A Harvard professor who taught U.S. President Barack Obama torched his prized pupil last month on Capitol Hill.
Constitutional scholar Lawrence Tribe, who also served in the Justice Department under Obama, testified last month during a House hearing that the president’s climate change policies are similar to “burning the Constitution.”
The 73-year-old Tribe argued that the Environmental Protection Agency is grossly overstepping its boundaries in respect to enforcing the president’s doctrine. One conservative operative called the remarks “dazzling.”
“EPA is attempting an unconstitutional trifecta: usurping the prerogatives of the States, Congress and the Federal Courts — all at once,” Tribe insisted. “Burning the Constitution should not become part of our national energy policy.”
The testimony, which was first reported Monday by the New York Times, came only days before the former Obama ally is to deliver an oral argument on behalf of Peabody Energy — the nation’s largest coal producer — in a federal court case brought to block legislation seeking to force states to cut carbon emissions.
The main source of those emissions is coal-fired power plants, which Tribe insists can operate within the parameters of the Clean Air Act if states adopt carbon capture and storage technologies.
“Burning the Constitution is one thing we should not do as part of our national energy policy,” Tribe repeated.
Prior to joining Peabody, Tribe argued on behalf of former Vice President Al Gore in the 2000 Bush v. Gore Supreme Court case, according to the Times. He also argued in favour of several Obama legislative efforts, including the Affordable Care Act.
“When I saw the brief, I thought, this is dazzling,” Michael McKenna, a Washington energy lobbyist, told the Times. “And the fact that it was written by a guy on the other side made it even better.”
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