The EPA’s recent actions prove beyond any doubt that the organization is a rogue agency operating in a capricious and unlawful manner and it ought to be defunded.
Last month’s 3 million gallon spill of toxic mine waste into the Animas River is a perfect example of the EPA’s gross negligence and derogation of the rule of law. The Aug. 5 mine breach, sent millions of gallons of bright yellow, heavy-metal-contaminated water and sediment gushing into the Animas River.
That waste then flowed into the San Juan River, and eventually flowed into New Mexico and poured into Utah's Lake Powell.
NOT above the Law
The Clean Water Act (CWA) provides that “the discharge of any pollutant by any person shall be unlawful.”
The act also specifies how pollutants can be legally managed via the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NDPES) permitting process. It also defines liability in the strictest sense and there is no requirement to prove intent or causation.
“The discharge of a pollutant” is defined broadly to include “any addition of any pollutant to navigable waters from any point source.” A “pollutant” is defined broadly to include “dredged spoil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sand, cellar dirt and industrial, municipal and agricultural waste discharged into water . . .".
Section 1342(a) authorizes the Administrator of the EPA to “issue a permit for the discharge of any pollutant.” This requires “planning, public notices, filings, and formal approval before activities can be legally pursued.”
If those are the rules, Did the EPA:
- thoroughly document their plans and processes? – NO;
- issue public notices for hearings? – NO;
- complete the proper permit filings? – NO;
- receive formal approval before legally pursuing their activities? – NO.
Senior Policy Analyst, Paul Driessen, writes, “The evidence strongly suggests that EPA never studied or calculated anything, had no operations plan vetted and approved by state officials or mining experts, was not trying to install a pipe – and was grossly careless and negligent.” The full extent of the EPA’s illegal activities will require a thorough investigation.
To that end, two US House members, Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz submitted requests for all documents related to the EPA's work at the Gold King Mine, including all photographs and videos of the work at the mine, the spill and damaged areas.
However, “asking for” and actually “getting” all of the documents are two very different things. The public has seen this many times before. What are the possible responses?
- Another server crash or hard-drive failure.
- Missing data due to illegal and unknown private email accounts. If Congress doesn’t know what they are looking for, how will they know when its not included?
- Straight-out refusal or simple non-compliance is the easiest response to imagine.
The power hungry bureaucrats at the EPA already have tremendous power and yet they crave even more. Those who have made it to the top of the EPA food chain have more than just big offices and leather chairs. They know the funding games and they use new regulatory schemes and political hypocrisy to fill their marbled hallways with costly reasons to exist.
Why does the EPA exist?
All 50 states and all US Territories have their own agencies dedicated to environmental protection within their jurisdictional boundaries. State governments are the proper home for this authority. After all, the 10th Amendment says “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Our natural environment is a regional phenomena at best. Rivers have local origins and flow through natural watersheds. Even large river systems like the Colorado or Mississippi span only a handful of the contiguous states. The forests here in Eastern Oregon are different from those in Oregon’s coastal ranges. Alabama’s hardwood forests don’t have spotted owls, barred owls, or marbled murrelets and the Oregon coast has never been a home for the Florida manatee.
Control – pure and simple.
Control over money, power and people. Control over every business, and entity within the reach of federal authority. Control over everything, literally everything. Every carrot, every raisin, every electronic part, every tree, every drop of water. It also includes all land use, water use, banking, science, international trade, technology, education, healthcare, and every product used in each of these broad categories.
The EPA’s control always masquerades under the banner of “protecting communities” and “keeping the region’s air, land, and water healthy.” These semantically pleasant appeals hide the fact that the EPA uses massive public relations efforts staffed with thousands of federal workers to leverage and push public sentiment toward their false, yet appealing, goals. The net result is government creating winners and losers (solar v. coal), awarding subsidies or sanctions (wind v. oil) and granting permits or denying allotments (fish v. farms).
All of these efforts force individuals and businesses to either abide or face fines and retribution. The end result is the wholesale loss of individual liberty and the ultimate surrender of one’s freedoms in exchange for a meager state of permanent dependence. Clarence B. Carson summarizes the entrenched preoccupation that government has in promoting itself:
“Politicians have acquired a vested interest in moving the United States toward socialism, Not only does it provide them with prestige and power, but it helps them get elected to office. Politicians run for office on the basis of benefits, favors, subsidies, exemptions, grants;" and so forth which they will provide for the electorate. Notice how this impels us toward more and more governmental activity, for the man who would continue to be elected should promise ever greater benefits to his constituency.”
The government is that instrument which the people have delegated certain enumerated powers with an implied authority to use force. The underlying reality is the handful of men who are in control are the ones who have the force.
It turns out, it is not our Congress. It is the bureaucrat.
Is Congress Powerless?
No, Congress is not powerless, but they do lack courage.
Our current Republican Congress is providing full funding for the new rulers, the statists – those who promote the power and authority of government over and above the rights of the individual.
This is rule by bureaucrats, not representative government. The population now serves the bureaucracy. We are todays servants. The bureaucrats are not public servants, we are, and we serve at their whim.
This new oligarchy is visible in the sheer increase in numbers and obvious power of bureaucrats. They are the ones who assert their wills over us, by way of vaguely worded laws, "executive power," disparate interpretations and by turning the police and courts into instruments of their will.
It’s time to get back to basics. It means throwing Republicans out of office if they talk tough but act like wandering school boys when the time for firmness arises. It means throwing Democrats out of office if they continually promote Socialism and the destruction of the American traditions – free-enterprise, individual liberty and personal responsibility.
We need to focus on our Constitutional government, complete with its limits, its freedoms, and our ability to regain our national birthright – Life, Liberty, property and our own individual pursuits.
Otherwise these rogue agencies will turn our nation into a kaleidoscopic mess of bad policies, poisoned rivers, burnt watersheds and incredibly harmful economic and environmental results.