EPA Usurpation

This week, a resolution authored by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) was voted down in the Senate. The resolution was a “Resolution of Disapproval” seeking to stop the EPA from implementing regulation of CO2 without direction or oversight from our elected officials. It is my opinion that the defeat of this resolution will have a profound impact on all of us.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA)  commented during his weekly YouTube address on the economic downside (to Iowa) of having “a faceless bureaucracy” stretching existing law, like the Clean Air Act to regulate in new areas.  Perhaps Senator Grassley’s reference to the EPA as a faceless bureaucracy was made in the interest of brevity; perhaps it was meant to underscore the lack of accountability that federal agencies have to our elected officials —  much less, We the People.  I would assert, however, that the EPA has a face. That face is Lisa Perez Jackson, the Administrator of the EPA and willing proxy for the face of President Barack Obama, who appointed her.

While candidate Obama did make many environmental promises during his campaign, perhaps most who voted for Him expected some tempering of those promised transformations by the Legislature and by the law of the land.  I think most did not expect a willingness to crash the entire economy on the belief that imposing strict economic constraints on fossil fuels would (or could) magically produce a new society powered by “clean energy”.  Most did not recognize the impotence of the current Legislature, or the unwillingness of the current Judiciary, to check any action of the Executive.

Parenthetically, I am not saying a move toward clean energy is bad.  Far from it.  As a Christian, I take seriously our charge by God Almighty to be good stewards of the planet.  I am saying that applying punitive measures to the energy we have access to now is the wrong way to effect meaningful change.  We need that energy to have any hope of the development from which improvements can flow.  I am not saying the EPA has no valid function, either.  They have a place enforcing the law for those who don’t pay any attention to God Almighty.  They don’t have a valid right to reinterpret or stretch the law to new ends.

The new President picked his EPA Administrator carefully.  At least, his transition team did.  She has a public record that makes it easy to predict a kindred ideology. One can easily see that the tactic of using various federal agencies to institute radical policy is not an afterthought. This framework was being laid from the outset of this administration against the contingency that it might be difficult to accomplish radical change through the Legislature.  Of course, while the global climate change agenda is controversial and many of us consider the science suspect. Ms. Jackson expresses no doubts.    On Monday, December 6th,,2009 Lisa Jackson, as administrator of EPA, issued a statement declaring “greenhouse gases a threat to human health”.  Fox News reported on the statement at the time.  No one outside the administration, though, seemed to realize exactly where this was going.

Let me cite this rather amazing C-Span video as proof that Ms. Jackson is fully on board with the goals of this administration.   I tried to go back in Senate records for any debate on Ms. Jackson’s confirmation by the Senate back on January22, 2008. But, it looks like a rubber stamp to me. This may not be particularly surprising, as Lisa Jackson has a long resume of environmental work for both the EPA and the State of New Jersey. She has been pragmatic enough in the past to get her on the wrong side of the most extreme environmentalists, but radical enough to garner criticism from the other side too.  In January of 2008, few were adequately suspicious of the new administration’s agenda.

Murkowski’s “Resolution of Disapproval” captured 100% of the votes of Republican Senators and six Democrats. That was not enough to pass. Not enough to reign in an Environmental Protection Agency bent on Obama’s  radical agenda at any cost. If We the People don’t do some serious rearranging in both the House and the Senate in November, These unconstitutional maneuvers by radicalized federal agencies will continue to escalate.  As it is, there is little practical difference between the operation of the current administration and an absolute monarchy.   Can’t we vote to get back to a constitutional republic?  Can’t we return the EPA to its rightful place of enforcing established law?

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11 Responses to “EPA Usurpation”

  1. DurableFaith Says:

    great post, thanks for sharing.

    • writewild Says:

      Read your post today on Durable Parenting. Good Job! I heard a talk from the State Auditor of Iowa recently that enlightened me to the fact that our state spends 80% of revenue on education. It was a revelation to me that we are funding the indoctrination of our kids away from our own belief system with most of our resources.

  2. DurableFaith Says:

    Writewild, thanks for stopping by http://www.durablefaith.com.

    If you consider that education isn’t an enumerated power of the government in the constitution, its not difficult to see why. He who controls the curriculum holds incredible sway over the future voting population.

