Now that President Obama has delivered his new edict on climate change/global warming to us, he has empowered the EPA to increase its intrusion even more into our everyday lives without Congress’ permission (not sure why Congress is even here, anymore). The EPA has been charged by the President to inject itself to a much larger scale into the sovereignty of States. Under Obama, the EPA has taken over states’ blueprints to comply with the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts in 19 instances. This compares to only 2 Federal takeovers from 1997 to 2009. The Federal government is telling states that Washington DC bureaucrats know better how to manage states’ air and water. This is a total usurpation of a state’s right to regulate air and water within its borders.
The EPA is overreaching into Alaska’s waters using the Clean Water Act to include most any body of water into the “navigable waters” definition over which the Federal government has total jurisdiction. Basically, every ditch, pond, lake, mudflat (of which we have many) could come under the control of the EPA. Even a shallow roadside ditch by my home is designated as a “natural waterway” by the Army Corps of Engineers. The EPA has not yet excluded swimming pools and ornamental ponds from its jurisdiction. Who knows, maybe hot tubs and bathtubs will be covered.
Our Federal government, through the EPA, has partnered with many environmental organizations to push an agenda of private property control, bankruptcy of the coal industry and the imposition of carbon taxes on all of us. This EPA/environment organization partnership has rewritten regulations and rules without Congressional involvement or state leaders. They have shut out the states and other stakeholders from any environmental policy making. The environmental groups benefit financially from this partnership by a “suing and settling” strategy which funds these groups. These groups sue the EPA for missing deadlines in the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts and the EPA settles and pays with taxpayer funds. Kind of a variation of “pay to play” politics.
As President Obama said in his June 25th speech on the environment:
The planet is warming. Human activity is contributing to it. We know that the costs of these events can be measured in lost lives and livelihoods.”
The fact that the planet is warming is up for debate. The fact that human activity is a contributing factor is also up for debate. However, the fact that many livelihoods have been lost to the radical environmental policies of the EPA and its friends, the environmental organizations is not up for debate. For a full review of the EPA overreach into what should be a state’s business read the ALEC report.
In Alaska, we know well how the Federal government and environmental organizations interfere with our way of life on a daily basis. We all need to ask, “Will Congress push back to fight this overreach of the Executive Office into the sovereignty of States?”. Or will Congress sit on its hands and allow the Executive Office through the Federal bureaucracy legislate our lives?