All I Need Is The Air That I Breathe
On December 7, the EPA dramatically usurped Congressional authority and declared carbon dioxide to be a dangerous pollutant. A gas that allows plant life to grow on this planet, is what we exhale when we simply breathe, and is one of the four main components of our atmosphere is now officially “dangerous”.
President Obama got Lisa Jackson, his EPA head (or should that be “Czarina”?) to administrate her way into history by claiming power for her agency that heretofore has been reserved by the Constitution for the Senate and the House of Representatives. While she clearly would have preferred Congress to handle this, that august body very properly declined to pursue the Waxman-Markey bill, which would have done untold damage to our struggling economy and to the careers of all the Congressmen who voted for it.
“Legislation is so important because it will combine the most efficient, most economy-wide, least costly, least disruptive way to deal with carbon dioxide pollution… [W]e get further faster without top-down regulation.”
But the legislation didn’t appear, and so with the tacit approval of the President and most members of Congress, she started the ball rolling all by herself. This administration found an unorthodox and possibly illegal way to accomplish one of its goals, and aggressively pursued it.
Bridge Over Troubled Water
The Waxman-Markey bill would have disastrous consequences for the entire nation. But it is a battle the Senate can’t win, at least this year. So the Senate has offered up a smaller power grab which would, of course, have more far-reaching consequences than a first glance might disclose. The Clean Water Restoration Act (S 787) would increase regulations of the nations waterways, moving the goal posts and re-defining “waterways” by dropping the modifier “navigable”, which would instantly and dramatically expand regulation of waterways by the EPA. Sen. John Barrasso put it this way:
“Right now, the law says that the Environmental Protection Agency is in charge of all navigable water. Well, this bill removes the word ‘navigable,’ so for ranchers and farmers who have mud puddles, prairie potholes — anything from snow melting on their land — all of that water will now come under the regulation of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency.”
The Heritage Foundation calls the act “troubled waters for property owners.”
[T]he CWRA seeks to… make the statute more expansive than ever. In fact, it would turn the Clean Water Act into what some analysts believe to be the most dangerous federal intrusion on private property rights in existence. First, it seeks to remove the limitation that the statute only apply to navigable waters and apply it to all waters of the United States. Then it seeks to broadly define such waters as not just “all waters subject to the ebb and flow of the tide, the territorial seas, and all interstate and intrastate waters and their tributaries, including lakes, rivers, streams (including intermittent streams),” but also “mudflats, sandflats, wetlands, sloughs, prairie potholes, wet meadows, playa lakes, natural ponds….” Yes, prairie potholes. Note also that the CWRA makes clear that intrastate as well as interstate waters are the purview of the feds.
The CWRA is an invitation for federal regulators (or environmental organizations filing lawsuits) to shut down any use of land that they don’t like so long as there is a little water somewhere in the vicinity. If the past is any guide, this law will be used to stop a tremendous amount of economic activity. Though not as far-reaching as Waxman Markey, the CWRA would be a serious blow to the rural economy, not to mention private property rights. [Emphasis mine]
Let’s see. Is there anything else we the people have that can be taken away?
This Land Is Your Land, This Land Is My Land
Having taken over the air that we breathe and the all the water in and around America, what else could this President want on his way to gaining total power over all U. S. citizens? Well, your private property, of course. No good socialist dictator can long allow his subjects to own land.
And you know what? He just might be able to do it.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2005 Kelo decision opened the door for local jurisdictions to abridge citizens’ property rights. And if local jurisdictions can do it, then ultimately, so can state and federal jurisdictions.
As Carol Saviak wrote back just after the decision was rendered:
America is outraged because we understand the implication of the Kelo opinion: If government has the power to take our homes at its whim and completely ignore the very clear construct of the Constitution, then this document is worthless and all of our other basic rights can be taken away any time government officials can craft a socially justifiable excuse.
And just who is it that excels in “crafting socially justifiable excuses”? Why the Obama administration, of course!
One way or another…
Air, water, land. Congressional law, Supreme Court decision, or Cabinet Department fiat, it’s only a matter of time before we are just where this President wants us: completely dependent on the government for all our wants and needs.
Welcome to my nightmare.