Prevent legal quagmire for timber industry: Oregonian Editorial

Yes, save lots of litigation bucks! I agree with the Oregonian Editorial Board here.
Christmas always reminds me of Dickens, and this case could otherwise grow into one reminiscent of the infamous Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. There are many other, potentially more productive, public works and employment programs we could invest in..

The Supreme Court may now punt rather than ruling on the merits in the case, Tenny says. Environmental groups will respond by challenging the EPA’s new rule in court, and the legal wrangling, once again, will go on and on.

Enter Congress. If the Supreme Court does, in fact, give the case the brush-off, Congress should act quickly on very targeted legislation introduced in both the House and Senate. The companion bills enjoy bipartisan support, including that of Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. Their passage would simply provide firm legal footing for long-standing EPA policy governing logging runoff.

This legislation barely moves the needle on the controversy meter, and it would provide great relief to an important industry in Oregon and many other states. It deserves prompt passage..

The idea of surgical litigation to resolve issues that cause protracted litigation otherwise is a useful one to have in the CREATE toolkit. Speaking of transparency, here is a link to the oral arguments. And a quote suggesting the alternative to legislation is protracted litigation (thanks to Steve Wilent for finding this):

MR. FISHER [for respondents = NEDC]:

But if I might just explain to this Court, I think it will help the conversation if I explain exactly what our case looks like going forward, because we have and will maintain a claim for forward-looking relief for two reasons. One is, for the reason that was mentioned a couple of times in the beginning part of the argument, because we contend that the new rule simply violates the statute, and we have a right to bring a citizen suit for a violation of the Clean Water Act itself, which is to say the language that requires EPA to regulate –

JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Is this a –

MR. FISHER: — all discharges associated with industrial activity.

1 thought on “Prevent legal quagmire for timber industry: Oregonian Editorial”

  1. I have no substantive comment but was enlightened (and delighted) by your reference to Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. I expect to see it given as a precedent in the next suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity.

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