Friday, February 01, 2013

JUST LIKE THE NLRB: Lawless EPA "thumbing its nose" at nation's second highest court #Bastiat

Yesterday the EPA became the second arm of the Obama administration to execute a rhetorical middle-fingered salute to a federal court.

Just days ago the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), responding to a federal Appeals Court that found the president's recess appointments were illegal, said that it would ignore the court's order and continue business as usual.

On Thursday, the EPA replied to another federal Appeals Court decision. The court had just thrown out the agency's mandate to the oil industry that it use non-existent biofuels; the EPA in return metaphorically spit in the court's face.

Days after a federal appeals court said the Obama administration is setting overly optimistic production quotas for the struggling biofuels industry, the government issued new standards Thursday that raise production estimates for 2013.

New standards announced by the Environmental Protection Agency require production of 14 million gallons of so-called cellulosic biofuels made from grasses and woody material. That's up from an 8.7 million-gallon requirement in 2012 -- when actual production was near zero.

An oil industry representative said the Obama administration was thumbing its nose at a ruling last week by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The court threw out the 2012 mandate for cellulosic biofuels, saying it was based on wishful thinking rather than accurate estimates for an industry the Obama administration wants to encourage. Administration officials have said that increased use of biofuels could lower greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, as well as lower U.S. dependence on foreign fuel.

"The court recognized the absurdity of fining companies for failing to use a nonexistent biofuel," said Bob Greco, director of downstream operations for the American Petroleum Institute, the principal lobbying group for the oil and gas industry... Greco said he was astonished that EPA would nearly double the mandate for biofuel in 2013. "EPA needs a serious reality check," he said, calling the mandate a "stealth tax on gasoline" and an "egregious example of bad public policy."

This administration is engaging in, as Frederic Bastiat termed it, "legal plunder":

It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

In the first place, it erases from everyone's conscience the distinction between justice and injustice. No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree...

...imagine that this fatal principle has been introduced: Under the pretense of organization, regulation, protection, or encouragement, the law takes property from one person and gives it to another. is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system.

The entire federal government has, at least by Bastiat's definition, become a monolithic apparatus designed to facilitate legal plunder. From General Motors to Solyndra and the Stimulus to Obamacare, the taxpayers' trillions have been stolen -- "legally" -- and directed to the president's political backers.

It is a recipe for disaster and a societal model that cannot long survive.

Hat tip: BadBlue News Service.

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