    And since we know that power corrupts we know that centralized power is very dangerous. This is why the consititution was framed the way it was to keep power decentralized. We need to put our efforts into decentralizing power, even laying aside our political views on the social issues.

    At least if there is variety among the states in terms of social issues, you can vote with your feet. If a national government or God help us a one world government can tell us how to live, eat, think, believe, worship, etc. then where can we run?

    check out http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com and spread the word if you like what you see.

    blessings
    durablefaith

  3. Ed Darrell Says:

    Actually, education is one of the enumerated powers of Iowa’s government. Check out the Constitution of the state:
    http://law.justia.com/iowa/constitution/#art9

    What sort of odd, anti-American beliefs does writewild have that make him object to U.S. education?

    • writewild Says:

      Hi Ed,

      I’ll try not to reciprocate in slander, but as a Vietnam era veteran with six years on active duty, I don’t accept the label of anti-American. In fact, my love for this principles our country was founded on is a primary reason for my taking the effort to write this blog. You seem to be reacting to the comment of blogger Durable Faith on this post (and perhaps to my response to him). I took his half-formed comment about education not being an “enumerated power” to mean the federal government (which is true). Thank you for pointing out where the Iowa constitution provides for education. I think that is as it should be; powers not specifically granted to the federal government by the Constitution reserved to the states. Other than this comment thread, I have written on education precisely once. That post can be found here. My main views are that

      1. Responsibility for the education of children belongs to the family.
      2. The federal government is about as far from the family as one can get. Therefore, the federal government has no business interfering. Apparently, the founders agreed.
      3. Throwing a lot of money at the educational system seems to be the only approach even state legislators can come up with. Again, control is too far away from the task to be efficient.

      Are those views weird? So be it.

      – writewild

  4. Ed Darrell Says:

    I can’t think of any founder who would have agreed that education is the responsibility of the family alone. Most of them worked hard to create educational institutions to preserve the nation, their having felt that education was the foundation of the republic.

    Common as your views are, they are a bit weird, I think, when contrasted with the views of great people such as our founders, the views of the founders of the great religions, and the particular needs of our republic.

    No wonder you worry about education. You appear on the surface to be opposed to the fruits of it.

    Interested to hear that Iowa, or anyone, is throwing money at education. In the rest of the nation, we’ve been closing down education at a furious clip, in almost all areas.

    • writewild Says:

      Here is a memory-tickler to help think of a few founders. These men were educated (well) in an era when education was handled either at home, by the church, or through apprenticeship.
      http://www.american-partisan.com/cols/2002/shenandoah/qtr1/0304.htm
      Also, let’s not redefine the meaning of the word responsibility. I have very carefully noted that parents, who are responsible, may certainly enlist the aid of other teachers in the education of their children.

      • Ed Darrell Says:

        Men who understood the value of education and built schools because private schools and homeschooling were not doing the job then, probably a bit more than they are not doing the job today.

        Jefferson criticized the U.S. Constitution for not including free public education as a right of citizens and a duty of government. In his blueprint for a republic, Notes on the State of Virginia he called for the creation of public schools in every county, to provide educated citizens to lead the government. In that same set of writings he lamented the use of Bibles as readers (it was a common book, and so was used as one that most students would have access to). The language was stilted, Jefferson said, and often the subject matter unfit for young minds. Getting rid of the Bible would allow kids to learn to read faster. And with the saved time, Jefferson suggested that instead of the Bible, students should be instructed in the fundamentals of morality.

        Did he mean it exactly that way? Most likely.

        By 1820 public schooling was taking great hold. Demands of the industrial revolution made schools necessary.

        Offhand, I cannot think of any founder who did not support public schools, especially schools for poor children. The founders saw education as the safeguard of good government, and a bulwark against conniving preachers who might otherwise mislead people.

        Please don’t forget to answer my question: Who is throwing money at education?

