One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
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Happy New Year, All. ’Tis the time to resolve them if you’ve got them. For Republican presidential primary contenders, here’s an anti-Establishment thought: Pledge to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (There are, after all, fifty state versions thereof. The federal is thus, at the very least, utterly redundant.)
The EPA is all that is wrong with Washington, D.C. It is the result of yet another awful foray into bipartisanship (in DC, if it’s bipartisan – it’s almost always awful). Pseudo-Republican Richard Nixon created the mess in 1970 in typical DC fashion – he pretended to be Congress and signed an executive order. The Democrat-controlled Congress then pretended to be Congress – and “ratified” the EPA with committee hearings, rather than passing actual legislation birthing the bureaucracy.
So the EPA is in its entirety a Constitutional house of cards. What lives via the executive order – can die via the executive order. Republican presidential candidates can simply add it to the list of fiats they intend to undo upon entering office.
Born of executive order – the EPA now operates almost exclusively by executive order. Which continues unabated the violence being done to the Constitution. The EPA – in fact every Executive Branch agency, commission, department and board – is actually (supposed to be) a creation and creature of Congress. Thus no Executive bureaucracy can do anything – unless and until Congress writes a law empowering them to do it. Just about every arm of the Leviathan is far exceeding its legal reach. Arguably none more than the egregious EPA.
Under President Barack Obama, what was once obnoxious has now become atrocious – and atrociously routine. The Daily Caller on New Year’s Day published “These Are The Most ABSURD 2015 EPA Power-Grabs Of Dubious Legality.”
“Dubious” – is being very generous. The article chronicles four absolutely huge EPA power grabs – executed just last year. Totally bereft of any legislation from Congress. And looks at the tee-up of a fifth – the power grabs most likely to come as a result of the ridiculous Paris Climate Change summit.
Does the EPA screw up huge? Is water wet? Does the EPA do its best to cover up their huge screw ups? Is water wet? Is the EPA a giant anti-transparency nightmare mess? Is water wet?
This is simply a sampling – just during the Obama Administration. And doesn’t even touch on what the EPA actually exists to do.
Let us consider more fully but one egregiously unConstitutional example of EPA overreach – that hits pretty close to home for all of us. I like food. Do you like food? The EPA apparently doesn’t like food – and doesn’t care that you and I do.
You want to kneecap farmers? And make food exorbitantly more expensive? Turn farmers’ water into a weapon against them.
The issue is the EPA’s proposed changes to the Waters of the United States regulation. In March, the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed new rules that would expand the agency’s regulatory authority on streams and wetlands that feed into major rivers and lakes.
The EPA says 60 percent of the nation’s streams and wetlands are not protected from pollution.
That actually means 60% of the nation’s streams and wetlands are protected from government. The EPA won’t stand for that. Except:
(T)wo U.S. Supreme Court decisions that limited what waterways the government can regulate and the proposed rule is meant to clarify which smaller ones they include.
Why would that stop the EPA?
(T)he rules…(would) allow the government to dictate what farmers can and cannot do with their farmland, which often includes small streams, ponds and marshes.
How beyond-all-reason-and-reasonableness is this massive new EPA power grab?
(Small Business Administration) SBA to EPA: Ditch the Waters of the U.S. Proposal
On October 1, 2014, an unexpected ally from within the administration filed comments with EPA claiming that EPA and the Corps “have improperly certified the proposed rule [WOTUS] under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) because it (WOTUS) would have significant effects on small businesses.”
When another arm of the Leviathan thinks you’ve gone light years too far – just how far from the path have you strayed?
The assaults on farmers and the food they produce are reason enough to shut down the EPA. Add to it this cornucopia of terrible ideas, private sector assaults and corruption – and it quickly becomes a litany for immediate agency termination.
Closing the EPA makes eminent policy sense. And in this presidential election cycle – eminent political sense.
A 2016 New Year’s Resolution to do so – would help make for a VERY happy 2017.