In a new policy brief published by the Heartland Institute, Lehr laments what began as an effort to protect the environment and public health and has morphed into a full-fledged political organization. As Lehr interprets EPA history, the federal organization was seized during the Reagan years by activist environmental groups and transformed into a political forum to advance their political agenda.
With what result? In 2014, it will cost $2T for Americans to comply every federal regulation, with the EPA being singularly responsible for 50% of those regulatory costs.
In what's sure to earn Lehr an excommunication if his views about hydrofracking haven't already earned him an excommunication, his solution involves dismantling the EPA and replacing it with a "Committee of the Whole" that's composed of the 50 state environmental protection agencies. With those agencies having already spent 3+ decades implementing federal environmental laws, Lehr believes they are now capable of protecting the environment...free from federal oversight.
Whoa! That's HERESY to those who worship at the altar of environmentalism. Their entire doctrine rests upon the truth that statist government--and a global statist government, at that--is the only way to preserve the environment.
But, Lehr commits even more mortal sins, proposing a 5-year plan which includes:
- Dismantling the national EPA, with the exception of its research laboratories which will continue to perform research, although state-funded research efforts will compete with the federal research lab to keep the laboratories honest.
- Cutting the EPA budget to 20% of current levels which will enable it to fund its research labs and administer the Committee of the Whole.
- Reducing staff from 15k employees to 300 employees (an 80% cut), comprised of 6 delegates from each of the 50 states. Those employees would work at a new headquarters in Topeka, Kansas, facilitating close contact with the states and also reducing travel costs.
- In Year 1, relocating employees of the new Committee of the Whole to Topeka, Kansas.
- In Years 2-5, transferring activities from the EPA's 14 federal offices to the Topeka headquarters.
"Holy feces, Batman!" Lehr is proposing to do nothing other than to gut the Cathedral of Environmentalism!
But, it gets worse, from the perspective of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism.
Lehr's Committee of the Whole would evaluate all national EPA regulations and determine those which were mandated by law and those which had been established by regulators without Congressional approval. The Committee would vote either to continue the rules mandated by law or request Congressional repeal. The Committee would also vote on all rules Congress did not mandate individually, requiring a 2/3rds vote for alteration or repeal.
Other benefits Lehr's proposal includes:
- Moving the Committee from the EPA's DC headquarters would keep the regulators away from Washington corruption.
- The 50 state agencies would be less vulnerable to lobbying than their EPA counterparts.
Well, heresy is heresy and Jay Lehr has definitely earned the emnity of those who worship at the altar of environmentalism for suggesting a plan to dismantle their Cathedral. It's only a short time before they will have to excommunicate him. Heretics have to be taught a strong lesson so that others won't do the same, no?
It's true, isn't it: That there's nothing more conservative than a liberal?
Let the discussion begin...
Source: Jay Lehr, "Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency," Heartland Institute, July 2014.