Not so fast

Our planet has enough problems without the Oregon bureaucrats getting involved. But now the state DEQ, which brought you the Bullseye Glass air pollution debacle in Portland, has bungled the rollout of extensive regulations designed to "cap and reduce" greenhouse gas emissions. The DEQ so badly mishandled the rulemaking procedures that the rules have been thrown out by the state Court of Appeals, and it appears the process is back to where it was more than two years ago.

State law quite clearly requires the DEQ to explain in writing, when it promulgates such rules, 

(a) The commission’s scientific, economic, technological, administrative or other reasons for exceeding applicable federal requirements; and

(b) Any alternatives the commission considered and the reasons that the alternatives were not pursued.

The arrogant bureaucrats essentially laughed off part (b). In their rulemaking notice, they merely bothered to say:

What alternatives did DEQ consider if any?

In designing the Climate Protection Program, DEQ  considered many alternatives contained in the proposed rule. Extensive outreach with stakeholders beginning in March 2020, input from the advisory committee in 2021, and public comment throughout the process informed the design of the program. Documentation is in the rulemaking record.

The evil gas companies lawyered up and argued to the court that that's not an explanation. The three-judge panel agreed that the DEQ did not comply with the legal requirements, and that in fact, it didn't even come close. As a result, the court invalidated most, if not all, of the rule package.

I assume the agency could ask the state Supreme Court to take another look at the case, but given that one of the judges who invalidated the rules this week is a retired Supreme Court justice, it would be hard to imagine the DEQ getting them reinstated on a further appeal. The state would be better off hustling out a new version of the regulations, with a better explanation, as required by law. The federal IRS, which has run into similar problems lately with its own rulings, has gotten pretty good at quick do-overs.

Anyway, I do know one thing: With friends like the bureaucrats in Salem, Earth doesn't need enemies.


  1. Let us dispense with the myth that anything Oregon does about CO2 can have a measurable impact on the concentration of that gas in the atmosphere. First, the atmosphere is well-mixed which means that any CO2 generated in Oregon is spread more or less evenly around the planet (along with everyone else's) to a first approximation and is indistinguishable from any other CO2 in the atmosphere. Second, China is building new coal-fired power plants at a rate that matches Oregon's CO2 contribution about every two months so that if, magically, Oregon were to completely stop generating human-source CO2, the combination of a well-mixed atmosphere and China's ramping CO2 production would negate/offset that in a few months. So, in true Quixotic fashion Oregon would destroy its economy and impoverish its citizens for negligible benefit to the planet.

    1. So let's just not do anything. Nice!

    2. I feel like Sancho Panza. Watching the “elites” promote their latest fantasy.

    3. "Well-mixed atmosphere" must be the new hydroxychloroquine on Fox News. It doesn't matter who dies, as long as you "own the libs."

  2. Everything being done in the pretense of addressing or fighting climate change is far worse than only a preposterous waste of money and effort. None of it produces any measurable benefit to the atmosphere, climate, weather, floods or droughts. Zero.
    The biggest fraud in human history knows no limits. And retorts to reality are always stuff like this,
    "So lets just not do anything. Nice! "
    Yes, that would be far preferable. Genuine human advancement is a better investment.

  3. "Genuine human advancement" = widespread death and destruction. But mostly brown people, so it's okay with you.

  4. Pretty amazing we have all these state bureaucrats sitting around dreaming up this stuff, they have a template to follow, and they still can’t get it right legally. Makes you wonder how many things get pushed through when no one is watching.


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