What's the point of this?
Can a miner/pool really create an empty block and receive 50 BTC for it?
What's to stop miner's from ignoring all transactions and just issuing empty blocks?
Yes, any miner can do this.
Nothing stops miners from ignoring all TXes and just issuing empty blocks. But if many miners would do that, people will set their TX fees to higher values and there will be someone to collect those fees :)
Also users may migrate from pools that do bad things.
Even empty blocks are useful to make blockchain longer and more secure.