Last week, there were more victories for the rule of law over the rule of climate bureaucrats and activists when the judiciary reversed a lower court ruling on a federal coal moratorium and rejected a bogus class-action lawsuit on emissions.

These were encouraging steps, but the larger threat from extra-legal climate actions by the Biden administration very much remains.

First, the ninth Federal Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a district court ruling in 2022 that upheld the Obama administration’s initial moratorium by the Department of the Interior on new leases for coal mining on federally owned lands. The Trump administration had rescinded the moratorium and was sued by (so-called) environmental groups. The federal district court reinstated the moratorium even though the Biden administration reversed Trump’s recission on the initial action – except, the Appeals Court ruled, the Biden order technically failed to rescind the Trump Interior Department’s restoration of coal leases.

The National Association of Mining, a litigant in the case, was pleased with the outcome but has little to celebrate since the Biden administration views coal as climate kryptonite and will surely keep the door closed on new mining leases.

Second, federal Judge Araceli Martinez-Olguin of the northern district of California, a Biden appointee, mostly threw out a class-action lawsuit against GE Appliances for what the lawsuit claimed were fraudulent assertions about its gas-powered stove. This is because the climate plaintiff believed stoves contributed to climate change from natural gas emissions.

When the courts invalidate climate policies, this further makes a mockery of President Biden’s admonitions that “democracy is threatened” by his political opponents since it is climate actions that are anti-democracy when they reach beyond laws duly enacted by Congress. This requires the courts to “check” executive actions with no basis in law. A parallel problem is when Congress defers too much power and discretion to the executive branch, which is then exploited by climate fanatics wielding bureaucratic edicts.

Recent prominent examples of the judicial branch reigning in climate policy overreach occurred with the 2022 caseWest Virginia v. EPA. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Clean Power Plan “generation shifting” rule on the basis that Congress did not grant the Environmental Protection Agency this sweeping authority to devise such emissions caps. Last May, the high court also struck down the Biden EPA regulations governing the waters of the United States in its rulingSackett v. EPA. However, subsequently, the EPA proceeded with another set of regulations that narrowly interpreted the Court’s decision, which is likely to be litigated again.

The legacy of this modern bureaucratic overreach also can be dated to the Supreme Court itself, which ruled in a 1984 case, Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council, that federal agencies had wide discretion in their interpretation of laws so long as they were “reasonable.” Forty years later, the Court may undo this Chevron deference to finally reign in the federal bureaucracy as it considers two cases, which CFACT described here.

Meanwhile, the regulatory beat goes on and will continue to have real-life consequences for America’s economy and living standards. The head of the National Association of Manufacturers, Jay Timmons, recently warned that new EPA air quality rules, entitled the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, could “wipe out up to one million jobs” in the U.S. and move “manufacturing investment away from the United States to countries with lower standards.”

Electric vehicle mandates, including tighter regulations on emissions from gasoline vehicles, will further subjugate America by making travel more expensive and restrictive and traditional autos with combustion engines unaffordable to more Americans. And let’s not forget President Biden’s recently imposed moratorium on new leases for facilities to export liquified natural gas on the grounds it must “study” its effects on climate change. What of the effects on lost American jobs, higher fuel prices, and our European allies’ energy needs while Russia wars on Ukraine? Never mind, says our president. Climate diktats prevail over such common sense.

The list goes on.

Did America vote for any of this? Did I miss Congress passing the Green New Deal? Is actual democracy becoming a fiction in the United States?

These questions answer themselves. America did not vote to lower its living standards nor cripple its energy sources, and Congress has not passed much of anything beyond corporate welfare for big business to produce so-called “renewable” energy under the misbegotten title, the “Inflation Reduction Act”.

But that will not stop the Biden administration, populated by climate fanatics and influenced by extremist groups funded by millionaires and billionaires who bend the knee at the climate alter. Moreover, many in Congress would just as well end democracy when it comes to climate policies by having the president declare a “climate emergency” and become a dictator on the issue.

The rest of America can “eat cake,” to quote Marie Antoinette’s 18th-century euphemism.

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