Are the Tenth Amendment lights starting to go on all over the country, and the denizens of the Ozarks are simply the first ones to actually flip the switch?
Well, not quite. But it's a promising start:
On February 9th, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an order staying the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP). As a result, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Arkansas Public Service Commission (the Agencies) will not hold the CPP Stakeholder meeting previously planned for March 2016. The State is not bound to CPP deadlines during the stay and, as such, is no longer required to make an Initial Submittal by September 6th, 2016. Therefore, the March stakeholder meeting is no longer necessary. The Agencies, in consultation with Stakeholders, will continue to evaluate the impacts of potential environmental and energy policies in the State. However, this evaluation will occur on a timeline and in a context that makes sense for Arkansas. The State will not implement a State plan to comply with the CPP during the stay.
The Agencies will continue to follow modeling efforts by the private sector of potential future energy and environmental policy scenarios. Continued assessment and optimization of energy sector modeling is appropriate so that the energy sector will be prepared for all possible outcomes. As such, the Agencies plan to have a technical session on energy sector modeling later this year.
All of this is in the context of the SCOTUS stay on the CPP while it is under judicial review - which the Obama EPA is, of course, ignoring, and which they have little reason not to believe they will ultimately win, now that Justice Scalia is no more. What will Arkansas do at that point? Will they knuckle under and trudge ahead with submitting an economically suicidal and crippling regulatory implementation plan which will result in more power plants going offline, more jobs destroyed, and increasing energy prices for consumers with little to show for it in terms of health or environmental quality? Or will they unfurl their version of the Gadsden flag....
....and tell EPA to "go whistle for its dinner"?
I'm pretty sure that's a rhetorical question. But it does make one wonder. We constitutional originalists like to point out all the varied tools the Founding Fathers gave us to combat federal tyranny - federal elections, of course, but also Article V conventions, Republic Review, and yes, State nullification - but I don't think very many of us actually believe that any of these measures are anything more than theoretical and will ever actually be attempted on a truly mass, national basis, or would succeed even if they were. Certainly I don't. The "progressive" ball has been moved too far down the field, and at the time when, even in the optimist's view, we're going over the metaphorical "falls," the Right is disintegrating into delusional Trumpsanity instead.
But I still think the attempts should be made anyway - because it's the right thing to do, and because I am genuinely curious to see what, in this case, the EPA's reaction would be if half the States (or more) told Gina McCarthy, "Sorry, we can't afford your plan, and we are not going to bankrupt and ruin our States and our citizens based upon a mass psychotic fraud that you do not possess the constitutional authority to inflict upon us. Have a nice day." What would the Regime do if it was faced with mass civil disobedience at multiple levels? It'd be a fascinating civic/psychological study, if nothing else.
Most likely it would move up O's timetable for his coup de tat by a few months. But at least we'd have flushed it out into the open, and what would follow would catch nobody by surprise.