I pledge allegiance to flag of the Corporate State of America…
State Attorney General Bill Schuette’s job is to be the top law enforcement official in Michigan. As part of that job, his role is to protect the health and safety of Michiganders.
Apparently he didn’t get the memo.
Schuette has sued the Environmental Protection Agency to keep them from enforcing a provision of the Clean Air Act that allows them to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. The Supreme Court has ruled that they are allowed to do this but that’s not enough for Bill Schuette.
Why? Because it would cut into corporate profits.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office didn’t make anyone available for an interview, but it did send an email which states, “Attorney General Schuette opposes new burdensome EPA regulations due to the strain they would put on Michigan’s fragile economy.”
That’s a pretty straightforward statement that Bill Schuette sees himself as on duty to protect short term corporate profits over the health and well-being of Michigan citizens.
A couple of things here. First, the economic impacts of climate change will dwarf any short term profit-taking by our energy companies (or any company, for that matter) in this state. If you read the Michigan Radio piece and listen to their report, the scientists and environmentalists make a very solid case for our country having the obligation to solve this problem for a wide array of reasons.
But, more importantly, Bill Schuette is making it very clear that our environment and all that entails as well as federal law are not as important to him as making sure that our corporations continue to make huge profits based on artificially depressed energy costs. If our energy costs accurately reflected the harm they do the environment and to the health of our state’s residents, they would be higher and our citizens and businesses would respond appropriately. Through conservation. Through investment in less harmful energy sources. Through innovation and advances in new energy technologies.
This normal “free market” response to climate change and energy costs is retarded because the true cost to society is hidden and subsidized by not requiring the energy companies to take appropriate steps to mitigate their negative impact.
But, never fear, Bill Schuette is on duty to protect corporate profit statements. I’m sure he’s compensated handsomely for his services.
The 2007 Supreme Court decision related to vehicle emissions. They ruled that the Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases resulting from vehicle emissions. The EPA is extending that regulatory power to stationary sources like power plants and this the basis for Schuette’s lawsuit. Apparently he believes that the Supreme Court will rule that greenhouse gas emissions are pollution only when they come from a car or a truck.
Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to review the suit. They will hear arguments in December. Hopefully, they’ll smack this one down just as hard as they did the one about the EPA regulating carbon dioxide coming from vehicle tailpipes.
It would be even better if the smackdown came right before next year’s election.
[CC photo credit: Corvair Owner | Flickr]