Matt Dempsey (202) 224-9797

Katie Brown (202) 224-2160              

Inhofe Comments on EPA Spruce Appeal

Continues "Same old, Same old" Overreach at EPA

Washington, D.C. - Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, commented on today's announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will appeal a federal judge's ruling that EPA cannot revoke a permit already issued by the Army Corps of Engineers. Specifically, EPA attempted to revoke a permit that the Bush Army Corps of Engineers granted to Arch Coal for its Spruce Mine No. 1 in West Virginia.  In March, the U.S. District Court ruled that EPA did not have this authority, and as Judge Berman Jackson said, EPA's claim "that section 404(c) grants it plenary authority to unilaterally modify or revoke a permit that has been duly issued by the Corps" is a "stunning power for an agency to arrogate to itself when there is absolutely no mention of it in the statute."

"Even after the U.S. District Court ruled that EPA cannot revoke a permit already granted by the Army Corps, and Judge Berman Jackson found that EPA was granting itself a 'stunning power' and had to use 'magical thinking' to justify its actions, EPA is still going ahead with an appeal," Senator Inhofe said. "One can only wonder if EPA's decision to appeal is an attempt to appease the radical environmental left to garner their support in the election; they must be disappointed that President Obama is hiding his global warming agenda - as well as the economic pain that his war on coal will bring.

"Perhaps the Director of EPA's Water Enforcement Division, Mark Pollins, summed up the Obama-EPA policies best when discussing another recent case in which the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against EPA: the case of the Sacketts.  As Pollins said when asked if anything had changed after the ruling, 'Internally, it's the same old, same old.'  Clearly EPA just isn't getting it; instead of reevaluating its procedures after being reined in by the courts, the agency is continuing to live up to its 'reputation for abuse.'"