The Big Picture by JT Korkow: Environmental Protection Agency? Or Expensive Propaganda Administration
January 21, 2016
Recently it was reported by the General Accountability Office (GAO), that the Environmental Protection Office (EPA) illegally used social media to promote their Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. It was also reported that a North Dakota District Court judge ordered an injunction on implementation of WOTUS over the concern that it would cause irreparable harm to the states.
My hat is off to the judge and I applaud the GAO for calling "a spade, a spade," but it comes as no surprise, as the EPA has over-reached its originally intended mission since its inception in the early 70s under the Nixon administration.
In March of 2013, Mark Hendrickson reported in the Forbes magazine that the EPA had a history of suppressing research findings for the purpose of pushing their political agendas under their "hyper-politicized leadership and its henchman who had misbehaved." As with the WOTUS rule, the EPA is seeing a major push-back by nearly every state in the Union and has an injunction ordered against its implementation by a district court judge.
Any logical thinking person would think this should send a clear message to the agency they may have went too far in their attempt to expand the current law, and perhaps they should retreat. At least that should be the response of any government agency that really serves the American public and views Americans as their employers.
However, the arrogant response of the agency is that it will continue to pursue its mission in spite of what any accountability office finds or what any district court determines. In my book, that bodes for an agency out of control. And because all government agencies are extensions of the Executive branch, it reflects the attitude of our present administration.
EPA currently employs over 15,000 people and contracts with many others.
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Since 1994, EPA has initiated 45,258 proposed rules within the Federal Register with nearly all of them becoming final…that is over 2,000 rules added to the books for every year the agency has been in existence! To me that statistic is outrageous and should warrant closer scrutiny. Rule changes or additions proposed in the Federal Register are to further define and clarify Congressional laws, and were never intended to add to the authority or intent of the law itself, for that is the job of the legislative branch. However, this agency under its current leadership only reflects the leadership itself by furthering its control at the cost of its people.
The question that begs asking is: why does the EPA feel it has to put a positive spin on THEIR position regarding water authority if the rule only clarifies existing water law? The logical answer is that they are trying to "sell" their expanded interpretation of the law for simply more control! However, this expanded version changes the authority provided under the law itself, which defines federal jurisdiction on navigable waters, only.
Having worked on cases involving EPA and its enforcement division, I have witnessed first- hand the threatening, nonsensical claims against individuals and municipalities with extraordinary fines attached. I can assure you that EPA is not afraid to harass the public with the full authority of the Federal government. This agency is second only to the Internal Revenue Service in its assertion of authority and enormous fines. I found their legal counsel and enforcement agents to be cold-hearted and inconsiderate of practical solutions. If EPA is successful in making WOTUS stick, all of us who have water rights adjudicated according to western water law should be greatly concerned. Whether you comply with their claims or fight them legally, the financial burden will be great either way. This is a corrupt agency with an agenda for control. If not suppressed, they will negatively affect all life and making a living in the West. As it was explained to me when I was a ranch hand in southwest Montana now many years ago…whoever owns the water controls life! Enough said.
"This is He who came by water and blood-Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three agree as one." 1 John 5:6-8