This past Friday, on the same day the Environmental Protection Agency filed their blueprint for a massive reorganization of our entire economy, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued an opinion which seriously undercuts the legal basis for the EPA’s ambitious plans.

Responding to lawsuits by liberal states who want to regulate carbon, the EPA issued a 250 page Advance Notice for Proposed Rule making which attempts to use legal authority from the Clean Air Act to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Their plan includes regulations for planes, trains, ships, boats, farm tractors, farm and mining equipment, lawn mowers, garden equipment, portable power generators, fork lifts, construction machines, logging equipment, and all buildings (including residential ones) larger than 100,000 square feet. Despite the fact that the Senate just rejected a cap and trade program for regulating carbon, the EPA argues in its ANPR that the Clean Air Act givers them all the authority they need to institute one.

But also Friday, a three judge DC Circuit panel unanimously struck down an EPA rule that established a cap and trade system for soot and smog. D.C. Circuit chief judge David Sentelle wrote: “No amount of tinkering with the rule or revising of the explanations will transform CAIR, as written, into an acceptable rule.”