March 4, 2016

You would think a state like Michigan would have more pressing concerns than making sure coal fired power plants could continue to spew mercury into the air, but the state is actually paying attorneys to take the EPA to court to delay and deter rulings on this horrible poison.

The Mercury and Air Toxics rule or Mercury MACT rule, sets national emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollution from coal-fired power plants. Michigan and 20 other states sued to block the regulation's enforcement.

John Roberts has apparently had enough. The Hill:

Roberts acted swiftly, waiting less than a day after the EPA’s response brief to side with the Obama administration. He acted unilaterally, electing to reject the request himself rather than take it to the full court, which may have led to a 4-4 split following Justice Antonin Scalia’s death.

The mercury pollution standards, made final in 2012, are a separate regulation from the more controversial and costly carbon dioxide limits for power plants that are also being litigated in court.

The Supreme Court put an unprecedented halt to the carbon rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, last month by a 5-4 vote, when Roberts chose to let the full court vote on the matter. Thursday’s action by Roberts is completely separate from that case.

EPA spokeswoman Melissa Harrison said on Thursday the agency is “very pleased” with Roberts’s order.

Let's not forget which political party wants to disband the EPA. (Hashtag Both Sides Don't.) One has to wonder why the GOP Congress is so eager to prevent an Obama nomination to the Court. Turns out certain Republican appointees like to breathe clean air, too.

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