A decision rendered by Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, fortunately reversed by the Supreme Court on April 1, 2009, could have been extravagantly costly to American consumers, according to the Steve Milloy's authoritative Junkscience.Com.
Charging that her nomination represents a potential threat to U.S. Consumers and to the economy in terms of energy and the environment, Milloy reported on her 2007 Second Circuit decision in Riverkeeper, Inc. V. EPA 475 F. 3d 83'
Milloy wrote that in her ruling Judge Sotomayor sided with "extreme green groups" who had sued the Environmental Protection Agency because the agency permitted cost-benefit analysis to be used in the determination of environmental protection technology for power plant cooling water intake structures.
Cost benefit analysis involves the balancing of the total expected costs of a proposal or project against its total expected benefits in order to determine its economic feasibility. Do the benefits outweigh or justify the cost?
According to Milloy, had the EPA been required to abide by Judge Sotomayor’s decision, U.S. Consumers would have been forced to pay billions of dollars more in energy costs every year as power plants producing more than one-half of the nation’s electricity would have had to undertake expensive retrofits."
Noting that President Obama said he wanted somebody "who has the intellectual firepower but also a little bit of a common touch and a practical sense of how the world works,” Milloy said that in the Riverkeeper case Sotomayor didn’t display too much of a “common touch” and “practical sense” when it came to the cost-benefit analysis.
Senators, Milloy advised, should probe whether Judge Sotomayor "lacks the common-sense realization that the benefits of environmental regulation ought to outweigh its costs — a worldview with ominous implications given the nation’s present rush toward cap-and-tax global warming regulation and other green mindlessness."
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