friendship with Justice Ginsburg and not nearly enough on his hypocricy; gratuitious nastiness; and utter lack of concern for the 99%.

  2. David

    Of course, the man most responsible for the recent judicial approval of harm to the environment, as with financial corruption of the electoral process, is not Scalia, or John Roberts, but Ralph Nader, whose egotistical campaign produced the conservative majority on the Supreme Court (not to mention Cheyney and Rumsfeld’s outrages).

    The left may forgive him, but history will not.

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