SCOTUS: Big Oil Profits Before Children’s Health

In one of the most blatantly calloused and greed-driven rulings in its checkered history, the U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of mercury pollution from power plants can’t be enforced because profits were not taken into account before they were drawn up.

In a dissent from the 5-4 ruling, Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the majority view “deprives the American public of the pollution control measures that the responsible Agency, acting well within its delegated authority, found would save many, many lives.” The majority relied almost solely on the issue of the need for Federal regulators to take into account the impact of their rules on private companies’ costs and profits as part of determining the fairness of their proposed rules. In his majority opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia writes that “it is unreasonable to read an instruction to an administrative agency to determine whether ‘regulation is appropriate and necessary’ as an invitation to ignore cost.”

Translated, “Let’s not pay too close attention to the cost in human life or well-being. If a regulation is too expensive to implement or enforce, just do away with it.”

I know I shouldn’t be astonished.

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