  5. writewild Says:

    Compared to the cost incurred by a typical homeschool family, every state is throwing money at public education. Homeschooling circumvents the massive overhead expense associated with running public schools. Don’t take my word for it. See the second reference at the end of my only post on education. The data is from the US Census, so I assume it will pass the smell test for readers in favor of big government. http://inclinedright.com/2010/11/05/promise-from-nikita-kruschev/

    • Ed Darrell Says:

      Homeschoolers generally do it on the cheap, like the rest of education. No one is throwing money at education. Utah, which used to be in the top half of the 50 states in spending, now mingles with Mississippi at the bottom, spending about $20/day per student in public schools while still getting good results — but the results are sliding badly. California, formerly the education beacon of the world, has had to slash education spending at all levels, and it is, after 30 years, hammering the California economy.

      Your insults to teachers are undeserved (Nikita Khruschev? Really. Your tactics here are closer to Khruschev’s.). You have no clue what the political leanings of America’s teachers are it appears, and you spit in the face of those patriots who have spent their lives hoping their treasure is in heaven to educate our young. Shame on you. Why do you assume every teacher in America is NEA? Unwarranted assumption (Are you too young to remember AFT’s Al Shanker, or you have never read the New York Times editorial page, or never seen a Woody Allen movie?). Why do you assume any teacher’s union has any power, when we’ve already established that there is no such power in the two largest education states in the U.S., Texas and California?

      So it’s off to your two links. The one link is a screed about elections — you don’t like the First Amendment when teachers use it, I gather, though you’re unconcerned when the Koch brothers abuse it to elect people who will give away your retirement funding — and the second link goes to a 144-page booklet from the Census Bureau that, I gather from your claims, you haven’t read. There’s a good chart there in Figure 4 (page xiii of the document, page 13 of the .pdf). It shows that New York leads the nation, spending almost $16,000 annually to educate kids — and of course New York is also near the top of most state-by-state comparisons. New York pays teachers well — good teachers paid well is the second most-important pointer to education success.

      But the chart also shows that the U.S. average expenditure is below $10,000 a year. Compare that to what homeschoolers spend in time equivalents, or tuition at a mediocre private school or segregation academy, and you see that we get a helluva bargain from public education (especially in states like Utah, at the bottom of spending, but still coasting on previous investments in teachers and education).

      The chart shows that no one is throwing money at education. The chart shows that, with all students getting shorted by society in education spending, results are all over the map. New York does well spending the most, but Utah does okay spending the least; D.C. hasn’t got good results spending the third highest per capita amount, but Nevada’s recent achievement plunges can be explained by the drop in education spending per pupil there, and Mississippi isn’t going to recover from its “keep the schools white” mistakes hugging the bottom of the spending barrel.

      You’d do well to check out this chart from The Atlantic:
      http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/where-does-your-state-or-nation-rank-advanced-level-of-math-proficiency/

      I discuss the spending chart from the Census Bureau at greater length here, in context of the referendum in Utah to gut public education and go to vouchers (it failed):
      http://timpanogos.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/education-spending-per-pupil-apples-to-apples/

      Nobody’s throwing money at education, except Shanghai and Singapore — and that’s why they rank so high in student achievement, along with a few cultural differences they share with Utah’s Mormons.

      Nikita Khruschev is passe. His son now teaches at a U.S. university. The Soviet system he inherited, enforced by totalitarian measures, collapsed, fooling many into thinking capitalism is perfect (so many appear already to have forgotten that totalitarian capitalism was what we joined the Soviets to fight during World War II). Alas, Khruschev may have been right with the second part. He was a committed Marxist, in the good sense, that he worried genuinely about workers and their welfare. He watched the U.S. and most of the western world collapse in a fit of free-enterprise-gone-wild paroxysm we call the Great Depression. Too much wealth at the top, not enough at the bottom to fuel demand.

      If we fail to listen to the workers, they may indeed bury us all. Our government used to be capable of listening to the people on occasion. But today we elect people like John Boehner who is the Helen Keller of Good Government and Practical Politics — the Helen Keller prior to Annie Sullivan’s teaching her to perceive and communicate.

      Madison hoped good public schools would protect us from such collapse. You work against those schools, but whine about Khruschev. Unintentional topsy-turvy.

  6. Still on EPA “Plan O” « Inclined Right Says:

    […] http://inclinedright.com/2010/06/12/epa-usurpation/ […]

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