Just wow. I never thought I’d see the day where a judge on the Ninth Circuit actually had some sense. He’s a Bush appointee, which probably says a lot in and of itself.
This comes from Ace of Spades…
“Here we go again,” Judge Milan Smith starts in his epic broadside (PDF) against the Ninth Circuit’s anti-prosperity, bureaucracy-boosting environmental decisions. The Bush 43 appointee has had enough:
I cannot conclude my dissent without considering the impact of the majority’s decision in this case, and others like it, which, in my view, flout our precedents and undermine the rule of law. . . .
By rendering the Forest Service impotent to meaningfully address low impact mining, the majority effectively shuts down the entire suction dredge mining industry in the states within our jurisdiction. . . . As a result, a number of people will lose their jobs and the businesses that have invested in the equipment used in the relevant mining activities will lose much of their value. In 2008, California issued about 3,500 permits for such mining, and 18 percent of those miners received “a significant portion of income” from the dredging. See Justin Scheck, California Sifts Gold Claims, The Wall Street Journal, April 29, 2012. The gold mining operation in this case, the New 49ers, organizes recreational weekend gold-mining excursions. The majority’s opinion effectively forces these people to await the lengthy and costly ESA consultation process if they wish to pursue their mining activities, or simply ignore the process, at their peril.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time our court has broken from decades of precedent and created burdensome, entangling environmental regulations out of the vapors. In one of the most extreme recent examples, our court held that timber companies must obtain Environmental Protection Agency permits for stormwater runoff that flows from primary logging roads into systems of ditches, culverts, and channels. Nw. Envtl. Def. Ctr. v. Brown, 640 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2011). In the nearly four decades since the Clean Water Act was enacted, no court or government agency had ever imposed such a requirement. Indeed, the EPA promulgated regulations that explicitly exempted logging from this arduous permitting requirement. Yet our court decided to disregard the regulation and require the permits.
The result? The imminent decimation of what remains of the Northwest timber industry.
via Judge Milan Smith Has Had It With the Ninth Circuit’s Environmental Cases.