Obama Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor represents a potential threat to U.S. consumers and to the economy in terms of energy and the environment.
In her 2007 Second Circuit decision in Riverkeeper, Inc. v. EPA 475 F. 3d 83, Judge Sotomayor sided with extreme green groups who had sued the U.S. EPA because the agency permitted cost-benefit analysis to be used in the determination of environmental protection technology for power plant cooling water intake structures.
Fortunately, Judge Sotomayor’s decision was recently overturned by the Supreme Court, fittingly on April 1, 2009 (Entergy v. Riverkeeper, No. 07-588).
Had the EPA been required to abide by Judge Sotomayor’s decision, American consumers would have been forced to pay billions of dollars more in energy costs every year as power plants producing more than one-half of the nation’s electricity would have had to undertake expensive retrofits.
President Obama said this weekend in an interview that,
“What I want is not just ivory tower learning. I want somebody who has the intellectual firepower but also a little bit of a common touch and a practical sense of how the world works.”
But Sotomayor didn’t have too much of a “common touch” and “practical sense” when it came to the cost-benefit analysis.
Senators should probe whether Judge Sotomayor lacks the common-sense realization that the benefits of environmental regulation ought to outweigh its costs — a worldview with ominous implications given the nation’s present rush toward cap-and-tax global warming regulation and other green mindlessness.