Re: Why the snide?
The Commission proposes laws and the Parliament has to approve them. Both share a common interest in the inexorable expansion of Big Government. You're right that the Council of Ministers can effectively veto much of this, but they're involved in horse-trading to protect what they see as their vital national interests, so much of the stuff that they're not so interested in has to be allowed to slide.
As for your objection to my pollution examples, you could apply that principle to absolutely anything vaguely employment-related. Perhaps the EU should regulate car parking; after all, employers' provision of free car parking for employees, or local councils' provision, could give countries a competitive advantage over their neighbours? As could rates of road tax, or maybe minimum nutritional standards, or immunisation programmes, or recreational drug use laws, or.... At some point you need to make your mind up about what should be decided locally, and what needs to be decided nationally/supranationally. With the EU as presently constituted, the traffic's all one way.