The so-called activist court cuts both ways. For all the grousing by conservatives about King v. Burwell, this court makes decisions without regard to how one side or the other feels. It is independent of our passions.
Big coal won a decisive victory over the forces of clean air and water, but perhaps only a immoral one. The age of coal in America is complicated by the realization that it costs a lot more to mine and use when someone like the EPA is trying to keep it clean. It costs too much to get out of the ground when you consider the pollution in the water. Tailing ponds are difficult to manage if they are manageable at all. And when they fail, which they do, it is bad for business.
But the real threat coal comes in the form of natural gas, which is only slightly better in terms of environmental cost, but a whole lot more profitable to power plants. Adieu, big coal; welcome natural gas.
So, is big coal dead? Not hardly. Production peaked in 2008. Like cigarettes, we will be exporting it to other countries for some time. Is it in decline? Not for a long time.
The court found the suit poorly argued, which is unfortunate.
(d) EPA must consider cost—including cost of compliance—before deciding whether regulation is appropriate and necessary. It will be up to the Agency to decide (as always, within the limits of reasonable interpretation) how to account for cost.