Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Supreme Court will be killing us for years to come

So there's this federal law, created by Congress of course, that says power plants have to upgrade to minimize their damage to fish and aquatic life. (Consider that power plants use 214 billion gallons of water a day for cooling in the US. Yes, 214 billion.) The Bush administration and utility companies have sued to exempt old power plants from this law. (And basically, only the old power plants are the ones threatening fish. The new ones are actually fairly eco-friendly with their water use.) Their stance is that it's too cost-prohibitive. (They're saying they shouldn't have to make changes if the cost of the upgrade is greater than the environmental benefits.) The Supreme Court hears arguments on the case today.

There's more to this case than just protecting our waterways from an ecological catastrophe. If the Bush administration wins, it means that environmental laws will become immensely harder to enforce. (Think of factories that don't want to adhere to clean air standards, for one example.)

Let me guess how judicial activists--um, I mean defenders of the Constitution--Alito, Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas will vote on this one. Sorry speckled trout, you don't stand a chance.