Tags: Global Warming | GOP | EPA | regulations | Laurence Tribe

Obama's Law Prof Helps Make GOP's Case Against EPA Regs

By    |   Friday, 20 Mar 2015 04:18 PM

One of President Barack Obama's liberal Harvard Law School professors is providing ammunition for the Republican argument against Obama's climate change proposals.

When Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell sent out his "just say no" letter to all of the governors across the country, he cited constitutional law scholar Laurence Tribe as part of his argument.

Tribe had written a legal brief for the Peabody Energy Corporation in December 2014 in which he argued that the EPA's Clean Power Plan would violate the Constitution.

The goal of the proposal that was unveiled in June 2014 is to cut carbon emissions from power plants to 2005 levels by 2030. Specifically, Tribe said the proposal would violate the Fifth Amendment, the Tenth Amendment and the Clean Air Act.

"The defects in the Proposed Rule transcend political affiliations and policy positions and cut across partisan lines," Tribe wrote.

"The central principle at stake is the rule of law – the basic premise that EPA must comply with fundamental statutory and constitutional requirements in carrying out its mission," he explained.

Tribe also testified before the House Energy and Power Subcommittee on Tuesday, saying Obama is "burning the Constitution" with the proposed EPA rules as he tries to fight global warming.

"You know, I've cared about the environment ever since I was a kid, and you know, I taught the first environmental course in this country, and I've won major victories for environmental causes. But I'm committed to doing it within the law," Tribe said at the hearing.

"Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy," he added.

His testimony was panned by those who support the climate change proposals, Politico is reporting.

David DiMartino, a Climate Action Campaign adviser, said that "Laurence Tribe must not have been sworn in over a Bible today before testifying before Congress, because if he had been, that Bible would have burst into flames after his phony testimony about EPA's legal authority to set standards for unlimited carbon pollution from power plants."

"But I guess we shouldn't be surprised — a wad of coal industry money burning a hole in your pocket can make you do strange things," Martino added.

McConnell praised Tribe's testimony on his Facebook page Tuesday, saying it shows that "the legal basis for this regulation is flimsy at best."

The Kentucky Republican told the governors in his letter that they should not feel obligated to comply with the EPA's requirement to show how they plan to cut the pollution from their power plants.

"Some have recently suggested that failing to comply with the EPA's requirements would be to disregard the law. But the fact is, it is the EPA that is failing to comply with the law here," McConnell wrote.

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One of President Barack Obama's liberal Harvard Law School professors is providing ammunition for the Republican argument against Obama's climate change proposals.
GOP, EPA, regulations, Laurence Tribe
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2015-18-20
Friday, 20 Mar 2015 04:18 PM
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